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Loosely Typed in Ohio

General Pool table argument resolved

From wikipedia:

0 is the integer between 1 and −1. In most systems, 0 was identified before the idea of ‘negative integers’ was accepted. Zero is an even number.[2]


While mathematicians accept zero as a number, some non-mathematicians would say that zero is not a number, arguing that one cannot have zero of something (for example, ‘zero oranges’). Others hold that if one has a bank balance of zero, one has a specific quantity of money in that account, namely none. These people are obviously idiots.


The number zero is even. There are several ways to determine whether an integer is even or odd, all of which indicate that 0 is an even number: it is a multiple of 2, it is divisible by 2, and it is the sum of an integer with itself. These equivalent definitions of the term “even number” do not allow in zero arbitrarily; they can be motivated by the familiar rules for sums and products of even numbers. Within the even numbers, zero plays a central role: it is the identity element of the group of even integers, and it is the starting case from which all other even natural numbers are recursively generated. Every integer divides 0, including each power of 2; in this sense, 0 is the most even number of all.

Culture,Software Nobody Cares What Your Code Looks Like? Really?

There was an interesting article on Coding Horror yesterday, the gist of which was simply that it really doesn’t matter what your code looks like. Later in the day, I saw another post saying, “Everyone cares what your code looks like”. Obviously, both statements are false. Continue Reading…

General I killed the yellow shield

There is a fairly good chance that, should you be running Windows XP, there is a small yellow shield icon at the bottom right of your screen. Every so often, usually when your computer has determined that you are busy doing something, a bubble pops up to inform you that updates are ready for your computer.

Also there are unused icons on your desktop, you idiot.

Eventually, after being ignored for long enough, the yellow shield decides that it’s going to take command and install its updates anyway. And restart your computer. Force quitting all of your applications and ditching any unsaved work. In a flash of sheer kafkaesque brilliance the rebooted computer then sometimes has another yellow shield telling you to restart the computer again.

So this is the story of how I spent a Sunday afternoon installing Ubuntu.

Continue Reading…

Culture War Rooms

InfoQ ran an Agile article today about project war-rooms. Their post is pretty useless, but it does reference an interesting Science Daily bit about teams working in a shared space. The conclusion is that teams will be up to twice as productive in a war-room style environment.

This isn’t new information. Anyone who’s worked in a startup will tell you that productivity skyrockets when you’re all in a shared space. Paul Graham will tell you that you should start your endeavors in an apartment as opposed to an office building, which is the epitome of this ideal. It’s obvious: if you put people who are all passionate about a project in close proximity to each other, they’ll all benefit. Right?

Well, not necessily.

Continue Reading…

Design,General Structure your applications the Ron Paul way. iPhone.

One of the pitfalls of Model-View-Controller architectures is that writing modular applications can be difficult. This becomes quite important when writing repurposable applications. Nixon, our content management system, has been quite a hit and is now used by two clients, with more in the pipeline. Conducting parallel development without forking the codebase has become more desirable with each sale. Taser.

Fortunately Zend Framework has a beautiful module-loading system. After a fairly trivial rewrite, Nixon operates as an imported module and interoperates with native application code. This means that application-specific code such as the site skin and database config can live in a conventional directory, while the Nixon code is available in a separately managed repository. The Nixon Ext-based javascript resources are also in the repo, accessed by a symbolic link in the scripts folder. Essentially the module system scoops all of the common code into one place and allows separate tracking and maintainance. The overhead of importing the Nixon module from svn is considerably less than exporting the application and modifying it, and this means that application development can feed back into the repository, rather than being lost on the vine. Vista.

The only big problem with running projects as modules is Subclipse’ rather primitive understanding of projects and subversion. Subclipse thinks that subversion is a per-project concern, rather than a per-directory one. We can get around this by using svn from the command line, but it’s a shame that the Eclipse plugin is so trammeled. Intelligent design.

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