The TSSG recently demonstrated at eWeek 2004 in Dublin. This demonstration was based on the concept of a Home of the Future. The idea was to build a demonstration from off-the-shelf components available today on the marketplace, and sow how the use of software protocols and middleware can integrate these into a seemless whole. Thus the whole house that was built (made up a kitchen, sitting room, and a dining room and networked devoces in these areas: X10 for lights, and so on coupled with some Inetrnet enabled devices) could be controlled either from local devices (using WiFi) or via mobile phones (potentially anywhere in the world using GPRS). Full details of this demonstration are available at the TSSG O2 Home of the Future website.
This whole concept is merely the front end of the focus of the TSSG research which is on the converged network software that enables these types of services and manages the network. Here a key theme is the development of models of the lower layers so that higher layer functionality can be independent of the actual physical network used to deliver the services, as far as possible. A key requirement is to enable self-managed self-configuring devices and networks, and the current buzz word for this is the "autonomic network".
Last Sunday 23rd May 2004 I went with Mick O'Meara and others to the Saltee Islands from Kilmore Quay in Co. Wexford. Mick has recently setup a local Sea Kayaking business in Co. Waterford: http://www.seapaddling.com/ offering trips and certification for groups of all abilities. His website is a good place for links to weather information as well as for booking trips with him. As we had not travelled as far out the Saltees (4 miles offshore) before, I was happy to go in a guided group with Mick; he is an excellent instructor and guide. The trip was great fun, the good weather helped. The abundance of wildlife, in particular nesting seabirds such as the Gannet colony of nesting birds, a joy to behold. I recommend this trip to anyone with basic Seakayak skills, but I'd warn people that the tides can be tricky around here, so be sure to consult with local experts or other resources ton plan the trip properly.
We landed for lunch on the Greater Saltee island which is owned by Michael the First (who as decarled the island as an independent territory). You can just make out a party of divers swimming in for their lunch break, as well as our Kayaks lined up on the small beach.
I do a lot of travel, and try and get good value using cheap European airlines.
Sometimes they offer cheap one-way fares to lesser used airports near major European cities. This is just a reminder to myself of the best options.
Two recent issues of The Linux Jornal (March, April 2004) had excellent articles by Mick Bauer on the BalaBit IT Zorp Firewall as an application proxy.
Al though the Leopard Project is primarily aimed at providing a baseline structure for the easy development of eGovernment open source projects, by combining in one integrated fashion, in a method that works with a variety of Linux distributions, all the components of a basic LAMP system (Linux, Apache/SSL, MySQL/PostgreSQL, Perl/Python/PHP) this project may simplify the basic setup of many types of system relying on this core architecture.
To go with my recent post on Perl testing, here's the BBC's Perl Programming Style Guide: Appendix A. Perl Coding Standards It is a lighweight guide (doesn't impose variable naming schemes and such like) but useful nevertheless. Interestingly doesn't mention taint checking for CGI code that I would have thought would be a must. Nevertheless a good starting point (and it is a draft version v0.14). Thanks to the Dublin Perl Mongers' list for alerting me to this one.
XML.com articles on News Standards: XML.com: News Standards: A Rising Tide of Commoditization [May. 05, 2004]
This is a useful article on implementing testing in Perl perl.com: Building Testing Libraries [May. 07, 2004]
This is an on-line example of how to do an ASP application using VBScript: ASP American Football Pool. I'm linking it here as a reminder as it is a simple easily understood example that would be good for teaching 2nd/3rd year degree students how to do sensible design for an ASP-based project.
Kendall Grant Clark has published an interesting series of articles on the O'Reilly XML portal around the issue of creating a personal electronic catalogue of your home library. He's nicknamed the project LCC@Home as LCC is the cataloguing system of the Library of Congress in the USA.
My first significant computer project as a child was to try and catalogue my books at home (on a Sinclair ZX81 and later a Sinclair Spectrum). The database (in-memory BASIC data structures) and sorting worked (bubble sort), but the limited memory made the system pretty useless (I hadn't heard of merge-sort and how to manage large off-line storage with small memory at the time).
It is interesting to see that we're eventually reaching the time when it is possible to use on-line directories of data (such as the Library of Congress and the various music and movie/film databases) to produce high quality catalogues of home material.
The monthly web server survey from Netcraft for May 2004 ahs found over 50 Million web sites Netcraft: May 2004 Web Server Survey Finds 50 Million Sites.
"The first Netcraft survey in August 1995 found 18,957 hosts. Previous milestones in the survey were reached in April 1997 (1 million sites), February 2000 (10 million), September 2000 (20 million) and July 2001 (30 million)."