Rants, rambles, news and notes from another geek

Geek Notes 2004-04-28

So I forgot to tell you all about my favorite new toys. After a recommendation on the Win Tech Off Topic mailing list, I decided to buy a hard drive enclosure and a drive instead of paying for a Maxtor. A buddy in MCS recommended this brand of enclosures (he had a couple) and boy are they cheap! I got a 3.5 inch USB 2.0 case for $29.99. Even better, I got a 2.5 inch (for laptop drives) USB 2.0 case for $17.99. The really cool thing about the little one is that it is cable-powered, so you can basically use it like a multi-gig thumb drive (and it is only as big as a deck of playing cards).

I was lucky because I had a spare 7GB 2.5 inch drive just gathering dust, so I popped that in the little case. But for the big one, I headed over to my local ComUSA and looked for rebate deals. I finally found a 160GB 7200 RPM 3.5 inch drive for $59 after rebates. When combined with the cost of the enclosure, that comes to about 56 cents per GB. The best price I could find on a Maxtor OneTouch was about 94 cents per GB, so I saved about $60. And I have the added win of being able to swap out the drive itself later if I can find a better (bigger) one for a good price. Sweet!

  • Pragmatic Unit Testing in C# - Andy Hunt and Dave Thomas have a new book in the Pragmatic Programmer series about unit testing in C#. You can get one chapter online here and a number of other excerpts here.
  • Ruby Auto-Mocks - Wow. This is one of those things that I think you can only do in a dynamically typed language: bind to a particular mock implementation on the fly. I think I agree with Michael Feathers that this├é could be seriously abused by people, but could be very useful in particular kinds of situations.├é
  • The Provider Pattern in Whidbey - Andy Smith argues that the Whidbey Provider Pattern is actually a combination of Abstract Factory, Singleton, Strategy and Component Configurator. I agree, but isn’t that what we call a pluggable architecture?
  • Static Classes in Whidbey - Somehow I missed this one in the literature… we will now be able to assign the static modifier to a class instead of just making the constructor private. Sounds good to me since it makes the code clearer and more self-documenting.
  • Naked Objects for .NET - I remember reading about these things when they hit the Java scene a few years ago. Now we have them in .NET so I suppose I better go figure out what all the hype was about. :)
  • Contiuous Integration with CruiseControl.NET and Draco.NET - There was a discussion on WTOT lately about why someone would use CC.NET instead of Draco. We use CC.NET but I know people who like Draco. Tomato… tomato. The general opinion is that CC.NET is the bigger, more configurable CI tool, but as always, you should use what works for you and your team.