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Split up facebook!

November 7, 2016 jlion 0

We live in a time when the middle class is rapidly disappearing, when the divide between wealthy and not-wealthy is as great as it’s ever been, and when the future appears poised to bring us a bleak landscape of uber-wealthy gated cities separated by sophisticated technology from warring, impoverished multitudes.

It’s right out of a Paolo Bacigalupi novel.

Is this …

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Why ebay and amazon are bad (if you’re a vendor)

October 31, 2016 jlion 0

I just happened across a great post by the guy (Jamie Salvatori) who runs VAT19:

http://www.practicalecommerce.com/columns/the-ecommerce-corner-office/11024-Why-we-abandoned-Amazon-and-eBay

In case you’re not familiar with them, VAT19 is a retailer of fun and funky things (giant lollypop, giant unicorn lamp) and I know them because my kids love surfing their web site (and watching their videos).

Jamie argues (and I wholeheartedly agree) …

Interactive Coordinates Charting

October 17, 2016 jlion 0

This past week my son brought home some math homework. The assignment was, given a list of coordinates, to graph those coordinates. The result would be a picture.

My son made a couple of mistakes in his graph and so the picture was a little off. I thought the idea was intriguing. To help him I put together a web …

Programming Zen…

September 21, 2016 jlion 0

One of my favorite books is Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, by Robert Pirsig. It’s about a lot of things, but mostly about quality, more specifically, “what is quality?” It’s not explicitly about software but it is about technology in a general sense. “Phaedrus”, the narrator of the novel, is a technical writer, and much of the …

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Where do bugs come from?

September 11, 2016 jlion 1

“Our Software Sucks”

I was once party to a contentious meeting. A senior executive made the statement that “our software sucks!”. When he said this, he was referring to all of the projects worked on by all of the developers at the company. And he was making this assessment on two points: First, that there were many bugs logged in …

LNW-80 / TRS-80

August 20, 2016 jlion 1

My son recently assembled his own computer. While this isn’t his first computer, it’s the first one he’s put together himself and it’s the best computer in our house (fastest, best video card, most drive space, awesome LED lighting).

My first computer was a TRS-80 Model III. I was about 14, about the same age as my son is …

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Gantt Chart

August 6, 2016 jlion 0

I’ve posted an javascript version of my simple gantt chart.

It’s not a full-featured gantt chart like you might find in Microsoft Project. The intent is for it to be something like a calendar–to provide a visual representation of a series of events where overlaps are easy to spot. I’ve tried to make it easy to embed this chart …

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LINQ vs SQL

July 20, 2016 jlion 0

The excellent Joseph Albahari, author of LINQpad, wrote a blog post: Why LINQ beats SQL and while I really like LINQpad (how else would I debug LINQ?)  I do think Joseph misses the point a little with SQL. He says: “Compared to SQL, LINQ is simpler, tidier, and higher-level” and my first reaction is that SQL and LINQ …

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Javascript, jqGrid and XML

July 17, 2016 jlion 0

For a long time, programming languages seemed to be getting easier and easier. We seemed to be on the brink of realizing that long sought promise of object oriented components: Chunks of code that folks could easily combine to create applications without lots of formal training in computer languages.

Then along came javascript.

I’ve been dabbling with jqGrid, which is …

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Ian M Banks’ The Culture

June 11, 2016 jlion 0

It’s perhaps a little ironic that a drone introduced me to Ian M Banks’ Culture Series.

The second of the two drone ships that Elon Musk created as platforms for his SpaceX project was named “Of Course I Still Love You”. I read about this, found it intriguing, and picked up Consider Phlebas, the first of the Culture …