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Archives for August, 2006

toc vs. jit

I just finished another one of Eliyahu Goldratt’s business novels on the Theory of Constraints. I didn’t lose sleep over it the way I did with The Goal, but it was quite good. And useful to see ToC applied to product development situations, instead of just manufacturing situations. One thing that caught my eye: not […]

i do not like first-person shooters

I used to like first-person shooters – in the distant past, I seem to recall having enjoyed Doom, Marathon, System Shock, Dark Forces, and GoldenEye, for example. The last few times I’ve played FPS’s, though, they really haven’t done much for me. I’m not sure why the big change – part is probably that I […]

random links: august 26, 2006

Project X: Cup Noodle clearly has to go on today’s one-click list. Jackson Pollock. I would seem to be getting into interactive flash sites. House of dominoes. The Foundation replacement saga. Quite a storefront. Our money is badly designed (and getting worse). Nice manhole cover, too. A much longer talk than I usually tolerate on […]

indigo animal

Nevertheless, the beauty of lawn statuary comforts this perhaps overly-serious animal.

andy bechtolsheim on thumper

I seem to be in a quiet mood these days. But I did like this video from my CEO’s blog. Andy is an excellent geek. I suppose I could even try joining the modern world and embed it. Gee, that was easy. Go web 2.0, or something.

expanding team

One of my fellow managers has resigned, and rather than hiring another manager, we’re merging his team with mine. So my team has more than doubled in size. It’ll be interesting to see how things play out, and to see if I’ve learned anything about managing over the last couple of years; I’m looking forward […]

new aim digs

My, the design for the new digs for the American Institute of Mathematics look posh – quite a change from the Palo Alto Fry’s building. Here are renderings from one side, another side, and a rendered flyover video. I will definitely have to wander over the first time Jordan goes to an event there after […]

what to do next?

I’ve finished the last important code cleanups from my dbcdb code: I removed some proxy objects that had been used for lazy loading. I was really surprised to see how much that cleaned up certain aspects of the code: my Entity objects’ constructors got a lot cleaner, useless attribute setters/getters were removed, and in general […]

dbcdb: improved compound author links

I’ve deprecated the old compound author pages – they’re still there, but now nobody links to them. Instead, pages for books written by multiple authors link directly to the individual authors’ pages. A matter of a change of a couple of lines of code. (Though all of my acceptance tests passed unchanged after that – […]

lean employer-employee relations

One thing that I never got around to blogging about when I first became lean-obsessed: Toyota never fires anybody. Or something like that; at any rate, one thing that lean bloggers claim is that, for lean manufacturers, employees are a fixed cost instead of a variable cost. Which has interesting ramifications. In general, it’s a […]


If one is so eccentric as to use a Dvorak keyboard layout, it is easy to accidentally hit clover-Q with one’s thumb. Good thing Emacs has auto-save files; I should get in the habit of saving long e-mails while in the middle of drafting them, though…

business novels

I’ve read a couple of business novels recently, and I confess that I hadn’t properly appreciated the genre before. I’m not going to stop reading nonfiction or anything, but it seems like a quite decent way to learn something about an area that I don’t want to currently pursue in depth. Which is the case […]

random dbcdb tweaks

Today’s dbcdb projects: Improve the appearance of pages with long fields: now the long field doesn’t get forced to start on the next line. I’d hoped this would fix the Internet Explorer problem, but it doesn’t (though it improves it): for reasons that I haven’t yet investigated, I have to have the key float: left […]

bezos investing in 37 signals

So what’s the deal behind this story? 37signals is notable for, among other things, being minimalist (in many ways) and profitable. Like they say, they don’t need money (at least to do what they’re doing now); and, in the past, they have apparently been happy with (quite) small teams. (Indeed, DHH reinforces the latter in […]

this is why i want to learn ruby

Some compelling (to me, at least) articles/etc. on the excellence of Ruby: Martin Fower says people he works with are significantly more productive in Ruby. Tim Bray says: “Ruby is remarkably, perhaps irresistibly, attractive. Over the last week I’ve got an unreasonable amount of work done in a ridiculously short period of time, with lots […]

guitar hero

Guitar Hero is a music game that comes with a guitar-shaped controller. There are five “fret buttons” on the neck, and a strum button on the body. (It’s somewhat inconsistent on the model it uses – sometimes it pretends to be a guitar with a single string and five frets, and sometimes it pretends to […]


When I first saw Brian Marick’s complaint about the prevalence of the term “leadership” at Agile 2006, my first reaction was “hmm, that doesn’t sound so good, and here I am being part of the problem.” After thinking about it a bit more, though, the Christopher Avery talk that I blogged about doesn’t sound like […]

zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance

I just read Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance for the first time in more than a decade. I confess to some amount of trepidation: I used to really like the book, and I was afraid it hadn’t aged well. In fact, the book continues to be awesome. Most novels could not pull off […]