this blog is girtby.net

Posted
01 December 2008

Categories
Nerd Factor X Meta

Tags
wordpress rails hosting mephisto

13 Comments

And We're Back

So girtby.net has been a bit quiet lately. You might have assumed that $WORK or $LIFE had both gotten crazy busy. In fact they had, but that's not the only reason why girtby.net was in stasis. There's a story behind that, but the short version is that I'm back. Not quite the same as before, but back.

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Posted
30 September 2008

Categories
Nerd Factor X Verisimilitude

Tags
c++ advocacy career subjective reddit fodder

22 Comments

Why You Should Learn C++

Not all software development projects can sustain a reasonable living. Anyone who has worked as a professional developer will take this truth as self-evident. It's a sad occurance, but often developers for notionally worthy projects find themselves having to abandon their dreams and find gainful employment elsewhere. The failed startup and the abandoned open-source project are all-too-common manifestations of this.

I don't have a solution for this problem, but I mention it in order to define a set P, which is the set of all software development projects that can sustain a reasonable living. Now let's divide P into the subsets I and B.

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Posted
23 August 2008

Categories
Nerd Factor X

Tags
c++ language

50 Comments

In Defence of C

Some of the criticism of the Blogging Horror article was based on my insistence that knowledge of the C language is essential for all software developers. Some even said I was "bigoted" for such a viewpoint, because there are many other worthy languages out there. And there certainly are. But they are not all created equal.

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Posted
31 July 2008

Categories
Verisimilitude Provocation

Tags
acma mandatory filtering efa

8 Comments

Bayes' Theorem 1, Mandatory Filtering 0

Unfortunately the Rudd government are pressing forward with their proposal for mandatory internet filtering. Recently, Electronic Frontiers Australia summarised the results of an analysis of current ISP-level filters commissioned by my old mates at ACMA. The figures are frankly begging to be plugged into Bayes' Theorem, so let's do that.

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Posted
29 July 2008

Categories
Cultcha

Tags
photography ricoh gx100

6 Comments

A Serious Compact

These days, everyone's a photographer. There can be no doubt that the advent of the digital camera has provided vast numbers with the means to explore their creativity through photography. As such there is a vast and growing industry just to support the great unwashed in their quest to take better photographs, or at least to advise what camera to buy.

So there is absolutely no need for anyone else to be dispensing photographic advice. But here I go anyway!

My unique angle, such as it is, is that I recently had an ... unscheduled equipment upgrade. Otherwise known as a burglary. This meant starting afresh with all-new shiny toys, courtesy of the insurance company.

This is the first of a series of articles in which I gloat review some photographic kit and provide some hopefully helpful advice along the way.

But firstly let me disclaim that I have no photographic credentials to speak of. You probably know more about photography than I do. But then again maybe you don't. Maybe you can view my shots (below) and decide for yourself.

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Posted
03 July 2008

Categories
Nerd Factor X

Tags
c++ wide finder performance

7 Comments

Wide Finder 2: The Widening

<movie-trailer-guy> Many months ago he attempted Tim Bray's first Wide Finder in C++, mainly as a coding exercise. Back then the goal was readability and conciseness. This time ... it's performanceal. </movie-trailer-guy>

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Posted
04 June 2008

Categories
Nerd Factor X Linkpimpin'

Tags
architecture twitter end-to-end network

8 Comments

Twitter over IP

Let's solve Twitter's scalability problems, shall we?

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Posted
22 May 2008

Categories
Nerd Factor X Provocation

Tags

87 Comments

Blogging Horror

So you're watching a new TV show and you're hooked. It's clever, the characters are believable, the dialog is witty, the cinematography is inspired, the direction is tight and the plot is engaging. You want to see more. You're in love. With a TV show.

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Posted
14 May 2008

Categories
Cultcha Linkpimpin'

Tags
music drm emusic

4 Comments

emusic

As you know, I'm a fan of the DRM free music. In fact it seems that I've blogged about it each time I've discovered a new website that sells the stuff. And the latest discovery is emusic. They have hits and some misses.

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Posted
11 May 2008

Categories
Nerd Factor X

Tags
developer manifesto

17 Comments

Developer Essentials

A long, long time ago in a corporate universe far, far away... I was admitted to an elite group. A group where the members each had a manifesto. Chris was a founding member of the group, and has since published his manifesto on his blog. I don't quite know how I was deemed worthy for membership. My manifesto was unpublished, it was mostly unfinished, and it was unseen by all but me. Regardless, I was admitted. A fraud. Living a lie. For years I have lived with this shame.

At last all can be revealed, for here is my manifesto. Or as I originally called it, my List of Skills and Knowledge That All Developers Should Have. There are 9 items in no particular order, so I guess that makes it a set rather than a list for all you pedants in the audience (and I know you're there).

The idea is to document a set of skills that every developer should have. That's everyone who develops software professionally. Doesn't matter what type of position or company or industry; this is my stab at a body of knowledge that every serious developer should have. Essentials, essentially.

It's partly based on experience; specifically the experience of surprise I felt when a colleage, or random stranger on the internet, expressed ignorance at one of the items on this list. Other items on the list have come from an exacting process of posterior extraction. I'll leave it to you to guess which is which, and who is who. Or at least skim the headings. Read on.

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