I found out last week that my coworkers were all unaware of what’s been happening to Ethernet while they weren’t looking. See, Ethernet, all of the way up through Gigabit was mostly reasonable. First, they’d make some bad standards, like 10BASE5 or all of the weird not-quite-100BASE-TX standards or the time delay between 1000BASE-CX and 1000BASE-T where Gigabit Ethernet required shielded-twisted pair. Then they’d figure it out and we’d all get a reasonable standard for things that everybody was cool with, where the early-adopters generally were annoyed, but not overly so because they knew what they were getting into.
A long long time ago, I followed Derek Powazek's "Savvy Approach to Copyright Messaging" because, of all of the possible ways to reduce the chances of my images getting borrowed by other folks on the Internet, it seemed to be the best. I see DRM as a fairly dangerous technical equivalent of fighting windmills... It only works if you create a set of laws to enforce compliance which only serves to create new and more annoying problems for the world. And obtrusive watermarks are just lame and ruin the enjoyment of the image. By comparison, Derek's method adds a little nubbin on the bottom of the image, but then hides it. Which means that the second you view the image outside of the context of the hosting site, you see a reference to where it came from. However, as I'm moving all of the sites I host over to the new rm3 engine, I wanted to figure out how to make that trick work with responsive images, which I haven't seen anyone document how to do yet.
While I was in the midst of transitioning from a software developer to a manager of software development, I was sitting in a Belgian bar drinking beer with a British gentleman on vacation who managed hotels. And so we got to talking about what it meant to be the boss outside of considerations of programmers, programming languages, wait staff, and housekeepers. I asked him what would happen if he tried to hire someone who had never worked in a hotel to manage one and he explained the disaster that would be. It's pretty much the same disaster you get if you hire someone with no software experience ever to manage a team of software developers...
One of my favorite DevOps thought leaders thinks I'm nuts. He's right. People should not run their own mail infrastructure, monitoring infrastructure, or DNS infrastructure. On the other hand I kinda started doing it a long time ago and it's worked out pretty well for me, so why should I change?
I'm on a monomaniacal littlechef quest at home. See, I burned a weekend helping a friend set up her chef and vagrant infrastructure some months ago. And I wrote about it. And I figured that it would eventually get back to it and re-do all of my servers. Then I spent some time in sysadmin hell and ended up needing to re-construct my sites from the backups and realized that now was the time to fix this.
Making APIs is both easy and hard. See, it's one thing for a software engineer to make a piece of software aimed at a musician or artist who is deeply scared of what horrors lurk inside the chassis, because it's often times coming from a fear that you may have never understood. Writing APIs is different because you presumably are writing for someone who is closer to a like-minded individual....
So one of my friends has a really great idea. I'm not sure if it's a
profitable idea, but it's something that needs to be made. And so I made
them dinner and gave them an overview of potential technological issues,
given that it's something I know pretty well.
We've got this silly tendency to glamorize the concept of being irreplaceable. "Yay!" you say, "I can be so cool that, even if I have a bad day, the company will lay every other engineer off before they get rid of me! I'm irreplaceable!" This is often about luck. Being the last guy to actually understand JCL at a shop that can't quite get rid of their last mainframe, for example. This isn't something you plan for.
I, of course, didn't pay for my iPad. Which kinda blows the cost-effectiveness argument out the window for me. And along these lines, if iPads were to grow on trees, I'd pick at least a half dozen of them to be distributed through my living space. Because that's how cool they are...
I got an iPad at work as a reward for exactly how above-and-beyond I've gone. Which is coincidentally not very long after I got myself a Motorola Droid and said a number of things about Steve Jobs' mother to Ajit. Which now means that Ajit got a lot of joy out of congratulating me on acquiring my new Apple toy...
All useful computing devices must be able to emulate an Apple IIe (or Commodore 64, for that matter). If you aren't allowed to, it's too restricted. If it's not capable of it, it's too slow. If nobody's ported an emulator yet, it sucks or is too hard to program.