I was hoping that I’d be using Fedora Core 3 the next time I wrote an entry here, but ’twas not to be: I can’t get the damn CD’s written. I’ve eliminated all variables, using two different CD writers, two different CD readers, two different sources of blank CDs, two different downloads of the images (both md5 summed). Of course, it’s the same images both times, but I doubt that the Fedora folks are distributing images that are incapable of working. I’m not sure what my hypothesis is now: I guess my laptop’s CDRW drive must be having problems, but that can’t be the only issue, otherwise everything would have worked fine at work.

Sigh. Why do I have to burn them to CD’s in the first place? I guess now I’ll explore avoiding that altogether. Also, I forgot to mention another annoyance yesterday: even if this does work, I’ll have spent all this effort effectively downgrading many/most of the packages on my computer to their status at the time of FC3’s release, and then I’ll have to spend a few hours upgrading the computer again.

Counterpunch has been talking about work weeks recently; one of the least emphasized practices of eXtreme Programming is the forty-hour work week. A good practice, which I try to stick to in my team. I do wonder, though, how much the rule came to be because it’s a good idea for humane reasons, as opposed to a good idea for production reasons. Certainly the former is by far the most important reason for me: I love programming, I thoroughly enjoy my job, but I’m not about to let it start squeezing out my family life, or for that matter my own personal non-work intellectual interests. And Kent Beck does admit that those reasons are important to him, too. But XP does do a pretty good job of making a case for it in terms of production reasons: they work very hard to have people write the highest-quality code they can all the time, and it’s not too much of a stretch to imagine that you can’t keep that up if you regularly work evenings or weekends. (And, of course, they have a C3 project anecdote to back that up.)

And I’m not sure the “treat people humane” argument is such a bad one, even in productivity terms. It’s expensive to replace people, in terms of cost, time, lost knowledge, and lost morale. I tend to think that those are the sorts of costs that are underestimated, and that a company that treated them seriously could get a real competitive advantage over other companies. (Also, while we’re on the subject, what’s so magic about a 40-hour work week? How about a 35, or 32, or 30-hour work week? The 40-hour work week was one of the great accomplishments of the 20th century; we should be ashamed that we’ve been going up over the last half-century instead of gonig down.)

We went to an open house at Miranda’s daycare today. In one of the rooms for bigger kids, they have a big TV with a Playstation and a couple of Dance Dance Revolution mats, so I watched some kids play that for a while. (One of them was pretty good, too, certainly better than I am.) I haven’t dragged out my DDR pad since we moved into this house, and I’m not sure why: it’s a fun game, and it’s even decent exercise, so I could have played it on days when I was supposed to jog but it was too wet for me to be thrilled about going outside. Actually, I expect that I’ll hit a bit of a void in video games soon: there aren’t a lot of games coming out soon that I’m excited in, and some of the recent releases that I am interested in are ones that I don’t want to play while Miranda is watching, which drastically cuts down the time when I can play them. (Especially since I’m still playing through Grand Theft Auto.) At one point I expected to make up this void by finally getting around to buying an Xbox, but now that the rumors are that the Xbox 2 will be backwards compatible, I’m holding off on buying that until I know for sure one way or the other.

Albert Pujols hasn’t struck out all spring. (.455 batting average, slugging over .900). Apparently this isn’t all that rare, actually: Eric Young did it just two years ago. Still, he’s really good. Nice to see Jordan last week; too bad that the A’s and O’s are opening against each other…

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