Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

Air Powered Car

Finally, after years of drolling over stories of the Lee Rogers air powered car and screaming at the politicians that solutions already exist concerning the environmental impact of transport, a story came to my attention via an ex work colleague (thanks Tony).

A car is due to be released in India in August 2008, just 1 year away, which is run entirely on air!!! http://www.popularmechanics.com/automotive/new_cars/4217016.html

YAY!!! /

/me starts looking for a New Zealand distributor

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SQL Server and Trade Me

I went along to the Wellington SQL Server Users Group this evening, where we heard a great talk by a guy named Paul Gold.
Paul was the technology and database architect for www.trademe.co.nz, New Zealand’s equivalent of E-Bay, from 2001 to 2007, so he has seen the business basically from start up to its current position in the top 5 sites in Australasia, Alexa rates this site 436 in the world!
He had some very interesting things to say about performance issues, from both a SQL and an IIS perspective, when you get into high volume transactions as well as database structures and server farms / clusters.
I would say that my eyes have opened a little to the different requirements in database design when you need to do serious performance without doling out serious investment to do it – and how much denormalisation and removing expensive SQL commands can impact it (for expensive commands see OR and IN clauses and aggregates as given examples).

A most informative speech well worth the time. And hey – we got pizza too.

Anyway – the group meets every 3rd Thursday of the month. Last months talk was a very good talk on the new SQL Spatial enhancements for SQL 2008. So there looks to be a good variety of speakers. Watch this space for more updates.

Development Firefox Extensions

In my working life, I work as a web developer. In my tireless search for tools to help in this endeavor I use some absolutely invaluable Firefox Extensions. Most people that work in the field will probably know about them, but I figured I would post something with links to the extensions I use. Let me know if there are others you use which I have missed.

Bookmark Sync and Sortconnect to an FTP/WebDAV server and synchronize your bookmarks

Deepest Sender – (OK, not really development software, but great for posting to WordPress without needing to explicitly log in to WordPress.com) post to blogs from directly within Firefox

Dowload StatusbarView and manage downloads from a tidy statusbar – without the download window getting in the way of your web browsing.

Firebugedit, debug, and monitor CSS, HTML, and JavaScript live in any web page

FireFTPsecure, cross-platform FTP client

GoogleTabsopen Google search results in tabs

HTML Validatoradds HTML validation

IE Tabsee how your webpage displayed in IE with just one click and then switch back to Firefox

StylishUser styles empower your browsing experience by letting you fix ugly sites

Web DeveloperAdds a menu and a toolbar with various web developer tools

P.S. If you don’t have Firefox yet, go get it now! :p