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The problem I have with lists is that other people need them to have any idea of what I'm doing on any given day, or even month. We use Trello. On my list of task management applications, Trello sucks the least. But it still sucks for the reasons you state above. I found something interesting while using it, however; the comments under each list, or lists of lists if you're unfortunate. The little input box looked a lot like Twitter, and when I pushed the send button it behaved a lot like Twitter, so I began using it like Twitter. Instead of focusing on checking items off of my list, I committed to just deliver its purpose instead - keeping people up to date with what I'm doing with the added value of being able to go back to see what I was thinking two weeks ago. They now not only know what I'm doing, but what I'm thinking. Every hour or two I fire off a rapid succession of five to fifteen comments. Soliloquy by soliloquy, they get what they want and generally don't bother me for formal updates or meetings. I tested to see if anyone actually read the stuff that I wrote several times and it turns out, yes - those interested in my project _do_ in fact read every single comment almost faithfully. There are times that I become engrossed and don't update it so much, but that's expected when you're wrapping your head around something not knowing how big it might be. I found thinking out loud in this way to be an excellent companion for my rubber duck. He doesn't have buttons to push, he just sits there and stares at me and squeaks loudly when I smash him and blame him for everything. tl;dr - Productivity apps can not suck, but lists of (anything), even *groceries* are evil little things. Ever feel guilty for not following a grocery list, or forgetting to put things on it?
Toggle Commented Oct 5, 2012 on Todon't at Coding Horror
I'm hoping for a stable port of Synergy to Android because it would be very useful if I could interact with my tab using the same keyboard and mouse that I use with all of my other machines. I'm not a big gamer, my typical usage is editing code, browsing sites that are mostly text and usually have a few SSH client windows going in the background. If a tablet could be connected to two larger independent displays, I'd consider using one. Any compiling I do is usually done on a remote server anyway, so I don't really need the power of a bazillion cores at my disposal. What remains is app availability - I need to have an editor I like, a terminal emulator I can deal with and the other creature comforts that make my laptop feel like home. If anything, this would be a hardware possibility way before it was a software possibility. Even if I _could_ run dual displays on an iPad .. neither IOS nor Android is the picture of my ideal work or development environment. Well, I don't know if I can say that with 100% conviction because I have yet to try IOS6, but I'm pretty certain I could not put up with it as my primary (productive) computer from what I've seen.
Toggle Commented Oct 1, 2012 on The PC is Over at Coding Horror
@Pat James If you immediately seek to find others to antagonize for something that happened, you are an apprentice in life. If you immediately look within yourself prior to seeking others to antagonize for something that happened, you are a journeyman in life. If you immediately realize that antagonizing _anything_ for something that happened isn't going to help and ultimately find a better way of fixing something that is broken, you're naturally happy in life and don't care about much else. I'm somewhere between 1 and 2 according to consistency.
Toggle Commented Sep 27, 2012 on Somebody is to Blame for This at Coding Horror
I know what you mean about emotional doors that you didn't know existed. I actually went through a 'trial run' of grasping my heart and collapsing. Costochondritis is a condition that results in a (benign) inflammation of cartilage which connects almost every rib in your body. Those that had severe lung infections as children (I had a six month bout with severe Bronchitis) can experience symptoms that feel _exactly_ like a massive heart attack at random times. It was a typical afternoon, I was working on clearing out the moderation queue on Stack Overflow and all of a sudden, it hit (If you must know, YES, it was a very smelly question). This intense, searing pain in my chest came out of nowhere, and the blood seemed to rush out of my head. I almost collapsed, called my wife and told her I was on the way to the hospital. I'm an at home dad, our (at the time) five year old was in my care. I had to take her with me. We don't own a car, there is no central '911' where I live, so I had to get a cab. Just getting me and her out the door, to the elevator and down to the lobby where the building security guards took over was .. I can't describe it. So there we are in a taxi, on our way and weaving through traffic. All I could think about was: If I die right now, in this cab, what is that going to do to her? Is she going to blame herself? We're in a TAXI, what happens if I pass out our worse? My kid is with me and I don't even know this guy driving the cab .. I then realized that I was going into a state of shock, which I later learned was broadly due to the emotional reaction I was having. Being wheeled into the ER and immediately listed as a cardiac patient was ironically the biggest relief of my life. We made it, my wife knew where we were, nurses were looking after my kid and I didn't die in front of her. I went through lots of poking, prodding, tests, x-rays, tons of wires hooked up to me, oxygen, the works. They could not find a damn thing wrong with me. I finally saw an attending who asked me if I ever had a bad cough or lung infection as a kid and I said yes. He immediately smiled and told me that my body played a very cruel trick on me, gave me some meds to deal with it and sent me home. The shock wore off a little more than a day later. The emotions brought on by what I thought was the very real possibility of dying in front of my kid while leaving her in a stranger's care just immediately put my brain on auto pilot. Many Buddhists that I know imagine, in small chunks their loved ones not being there any longer, or not being there for them during daily meditation. This is done so that if such a scenario directly happened or you experience it in some way, it isn't completely foreign to you and you stand a better chance of avoiding the mindlessness that comes with shock. Looks like you're going through something rather healthy. Thanks for sharing it so eloquently.
Toggle Commented Sep 27, 2012 on Somebody is to Blame for This at Coding Horror
I was lucky during that era, Baltimore had a pretty booming BBS scene with plenty of 'interesting' boards that had pretty much whatever you wanted to download with a high post/call ratio. This kept the conversations pretty lively and geek belly full of scrumptious goodies. We were pretty well connected too, we had I think three WWiV and FIDO GCs in our area code, so losing one almost never meant having to call LD just to keep the network message boards pumping. I ran my own for quite a long time, even profitably for a few years until AOL ruined everything. I think phreaking of some kind is something every nerd from that era tried at least once, the only difference being the 'color' of the box you built, or in your case programmed. Thanks for sharing this Jeff. I have a copy of Synchronet on my Debian VM in Los Angeles, I've been looking for some time to set it up properly and start building it out. BTW, if you want to run an old style BBS and love programming things in Javascript, Synchronet has a built in JS engine, it's what you use to make your menus, mods, etc (ANSI graphics still prevail for the actual menu display, though). It works via telnet / SSH or HTTP. Anyway, that was the push I needed to spend a few hours in nostalgic awesomeness.
Toggle Commented Aug 19, 2012 on I Was a Teenage Hacker at Coding Horror
The owner of the company that I work for has been working his way through some of the exercises, and initially asked me questions as he got stuck. He ended up basically saying "I appreciate that I knew enough to hire people that know how to do this well." He's not doing it to learn how to program, I believe he's doing it because he feels like he's missing out on some of the enthusiasm (or hatred) the rest of us share when it comes to the technologies we work with. It sounds like what you fear is an army of Dunning-Kruger compromised monkeys invading the industry, but don't they need to get hired first? I agree with evangelizing solid hiring practices, as you've been doing, but I don't see anything wrong with people trying something new, if only for the experience of doing so. Finally, plumbing is nothing like programming, though it is a metaphor used by many code maintainers. I have understood water, hoses, valves and gravity from a very young age with no plumbing background because the concept is material and intuitive. Most people can't understand the concept of a doubly linked list with no programming background just by looking at an implementation of one. I don't disagree with your post entirely, I fully agree that more programmers should be looking more at the problem they're trying to solve. Is the rest really an issue?
Toggle Commented May 15, 2012 on Please Don't Learn to Code at Coding Horror
I've also come to realize, especially after having a child, that the goal in life is not to own a lot of "stuff", but rather, to free yourself from everything except that which is essential, and that which you love. Thanks for articulating what I've been doing for years. I've been struggling to come up with a way to describe the result, but your description of the process says volumes more than 'lighten up your load in life'.
Toggle Commented Dec 13, 2011 on Gifts for Geeks, 2011 Edition at Coding Horror
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