On the short, tormented life of Phil Katz

Bless the Internet Archive and its Wayback Machine. With it, we can go back in time and read The short, tormented life of computer genius Phil Katz, an unusually detailed and accurate article published in the April 14, 2000 issue of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. When he was found dead April 14, Phil Katz was slumped against a nightstand in a south side hotel, cradling an empty bottle of peppermint schnapps. »

Nicola Iarocci

Erebus: The Story of a Ship

I finished reading Erebus: The Story of a Ship by Michael Palin, an excellent book on the dramatic adventures of the HMS Erebus with her sister ship, the HMS Terror, first in James Clark Ross’s Antarctic expedition of 1839-43, and then during Franklin’s ill-fated Arctic expedition in search of the Northwest Passage. I knew Michael Palin as a member of the Monty Python comedy group. As it turns out, since 1980, he has also made many travel documentaries and books. »

Nicola Iarocci

Five good books I read in 2020

Here are five books I read in 2020 that I would recommend. I read several fine books last year, so please check out my reading history if you are unsatisfied with this selection. Mani: Travels in the Southern Peloponnese, by Patrick Leigh Fermor. I love Patrick Leigh Fermor. Over the years, I read almost everything he wrote. He has been described as “a cross between Indiana Jones, James Bond, and Graham Greene,” and for a good reason. »

Nicola Iarocci

HttpResponseMessage.Content is non-nullable in NET5

Today I was happily migrating some C# projects to Net 5 when I stumbled upon something unexpected. My focus was on a library (a NetStandard2.0 REST API client, an SDK) and its associated test suite. The test project was a NetCore 3.1 application. As you can imagine, being a REST API client, the library does a lot of talking with a remote Web Service. It does that by leveraging the almightly System. »

Nicola Iarocci

Events and callbacks in the Python language

So last week I got an email from my friend Michael Kennedy. Michael runs the TalkPython Training website, arguably the best place where you can learn Python today. He also hosts two popular Python podcasts: TalkPython and PythonBytes, the latter co-hosted with Brian Okken. He is super active in the Python space, so much that he received the Python Software Foundation Fellow Membership back in 2018. I first met Michael back in 2014, I think, at MongoDB Headquarters in New York, where we were both invited as part of the MongoDB Masters program. »

Nicola Iarocci

Musings on an unexpected motorcycle trip

I went on a motorcycle trip. A fellow TOMCC1 member was planning a solo trip to Campo Imperatore (“Emperor’s Fields”), the well known alpine meadow in the Apennine ridge. He called me as he was looking for some advice, and well, I ended up joining him. What sparked my interest was the destination, of course, because Campo Imperatore is a superb place to visit, especially on a motorcycle, but also Antonio’s peculiar take on the journey. »

Nicola Iarocci

A trip down memory lane: FidoNet and Usenet

Creatures of Thought is a project I discovered just recently. It is about the history of science and technology, and it revolves around two primary tracks: The Switch and The Backbone. The former covers the digital switch; the latter is the story of how the world got online. Both sections are well written, researched, and curated. The latest installment of The Backbone covers Usenet’s invention, then FidoNet, and well, it sent me on a mesmerizing trip down memory lane. »

Nicola Iarocci

How to Present Over Video Conference

As a non-native English speaker, presenting at conferences has always been super challenging and intimidating. It’s even worse now that we’re forced into online presenting because of the COVID19 situation. James Whittaker has a good post on the topic, with great advice: Remember, the inability to see and hear your audience is disconcerting but it doesn’t mean you should give up. There are much bigger audiences in the wide world that you will not have local access to. »

Nicola Iarocci

FatturaElettronica for .NET v3.0 released

FatturaElettronica for .NET 3.0 is now available on NuGet. It brings full support for the latest technical specifications (v1.6.1) issued by the Italian Public Administration. These come with a number of relevant changes, which were originally supposed to be effective starting May 4, 2020. We were ready well in advance (v3.beta-1 package was available on March 20) but then, because of the COVID19 situation (and, I suspect, pressure from relevant “not-ready-to-deliver” software companies) the deadline was pushed forward to October 1, 2020. »

Nicola Iarocci

Rumors of Windows Forms death have been greatly exaggerated

This morning on my twitter feed, this surprising tweet showed up: We made the history! 🍾🎆 The new addition to the Windows Forms UI control family in 15 years! Coming to you in .NET 5.https://t.co/MvPctRHI9y Massive shout outs to Konstantin (the author) for his work, patience and commitment! 🙇 — Igor Velikorossov (@IgorRussKie) April 18, 2020 Apparently, .NET 5 brings support for Windows TaskDialog to Windows Forms, and that is relevant for several reasons. »

Nicola Iarocci