Daily Archives: October 10, 2007

This is something I just don't hear…

l.m.orchard’s OPML blog: “This is something I just don’t hear enough of – code as writing, code as communication. While I don’t always make time to polish as much as I’d like, I’m always thinking about things like narrative and flow of a file of source code as well as the aesthetic shape and form of the code. Code is fiction, code is poetry. Compilation free of syntax and parse errors is baseline competence – and sometimes just good luck. Apparent correct operation is not good enough: Moving on before the code has beauty is a poverty. Ugly code kills motivation and comprehension – which attracts bugs and induces a downward spiral in morale. Unit tests clear the way for courage and bravery; beauty yields living code worth fighting for.”

I for one welcome our TiVo HD overlords…

Right now, I’m listening to a Guster song called “Diane” from the album “Keep It Together” in rich stereo. It was something that I haven’t easily been able to do, but the magic of my new TiVo HD makes it possible.

First, a thanks to Blair Smith giving me the proper motivation to make the change. I’m one of the most technically-minded people I know (heh) but even I was stuck in the past when it came to my TiVo. Being a fundamentally cheap person, I’ve held back. I bought my first TiVo, a shop-worn Series 1 that was branded by Sony from the return pile at BestBuy in the fall of 2003. The people who had it briefly bestowed it with a lifetime subscription, a coveted gift no longer available. TiVo’s product lifetime service was expensive but worth it, allowing you to use all of the features without a monthly charge. The TiVo was a fantastic companion, but when we replaced the TV this time last year with a 32″ LCD HDTV, the new screen made the old TV look bad.

Blair sent me a thank you note for help with a new phone system at his new office but that was still not enough. It wasn’t until Tammy came home one day and declared that she was sick of only recording one show at a time. Since the TiVo HD had dual tuners, we could solve several problems at once.

It’s been in operation for only four days and I’m thrilled. I’m using features (like listening to Guster from our iTunes library) that I never had. I’m installing a separate antenna to pick up local channels in HD so the TiVo can record at the higher quality. When that’s done, we’ll be able to cancel our cable subscription and buy the other shows from Amazon using their new Unbox feature.

Thanks Blair and Tammy for giving me the push in the right direction!

Betas and Testing

~stevenf: “Panic is kind of an old-school company when it comes to beta releases. We don’t ship and have never shipped anything labeled ‘beta’ to the general public, and personally, I think that’s kind of an ugly trend. If it’s shipping, it’s not beta, kinda by definition.”

Record label defections by major acts a troubling sign for recording industry

Ars Technica: “When Brit-rock veterans Radiohead decided to self-publish their next album online, it was a bucket of ice-cold water over the heads of EMI, Sony BMG, Warner Music, and all the rest of the old-school industry elephants. It was also the starting shot for other artists to do the same, inspired by a respected band’s first leap of faith into a brave new world.

It’s already a trans-Atlantic phenomenon. Trent Reznor of Cleveland-based Nine Inch Nails is calling his band a ‘free agent, free of any recording contract with any label,’ and envisions a more intimate relationship with his audience as a result.”

Fraser Speirs – In The Interests Of….

On a link from Brent Simmons

Fraser Speirs: “Another time, I risked her decapitation (or something) by carrying her through Victoria tube station on my shoulders, since they have low-hanging signs in that station. I think what I resented most in that little exchange was the implication that I either hadn’t noticed that the signs were low or simply didn’t care. Perhaps the zig-zagging path I was taking around the signs might have made it obvious? No, the poor child has to rely on Underground staff to keep her safe, since her father is such a feckless idiot. Come on – it’s not as if I was running down a wet escalator backwards with her standing on my head. I was just trying to keep her out of the way of the flying laptops whose bottom corners, for her, are perfectly positioned at face level.”