The decline and fall of the relational database

What have the Roman empire and the relational database got in common? Not too much at the moment I would suggest, but in a few short years I think we will be seeing an interesting similarity in their life histories. Pretend we are in...

11/28/09

The decline and fall of the relational database

What have the Roman empire and the relational database got in common? Not too much at the moment I would suggest, but in a few short years I think we will be seeing an interesting similarity in their life histories. Pretend we are in...

11/28/09

Future techtorials

I'm soliciting feedback/suggestions on the techtorials I have been doing with ITworld.I know that the handwriting quality is a problem for some people. It's tough writing with a pen interface and my handwriting is bad to start...

05/19/09

Career damaging self description

"I am a X programmer" (for arbitrary values of X), is not a good way to describe yourself in my opinion. This techtorial talks about why.

05/16/09

Is it secure?

A techtorial on the awkward-to-answer question "Is it Secure"?

05/15/09

Loose coupling?

Another techtorial. This time on loose coupling.Useful? Not? Let me know.

03/31/09

Techtorials - An experiment with an electronic sheet of foolscap

I have not been idle since the last post on this blog a few weeks ago. I have been working with ITworld on a little experiment. I spend a lot of time sitting at tables with a pad, a cup of coffee and a colleague/customer asking me...

03/26/09

Bootstrapping tomorrow, today

As a species, we generate some unconscionable amount of new digital data every day. The number is so big that no member of our species, that I know of, really has a good feel for the number. To try to wrap our heads around it we...

02/16/09

Debuggers Delight Syndrome

From time to time, my long suffering wife asks me what the heck I do all day and where all the techie problems that furrow my brow to a depth of 0.5 inches come from? It is a really good question and recently I have been expending...

02/09/09

Multi-tasking the project plan

I had one of those weird moments recently where I made an analogy between two things that I have never before analogized. Namely, multi-tasking operating systems and project planning. I will get back to that in a moment but first, I...

02/02/09

What version are you running?

There are many aspects of the IT business that have been turned upside down the internet. One concept which is effectively being meaningless is the concept of a "version" in the sense of an application software package version...

01/26/09

Master Foo chews on a fork

The cold winds of recessionary pressures were blowing around Pentementi Mountain as the two technologists made their way to Master Foo's cave near the summit. The WIFI signals had long disappeared from their netbook gadgets but text...

01/19/09

Hard wired, soft coded, confused

Two phrases often heard around the computing halls are the phrases "hard wired" and "soft coded". If something in an application is hard coded, it is bad - or so goes the consensus. Hard coding installation directories is bad, hard...

01/12/09

From Personal Computer to Impersonal Chameleon

When you switch a classic IBM PC compatible personal computer, what happens? It tries to boot. In other words, it goes hunting for something that it can surrender itself to, something it can become. Armed with a boot device a PC...

01/05/09

Testing - the pain, the power, the money

The first big dirty secret of coding is that to do it well, you need to spend as much time coding around your core code as you spend, coding the core code itself.Wow. That badly needs to be rephrased doesn't it? There is a Limerick...

12/29/08

Name games

I have lots of files in my computers. I have lots of folders in my computers. Folders are like files in that they both need names. URLs are like files in that they are names too. I need to name the names. Otherwise, I cannot...

12/22/08

Would the real, authentic copy of the document please stand up?

A small thought experiment for you on this bright but chilly winter's morning. In your hand you have a 40 page document. On your computer screen you have an electronic document open in a word processor. You have been told they they...

12/15/08

Pet Peeves - Unicode

Making it possible to write software that will work in any language in any country, in any culture in the world is an extremely laudable goal. A goal that I wholeheartedly sign up to. We should make sure that the software arts make...

12/08/08

Implement first, design later

If I were to utter the two words "implementation" and "design" in the context of an IT project, would you be inclined to re-order them in your head? I.e. to think in terms of "design" first and "implementation" second?If so, you are...

12/01/08

Pet Peeves - English

A while back I wrote an article about my pet peeves related to XML. Some time soon I hope to write something similar related to my other main weapon of choice, namely, Python. Before that though, I thought it might be interesting to...

11/24/08

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