I wanted to keep you up to date on whats going on with SlickEdit.

In October of 2012, Uniloc USA, Inc. filed a lawsuit against SlickEdit, Inc., alleging patent infringement (U.S. patent 5,579,222) concerning a license management system.

Uniloc USA, Inc. is a patent-assertion entity or “patent troll,” i.e. a company whose sole business is to sue software companies including Adobe, Microsoft, Sony, and Symantec. It has sued more than a dozen companies over this patent.

In an unusual turn of events, after more than a year of litigation Uniloc USA, Inc. asked the Court to dismiss its own lawsuit against SlickEdit, Inc.  This came a week after the court held a three-hour Markman hearing on February 13, 2014 in which SlickEdit argued that Uniloc’s patent covered far less than what Uniloc was claiming.

Make no mistake, this is a BIG win for SlickEdit in what amounts to be a David vs. Goliath scenario.

Patent infringement suits are considered extremely costly to defend against. Even in cases like this where there is no infringement, small companies are often forced to settle due to the astronomical legal fees associated with patent cases.

I knew SlickEdit did not infringe. I hired a great attorney and worked closely with him. We were able to put together a solid case and ultimately saved the company a lot of money.

I interviewed nine different patent attorneys at nine different firms and easily chose Tim Shannon of Verrill Dana, LLP.  Tim and his team mastered the patent, mastered our product inside and out, and led a claim construction argument that literally threatened to derail Uniloc’s entire national campaign. Tim never let up and got us a great result. I highly recommend his service.

Glad to be done with this mess. Now I can continue to have a blast working on the product!

Clark, CEO

In observance of Election Day, we had planned to do a mock presidential debate between two competing technologies. Think Lloyd Bentsen debating Dan Quayle in the late 80s.

Moderator: The question back to you, Hg. What qualifies you to be the version control system of choice?
Mercurial: My implementation of distributed repositories is well regarded, and third party tool support is coming along nicely. If you look at my operating system support, you’ll see I support as many platforms as CVS did.
Subversion: Hg, I was born from CVS. My command syntax closely reflects that of CVS. I know CVS well as we have served side-by-side in datacenters across the globe. You sir are no CVS!

Or perhaps the classic Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter exchange

Java: Garbage collection, memory management, no pointers. These are the issues important to developers that compiled languages are typically against.
Moderator: C++?
C++: There you go again…

So as you can seen, politics and software technologies don’t really mix all that well. In fact, the results can be disastrous. We experimented with running a sophisticated source code indexing algorithm against internet-hosted code repositories. The indexing daemon was inadvertently pointed at site hosting political quotes. Behold the train wreck that ensued.









While we very much enjoyed Wired Magazine’s recent Geek Dad list of Geeky Halloween Costumes, the list seemed to dominated by Sci-Fi movie and TV characters. We felt we could go a little nerdier.


The potential of using iPads (or any other tablet computer equipped with decent cameras) is exciting. However, the hardware costs may be a little more than you normally budget for costuming.

The Invisible Man : Strap one iPad to your front, and another to your back. Initiate a FaceTime session between the two tablets. The iPad in front will display what the rear one is displaying and vice-versa. The net effect on the adult wearer will appear to be a large hole through the chest, but small children can be rendered nearly invisible using this technique.

Indigestion : Requires only one tablet, mounted just above your belly button. Take several videos from antacid commercials and run them in a slideshow loop.

Infinity : Uses the same chest-mounted tablet. Attach a webcam to a long stick protruding from your shoulders and arrange it so the webcam points to the tablet. Display the webcam image fullscreen on the tablet.

Coding T-Shirts for Groups

A group of three could go as public, protected, and private. If you pick up a 4th wheel, they get the friend shirt.

Also for threes, make up shirts with <, =, and >. See how many relational operators you can construct. Extra candy for implementing (or having anyone recognize) the Perl spaceship operator.

For couples, go dressed as && and || and, in conversation, && disagrees with everyone as soon as he disagrees with one thing, and || agrees with everything anyone says once he’s heard on thing he agrees with. See if anyone catches on, or if everyone just eventually decides that && is a jerk.

Another idea for couples is to go as NULL and -> (alternative being * and 0). Stand close together and fall down (or freeze) whenever anyone addresses you.

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