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Showing posts from November, 2005

Summary of last night's AgileNorth meetup - "The Game of Life Kata"

Last night was the November meetup of the AgileNorth group. It was kindly hosted by the computing department of the University of Central Lancashire, Preston. They provided a sizable room, with great presentation facilities and even sorted out some tea, coffee and cakes!

There were 10 attendees in total (which was double the size of the first meetup that I attended), and the session was run by Murray Tait & David Draper. The topic was "The Game of Life Kata".

So what is a code Kata?
A Kata is an exercise in karate where you repeat a form many, many times, making little improvements in each. The intent behind code Kata is similar. Each is a short exercise (perhaps 30 minutes to an hour long). Some involve programming, and can be coded in many different ways. Some are open ended, and involve thinking about the issues behind programming. These are unlikely to have a single correct answer. - Dave Thomas

A number of acceptance tests for the rules of the game were provided by M…

Firefox Greasemonkey script for Yahoo! Mail

I've had a Yahoo! Mail account for years now, but I've never really been a fan of webmail, mainly due to the clunky slow interface that so many web-based email clients exhibit. Then everything changed when Google came along with GMail, I signed up for an account and love the interface, but still liked my Yahoo email address.

My main grip with Yahoo Mail is the time it takes to browse between multiple 'new' emails, I hate the page reloads for each one. Imagine my delight when I happened across a post on the Quick Online Tips blog talking about Ajax Enabled Yahoo Mail.

It mentions two ways to get a better Yahoo Mail experience, one is a firefox extension and the other is a firefox greasemonkey script. I'm a big fan of greasemonkey so I've opted for that version of AJAX Yahoo! mail by Viamatic Softwares.

Just install it like all the other Greasemonkey scripts and now in Yahoo Mail you get a little arrow at the side of each mail in the Inbox which when clicked expa…

Digiana Audiax II - an excellent car FM transmitter for your MP3 player

I recently bought a new car which didn't have a tape deck so I couldn't plug my MP3 player into the car so that I could listen to my latest podcasts. I couldn't live with it like this so I started to research into FM transmitters for my player.

I had heard mixed reviews regarding these FM transmitters, quite a lot of people were reporting that although they were ok, but a large amount of interference was received when travelling in built up towns and cities. Most of these transmitters can only be configured for one, four, or maybe eight different frequencies, meaning that the choice you have is severely limited.

After quite a bit of surfing I managed to stumble upon the Digiana Audiax II. It supports tuning to around 200 different frequencies which covers the full UK radio range, it's really small and comes with a car charger and a battery.

It's incredibly easy to setup and tune, I have mine tuned to 106FM as there is very little around in that frequency range in m…