Jamie's Blog

Lessons from a life of startups, coding, countryside, and kids

It’s been 10 days since my last post

I hope you enjoyed the break from my usual drivel — but now the torture must resume. Here’s some random stuff from my history file over the last week:

  • Volume 3, Issue 3 of Ad Hoc Networks contains two survey articles of adhoc routing protocols and clock synchronisation
  • Generics support in Java 5 had me a little confused during the week. I had a method which took HashMap as a parameter but it wasn’t accepting an instance of HashMap even though Double is a subclass of Number. That wasn’t quite what I expected. However, this good tutorial [pdf] from Sun explained the reasoning behind this. What I needed was HashMap which will allow any classes that subclass Number. Personally I like the Generics support although I’m not sure it really saves that much typing. Instead of casting you have to include the types in the variable declaration, which, for small structures, doesn’t save that much typing.
  • I found myself in the sci-fi section of Waterstones last night. That is not uncommon for some people but I’m not usually a fan of science fiction — there’s usually too much sci and not enough fi. Anyway, I’m now reading Redemption Ark by Alastair Reynolds and, at least up to page 86, it’s actually quite good fiction.
  • Random(ish) thought that I’ve been playing with: There are too many applications and services that require a (web) server and associated infrastructure. Blogs, wikis, databases, shared calendars etc. all require a server in the middle. That either requires that you a) use your own server, b) get a sysadmin to install & maintain the server, or c) use a web site (i.e., pay for someone else to take on the costs associated with a server infrastructure). That is wrong. It is not the way IT systems should work and I’m wondering what I can do to change it.
  • Paul Graham’s essay about generating ideas for startups sounds very much like a PhD.