Munjed’s Middle Eastern Cafe

March 31, 2007

Today, I went to Munjed’s. This as the name suggests is a middle eastern restaurant. Its a Saturday night as I write this, and there was’nt a crowd even though Westcott street is full of student residences for folks attending Syracuse University. I guess its spring break or something. Anyway, we got seating immediatly. I ordered the chwarma dinner, which was delicious. The beef was very tender and well done. Normally, I prefer my beef to be medium-rare, I guess the spices in which the food was prepared in really made it worhwhile. Served with pita bread and humus, the meal was delicious. The nice part of the place was that the portions werereally reasonable. I topped it off with some baklava, which was delicious, but not as delicious as some of the home-made baklava I’ve had.

The way chwirma was served at Munjed’s was different from other places where I’ve ordered chwirma. First, it was spelt differently. Normally, I’ve seen written as “shwarma”. Secondly, it was served already wrapped in the pita bread, not seperate like at Mujed’s. I guess it allowed for people having different preferences. The falafel was awesome. Other folks in my party ordered various forms of kebabs like sheesh kebabs and chicken kebabs, which were also highly regarded. I guess I’ll have to try those the next time I go there.

Here’s a review.


C#, Winforms Training

March 31, 2007

March 28th through 30th, I went to a 3-day training workshop to learn about Winforms progamming in C#. This training came on the heels of a 5-day trainig course in C# held the previous week. (see here, here and here for more about that). I did not enjoy this training as much as I had enjoyed the last one.

My main problem about this training was that, because there enough time between the C# language training, I had not had time to internalize everything about C#, the VC# development environment and .Net framework the way I had internalized C++, MFC, and the Win32 API. I know that if a programmer is proficient in one language, then they can easily pick up other programming languages easily. C#’s syntax was’nt really the problem here but our familiarity with the API of the .Net framework.

People often confuse that the productivity gains of using .Net come from C#. I dont believe thats the case. The real productivity gains come from the Framework classes that Microsoft has published for UI, XML, multithreading, and their tight integration with Visual Studio. Infact, I believe that C# would be a lot less powerful had Microsoft not published all those .Net framework classes that come with the SDK. <Rant>The truth is that the person who sent us to this training believe in silver bullets. Having never gotten his hands dirty with the actual working of the code, this person really does’nt understand that simply putting programmers through a grindhouse of training, does not give you productivity gains</Rant>.

All the students were expecting a classroom environment, where the instructor gave a lecture, and then the students did some excercises. But this was a workshop, where lectures were minimal and there was more hands-on programming. Hands-on programming meant the students really needed to be familiar with Visual Studio 2005, C# and .Net. Infact the course material stated that trainees need to have at least 1 year of experience of coding in C# and .Net. In our case it was like a week. Simply put, we were not ready for this training.

All I personally got from the training was a higher appreciation of Visual Studio 2005. However, I have to say this about the IDE. I think the IDE is much slower than Visual Studio 2003. Its not as responsive to commands as the previous versions were.


Training again :-(

March 26, 2007

Winforms this time @ 8:30 am


Dreading the Ides of April

March 26, 2007

Certainty? In this world nothing is certain but death and taxes.

-Benjamin Franklin

I give up!! I tried doing my taxes this year on my own and have failed miserably. Why ?? Oh, Why?? does my mind go blank when this time in the year roll around??


Laundry

March 25, 2007

I hate doing it, but I like it when its done.


China Road

March 24, 2007

There are many Chinese restaurants in the Syracuse, Baldwinsville, Liverpool area. One of my favorites is China Road on Rt. 11 in Mattydale. This reataruant in Shenzuan cuisine. I’m not sure what other Chinese cuisines there are, but the super spicy beef (shreded beef with chinese hot peppers) is my favorite. Couple that with Scallion Pancakes and some beer, you’ve got a great meal. Other people got some other dishes, and I sampled the vegetarion chicken(?) and duck(?). They taste good but their names are somewhat oxymoronic. Kungpao dishes are pretty cool, but I prefer them with the real thing instead of all that tofu stuff. As far as drinks are concerned, I tried some Tsingtao beer. That’s an imported beer from China. It was a kind of a mild beer, that went well with the beef. Not sure about the % of alcohol.


Native enums in C++

March 23, 2007

I always thought that enums in C++ always had the same integer as the underlying type. I discovered today that need not be the case and they can have any integral type as an underlying type. See the example below as an example.



/*
 BUILD COMMAND
 cl native_enum.cpp /EHs /wd4996 /I"<Insert boost::format path here>"

 NOTES
 I used boost::format for helping with formatting the string, You can
 replace it with printf if you like.

 Disabled warning 4996 that is a spurious warning.

 OUTPUT
    sizeof(vehicle): 1
    sizeof(creature: 2
    sizeof(home):    4
 */

#include <iostream>
#include <boost/format.hpp>
using namespace std;

enum vehicle : char { car, boat, plane };
enum creature: short { dog, cat, eagle };
enum home: int { house, apartment, mansion};
int main(int argc, char *argv[])
{
    cout<<boost::format("sizeof(vehicle): %d") % sizeof(vehicle) <<endl;
    cout<<boost::format("sizeof(creature: %d") % sizeof(creature) <<endl;
    cout<<boost::format("sizeof(home):    %d") % sizeof(home) <<endl;
    return 0;
}