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June 26, 2006

Some Links

General

Finance

  • College Towns -- the next retirement Meccas?
    Miami certainly is not anymore. I have spoken to quite a few local folks from Miami and they wholeheartedly agree. Unless you have an emotional attachment to the city, it is an outrageously expensive place to be. The old adage of retiring to Miami Beach was a remnant of the 60s. Smart older folks who have been living here left when Miami Vice reached its peak.
Posted by Hoang at 03:41 PM | 2 Comments | Wonderful Links

May 04, 2006

some links of interest

  • Five Truths about Code Optimization
    This is a very good read to pass along to people working in the realm of programs. A lot about optimizing relies on fighting your first instincts. More often than not, first instincts (about the root cause of the problem) are wrong. Before changing working code, it's important to know that the piece of code being changed is actually causing a problem. Next up is to be confident that the new code you introduce won't cause further instability in the system.

April 27, 2006

April 19, 2006

Articles to Read

Programming

  • Seven Habits of Highly Effective Programmers
    Very good article from someone who has been at the coding helm for a while. It doesn't talk about specifics but rather general habits. This is good so that people who work in computer languages can easily relate. The author comes from a 3D graphics background so many of his examples tend to migrate to that end of computing. The advice the article gives is well worth the read.
  • The Fine Art of Programming
    A list of online programming guides.
  • MSDN: Doing Less
    The working-smart-rather-than-hard movement. Some companies just don't get that. Although it's on MSDN, I'm not quite sure Microsoft gets it either.

Other Topics

  • discussion on Godin's permission marketting
    I have read one of Godin's books and liked the idea that advertisers provide people with an opt-in method of marketting. This shows a small amount of respect for consumers. This approach is quite different than the traditional media's approach of bombarding consumers with vast amounts of useless advertising. There are many other points which I don't necessarily agree with.

March 23, 2006

Less is More

As a follow up to The tyranny of choice, certain groups in Microsoft are finally keen on the power of simplicity. The link provides a list of articles that focus on Simple UI Design. This is the opposite movement of the current prevailing belief: more is better.

Posted by Hoang at 02:30 PM | 3 Comments | Common Sense , Wonderful Links

March 14, 2006

Reawaken to Happiness

There was a night during which I was having beers and evening drinks around a dinner table with some new parents. Our conversation revolved around the topic of raising kids and providing the right facilities for their eventual happiness. People talked about bathing their babies in Evian water, sending them to the best gymnastic school, piano classes, swimming classes, and even saving for their kids to go to the best colleges. Obviously the overriding theme is how to provide the best that they can for their kids. Common to every parents, the topics are very motherly and sweet. (Let me preface by saying that I don't have kids; so anything I might say on the topic will make me look like someone talking out of his ass)

grow.jpg Throughout the night, the conversation continued on about giving children more and more positive experiences. It seemed obvious that this is the right and only way to raise and teach their children about life. That they should give their kids whatever the kids want, give them those things that the parents themselves never had as a child, and give them what society and commercials say that a parent should give their kid. Despite my being the only childless person there, a nagging question keeps popping up in my head. Real life isn't just about having only good things. How about exposing them to some negative experiences? Exposing them to the raw bad experience might be too heartbreaking, but how about in a controlled environment? In helping our children grow, is it just as beneficial to expose our children to negative experiences as well as positive ones? Reflecting back in our own adult lives, without having tasted bitter, we might just not know how sweet sweet tastes. This is a good article that explores the topic in much greater detail:
Psychology Today: The Hidden Side of Happiness

In trying so hard to shield ourselves from bad experiences, could it be that we might have the idea of happiness wrong?

Posted by Hoang at 01:50 PM | 3 Comments | Common Sense , Wonderful Links

March 03, 2006

More Readings

Software Development

  • Pragmatic Programmer: Articles, Essays, and Presentations
    I have been a fan of common sense for a while now. That is the initial purpose of this web site. As a software engineer, there is a time in your development when you move beyond the languages, operating systems, and frameworks. You find that well designed and successful systems have abstract elements in common. Object oriented programming attempts to capture this by capturing it in classes and their relationships. Design Patterns take it one step further by forgetting the implementation and just capturing the relationship and behaviors. Pragmatism or common sense just says that these are the behaviors that good and well behaved systems have in common. Hopefully other software folks can share in these nuggets of wisdom that the Pragmatic folks have revealed.

Interesting Articles for perusing

February 28, 2006

More Things Python

Python apparently has slowly increased its momentum over the past few years. I am not sure how well it is accepted in corporations. Is it acceptable to mention it more than casually above a whisper? There are more books about it in the bookstores. Here are some of the big names in Python that are now working for Google: Alex Martelli & Guido van Rossum. Are there anymore that I don't know of?

These are some of the more interesting links recently:

January 25, 2006

Some items of note

  • Sun's x86 strategist steers straight ahead
    It is about time that Sun follows Apple's lead in migrating to x86. For a long time, their Sparc architecture is just too expensive without giving any clear advantages.
Posted by Hoang at 08:17 AM | 2 Comments | Wonderful Links

December 28, 2005

Things of Interest

  • Writings from music artists
    Anna Nalick's Journal
    Her journal is a pretty good read if you are a fan of her music. The snippet about her nephew changing the lyrics of her songs are cute.
    Anna Nalick on myspace
    Glen Phillips blog on myspace
    My brother is a die-hard fan of Glen and would make it a point to come to every one of his shows whenever he is in town. So are Nickel Creek, as I am told. Unfortunately I have never seen a live performance by Glen or Toad the Wet Sprockets when they were still together.
    Vienna Teng on myspace
  • Starting out small but affordable
    Affordable... yeah. At an average of $480,000 for a condo in San Jose, a normal person would need just about 2 lifetimes to pay off the interest alone. No need for curtains, just plaster newspaper over the windows. What about that thing called food? It is a luxury that we can do without.

October 29, 2005

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