Friday, October 27, 2006

Nerd Tongue Twister

How many bits would an eight bit byte bite if an eight bit byte could bite?

As of writing a Google search for byte-could-bite came up with zilch, leading me to believe that this twist on the venerable woodchuck twister chucks wood.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Dadgummit! Distracted Again!

Python Challenge. Don't ask how I found it. I guess the Python is there because it's Python hackers who put it together? I don't know... I just found it. I could be the Emacs challenge, because I hit upon one solution accidentially trying to go to the beginning of a string... during a Slime session with CLisp as the inferior lisp...

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Ah Emacs

I love emacs. It never ceases to amaze me. It's the distillation of people-centuries worth of hacker wisdom, and if it doesn't do something you think that it *should*, chances are you just haven't uncovered yet. I was reading a manual entry, which made reference to a file in etc. I was wondering if there was a key binding to open the file at the point. Hitting return answered that question in the affirmative...

C-u 100 M-x all-hail-emacs

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Google Code Search: Yikes!

As of posting, the top three hits for lang:c kludge are in openssl code! Zoiks! No hits for anything for ocaml, caml, or ml. SCSH come in high for generic scheme searches. Cool beans!

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Interview with Steve Wozniak

This interview with Steve Wozniak is a great read. In this day of the swashbucking privateers of capitalism, this advice seems refreshing:
Wozniak: First of all, try to have the highest of ethics and to be open and truthful about things, not hiding. If you have to hide something for company reasons, at least explain what you're doing. Don't mislead people. Know in your heart that you are a good person with good goals because that will carry over to your own self-confidence and your belief in your engineering abilities. Always seek excellence: make your product better than the average person would.

If you can just quickly whip something out and it's done, maybe it's time, once in a while, to think and think and think, "can I make it better than it is, a little superior?" What it does is not necessarily make the product better in the end, but it brings you closer to the product and your own head understands it better. Your neurons have gone through the code you wrote, or the circuits you designed, have gone through it more times, and it's just a little more solidly in your head and once in a while you'll wake up and say, "Oh my God, I just realized a bug that's in there, something I hadn't thought of."

Friday, October 06, 2006

Keyboard Shortcuts in Gmail

If you have a gmail account, turn on your keyboard shortcuts right away.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Word Annoyances

Word, I'm sure, is a fine product for many folks. Commenting and revision tracking is cool enough. However, it has some quirks that drive me bonkers. What's doubly troubling is that I've as of yet been able to find any way to circumvent said behavior by thinking.

I'm in the throes of writing requirements for some software we're going to be pushing out. We've got some boilerplate subsections for features, and it's a hassle to write the titles and set them to their proper formatting, etc. I'm sure that there is a quick and easy method for writing a macro to insert this very stuff, but wouldn't it be easier to just copy-and-paste the boilerplate? You would think so (in the near term).

But no.

For some reason, the numbering on the last subsection would disappear after the copy and paste. If you copy that last section and pasted it after its parent section, you'd get numbers. Moreover, there wasn't any way to get that pasted text (AFAICT) to have the proper number. That is, I could remove the formatting, then reset the formatting and no number. There is no way to meaningfully get at the numbering interface with a few point and clicks. Fug.

The fix was intuitively obvious. I copied the subsection preceding the troublesome bit and pasted it after the same. I renamed the pasted section to that of the troublesome one and deleted Nemesis's text. It worked. Feh.

Don't even get me started on "page setup" going AWOL...