Archive for the tag 'commentary'

Jun 15 2009

Orbitz.com Considered Harmful

Published under Business

(Offtopic warning: my site is mostly about technical matters, not about consumer affairs.) Well, that wasn’t fun. We had reserved, or so I thought, a hotel stay of a few days, using Orbitz.com.  Life intervened, and it became necessary to cancel.  We attempt to cancel.  It turns out that we hadn’t reserved a hotel stay. […]

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May 04 2009

The Right Way to do Monitoring and Mass Administration

Published under Technology

Over the weekend I flipped through these slides about Nanite (code), and it got me thinking about system monitoring (again), as well as mass administration tools (Puppet and its younger competitor Chef). The key bit from the talk is the idea of using a proven, off the shelf messaging server (RabbitMQ) as the communication bus […]

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May 02 2009

Saying No to say Yes

Published under Life

In The Secrets of Consulting (a book, along with its sequel, about a lot more than consulting), Jerry Weinberg offered the Law of Raspberry Jam: the wider you spread it, the thinner it gets I thought about that a lot a few years ago when I attended the AYE conference (an experience I heartily recommend), […]

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Feb 17 2009

Incompetence -> Progress

Published under Life

From http://www.theodoregray.com/BrainRot/index.html “The most profound engine of civilization is the inability of a larger and larger fraction of the population to do the basic things needed to survive.  Many people fail to realize this.” “Technology’s greatest contribution is to permit people to be incompetent at a larger and larger range of things.  Only by embracing […]

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Aug 21 2008

Best Presentation Ever

Published under Business

Alex Miller declared a Giles Bowkett talk (purportedly about “Archaeopteryx: A Ruby MIDI Generator”) the best presentation ever. I was skeptical. Wow. “Best Ever” is an overstatment of course; but it’s worth your 45 minutes and then some.

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May 31 2008

Need text? Hire a Writer

Published under Business

To help create the document I mentioned earlier about the merits of custom software development, I hired a subcontract writer. The only typing I did was a bit at the start and perhaps a half-hour of editing at the end; all the rest of my input was in the form of spoken-word audio recordings, which […]

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