Dec 19
Christmas Gifts 2. Copyright © Wong Mei Teng. Used under license. On the twelfth day of Christmas,
my true love gave to me:

Twelve cores debugging,
Eleven named-pipes piping,
Ten laptops loading,
Nine apps compiling,
Eight mice a-moving,
Seven smartphones syncing,
Six geeks a-coding,
Five I-D-E’s,
Four calling cards,
Three iPads,
Two monitors,
And a cartridge for my H-P.

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and Peace to You!

(Originally published Dec 24, 2010)

Nov 25

True story…  After Thanksgiving dinner yesterday at the in-laws, I was talking with a nice older woman in her 60s.  Eventually the conversation shifted to my favorite subject, computers. 

The woman, whom I’ll call “Helen,” told me that she doesn’t own a computer anymore since her “scare.”

“Did your computer get attacked by a virus?” I asked.

Continue reading »

Nov 11

See you again next century!

Oct 19

The awesome Ferrari 599 GTO. Copyright © Ferrari S.p.A.

Update: It appears that Elite750 has already gone out of business.  As the Bill Gates character said in a Simpsons episode, “I didn’t get rich by writing a lot of checks!”

Do you remember the “I Am Rich” iPhone app that did nothing and sold for the maximum $999.99?  Eight rich douchebags blew a grand on this waste of bytes before Apple pulled the app from its stores because the app lacked any useful functionality.

Well, it looks like the wealthy 1% have another opportunity to shell out big bucks on digital wares.  Elite750 is offering “The World’s Most Exclusive Email Address.”  Elite750 is restricted to 750 users worldwide… forever.  Signup is $7500, and the service costs $750 per month ongoing.  That’s $16,500 for the first year alone.

Continue reading »

Jul 13

Peace & Quiet. Copyright © Chris Chidsey. Photo used under license.

DotNetBaby says, “I’m an expert on sucking, and I can assure you that C# doesn’t suck.”

YourLanguageSucks is a wiki on theory.org that lists reasons why the most popular programming languages suck.  There are long lists of reasons why Java, JavaScript, C++ and PHP suck.  But the list for C# is very short:

  • Supports ‘goto’.
  • Two distinct sets of collections: non-generic and generic.  Stack and Queue have the same name in both their generic and non-generic flavors, but then we have Hashtable (non-generic) and Dictionary (generic).

The first reason is easy to discount: just avoid using goto!  The second reason is valid, but not really an issue if you use only generic collections, as I do.

Continue reading »

Jun 29

The main challenge of Paired Programming is deciding which developer gets to drive the computer.  Looks like these fellas have figured out a work-around:

YouTube Preview Image

May 11

Sky.net.  Public domain on imgur.

This would be even more funny/scary if Microsoft was still the 800-pound gorilla in the computer industry that everyone feared.

Feb 05

Do you notice anything odd about the following list?

00000000-9b6d-4998-9dd7-6026894bdfba
11111111-9022-4400-bac2-8b66a9874443
22222222-a890-4dec-98bc-f41536b760bc
33333333-e361-4239-8d04-3f16f68ad9ce
44444444-d8c2-40ab-91bd-5a84511ed9d3
55555555-447a-4aa9-a51f-35c74a154156
66666666-193b-4ac3-bd92-860b6b49aedb
77777777-49de-4cc5-b9e6-2e5785dd47af
88888888-0d00-4672-933a-d68e240772be
99999999-7d9d-4d77-9e35-5e919db0f7d1
aaaaaaaa-76cd-4d6b-bae2-574e5b57c7ab
bbbbbbbb-6f9e-4d2d-ba11-64df5c7355fa
cccccccc-b897-4b15-9ab3-11b97836ce85
dddddddd-b417-48ad-8b5b-b762df75e03b
eeeeeeee-cc9c-4cb8-bae0-bbd4b10307fa
ffffffff-8d46-4a31-b297-2ac67dda3600

Yes, they are all legitimate Guids (Globally Unique IDs).  But each is also a Vanity Guid, which is a unique ID that has some recognizable pattern embedded in the Guid’s text representation.  A Vanity Guid is like a vanity license plate, only geekier.

Read the rest at C#411 >>

Sep 03

Ron Burk wrote a terrific, funny article “A Brief History of Windows Programming Revolutions” that describes the internal back-and-forth struggle between programming groups at Microsoft in their endless pursuit to eliminate DLL Hell.  First there was DDE, then OLE, COM, ActiveX, MFC, ATL, and eventually .NET:

“And that brings us up to date with .NET (pronounced like ‘doughnut’, only different), which is like the Internet, only with more press releases.  Let’s be very, very clear about one thing: .NET will eliminate DLL Hell.  .NET includes a new programming language called C# (turns out there was a fatal flaw in Active++ Jspresso, so just as well it died).  .NET includes a virtual runtime machine that all languages will use (turns out there’s a fatal flaw in relying on Intel CPUs).”

The Simpsons, Copyright © Fox, All Rights Reserved.The serious point behind this funny article is how each of these Microsoft “revolutions” were supposed to be the panacea of Windows development, only to be replaced in a few short years by the next-best-thing. 

At least Microsoft has stuck with .NET Framework for 8 years, but the churn continues within the .NET development ecosystem.  Remember how WindowsForms was supposed to provide a rich client GUI that ran across all hardware platforms?  Turns out it didn’t work so well in a web browser, so Microsoft invented WebForms.  And MVC.  WinForms also didn’t render well on Linux, so open-source geeks use Gtk# instead.  And WinForms is too heavy to run on mobile devices, so Microsoft ejected it from the .NET Compact Framework.  But .NET CF is too “old school” for smartphones, so now there’s Silverlight.  Are you following me?

In the tech industry, the only constant is change.

Sep 02

First it was musicians, now it’s software developers, and next it will be movie stars.  The gravy train is over, folks!

If you write code for a living, your career is in the crosshairs of the Web’s demand that everything digital be cheap or free.  A whole generation is growing up believing that if you cannot touch it, then it has no monetary value and is free for the taking.

The terrific webcomic The Oatmeal demonstrates this brave new world:

Copyright © The Oatmeal.  Click to view comic. 

Is this necessarily a bad thing?  If we remove the economic incentive for the time-and-resource-intensive business of software development, consumers are likely to see fewer ambitious software products like Photoshop and Microsoft Office.  However, I’m confident in the future that we’ll all enjoy an endless supply of Fart apps.