Artificial Intelligence is appearing everywhere and it is increasingly difficult to stop it seeping into our lives. It learns and grows by observing everything we do, in our work, in our play, in our conversations, in everything we express to our communities and everything that community says to us. We are being watched. Many think it is just a natural progression from what we already created. To me, it is anything but natural.
Spellchecking: an AI precursor
Half a century ago, automatic spell-checking was introduced to word processing systems. Simple pattern matching built into the software enabled it to detect unknown words and suggest similar alternatives. By adding statistical information it could rearrange the alternatives so that the most likely [click title to read more…]
About seven months ago I threw my hat into a GitHub thread that had opened over a year before (March 2022!) asking Amazon to make good on its promise to release off-prem images of its AL 2023 operating system. My jab at Amazon was picked up in an article on The Register and a few weeks later there was finally some movement by Amazon, raising the profile of the issue and eventually leading to a release of KVM and VMware images mid-November. There was no image for VirtualBox and I mentioned this omission in a follow-up on GitHub. The current January 2024 release still only supports KVM and VMWare. The online instructions also omit VirtualBox. This is unusual because they [click title to read more…]
Windows Update is both essential and painful. Regularly interrupting the normal flow of work, sometimes sapping all the energy out of the computers, taking control for long periods of time (on older machines this could be hours!) and occasionally “whoops…” Like the past few days where all except one of my PCs has choked on KB5034441. There are suggestions that the problem is due to the relatively new requirement that the Windows recovery partition have at least 250Mb of available space. All of mine have more than double that, so the update failure is likely more complex. The remedy (partition resizing) proposed by Microsoft is far more convoluted than anything the average user would be familiar with, and infeasible for [click title to read more…]
Over the past several weeks we have had multiple power outages (long, short, brown, buzzing…). Partly due to recent storms, but mostly due to major work being done on local distribution lines. Some of my systems are in the clouds where industrial-grade power management is in place. (I hope.) My personal servers and dev/test systems are on-site and are subject to the vagaries of suburban power services. While “backup, backup, backup” is the mantra that ensures I won’t lose much, recovering from system corruption can be time-consuming.
Thankfully I also have an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) parked below the server shelving. Over the past month (and several outages) I have been pushed to refine and improve how the environment deals [click title to read more…]
Sometimes the best place to start a new coding experiment is with “Hello World” (HW), the absolute minimum, often borrowed from someone else who has kindly published it for the benefit of others. The fewer assumptions made by the HW project the more useful it will be to the community. Some HW demos tend to make a lot of assumptions (IDE, build mechanism, dependency management etc.) and this presents problems for those who don’t match.
I recently created a starting point for a JAX-RS API running on Tomcat 10.1 and JDK 17, and when I looked around the Web I noticed that similar demos tended to assume Eclipse, or Maven, or Gradle and so on in the development environment. Here [click title to read more…]