Tag Archives: Humor

On the importance of having a good haircut

Note to future self: Don’t get haircut the week before important events take place.

After my last day of work at GeoEye, I went to get my haircut at a nearby salon. I asked for it a little shorter. Between the time I gave this brief instruction, and the time she lifted her hands to my head, a seismic, cosmic, interrupting event took place that transformed my words into: “Kindly shave my head, I have no need of hair. Please don’t ask for confirmation.”

At least, that’s what I assume happened. Before I could say anything, an electric razor had taken quite a bit off the top. It wasn’t to the skin–thank goodness. But I was on my way to a whole new look.

It was too late to fix it, so I went with it.

The next day we flew out to Seattle to look for housing with our new realtor. I had to excuse myself for looking like a skinhead.

Of course, the next Monday I started at Microsoft and had my badge picture taken. That one will be alive for a while…

And my drivers license…

And all the pictures of my wife and I in a new location…


Check out my latest book, the essential, in-depth guide to performance for all .NET developers:

Writing High-Performance.NET Code, 2nd Edition by Ben Watson. Available for pre-order:

Would you rather…

be able to read minds (anyone’s around you. Selectively. You aren’t forced.)

– OR –

be the smartest person in the world (in any field, you’re a genius)

…a question my wife and I pondered as we cleaned the house the other day…


Check out my latest book, the essential, in-depth guide to performance for all .NET developers:

Writing High-Performance.NET Code, 2nd Edition by Ben Watson. Available for pre-order:

Top 10 Things To Do My First Week at Microsoft

  1. Wear my Google t-shirt.
  2. Set my homepage to www.google.com
  3. Continually ask, “Have you met BillG? Where’s BillG? When can I see BillG?”
  4. Show off my bright blue iPod Nano
  5. “Upgrade” my workstation to Windows XP
  6. Then just format it and install Ubuntu
  7. Randomly shout “Yahoo!” as I walk through the halls
  8. Add my gmail address to my e-mail sig
  9. Start an open-source project for Google Android
  10. Default browser: Firefox Safari

(I kid, I kid…)


Check out my latest book, the essential, in-depth guide to performance for all .NET developers:

Writing High-Performance.NET Code, 2nd Edition by Ben Watson. Available for pre-order:

In this universe we obey the law of commutativity

This kind of thing has happened to be a few times now, so I thought I’d share the fun.

In one of our pieces of software we have a process that looks like this:

void MyThread()
{
    while (true)
    {
        DoFunctionA();
        DoFunctionB();
        SleepFor10Seconds();
    }
    
}

While FunctionA and FunctionB are conceptually similar, they interact with completely different systems.

We had a problem with FunctionA the other day–it was taking 120 seconds to do its thing instead of the normal 10 (or less) because a remote server was down. This caused problems for FunctionB because it wasn’t running as often as it should have so things were getting backed up in the system. Oops.

Now, the solution is to split these two functions into two independent threads so they don’t interfere with each other, and I’ve been meaning to do this for a while, so that’s what I proposed.

Response back: “That’s a good idea, but before we do something complicated like that, can we just put FunctionB first?

Um, no.

The time we want to minimize is the time between running FunctionB, which is TimeSleep + TimeA. Putting FunctionB first makes it TimeA + TimeSleep. Last I checked, those were actually equivalent.


Check out my latest book, the essential, in-depth guide to performance for all .NET developers:

Writing High-Performance.NET Code, 2nd Edition by Ben Watson. Available for pre-order:

How to catch a NetFlix thief

Via Geekologie comes the hilarious tale of a man (boy, really) caught stealing NetFlix DVDs from a mailbox. The comments are funny, too. Some seem like they’re obviously written by the neighbor.

One issue I didn’t really see addressed in the comments on the post is the overall issue of mail safety. People need to consider the seriousness of stealing mail. There’s a reason the fines for it are so severe. A reliable and trusted mail system is the foundation of a good portion of our society and its communications mechanisms.

Having lived overseas, and having had many family members live all over the world, I can personally testify to the need for a secure mail system. There are countries I would not mail a package to–it would just be a waste of money. The security of our system *HAS* to be enforced harshly or people will lose faith in it and it becomes a system of corruption and scamming. This kid got off lucky. If he were older or there were stronger evidence he were stealing more valuable items, or he were being less discriminating in what he stole, I think he could have gotten a far worse punishment.


Check out my latest book, the essential, in-depth guide to performance for all .NET developers:

Writing High-Performance.NET Code, 2nd Edition by Ben Watson. Available for pre-order:

The Bugle podcast

I just discovered this gem of a podcast. The Bugle is a podcast published by the Times Online. Better writing than the Onion, and funnier than the Daily Show. It’s basically two Brits being witty about the week’s news. I’ve only listened to episode one so far, but found myself laughing too hard to concentrate on anything else.


Check out my latest book, the essential, in-depth guide to performance for all .NET developers:

Writing High-Performance.NET Code, 2nd Edition by Ben Watson. Available for pre-order:

5 Books to make you stupider

Well, after a week of investigation, I’ve settled on a social network for books: Shelfari. It’s attractive, easy-to-use, easy to manipulate many books at once, they have a mobile version, and I have one friend on it (who invited me).

 Goodreads.com also looked nice, and it almost won. bookwormr.com, the one I originally found was just too immature at this point. I’m also wondering what features are going to set it apart from the pack, especially when there are so many well-established sites that do the same thing.

Meanwhile, if you want to read some books that will definitely NOT make you smarter, check out 5 Books that can actually make you stupider.

Visit my Shelfari page.

 

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Check out my latest book, the essential, in-depth guide to performance for all .NET developers:

Writing High-Performance.NET Code, 2nd Edition by Ben Watson. Available for pre-order:

Dear Spammers…

Thank you for your increasing interest in my blog, which is apparently slowly gaining in popularity with legitimate readers too!

Unfortunately, my dear spammers, you are idiots. 100% of comments on this blog are moderated–99.9% are filtered before I ever see them. The rest are fairly obvious scams. None of your stupid spammy comments will ever be allowed. You’re just annoying me. And you get nothing out of it. I hate you.

Sincerely,

Ben

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Check out my latest book, the essential, in-depth guide to performance for all .NET developers:

Writing High-Performance.NET Code, 2nd Edition by Ben Watson. Available for pre-order:

6 Programming problems you don’t want in the interview

1. Write out all floating point values between 0 and 1.

2. Write tic-tac-toe in Brainf*&$

3. What is 2128 in decimal?

4. Solve traveling salesman in constant  time (O(1))

5. How many grains of sand are there in the Sahara (at a given instant, assuming constant, well-defined boundaries)?

6. Implement quicksort on a spherically linked list.


Check out my latest book, the essential, in-depth guide to performance for all .NET developers:

Writing High-Performance.NET Code, 2nd Edition by Ben Watson. Available for pre-order: