Why how is boring and how why is awesome

April 28, 2011 | personal, programming, technology
Last fall, Joel came to me and said, “Congratulations! We’re doing another World Tour. Also, we want to teach distributed version control. That’s your job. Make it happen.” This sounded totally awesome. Not only would I get to one-up George Clooney in flight time; I was made for doing something like this. In high school, I was in the NFL, which, sadly, means the National Forensics League, which means the National People Who Talk Good and Wanna Learn To Do Other Stuff Good Too, and not the...

Approved for Abusiveness

February 23, 2011 | personal, technology
Speaking of fascinating user experiences, I had to crack a smile when going through Disqus today and approving a pile of comments that got locked in the queue for some reason. On every single one, after clicking on the Approve button, I was greeted with: While I’m still trying to puzzle out what the engineer who wrote that string had in mind, I really think I’m going to have to order a pile of stickers with that message on them for liberal distribution to our interns this summer.

Buying VMware Fusion

February 22, 2011 | personal, technology
Update: VMware followed up with me this morning, and has done a great job getting me help and outlining how they’re planning to address a lot of the complaints I’ve had. We’ll have to see what happens over the next few months, but so far, VMware has convinced me that they get they have a problem and are going to try to fix it. Kudos, VMware. So about a week ago I decide to buy VMware Fusion. I really like VMware. They make awesome products, they have good support. They’re not perfect—the VMware...

Kiln's Evolution, Part 1: DVCS as Code Review

November 10, 2009 | personal, programming, technology
One of the things that really sucks about doing online code reviews is that, in all the systems I know, your code reviews do not integrate with your source control. If the code reviews are versioned at all—and they’re frequently not—then they’re in an entirely different system than your real VCS. For larger reviews, where you’re talking about a major piece of functionality, that means that your source control system will end up lacking the history of how a feature came to be. In other words, the...

The Launch of a Secret Product

October 14, 2009 | personal, programming, technology
For the past year, an odd thing has happened, if you’ve followed my doings. My work on Fog Creek Copilot seemed to dwindle, I became tight-lipped about what I was working on, and I started getting really excited about an upcoming product release. Also around this time, my knowledge of Mercurial, Python, C#, and ASP.NET MVC all seemed to dramatically increase, even though my free-time code output shrank to nothing. What was going on? Oh, the usual. I was working on a top-secret brand-new project....

Adam Savage on Obsession

December 21, 2008 | personal, technology
I normally avoid reposting news I find on other news aggregators, but sometimes I come across an item sufficiently singular and unique that I feel I have no choice. In this case, Adam Savage of MythBusters recounts his attempt to sculpt a perfect recreation of the Maltese Falcon as a way to explore the nature of obsession. The talk is at once highly entertaining and deeply moving. In a way I never fully grokked when watching MythBusters, Adam is a true geek.

Secret Santas at Fog Creek

December 19, 2008 | personal
You know you’re getting too casual with your coworkers when your Secret Santa leaves this on your desk: (Thanks to Tyler for the picture.)

Lies of the New York MTA

December 13, 2008 | personal
This morning, on the 6 train, I saw the following advertisement: Believe it or not. In 1986, the subway and bus fare was $1. That’s $1.89 in 2008 dollars. Today 30-day Unlimited Ride MetroCard brings the fare down to $1.17. Believe it. I have a better idea: I’ll accuse the MTA of engaging in false and deceptive advertising practices. The ad makes a completely bogus comparison. There were no Unlimited Ride MetroCards in 1986. Hell, there were no MetroCards in 1986. There were single-ride tokens....

Happy Thanksgiving

November 27, 2008 | personal
As my American readers sit down to enjoy a happy Thanksgiving meal, I wanted to take a moment to wish everyone a wonderful holiday season.

Rachmaninoff Had Big Hands

November 21, 2008 | personal
I don’t want to get into the habit of posting videos, but having played a lot of Rachmaninoff when I was younger—including Prelude in C# minor, Op. 3, No. 2—this video had me in hysterics: For the record: when I last played the piece, I couldn’t play the full chords, either. (Courtesy of The Old New Thing)