Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Catering to the Programmer

The fruit fly situation has improved, but the war still rages on. I can't help but feel that they've hidden away some eggs somewhere, but pest control will finally come tomorrow to give their diagnosis. More good news: I got a B+ on my CS 337 test (the average was an F), though I still have to own the last test for an A. I have something much more interesting to talk about today though: the development abstraction layer. Joel Spolsky may have put up his best post to date today about this topic, which isn't as complicated as the fancy name. As a leader in organizations, I've learned that the key is really to know how to delegate and to stay connected to your people. In a company though, things are a lot bigger, and the real world is a lot more complicated, so this doesn't cut it. What happens when you try it? You get a nasty hierarchy (*cough*IBM*cough*) where the "low-level" software developers get pretty bored with coming to work every day. So what's a manager to do? Their job is actually to abstract away everything around the programmer except for his task at hand. Essentially, what happens in the background stays in the background. If the Internet (or Intranet) goes down, that's one more pain in the butt distracting your most valuable resource. This is what makes Microsoft churn out good products (as much as you may hate them, you know that they have some good products because virile marketing alone can't sell something), and what keeps Googlers at Google. With perks like those at these companies, why ever even go home? If you have a family you'll want to see them, of course, but your bachelor will have so much fun that he'll want to stay there and he feels that what he does really drives the company. This is bigger than increasing productivity, this is pumping energy directly into the bloodstream of the company. I can definitely see a number of companies who have had company nights here who seem to subscribe to this philosophy, and I suppose I'll find out if TI does in under two months from now.

Another topic I was willing to talk to about today at length is a Boot Camp for Wintel boxes. There are a couple of popular views I've read and heard on podcasts. One is that Apple needs to start licensing Mac OS X to other manufacturers so that current Windows users will try it out since they're pretty set in their Windows ways and will be hard-pressed to plunk down the cash for a Mac all of a sudden. The other camp claims that rather than Boot Camp helping to sell Macs, its just helping sell more copies of XP since current Mac users can play games and use the applications they've longed for all these years. They also feel that Apple should sell OS X to PC users, but I respectfully disagree. That introduces all kinds of competition and will severely cut into Mac sales because a prettier box isn't enough to warrant a higher price than a clone. It'd only be a matter of time before they lose in benchmarks, but that's just what I think. I listened to TwiT talk to The Woz on April 1, and the Seattle Times has similar information in their print interview with him, so I recommend you check it out if you're interested in some personal computing history. Speaking of TwiT, they talked about this video of Bill Gates and Napoleon Dynamite on today's podcast, and it's hilarious. If you want to watch some fun Firefox ads and vote on them, then go here. It's a neat little contest they have going there with a few pretty great submissions. Lastly, you may soon see voice search on Google because of a patent they've filed. It could be that they're just reserving this technology so no one else does it, but I figure that it's probably more than that.

Click to enlargeA few more pictures have sprung up from X3, and I'm just glad that they're portraying Beast as we've come to know and love him. There are also some new pictures from Nacho Libre, but they're slightly less impressive. And if that wasn't enough, Tartan Films has released the final poster for Lady Vengeance, which is the final chapter in Chan-wook Park's revenge trilogy. I'm looking forward to seeing it, but I need to see the second one first. Yahoo! Movies has another clip from The Notorious Bettie Page for us, and Gretchen Mol never ceases to amaze me in that role. This movie should be pretty good. Latino Review has reviewed a draft of the screenplay for Spy Hunter, and they seem to think that it's a pretty fun B-movie, but that poster just looks so bad that it's distracting. Lastly, I have a couple of Silent Hill items. The first is information on how Roger Avary found some of his inspiration for writing the script, which supplemented what he got out of the video games. The other item is a very dark, grainy clip from the movie that has been bootlegged, and it doesn't show much more other than people running away and what looks to be Pyramid Head. He seems to be committing one his trademark gruesome executions, but it's hard to tell.

Now for some Tuesday Twosome action:


1. Two types of music you dislike most?

Country and techno. I just feel that a lot of techno is the same 10 second beat on repeat for like ten minutes, and country music is largely just dumb (though I'm partial to Leann Rimes, Patsy Cline, and Shania Twain).

2. Two types of food you dislike most?

Nasty vegetables and Arabic food. The former mainly refers to spinach, and the latter is probably just because I haven't had good Arabic food before.

3. Two types of TV programming you dislike most (reality, sitcoms, dramas, etc.) ?

Reality and day time talk shows. Reality shows have just become ridiculously stupid and pointless (The Real World actually did more harm than good for Austin), and day time talk shows are for middle-aged housewives.

4. Two celebrities you dislike most?
Tom Green and Papa Bear (Bill O'Reily). Both try too hard to get attention and both are morons.

5. Two conversation topics you dislike most (politics, family, employment, etc.) ?
Politics and my health. Politics just gets messy real fast, and it just pisses me off when family members call my skinny because those assholes were calling me a fatass not even five years ago, so they're in no position to talk. It's also annoying when people who don't work out much or at all try to advise me on what's wrong with my work out schedule and how I could be more muscular than I am right now by following their magic plan.

1 comment:

[Mat] said...

can't wait to see x3

congrats on the B+
Keep it up