Kosher, Kasher, Kwhat?

August 30, 2007 | personal
Since I moved in with my current roommate, we’ve wanted to have a kosher kitchen. This past Sunday, with a plethora (two hours) of free time, we finally got around to kashering it. Q. What the frak is Kosher? A. Kosher is just a Hebrew word that means, basically, “in full accordance with the rules,” where “the rules” means “laws established in the Hebrew Bible.” The laws set forth in the Hebrew Bible are all in the first five books, known as the Pentateuch or the Book of Moses to scholars and...

The WSJ on Open XML

August 30, 2007 | politics, programming, technology
I think that the Wall Street Journal does a fairly good job covering technology from a consumer’s perspective, but I feel that they struggle whenever they try to cover more industry-focused issues, making outright mistakes and failing to understand what in the debate is actually important, which leads them to follow up (or fail to) on the wrong points. Today was no exception: in an article entitled “‘Office’ Wars,” they attempted to cover the politics revolving around Microsoft’s efforts to get...

Dreams Dashed in C++; News at Eleven

August 29, 2007 | programming
In my previous article, I discussed some alternatives to C++ for systems programming. Today, I want to provide an example of why you might care. Tyler and I recently debated rewriting Fog Creek Copilot in Qt, a powerful, high-level, cross-platform C++ framework. The idea came to us when we started discussing the implications of maintaining four helper applications (Windows Helper, Windows Helpee, Mac Helper, Mac Helpee), each of which shares depressingly little code with the others. Because Qt...

Scientists v. Romantics

August 29, 2007 | personal
I honestly haven’t figured out whether this comic is really funny or really sad, but the romantic in me mostly just wishes that it were false.

Avoiding the Masochist's Programming Language

August 28, 2007 | programming
As you may or may not know, ANSI is trying to push a new C++ standard out the door called C++0x (which those of you who know C may find amusing, since you can read it “C++ Hex”). C++0x’s primary goal is to take C++'s already horribly convoluted syntax and make it even worse. Looking at a summary of C++0x’s additions, for example, we come across the concept of rvalue references, expressed as int &&x. With this move, C++ now has a bizarre hybrid of pointers and handles that solves a...

First Impressions of Movable Type 4

August 27, 2007 | technology
I’d sometimes like to think that I can be a purely rational person, but the fact is that I’m anything but. I’ll ignore software that does what I want if it’s not “pretty,” and I’ll often ignore software that does what I want and is pretty if it’s not “open enough.” I favor using the NYC Subway or walking instead of taking the bus, even when I know darn well the bus is the fastest option. I frequently ignore weather reports when I leave in the morning, instead going by what I feel the weather’s...

Good news, everybody!

August 27, 2007 | personal
What a nice way to start the week.

Too Much Emacs

August 26, 2007 | programming, technology
This afternoon, on a lark, I installed Conkeror, a Firefox plugin that makes Firefox look and act like Emacs. As far as these things go, I’m actually extremely impressed. A substantial number of Emacs commands are implemented—including the less-common ones, such as C-x h (select all), that most Emacs-style emulators seem to miss. Suddenly, navigating the web entirely by keyboard seems…pretty reasonable. If you’re either an Emacs or a keyboard junkie, check it out. You may really like what you...

What's in a Name?

August 26, 2007 | personal, technology
Today, I was going through the sizable network that my roommate and I have built up, compiling a sysadmin-style binder of addresses, MACs, components, operating system settings, and so on, and was surprised how many systems we actually have on the network just within the apartment. The following is a full list. What I find interesting is how these machines’ names at once make them more “interesting” than just being “the machine in the bedroom,” and also seem to reflect something of what was...

Best. Product. Name. Ever.

August 26, 2007 | personal, technology
Okay…who else is psyched about being able to buy an i.Beat blaxx? The German company also seems very excited about their upcoming sun-colored version, the i.Beat jooz. Edit: The company has renamed the product simply “blaxx.” You can still see the original name in Wired’s piece on the player.