Please don’t title your post “Conference Update”

Everyone at FUDcon posts a FUDcon update. Everyone at OLS posts and OLS update. They come in massive blocks, and I personally can’t process them all. Adam doesn’t scale. Instead, please post a shorter post with the crucial piece or pieces that you’ve learned, and title it that way. You can mention that you learned it at Fudcon, but please provide a better orienting title to you post. I do really want to read them. Since I can’t make it to all the conferences, I count on you, the community, to provide a filter.


Don’t hit publish on the blog when you just want to save a draft.

Big Builds are Bad. Software should be developed and distributed in small packages. Linux is successful due to things like apt, yum, and yast.

Interface Specifications need to be more specific.  Just saying that something is a string is not really helpful if that something needs to conform to a pattern.

Programming and blogging requires sugar in the brain.

Interviews are tricky…on both sides of the table. Career fairs are worse.

C++ Has a lot of magic in it. Can we make type level programming more transparent?

Microsoft purchasing Yahoo would be good for Google, but bad for just about everyone else.

Being a Dad is really cool. Even when it sucks, it is great. Sometimes kids refuse to go to sleep. This leads to sleep deprivation, but also leads to really wonderful moments in rocking chair in the middle of the night.

Pool is a great Geek game. Lower left-hand English is neat.

Snowshoes are good off the trail. Not so good on the trail. If your going on the trail, take the cross country skis. Snowmobiles smell funny.

New Hampshire winter weather is still as brutal today as it was when I left the area in the early ’90s.

It is hard to sing a Jazzy version of Old MacDonald had a Farm.  It is harder to do after the tenth repetition while trying to get a child to fall asleep.
If you listen to Children’s CDs long enough, you will develop favorite children’s songs. I like the hippo song.

Is there really a difference between the Ethernet and SCSI protocols? I don’t know, but it would be fun to find out.

The compiler is your friend. Let it check your work for you.

Why write code on a white board if you have a computer available? Especially if you have an overhead projector?

Where do the local peregrine falcons sleep? Where would they be sleeping if we hadn’t built up the whole area?

If I could have a redo on which language to take as a Sophomore, I would probably would have liked to take Chinese. Russian and Arabic would also do. German was not a good choice for me.

If Bush Senior had insisted on pushing to Baghdad, it would have been my generation in this mess as opposed to the current set of junior officers. Instead of Haiti, I would have gone to Basra or something.

There are too many interesting topics in the world to pursue them all, or even a small fraction of them.

Every philosopher I’ve read, especially the ones I disagree with, ave said something that is valuable and true.

No matter how old you are, when you get together with your parents, you revert to teenager status.

This list should never see the light of day.

Affiliate links

I keep getting comments from people along the lines of:  I just found you on Google search and added you to my Reader.  When I follow the links back to their web pages, they are marketing sites.  This is my blanket apology to all people who send such links:

I am more than willing to post your responses, and give you the links back you so desire.  But this blog has a minimum requirement for comments:  You have to show that you read the article, and then contribute something to a discussion on the topic at hand.  Note that just reading the article is not enough.  I am not going to make this a vehicle for spam.

If you are genuinely interested in the topic, by all means post, even if it is just to ask for more information.  I will certainly try to answer your question.  But again, don’t just fire off questions hoping to get the affiliate links.  I’m sorry, but that is just not how I am managing this site. The questions have to be something where the discussion would expand on the topic of the post.

I suspect that Google is smart enough at this point to identify blog sites and filter out links from them when calculating web page standings.

Hello world!

Whenever I contemplated starting a Web Log (yes, that is where Blog comes from) I could never justify putting it on someone else’s site. So, finally, I’ve decided to post it here on a site I administer, with a domain name that means something.

This blog is going to be a mix of history, self-analysis, technological discussions, music, perhaps a touch of politics, and random musings. I’ve been through enough in my 36 years that I feel, just maybe, I have something to say.

A little about me (in no particular order):

I am a software engineer. I’ve worked on a very varied set of software projects in my time as a coder. I hope to use this forum as a method to analyze what I have done, learn from it, and generate new ideas for future development. While there are a million blogs out there that cover software engineering, most come from a very specific direction (Java, PHP, eCommerce) and I hope to get a level above that.

Currently I work for Penguin Computing. I don’t mind saying the name of the company since I am leaving them on good terms in a couple of weeks. I am not leaving because I am unhappy in my job; I actually like it a lot. My reasons for leaving come from my desire to move across country. Penguin is a Linux company that has focused on High Performance Clustering, a very different type of system than enterprise development. My previous work was has covered eCommerce, reporting systems, database drive sites for health-care, and network storage configuration.

I am about to start working for a company in the Cambridge area that most people in the tech world have heard of, but fewer people in other fields. I’ll limit my discussions about things at work to general technical issues. My goal here is to avoid a conflict of interest.

I am a married man. My wife is currently finishing her PhD in biostatistics. Biostat is the mathematical modeling used in public health studies. Since I am a coder, and her work involves programming, I’ve helped her out and learned a thing or two about programming in R, the statistical language she uses.

My wife and I have a one year old son. Aside from the joy every father should feel in his child’s development, I am also fascinated by the opportunity to learn about learning. So much of programming is about developing systems that can handle wider and wider ranges of situation, it is fascinating to see the ultimate software/hardware system in it’s early development stage. Of course, sleep deprivation my inhibit my ability to really process a lot of this.