the codist - programmerthink

Everything Can't Be A Revolution

Published: 10/18/2014

Every time Apple releases something new you read articles where people decry that the new products aren't a revolution, that they didn't reinvent a whole category again.

Despite Apple being at the center of many revolutionary products in consumer technology in my lifetime no one would want to live in a world where everything was new all the time.

Imagine that each election would involve a whole new form of government. Or every time you buy a car it had a new number of wheels. Or you went into work to find the employees were all different, the company was in a radically new business, and your job had nothing to do with your skills. No one wants to live in such an unpredictable world.

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Macworld Show, I Remember It Well

Published: 10/15/2014

Sad to see that Macworld is no more. This was the one computer show I went to every year for nearly a decade.

In the early days of the Mac I spent a lot of time in booths and wandering around the show twice every year (and once three times). Both my first startup (where we sold Trapeze) and the second (where we helped build Persuasion and then Deltagraph for 5 years) kept me coming back continuously as an exhibitor or at least watching my work.

The show used to be in Boston in August and San Francisco in January; one year they tried a mini-show in Dallas so it was easy for us to go.

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I Am A Barbarian, Imprecisely

Published: 10/04/2014

Every time a company in the U.S. releases a "diversity" report I have to groan.

As a programmer this type of broad, poorly-defined concept is the bane of every programming project: the customer really doesn't know what they want so they toss out some vague description hoping it will somehow succeed. Then this vagary becomes a requirement that cannot ever be implemented to anyone's satisfaction.

For many reasons people insist that this statistic be carefully calculated, tabulated and reported in somber tones. The reality is that the numbers may as well be random given the imprecision of the definition of who we are.

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Verizon's iPhone 6 Activation Is A Complete Joke

Published: 09/20/2014

I managed to order a nice iPhone 6 a week ago which arrived today. Eager to activate it and try it out I opened Verizon's instructions and immediately said something unpleasant and highly colorful.

Instructions are (1) turn off old iPhone (2) don't turn on new iPhone (3) call them to activate.

Say what? With only two phones how do I call you to activate the new one? Are you folks really that clueless? No online activation? No automatic activation? I need to get another phone just to call you? Your business is worth $206 billion dollars and you can't even activate a phone online in 2014?

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Tales From The Dark Side

Published: 09/18/2014

I've worked as a consultant and for consulting firms, and have had to deal with consultants, consulting firms and the aftermath.

It's often not a pretty story. Sometimes you really need outside expertise, but the quality of what you get is often unrelated to the cost, popularity or track record of who you hire. You might get a great result, or a new more colorful vocabulary.

These are a few of my stories, occasionally altered to protect the innocent or more commonly I've forgotten the details. I'm sure most programmers have experience with either side of the table.

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