Thoughts from the caffeine primed mind of Nathan Smack.

Gifts of Spring

| Friday, April 18, 2008

LeAnna, these are for you. I think it is only appropriate to give flowers in return, when someone is as thoughtful and caring as you are. I am sure that Lauren will enjoy her tulips and I hope you will enjoy this bouquet of tulips with some daffodils from our own yard. I love you.

"Merchandising, merchandising, where the real money from the movie is made."

| Tuesday, April 8, 2008
It is not everyday that one has the opportunity to quote Mel Brooks, but in this instance it could not be helped. While you will not find any < blog > Smack < / blog > t-shirts, lunch boxes or flame throwers here, you will certainly notice the block ad to your right containing often helpful info regarding the topics this blog tends to discuss. As someone who does not particularly care for captive audience advertising, I considered not putting any kind of ad space on my blog. Then it struck me that if any revenue was actually generated (that should be a 82pt, bold, italicized, underlined if), then I could simply slip the funds into my daughters' savings accounts.

Then a "Snap Shot" caught my attention. I was browsing some website and a link popped up showing me a thumbnail of the targeted site; interested, I followed through to the Snap Shots home page and set up an account. They recommend in their "Best Practices" section, that anyone introducing the tool to their audience include the following snippet:

I just installed a nice little tool on this site called Snap Shots that enhances links with visual previews of the destination site, interactive excerpts of Wikipedia articles, MySpace profiles, IMDb profiles and Amazon products, display inline videos, RSS, MP3s, photos, stock charts and more.

Sometimes Snap Shots bring you the information you need, without your having to leave the site, while other times it lets you "look ahead," before deciding if you want to follow a link or not.

Should you decide this is not for you, just click the Options icon in the upper right corner of the Snap Shot and opt-out.

In any event, these items have been installed on this blog, mainly for my tinkering and for your information. Assuming that most people are desensitized from this kind of advertising anyway, nobody should be offended by their inclusion. If I am wrong, you know what to do.

Okay, this is why I love OPEN SOURCE!

| Monday, April 7, 2008
So, I just blogged about NetBeans being my favorite IDE out of the two that I have used for Java coding, and then I found out that the whole ball game is about to change! According to regular NB contributor, Roman Stroble [ article ] , NetBeans 7.0 will be released in 2009 as a complete rewrite using JavaScript and distributed wholly on the web through your browser. Going the way of Google, i.e. providing every application you could ever need via web services, NetBeans will be a full featured on-line IDE hosted by Sun Microsystems and supported by additional ad space in the IDE.

Whoops! Are there really going to be Google Ads running in my IDE? This is a move that may turn some folks who were considering NB for J2EE development over to the Eclipse side.

I guess it is inevitable, that more and more high level applications will be running through the browser, but I cannot help but wonder if we will be forced to endure increased lag time in trade for ultimate portability? Since this Web 2.0 push has every application developer looking towards browser deployment, does this mean that someday soon I will be able to have my regular colonoscopy performed while sitting at home as long as I have JavaScript enabled in my browser? Okay, I know, NOBODY needed that mental image, but since this whole post is based on an April Fools Day prank that got a lot of nerds' undies in a bunch, I figured I would dream a little dream...

Back to the Beans

| Saturday, April 5, 2008
As I continue to learn and develop my programming skills, I have found that I really prefer the NetBeans IDE [ ] over the Eclipse IDE [ ]. When I first started using an IDE for my Java code (about two years ago) , I found NetBeans to be very user friendly. One of the main reasons for this perceived ease of use was the frequent distribution of "how-to" videos, blogs, articles, etc. by members of the NetBeans developer community.

The weekly NetBeans newsletter provides continuous updates and introductory instructions for the newest or often overlooked features of the IDE. While Eclipse is the "industry standard" IDE for Java development, Netbeans is gaining ground and now allows users to import Eclipse projects.
More later...

A Change of Pace

| Tuesday, April 1, 2008
Friday April 4th, 2008 will be my last day working for Edwards Surveying in Urbana, Ohio. I gave my letter of resignation to my boss (Bill) roughly two weeks ago. This will be the first time since 1992 that I will not be working for a paycheck (my first job was delivering the Hamilton Journal News). Some folks wonder why I would do such a thing. There a several reasons; my beautiful daughters will not have to spend so much time in daycare, I will have time to focus on my health (primarily weight loss), and the jobs that need done around the house will get more of my attention.

I have enjoyed working for the Edwards family and learned quite a lot. If any one needs any kind of survey work done on their property/project in the Champaign, Logan, Clark county area, Edwards should be your first call. /end advertisement :)

So if the ramblings of an unemployed, father of two, husband of one interest you...