Monthly Archives: July 2007

Destructive Smacktards

Last week on the way home from work I noticed that someone had parked their car on the side of the motorway. It was parked in a bit of a precarious position to be honest, on the side of a steep slanting piece of grass but I suppose you don’t get a choice when your car breaks down on the whole.

Every time this has happened in the past, at some point a or a bunch of destructive smacktards cannot help himself but to cause a whole bunch of costly damage to the vehicle. I’ve been keeping an eye on the car over the last week to see how long it lasted and it seems that after sitting for four days during the week, the smacktard couldn’t resist the lure of the weekend to completely trash the vehicle.

After said smacktards were finished with it:

  • all of the windscreens in the car have been broken
  • the majority of the front and back lights on the car have been smashed
  • quite a few of the panels on the car have large dints in them

It’s all a bit sad that someone can’t leave their car parked in an unmonitored area for a few days while organising to have it fixed without it being destroyed. I think that the smacktards need to find a more rewarding pass time that doesn’t involve destroying other peoples property.

Ruby .NET Runtime Released

Microsoft have recently released another dynamic language runtime built on top of the .NET Common Language Runtime, this time for Ruby.

Ruby.NET is implemented using a new .NET library that Microsoft are calling the Dynamic Language Runtime. The DLR provides a set of features specifically targeted at dynamic languages like Ruby and Python, such as a shared dynamic type system and support to generate fast dynamic code.

At this stage the Ruby.NET runtime is in a pre-alpha state, so the majority of the Ruby language unit tests are passing however it wouldn’t be possible to deploy a Ruby on Rails application yet.

This space should be quite interesting to watch, now that Microsoft and Sun both have an alternative runtime available for Ruby. The fact that there are now choices for the runtime is definitely a good thing for the Ruby language since it has taken quite a bit of criticism over the execution speed of the language.

Fast forward a year and I think it’s likely that JRuby will probably win the race. I don’t necessarily think that it will be a superior implementation of the Ruby runtime; however since it runs through the Java Virtual Machine it is at a distinct advantage as the majority of Ruby On Rails applications are deployed in a Unix/Linux environment.

Dashes Versus Underscores, It Doesn’t Matter

One of the common strategies employed during search engine optimisation has involved placing high visibility keywords and phrases into the URL. Using this search engine optimisation technique lead to URL’s which looked like:


For quite some time now, search engine optimisers all over the internet pondered whether using dashes versus underscores was the best performing technique. It wasn’t long before it became clear that using a dash as a word separator out performed the humble underscore.

Matt Cutts, a Google engineer has stated at WordCamp 2007 that very shortly Google will support an underscore as a word separator as well as the existing dash. Although the difference between the two seems so subtle, for many web sites it has proved a significant thorn in their sides as their content management systems produced URL’s which utilised an underscore and not the recognised dash.

This news is going to make a lot of people very happy in the near future.

Debunking The Bigpond Broadband Signup Myth

Since moving house at the start of June, I’ve been without any internet connectivity at home. It’s surprising how often you use the internet at home (not including the geek side of things) and I cannot believe how much Claire and I are noticing that it isn’t available.

As soon as the home phone was connected, I submitted a relocation order to Internode in hopes that Telstra would re-provision my ADSL from my old address. Of course, I couldn’t believe it when the first application was rejected due to no ADSL port availability. Expecting that this was a temporary set back, I resubmitted the application a further two times to Internode hoping that it would go through – no luck and the same reason stated by Telstra.

Having been around the ADSL and broadband scene for quite some time, I thought it pertinent to try The Bigpond Strategy. If you’re not familiar with The Bigpond Strategy, it is really quite simple:

Submit an ADSL application with Telstra Bigpond and watch in amazement as it is magically approved when everyone else was denied.

Well I’m here to inform you with a heavy heart, that The Bigpond Strategy did in fact not work and even Telstra Bigpond rejected my ADSL application with the same reason as stated by Internode.

Its been about a fortnight since I submitted the application to Bigpond, so it’s time to resubmit it and try again.