Piracy is not theft

August 31, 2008 at 11:07 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

This sums up my beliefs quite nicely. . .



August 27, 2008 at 9:15 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Guys, please don’t click this link.

Thank you.



August 26, 2008 at 12:44 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

We think in terms of the words that we know. The german translation of “I love you” has a different connotation than “I love you” in French, even though it means the same literally. The german version is much more un-romantic. But I bet you that a frenchman is more likely to look at a romantic situation in terms of his language’s connotation than a german would.

Computer science

August 24, 2008 at 6:22 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

People often equate computers with computer science, as if they are about the same things.

I disagree. . .

You can’t say computers is about computer science any more than you can say astronomy is about telescopes or geometry is about sextants. Computers are merely the tools we use to manipulate abstract concepts like, say, recursion or numbers. And even if these computational processes don’t hold any physical form per se, they are REAL nonetheless and they have an effect on the physical real world. Computatinal processes perform intellectual work, provide answers, and give timely information. It can dispense money at a atm or control a robotic arm.

Computer science has more in common with wizardry than with quote-unquote “science”. Computer programs are a hacker’s “magic spells”

Pair programming

August 22, 2008 at 3:35 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Let’s say that two programmers are tasked with creating a computer program. . . say, an e-commerce website. An “obvious” solution would be to split the tasks into two. Have one programmer do,say, the shopping cart and the other programmer do, say, the billing system. Most laymen would reason you can halve your time by doing this. In the real world, though, this doesn’t happen. Programmers can (and often do. . .) step on each other’s toes when writing software, especially as the program begins to get more complex.

Interestingly, the counter-intuitive solution ends up being the more efficient one. Pair programming handles things in the reverse way. . . You pair two programmers together on the same terminal. One programmer writes a unit test and the other programmer is challenged to write code that make the test pass. The unit test guy looks over the second guy’s shoulder during the coding process and suggests another, more expedient method that the second programmer didn’t consider. Or he may ask him re-word variables or function calls in the code that seem unclear to him. if the code makes sense to two people, it is likely to make sense to others as well. Amazingly enough, both programmers together often finish the problem in LESS than half the time. There are a few academic studies that confirm this (according to “Code Complete” anyway).

The idea, of course, is often simple solutions often win out over complex ones. Less code means less complexity which means fewer bugs. Quote-unquote “hard” problems can actually become doable when you put two heads together.


August 18, 2008 at 9:56 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

If you’re not failing at least 70% of the time, you’re not aiming high enough. . .

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