Month: February 2008

Progress on Component

Well, the feedback has abated quite a lot, but views and downloads of the component are still going strong. We are at 1,327 views and 150 downloads – so far, no new complaints, but no comments either.

What does an open source developer do to get more feedback? Well, maybe start by putting out some feedback of my own. Here are a few things I'd like to see in com_weight:

  1. Better support for multiple users (I think it's broken now)
  2. User preferences (display to anonymous or not, history and graph length, etc.)
  3. Averages and goals
  4. Do not use the bodyfat graph if the user doesn't enter it
  5. Better fonts (ship with font?)

As usual, I am just dying for feedback! Hence, on the left you find the new Forum link. Don't be shy!

First Feedback on Released Component

We've had 963 views and 87 downloads of the component. So far, so good, considering it has been up for just a day. In addition, I received comments and feedback from two people: one that complained the frontend didn't work (I am trying to resolve the issue), and one that wanted to extend the component to do more things than just track weight.

I sent the first one screenshots of the interface, the second one hints as to what needs to be done, and now I am thinking: gosh, shouldn't I post those screenshots? Shouldn't I add an FAQ or something?

Let's see how things develop. For now, here the screenshots: 


12 Monkeys (1995)

After the disaster of {moscontentlink:The Running Man}, 12 Monkeys is a welcome contrast. Directed by Terry Gilliam, of Brazil fame, this movie explores the thin boundary between sanity and madness and applies it to one of the most confusing topics of science fiction: time travel.

 James Cole (Bruce Willis) is a "divergent mind," a criminal that gets a chance to save the world after a virus wiped out 90% of mankind. He is to go back to the year 1996, when the virus first spread, to collect samples of the unadulterated virus. He is to bring these samples back, so that scientists can create an antidote, cure, or the like.

As in Brazil, the idea of government as embodied here by the scientists is synonymous with incompetence. A first attempt sends Cole six years too far, to the year 1990, where he meets his psychiatrist, Dr. Kathryn Railly (Madeleine Stowe), and a fellow patient, Jeffrey Goines (Brad Pitt), as he gets admitted into a mental ward since he is evidently disturbed. 


The Satanic Verses (S. Rushdie) – Partial Final

Ok, I give up. After 40 years of slogging through any book I've had to endure – including War and Peace, the Bible, and various heavy-weight textbooks on theoretical physics, I finally found one that could outlast me. The Satanic Verses couldn't hold my interest for more than 2 pages at a time, and the prospect of having to read all 561 pages of it was just way too much. At that rate, I would have read that book for more than three quarters of a year!

What is so wrong with it that it can't hold my attention? Well, several things, really. This book is almost an encyclopedia of what can go wrong if you have talent and skill, and yet manage to bore your reader.


Registered Project and Released Feather

As of now, I did all the required work to register the project and release the first version on You should be able to download the file, from there and install it on any current Joomla 1.0 instance.

A few words to go with the download:

  1. This is an initial release. The component works just fine for me, and I have it running on to track my weight – but I am extremely interested in feedback. Both improvements and bugs will be actively considered, so don't be shy!
  2. Plans for 1.5: now that the software is stable, I'll start working on a 1.5 implementation. I've looked at the structure of 1.5, and it looks like it's really 2.0 – a major rearchitecture of the underlying infrastructure. If the interfaces for components have stayed stable, though, there shouldn't be too much work to do. Congrats, Joomla Core developers!
  3. Who is this for? When I was a fitness trainer, I found that my clients had a hard time keeping their weight, losing it, or gaining it (whatever they fancied). One of the reasons was that they looked at their weight on any single day and made silly decisions based on that. If they lost a pound they'd start eating like crazy, if they gained one they'd starve until the end of the day, and then overate. Seeing the trend in the past few weeks helps a lot more.
  4. Installing: in the Administrator, choose Installers → Components. There select the ZIP file and upload it. You should get something with lots of "success!!" on it. Then go to the menu manager, and add a Component menu item with the component "com_weight" in it. Place it in any menu, make sure it is published, and off you go!

The Running Man (1987)

This review is the result of a Netflix crime: I just started my subscription (why has the time to process just trebled?), and this was one of the movies they strongly suggested I watch. Not sure why, but here are my thoughts.

First: in hindsight, the 80es were just as creative as the 70es or 60es, only their innovation was mostly atrociously ugly. Watching The Running Man shouts instantly "1987" at you, what with the women's dress and hairstyle, the cheesy music, the crapola choreography in the dance numbers. 

Second: watching any Arnold Schwarzenegger movie shot after The Terminator always has the damaging side effect of exposing you to "memorable quotes," like the iconic Hasta la vista, baby! In moderation, that's not bad, but the screenwriter, the director, and Arnie himself evidently do not know moderation.


Mika @ the Warfield – Followup on YouTube

Well, one of the things that was amusing at the Mika concert was the number of cameras pointing at the stage throughout the night. Indeed, sometimes the glow from the cameras was stronger than the light on the stage. I guess that’s what you get in the capital of geek!

I made the comment to my friend Julie that half the videos shot that night would be on YouTube by the end of the evening. Now, it wasn’t half, and it wasn’t until the day after, but there are indeed 6 videos that match the search “mika warfield” on YouTube. 


Mika @ the Warfield – Followup on the drummer

From a blog post on the net, more information on the drummer in Mika's concert that left such a huge impression. The original location is this.

I’ve been a little bit quiet here because I’ve just got a new job. Hooray! It’s somewhere I’ve wanted to work for ages and combines both my radio and web skills. Ace. Now I just need to get back into coping on little sleep after djing. A call to arms Londoners – where is good for lunch around Brick Lane/Shoreditch High Street area?



Mika @ the Warfield

ImageFor those of you who don't know Mika, you have probably already heard at least one of his songs. In a good mood, he delivers "fun" music that is very catchy, instantly memorizable, but somehow too generic to have a particular imprint.  He's very young, so he probably is still working on a particular style, but right now he fits the mainstream glam rock category quite well, with other acts like Scissor Sisters.

When I moved to Silicon Valley, I stopped attending concerts. Who has the time to keep up with the event schedule, or even to attend a concert at night when there is another catastrophe looming on the next day? So I let my love of music rot in the basement of stress. That is, until I realized I had missed Annie Lennox. Turning 40 makes you think of the many lasts you are going to experience in the future, and I suddenly had the feeling that might have been my Last Chance to see the amazing Diva live.


Locked out of Facebook (2): The Reply

The reply without comment:

Hi Marco,

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