Longtime readers of my various blogs (from Bound by Gravity, to Of Teeth and Claws, to this current venture) are probably used to me dropping off the face of the Internet for months at a time, often with no warning – however I still wanted to poke my head in to let you know that I’m still here, although silent for the time being. This current blogging drought was brought on by a busy period at work:  these past two months have been the culmination of two years of work, and just last week we finally shipped the product that [... read the rest ...]

Centennial Ridges Trail

Over this past long weekend my wife and I went camping at Algonquin Park, our favorite natural getaway.  On the Saturday we packed a lunch, lots of water, and trail snacks and headed to Centennial Ridges Trail, which was one of the only hikes at the park that we had yet to try.  The trail is a 10.6km loop, with a recommended minimum time of six hours.  Along the way you climb up to the top of five different ridges and visit five distinct lakes. Right from the start, Centennial Ridges lets you know that it means business; the path [... read the rest ...]

Server move

Miscellaneous Comments Off
Sep 072011

Just an administrative note:  Systemic Babble’s server has been changed (for the better).  If anyone notices any problems with the content or performance, please drop me a comment.

Donut-driven development

As a software developer I have been exposed to many different methodologies for managing a project and writing code:  test-driven development is one of the most popular, however there is behaviour-driven development, model-driven development, feature-driven development, and probably a whole lot more.  My current team is not dogmatic enough to force one of these methodologies down everyone’s throat and declare it The One True Way To Write Code, however we do utilize a methodology all our own: donut-driven development. Donut-driven development is a simple concept:  if a developer’s code submission causes one of the team’s automated check-in or nightly builds [... read the rest ...]

Shopping for a dumb phone is hard

A recent family episode has forced me into admitting that it is finally time to upgrade my ancient Sony Ericsson flip phone for something a little more capable.  My parents were vacationing in Newfoundland and my mother had to be hospitalized for a couple weeks.  During that time, a tonne of information was conveyed between my father and the rest of the family using a combination of SMS text messages and MMS images and video.  I sent and received probably a year’s worth of texts, and the experience was a miserable one for three main reasons:  (1) a number pad [... read the rest ...]

Jun 112011
For the kids!

It’s a sunny and cool morning – there’s no better way to wake up.  I’ll be out at an Ultimate Frisbee tournament today, playing for the kids at CHEO.  Children’s hospitals hold a special place in my heart, because growing up my brother had to spend a lot of time at one while trying to deal with his leukemia. Putting on my hucking face Last year my team placed 3rd in the recreational pool of this tournament after losing on “universe point” in the semis.  This year I like our chances even better:  we have a strong core with some [... read the rest ...]

That summertime feeling

It’s that time of year again:  Ottawa has finally warmed up and is in the process of drying out.  As much as I love my video gaming hobby, there’s just something about the warm weather that makes it tough for me to glue myself in front of a screen for an hour or more.  As a result, my inside time plummets while my outside time goes through the roof.  Given the choice, I would much rather have the sun on my face than squint at a monitor, and especially after sitting inside for eight hours at my desk job. So [... read the rest ...]

The birds of Presqu'ile

I took a day trip to Presqu’ile Provincial Park yesterday, and managed to snap a bunch of fairly good shots of some of the birds that frequent this amazing little wildlife haven, which juts out into Lake Ontario between Kingston and Toronto.  It’s days like this that make me wish that I had a much nicer camera… I was really hurting for a good optical zoom. Click any image to see the full version. Great Egret Marsh Wren Mute Swan Dunlins (large) and Semipalmated Sandpipers (small) Bonaparte’s Gull Caspian Tern Killdeer (on her nest, in a parking lot) Killdeer eggs [... read the rest ...]

Work has been a blur lately.  After a year and a half of new product development, quality assurance has been added to the mix and the result has been a deluge of defects that has kept the team busy for the past three weeks.  Technical debt always comes back to bite you in the ass one way or another – you cannot avoid it forever. On the upside, I have links! IP addresses are not people It is a common misconception that an IP address can be directly linked to an individual user or household.  While this is often the [... read the rest ...]

I haven’t done a link dump in a few months, however before I get going I’d like to direct you to the latest episode of the GameBurst podcast, in which I discuss Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic with the crew as a part of their monthly replay segment.  The show is shorter than most podcasts – a brisk 30 minutes – and while recording it felt like time just rocketed by. With that out of the way, here are some tasty morsels to snack on. Reasoning is not for seeking the truth With an election coming up in [... read the rest ...]

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