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Comment The Manga Guide to Databases (Score 1) 106

The Manga Guide to Databases is the best introduction to (relational) databases I've come across. It provides an entertaining and thorough overview of database terminology and concepts. I've used this book for years with junior engineers and interns who have all loved it, and the DBAs I've loaned it to were impressed by how much ground the book covers.

Comment Formatting is the IDE's job (Score 1) 479

There are best practices and rules a programmer should follow and those should be set at the team that "style" if you want. But formatting? Who cares? The IDE takes care of that. If the diff engine on your IDE or repository can't tell the difference between code changes and whitespace changes then something's wrong. I was on a (Java) project where half the team liked braces on a new line and half didn't. When I worked on code written by someone else, the first thing I'd do is hit alt-shift-F (Netbeans) to reformat the code. I'd do the same if I pasted some code...reformat the file to get the new code formatted the right way.

Our SVN repository wasn't glutted with meaningless diffs and I didn't face hundreds of conflicts when updating code. In this modern age (despite the lack of flying cars) it's silly to have to conform to one standard to make the software happy. Software works for us, not the other way around. I use software to format code the way I'm most comfortable with...why should everyone compromise so no one is happy? Just set up your tools properly and stop worrying about formatting.

Comment It helps me and my ADD (Score 1) 405

I'm a coder and I've found I'm much more productive when I'm listening to music through headphones (usually the Foo Fighters or 311). Without music I'm much more prone to distraction, and not just from office noises. I'm more inclined to get a random thought and end up surfing the web when I'm not listening to music. Meds will help me stay in the zone but music definitely increases my productivity, on or off meds.

Comment Let me know when you get new stuff... (Score 1) 508

...I'll be by to take it because you don't seem very bright.

You announce on Twitter when you leave your house ("Off to IKEA!"), you're too cheap to pay for ADT (or even ADT signs and stickers), yet you don't mind paying for equipment so you can sit around and monitor your home.

Let me know when you get the webcams up and running...I'm sure you'll fail to change the default password. I'd rather use the webcams to see when you leave rather than following you on Twitter.

Comment Hardware dongle ftw! (Score 1) 635

We faced a similar problem once upon a time and used a USB key from Wibu as the solution ( - they have a newer product out now). It's been a few years since I worked on the project but in general what we did was used the key to decrypt small, critical portions of the code. The software couldn't run without the key and it was non-trivial to patch the code to an unencrypted state. No solution is perfect but that worked for us.

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