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Guernsey articles

MacBook Pro 17″ 2.6GHz ordered  

Since moving house I have been using my MacBook Pro 15″ 2.0GHz at home, for contracting and even for the odd diagnostics and organisation in the office.

The last 20 months have been a bumpy ride with the logic board being replaced twice once for whining and the second time when the inner memory slot went dead. The battery has been recalled and the power supply cable started melting and the paint started flaking off the enclosure but thankfully Apple sorted out all these problems rather swiftly with advanced replacement parts and speedy repairs through local service centers iQ Guernsey and Guernsey Computers.

Every company has problems with products, especially first revisions, but how they deal with them is important and one of my logic board failures was a couple of months out of warranty but their customer services department authorised the replacement anyway. Such service counts for a lot in my book and so now I have outgrown my notebook another MacBook Pro will be it’s replacement…

My paltry 100GB disk space got eaten up with an extensive music library and plenty of 10 megapixel RAW digital camera images. Subtract a 15GB Boot Camp and I was soon looking at external storage. Parallels and Visual Studio 2008 meant I needed to up from 2GB to 4GB of RAM and I found myself constantly missing my 24″ Dell monitor. I also need to be able to test 64-bit applications now that I am developing Cocoa apps.

The Apple Store UK just added the 2.6GHz processor and 200GB 7200RPM drive options this week and although Guernsey is barred from The Apple Store UK local reseller iQ matches their ex-VAT prices on Pro gear so on Saturday I ordered my new dream machine complete with the high-resolution 1920×1200 anti-glare LCD (no glossy mirror for me thanks).

They also have friendly shop staff unlike Guernsey Computers (although Vernon in their service department is helpful if you can get to him). One thing I really can’t stand though is Apple’s pricing policy on RAM.

To upgrade from 2GB to 4GB they want £450 extra! Crucial UK will do a 4GB kit of the same spec for just £98. I’m not alone in this observation.

It’s just insanely ludicrous.

[)amien

October workshop at Guernsey Software Developer Forum  

At the last meeting we decided to try hold a workshop in October where people brought in their laptops and development tools and we’d work through some samples together. Once done we would talk about it and show some of our own code to illustrate approaches (and possibly help with debugging ;-)

We would need to choose one or two subjects to focus on for the workshop in order that we might have some time to put relevant materials/sample to walk through together.

The topics of generics in .NET and XSLT transformations came up so I have put these up as poll options on the forum. If you have alternative ideas post them there and I will add them to the list of options.

You can change your two votes as often as you like until the cut-off date (October 13th) in case something new is proposed that you’d rather see.

[)amien

List of Guernsey Estate Agents  

I’ve posted my list of Guernsey Estate Agents as other on-line lists were not comprehensive and prevented bookmarking or copying the address to send to others thanks to the annoying framing they used (so 90’s).

Yes, I’m house-hunting again after my estate agent failed to mention (claimed to be ignorant of the fact) that all the lovely fields and views from my proposed home were already marked as a target housing area by the States of Guernsey as part of their Urban Area Plan (PDF, 5Mb).

These sites were set in 2002 and number just five. I wonder how long these people would last in IT if they took such an active disinterest in their field?

[)amien

Guernsey Software Developer Forum, September 27th  

My good friend Steve ‘Sinbad’ Streeting (founder of the impressive and popular Ogre 3D engine) will be giving a talk on Thursday 27th September at 6pm at the Guernsey Training Agency above the Post Office in Smith Street. The talk will cover cross-platform development, provisionally:

  1. Benefits of considering cross-platform solutions
  2. Definition of a ‘platform’
  3. Typical implementation challenges
  4. Common techniques and approaches

Steve also assures me he’ll be touching on some cross-platform libraries like the Apache Portable Runtime (APR) and wxWidgets UI library. As always the doors are open to all and the event is totally free so come along, learn something and make some contacts.

On a sad note GSDF founder Filippo Borselli will be leaving the island to go and work with the great people at ThoughtWorks in the UK.

[)amien