A Fresh Cup is Mike Gunderloy's software development weblog, covering Ruby on Rails and whatever else I find interesting in the universe of software. I'm a full-time software developer: most of my time in recent years has been spent writing Rails, though I've dabbled in many other things and like most people who have been writing code for decades I can learn new stuff as needed.

Currently I'm unemployed and starting to look around for my next opportunity as a senior manager, team lead, or lead developer. Drop me a comment if you're interested or email MikeG1 [at] larkfarm.com.

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A Fresh Cup

Notes on Rails and other development

Tuesday
Jan022007

It’s Tempting

Monday
Jan012007

Weaning, Part 1

Well, one small part of my plan to remove Microsoft software from my life has gone off reasonably smoothly - I've switched my e-mail, tasks, RSS, and related activity over. All in all this has proved to be rather painless.

On the mail server front, I dumped Exchange in favor of hMailServer, an open source e-mail server which handles the load of mail I get with less setup than Exchange required, less server resources, and generally less hassle. There are a lot of advanced Exchange features that hMailServer doesn't have, but I never used any of those features, so this is just fine with me.

For a mail client, I dumped Outlook 2003 (after looking at the Office 2007 beta, Outlook 2007 was never a serious contender for me) and went with Mozilla Thunderbird. This was a bit more painful; Thunderbird is rather lightweight in many areas compared to Outlook. On the other hand, the "lightweight" also extends to resource usage, and it's nice to have a mail client that starts quickly and doesn't drag the whole computer down. I imported my last six months' worth of mail to Thunderbird; the rest of the last five years is still accessible to me through a Copernic index if I need it, though giving up that archive is going to be a bit painful if I don't eventually import it all.

Dropping Outlook also meant getting rid of JetBrains Omea Pro, which I was using for RSS and general organization. After looking at a few alternatives I've settled on NewzCrawler for an RSS reader. Because of Larkware, it's important for me to keep a client-side archive of RSS posts, so all of the online readers are out for me, no matter how sexy they look. I'd ultimately like to replace NewzCrawler with something cross-platform but haven't found anything decent yet.

There are still a few pain points. Right now I have my task list in Evolution on the Ubuntu box, which is OK but not great; I'm so far pretty unimpressed with Mozilla Lightning for calendaring and tasks. So I'm not sure what I'm going to do there, but I can live with having things spread across two boxes for a bit. And I don't have things synchronized to my PocketPC either, though to tell the truth I wasn't much using it anyhow. Also missing is SharePoint calendar integration, important because for the moment we run our household calendar on a SharePoint server, though in the long run that won't matter because I'll probably replace that server with something else too.

All in all, moving to a different e-mail setup proved to be far less hassle than I expected it would be - which gives me hope for migrating some other things to non-Windows platforms as well.
Saturday
Dec302006

Could be Interesting

Thursday
Dec282006

Rank Stupidity

Of all the reasons why I'm getting ready to leave the Microsoft universe, lack of work is not one of them. I could easily spend 100 hours a week writing C# code at very comfortable hourly rates. That's why I just had to laugh this morning when I ran across the language partisan nonsense of C#: Is the Party Over? in which the author apparently argues that C# has failed because it's been upgraded several times. Huh?
Tuesday
Dec262006

Ought to be on my Radar