Recent blog entries for nipper

Haven't posted for a while. Bit busy...

In my spare time I've been working on some "TINI" projects. TINI is Dallas Semiconductors single board Java computer thang...

First open source release for me is TINI Rapt - which is a cron style daemon for the board. You can find it at Sourceforge but unless you've got a board yourself you won't have much joy in using it!

Been helping setup for a show in London's Olympia over the last couple of days. MBusiness.co.uk is their web site.

The show itself will be the usual dull corporate affair methinks - I've got a couple of reasonably cool demos on show so I'm popping over this afternoon to see how they're going down...

Tomorrow is definitely going to be a slow day - going out tonight with some old chums from a previous company venture that went bust. We're all still drinking mates and as a lot of them will be at the show (in other guises) and the original pub we used to go to is just down the road from the hall we're going down there to reminisce. Pass me the aspirin!

Currently doing some work on refactoring some code from way back when (at least 18 months). Unfortunately I'd forgotten what was going through my mind when I wrote the code (it's a parser for HTML that converts a web page to XML which can be then transformed back to HTML, XML, WML etc.). Refactoring's the best way to get to grips with the code! (see http://www.martinfolwer.com for more info on refactoring...)

So - one of my client companies has just closed another round of financing. Strangely enough, it didn't need the money, but thought it might as well get the money in whilst it was on offer. Don't know about the terms attached though.

Seems strange how so many companies with fairly weak ideas can attract investment. From what I've seen, the investors are betting on the people rather than the technology - and they also like people who have failed at least once already. Something about experience of failure. I just wonder what's the optimal amount of failures? 2? 3? Maybe an interesting dot-com idea is one where you get a limited amount of funding, spend it all, and all of the founders are now more experienced and can move up the "investment" ladder.

I should franchise that...

Off to a conference next week at Olympia in London - "M- commerce" type thing.

Amusing thing is that I've got three of my consulting clients exhibiting there and two of them have stands next to each other. What's amusing is that the software I created for two of them is very similar - not at the actual source code level, but in a "design pattern" kind of way because I had the same thought processes when designing it. So both of the products have similar frameworks and therefore the selling points are based around the same framework.

Some neat hack demos there are down to me and a mate as well. Should be fun wandering around anyways and seeing what the marketing types are making of it all...

Had a good meeting last night with some guys from a mobile networking company. They would like to think they've solved a latency problem with mobile TCP/IP.

Unfortunately, their attitude to their work was similar to that relating to cryptographic algorithms. Especially when I mentioned that there were a number of RFCs specifically related to latency problems with "long thin pipes" (long transmission time, not much bandwidth). So, like the amateur guy with the brand new encryption algorithm, they think they know better (which they may do), but aren't prepared to release their "algorithm" for peer review. (And not even prepared to release it to me - a friendly consultant under NDA!).

They mainly want me to work out how to productise their solution. Quite difficult when you don't know what it does...

OK - just joined the site.

Some brief background information - I'm based in the UK and work as a contractor to companies wanting to develop "m- commerce" applications. Usually written in Java.

In my spare time, I also run a company called Kimian Technologies - we're writing some cool open source code stuff based around SMS (mobile phone text messages for the uninitiated) and also stuff relating to gaming on the next generation mobile phones.

Watch this space for more entries...

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