October 7th, 2004

belize

flash memory

I have a handful of CompactFlash cards (8MB, 16MB, 2 x 64MB, 256MB, and 512MB) and USB memory sticks (8MB and 256MB).

They're neat, not having moving parts, and being pretty damn robust, but damn are they slow to write to.

I'm sitting here waiting for 350 MB of files to copy to CompactFlash so I can bring it to work.

I've been thinking about making a directory synchronization tool based on CompactFlash/USB memory stick sneakernet. Have two hosts negotiate what files they have and their checksums, and each day going between home and work (or work and home), you put the media card(s) in and it gets the next 500 MB or whatever of the transfer. After a few days or a week you can move an entire directory, and faster than my shitty slow DSL upstream. And because both sides would keep/generate a database of checksums to locations, rearranging directories wouldn't be a slow operation to sync.

Okay, copy's done, I'm outta here.
belize

OpenLaszlo

This is pretty cool:

http://www.laszlosystems.com/

In a nutshell, it's a compiler that takes JavaScript code embedded in XML (which is somewhat XUL/XAML-like), and compiles it down to Flash, which you can run in your browser.

And it's now open source.

Sad part is that it requires J2EE or something to run the compiler, but I'm not sure you need that past compiling it the first time. That is, I'm not sure if the data access components need the J2EE bit or not. If so, maybe I can reproduce that part of the server in Perl, so I can comple Flash apps once, then deploy them with a perl dataserver.

Check it:
http://www.laszlosystems.com/demos/

Or use their compiler live:
http://www.laszlosystems.com/lps/laszlo-in-ten-minutes/

Very, very sweet.

In college I once wrote a Java Applet that let you program robot tanks in Lisp (with syntax highlighting), sent the Lisp across the network to a Perl server which compiled it to Java bytecodes, then dynamically loaded the tank class files and it drove around a battlefield, fighting other tanks, based on the Lisp code.

OpenLaszlo has that same sort of hack value to it, but it actually looks useful.