Puakma: Under the hood

I'm Brendon Upson, jack-of-all-trades, master of one or two. I'm talking about life running a small ISV tackling business issues and leaping technology hurdles in a single bound.

webWise Network Consultants is based in Sydney, Australia and develops the groundbreaking Tornado Server technology.

First coupla days wth Leopard

Filed under: by Brendon Upson on 2007-10-31

The mighty MacBook Pro was upgraded to Leopard mere hours after it was released. Always nice to live dangerously. Especially after I got bit last time by the Tiger upgrade when Apple changed the IP stack so that my Cisco VPN broke (and Ciso took their sweet time to fix it - weeks!).

My impressions so far are....

Overall a nice upgrade, the system in general feels more responsive. Spaces is a great addition for someone like me who constantly runs ~15 apps. This works brilliantly when running vmware in full screen mode in one space - I go from full screen os x to full screen windows with a quick ctrl-3 keystroke. Nice. There are some spaces wierdness though. So far I have lost Thunderbird completely (disappeared from all spaces and could not get it back) and Eclipse mysterious had its title bar moved beneath the system menu which made it incredibly difficult to move back on to my workspace.

Time machine is very clever. But the disk I/O kills my laptop if I have the external disk connected all the time, probably because during compilations etc I change a lot of files regularly. Perhaps Time Machine is not for a guy like me. Most users will love the cleverness and convenience of it though.

The dock blows. I like the 3D business and the folders that can be added and displayed as a fan or grid. I hate the reflections and shadows and transparency. There is too much going on and is more difficult to see each icon. I also hate the blue and white spot beneath the icon to denote the app is running. I want a solid dock with little or no reflection. The folders added to the dock get their image from the first application the folder contains. What GOOSE decided this? My applications folder has the Address book app as the first item, so hey presto I get the address book icon as my Applications folder icon. Uuuuugly.

The fan. Well it sure looks cool in the demo but in practice it blows goats. You get 9 items and it doesn't scroll. How many people have folders with less than 9 items? It is quite unusable. Either make it scroll so I have some way of getting to my other items or get rid of it. Displaying as a grid does work quite nicely however :-)

The system menu at the top of the screen is semi-transparent. If your background image (like the photo on mine) includes light and dark areas, the text is difficult to read. I don't want a menu bar I can see through thanks. 

I get the feeling Leopard is more about paving the way for the future than a killer release in itself. I think we'll see a lot of tweaks in the next couple of months as Apple buckles to consumer pressure give the UI it's last few tweaks to make it very usable. Nothing above is a train smash, I just feel the UI guys missed the mark a little.


Thought for the day

Filed under: by Brendon Upson on 2007-10-26

"You can never tell what a person is really like until money is involved"

 Manic busy times here! Posts will resume when real lifetm gets out of the way.

Leopard upgrade tonight :-) Off to the Apple shop now to grab a copy. I have turned into such an Apple slut..... 

TalentReactor now does models

Filed under: by Brendon Upson on 2007-10-12

Wow - what a week for new stuff! Just updated http://www.talentreactor.com to now look after models.

If you're looking to start your career or get some more exposure, head on over and add your bio :-) 

Tornado Server 4.0.0 released

Filed under: by Brendon Upson on 2007-10-10

After a loooooong time between drinks, we are proud to announce Tornado Server 4.0.0. The big changes in this version are:

  • Even better performance
  • The abstraction of http transport code from internal Tornado application code ready for J2EE integration
  • A large pile of bugfixes and tweaks

Check out the full changelog here for details on what's new in this release.

Download it from here

Don't forget, Tornado (the artist formerly known as "Puakma") is licensed under the GPL, so it's free to download, tweak and distribute! 

Can't believe Feb 2007 was the release of 3.56! This year "Real Life"tm has really got in the way of work. Things on the home front should be starting to settle down now (after a big house move, renovations and other personal stuff) so fingers crossed for some better time management and some new rockin' good code.