Today I got to do a little Java coding, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I installed all the requisite software — Eclipse, Java, MySQL, Tomcat — and started the “live stats” application. I’m doing it as a Struts application, more to remind myself how Struts hangs together and experiment with it, but I’ve also download the Apache MyFaces framework so I may reimplement it as a Java Server Faces app once I’m done. It’s admittedly not much to look at so far, but the concepts are there — I’ve got a display page (JSP) which updates itself (Javascript) with new statistical charts (JFreechart) on refresh. The charts look nice, since they dynamically resize themselves to fill the screen (using Javascript and passing screensize information to the ImageProducer servlet, which then generates the graphs as a JPEG on PNG). Next steps are: Javascript refresh of the image at time interval; ImageProducer subclassed for each stat I want to show, and; the stats tied into a database (we already have a database for some incident information at work, I just want to expand it to include other information such as availability figures).

Dee updated her CV and started looking for work in London today too — she applied for eight different roles, a nice start! (I took her out for dinner afterwards to congratulate her :-D.) The way I figure it, if she lands a role and we have to move I can just tell my work and they’ll have to relocate me to the London office!

Dinner was nice, and afterwards we sat and read our books and chatted idly. I’ve just started William Gibson’s “Neuromancer” — a classic by all accounts, and I can’t believe I’ve never read it before! It reads like a Shadowrun novel, but I’m pretty sure it pre-dates the game (and thus was a major inspiration for it, at the very least). I bought the book yesterday and I’m already half-way through it, despite the fact that I’m also reading Born On A Blue Day. More about that later, I think.

Professor of Artificial Intelligence

My research interests include distributed robotics, mobile computing and programmable matter.