Joe Ganley
Writing code since 1979
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, woodworking, and home improvement. Also this.


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Friday, August 31, 2001

There is an
Washington Post article today in which a bunch of travel agents are whining about airlines reducing their commissions. Well, as far as I'm concerned, the airlines should eliminate their commissions; the days in which that business model made sense are over. If people want help booking travel, let them pay for it directly; for most people, simply buying an airline ticket, it makes much more sense to do it online themselves. Of course, I have a pair of potential biases: Nearly every travel agent I've ever dealt with regularly messed up in one way or another, and plus I'm a control freak.

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Thursday, August 30, 2001

Sigh. When I first heard of the Compaq iPaq Music Center, I thought it was my long-awaited "ReplayRadio." Then, on closer examination, I notice it doesn't have a radio tuner! Furthermore, for $800, you could buy an entire PC and dedicate it to the same purpose. Sometimes I have to wonder what (or whether) companies are thinking when they design certain products.

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Saturday, August 25, 2001

As promised, I'm focusing my reading solely on stuff that is on my wish list. The first five I've knocked off:
- A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers. This was really uneven; I loved the first third, the middle third was pretty good, and I had to force myself to read the last third. Get it, but if you're not hooked by the time you get to the interview, drop it.
- The Hook by Donald E. Westlake. Very good, if slightly disturbing.
- The Blue Nowhere by Jeffery Deaver. Great thriller, though its portrayal of computers and the people who use them was a little cheesy.
- 1st To Die by James Patterson. He really knows how to write a thriller. This one was good, though not up to his best.
- American Gods by Neil Gaiman. This was interesting, but I wanted to like it a lot more than I actually did. A little overambitious, I think, but interesting, and worth reading.
I also axed a bunch of books from the wish list about which I had to admit that, as interesting as they might look, I was never going to read them.

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Wednesday, August 15, 2001

With the recent 20-year anniversary of the original IBM PC, several times I've heard the old story of how IBM first approached Digital Research to buy DR-DOS, but Digital Research didn't like their terms, so they went and bought MS-DOS from Microsoft instead. I find myself wondering how the world would look now if DR hadn't made that mistake. Would they, or some other hegemony, have created the same sort of mediocre near-homogeneity we see now? Or would the OS market be fragmented into a bunch of legitimate choices? Would that be a good thing or a bad one? Certainly it seems to me it would be a good thing if great operating systems like the BeOS stood a chance: could get enough market share that significant third-party developers would write for them. Probably Apple would be a greater power than they are now, though certainly many of their mistakes are no fault of Microsoft's. Also, Go might still be around, and then who knows what the PDA market might look like now? Certainly the world would be a different place than it is now, and I guess I have to think that it would be a better one, absent Microsoft's strong-arm business tactics and their attitude of market share at all costs, that it's just fine to ship lousy software as long as people will still buy it, and that it's better to add a feature that will entice more people to buy than to fix a bug that annoys zillions of people, but few of them badly enough to make them go to a competitor (where there even is one).

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Thursday, August 02, 2001

Weird: Just today I found myself wondering what ever happened to Living Colour, and then tonight I see that they are playing here on Saturday. Plate of shrimp.

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Copyright (c) 1988-2004 by Joseph L. Ganley. All rights reserved except where otherwise noted.