Jun 30

The world now has one billion personal computers, according to Gartner research.  It’s expected to take less than 6 years for the second billion, as a 12 percent annual increase will double the number of PCs worldwide by 2014, with most growth coming from developing markets.

The U.S., Europe and Japan own 58% of today’s PCs.  Emerging markets will account for 70 percent of the next billion PCs due to dropping prices and improved Internet access.

The PC installed base is constantly churning as users replace their computers with new ones.  Gartner estimates that 16% or 180 million PCs will be replaced this year.

But there is a downside to all this progress.  Some old PCs find a second life in schools and charities, some are recycled, but many are simply thrown in the trash.  “We estimate a fifth of these, or some 35 million PCs, will be dumped into landfill with little or no regard for their toxic content,” said Meike Escherich, principal research analyst at Gartner.

Jun 17

As any experienced computer programmer knows, there are unwritten laws that govern software development. However there are no penalties for breaking these laws; rather, there is often a reward. Following are 21 Laws of Computer Programming:

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Jun 16

Just a few years back, if you wanted to host a WordPress blog on your own website, you avoided GoDaddy at all costs.  WordPress and other mainstream Web applications simply didn’t work on GoDaddy shared hosting without a lot of extra work.  As a result, GoDaddy quickly gained a reputation as a cheap Web host that’s good only for regular HTML web sites.  Over time GoDaddy support for Web applications improved, but installing WordPress still required extra work.  GoDaddy also introduced automatic installers for WordPress, but the result was usually a non-standard installation and code that was a few versions too old.

Fast forward to today.  With GoDaddy’s new Hosting Connection, you can install the latest version of WordPress and many other Web applications such as Joomla with just a few mouse clicks.  It really couldn’t be much easier.  Following are step-by-step instructions to install WordPress on GoDaddy shared hosting:

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Jun 12

A new article in The Atlantic claims that Google is making us stupid. The article doesn’t blame only Google, of course. Rather, it believes the World Wide Web, TV and movies are dumbing down humanity. We are actually reading more than in the 1970’s, but instead of novels and newspapers, we are consuming snippets of information from a myriad of Web sites. The article claims we are becoming a society of Internet zombies.

The Net seems to be “chipping away my capacity for concentration and contemplation. My mind now expects to take in information the way the Net distributes it: in a swiftly moving stream of particles. Once I was a scuba diver in the sea of words. Now I zip along the surface like a guy on a Jet Ski.”

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Jun 11

Social news sites first became popular when Digg.com launched on the Web in 2004. A social news site enables its users to submit news stories and vote on them. The most popular articles percolate to the top of the list and are rewarded with a huge surge in Web traffic. A candid discussion of each article often appears. The most popular social news sites are Digg, Reddit and StumbleUpon, which recently hit 2 million registered users. DotNetKicks is an excellent social news site for .NET programming.

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Jun 10

Indeed Salary Search is an index of salary information extracted from over 50 million job postings from thousands of unique sources over the last 12 months.  Many job descriptions don’t contain salary information, but there are enough that do to produce statistically significant median salaries.

Inspired by The Unix Guy, following are the annual salaries (as of June 10, 2008) for software developer jobs for the most popular programming languages and a few related technologies such as LAMP, Ajax and ASP.NET.  The second column lists the salary for developer jobs in that language, such that the job title for C# would be “C# developer.”  The third column lists senior developer salary, and the fourth columns lists junior developer salary.  Note that some jobs had no listings for the specified language.

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Jun 06

You’ve spent thousands of hours developing a new software program. Now how do you ensure that your competitors don’t copy your program and steal your market? The sad truth is you can’t, as Apple discovered when Microsoft “borrowed” its graphical user interface to build Windows and corner the PC operating system market. But there are steps you can take to give you an edge over your competition and make it more difficult for others to copy or steal your work. You can protect your software with patents, copyrights and trademarks. Continue reading »

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Jun 03

You have to wonder if these robot programmers ran any unit tests on the robot software before strapping in. The rider’s head appears to come very close to smashing against the ground many times.

And this is what happens when you don’t adequately test robot software (warning: graphic violence):

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