How do I email?
Here are two things about me that some people don't know:
- I like e-mail. I mean, nobody looks forward to going through 700 e-mails every morning (which is about how many I get that I have to at least glance at), but it's far better than 700 meetings, 700 HipChats, 700 Slack messages, or anything else that requires synchronous attention. I'm all about being able to asynchronously "serially multitask", and being able to route everything through the dumb but asynchronous pipe of email makes that a lot easier. People who try to sell you on an e-mail-less office in favor of instant messaging tools are people who hate your productivity.
- I despise Gmail. I hate that most of the features only work in the awful web interface. I hate that the offline features of the mobile app only sort of work, and the web app hasn't been usable offline since Google Gears shut down. I hate that the IMAP server will sometimes turn off for 10 or 15 minutes and doesn't properly support the
SEARCH command. Unfortunately, tech companies seem to exclusively use either Gmail or Outlook/Exchange, and Exchange is even worse than Gmail.
As you might expect given the intersection of those two facts, I have a pretty unusual mail setup. So I thought I'd share it on the Internet!
Beating the Compiler
We should forget about small efficiencies, say about 97% of the time: premature optimization is the root of all evil. Yet we should not pass up our opportunities in that critical 3%.
— Donald Knuth
Measure. Don't tune for speed until you've measured, and even then don't unless one part of the code overwhelms the rest.
— Rob Pike
We spend a lot of our time in the modern, web services-driven technology industry ignoring performance issues. What's the point of micro-optimizing a 3ms function call when each request spends 8 or 9 seconds inside the SQLAlchemy ORM? Well, sometimes it's nice to practice those optimizion skills anyway, and today I'm going to walk you through micro-optimizing a simple problem and we'll see just how much better we can do than a naive solution… even though we probably normally shouldn't.
"DevOps" is a dumb word
Until recently, my job was to synthesize a deep understanding of operating systems, networking, system administration, and my company's application and to use that synthesis to fix our existing systems and design better ones. A lot of folks in the technology industry (particularly in the bubble of Greater San Francisco) use the word "DevOps" when putting out job postings for roughly those tasks, and I just wanted to briefly write about why this word is somewhere between inaccurate and offensive and why you shouldn't use it.
Hello friends. As you may remember from a few years ago, I am an iPhone user. Like several million of you,
I decided to upgrade to the iPhone 6 this year. I thought I'd share some really brief impressions:
- The 6 is gigantic. I have no idea how anyone is using the 6+. The photo above shows my 5s (which was already quite large) looking dwarfed by the 6. It still doesn't have anything on the iPad, though.
- The curved edges of the front really do feel a lot better for the forward/backward swipe gestures in iOS when compared …
For a while, I've been using the Moves app for iOS. It's a little application
that uses the accelerometer and GPS data from your phone to tell you where you've been
and how many steps you've taken and so on and so forth. I've been using it in no small
We do not disclose an individual user’s data to third parties unless (1) you have
given explicit consent to each such disclosure, (2) we are required to comply with
a legal obligation or (3) if our business or assets …
TeX is Huge
I was installing MacTeX on my MacBook Pro today and had an amusing realization. First,
some background: for those of you who don't know,
TeX is a phenomenal family of typesetting programs originally written in
1978 by two of the giants of 20th Century computer science, Don Knuth
and Guy Steele. Most people now use it in conjunction with a slightly more modern
set of extensions called LaTeX released in 1981 or so. I used TeX/LaTeX to typeset several thousand
pages of homework and other assignments in college.
Now, in early 2014, the download for the OS X distribution …