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Comment Homebrew makes a lot of sense (Score 1) 79

At first I wasn't sure if it was the OS X package manager or the Vagrant VM... okay it's the package manager.

That makes a LOT of sense. Many of those package install scripts are handled by someone dedicated to that project who wants it working on their Mac. So there's hundreds of different build scripts with a large variety of project maintainers. In this case they'd probably be better off separating the build script authors from the main project authors, that would probably drop the track factor of Homebrew by a lot. Being able to make a build script for top for example doesn't mean you can maintain the homebrew project itself.

Comment Re:Does Ultima Online help with burnout? (Score 1) 75

For me, what helps is messing around with "side projects" that are not perhaps officially sanctioned, but are tangentially related to my job. You'll want to be careful with these, some bosses may not appreciate it, but perhaps it's not programming that's the problem but the company you're working for...

So for example, hacking into our software to expose security flaws. Spent a day screwing around and turning a "theoretical" problem into a real one and upping the priority of security in general.

Reading up on SQL... on a paper book, out in the sun by a pool.

Setting up a testing framework and getting coverage up from 0%. (Sad I know)

Refactoring code that just bugs me.

Learning about password cracking and *ahem* verifying the suitability of our hashing algorithm.

Playing with VMs and setting up a proper dev environment.

Googling around for hacks and cracks for our stuff.

Okay so most of these are perfectly normal software development tasks, but the trick is, I didn't get permission to do them. They're far enough away from my usual work that I can switch over to them instead when I'm tired of the long haul project that never seems to end.

It's not making a NES emulator on my spare time or anything, but taking breaks and switching around can keep you from total burnout.

Comment Why can't it auto-update? (Score 1) 71

Drives me nuts ever week or so asking me to install updates. It's a stupid pop-up updated app that gets triggered when a page with flash is loaded.

Yes I understand that running a browser non-stop for weeks goes against their updating philosophy. Too bad. The constant "Update now!" alerts just make their users more likely to fall for phishing scams.

Instead, if you can't update your plugin on already loaded pages... Refactor your app.

Make the bit loaded by the browser a wrapper that can allow its back end to update when convenient. Otherwise everyone who uses tabs is going to hate you. (Those who don't already)

Comment Divide by zero != zero (Score 1) 1067

Easiest way to see this is by graphing 1/x

Notice from the negative side y is approaching - infinity as x nears 0, but from the positive side, when x approaches 0 y is becoming + infinity.

So it's not the same as multiplying by 0 where everything results in 0. It's really and truly undefined. You can't average +/- infinity and get 0, it's the gap between them. It doesn't exist.

If you ignore a divide by zero, your results will be unpredictable and often nonsensical. For example:
The classic algebra trick to "prove" 1 = 2

"In the face of entropy and nothingness, you kind of have to pretend it's not there if you want to keep writing good code." -- Karl Lehenbauer