Apr 07

From xkcd: A webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language

More funny stuff

Mar 31

April Fools!  Photo by Michelle Dennis, used under license April Fool’s Day is tomorrow, April 1st.  It’s an annual “holiday” when humor reigns, and pranks and practical jokes are expected and allowed. 

Computers are a great medium for April Fool’s jokers because most users have no clue what goes on behind those blinking computer lights.  So when a hapless user is hit with a computer prank, they immediately suspect a malfunction, virus or worse.

Normally DevTopics is a source of helpful information to increase your knowledge and productivity, but today we will help you be a little naughty.  Following are the best April Fool’s computer pranks found on the Web.

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Mar 28

PC Freeze

Microsoft announced plans to open its own chain of branded stores to catch up with rival Apple and its successful foray into retailing.  Microsoft did not reveal how many stores it planned to open, when they would open, or which products it would sell in the stores.

A little humor on the subject by Jimmy Fallon:

“Despite the recession, Microsoft is planning to open stores to compete with Apple.  The Microsoft stores will be just like the Apple stores, except the staff will freeze when you ask them any questions.”

Story at Reuters

Mar 09

100 million lines of code in your car,
100 million lines of code,
If one of the lines develops a bug…

An article by IEEE indicates that a premium-class automobile “contains close to 100 million lines of software code.”  The software executes on 70-100 microprocessor-based electronic control units (ECUs) networked throughout the body of your car.  Even low-end cars have 30-50 ECUs embedded in the body, doors, dash, roof, trunk, seats, etc.  Software controls just about everything from your brakes to the volume of your radio.

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Mar 03

I was having trouble with my computer.  So I called Richard, the 11-year-old next door whose bedroom looks like Mission Control, and asked him to come over.

Richard clicked a couple of buttons and solved the problem.

As he was walking away, I called after him, “So, what was wrong?”

He replied, “It was an ID ten T error.”

I didn’t want to appear stupid, but nonetheless inquired, “An, ID ten T error?  What’s that?  In case I need to fix it again.”

Richard grinned. “Haven’t you ever heard of an ID ten T error before?”

“No,” I replied.

“Write it down,” he said, “and I think you’ll figure it out.”

So I wrote it down: I D 1 0 T

I used to like the little bugger.

Click to buy this ID10T shirt!

Buy this ID10T T-shirt!

Feb 11

The RAND Corporation has published a book called “A Million Random Digits with 100,000 Normal Deviates.”  Here’s a brief description:  “Not long after research began at RAND in 1946, the need arose for ‘random numbers’ that could be used to solve problems of various kinds of experimental probability procedures.  These applications, called Monte Carlo methods, required a large supply of random digits and normal deviates of high quality, and the tables presented here were produced to meet those requirements.  Still the largest published source of random digits and normal deviates, the work is routinely used by statisticians, physicists, polltakers, market analysts, lottery administrators, and quality control engineers.”

If the mere existence of such a book isn’t funny enough, check out the user reviews found on Amazon.com:

4.0 out of 5 stars almost perfect, October 26, 2006  By a curious reader

Such a terrific reference work! But with so many terrific random digits, it’s a shame they didn’t sort them, to make it easier to find the one you’re looking for.

1.0 out of 5 stars Sloppy., July 27, 2005  By B. MCGROARTY

The book is a promising reference concept, but the execution is somewhat sloppy. Whatever algorithm they used was not fully tested. The bulk of each page seems random enough. However at the lower left and lower right of alternate pages, the number is found to increment directly.

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Feb 10

Here is a funny lesson about modularity adapted from Victor Nicollet:

People often say that one’s design should be modular.  Sadly, many people take this as meaning “use modules.”  Having modules in a program does not mean that the program is modular.  This is generally the point where I whip out the strong coupling and zero-dependency diagrams and beat your brain into submission, but my law school exams have been going pretty well, so I’ll try a nicer approach today.

You know what’s modular in the real world?  Condoms.  They can be used as a contraceptive, to prevent STDs, as a barrel plug on paintball guns, to protect a live gun barrel from moisture when wading through rivers, to smuggle liquids or powders in the human body, and so on.  But what makes condoms so modular in the first place?

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Feb 07

CodeSqueeze has collected 101 ways to know when your software project is doomed.  Here are my 10 favorites:

  • You start hiring consultants so they can take the blame
  • All of your requirements are written on a used cocktail napkin
  • The lead web developer thinks the X in XHTML means ‘extreme’
  • Progress is now measured by the number of fixed bugs and not completed features
  • Every bug is prioritized as Critical
  • Project estimates magically match the budget
  • Developers use the excuse of ’self documenting code’ for no comments
  • Your spouse only gets to see you on a webcam
  • Your boss expects you to spend the next 2 days creating a purchase request for a $50 component
  • “Oh, oh, and I almost forgot. Ahh, I’m also gonna need you to go ahead and come in on Sunday, too… thanks”

101 Ways to Know Your Software Project is Doomed

Check out more funny stuff at Web-Funny!

Feb 06

We interrupt your regular programming to bring you these entertaining computer programming videos…

If Programmers Built Planes

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Feb 05

You know it’s time to find a new job when your boss buys you one of these chairs:

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