Thursday, January 27, 2005

Pair Programming

A few days ago we received our first project for CS 315, and it's much simpler than I thought it would be. All we have to do is fill in the implementation for a Date calculator. So you can add and subtract days and such and figure out what the date would be according to the Gregorian calendar. We're required to work in pairs on this project and reccomended to on future ones. I must say that I'm impressed with how well pair programming works. The concept is that if one person is writing code while the other watches, the chances of making mistakes in logic or semantically are rather slim because the other person will catch your mistakes. This saves a lot of debugging time and even just the time to code it up since two heads can think up better algorithms than one. I've met a few times with a friend of mine on it and I think we're making progress on this concept. We've gotten quite a bit of the code done and it is more enjoyable when you get used to the other person since you get more done and you have someone to talk with during breaks and stuff. It also makes writing test code less daunting when you have another person to help you along. Our teacher put up a great article about the rules of pair programming and how similar they are to Kindergarden rules.

Moving along, the movie news today is rather short. Star Wars fans may be pleased to see the introductory text for Episode 3 online, but I still feel indifferent about it. I'm only gonna watch it because from the looks of the trailer it seems like Yoda may have another sweet fight scene. If anyone is interested in an affordable solution to transfer VHS tapes to DVD, read this great article about the choices available right now. I'd rather just wait for the next generation of DVDs myself. The last thing I want to mention is the release of the trailer for the Gunner Palace movie. It's a documentary about the war in Iraq told from the side of the soldiers there. Obviously it was shot back in like 2003 through some of 2004, but it looks really cool and really true from the little I've heard from my cousin who's is currently serving in the war. The website has a cool blog on it, and my favorite picture from it is this:

Keep on jammin'

In other news, Microsoft thinks they can tackle more piracy offenders by requiring participation in some special program to get updates from their sites. Given the bugginess of SP2, I don't see why people would even care. I have a legal copy and not even I bother to update it. I wonder if Linux has less security holes because dowloading 50 security patches is very disconcerting. If any of you are Mac Mini fans you may be part of the petite-PC revolution. I personally think that that article is biased and that the Mini sucks. I guess it's ok for the casual user, but it's such a weak computer!

If you like reading about breakthroughs in technological research you'll enjoy this article. Apparently, some computer science badasses as Cornell have been developing software that converts images into sound to help blind people experience colors. I think it's a noble effort and I hope they get far in it.

Now for your dose of dumb news today. Some insensitive DJ in New York made a song that pokes fun at the victims of the tsunamis is Southeast Asia. The lyrics are pretty despicable and I'm amazed at how cruel she is. Meanwhile, Ringo Starr is somewhere saving the world. Sound weird? Yes, it is. For some unknown reason Stan Lee is making a comic out of the Beatles member, and I think that he's finally lost his touch.

Now for a couple of cool things before the meme. When I mentioned that Google search engine for tv shows I neglected to provide a link to the actual site. Well, now I have one! So turn on the tv, pick out a quote, and search for it. It's still in beta but fun to play around with nonetheless. The other cool thing is something called an artPad where you can do a little drawing and send it to your friends. The neat part is that it records the whole process of you drawing it so your friends can see. You can see my craptacular art skills here, and please comment with your own!

And now for the Thursday Bookworm:

1. We've all heard the phrase, "Don't judge a book by its cover." Have you ever picked up a book based solely on the title or the picture on the cover?
Yes, but that's mainly for research papers and stuff like that. I have also done that for a few guitar books though. Usually when I pick up a book, I recognize the author or I remember it from somewhere somehow. I don't get enough time to judge books by their cover for pleasure =P

2. Along the same lines, do you ever look at whichever book someone else is reading in public or whatnot, and based on that make a snap judgment about their character or literary taste?
Not really since I'm on a college campus. Most people read the books they read because they need it for some type of class, and when I rode the bus to go to work in the summer I only saw people reading the newspaper. I wonder if people judged me on the bus though for reading my gigantic Java book (which I did finish for the most part anyway).

3. Do you buy books online? If so, where is your favorite place to find them?
I mostly use All Book Stores and Book Finder, but is my reference tool like it is for everyone else and also where I keep my wish list.

4. From someone who's had more than her fair share of library fines... what is the largest late fee you've ever incurred at a library for returning a book past the due date? Have you ever borrowed a book from a library and never returned it?
Probably a quarter, I'm pretty good about returning books.

5. What is the first book that you can remember reading by yourself as a child?
As I've mentioned before, James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl is all I can remember. If you haven't read this book you should be ashamed of yourself and immediately run out and get it!


Brandie said...

I am properly ashamed and will add James and the Giant Peach to my must-read list immediately. :)

Thanks for playing along this week! I hope you have a good week this week.

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