I have been a professional software engineer for over 10 years.
I have written many kinds of software, but my particular strengths are interactive graphics applications,
compilers and interpreters, and algorithms.
I also enjoy writing,
Saturday, June 24, 2000
I've always loved my 1994 World-Wide Web Conference t-shirt
(conference subtitle: "Mosaic and the Web" - ha!),
but I never wear it, and I'm very unsentimental about keeping things I don't use, so I'm
selling it on eBay.
Update: No takers. I guess people aren't quite as nostalgic as I expected.
Friday, June 23, 2000
Knowing your target market: One of the predominant banner ads on the San Jose
Mercury-News web site right now is the "E-Country" ad for Fairfax County, Virginia,
a nearly utopic area (all things considered) that happens to be my home. As a native Virginian and Silicon Valley escapee, I find delicious
irony in this.
Thursday, June 22, 2000
Factoid: the two meanings of the word maroon -- to be stranded, as on a desert
island, versus the burgundy-like color -- have completely unrelated etymologies. I wonder if there are other examples of this?
Friday, June 16, 2000
Apparently, encouraged by the success of the
Riding the Bullet,
is going to try allowing readers to download installments of
an old short story, "The Plant," from his web site, and then expects them
to send him money once they've done so. Now, I'm all for an artist's
right to make money from his work, and I certainly don't believe the old
adage "information wants to be free," but I have to believe that King already has
enough money to live comfortably for the rest of his life. Why not just
give this story away outright? Of course, by leaving people to the honor
system, he's practically doing just that, but why not make it explicit?
It's not even like it's new work; it's something he shelved over a decade
ago. Update: Interesting SlashDot article
about his payment scheme, pointing it out its shortcomings (which is all
I was trying to do, for those of who took this to mean I think intellectual property
should be free, which I certainly do not).
Wednesday, June 14, 2000
Last night we watched
AFI's top 100 comedies.
A lot of great movies, but sadly two of my favorite comedies were
Fletch (a subjective choice, I admit) and
The Blues Brothers (just plain robbed).
Meanwhile, a few godawful movies were in there, such as
City Slickers and
Mrs. Doubtfire. Go figure.
Tuesday, June 6, 2000
The big news in the travel industry these days is that
biztravel.com is offering
guarantees on a variety of services; for example, they'll refund some
or all of your money if you flight arrives over 30 minutes late.
Of course, this guarantee doesn't apply to the only carrier I use,
United, probably because their on-time
record is so pathetic that guaranteeing their promptness would
bankrupt biztravel.com. Sigh.
Sunday, June 4, 2000
I went to the Kemper Open today with my wife Cathy, her brother Chris, and his wife Karen. Gorgeous day to be outside all day.
We were checking out the leader board, when all of a sudden Chris and I exclaimed excitedly (and simultaneously), "Hey, that scoreboard is mechanical!"
(The wives called us geeks; guilty as charged.)
Anyway, on closer inspection this board was a grid of about 240 x 60
little cubes, black on one side and tennis-ball yellow on the other. To form
an image, it just flips the cubes appropriately (all at once, which makes
a really cool noise if you're close enough to hear it).
Just like the computer displays in
The Difference Engine!
I am at a loss to devise a way to do this kind of 2-D addressing mechanically,
and a cursory web search turns up no useful information.
Monday, May 29, 2000
Clearing a few days' backlog:
- Santa Fe genius Dave Weininger.
- I love my PalmPilot, but imagine having it on your wrist!
- Time on your hands? Decrypt a numbers station.
Thursday, May 25, 2000
Incredible photographer: Scott
Highton. Ran across this while looking for the
Pass wind farm.
Saw Mission: Impossible 2
I've always told people how in Silicon Valley, you see hiring ads from
high-tech companies projected on the screen before movies in theaters.
Well, I saw my first one in Northern Virginia last night. I guess we're
really getting... um, I lack the right adjective here.