Functionality Over Elegance

I’m reading Where Wizards Stay Up Late which is a book about the people that invented the internet.  It’s the story of ARPA and BBN and the creation of essentially the first computer network.  I ran across an interesting quote from one of the programmers of the first networking gear (the IMP).  Dave Walden said,…

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Merry Christmas

By now you’re all probably stuffed full of food and staring at a pile presents not to mention wrapping paper, ribbons, bows, and boxes.  I hope you all had a great day.  Enjoy your time away from the regular routine for a while.  Take the time to do something you don’t normally get to–reflect, talk…

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Secret Santa is NP-Complete

Every year my group of friends undertakes a Secret Santa gift exchange.  When we started we each drew names from a hat and bought a gift for the names we drew.  Being budding programmers, we soon dispensed with the hat and wrote a program to do the work for us.  In 1999 a friend and…

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None of Us Is as Dumb as All of Us

That’s the subtext on the “Meetings” inspirational poster from Despair.com.  What it means to me is that you’ll never get a great design out of a committee.  When designing a piece of software, you want to get input from many people but how do you keep from being paralyzed by input.  Worse yet, how do…

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The State of PC Audio

One of the things I own at Microsoft is test development for audio in Windows.  For Vista we did a lot of work to rewrite the audio system and make it more stable and enable more features.  Just recently ExtremeTech published an article on the State of PC Audio.  It talks about the various options…

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New Vista Sound

This is a bit dated but it’s worth mentioning anyway now that Vista is officially launched for businesses.  Each major release of Windows comes with a startup sound.  Vista is no different.  It has a sound created by Robert Fripp.  I was lucky enough to be able to attend one of the recording sessions for…

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What To Unit Test

Several months back I wrote about unit testing.  Following that I received a question from a reader about how to actually carry out writing unit tests.  What should be tested?  How much is enough?  There is no single answer to these questions but I can give guidance.  The actual answer depends on the specifics of…

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Bug Taxonomy

When you get toward the end of a product, you have to make the tough calls about what gets fixed and what doesn’t.  Most bugs fall into one of two obvious buckets: Must Fix –  Something is really bad here.  We cannot ship the product without fixing it. Won’t Fix – The problem is minor, hard…

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Vista Goes Gold!

Windows Vista–the product I’ve been working on for much of the last 5 years–has finally shipped.  Hopefully that will give me some more time to actually blog here.  It has been a long haul and a lot of work–especially over the past few months–but it is now finished.  I’m pretty proud of the final product. …

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Liveblogging Woz

He’s talking about his childhood.  How his father managed to get him transisters and diodes because he worked at Lockheed Martin.  He did a lot of electronics.  He didn’t know was a computer was for a long time because he was afraid to ask.  Eventually in high school he got a chance to program a…

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