Guus Bosman

software engineering manager

Links & Technology

Broken laptop screen


Laptop screen.Just before the weekend Sasha’s laptop screen died. When you start the laptop the screen displays vertical, colored stripes.

Dell sent a replacement screen today and tomorrow an engineer will come and install the screen at my work. I could have easily replaced the part myself but it’s a nice service.

Modern times


A while back I connected my accounts of several social networks and tools to each other. If I update my ‘status’ in one place it shows up in the others automatically. So if I type a status update on my phone, it gets routed to my website, to Facebook and to Hyves (a Dutch Facebook clone).

I maintain two separate streams; I have a separate stream for work-related updates. Those will show up in my LinkedIn account, on Skype and on Yammer, which is a sort of Twitter for companies.

This week I changed the way status updates are displayed on my website. They are no longer limited to a box ‘What am I doing?’ but they became real nodes on the site, so you can add comments to them on the site.

(Diagram source).

Actuate & BIRT


BIRT designer.This morning I attended a roadshow by Actuate, the company that created the open source project BIRT. I recently introduced BIRT in one of my products, and I’m very happy with that decision.

The roadshow was in Plainsboro near Princeton and about 40 minutes away from our place. Most of the presentations during weren’t very informative — ‘they had a low information density’, as one of my friends would put it. I always wonder, am I the only one who feels that things could be told 5 times faster?

The part I liked were the short 3 minute demo’s. While my product uses BIRT mainly to generate PDFs and other files, BIRT could be used for dashboard functionality as well. Apparently you can hook in your own Flash library to it, which is nice because we use FusionCharts already.

Operating Systems: Design and Implementation


My first introduction to large scale development.

When I was 16 years old I borrowed this book from our neighbor next door. I brought it on vacation in France, and still remember the smell of fresh cut grass when I was reading this book in France, over and over again. The Appendix contained the entire source code of Minix.

Years later when I did my Master’s Degree in Amsterdam I followed two courses by the author, Andrew Tanenbaum.

Book details:

   Operating Systems: Design and Implementation by Andrew S. Tanenbaum.
   I read this book in English.

   This book is one of my all-time favorites.

Design Patterns: Elements of Reusable Object-Oriented Software


In my first job at Chess patterns where just coming in fashion in the mid-1990’s. Can’t say that the GoF is a book that’s great to read but it has a wealth of knowledge distilled.

Book details:

   Design Patterns: Elements of Reusable Object-Oriented Software by Gang of Four.
   I read this book in English.

   This book is one of my all-time favorites.

Disabled Windows XP beep


It’s 2010 and I’m still using Windows XP, and I’m actually quite happy with it.

One of the small annoyances is the ‘beep’ that sounds when you change the volume. Since it’s a quiet Saturday morning and the snow is impacting some of the plans we had I googled for a solution. has the answer I was looking for.



Cool demonstration of the possibilities of SixthSense by Pranav Mistry, its inventor.

TED talk

(thanks Mark).

Invoking a single Ruby test


I usually run my unit tests in Eclipse on my development system, or from the command-line on the target environment in bulk.

Sometimes though it’s useful to run a single unit test from the command line. There are two equivalent ways of doing that:

rake test=test\integration\firmware_upgrade_test.rb
ruby test\integration\firmware_upgrade_test.rb

Presentation on 3D virtual worlds


Tonight I attended a presentation on the use of Second Live and other 3D worlds in education. It wasn’t earth-shattering but it was an informative presentation. Bill Krebs, the presenter, clearly enjoys using these tools and it was fun to hear more about the community in Second Life and some of the pro’s and con’s of using such tools for business purposes.

It’s always nice to go out and meet other engineers. I spoke with someone who started a company to provide data for tools like Layar, the augmented reality browser, and other interesting folks. I won a book in a raffle, and I choose Beginning Scala by David Pollack.

The evening was organized by the Agile RTP group and hosted by Allscripts in North Raleigh.

Building Flex with Maven


Tonight I attended a presentation by Adam Parrish on the use of Maven in building Adobe Flex & Java projects.

Maven is routinely used to build Java-only project, but this presentation talked about using the Flex Mojos plug-ins to build projects that combine Flex front-ends with a Java back-end.

It was an interesting presentation/demo for a small but knowledgeable crowd. There was a a lot of opportunity to ask questions, and I learned more about large scale Flex projects. A well spent evening.

The evening was hosted by One Cow Standing in Durham. They have a foosbal table and a real beer tap with Yuengling in the conference room.

About me

I’m a software engineering manager in Arlington, Virginia. I love technology and working with people to build great software.

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Send me a message, find me on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

Random facts

I was quoted in The Economist and my site was posted on Slashdot. I speak English and Dutch fluently, and pretty decent German, French and Bulgarian. I founded Dutch in which has more than 3,300 Facebook fans.

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