Author's details

Date registered: 2016-03-15

Latest posts

  1. The paradox of plenty — 2016-05-04
  2. And we’re also back — 2016-03-15
  3. Why Java keeps plugging along — 2015-10-26
  4. A step-by-step walkthrough of public key signing — 2015-10-07
  5. A step-by-step walkthrough of public key cryptography — 2015-10-07

Most commented posts

  1. Six Word Stories about Programming Languages — 90 comments
  2. The Fourteen Types of Programmers — 26 comments
  3. More on James McGovern, Thought Follower — 12 comments
  4. The Fourteen Types of Programmers – Type 4: Lazy Ones — 12 comments
  5. Hrmmm — 11 comments

Author's posts listings

May 04

The paradox of plenty

My customer’s coffee area used to have three urns for coffee.   The standard practice was to make a new pot if you used up the last in the current pot. The pots were big, holding probably between 10 and 15 normal cups-sizes worth of coffee.     Unsurprisingly, I had to make coffee about …

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Mar 15

And we’re also back

Just like what happened on www.picobusiness.com, this wordpress site was compromised.  And I was able to restore this one in about 5 minutes, which is pretty cool.  The old style wasn’t available anymore.  Which might be a blessing 🙂

Oct 26

Why Java keeps plugging along

When I was a young programmer, COBOL was the primary “enterprise” business language. It had a few advantages: everyone knew it, hardware supported it, libraries extended it, no one got fired for using it. There were several other languages out there, that were used for various projects – FORTRAN, C, Pascal, Ada , to name …

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Oct 07

A step-by-step walkthrough of public key signing

Continuing on from my previous walkthrough on public-key cryptography, I also wanted to learn how you can sign documents using the private key, verifying the signature with the public key. The concept here is verification – was this message sent by someone with access to a specific private key.    For example, consider Paul Revere, …

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Oct 07

A step-by-step walkthrough of public key cryptography

The basic concept of public-key cryptography (specifically, the RSA version) is always described as “finding the factors of large numbers is hard”.   So if you can find two large prime numbers, and multiply them together, you get a very large number that is incredibly hard to factorize. But I’ve struggled with understanding how you …

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Sep 29

Some good articles

Programming for Immutability: https://schneide.wordpress.com/2015/09/28/thinking-in-immutability/ Systems Thinking: http://www.samihonkonen.com/14-habits-of-a-systems-thinker/

Jul 20

I’m not taking myself seriously…

In a well-written article, John Sonmez writes an article about not taking yourself seriously.   And it’s got some very valid points, ones that I completely agree with – I will make mistakes, and that’s ok.  I will not always get it right the first time, or misunderstand things, and there’s no reason I should …

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Jun 22

The most important skill for software developers is…

It’s a trick question. There isn’t one. At different times, different skills are the most important. But amongst the most important are such diverse skills as: Listening & Seeking to understand (highly related) Admitting what you don’t know Treating complexity like a hand grenade Thinking about the long term purpose/destiny of your code Knowing where …

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Apr 15

Slashdot quote of the year

In the context of this story about Neal Stephenson’s novel Seveneves (neither block-quote nor italicized follow-up are mine):   Authors improve with age? Some do. For example, in many years time, Stephenie Meyer will be dead.   Golf clap

Mar 24

In polite disagreement

  This post caught my eye on Reddit:  “We don’t need more programmers, we need better tools”   And I felt compelled to respond, because I disagree vehemently with almost everything this author has written.   I’m of a similar age to him, and I had some of the same initial experiences – programming in BASIC …

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Jul 16

The Last Job on Earth: Part IV

So, hopefully at this point I’ve established that computer programming and understanding the law and the legal process are somewhat similar. And that understanding the legal process without tremendous amounts of specialized knowledge is incredibly difficult. And hopefully I’ve convinced you that the claim that “Everyone can code” is far, far too simplistic, given the …

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Jul 16

Most excellent life tips

Usually these life tips are bizarre or stupid. These are the best I’ve seen.

Jun 03

Thinking about Wildstar (warning: geeky game nerd stuff)

What I like: The soundtrack: https://soundcloud.com/inhisgroove/sets/wildstar-mmo-ost-cues – this is probably the best MMO soundtrack I’ve ever heard. The combat – second best I’ve encountered. DDO was better (and probably will still hold the title for some time). But this is really good. The telegraph (floor ‘templates’ that show where the enemy is going to cause …

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Nov 13

The Last Job On Earth : Part III

I bet you can tell me how to get from Tampa to Atlanta. But I bet you couldn’t tell a 5 year old how to get from Tampa to Atlanta safely.  Even if that 5-year-old had a perfect memory. And the reason is obvious – the 5 year old is lacking a tremendous amount of …

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Nov 08

The last job on Earth, Part II

So – let’s imagine a world without lawyers.     (Side note: What do you call a bus full of lawyers driving off of a cliff?  A good start!) Ok.  That was peaceful for a moment, but then the problems start mounting.   Without lawyers, who decides the law?   Police do.   And while …

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