Trying diets for my addictions

Everyone is addicted to something: be it success, sex or just coffee. Some time ago I noticed that drinking a coffee too early after the previous one makes me hot-tempered to the point of being irritated. So, I tried to go one week completely caffeine-free. After two days of terrible headaches and being overall tired as hell my abstinence lasted for two weeks before giving up. This gave me an idea: how about, instead of the silly New Year’s resolutions, I try to abstain from my addictions, one month at a time?

Continue…

How good are you?

This is just basic theory of probability, and it’s overly simplified, but it goes like this:

Suppose an event has probability of occurring, say, 1%. So, on average, let’s say it happens on 1 out of a hundred attempts. What’s the probability it happens at least once in 10 attempts? Well, it’s (1 – probability it never happens), that is 1 – 0.99 ^ 10 ~ 10%. In 20 attempts, the probability goes up to 1 – 0.99 ^ 20 ~ 18%.

Continue…

Don’t forget this in your app!

This post will start with some handwaving and claim that the most costly errors you can do while developing your application are:

  • Forget about localization (they speak what language?).
    • This means, among others: translating the UI, formatting names, dates, numbers and currencies, and even outright horrifically complicated stuff like right-to-left languages.
  • Forget about permissions (the janitor needs to log in where?).
  • Forget about time zones (they live there?).

Continue…

My Sources of Information

My boss asked me to document the various sources of information I get my daily dose from. Well, I never understood sharing articles on Twitter and such, I follow only friends on Facebook, so no social sources for me.

I am an old guy, that means one thing only: RSS! Here goes my list:

  • IT News
    • Gizmodo (once I subscribed to Engadget as well, but it seemed duplicate, and Gizmodo didn’t fill my screen with huge images directly in the feed)
    • Ars Technica – good for longer in-depth articles.
    • TechCrunch – every once in a while, something good comes out of it.
    • InfoQ – the articles are not worth much, but the presentation recorded in conferences are great.
  • Local IT News (Czech, Slovak)
    • DSL.sk – this is a mystery to me: no idea who is writing it, but I read 90+% of the articles and the overall quality is incredibly high.
    • PCTuning.cz – every Friday, the legendary Michal Rybka has a great article mixing tons of experience with the slightest drop of paranoia.
    • Lupa.cz – my teacher from Matfyz (Jiri Peterka) writes great in-depth articles every once in a while.
    • Technet.cz – considering this is a part of iDnes.cz imperium, the articles are strongly above the average.
    • Diit.cz – everyone has to read something from the opposing camp, and I prefer Diit to Radek Hulan 😉
  • Blogs

Skype Netiquette

Being a remote worker, I often have to call my colleagues on Skype. Follows a list of protips to make Skype/Hangouts/… calls as pain-free as possible.

  • Don’t be late – applies here the same as elsewhere.
  • Use a headset – it eliminates the annoying “feedback” where you hear yourself.
  • Don’t touch your computer – many people have a bad habit of cleaning their keyboard etc right in the middle of the call. The microphone picks the noise up and makes it terrible on the other side.
  • If there is any background noise, turn off your mic if not speaking currently – this is especially important in group calls.
  • Some calls benefit from the video, sometimes it’s just better to have higher audio quality (less bandwidth used) and focus on the content.