democratize (v.): pretend that you’re going to remove traditional gatekeepers and allow sellers to interact directly with buyers; in reality, interpose yourself in every transaction instead of a patchwork of smaller businesses, take a cut off the top, and disclaim any responsibility for when things go wrong because after all it’s just a network of sellers and buyers, we can’t do anything about it!
to install software on some kinds of Linux, you use a program called “apt”. for largely unimportant reasons, to search for a piece of software, you type
apt-cache search, then some piece of text in that software’s name or description.
there’s a program called “g++”. it’s a program that turns C++ code into something your computer can run. say you want to look for it in apt. a reasonably cool, hip, with-it person would type:
apt-cache search g++
that reasonably hip person would immediately be overwhelmed with a list of irrelevant results.
apt-cache search interprets “g++” as a regular expression, basically a recipe for building text. “g++” is a recipe that means “the letter g, one or more times,” and since very, very many things contain the letter g, you see every piece of software under the sun.
there’s a pattern in nerdy computer systems going back thirty or forty years that, when a computer interprets your text in “too smart” of a way, you can put a backslash (\) before it to make it think less.
a reasonably hip person with that cultural context would then type:
apt-cache search g\+\+
to try and be more explicit to the computer what they wanted to do. unfortunately, there’s a piece of software called a “shell” in between them and
apt-cache search, which eats those backslashes itself. and so, this does nothing to solve the reasonably hip person’s predicament.
at this point, a reasonably hip person would sigh and tell the shell to ignore the backslashes as well, by typing:
apt-cache search g\\+\\+
at which point the computer would do what they intended it to.
neither the person who named g++ “g++”, nor the person who decided
apt-cache search should accept regular expressions, nor the person who decided the shell should ignore backslashes before non-escape characters, made bad decisions.
but all of them made a bad decision together.
roll (1d6+1)d10 on the following table to generate your own romance novel subgenre:
4: shape shifter
mash up the FlightAware API with the Twitter API and a reverse geocoder; allow people to register themselves as being on certain flights, use information from the GetLastTrack method to change their Twitter location once a minute to “x,xxx feet above City, ST”
‘Episode 1 Main Theme’ by Bear Stearns Bravo OST
music to do rails of polysilicon off of an early 21st-century cybertoilet by
after 5 years and a bit, I’m leaving my current job at MS, effective close of business 9/25. long story short, I’m just not feeling it any more.
I’ve got a bit of cash saved up, so I decided to let my head clear a bit before looking for a new gig, so I don’t have anything lined up at the time of this writing. in truest slap-dash Colin form, I don’t really even have my resume together at this point.
if you’d be down to work with me, feel free to e-mail me at (vogon at outlook.com), and I’ll drop you a link to it once I get it freshened up.
ideal jobs are (in roughly descending order of importance):
- not at Google (no non-competes or anything, I just really hate Google);
- located in greater San Francisco north of Redwood City or so, or within 45ish minutes of the Seattle Central Business District by bus;
- product or agile dev, not program management or dedicated test roles;
- working on a product with a name and a Web site, not internal goop;
- ideally doing something cool with embedded software, music, or biotechnology (bonus points for consumer genetics);
- at least not doing something with advertising or SEO.
a brief sketch of me:
- 5.5 years professional generalist-ass software development experience: 2 years in Java, J2ME on BlackBerry; 2.5 years in C/C++ on Windows Phone 7.0/7.5/8.0, Windows 8/8.1, and self-hosted environments (i.e., bootloaders); 1 year in C# on Windows 8/8.1;
- pretty reasonable at C, C++, C#, and Java;
- knows enough to be dangerous about speech recognition/synthesis and information security, but never really employed in a dedicated role on either;
- some experience with Ruby and web technologies through side projects, but still definitely apprentice-level;
- 4-year degrees in computer science and linguistics from the University of Washington.
love to work with you, or grab a drink and share war stories if not!
‘Good Thing It’s A Ghost Town Around Here’ by Still Flyin’
the jam of every day you just want to get through the day and have it be another day closer to the weekend