DAT Stuff

Random thoughts and observations from DAT

Archive for the month “December, 2005”

Sysinternals Freeware

I’ve been looking for a replacement for the built-in task manager, and I just found a good (free) one called Process Explorer. The Sysinternals Freeware site looks like it has a number of other good utilities as well.

My candy is trying to tell me something

Just now I ate a few Dove dark chocolates (very tasty)…

On the inside of the wrapper, they have quotes. The first one said “Find your passion.” I didn’t think much of it until I opened the next one, which said “Live your dreams.” Does my candy know something I don’t?

I better not read too much into it; the next one said “Be mischievous. It feels good.”


I found an interesting store that has Remote Control Cars Trucks Boats Nitro Gas Electric – Airsoft Guns, Magic Tricks and more!

Get another Life!

I read today about Second Life, which sounds really interesting. It is “a 3D online persistent space totally created and evolved by its users”. Similar to Project Entropia, it has an in-game currency which can (at least in theory) be easily converted to real-world currency. Project Entropia really plays up this aspect, luring you to try to earn money by playing their game. Second Life seems more directed at designers and content creators, but they also promise the ability to “make real money in a virtual world”.

You can create one avatar in Second Life for free, but additional accounts (and premium accounts, which allow access to land ownership and a higher weekly allowance) cost $10 per month.

Fab Lab

Fab Lab” is an abbreviation for Fabrication Laboratory. It is a group of off-the-shelf, industrial-grade fabrication and electronics tools, wrapped in open source software and programs written by researchers at the Center for Bits and Atoms.

Build your own

I stumbled on this before but apparently never made a note of it. eMachineShop lets you custom-design your own components with a variety of materials. They have a free CAD program that you can use to design and price things in a number of materials. If you need custom circuit boards, check out Pad2Pad.com

Christmas lights

Check this out: Christmas lights (you need sound to get the whole effect).

Grrr…. comment spam

Some wise guy(s) decided to slam my blog with comment spam. Fortunately I had it set to require approval for all comments, so none of them made it to the site. However, so I don’t have to be bothered with deleting it all, I’m requiring registration before you can comment.


One thing I love about blogs are sites like Technorati that make it easy for others to find blog entries. For example, John Dowdell found my post on Flex. He found my post using Technorati, and I found his the same way. I’m betting we used different search terms to find them, but the fact that one service connected us is pretty cool.

But what I really wanted to write about is Flex itself. I’ve always been intrigued by Flash, but could never justify the cost of the Flash development tools. I’ve looked at OpenLaszlo, which is great for the price (free) but lacks a good graphical development tool. If your idea of an IDE is Notepad, OpenLaszlo may be just what you need. They go one step further with their Eclipse plugin, but all it really provides is coding assistance, not graphical design tools.

I downloaded FlexBuilder 1.5, but haven’t had much time to work with it. With the little bit I have done, I’ve been impressed with the tools. What scares me is the price. What does it cost? Actually I have no idea. If you go to the Flex page and click on “Purchase Information“, you get a page that I interpret as “if you have to ask, you can’t afford it”.

I did see information about a non-commercial license, but it was confusing. It’s actually a non-commercial deployment license, implying that you don’t need it until you are ready to deploy your application. However, the copy of FlexBuilder I downloaded requires a license after an initial trial period, so it may expire before I can build anything.

Maybe I should skip version 1.5 and check out Flex 2 at their Labs site.

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