An

a day keeps the doctor away
Everything here is my opinion. I do not speak for your employer.
May 2012
July 2012

2012-06-05 »

Having your product be rumoured about is strangely fun, yet strangely disturbing.

http://www.engadget.com/2012/06/05/google-fiber-gfhd100-ip-set-top-box-fcc/

2012-06-06 »

Here are some of my priorities, in order of most important to least important:

1. Being able to travel freely in three dimensions (eg. flying cars)

2. 3-D maps.

2012-06-07 »

Woo hoo, and that's my first four-meal day.  Lunch, dinner, breakfast, and lunch.

Sure, the naysayers among you might think I should have gone home yesterday or something.  But I think I would be significantly less impressed by my flexible blinky light blinking patterns in that case.

It's a shame, really, that nobody wants a bunch of blinky light patterns on top of their TV while they're trying to watch "quality" entertainment.

2012-06-08 »

Got new glasses yesterday, first time in 8 or 9 years.  Suddenly I understand HDTV.

2012-06-09 »

Note to self: do not give the very first dogfooders their dogfood units on a Friday afternoon.

2012-06-10 »

1. Tried to convince people to not use custom software builds or manual configuration on dogfood devices.  I've learned that any time there's a manual process, people will screw it up, and any time there's customization, it won't be tested properly.

2. Failed to make a convincing argument.

3. A bunch of dogfood devices fail in the field because manual configuration was done incorrectly.

4. Sigh.

2012-06-11 »

eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee laptop with 200dpi display!!!!1!

I've been wanting one of these for 10+ years.  Now I still want one, but at least it's no longer a total pipe dream.

http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2012/06/macbook-pro-gets-retina-display-macbook-air-also-updated-with-ivy-bridge/

2012-06-13 »

""" "Focusing is powerful,' he said. "A start-up's focus is very clear. Focus is not saying yes. It is saying no to really great ideas.'

Less appreciated, though, is that focus is scary. It means not hedging your bets. It means going all-in. If you’re not scared, you’re not focused:

Most companies don’t want to focus on one thing because they could fail. Winnowing ideas from twenty-five to four is horrifyingly scary.”
"""

http://swaaanson.tumblr.com/post/25005539624/kindle-notes-inside-apple-by-adam-lashinsky

2012-06-18 »

I sent my dad a link to this UX test video (which I summarize as "do and watch UX tests or die of embarrassment"): How Real People Will Use Windows 8

Here's his response:

"""
Ha, luckily we here in Thunder Bay have support just a phone call away and the people at Tbaytel are trained to speak "old People". We don't have to put up with that big city tech support guy saying "I'm trying to make a point, do it yourself". Sometimes Microsoft phones me personally to
tell me if I have a virus and then fixes it over the interweb lines for a small fee. How often does the Mac guy call people up? When they break it takes a genius to fix them and they all left town or started working for Future shop. Oh, and Microsoft doesn't use silly animal names for the new versions either. You'll never hear "try the new Windows  Donkey" they use real English numbers so you always know when it's time to send more money. Apple has been stuck at OS X for like a decade or more, it's like they don't know the Roman numeral for 11. Obviously no geniuses applied for the renaming the operating system department.
"""

Okay.  You win this round.

2012-06-19 »

One of my "friends" helped "improve" my profile photo.

2012-06-24 »

Hmm, I think I'm now a living example of why the NYC office doesn't provide candy (except the sacred M&Ms) as one of the microkitchen options.

Relatedly, the Montreal office does provide candy.  And no meals on Sundays.

2012-06-28 »

Last week:

1. Fix a race condition that wasn't very important.

2. As part of #1, introduce a new, more subtle, much more important race condition that breaks existing functionality.

This week:

1. Find out the stresstest script I wrote has been silently not testing network load due to a bug introduced by another change (if you must know, we dropped busybox and the replacement "grep" we used doesn't parse command line args like -q).  My fault for making the script insufficiently resilient to catch it.

2. Find out someone in the hardware team has noticed and fixed the bug (thanks!)

3. Find out that with network stress testing actually working, the box fails hardware tests in scary ways.

4. Find out that our friend in the hardware team, noticing point 3 while  making changes, also reduced the load created by the network stress test tool so that the tests would pass.

5. Tonight they decided to not run the stress test tool at all, because after a few minutes of running the stress test tool, the system crashes, and it's interrupting the hardware verification.

Sure, you might innocently wonder if software that crashes only during a hardware stress test might, oddly enough, be revealing some kind of hardware problem.  But you'd be... well, nobody knows yet :)

May 2012
July 2012

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