(Totally random.)

  • A marketer who thinks he can program is as annoying as a programmer who thinks he can market.
    I can’t go into specifics about the programmer, other than to recommend against asking marketing to forge an industry alliance so you can get a free, high-end notebook computer. As they say, “Nice try.”)

    I will, however, speak to the Tale of the Marketer Who Thought He Was Technical.
    A beta customer ran across a deficiency in my product. The engineers have other, bigger fish to fry, meaning it’s not going to be addressed before we release the software. Mostly to placate the customer, partly for technical challenge, and a teensy-bit because I feel sleighted by no mention in the Help -> About dialog, I worked out an elegant way around the limitation using our home-spun scripting language. I thought. I was sailing through the implementation then, after an hour of deciphering cryptic error messages came the coup de grace: our home-spun scripting language cannot handle variables in arrays.

    Plan B was to dust off my C/C++ programming skills and use the developer’s kit we provide for people who want to wire their swanky applications into ours. There was a lot of dust. The last time I did compiled programming full-time was when I was a research assistant. My project involved building the framework for massively parallel grant generation devices employed by senior faculty. Alas, the trauma of programming assembly language hacks used by the bug-infested C++ translator was too much a cross to bear.

    I’ve given up on this idea after four hours of doing battle with the Rube Goldberg-inspired development tools. Three of the examples do not work and the documentation is created by one of those nefarious automated budget tools bereft of a search engine. Plan C is to remain humbled, but still try subtrifuge (bribing) someone to try cranking this out over their lunch break. Plan D is to write a perl-script to generate home-spun macro code with hard-coded values. Be afraid, technical issue; it’s now personal.

    On the plus side, the linux-half of my dual-boot laptop is very impressive. Whereas Slackware circa 1995 required intimate knowledge of the horizontal and vertical refresh rates and pixel offsets of my Sony monitor to use the windowing environment, SuSE 10 recognized and correctly configured everything on my machine, including my wireless, printer, external mouse and office-ish applications. If they could get all of the keyboard shortcuts working consistently, I would consider switching.

  • I hate instant messaging I’m almost at the point where I’m going to give up on email. I’m backlogged somewhere in the thousands of messages, and that’s after deleting all the obvious spam. (If you haven’t heard from me in a couple of months, that’s why.) Lately, Google’s been force-feeding its own “chat” function to gmail users. Last week I happened to be on the same time as Lisa. She caught me in chat and regrettably I wasn’t in the most pleasant demeanor. Lisa: it had nothing to do with you. Really!
  • Clear weather = bleeping cold Saturday morning, I dragged my oldest to the Seattle Bike Expo to keep the wallet canage managable, though I really wanted to watch the BMX/mountain bike guys do their stunts. I grabbed a ton of sheets on rides and updated the ride calendar.

    Sunday morning I donned
    a triple-layer melange of artificial fabrics and went on a long ride around the sound. When I left, it was sunny and 18°F, definitely the coldest I’ve biked in. The monster downhill was painfully cold, but once at sea-level, I reached the happy medium.

  • I just can’t get interested in the Olympics. Kudos to Mitch for his positive take on the first few days.

    When I was a kid, the Olympics were held every fourth year, stupid boycotts notwithstanding. It was a family event, and we were glued to the set. Then, after the 1992 games, the Olympics went biennial, alternating the summer and winter components. It’s a bit much, especially when tainted by the IOC’s United Nations-like scandals.

    I might be able to ignore this if there weren’t so many flipping commercials.. NBC paid $613 million for the broadcast rights to Turin, which they’ll try to offset by saturation bombing viewers. Don’t they also know featuring an athlete in a commercial before the actual competition jinxes them even more than all the wild partying?

    Another thing that tainted it for me was the influx of professional athletes. Even though I hate basketball, the Dream Team‘s sheer dominance was initially amusing. The redux was kind of embarrassing.

6 thoughts on “Stuff”

  1. People watch the Olympics on NBC? I try that every now and then when there are commercials on or events I don’t care to watch on CBC. (Thankfully I live in Washington so I can watch CBC. I don’t how I managed to put up with the American channels for so many years.)

  2. I think I saw you pulling into the Bike Expo on the Bike Friday (on Sunday). I also rode over from the eastside and damn it was cold. Watch CBCs Olympic coverage it’s so much more impartial and there are fewer commercials.

  3. Olympics are commercialize. I hate them. Supported by Nike, IBM, etc. I dont care. After the fiasco of the SLC games where the ice skating scandal was so apparent on TV, it does nothing for me. Good thing NCIS and 24 is not NBC.

  4. I’ve only been watching the Women’s Curling. My wife hates housework, so it’s the only time I get to see women and brooms in the same picture.

  5. John — I find curling strangely fascinating, maybe because I’m wondering why it’s a sport. It seems a lot like bowling.

    Jonny – Yep, that was me. I dropped in to use the facilities and briefly considered in going in a second day to browse bikes while unencumbered by my oldest, whose college fund I’d be tapping into to satisfy my bikelust. 🙂

  6. Switching

    I was very close to switching over a full-time linux (ubuntu) when I started doing contract development work, and then I picked up a Mac mini for testing.

    Let’s just say I don’t use my windows or linux box a whole lot anymore.

    I would never have thought that I, who had so thouroughly given up on Apple in 1995 would find myself pricing out MacBook Pro’s, but all I can say is that it’s like have a really polished *Nix machine.

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