5 Things You May Not Know About Me

I’ve been tagged by Brain Harry in the 5 things you may not know about me meme.

1. I love cooking… and not just because Gretchen leaves the kitchen looking like a tornado hit after producing grilled cheese sandwiches. Her Christmas gifts to me included subscriptions to Cooking Light & Food and Wine magazine. I find shows like Top Chef and Iron Chef America inspiring and love trying to come up with themes for new tasty meals.

2. I grew up in New England outside of Providence, attended school in Nashville because Vanderbilt sent me the most mail, and moved to Seattle after graduating. I miss the New England fish and chips on Fridays, the southern BBQ any day of the week, and inexpensive ice coffee. I do love the weather out here… unless the road leading up to our house is a skating rink.

3. My uncle, Henry Ledgard, was on the team that created the Ada programming language. I hadn’t really thought anything of it until I interviewed for an internship at a small software shop in R.I. that developed testing and code coverage software for the Ada systems in use at Raytheon and Electric Boat. Towards the end of the interview they pulled out his "Ada: A First Introduction" book and asked if I could have it signed. I did get the job. Henry’s best book, however, is probably "Programming Proverbs". It demonstrates, ahead of it’s time for 1975, the importance of writing readable code.

4. You could say I had my first blog at the age of 12. My friends and I published a few issues of a video game magazine that was distributed at local video stores. We didn’t make much (any) money on the project, but I learned that I enjoyed having people read my rantings.

5. I recently realized how much I would love subscription music with my Zune Pass. Until someone decides they want to lose money giving away free unrestricted mp3s… this is they way to go. Sure, I don’t get to keep the music, but there is also no false belief that the music I download is mine since I view it more like Netflix. I’ll just keep buying my favorite tracks in CD form and rent all the music I want in the meantime.

Because this works like a chain letter I’ll tag Joe, Sara, Bertan, Jeremy, and Gretchen.

Comments (6)
  1. Norman Diamond says:

    Interesting.  I thought the name was just a coincidence.

    > […] "Programming Proverbs". It demonstrates, ahead of

    > it’s time for 1975, the importance of writing readable

    > code.

    I think that in 1975 the importance of writing readable code was already known.  Though in practice it’s still often absent, because companies don’t want to pay the cost during development time, they’d rather postpone the cost until maintenance time — and then they compound the problem during maintenance.

    If I recall correctly, I was impressed by your uncle’s book "Basic with Style" but then equally unimpressed by "Pascal with Style".  It was impressive to see Basic programs made readable in some ways that language designers didn’t intend, but then unimpressive to see those constructs translated into Pascal token by token instead of using techniques that language designers had provided for readability.

    Your uncle kindly mailed a correction of a typo in "The American Pascal Standard" when I was living in a different country and couldn’t provide a postage stamp for return mail.  Of course today that exchange would be undertaken by e-mail (or more likely the errata would already be posted on the web).

  2. AlfredTh says:

    I have a copy of Programming Proverbs. I bought it when I was in college and it is still on my book shelf.   Of course the example code is mostly in Pl1/ Algol 60 and BASIC which makes it a lot more readable for someone with real programming experience than for a lot of new (i.e. only learned in the last 15-20 years) programmers. In looking through the Proverbs book, since you brought it up, it is amazing to me how well the principles in it hold up. It was a very great book for its time.

    He also co-wrote  "Cobol With Style" with Louis Chmura and Programming Proverbs For FORTRAN Programmers. I have the COBOL one and I think I have (or had) the FORTRAN one but I can’t seem to find it.

    It would be way cool to do an updated version using modern languages like C#, VB .NET and what’s that other language? Coffee? Something like that. 🙂 Think your uncle would be interested in someone taking a crack at it?

  3. MSDNArchive says:

    Now who told you a year ago that subscription music was the way to go…. 🙂

  4. Mike says:

    Coincidentally, there was a game-design analysis of the 5-things meme over at LostGarden yesterday.


  5. Well, now I’ve been tagged twice (first by Jim in December and now by Mr. Gretchen) so I guess it’s…

  6. A recent blog post by Josh Ledgard reminded me of a book that had a great influence in my early programming

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