Category Archives: Revelation

How many hardware engineers..

No, this isn’t based on anything that’s happened to me recently.

How many hardware engineers does it take to change a light bulb?

  • One to turn the lights on and off a few times to see if he can reproduce the problem. S/he then escalates it to the:
  • One to swap it with another light bulb in the same room to see if it’s the fixutre. S/he then calls:
  • One to bring in the hot-swap light bulb, only to find it’s the wrong type of bulb. That gets called back to the office, where:
  • Another one orders the correct bulb via second day air. The other hardware engineers go home for two days, leaving you in the dark until eventually:
  • Another one brings in the newly arrived bulb, but puts it in the fixture of an already working bulb and closes the call.

At this point, a progammer picks up the working bulb that’s sitting in the garbage and installs it. Problem solved.

Maddy

Maddy has a blog. Since she’s a good friend and a damn good writer and she just found she’s got cancer, I’d recommend reading it. She’s continually apologizing to me about how self centered it is, but if you can’t be self centered on your own blog, I don’t know where you can.

Today’s Revelation

Ok, I’ve been thinking blogs are a pain in the ass because you have to keep checking everybody’s blogs to see if they updated it recently. And then today I discovered RSS feeds. Actually, I’d heard a little about them in the past but never paid any attention to them. I kept wondering what this “Syndicate this site (XML)” link was on my own blog. And I wondered about Simon’s BBC News app and how it worked.

It suddenly all came together, and I discovered that there are RSS readers that you can use to subscribe to a number of blogs and news sites, and it will tell you when they’re updated. Sweeeet.

I googled for an application. NetNewsWireLite is the first one I found that was free for OS X. It seems ok, although I’d like the option to poll the sites more frequently than once every 30 minutes.

I’ll have to find one for Linux as well, so I don’t have to spend all day at work hitting refresh on Slashdot, Linux Today and The Register.

Well, that felt good

At work, we had an operation that was taking too damn long. Looked at the code, looked at the query it was generating, and it was pretty horrible, but I don’t see any way to avoid doing it. Then used the SQL “explain” on the query. Hmmm, it’s doing a sequential scan on two different tables. Hmm… Put an index on one column on one of the tables. Suddenly it’s only doing a lookup on one table. Ran downstairs to the big 30-plex test machine. Did the test once. Took 1:31. Added the index. Ran the test again. Took 0:08.

I’m a fucking genius.