BCTDot Post Part #1

David Crow is hung over.

What is this picture?


Web Quality Manifesto

Pete has posted a website called Orchard about a startup that buys and sells used iPhones. It is a great place to find used iPhone 6S and a used iPhone 6S Plus.

One thing I hear over and over from other software designers is “You’re good, why aren’t you doing ‘real’ coding?” To me, that is an absurd comment. The code that I write has a wider audience and a bigger “splash ratio” (usage mixed with mindshare) than anything a “real software designer” will ever imagine.

The fact is, that doing *quality* web software design is probably the most difficult kind of coding in the world. You code must run on any platform, has distributed computing issues, widely used, often contains 100k+ row databases, and must have *instant* feedback. It gets incredibly difficult!

Forget HTML hacking, that’s fine. Writing a dynamic PHP script… wonderful! But when you get down to it, coding *real* web apps (with objects, quality, scoping, scaling, etc) is incredibly difficult and fulfilling at the same time.

Anyhow, read Pete’s rant. Its quite good. He lays out some major things we should look for when designing our systems. Sort of setting the bar on what the user’s interaction experience should be.

Read it!

DemoCamp Roundup!

Last night was TorDemoCamp5 (they aren’t ones for brevity).

Pete from Unspace made a demo of their releaseme.ca livesearch feature (very cool!) and their datagrid. Datagrid basically lets you…. well, go here and see http://www.unspace.ca/datagrid … So you can edit information live in a table and have it automatically update as you leave the field. Anyhow, I had a plugin mostly written to automate that process. However, it was lost in the GCo2006 (Great Crash of 2006). {/me weeps}

Anyhow, there were some really cool demos like the Blog Matrix system and this CRAZY THING CALLED “DabbleDB”. Absolutely amazing. Written in Smalltalk, its a website where basically you can just tag and describe all your data and sort it and filter it and re configure it.

For instance, you might use a spreadsheet to do your expenses. Use dabble db! It can sum and group your expenses. Student lists, done! Anything, done!

Its the kind of stuff that makes me realize that as good as I am at what I do, I won’t ever be *that* good.

New Job

Well, I was hired part-time at http://www.unspace.ca which is pretty frigg’n cool. The guys that work there are really cool guys (all 3 of them), so I’m very excited about it. Its only 2-3 days a week at first, but that’s just fine with me at this point in my life.

I’m excited to really get down and collaborate on some really nifty rails stuff.

In other news, I had a hard-drive crash this weekend. In the wreckage was PoundSix.com (nearly finished), and two plugins (FormValidator and ActiveGrid). Other things escaped, but those bits of software are forever lost.

Well, I did write a cool little HTML => RHTML converter script. I might post it on the unspace website, but then again I may announce it here.

Oh, and before I forget…. BACK UP YOUR IMPORTANT STUFF… NOW!

Overpriced Movies.

So, when I lived in New York, I could deal with $10 a ticket in Manhattan. I mean, it is Manhattan and it was only the biggest theatres in one of the most expensive cities in the world.

However, nearly every theatre in Toronto is $12 dollars. Even ones that are out of downtown center. It really makes me crazy. In an age when we can buy a DVD for $12, THAT is the price they charge for just *one* ticket. And, don’t even talk to me about being able to download the movie.

That is an absurd price. However, there is ONE theatre which bucks this trend, and I really want to give them a shout-out. Rainbow Cinemas at Market Square is a theatre which doesn’t put a lot of money into looking stylish and occasionally is a week late on getting some movies, but they charge $6 a ticket at night… and $4 during the day.

Not only that, but they also have a mix of big budget movies and smaller independent films. It makes me feel like the theatre is run by actual people who actually love movies themselves. Not an evil corp who just wants to bleed the fun out of movies.

I mean, for just two of us to go to a movie at a Cineplex theatre (they own about 90% of the theatres in town) is $12 * 2 = $24 dollars, then you have to add on tax at 12%. That’s enough to buy three dvds in the bargain-bin or two brand new dvds from movies that came out not more than 3 months ago (thanks to the fast DVD turn around these days.)


Here are the personal facts for me. I don’t download movies. I love movies. I can’t afford to see the movies I want to see at most theatres. I would pay if I could afford $25, I just can’t pay that once a week. So, why not just download them. They aren’t losing anything since I couldn’t pay it anyway. So, what’s the problem?

That being said, I’m not going to do it. But, I just hate hearing the movie industry bitching about the fact that people download movies…….. I wonder why? Duh!

Bullet Ball

As some of you may know, on occasion I enjoy a little dose of reality via reality TV. Tonight after a 11.5 hour day coding I sat down with Lucas and watched the second episode of American Inventor. In case you’ve never heard of the show, basically it involves an American Idol like process where an inventor shows his invention and then the judges vote on whether to give them seed money to further their invention.

Often the episodes focus more on the outrageous inventions and the more emotional stories. On episode two they had Marc Griffin on the show to explain his game of “Bullet Ball”. Basically this game involves a table with two raised sides and a player at each end. Then the players try and push a ball back and forth using their forearms and the back of their hands. The game looked like quite a bit of fun. Marc was a gracious and warm presenter who showed that he really had a passion for the game. And, heck, I wanted to play! Marc revealed that he had sold all of his possesions to get there that day and to pitch this idea. His wife even sold her wedding ring and they sold their home. He has spent the past 26 years thinking about this game and perfecting it.

Now, admittedly, that is going a bit far. But, if any of you could watch him make his presentation and see the grace, ease, and confidence with which he presented his game then you would understand that this isn’t any old crack. This is a man with a vision and a quite fun game to play.

They told him no. Every single one of the judges said no. He kept himself from breaking down. He walked away a broken man. And his last words were “Nothing is going to stop me from bringing this game to the world.”

Literally, it emotionally devastated me. I had to stop the program, unsubscribe from further downloadings. I will never watch that show again. It aboslutely broke my heart. I haven’t really been able to talk for about an hour now.

I think its even more disturbing because of the obsession that getting thesynk.com going is for me. Like, I spend at minimum 10 hours a day. Its my passion.

And here is this guy, and he was just torpedoed. Bagh. Please don’t watch American Inventor. Boycott!

Anyone want to play a game of Bullet Ball?


Unsustainable work levels are fun.


Look at the beautiful simplicity of the new C++….

template using Vec = vector>;
Vec v = { 2.3, 1.2, 6.7, 4.5  };
for(auto p = v.begin(); p!=v.end(); ++p)
cout < < *p << endl;


Its almost readable, no? Everyone can see what its saying. Its like reading english! Blegh.

Let’s try that same thing in ruby and try and guess what it does.

hash = [ 2.3, 5.3, 5.4, 6.3 ]
hash.each do |item|
print item

I bet even adam could figure out what that does. And, since I can’t resist…

[2.3, 5.3, 6.4, 5.3].sort.each { |x| print x }

Not as easy to read, but to the point!

Big Meeting

As some of you may know. I’m involved in the very early phases of launching a startup company here in Toronto. We formed the company (not legally, but in agreements) on March 1st. We are going to launch our website on June 1st.

I’ve been writing the application (Rails) non-stop since then and have an incredibly hurried release schedule. My partners have been urgently working on the business plan and getting out the plan to venture capitalists.

Well, last thursday we sent out the business plan, and already we have meetings with over 5 venture capitalists. We’re seeking $1MM in funding.

Anyhow, the good-scary news is that next Thursday we have a meeting with GrowthWorks here in Toronto. That’s when I have to make my technology presentation. Which, not to geek out too much, but its really, really interesting. We’re writing these really cool heuristics to actually *do* something with friending/social networks.

Like, there are sooooo many social networking sites out there, you could get dizzy thinking about it. If you had asked me 4 months ago what market I would want to stay out of mostly because of saturation, its social networking and dating. And, well, we’re kind of doing both of those. Along with a bunch of other features. And, its those “other features” (which, I’m purposefully not revealing here) that make me willing to dedicate my life for the next few months to this purpose.

None of the sites you might be a member of actually *do* anything with the fact that you are friends. The only thing you can do is stay in contact, browse your extended friend network….. and….. ummm…. and….. that’s it!

Now, I will say off the bat. Our individual features are available on like 6 different sites if your merged them all together. We aren’t only going to just slap them all together, but we’re going to use the data from each section of the site to power all the others.

It is going to be awesome.

Stay tuned!

Instructions for the non-alpha-nerd.

Dearest Adam,

I know you aren’t a retarted monkey. But, you understand that the Save button  simply saves
the file… while the “Publish” button is most-likely what you were looking for.

Yours Truly,