My first book of software horror stories, 'ship that pig', is done. Let me know if you want a copy. Digital copies are "free" as long as I know who's getting them, and paper copies are $5 plus shipping.
Slashdot videos: Now with more Slashdot!
We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).
Is there a graph of the number of slashdot users over time somewhere? I joined in about july of 1997, and I guess I joined right in the initial flood of users.
It is 2007, and technology continues to advance at an amazing pace. But to what end? What would the ultimate computer of the future be capable of? Using the paradigm of today's PC's, I propose the following measures for determining that we have built an "ultimate computer":
1. Even with its throughput maxed out, it would take you a lifetime (~80 years) to fill the capacity alloted when you purchased the system (might not require local storage).
2. The computer can run all available applications simultaneously without a noticable performance impact.
3. The computer can run any application or access any data from over the internet at least as fast as it can access the information from any local media.
4. All your documents and information are available securely from any computer, regardless of which computer has actually stored them.
5. Any foreign document can open with a virtualization of the program it requires, with no delay, just as if the program were already installed.
More? Are these all a complete joke? With the availability of 37 Terabyte HDD's pending, I think the ultimate computer may be closer than we realize.
The Register reports through an expert interview that the so-called Bosnian pyramids may in fact be a natural phenomenon. The photographs of the excavation appear to tell a different story, especially the incredibly artifical-looking surface stone tiling. So are these real man-made pyramids, or are they naturally occurring river rock that happened to shatter into a pattern that looks just like man-made stonework?
For some reason, comments that I figure would normally be modded as 'funny' are now getting modded as 'troll'... I don't think I'm getting that much more jaded, I actually have been in a good mood, so there must be someone out there taking things kinda hard. IMHO, "Troll" is supposed to be for comments that incite people to get into a tirade, "Flamebait" is a subset of "Troll" but limited to on-topic comments. Am I totally off base here?
Here's a test to see how bad documentation has become. Grab the doc from the software company that wrote your favorite app/language/etc. and tell me:
what a sample call looks like in context (i.e. a multi-line source snippet)?
what types of parameters I can call it with? Do we know the base classes, etc.?
what happens when I call it with a NULL parameter? Error messages that may eminate and why?
If there is a question as to what kind of information should be provided
in the documentation, refer to user/programming manuals from a
few years back. They used to have all this information in them; in fact,
you could practically learn the product from scratch using the manual.
Now I have to go buy 5-10 third-party books and even then I don't get the
whole picture. A single, modest-sized programming manual can cover every
example needed for a day-to-day development reference. Developers
shouldn't have to spend hours doing research and support just to find out
how any given function of the product is supposed to work, don't you
agree? I don't think an experienced developer should need to memorize
everything from a $3000 class (because there's no written manual anywhere)
in order to navigate the app either. Any software is only as
useful as its manuals allow it to be.
With the efforts of a billionaire or a hedge fund, could people band together and start to buy the rights away from record labels? I think they could. If the market truly wants to allow freedom to use your purchased music, and the labels aren't compatible, why don't we all just buy the complete rights to catalogs one at a time until we have them all. If the hedge company legally owns the music, it can be distributed as they see fit, which should be "buy once, play anywhere", IMHO.
I am looking for true IT-related horror stories (brief anecdotes are fine) that I can use for a book I'm writing. The book discusses how any given IT worker encounters confounding and stressful situations at any time. I will also discuss solutions which although obvious, are ignored by management to the detriment of the IT workforce. Since I'll have to anonymize the stories in the book, I can probably get you a t-shirt or a signed copy for your contribution, *IF* I am able to get a good publishing deal.
Related links/stories: http://politics.slashdot.org/politics/06/08/18/132233.shtml
The first computer I personally used was a Macintosh. I mean the original, Circa 1984. I used many computers more "out of date" than that over the years, though. The first computer I personally owned was an IBM PC XT, 1.0 Mhz, 10 MB HDD! Oh yeah, the games were rockin' on that thing. I often reminisce about the days of yore, playing Ultima 3, 4, 5 on Apple hardware, going through Mad Magazine for the logo program to draw some hideous picture on the screen... great stuff. Anyone else remember the good old/new/older days?
Someone recently commented that "If it wasn't for the Bible, the USA wouldn't be here." That's true, but for a different reason than first meets the eye. The Bible caused our forefathers to flee their countries and move to create the USA -- so they would be FREE FROM state-mandated religions. They didn't come here to establish a country in the name of a particular religion. They may have been fueled by religion to do certain things, but they certainly didn't write it into the constitution explicitly, because that's exactly what they were trying to get away from.
When people say to stop and smell the roses in life, they mean that life's not all about hard facts. It's interesting to read opinions. Fiction is an opinion. Poems are opinions. Art is an opinion. If we were to all assume that opinions were worthless unless we knew their source to be of a certain pedigree, we would be restricting our world view considerably. We'd probably end up not enjoying things as much as we ought to. I urge everyone to simply enjoy life and not worry about whether person A's opinions matter "more" than person B's, because A has XYZ and B doesn't. If I have a billion dollars, does that make my opinions more correct than yours? Of course not, they're opinions, not facts.