A Grand Slam

It’s important to listen to feedback from your readers:

Comment on my blog from John:

Lol, what a complete load of bollocks. I can’t believe I wasted my life reading this.

Comment on my blog from “photog”:

“You are not a real photographer, look at your shots. Stick to being a dork and don’t post this nonsense. Your camera doesn’t help your images.”

There is this old joke about how waitresses at Denny’s have to look ugly in order to make their food taste better:

Diner: “Excuse me, miss. There is something wrong with my Grand Slam breakfast.”

Waitress: “Hmm. Let me see.” *holds breakfast next to face* “Now does it look better?”

To John, photog, and others. Thanks for being the Denny’s waitresses of this blog. I always appreciate how your insightful commentary make me look good.

We serve slams all day
The real version of this sign says “Open 24 Hours” in red on the bottom.

Parting slam

A college friend once once went to a Denny’s in the Florida panhandle. It was closed. “Sorry we’re closed,” the guy inside said.

“But the sign outside says, you’re ‘Open 24 hours,’” my buddy pointed out.

“Yeah, but not all at once.”

Lossy RAW compression

Thomas Chamberlin asks an interesting question in the Flickr D3 user’s group:

“With the D3 and D300 we are now offered lossless compression, no compression, or compression with loss for RAW files. Nikon says there is no effect on image quality using lossless compression. The file is compressed 20-40%. Write times are faster than with no compression. How can they compress the file 40% and not affect the image quality? What is lost and then regained?

The great thing about getting a new camera is that I get another chance to put “on paper” words that lost to the ether.

My digital bodies
My digital bodies
North Beach, San Francisco, California

Panasonic DMC-LX1, Ultrapod
2 exposures at .8sec @ f/3.6, iso 80, 11.6mm (52mm)

From right to left. The Leica M8 shoots RAW into the Adobe DNG format (not sure of the compression), the Nikon D70 which introduced lossy NEF compression, the Nikon D200 which shoots lossy and uncompressed NEF RAWs, the Nikon D3 which shoots lossy, lossless, and uncompressed NEFs in both 12 and 14-bits. The photo was taken with a Panasonic LX-1 which shoots a Panasonic/Leica RAW file format that is uncompressed and 13x larger than the JPEG sidecar file! Ironically, I processed this image, by accident, from the sidecar files instead of the RAWs, even though it was shot at ISO 80.

[Weighing in on lossy RAW after the jump.]Continue reading Lossy RAW compression

Why I YUI

We use YUI at Tagged because that’s what I chose. We lost a couple front end engineers at Tagged so I’m having to pick up the slack—this means actually having to learn the Yahoo User Interface (YUI) in earnest. So I whipped up this diagram of YUI 2.5:

Yahoo User Interface Library (YUI) dependency tree
There are some errors, but it’s good enough for me to get started. Download the OmniGraffle document here. Corrections appreciated!

“What?!” You say. “Someone set us up the bomb? How could you make a choice and not know everything about it.”

Yes, I made the architecture decision to use YUI without knowing it in detail. However, I believe that sometimes when examining architectures you miss the forest from the trees.

[The philosophy of architectural choices after the jump.]Continue reading Why I YUI

Pragmatic bullshit

Someone took exception to me saying:

“I have yet to read a good “Pragmatic Programmer Series” book.”

…with the lines:

“I think that’s a bit of a hard knock of the Pragmatic Bookshelf. I’ve had a number of books which I’ve really enjoyed from them; The Pragmatic Programmer and Practices of an Agile Developer spring to mind.”

Hehe, he caught me! Oh, I didn’t lie—I just never actually finished a single one of their books. 😉 I started reading the Pickaxe book and The Pragmatic Programmer mentioned, but I put them down in disgust.

The book that started it all
This book is the book that launched a thousand crappy books.

[But that won’t stop me from peeing on your programming religion after the jump.]Continue reading Pragmatic bullshit

…but you have to know RUBY to be our CTO

This popped in my e-mail box just now:

Subject: Anyone know a top Rails programmer for Tech Advisor role

Could be as little as one hour per week? Great opportunity for this person to inherit vp of engineering position once we get funded. We are close to launching, and hopefully to being funded.

This is wrong in so many ways. You know, when your Vice President of Engineering is going to be a RAILS programmerneed I continue?

[Being the first engineer after the jump]Continue reading …but you have to know RUBY to be our CTO

I found a use for Ruby

…a place to send all the people who washed out coding PHP.

Commentary on Rails for PHP Developers
I haven’t read this book so I can’t comment, however, I have yet to read a good “Pragmatic Programmer Series” book. The one all the Rails developers jizz over, is so poorly written and full of errors, I am beside myself.

Please buy this book.

Not to emphasize the obvious, but if you can’t build a website in PHP, you must really, really suck. Be sure to shave your head and buy a MacBook on your way down the your path of enlightenment.

Don’t miss my book: Delphi for Rails Developers, you’ll be needing it next year. 😉

Requiem for the Republican Party

Last week, the politics of fear ended:

“Because I care so deeply about protecting our country, I take strong offense to your suggestion in recent days that the country will be vulnerable to terrorist attack unless Congress immediately enacts legislation giving you broader powers to conduct warrantless surveillance of Americans’ communications and provides legal immunity for telecommunications companies that participated in the Administration’s warrantless surveillance program.

“If our nation is left vulnerable in the coming months, it will not be because we don’t have enough domestic spying powers. It will be because your Administration has not done enough to defeat terrorist organizations — including al Qaeda — that have gained strength since 9/11.

“I, for one, do not intend to back down – not to the terrorists and not to anyone, including a President, who wants Americans to cower in fear.

“We are a strong nation. We cannot allow ourselves to be scared into suspending the Constitution. If we do that, we might as well call the terrorists and tell them that they have won.”
—U.S. Representative Silvestre Reyes, “Letter to President Bush regarding the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act,” February 14, 2008

[A requiem after the jump.]Continue reading Requiem for the Republican Party