It is the fetishizing of Moore's Law that seduces researchers into complacency. If you have an exponential force
on your side, surely it will ace all challenges. Who cares about rational understanding when you can instead rely on an exponential
extra-human fetish? But processing power isn't the only thing that scales impressively; so do the problems that processors have to solve.
Here's an example I offer to non-technical people to illustrate this point. Ten years ago I had a laptop with an indexing program that let
me search for files by content. In order to respond quickly enough when I performed a search, it went through all the files in advance and
indexed them, just as search engines like Google index the internet today. The indexing process took about an hour.|
Today I have a laptop that is hugely more capacious and faster in every dimension, as predicted by Moore's Law.
However, I now have to let my indexing program run overnight to do its job. There are many other examples of computers seeming to get
slower even though central processors are getting faster. Computer user interfaces tend to respond more slowly to user interface events,
such as a keypress, than they did fifteen years ago, for instance. What's gone wrong?
The original text of moore's actual law was forgotten and changed over time, but
it started as something like this: the number of transistors that are required to launch
Photoshop doubles every 12 months, or with each new upgrade.
Hell, there are no rules here - we're trying to accomplish something.
You can't innovate while you're busy excavating.
Practical people would be more practical if
they would take a little more time for dreaming.
I wish I had an angelfish. Then, things would be so much easier.
He who seeks truth shall find beauty.
I'm glad I have AIM+ now, because the list of people I can prevent from ever being President is just growing and growing.
That's even before the Discovery Channel. How did they know?
Intellectuals taught themselves Italian in order to read Dante in the original. I learned to drive in order to read Los Angeles in the
Certainly errors in software are more difficult to fix than errors in books.
In fact, my main conclusion after spending ten years of my life working on the T E X
project is that software is hard. Itís harder than anything else Iíve ever had to do. While
I was working on the T E X program, I was unable to do full-time teaching. Although I love teaching, I
had to take a year off from it because there was just too much to keep in my head at one time. Writing a
book is a little more difficult than writing a technical paper, but writing software is a lot more difficult
than writing a book.
Gavin's rule: "Don't program on Sundays. You only get dirty and the Sunday enjoys it."
mbherf (2:44:11 PM): 7 MPixel stretchblt
See what happens when you don't have TV? You go home from work and take medical tests!
There are really four phases. In phase one, everyone tells you you're crazy and it's the stupidest thing they
ever heard. In phase two, they say, "There is some merit to the argument. It's still crazy, but there's some
merit to it." Phase three is, "Well, we've done it better than they have." And phase four is, "What are you
talking about? It was our idea in the first place."
So here's a question... How many pixels are in this room?
A Marmoset: astronauts filled up 4K of memory with trajectory information to go to the moon. I'm filling up 500 megs with scans of live crickets.
"It's not whether you have bugs, it's how well you have bugs."
KPT Ben (2:37:48 AM): (int16)(real64)(0xDECAF) * 0.5(0xCAF)
lornamatic: even if
lornamatic: irritation is the mother of true invention
The computer industry overflows with technologies desperately looking for some kind of problem to solve. Thus
Kaplan's Law of the Instrument: give children a hammer, and they will find that everything needs pounding.
Perhaps all those unfortunate examples you mention are the result of inappropriate forcing of irrelevant
technology on innocent content.
Kewlware: Just in case you run in to an extremely hot girl who invites you to a wild night
of partying and you have to cancel. I consider that, one of the "acts of god" allowable for cancelling.
Otherwise, see ya at 3:30: )
...when someone asks you if you're an actor from New York, you say YES.
The market knows only two emotions: fear and greed," Mr. Khosla said to the 500 attentive audience members. "In
between the two would be 'reasonable' -- how about taking that approach for a while?"
HorwitzJH: Tonight on "Grounded for Life" they used "to herf" as a verb meaning to vomit.
"The following item," Jackson began, "which is altogether in apposite to this case, was called to my attention
by a colleague of mine. The code of tribal wisdom says that when you discover you are riding a dead horse, the
best strategy is to dismount.
Most people are bad programmers. The honest truth is that having a lot of
people staring at the code does not find the really nasty bugs. The really
nasty bugs are found by a couple of really smart people who just kill themselves.
Most people looking at the code won't see anything ... You can't have thousands
of people contributing and achieve a high standard.
You can only do software at a certain speed, and software development is not something you can do in six months.
The nature of what inspires people and what repels people is all happening at
once. There's no way to know. If we could understand abhorrent thinking, then it wouldn't be
aberrant. If we could predict how people were going to behave, we wouldn't have Columbine. But
to say that because we have Columbine then we have to be very careful about the ideas we put out
there is inane - ludicrous.
It is here that the stereotype of the programmer, sitting in a dim room growling from
behind Coke cans, has its origins. The disorder of the desk, the floor; the yellow
Post-it notes everywhere; the whiteboards covered with scrawl: all this is the outward
manifestation of the messiness of human thought. The messiness cannot go into the program;
it piles up around the programmer.
mbherf (11:39:46 AM): that is based on my quaint belief that software is different than web sites.
Code is very heavily booby trapped now.
It just makes me happier to be happy.
lornamatic: i have this vision where people of the future will be excavating our tar pits
I just blew my nose on our business plan.
I'm going to go smoke a cigarette and then warm up the pixel pistol.