Rants, rambles, news and notes from another geek

Geek Notes 2004-02-26

I was in Sacramento CA yesterday giving a presentation about SharePoint when I picked up the current issue of Scientific American (March 2004). It had the Mars rovers on the cover and I’ve always loved that magazine. But in there, I saw this quote and it resonated with me:

“Engineering is always a series one failures to get to success. It takes iteration after iteration to get it right.” – Bryon Smith

I was excited to hear an electrical engineer talk about his craft the same way we software guys do. It seems that a number of people in the software field think that all engineering activities are like building bridges, but they aren’t. Sometimes, when you are engineering something new, something that has never been done before, you have to take a different approach.

  • DARPA Grand Challenge - In the article I got that quote from, I discovered the DARPA Grand Challenge. This is probably the coolest robotics challenge I’ve ever heard of. I’m not sure someone will actually be able to win it this year, but it is pretty damn impressive anyway.
  • Ref Counting Added to Rotor - If you read this blog much, you’ve probably heard me complain about the IDisposable interface. Well apparently, a few very smart people have solved the problem. The question is whether we will ever see it in official .NET or if it is just a research project for Rotor. I’m hoping for the former.
  • Imagine Cup - INETA needs volunteer to help out your local universities. I just signed up. [via Scott Watermasysk]
  • A First Look at Object Spaces - Dino Esposito has a new article about Whidbey’s new ORM technology. [via Ken Brubaker]
  • The Trouble With Sprit - I’ve been avidly following the Mars rovers and was crushed when Spirit went dark. But it appears they’ve got it back and here is an interesting write up about what really happened.
  • VB and C# Keywords - Every now and then I find myself coding in VB.NET and have to remember what the keywords are. Now I don’t have to remember anymore. This article lines them up… one for one. [via Joseph Cooney]