Monthly Archives: July 2009

Software that gets used

I’ve been looking back at software projects that I either developed or managed. I thought about which projects produced software that is actively used and which didn’t. Here’s what the popular projects had in common. The software was developed to

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Posted in Software development

Organizational scar tissue

Here’s a quote from Jason Fried I found recently. Policies are organizational scar tissue. They are codiļ¬ed overreactions to unlikely-to-happen-again situations. Of course that’s not always true, but quite often it is. Policies can be a way of fighting the

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Posted in Business

Carl Franklin interview

Carl Franklin is a many of many talents: talk show host, producer, software developer, musician, etc. He’s probably best known for his excellent .NET Rocks podcast and for the other podcasts he hosts and produces. I hope you enjoy the

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Posted in Music, Software development

Can you predict the "20" in 80/20?

A simplest form of the 80/20 rule says that 80% of results come from only 20% of efforts. For example, maybe the top two people on a team of 10 are responsible for 80% of the team’s output. Maybe the

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Posted in Business

Updated R notes

Over five thousand folks visited my notes on R yesterday because the page was picked up by some link sharing sites. I want to thank everyone who sent feedback, especially Gabor Grothendieck. I’ve revised the notes to reflect many of

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Posted in Software development

Baklava code

“Spaghetti code” is a well-known phrase for software with tangled logic, especially legacy code with goto statements. The term “lasagna code” is not nearly as common. I first heard it used to describe code with too many architectural layers. Then

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Posted in Software development

Important because it's unimportant

Some things are important because they’re unimportant. These things are not intrinsically important, but if not handled correctly they distract from what is important. Content is more important than spelling and grammar. But grammatical errors are a distraction. Correct spelling

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Posted in Business

Weekend Miscellany

Math and space exploration A mathematician behind the moon landing Mathematicians behind the Mars rover PowerShell Mastering PowerShell free e-book (567 pages) PowerShell Day 1 free e-booklet (10 pages) Python Run a Python session from a browser Getting started with

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Adding fonts to the PowerShell and cmd.exe consoles

The default font options for the PowerShell console are limited: raster fonts and Lucida Console. Raster fonts are the default, though Lucida Console is an improvement. In my opinion, Consolas is even better, but it’s not on the list of

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Posted in PowerShell, Typography

R Q&A

There is an organized effort to promote the StackOverflow site for questions and answers around the R programming language. It’s working: the amount of R activity on StackOverflow has greatly increased lately. If you’re familiar with StackOverflow but not R,

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Posted in Statistics

Getting started with SciPy (Scientific Python)

CodeProject just published my article Getting Started with SciPy (Scientific Python)

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Posted in Python

Bad programmers create jobs

Jeff Atwood quotes an interview with David Parnas in his most recent blog post. Q: What is the most often-overlooked risk in software engineering? A: Incompetent programmers. There are estimates that the number of programmers needed in the U.S. exceeds

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IEEE floating point arithmetic in Python

Sometimes a number is not a number. Numeric data types represent real numbers in a computer fairly well most of the time, but sometimes the abstraction leaks. The sum of two numeric types is always a numeric type, but the

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Posted in Math, Python

Probability distributions in SciPy

Here are some notes on how to work with probability distributions using the SciPy numerical library for Python. Functions related to probability distributions are located in scipy.stats. The general pattern is scipy.stats.<distribution family>.<function> There are 81 supported continuous distribution families

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Posted in Python

Weekend miscellany

Science 10 rules of group psychology Feynman lectures online Animation of continental drift Sports Review of The Unwritten Rules of Baseball Operating systems Why I am not a Linux user anymore from Robert Talbert Pair of observations from Mike Knudson:

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