The start of another year

It may seem a bit weird, but today is actually new years day. Well, it is in financial terms for us here at Sun since we just wrapped up financial year 08 (FY08) and today is the start of FY09.

So my new financial years resolution is to restart my blog, post more regularly and make my posts a bit more technical. All noble ideals; let's see how far I get. Especially since I leave on vacation tomorrow and will be in the US for a week after that meaning I won't be in the UK again until almost August.

One good thing that I recently discovered is Ecto a piece of blogging software for the Mac. Since I now use a MacBook Pro for my laptop (like almost everyone else at Sun) this seemed ideal. One of the nice features is the simplicity of creating blog entries offline and uploading them when you're back online. I'm probably still in the dark ages for blogging but it seems good to me.

Here's a couple of things I'm working on at the moment that I'll try to blog about in the future:

Project DAVE (DTrace Advanced Visualisation Environment) . I wrote about this ages ago and really want to get this out onto java.net but there's a few things I need to do first. I recently rewrote the way that this application interfaces with DTrace using the new-ish Java API. Really easy to do and now we don't have a nasty write interposer that requires fiddling with LD_LIBRARY_PATH to start the app. I've also been looking at how to integrate support for Ruby, JavaScript and Python using providers that people have recently created. Another really cool thing would be to integrate it with NetBeans to allow access to source code for methods/functions. There's also the issue of making sure that I follow the licensing terms of the open source graphing library I've used. Clearly something for my leisure time.

Sun SPOTS. These have been around for a while, but there's still serious fun to be had with these. I've been working on a simple wheeled robot platform with a range of sensors and I have a few other ideas bubbling at the moment.

Multi-touch screen. I built this for a session at JavaOne back in May, which I felt went pretty well. I've done some work on this recently to improve the response times and sensitivity which is all working pretty well. Once I've got the calibration part working correctly I'll go back to integrating JavaFX with it to hopefully do some really cool things. I have one idea combining this with Sun SPOTs that I think could make a very interesting demo.

There's clearly plenty to write about. I just have to figure out how to carve out enough time to do the writing as well as the development (oh, and still maintaining a manic travel schedule and dealing with a two year old toddler who's rapidly becoming quite the skilled engineer - at least in terms of dismantling things).

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