Ben & Jerry’s will never have pork-flavored ice cream. (You could probably make a case for Bacon).

It was pointed out to me that Ben and Jerry’s religion would probably prevent them from doing bacon-flavor, too.

Embedded System Lament

You’re running good
But your stack got trashed
You’re running good
But your code just crashed
You’re running good
But you’re dumping core
You’re running good
But not no more

— after Brian McNaughton

Purists will note that most embedded systems do not “dump core” because there’s usually nothing to dump memory to. However, most purists have never written an embedded system, and I stand by my verse.

$ecurity $ham

We visited Hearst Castle today. There was a pleasant little notice taped to the door of the visitor center, to the effect that was necessary to photograph everyone going to the castle “due to heightened security.” There is a similar notice on the hearst castle web page.

Actually, what they want to do is make money selling you photograph trinkets on the way back out. They snap your photo, then charge you $17 (or more) for the photo on the way out.

I suppose the photos could be useful for some security purpose; I’m sure they’d hand over rolls of negatives if the police wanted them. But why not use video cameras instead? (Indeed, there were video cameras installed).

One of our party wasn’t completely visible in the photograph they took of us, and he accused them of not doing a very good job. They didn’t seem to care very much.

It would be amusing to phone the office at Hearst Castle and press them on this. “Do you realize what a shoddy security job your employees are doing? One of us got to the castle without being photographed. My goodness, aren’t you going to institute more stringent controls?”

Of course, they won’t give a damn. Because that’s not what it’s for. It’s dishonesty at the level of “Now, national security requires that you remove all of your clothing.” Riiight.

Just more preparation for the Big Lie. I’ll rant about paid informants in a little while. In the meantime, I think we’re at war with … Eurasia?

MtS (memo to self)

Don’t drink Dr. Pepper at midnight if you need to get up early the next morning.

You’ll always find a 24-hour pharmacy, say at some Walgreens, very near by a hospital.


Things to do when the time machine arrives:

  1. (1976) Convince Gary Kildall to use LF for a newline separator, not CRLF, and “-” for command line switches, not “/”.
  2. (mid 70s) Give Bjarne Stroustrup (age 15) a Xerox Alto to play with, running SmallTalk 76
  3. (1978) Intel needed 24 bits of address space on the 8086, simply by making their paragraph sizes 8 bits instead of 4 bits
  4. (1971 or so) Have K&R provide C with a native string type

Continue reading “Todo”

Go go go

From Kuroshin, a nice piece on the game of Go:

“There are nine mental levels into which players are distinguished. The first is called ‘being in the spirit’, the second ‘seated in enlightenment’, the third ‘concreteness’, the fourth ‘understanding changes’, the fifth ‘applying wisdom’, the sixth ‘ability’, the seventh ‘strength’, the eighth ‘being quite inept’, and the ninth and last ‘being truly stupid’.”

(from The Classic of Weiqi in Thirteen Chapters, c.1054 AD)

This is how I feel about programming. Initially you don’t know what you’re doing. Then you reach a level of competence and you’re a worthy opponent. Then you get back to not knowing everything, and you’re doing useful work.


No, FYYFF hasn’t been bought for twenty million bucks by some investor with more money than sense. This is 2002, get real. That stuff all happened in a valley far, far away.

I just installed MovableType. It was either this, or spend a few weeks learning PHP and building something merely adequate. I don’t know about you, but I’d really rather not learn another slightly different variation on for loops and hash tables and HTML generation in an environment that doesn’t even have a debugger. I mean, who has the time? I sure don’t have the patience for that kind of thing any more.

Basically, most new languages suck.

The old site is here. I guess I should move the funnier stuff over.