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Brandon Black
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I think a notable point about your Windows 95 commentary is that they didn't really innovate most of that. Most of the innovation in Windows 95 was a cheap copy of existing innovation that took place in the far-less-popular OS/2 2.x from IBM. Microsoft and IBM were partners in the OS/2 project up until a short while before (before the better UI), when they split up and IBM kept going with the concept while MS took the code they had rights to at that point as the basis for the WinNT line. Not just menu systems and launching and all that, but even the concept of desktop shortcuts came from OS/2. Win95 was revolutionary at the time for the Windows crowd, but don't think for a second MS thought all that up on their own.
Toggle Commented Jul 11, 2012 on Betting the Company on Windows 8 at Coding Horror
I totally agree that decent-quality MP3s are "good enough" for listening, even on decent equipment. I tend to go for 256kps on average myself, just because "hey storage is cheap". However, to me that's still not argument for ripping straight to MP3. The point of ripping your collection to FLAC is that you can toss the CDs and never worry again, forever. You have the full fidelity original recording digitized faithfully, and you can then encode that to MP3 or any future standard at-will. Re-compression with multiple codecs *does* degrade quality. If you rip to 192K MP3s and toss the CDs, in ten years (or more!) you might decide you want your music collection to be in 128K MZ6 format, because it's even smaller and better sounding, and one of your newest listening devices has dropped support for that old MP3 format. With a FLAC library you can do that. With only your 192K MP3 library you're hosed, you'd keep losing quality every time you transcode to a new format. My recommendation, if you want to keep digital audio around at all: Rip to FLAC for archival purposes. You can put those on slow drives or backup media or whatever suits your fancy. These are your permanent archives. Then encode the FLAC data down to your MP3 flavor of choice for your live library that you actually share around the house and listen to on devices/computers, or upload to a music locker service, etc.
Toggle Commented Jun 23, 2012 on The Great MP3 Bitrate Experiment at Coding Horror
I think you can't be the best in either field without mastering the other, personally. The best programmers are expert systems and networking people, and the best systems people are expert programmers (not just scripters, programmers). To truly excel at either job, you need a deep understanding of the other. Once you reach that point, it's really just a matter of which job role you've signed up for (and I do believe that separation of job role concerns is important). Back to the original point of the article: Sysadmins letting developers fool around making changes in production (in non-emergency scenarios) is about as bad as developers who think making occasional ".bak" files on their hard drive is an effective form of version control. It's really bad practice. Production systems shouldn't even be fooled around with by sysadmins. They should be automatically deployed and version controlled (puppet, chef, etc), as should all of the deployed code. The only reason anyone (developer or sysadmin) should be logged into a production machine is to deploy a set of tested changes via puppet, or to investigate unique production support issues (in a readonly fashion if at all possible). This is why we have dev/qa environments and test suites. Any scenario you can present which seems to justify a manual hack in production is in fact just an indication that you have more development and testing work to do (in the developer's code, or the system's configuration) back in your dev/qa environment.
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Aug 27, 2010