Now Free: 37signal's book, Getting Real

Hello Drupal world. I have reading material for you. Do browse the now free online version of 37signals' book, Getting real. Here's a taste:

Your app should take sides

Some people argue software should be agnostic. They say it's arrogant for developers to limit features or ignore feature requests. They say software should always be as flexible as possible.

Notes from a displaced Refugee

It took little more than a severe thunderstorm in houston to ignite the great power keg. All flights through Houston were either cancelled, or delayed hours. The once peaceful San Francisco International airport has collapsed into an overcrowded refugee camp. Tensions are running high. Several minutes ago, the line in the womans restroom began to spillover into the terminal. There are not enough chairs to go around, and so the woman and children must huddle together in circles; meanwhile, the men have been sent off to wage an unwinnable war with airline represenatives. 

Announcing my Pre-Windows Vista Upgrade

I've decided to keep my copy of windows XP. And that will be my last windows operating system. 

Since I want to be riding the wave of the future, I shall be installing linux on my laptop's other partition. The windows XP installation will die, but not until its time has come.

Since linux admittedly, is not the best platform for entertainment, I'll be picking up a Mac sooner rather than later.

As a consumer, I'd like to thank Microsoft for helping me make an informed decison.

Thanks to Microsoft, I now know that if my hardware crashes twice, I need to buy a new copy of VISTA. (In contrast, my 2001 copy of Windows XP Pro has made it through four motherboards, and will never die on account of my hardware... not to mention XP has finally made it to the 'mature' point in its software lifecycle.)

Neutered Nodes: CCK's Dark Secret

Update 2 (march 1st, 2007)

Thanks to numerous improvements in CCK itself, and drupal 5.0, I now officially disagree with myself in this article. My criticisms last October no longer apply -- CCK now makes everything easier, and I've personally had an easy time pushing changes from development, to stage, to production using CCK. Consider this article a historical curiosity. (More info...)

Update: this is a fairly contentious claim, so be sure to read the discussion in the comments

When planning the development of a drupal site, be wary of using the content construction kit (CCK). While its one of drupal's most powerful modules, its also probably one of the most inappropriately used.

Call for Wishlists: Using Video in Drupal

Short attention span version: I'm working for a startup (stealth-mode for now) and am requesting suggestions, feature requests, and ideas on a video module we'll be releasing back to the drupal community. We are also very interested in module ideas, and features that do not necessarily involve video, but that you think would be useful to websites that have a lot of videos. Either comment, or use my contact form to put your ideas, or wishes in my work queue.*

U.S. Congress Shuts the Doors of Internet Casinos

I can't lie. I'm almost happy that Congress passed a law preventing all major credit cards, and banks from accepting transactions from online gambling sites. I say "almost happy" bacause I'm not happy. This is because:

  1. I already have a dad. I neither need, nor want congress to play "daddy" and tell me what's right and wrong; what is trash, and what is golden.
  2. Congress is in no position to preach what is right and wrong. I don't think this point needs any further clarification.
  3. Call me a cynic, but I think their motives were not entirely Christian in passing this bill.
  4. Call me cold, but if you prevent someone from f#cking up their life with online gambling, they'll probably just go on to find another way to f#ck up their life. The personality type that bets their children's college fund on a blackjack hand probably has bigger problems than "gambling addiction".

On the otherhand, I'm happy congress gave them a good ass wooping... I am happy because I fight spam every day. These gambling sites were as bad as online pharmacies, and grotesque pornographers when it comes to filling my comment box with 8 spams (all of which are vulger...) every minute.

Thomas Friedman Explains the Issues of The Day

A lucid satire of NYTimes columnist Tom Friedman [snippet*]

This is where I fault the Bush administration. It seems the administration never understood the divergent interests of Iraq's political players, and compounded that error by pursuing an ideological fantasy at odds with real-world geopolitics. It's even possible to argue—and I stress "possible"—that the invasion itself was a monumental and unsalvageable foreign-policy catastrophe.

37 Signals on Functional Specs

Here's a quote to hang up on your wall:

Functional specs force you to make the most important decisions when you have the least information. You know the least about something when you begin to build it. The more you build it, the more you use it, the more you know it. That’s when you should be making decisions – when you have more information, not less.

-from Getting Real 

More Fun With Windows XP

Last may, I got a new laptop. It was an acer5670 aspire, with dual processors, 2 gigs of RAM, etc[1]. While I'd normally feel a bit unseemly for bragging up my laptop specs, this situation is a bit different. Acer -- in their infinite wisdom, gave me a system with dual processors, and Windows XP home edition preinstalled...

::pauses for to give audience a chance to grasp the significance of the proceeding sentence::

You see kids, Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition doesn't support dual processors. So why would Acer package a high end system with an operating system that didn't support it?

O'Reilly Book's Safari

Every so often, I find a web service that actually returns something semi-valuable in exchange for my dollar. This may sound outlandish -- a valuable subscription based web-service -- but I insist they do exist. And Safari is definately one of them.

Recently, I stumbled on to O'Reilly's Safari. Safari is a subscription based service which offers thousands of books, from programming references to business guides. I think I'm paying 20 something dollars a month for access to every programming reference I could possibly need. 20 dollars may sound like a lot -- but, given that the books I'm reading average somewhere's between 35.00 to 70.00 a pop, I'm alright with a monthly fee.


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