Monthly Archives: December 2009

Twitter feeds to help with New Year's resolutions

I have four Twitter accounts that send out one tip per day. One of these might help you with a New Year’s resolution. If you don’t use Twitter, you can follow these Twitter accounts by subscribing to their RSS feeds.

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19 why posts

Here’s a list of 19 “why” posts I’ve written. Why programmers are not paid in proportion to their productivity Why programmers write unneeded code Why care about spherical trig? Why Shakespeare is hard to read Why are bad guys so

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Fear of tech commitment

According to the stereotypes, men fear committing to relationships. I find that hard to relate to. But I can relate to fear of technological commitment. I don’t want to take the time to learn something well that’s going to go

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Multitasking

Countless articles tell us that multitasking makes us less efficient — we’re not as good at multitasking as we suppose. But here is a new criticism: multitasking makes us shallow. If you don’t want to sink, you learn to surf;

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Posted in Creativity

Weekend miscellany

How start-ups turn into bureaucracies A programmer’s fantasy office Top 50 health informatics blogs Best end user license agreement (EULA) Best design and architecture books of 2009

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Merry Christmas

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Why programmers are not paid in proportion to their productivity

The most productive programmers are orders of magnitude more productive than average programmers. But salaries usually fall within a fairly small range in any company. Even across the entire profession, salaries don’t vary that much. If some programmers are 10x

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Posted in Business, Software development

Solver Foundation optimization library

Microsoft’s Solver Foundation is a numerical optimization library capable of solving problems involving millions of variables and millions of constraints. When I listened Scott Hanselman interview Nathan Brixius from Microsoft’s Solver Foundation team, I expected Brixius to say that Solver

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Posted in Computing, Software development

Currency in British literature

A few days ago my family and I went to see a stage performance of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. For years I’ve glossed over references to money when reading British literature but I’ve intended to figure out how it

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Including LaTeX in an Inkscape drawing

My previous post described how to include an Inkscape drawing in a LaTeX document. This post describes how to use LaTeX in an Inkscape drawing, which is probably more useful. The LaTeX output is included not as bitmap but as

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Including an Inkscape drawing in LaTeX

The Inkscape drawing package can export to a large variety of vector drawing formats, including LaTeX. If you save your drawing to a file foo.tex, you can include the file in a LaTeX document as follows. \documentclass{article} \usepackage{pstricks} \begin{document} Testing

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Function plots in Inkscape

Why would you want to plot a mathematical function using a drawing package like Inkscape rather than a mathematical package like Mathematica or R? One reason is that you may want plot for its visual properties. For example, you might

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Bezier basics

Bézier curves are very common in computer graphics. They also interesting mathematical properties. This post will give a quick introduction to Bézier curves, describing them first in visual terms and then in mathematical terms. There are different degrees of Bézier

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Roots of integers

An integer is either a perfect square or its square root is irrational. Said a different way, when you compute the square root of an integer, there are either no figures to the right of the decimal or there are

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Posted in Math

Audio book narrators

Last year I wrote a post about my favorite audio book narrators: John McDonough and Rob Inglis. Here are three more who came to mind lately. Lana Quintal reading Barbara Park’s Junie B. Jones books. Jim Dale reading the Harry

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