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Comment The lesser evil (Score 1) 210

I worked for a company with PHBs above me as far as the eye could see. The word came down to reduce the bug count. Incentives were tied to the bug count coming down. The good news is that bugs were closed. The bad news is that many of those bugs were not fixed. So, yay, goal achieved, I guess, but now we didn't know what was broken, in many cases.

I left without waiting to find out whether there was a perceived drop in quality, with more incentives for filing bug reports, (many of which were closed but not fixed in the first round of incentives).

Comment So much stupid (Score 5, Informative) 175

Among the great revelations of relational databases was the JOIN command. With JOIN, we could save disk space by removing repeated fields like city, state, and ZIP code. By storing this frequently accessed and repeated data in separate tables that can be included in future results through a JOIN, we keep our database tidy and our disks slim. But JOINs can be tricky for some and hard on RAM, and though it's still a good idea to isolate and access data in separate tables through JOINs, there's not as much need to save disk space now that disk drives are measured in multiple terabytes. The space is so cheap that some database designers end up denormalizing their data because the JOINs are too slow.

This is just so wrong. If you store, let's say, city/state/zip redundantly, then you run the risk of having the copies, that should be kept synchronized, diverge. This is especially true in the absence of all-or-none transactions. And not to mention the fact that having to update the "same" datum in multiple places is going to affect performance.

Comment Re:Contacting Server... (Score 2) 238

Heh heh heh.

And then there are dumb programmers. I was working on a server product, which could be accessed by a browser. IE something.something used to put up a generic "... or contact Microsoft support" message when the server being contacted wasn't responsive. We were debugging a server, so of course it wasn't responsive. This dummy was seriously arguing with me that the right course of action was to call Microsoft support.

(He wan't a novice. He was experienced, in the sense that he has been pressing buttons attached to a computer for many years. But a dummy.)

Comment Becoming AOL (Score 4, Insightful) 233

Microsoft is becoming AOL. A crappy, proprietary, expensive, unreliable impediment to getting onto the internet. Their applications have plateaued, and open-source desktop and web-based competitors are improving rapidly. They'll hang on longer, but they've begun their long decline.

Comment Really bad review (Score 3, Interesting) 523

I suppose writers, spreadsheet jockeys, and developers all have to share the "generic" category, which doesn't seem right.

In the generic category, they are going for cool appearance (interesting materials, backlight) over functionality, key layout, tactile feedback, and durability. How else to explain the complete absence of any "clicky" keyboards? The old IBM keyboards are still available. They are fantastic, I'm using one right now. And there are newer keyboards with similar mechanisms -- I expect that they are very good but I haven't tried them.

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