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Archives for March, 2008

deming on examples

Since I felt compelled to type out a long quote for use on a mailing list, I might as well stick it up here, too. This is from Deming’s Out of the Crisis, pp. 128–129, in its chapter on “Diseases and Obstacles”; the blockquote sections are indented in the original. Search for Examples. Improvement of […]

the dip

I read Seth Godin’s The Dip last week, and I found it unexpectedly frustrating. It’s a short book, with a very simple premise: you (or your company, or what have you) should pick a niche, and try to be the best in the world at that niche; doing so is alleged to be surprisingly within […]

floor repairs

The latest victory of my new, organized self: after putting up with quite bouncy floors in this house for the four and a half years that we’d been living here, we finally got it fixed! The barriers here were was psychological as much as organizational: my brain was imagining all sorts of possible causes that […]

upgraded to wordpress 2.5

I’ve just upgraded to WordPress 2.5. Seems okay so far; the administrative interface looks pretty different, and I’m not entirely convinced by it (the blue and orange clash, maybe a bit too much whitespace). And there’s now a space for commenters’ pictures; not sure what I think about that, I’m tempted to remove it because […]

i guess they did something else after all

A postscript to my recent mac repair: when I got my computer back, it seemed that the DVD drive sounded a bit different, and now I’m 80% sure that they replaced it without my asking them. I can’t figure out if this goes in the good column or the bad column. It is true that […]

random links: march 23, 2008

A bit video-heavy today. The power of continuous improvement. A cool-looking physics “game”: (Via BitWorking.) Zefrank on complicated stuff: Falco PA! (Via Game|Life, which also links to a Guitar Hero version.) An fun variant on presenting minigames. Time to add The Muppet Show to my Netflix queue. (Via Cosmic Variance.) Brian Dettmer book autopsies. (Via […]

eternal sonata

Eternal Sonata is a quite good Japanese RPG for the Xbox 360. Unfortunately, the main lesson that I’ve learned from it is that I don’t particularly like JRPG’s; I won’t say I’m swearing off of them forever (in fact, I’m glad I played this one), but I won’t give them the benefit of the doubt […]

version control systems and filesystems

I seem to have version control systems on the brain somewhat these days. Until not very long ago, I didn’t think much of them: they’re obviously important to have around if you’re collaborating on software, but other than that, who cares? But then I started getting addicted to looking at diffs after having checked in […]

macbook pro latch repair

A week and a half ago, I noticed that the latch on my MacBook Pro had stopped reliably holding the lid shut. Which isn’t a huge deal—I mostly use it at home, and turn it off between uses—but at some point it would annoy me. My new organized self recognized that the most likely reason […]

bay area go players association

I recently learned that a Bay Area Go Players Association has been created, with the goal of ensuring that there’s at least one go tournament a month in the bay area. (And, so far, they seem to generally be holding their tournaments quite close to where I live.) I missed the first tournament, but the […]

shore and warden on refactoring

I finished reading The Art of Agile Development, by James Shore and Shane Warden a few weeks ago. It’s a quite good book: if you’re looking for a well-written, prescriptive guide for how to do XP, this is what I would recommend. Though I won’t go into the book in general any more than that. […]

inappropriate covers

I recently was charmed (?) to discover that Jonathan Coulton likes big butts and he cannot lie. For those of you who want instant gratification, here’s a YouTube version, but the studio version linked to above has somewhat better audio. On that vein, I don’t believe I ever linked to Alanis Morissette discussing her humps […]

217 down, 1728 to go

I’ve now hit the 200 kanji mark in my quest to memorize all 1945 Joyo Kanji. Where by “memorize” I mean that, if my memory is working well (which it usually is), I can write down the first 200 characters (actually, the first 217 characters: I’ve been procrastinating on writing this blog post) in the […]

refactoring and proofs

Warning: While I don’t intend for anything here to be a spoiler for the “primes and fractions” post I wrote before it (the post following this if you’re looking at the front page), it’s possible that you’d have more fun working out that brainteaser if you didn’t read this post first. At the time when […]

primes and fractions

I was nosing around my home directory, and ran into a file with the following contents: From The Mathematical Intelligencer, vol. 3, number 1, p. 45. Problem is by J. H. Conway. Problem 2.4: A Prime Problem for the Ambidextrous 17/91, 78/85, 19/51, 23/38, 29/33, 77/29, 95/23, 77/19, 1/17, 11/13, 13/11, 15/14, 15/2, 55/1. Write […]