Saturday, May 20, 2006

JCiP best-selling book at JavaOne!

Java Concurrency in Practice was the best selling book at the JavaOne bookstore!

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

JavaOne, day 1

JavaOne seemed better attended this year than last; business conditions are picking up. Once again, they rewrote the Schedule Builder application, and once again, it sucked. How hard is it to write a data-driven web application? Shouldn't that be a slam-dunk for Sun?

In an attempt to manage class sizes better, signup for each talk was mandatory. This means they had to scan your RFID badge for every talk, which created a huge bottleneck as there were typically only four scanning stations and they wanted to move a thousand people into the room in a five to ten minute window. No one seemed happy about this.

Tuesday, May 9, 2006

India wrap-up

Overall, I didn't get a chance to see as much as I would have liked; the already compressed schedule got further compressed by arriving a day late, and the very hot weather (42-45).

I was _very_ impressed with the caliber of students in my class. They were bright, well educated, and motivated -- this made for a great class experience, and we had a lot of fun. The food was good, and all the people I met (well, except for the shopkeepers and hawkers) were very nice. Indians seem very protective of Westerners; they expressed
constant concern that the weather or the food might be hotter than I could take.

I was truly impressed with the industriousness and resilience of the Indian people. No matter how poor, it seemed everyone was working hard to raise their situation. Everyone is a businessman; we could learn a thing or two about capitalism from them. And my god, there are a lot of people there. Everywhere you went, even outside the city, it seemed to have the population density of Grand Central Station.

The roads are mind boggling. A mix of cars, scooters, bikes, bicycle taxis, mini taxis, and cows, all going different speeds and sometimes different directions. Clearly they play this game by different rules.

I took a day trip to Agra and saw the Taj and the Agra Fort, and got one afternoon in Delhi to do some additional sightseeing and shopping. Unfortunately, I managed to get a spot of Delhi Belly on the last day, which lessened my motivation to leave the hotel for further sightseeing. And man, was it hot. 42-45C (110-115F) in the shade. Power outages were frequent; every day the paper reported the net power shortfall.

Tuesday, May 2, 2006

Dysentery roulette

The health advisories I read before leaving all warn strongly of avoiding the local water supply. Of course, this is nearly impossible -- dishes are washed in water, food prep staff washes their hands before touching the food (you hope), etc. So while its easy to say "don't drink the water", in reality it is pretty hard not to. So every time I eat something, I am playing a game of "dysentery roulette" -- it might be yummy, it might make me sick. Kind of makes everything just a little more exciting.

Something surprising

Today, I saw a man riding an elephant on a city street! I'm not in Kansas any more...