July 31, 2005
Design Patterns, I don't get it
ACM's Special Interest Group on Programming Languages (SIGPLAN) recently awarded the 2005 Programming Languages Achievement Award to Erich Gamma, Richard Helm, Ralph Johnson, and John Vlissides (known as the 'Gang of Four') for their creation of 'Design Patterns' (the computer science book and the subfield at the intersection of programming languages and software engineering). The annual award recognizes an individual (or individuals) who has (have) made a significant and lasting contribution to the field of programming languages.
I first read this book in '98, and as a relatively newbie developer I figured I should have gotten some use out of it. I didn't, I had already seen most of the concepts ("design patterns") before. I couldn't understand what was so important about this book. Now at the time, I figured maybe I was missing something or was just too dense to grasp the profound knowledge it was trying to impart to me. There are plenty of times I came across "the big new thing" and I didn't understand it's importance until I had more experience, but I've been in the software game for 10 years now, and I'm more convinced than ever the whole design patterns thing is an over-hyped crock of shit.
The ONLY benefit I see is the distillation of some common software design schemes down to a single word. Great, that's been a huge boost to my...my.. eh, my... wait, Ok, I know. I remember one time I was working with Ned and he said "Adapter" and I knew what he meant, no further explanation necessary. Read the book and you too may experience similar productivity gains.
July 29, 2005
Social networking sucks
For anybody who wishes to invite me to "link in" or join your network or become your new bestus online friend or whatever, I'm just going to ignore you. Well not you, your invitation. I can't see the point to these sites, they're just a big time drain with scant reward. Feh.
And I have tried a few of these services, so you might see my account in them already, but regardless I'm going to ignore your invitations. And it's not because I don't like you, it's because it's pointless and unfun. Thank you.
July 28, 2005
Africa calling cards
One Man Safari (http://onemansafari.blogspot.com/), a really nifty found-art blog, disappeared recently. Poof. Gone. The feed stopped working and the home page gave a 404 "Not Found" error. I don't know what happened, but I'm bummed. I'm really missing the daily eye treat this blog provided.
Anyway today in my Bloglines account, I see that I'm now subscribed to the "Africa Calling Cards" feed. And in the one and only entry in the feed, its a pitch for something called "IP-telephony phone cards". I'm not sure that even makes sense. Whatever. I figured out my subscription to One Man Safari was replace with this craptacular spam one at the server. Yup, I visit the One Man Safari site and its now the "Africa Calling Cards" spam site.
Damn spammers. They're like mosquitoes, you'll never ever really get rid of them, you just have to learn to live with them and hope they don't give you a disease.
Anyone know what happened to One Man Safari?
July 27, 2005
Jerry Falwell not completely full of shit
It's hot as hell today, nearly 100 degrees and muggy. It's the sort of day where you outside for some air and a deep breath feels like inhaling fiberglass insulation. But I totally went berserk and mowed the lawn earlier when it was in the low 90's. I rule.
Just right now though, I'm inside watching the Teletubbies with my daughter. I just saw a bit where Tinky Winky sings and dances around with his bag, and I gotta say Falwell was right, Tinky Winky is gay. My "gaydar" was completely pegged, there is no way anyone could watch what I just watched and not conclude Tinky Winky is meant to be flamboyantly gay. Turns out it's not a secret. Somehow, because Jerry Falwell is always so wrong about everything, I always assumed "Tinky Winky is gay" was bullshit too. He's still wrong about everything else though, including a gay character being a bad thing.
Radar Men From the Moon
July 21, 2005
Ye Olde Mugshots
Awesome mug shot photo set on flickr. In 50 years, will anyone care that you sold obscene literature to students?
July 19, 2005
I want a black t-shirt that says on the front "SCIENCE" in white lettering, anyone know where I could get one? I'd also I tried to use CafePress to make my own but they don't offer black t-shirts.
I suppose I could just go to a t-shirt shop and have one made, but that requires more effort than I wish to expend.
July 16, 2005
Kids Picks Nose, Damien Laughs
3 way bulbs
I'm a ashamed to admit it, but up until I was about 25 I didn't believe in 3 way bulbs. I had always assumed they were a big scam somehow. Yes, really. I'm not sure why, but I remember I knew I wasn't going to fall for it. And I think I thought lamps had an annoying 2-3 clicks policy for safety purposes. I'm not really sure what I thought actually. I just knew it was a scam.
But I was wrong, they totally rule.
July 15, 2005
Does college matter?
Your son wants to play in a band. You think he should be an engineer. You're majoring in bioinformatics because your parents told you it was a good career choice, but you hate it. You love to write code, but now your parents are telling you "it's a bad move, what with outsourcing and all..." You spent your first two years of college maintaining an inhuman blood alcohol level, when it hits you--you've taken out loans to pay for this drinking.
via David Pitkin
July 14, 2005
Every key of the Optimus keyboard is a stand-alone display showing exactly what it is controlling at this very moment.Optimus keyboard
Wicked cool idea, I think its just a concept right now. I wonder if its named after Optimus Prime?
July 13, 2005
Eric Sink: The Game is Afoot
Great article comparing areas of the software business to various sports and games. Lots of good stuff, very entertaining.
Oops, I fixed the title where I moronically attributed the article to Eric Raymond. Thanks for the heads up Colin.
July 12, 2005
Love your job
July 9, 2005
Three years ago, I proposed to our technology architects that we eliminate our network firewalls. Today, we're close to achieving that goal. Back then, I thought that network-based firewalls were losing their effectiveness, enabling a mind-set that was flawed. Today, I'm certain.
Makes an interesting argument for eliminating network firewalls.
Now in a pirate voice: Yar. Makes an interesting argument for eliminating network fi-arrr-rewalls. yar.
July 8, 2005
Humor in unexpected places
I got a good chuckle today when I visited the Washington Post site and used Bugmenot (awesome Firefox extension too) to get past their registration screen. The user name it returned was email@example.com. I don't know why but that really had me laughing.
July 6, 2005
Ebony Ads from 1972
I'm always fascinated by old ads, but these are cooler than most.
July 2, 2005
As a friend and guy I look up to, please welcome Mike Kudla and his new blog What a long strange trip it's been to the Net. Post more Mike, you're too smart and done too much not too.
July 1, 2005
An easy way to remember this:
i.e. - in explanation
e.g. - example given
Found on, of all places, Slashdot.
How to Fold a Shirt
I couldn't resist trying out this shirt folding method. Their end result looks much better than mine though.