Category Archives: ruminations

The Internet can’t decide how old I am

Several articles came out a little while ago on Google’s ad preference settings and the fairly specific profile they keep on you, but I had already become intrigued by another online age measurement almost as explicit- match.com ads. Now I have … Continue reading

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Nagging is a process smell

Every office I’ve ever worked in has had both a messy kitchen and a kitchen scold who hated the messiness of the kitchen. They put up signs on the microwave about your mother not working there and they send out … Continue reading

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Building a new computer

Somehow I had managed to get this far in life without ever having assembled my own computer. Sad, but true. But when my 5-year-old Dell kicked the can a few weeks ago, I had a good excuse. Planning After looking … Continue reading

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Book Review: Dealers of Lightning

Michael Hiltzik wrote his account of Xerox PARC (Palo Alto Research Center) years ago, but Dealers of Lightning: Xerox PARC and the Dawn of the Computer Age never seemed to get as much attention as it should have, and it’s … Continue reading

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The Incredibles revisited, or how we like technology

Watching The Incredibles again six years after it came out, I enjoyed it just as much as the first time, and I again admired the way it played off typical American themes, but this time another thought stood out. The … Continue reading

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Developers’ Learned Helplessness

In the 1960s, psychologists experimenting on dogs found that subjects given electric shocks with no hope of relief learned to be helpless. Even in subsequent experiments that did provide a means of escaping the pain, the dogs passively submitted without … Continue reading

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Chess and functional programming

One of the most surprising things about learning to play chess is that the middle game is a lot harder than the opening or end game. In the opening after all, there aren’t many moves that are even possible, 20 … Continue reading

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Agile in practice

Software development models are almost as malleable and tractile as software itself. There are no absolutes in how to get from start to finish, no building inspections to pass, no physical structures or environments dictating what has to happen when. … Continue reading

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