A personal weblog of Paddy Foran, updated daily. Uncensored, unfiltered, and mainly for his personal benefit, this blog may offend you, hurt your feelings, or most likely, lead you to believe the author is a freak. Proceed with caution: here there be dragons.

Monday, December 20, 2010

I love explaining my Cr-48 to people. It's so funny, watching people's reactions.

"So, how's your break going so far?"

"Well, Google sent me a laptop. So pretty awesome."

"Wait, what?"

"Yeah, they sent me a laptop."

"To keep?"


"How did this happen?"

"Well, Google took a laptop, said 'Hey, Paddy is pretty awesome.' and put it in the mail. A few days later, it showed up on my doorstep. Where I opened it. And now I have it."

"But why?"

"Because they're sending laptops to developers."


"To test them. And Google's new operating system."

"So you got a free laptop."

"Yeah. I was mildly excited."

Really, what is so hard to understand about "A Fortune 500 company gave me a several-hundred-dollar machine for absolutely no reason."?

Thursday, December 2, 2010

I feel kind of fucked by Google. And that's totally not ok of me.

See, I was blessed by Google. I was one of ten people outside of the company given super-early access to their awesome new Channel API way back in October-ish. At the time, they gave access to my development server for android2cloud, to load-test the service and figure out how it works under load. They said they'd be expanding the test server numbers to check and see how more and more user load affected the server as time went on. That's totally reasonable, and I was lucky to get what they gave me. Because I'm a greedy little bastard, I asked that the production server be considered for the larger tests, and was given an assurance that it was "exactly the kind of environment [they'd] want" when the time came.

So I faithfully ported android2cloud, tried to work out the kinks in the system, tried to help out the other developers who were gifted with this early access. And we heard very little about the roadmap and schedule of the testing. So, we moved along. I had to stop working with the Channel API after a while, and pick up nodejs, to try and get a patch for my server issues out the door as soon as possible. And that's where I was, when I saw the TechCrunch post today.

After that, I saw the App Engine blog post.

The impression I get from both posts is that Channels are available in all App Engine apps now. Which leaves me a little hurt and upset, and I'm simultaneously hoping that it is true and not true. I want my server problems to go away, and this gives me a huge amount of breathing room. But I also wanted to get some load testing metrics, get some idea of how this would actually work with our system, have some forewarning so I could handle this gracefully and smoothly. Finding out through a third party, then hearing about it on the official blog, and not even getting a similar announcement in the mailing list is kind of a slap, after everything. And I posted links to both posts on the mailing list, and asked if this meant the Channel API was available to everyone now. Nobody has clarified yet.

And then I think about everything that's happened, and this saga as a whole. And I feel like an ungrateful little shit, because the company that did so much for me and made such exceptions for me didn't remember to give me forewarning before launching the feature I had been testing for them, as a favour to me. If they even launched the service, which I'm still unclear on.
I've been thinking a lot for the past couple of days about blogging; how it's done, how it was done, how it should be done, and how it will be done. This was probably an escape my mind came up with to be able to ignore the fact that I've consistently failed at anything remotely resembling academic responsibility this week, failing to show up for classes and work on a frightening schedule (1/2 the week thus far, gulp). That's an interesting idea that should be pursued some more; hiding in things we're good at to escape things we're bad at. Learned helplessness much?

But back to blogging. I am convinced, largely thanks to Say Everything by Scott Rosenberg, that links are the end-all-be-all of blogging. Comments are silly; links are how conversations happen. Tumblr came close with its reblog concept, but limited itself to just the Tumblr community. That, my friends, is what we in the industry call a "circlejerk".

So, like everything that annoys me, I'm considering whether or not I should set out on a quest to fix it. Make a Wordpress/Tumblr-esque service/open-source software combination that will follow this links-are-king paradigm. Ignoring everything else I have already taken on, this is a daunting project. And yet, I'm the proud new owner of tangl.es, because our links are the tangled web we weave.

Yes, I'm a little insane.