Jools Holland

When you are young, you often believe that you can do anything. Sometimes this might mean that real talent gets missed, or gets downplayed by ego. It wasn't until recently that I realised how talented Jools Holland actually is. It might be a crime to waste a talent, but it might be brillant to use one.


George Best died today

A working man's hero and what a life he had. A tragic genius, some people just seem to self-destruct.

I spend a lot of my money on booze, birds and fast cars-- the rest I just squandered.

--- George Best

It is ironic that George dies in the week that the British Licensing laws change to be 24 hours. There is much speculation about how the British will deal with the new laws. George might just be the example of why it will be worse for some than others.

I hope he rests in peace.


Software Engineering

The Gladiator

It is not the critic who counts, not the man
who points out how the strongman stumbled,
or where the doer of deeds could have done
them better. The credit belongs to the man
who is actually in the arena; whose face is
marred by dust and sweat and blood; who
strives valiantly; who errs and comes short
again and again; who knows the great
enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends
himself in a worthy cause; who, at the best,
knows in the end the triumph of high
achievement, and who, at the worst, if he
fails, at least fails while daring greatly; so
that his place shall never be with those cold


Home Manufacturing

In the future will products be manufactured in the living room? Would you download the plans of what you would like to build from the internet and print it on a 3D printer?

Already there are printers that can print 3D plastic ceramic and circuits. Parts manufactured in this way can be robust and a fraction of the cost of normal manufacture. Further advances with new materials may mean a future of downloading plans off the internet for home manufacture.

Additional Link


Design Simplicity

In design, and software design is no exception, simplicity is hard. It's not just a matter of reducing the number of variables or applying Occam's Razor, although this may help to a degree. Simplicity does not mean trivialing either. Sometimes particularly, in visual design, simplicity can be knowing about people. A design can be arranged in an intuitive way, the complexity reduced not by removal; but rearranging to appeal to intuition. Some software packages, like word, have more functions than ever--- the number of functions hasn't decreased; some would say that makes them less usable. But on the hole, the functions that most people want from word are readibly available.

How can Java be faster?

I've just remembered two, perhaps rhetorical, questions that I was once asked:

  1. How can ever Java be faster than native code when it runs in a virtual machine?
  2. When I miss a semicolon of the end of a compilation line, why doesn't it just insert the semi-colon and continue? If it knows what's wrong with it, it should just fix it?


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