Sunday, 16 January 2011

Electric Heated Warming Blanket Queen Size-Natural

Bought this Heated blanket after a Sunbeam gave out after only a few years. This one is very soft, and it's true that you can hardly detect the wires. The king has dual controls, which my husband and I both love.
I was apprehensive about the level of heat it would put out after reading many reviews all over the internet about how modern electric blankets (now called "heating blankets") don;t put out as much heat as their vintage counterparts.

No need to worry about that. I used to keep the Sunbeam on high, even when it was young and working "properly". This SoftHeat only needs to be on low (3 or 4) to keep me plenty toasty, and that's saying a lot. I am perpetually cold.

The size is plenty generous, unlike some electric blankets that barely seem to make it over the edges of the bed. I never feel like I'm tugging at it to cover me up to my neck. It's lightweight, but yet warmer than a lot of other blankets even when turned off. Amazing.

I didn't give it five stars because of the cord. I've had other dual-control King blankets, and they all only had one plug total. This one has two plugs--one for each controller. I'll spare you the logistics of the underneath of my bed vs. the electrical outlet, but let me say that because of the addl. plug, we actually had to move our massively heavy king bed over several inches in order to accommodate the extra plug. The bed rested in its previous spot for over ten years, so now the divots where it used to rest are apparent. Not earth-shaking, but annoying that this wasn't designed to end up with only one plug into the wall. Oh well.
Happy with it overall. We've only had it since October 2010 (it's now Jan 2011), so I can't comment on its longevity yet, but so far, so good. I hope it lasts a long time, because I like it as much or more than any electric blanket I've had in my life (and I've used them steadily since I was a child).

Soft, warm--great!

Friday, 5 November 2010

Why Are There More Python Jobs Than Java?

I recently looked at the latest job ads and it seems there are now more Python jobs than Java vacancies. Although it's too early to say, but it could be put down to a lot of things - one of which is the recent case between Oracle, Apple and Google over their use of Java on the Android platform.

Although, there are still strong support for Java in the enterprise, more companies, mine included are looking for ways to move their applications forward to a platform and language that's above and beyond the control of one company. You know what this reminds me of? Remember the rosy days of Microsoft, they controlled everything - from the language to the operating systems. But with the advent of Linux and Mac-OSX, there's now more choices of operating systems and platforms.

What this means is that you don't have to be locked in or tied to Java, there's Python, Ruby, Perl and countless other languages that are not under the control of one profit-making company.

So, in a way this goes to explain why there's been a huge increase in people learning things other than Java. To give you an idea, run a search for Java and Python; and try to compare the number of vacancies for each one.

Another reason why Python is doing very well lately is the huge support from open source developers working on awesome frameworks like Django and Pylon. These frameworks are a breeze to learn and use - making Python alot more attractive -- along with the fact that it's not controlled by some huge corporation . I think the ease with which you can get a Django application running compare to that of any Java framework is another plus for Python. I have been a Java developer for the last 5 years, but it still baffles me how complex a simple Java app can get. On the other hand, getting Python/Django app running couldn't be smoother. There are no complex XML configuration files for each deployment... no over-bloated applications server to learn and configure.

Here's another example of how Python has progressed lately and gaining a lot of traction in many Mozilla projects. From the SUMO and AMO websites, to Socorro and the next-gen Firefox Sync server.In fact, it turns out that there's more you can do with Python which you can only dream about in Java. Very little applications have come out of Java on the desktop camp. We know Java works very well on the server side, but the you have to be a be prepared to spend more than the average company to have your Java applications hosted. This along with on-going problems in the Oracle camp add to seemingly decline and lack of glamour in Java compared to a few years ago.

So, with the recent problems with Oracle and lack of truly open source Java, won't it be wise to start investing in Python or Ruby for your next project? 

Have you tried Python/Django? Considering using something other than Java?
Would love to hear you thoughts.

Monday, 1 November 2010

wxPython in Action

This year I decided to take the plunge and try to learn how to program GUI interfaces. As I'd been learning Python for a couple of years on and off I looked at the available options - which seemed mainly to be just four - Tkinter, PyGTK, PyQt and of course wxPython.

I discounted Tkinter as it is frequently said to not be good enough for large programming projects, and PyQt because it isn't Open Source and briefly looking at the license details put me off straight away.

If like me you have been trying to piece things together by using various online tutorials, I suggest you get a copy of this awesome book. It was written by the main developers of the WxPython itself - so they know what they are talking about.

Click here to by on

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Driving Test Progress

I used to blog alot but not so often anymore, this is partly due to my tight work schedule and lack of motivation. That does not mean that I don't get the odd free time to blog and write about my work - I do, it's just that I can't afford the time, every little free time I get is spent on the little side projects. ( will talk more about that in another post). That's why I was thrilled when a friend in the UK emailed me to help set up his Free Driving test website.

The driving test site is still under construction as you can see here, I know it does not look much, but at least there's content there to act as a place holder :) We hope to add more content as time goes on. But the main issue now is time as already mentioned.

He just started learning to drive and documenting the process and progress seems like a good idea to share the experience with other learner drivers looking for free driving test information to help them as well. To kick things off, I thought I should blog about it, this will help to keep me focused on what needs to be done and steps that I need to achieve that final goal.

If you've created a simple (few pages) site before and have a few tips to share, please leave a comment.
That said, the main work starts in earnest this weekend. Wish me luck!

Thursday, 29 July 2010

The Latest Sanyo HD Video Camera

I've owned this Sanyo HD Video Camera for a couple of months now and have used it often. I chose this camera over similar ones in this price range because of the features of the Sanyo HD Video Camera and I have not been disappointed. Easy to use once you get to know the menus, and though not perfect by any means it is just right for my needs for an everyday cam. Read the review on CNET for a good overview of all the features and abilities of this camcorder.

I've managed to tweak a fairly decent picture quality by following the advice of the other reviewers here (thank you) and so far have had no problems with it. Very pleased overall, better than I was expecting in fact.

With the optional Sanyo HD Video Camera component cable you CAN watch your vids in hi-def.

I have not yet found a battery with longer life than the one provided, but I am still looking... if anyone knows of one, please leave a comment here. I would appreciate it.

Monday, 26 October 2009

Helping to reduce Credit card and loan repayments

I have been working too hard in the last couple of weeks and as such did not have the time to come down here and post a few of my normal piece. I knew it would be hard and time consuming to be posting regularly, but I thought I won't let that put me off from posting just like everyone else.

What seems to be occupying my time is working with come credit card company here in my little town now that the economy has taken a nose dive. Our focus has been to help people deal with loan and credit card issues. Most of our work is based on the phone - so those having problems with repayments can call us and get advice on how they can arrange for their repayments to be reduced.

The code part of the job is that I spend some times on the phone to the banks - acting as the middle man between both parties.

As part of the service that we offer, the calls too are free. By keeping it free, we are able to serve all members of the society regardless of how deep they with their repayments. Although we still provide services through emails and face-to-face appointments, the majority of our clients always prefer to remain anonymous and talking on the phone provides them that anonymity.

No matter what type of industry you are in, you can always bet on it to see those who are deep in either credit card or loan repayments. So, my advice is the earlier you see help the best and sooner you get out of it.

Thursday, 24 September 2009

Open source with Python

Today, I started working on a new project which should eventually become a widely used software. This is an open source project that a friend and I started some time ago but did not have the time and motivation to carry on working on it.

In the last couple of weeks, we decided that it would be great to revive it and hopefully finish it now that we both have started learning more software development. Actually, the project is based on Python as it's the main language we both use now on a daily basis. Will show the screenshot later in the week once the interface is complete.

To even complicate things, we have imported the code into SVN for the first time - this is an awesome experience and we both loving it.