Archive for February, 2007

Fat City

February 28, 2007

The chapter describing the arrival of Arcadio Lucero is amazing, incredibly well writen. Leonard Gardner’s summary of the characters life, in those few pages, is both poignant and absorbing.

Finally Got a Wii

February 26, 2007

…and its freakin’ awesome, even my mum had a go….

The Killers

February 25, 2007

Yo went to see The Killers at Wembley Arena, not really my type of music, but I have to admit they rocked! 😉 Check’em out….

Bad Perl Interviews will kill us Perl Developers

February 21, 2007

OK, now before I start off this rant let me make one thing clear. I am a perl developer. Perl is my language and it has been for over five years, thats all i’ve been doing since I started earning my way through life. So why do I think they are climbing the ‘stairway to heaven’? Well for a start none of the younger generation of coders who are coming up through the ranks use it, or care about it. Its all Java, Ruby on Rails (which I think is awful but I’ll leave that for another rant) and other ‘newer’ technologies. And as a perl programmer I must admit I don’t blame them. Why do I say this? Well recently I had an interview for a perl developer position at a rather well known company. Anyway they asked me loads of questions on some of perls rather more obscure syntax and functional behaviour (I’m talking about stuff that you would never use even if you new it existed!). Now for me that is a really bad way to judge someones coding skills, there were no questions about how I would write a program i.e ‘develop’ the software, no questions on how I would construct a solution, it was all syntax! There is absolutely no way I would hire a developer purely because he or she knew the difference between ‘my’, ‘local’ and ‘our’ in perl!! If someone wants a perl job they have to go through the hurdle of learning all these syntax details just for an interview and if they get the job they will probably never use them…trust me I know…there are so many different ways to do things in perl and you don’t need to learn and use obscure syntax to do it. So why bother with it? Just learn Java and to be honest Java programmers get paid more!

When you hire a developer you should not do so purely because they know the syntax. I want to hire them because they write good code, they know how to analyse a problem, deconstruct it and build a complete, versatile and robust solution. Something which this interview did not do.

Currently Reading

February 19, 2007

Detective Comics – Written by Paul Dini. Much better then the stuff Grant Morrison is producing over in sister comic ‘Batman’. Check it out, Dini seems to be the first writer in a long while who seems to know how to “do” Batman poperly. (No I don’t mean that in a dirty way!)

Currently Reading

February 15, 2007

They Shoot Horses Don’t they? by Horace McCoy

Brilliant book, hard boiled and grity.

Mysteries In Space by Jim Starlin et al

Best sci-fi comic I’ve read in a long time ( though Green Lantern Corps comes a close 2nd ).

Poorest Children

February 14, 2007

So a new United Nations report shows that UK children are the poorest out of all Developed Nations, beating even the US. Wow now thats something to be proud of! To be honest with you the report is probably accurate – speaking of course from my anecdotal ‘man on the street’ experience. I blame Thatcher of course…most of UK societies problems can be traced back to policies implemented under her governmanet …;). Seriously though the most shocking thing for me was the aspirations of Children and the education opportunities of to those post-school who do not embark on further education.

…more than 30% of 15- to 19-year-olds are not in education or training and are not looking beyond low-skilled work.

This is terrible and is going to do the Britsh economy more harm then good. This will cause a downward spiral of poverty and not give those children any hope of overcoming their environment. OK there are other factors in all this but unless British society becomes more aspirational and overs real educational choices (apprentiships etc) outside “Further Education” we are in serious trouble.

These problems also stems from the fact that in recent years we seem to be heading towards a society of individuals who must look out for Number 1 and nothing else matters (like American society?). I think that this is fundamentally wrong and should never be a core value of British Society…

Hmm reminds me of something Margaret Thatcher once said:

“They are casting their problems at society. And, you know, there’s no such thing as society’. There are individual men and women and there are families. And no government can do anything except through people, and people must look after themselves first. It is our duty to look after ourselves and then, also, to look after our neighbours.”

..Of course I’m quoting out of context but it makes you wonder …maybe it is all her fault … 😉

Why would anybody want to shoot at a police station?

February 12, 2007

Just saw Assault on Precinct 13 again. What a brilliant film far superior to the recent remake. It remains suprisingly fresh and modern even today I feel. The acting may be clunky but it adds to the movie. It also has one of the most shocking moments in film – when the girl gets shot. Would any film today take a risk with that kind of scene? The other aspect of the film that I was really inpresssed with was the lead female character she had none of the stereotypical traits of a women in distress and could dish out the violence like any man… 😉

No, I shot him. Bullets and the fall killed him.

February 11, 2007

Collateral is such a groundbreaking movie in terms of its use of digital camera that I just have to talk about it! So up until now the use of digital cameras in making movies is not a exactly a new thing so what makes its use in collateral so fresh? Well to start with before Collateral digital cameras were largely being used for small budget films where cost was a major factor and the relative cheapness of shooting in digital (the fact that you didn’t have to waste time and money processing film stock and that you can edit digital much faster) were its major appeals. Michael Mann changed all this in that he wanted to use digital cameras because it gave him much more freedom in shooting at night. You can clearly see this when watching the movie. The night shots of LA are truly fabulous, managing to capture the varying shades of colour that come off the lighting from the streets and surrounding buildings, each ‘night scene’ has much more ‘depth’ giving the ability to capture colour/landscapes that are further off in the distance. Ok so digital still has some way to go in terms of its capturing of fast movements but I have never been more impressed by its potential then after watching this movie.

He’s a bedroom dick

February 10, 2007

Just been watching Kiss Me Deadly for the upteenth time. Brilliant movie, somehow they managed to take a pulp right wing novel and turn it on its head. Pure genius check it out.