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UnderpaidLoveMonki's Archive

Innovation, part 2

UnderpaidLoveMonki @ 6:38 am Saturday, May 3rd, 2008

Having blogged about innovation, here’s another article on innovation — an interview with Pixar’s Brad Bird. It pretty much explains what’s needed to develop new products and fostering innovation.

Involved people make for better innovation… Involved people can be quiet, loud, or anything in-between—what they have in common is a restless, probing nature: “I want to get to the problem. There’s something I want to do.” If you had thermal glasses, you could see heat coming off them.

The first step in achieving the impossible is believing that the impossible can be achieved. … “You don’t play it safe—you do something that scares you, that’s at the edge of your capabilities, where you might fail. That’s what gets you up in the morning.”

Sustainable Innovation

UnderpaidLoveMonki @ 4:08 pm Saturday, April 5th, 2008

In BlackBerry: Innovation Behind the Icon,

If you really want to build something sustainable and innovative you have to invest in R&D. If you build the right culture and invest in the right facilities and you encourage and motivate and inspire both young and seasoned people and put them all in the right environment—then it really performs for you. It’s what I call sustainable innovation.

Amen. If your competitors build cheaper products that’s in the same market as you, innovation is the only thing will keep you alive…in the long run.

Big Brother development kit

UnderpaidLoveMonki @ 10:31 pm Tuesday, March 25th, 2008

From this post,

Texas Instruments (TI) and Micron’s Aptina Imaging division have teamed up on an ultra-low-cost WXGA IP camera reference design for surveillance applications. The DM355IPNC-MT5 design runs Linux on a $10 TI DaVinci RISC/DSP digital media processor, and has an eBOM under $40, the companies claim.

The royalty free TI/Aptina HD IP network camera reference design is available for order now, and expected to ship in the second quarter.

That’s a good deal. I wonder if I’ll get one of these for Christmas. :)

ROI on software testing

UnderpaidLoveMonki @ 9:56 pm Thursday, March 6th, 2008

Black, president and principal consultant of RBCS, emphasized the cost-effectiveness of creating quality software. “The money you spend to build it right the first time is always less than the money it costs to fix it,” he said.

He listed four ways testing saves money: Finding bugs that get fixed, finding bugs that don’t get fixed, running tests that mitigate risks and guiding the project to success through timely, accurate, credible information for project tracking.

This article explains it very well the Return of Investment on testing early in the software development lifecycle.

Bad day at the office?

UnderpaidLoveMonki @ 9:41 pm Thursday, March 6th, 2008

There’s more after the jump.

Mono on Linux

UnderpaidLoveMonki @ 1:36 pm Sunday, February 24th, 2008

Is Mono a good thing for open source? It’s for you to decide…

Here’s some interesting arguments:


My Ubuntu Gutsy borked!

UnderpaidLoveMonki @ 11:01 pm Tuesday, February 12th, 2008

Over the weekend, I wiped out my RAID 1 partition that was running off of the motherboard SATA Raid controller. This controller is also known as “Fake RAID.” Instead of using this, I configured a software RAID 1 using open source tools, notably mdadm.

Monday morning before work, I rebooted my box to check for good measures. Everything booted OK and the graphical login screen appeared normally. Then I proceeded to login, authenticated successfully, and then my desktop was all black. Against the black background was my gkrellm, configured to load after login, blinking like crazy in various colors of green, orange and yellow. Since my box is a dual core AMD, one of the cores was spinning at near 100% CPU usage and then CPU usage spinning alternated between the two cores. After watching this madness, I restarted the X server and the graphical login displayed normally. I logged in again and the same horror continues. I decided it’s time to reboot the box to observe what’s going on by clicking on the Options button on the bottom left hand side in the graphical login screen. Lo and behold, clicking that button redirects me to the login screen without popping up a menu for me to select “Reboot.” My Ubuntu Gutsy box is b0rked!


Are you a n00bz?

UnderpaidLoveMonki @ 11:12 pm Monday, February 11th, 2008

From Steve Yegge’s blog entry,

Does this style look at all familiar? It should! This is, to put it as impolitely as possible, n00b-style. (Incidentally, if u dont no wat a n00b iz, u r 1.)

This is how junior programmers write code. Junior programmers with five to ten years of experience under their belts (still n00bs in their own way) attempt to build giant systems and eventually find themselves stuck on the cliff waiting for a helicopter bailout, telling themselves “my next system rewrite will be better!” Or they fall off the cliff – i.e., the project gets canceled, people get laid off, maybe the company goes under.

Read on for the rest of this great read. After you finish, I want to ask you a question. Are you a n00b? Do you know a n00b? Do tell, I’d like to hear about it! :)

Automate, Automate, Automate…!

UnderpaidLoveMonki @ 10:06 pm Thursday, February 7th, 2008

In “Improving problem resolution through automation,”

When developers are distracted and bogged down by trying to identify the root cause of a problem, they are no longer focused on core development activities that truly add business value. And when testers spend time manually gathering problem information and documenting problems, they are no longer focused on uncovering application issues prior to release. This drain on resources results in unfortunate and measurable tradeoffs between release dates, software stability, software performance, software usability and software functionality.

The more inefficient the problem resolution process is, the more painful, visible and costly these tradeoffs become. By merely by automating its application problem resolution processes, this moderately sized application development team can reallocate over $3 million to develop new applications or functionality, improve quality or release applications faster. And these are only the hard savings.

Drop everything you do and automate it….NOW!

Measuring Code Quality

UnderpaidLoveMonki @ 8:32 pm Wednesday, February 6th, 2008


85 Rules of Software Operations

UnderpaidLoveMonki @ 9:41 pm Saturday, January 26th, 2008

If you work in the Operations department of a technology company, then you must read “(85) Operations Rules to Live By.”

TDD really works!

UnderpaidLoveMonki @ 9:04 pm Saturday, January 26th, 2008

In “Research Finds TDD Boosts Developer Productivity,”

“We found that test-first students on average wrote more tests and, in turn, students who wrote more tests tended to be more productive. We also observed that the minimum quality increased linearly with the number of programmer tests, independent of the development strategy employed.”

“The external validity of the results could be limited since the subjects were students. Runeson [21] compared freshmen, graduate, and professional developers and concluded that similar improvement trends persisted among the three groups. Replicated experiments by Porter
and Votta [22] and Höst et al. [23] suggest that students may provide an adequate model of the professional population.”

It’s hard convincing non-agile developers, i.e., waterfall, to practice test driven development (TDD) in order to improve quality of software being developed. Here’s proof published in IEEE on the results of TDD performed on various people. The original article is located here.

A SCAlable LAnguage — Scala

UnderpaidLoveMonki @ 10:57 pm Tuesday, January 22nd, 2008

From an article under the Java Technology section of IBM’s Developerworks,

Scala is a functional-object hybrid language with several powerful factors working in its favor:

* First, Scala compiles to Java bytecode, meaning it runs on the JVM. In addition to enabling you to continue leveraging the rich Java open-source ecosystem, Scala can be integrated into an existing IT environment with zero migration effort.
* Second, Scala is based on the functional principles of Haskell and ML, yet still borrows heavily from the familiar object-oriented concepts Java programmers love. As a result, it can blend the best of both worlds into a whole that offers significant benefit without sacrificing the familiarity we’ve come to depend on.
* Finally, Scala was developed by Martin Odersky, probably best known in the Java community for the Pizza and GJ languages, the latter of which became the working prototype for Java 5’s generics. As such, it comes with a feeling of “seriousness”; this language was not created on a whim, and it will not be abandoned in the same fashion.

Scala is available in the Ubuntu Gutsy 7.10 repositories. To install, type sudo apt-get install scala. Enjoy.

A software business story tested through time

UnderpaidLoveMonki @ 11:56 pm Wednesday, January 16th, 2008

Note that this article, “How Software Companies Die,” was written back in 1995. It seems to me that not much has changed since then, especially if the software companies haven’t adopted Agile practices. I’m not saying Agile is the answer, but there’s more to it than that. Read the article and you may be inspired to build the next Google!

Big Brother is watching you…with Millimeter Wave!

UnderpaidLoveMonki @ 10:16 pm Wednesday, January 16th, 2008

The SPO threat detection system made by QinetiQ measures waves “naturally emitted by the human body,” exposing “cold” objects such as metal, plastic, or ceramics concealed under clothing. A red light on the system’s display alerts the operator if you’re packing, so there’s no need to rely on interpreting images on a screen. It also means no one is ogling your naked body, which was one of the objections when similar technology was deployed at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport last October.

You can run, but you can’t hide! You can read more about it here.