What Programming Language Do YOU Drive?

Although I’ve already talked about how there are too many programming languages, I was pleased to see recently that I wasn’t the only one – here’s an interesting article on the ‘programming polyglot problem‘. One take on it is that sometimes all we need are simple programs, so a ‘simple’ interpreted language like Python is all you need. As someone who can remember programming in BASIC on a Commodore 64, I can attest that interpreted beats compiled hands down for … Continue reading

Are ‘Open Source’ Patents Needed?

It’s occurred to me in the past year as I work on my projects that patents are a necessary evil, even if the plan is to Open Source a project. This seems counterintuitive, so here’s an example to help make it clear: Imagine a world where the pencil doesn’t exist. There is just no convenient way to make marks on paper (sure we have the typewriter and the word processor – but bear with me, this is just a thought … Continue reading

Why Are Spam Emails So Bad – And Badly Written?

So I got an email from Microsof awhile back (or was it Mycrosoft?) and I wondered, like most of the non-spamming population, why don’t they put more effort into their emails? After all, only an idiot would not know the spelling of Microsoft, right? Exactly. Although some may feel that errors humanize the writer, so we don’t believe it’s a machine, or that these are actually clever psychological traps, the best answer I’ve seen is from Steven Levitt and Stephen … Continue reading

How To Connect A Linear Actuator To The Arduino

In the Arduino world, it’s pretty cut and dried when you want to move something with a bit of heft to it. You can precisely turn it with a stepper motor, or winch it up with a motor, or possibly move a lever or linkage arm with a servo. But all of these have a problem – precise control over a linear (not circular) motion. Enter the linear actuator. The ones I’m describing here are from Firgelli, which are plug-in … Continue reading

License Or No License – There Is No “Implied”

A rather hackneyed attempt at channeling Star Wars’ Yoda Puppet I admit (“do or do not, there is no try”), but it ties into an interesting point I found out this week – there is NO middle ground for licensing online. Let me explain: I use software source code obtained online, both for my consulting work and my own use, and I always check the license. Obviously, while Open Source is fine and dandy, some variations (GPL and some Creative … Continue reading