19 April 2005

On a much lighter note, Google Maps is now available for the UK (but without the satellite coolness).

Get it here.

9:00:51 PM    

Let me pre-empt this with a disclaimer - "I'm not a religious person in the traditional sense. I consider myself a spiritual person, but that's between me and my inner me".

So, today white smoke rose from the Sistine Chapel to declare to the world that the Conclave had elected a new pope. Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, who has chosen to take the name Benedict. For those that don't know where the names come from, I'll touch on that (with my limited knowledge) in a second. First up though, I have some concerns.

Ratzinger was drafted into the German army in World War II to join a "Flak", an anti aircraft unit guarding a BMW factory. So, as part of his service he took pot shots at, and no doubt downed allied aircraft. Now, fair enough, war is war, and he was drafted. BUT, I have a bit of an issue with this. Ratzinger was studying theology before the draft and then accepted the draft, presumably for fear that if he didn't he'd be punished. I don't recall any stories of Jews suddenly becoming Nazis when the SS knocked on their doors. Why on earth would a man of god then accept the call to kill other human beings. Surely someone who would later become the most holy of holy would say that he answers to a higher power, and that his God would protect him from persecution and thus no, he wouldn't engage in acts of violence against his fellow man? Just my point of view anyway.

So, moving right up to today, where did the "Benedict" bit come from? Well, our man Ratzinger is an orthodox Catholic, a traditionalist who as Cardinal speaking about violence against the gay community once said "The Church nor society at large should not be surprised when other distorted notions and practices gain ground and irrational and violent reactions increase". In short, "Yeah we know Gays etc are getting beaten up, but hey its not really a surprise - ho hum". Anyways, being an Orthodox Catholic and a staunch traditionalist (which quite a few people agree means the Catholic church is about to step back a few decades), he believes in St. Malachy's Prophecy of the Popes. 

The prophecy says that the 266th Pope (that would be the late Pope John Paul II) would be "De labore solis", or "of the solar eclipse". John Paul II was indeed born during a solar eclipse , and comes from the East, where the sun rises. Handy huh.

So, the successor to the 266th Pope must be "Gloria Olivia" - kinda translated as the Pope of peace (olive branch - noah, peace - get it). Traditional Catholics believe this Pope would be a Benedictine, hence the new name.

So, what does this all mean. Well, according to the prophecy, he is the penultimate Pope. Following Benedict XVI's successor comes this

 In persecutione extrema S.R.E. sedebit Petrus Romanus, qui pascet oves in multis tribulationibus: quibus transactis civitas septicollis diruetur, & Judex tremêdus judicabit populum suum. Finis.

Translated this is  In extreme persecution, the seat of the Holy Roman Church will be occupied by Peter the Roman, who will feed the sheep through many tribulations, at the term of which the city of seven hills will be destroyed, and the formidable Judge will judge his people. The End. So, after the next pope comes Judgement day and the second coming of Christ.

Like I said at the start, I'm not religious, so read into this what you will.

8:36:10 PM    

This is what's been on my screen for the last 3 hours (I've put it in the background so I can get on with stuff and not live up to Microsoft's slogan of "Where *DID* you want to go today?".


Apparently it's a known issue when installing, and you're supposed to give it ten minutes to finish. Well 180 minutes later I'm wondering if this is the usual Microsoft space time distortion field ("Windows XP installation will be complete in 3 minutes" --- yeah right), or whether I should just give up . I  installed C# already, but SQL Server Express screwed up because I'd missed uninstalling some component. So, I removed everything and started again hoping to get a nice proper working install. Turns out as far as my machine is concerned I can either have a failed install with bits that work, or I can have the perpetual installing dialog form a part of my windows desktop for the rest of the eternity.

Sometimes, beta software sucks. In fact, sometimes production grade software sucks too. I ran the "Ink Desktop" tool earlier from the Tablet Experience pack. It ran first time. The second time it crashed. The third time it crashed by painted my screen orange (you can see bits of it in the screen snip above), and everything I touch the orange I get a new crash dialog. Thing is, I can't find the damn process in task manager to put a virtual bullet in it's head and end my misery.

3:41:45 PM    

I just took a look at C# Express beta 2 just to make sure it didn't change massively and screw up the book I'm working on. Guess what - it did! Not a problem, you kind of expect this sort of thing when you write according to beta software, but one massive shock I got was the removal of refactorings. All you can do refactoring wise in C# Express now is "Extract Method" and rename stuff. Why why why why why why WHY?

The answer is undoubtedly a marketing thing; as you move from the express tools into the standard edition of VS 2005, then more and more towards the full enterprise architect with team system you get more and more features, but I personally feel that refactoring is as fundamental to a development environment these days as a code editor. That's an awful thing to remove. I hope Microsoft put it back before release.


12:00:41 PM