a little madness

A man needs a little madness, or else he never dares cut the rope and be free -Nikos Kazantzakis


Archive for April, 2010

Enjoying Android, Freedom

There’s a lot of talk at the moment about the infamous Section 3.3.1. Rather than wasting more time on that, I’d like to share a pleasant afternoon made possible by my own phone: an Android-based G1.

I purchased this phone in the UK, but have since returned to Australia. This did require me to SIM unlock the phone, but my original provider (T-Mobile) allowed this for a minimal fee. This is better than being stuck, but not quite as good as having an unlocked phone to begin with. A neutral result on the freedom front.

Where having an Android phone really shines, though, is that I can install whatever I like on it. I’m not at the mercy of the manufacturer, or my service provider. I’m taking advantage of this right now by using a tethering application1 to give my laptop mobile internet access. I love being able to roam, settle somewhere comfy and work for a while. This is something certain carriers are resisting, purely to protect their own interest. But because I use a free platform, I’m in control.

This kind of freedom works particularly well for me, because I work from home, with all the flexibility that entails. It’s especially good considering that home is within walking distance of this:


Not a bad office for the afternoon :).

What’s my point in all of this? Not to gloat — well, not entirely! The real point is that freedom enables all sorts of fun and creativity. If you value that, don’t waste time complaining about the alternatives. Just get yourself an open phone, and start supporting it with your imagination.

1PdaNet, if you’re interested. I’m still evaluating, but it’s looking pretty good.

Zero To Continuous Integration in Three Minutes

A large part of our focus with Pulse revolves around saving time. We started Pulse with the belief that it shouldn’t be so hard to set up a continuous integration server, nor should it take so much effort to maintain. With that in mind, I’ve highlighted the main ways we achieve simplicity and maintainability in Pulse in two new demo videos:

  • Getting Started With Pulse: in which I start from scratch, installing Pulse, adding a new project and running a first build in under three minutes. By watching the video, you’ll see that it is unabridged, and I did nothing but follow the simple steps laid out in front of me.
  • Templated Configuration: in which I demonstrate how Pulse’s unique templated configuration system saves you time configuring and (especially) maintaining your continuous integration server. Templates make CI DRY.

We focus on saving time simply because it adds a lot of value to Pulse. Our customers tell us that simplicity, maintainability and dedicated support are the main reasons they chose Pulse to manage their builds. Give it a go yourself: you can get started in no time ;).