Star Trek – The Wrath of Paperwork

The actual transcript is a bit not safe for work due to swear words but I thought I’d drop this quote in here: 

If you ever see the television series again, don’t watch the actors in the stories out front, going on in the scene; watch the people in the back, who’re working away in all these cardboard and flashing lights, essentially, ‘cause it’s just a set, and they’re going, “I’ll pull lever B now…” There’s a lot of clipboard work, have you noticed? People go around on clipboards, going, “Yes, you’ve got a machine, well done… And the machine… would you like to sign on that? Thank you…” With a clipboard, there’s a lot of clipboard people in there.

I never thought about this but he’s absolutely right. If the future was accurately represented by TOS then apparently all of the productivity benefits will be taken up with additional paperwork.

Thinking about it, they may have been right….

Source: cake or death: an eddie izzard site:: Unrepeatable Transcript

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The Bears defense reminded me of this

I was watching the Super Bowl and could help remembering this entry that appeared on Seahawks.Net.

At the time everyone was trying to work out why the defense under Rhodes was always giving up underneath completions. In fact Rhodes would call for the CBs to be 7-10 yards off on 3 and short plays. The defense just couldn’t get off the field.

Anyway, here is a little taste of the discussion – Read the whole thing at the link below.

Ruskell. But I appreciate your topical interest. Anyway…the defense. Ray, what I’m hearing about you is that your schemes are low-rent and inflexible…that a high-school quarterback could pick them apart in minutes. I need you to show me your playbook so that I can get a handle on what plays you’re calling.
Rhodes: *&^%$#! Here ya go, I s’pose…
Ruskell: This is a napkin from McDonald’s.
Rhodes: Yeah? So?
Ruskell: THIS is your playbook?
Rhodes: (#%# yeah!
Ruskell (sighs) Well, let’s take a…THIS is the only play you’ve got going???
Rhodes: It’s deviously effective like a $^&*(&^%$%^&.
Ruskell: No it isn’t, Ray. The numbers don’t lie. It is NOT deviously effective like a $^&*(&^%$%^&. You’ve got ten of your eleven guys backing off on every play. What the hell is your outside linebacker doing?
Rhodes: My what?
Ruskell: Your. Outside. Linebacker. The one circle without an arrow.
Rhodes: Oh…the $^&*( outside circle guy. Yeah, that’s my secret weapon.
Ruskell: (hangs head, shakes head, look up sadly) Your…secret weapon?
Rhodes: Sure. Every tenth play, I blitz that guy. But don’t tell anyone.
Ruskell: Because it’s a secret.
Rhodes: You $%^& right!

Source: > Ruskell & Rhodes – The First Meeting

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So Bad It Needs An Apology – The Daily WTF

 I had to share this – Having written stuff myself where I felt dirty for coding like that I understand the issue. Read the whole thing.

There is a large comment at the top of a particular student’s assignment.  Actually, it isn’t a comment so much as it is an apology… the code we are about to see is so bad, the programmer felt remorse in advance for John Connor:

/** To the grader:
         I realize that by now, you are in either a complete state of shock or disgust at the length of my program.  Perhaps even both. To this, I deeply apologize that I can offer no consolation. I, myself, am quite ashamed  of this program, and can speak no more good of this massive blob of text other than that it *should* work.

         If it doesn’t, then please feel free to dock as many points as necessary to vent your frustration that you, of all TAs, chose the unlucky pile that contained my program, for I too would be quite vindictive while grading.    

         I also realize that this program is a messy compilation of inefficient coding, and perhaps even stands as something blasphemous in your eyes. Coming midterms forced me to write the program as is because this format required the least amount of thinking as well as the least amount of time. Therefore, I only ask one thing of you: Be gentle.

I once worked for a company that did contract programming and we were tasked with writing a self-test system for mechanics that worked on cars for a major Japanese manufacturer. The aim was that the the mechanics would study and then use the program to take a certification test. The original programmer went missing and the customer came to us with less than 72 hours before they had to ship.

I started on the morning after meeting with the customer and then about 80 hours later, at 0300, I shipped the product. It worked (unlike the code referenced above) but it was such an abomination that I didn’t even add my name to the comments section.

Fortunately the customer liked the result so much they asked us to write the next version for them so I was able to get enough time to actually build it in C++, create a supporting class library and actually improve the overall performance. I put my name on that one….

Source: So Bad It Needs An Apology – The Daily WTF

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Launch Events 101

No names no pack drill but I found this funny (from an email I received about an event going on):

Launch Events 101


1. DO NOT build launch demos on software that expires on the day of a launch event – not cool, especially when dry runs the night before work fine;

2.If you ignore 1 and are running on a VPC:

o DO turn back time on the host and kill the time service before firing up your VPC,

o DO NOT try to rebuild your demo boxes and images on site the morning of.

Glad I’m not there…

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Trying video – AKA Running with the bulls

Update: MSN SoapBox is shutting down so I moved the video over to YouTube.

Windows Live Writer offers an add-in that enables you to insert video. I wanted to give that a shot so I thought I’d upload an old video with made from TechEd Barcelona a few years ago.

I also needed a place to store it so I tried out Soapbox on MSN as the place I uploaded it to. The upload process was very easy and is tied to my Live account so I didn’t need to create any new registrations to get it up there. Processing took forever though but I’m willing to admit that I didn’t read any documentation on what format it should be in or how to make processing go faster.

The video is actually stitched together from a 15 & 30 second clips that could be recorded on digital cameras. We didn’t actually have a video camera with us so different people took different clips and at the end I stitched them all together with Windows Movie Maker. The quality isn’t great but it gives a taste of the trip we made to Pamplona to run with the bulls.

TechEd Europe was located in Barcelona that year. Dave Wascha and I were talking about what we could do after the end of the show and we came up with the idea of traveling to Pamplona to run with the bulls. At the start of the week we asked a ton of people and everyone was keen to do it. Oh how the interest waned as we got closer to the date. One particular guy, Ari Bixhorn, talked an outstanding game at the start of the week about how he was going to run but then on the night we were leaving he suddenly had to be somewhere else.

Anyway, the group of us went to the speaker dinner (held in the Park Guell) and then around 0230 got into a van and drove the 6 hours or so to Pamplona. Once there we lined up in the starting area in our red speaker shirts and waited for the event to start.

A few observations from that:

  1. The locals were very concerned about the red shirts. Traditional dress is white with a red sash around the waist. We sort of went for the reverse. They kept trying to swap our shirts for rolled up newspapers. They were convinced this was a good idea.
  2. Rolled up newspapers are used, apparently, by the locals to ward off bulls. I can see the logic to that, you have over a ton of pissed off bull so of course a thin rolled up newspaper will totally scare it off.
  3. We didn’t take them up on the offer.
  4. Little old ladies on their way home from the markets don’t give a rats about the crowd and the bull running. Many people in front of us were hit by the old lady carrying a bag of oranges as a polite request to clear a path.
  5. Old ladies in black, carrying bags of oranges, climbing 7 foot wooden fences are just funny.
  6. The only way to get into the stadium without paying is to do so by running with the bulls. There were more people in the stadium than in the path with the bulls. The economy of Spain must have been good that year.
  7. It is way cool to watch the bulls enter the stadium at a great rate of knots and then go looking for something to gore.
  8. It is way uncool to find out that they lock you in the stadium with said bulls.
  9. It is way uncooler to find out that the crowd thinks it is funny to throw people who vault the walls back into the stadium.
  10. If a bull is charging at you, adopting the classical mammalian response of staying real still will not make it miss you.
  11. When running away from a bull, keep you head on a swivel. The bull you’re running away from may be less dangerous than the bull you’re running into.
  12. Thankfully a lot of the locals don’t keep their head on a swivel and the following bull is easily distracted by the flying body.

So with no further delay – Here is the video:

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Lack of power blows

Having just got power back since 0030 Friday morning (and hot on the heels of losing to San Francisco, for the second time this season) it is my considered opinion that, living without power sucks.

All day PSE was taunting me with turning on power to sections of Mercer Island that I can see but just not my area. I finally called them when half my complex had power to just make sure that they hadn’t forgotten us (I live at the rear of the complex on the ridge line in a separate building so it seemed like forgetting us was a possibility).

While I was on the phone to them the power came back on and I told the operator that she does good work – Got a laugh out of her for that. I thanked her and PSE for helping as quickly as they could.

1 million people were without power here in the Northwest and sections of them will probably still be without power well into the week.

Fortunately I had a lot of friends who were willing to help out by dropping in with wood to burn and booze to drink so it wasn’t as bad as it could have been.

That said I’m not exactly leaping to the front of the line to volunteer for this again.

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