One of the things that bothered Steve Jobs the most was the time that it took to boot when the Mac was first powered on. It could take a couple of minutes, or even more, to test memory, initialize the operating system, and load the Finder. One afternoon, Steve came up with an original way to motivate us to make it faster.
"Well, let's say you can shave 10 seconds off of the boot time. Multiply that by five million users and thats 50 million seconds, every single day. Over a year, that's probably dozens of lifetimes. So if you make it boot ten seconds faster, you've saved a dozen lives. That's really worth it, don't you think?"
If it gets executed 100s of times in a day per person, you can say this is 50 ms * 100 = 5s, 200 ms * 100 = 20s. And that's just per user.
if it's about computation you could make a bunch of objects load one after another
What else might I have done with that 6 months? I will never know. But I know this: I won't be doing that any more.
Curious what you do now.
This was before the era of iPods and SDCard players, so I had my mobile phone in a setup where I would call back another phone connected to my Pentium MMX 233MHz at home, that ran a sort of audio directory that would playback a certain lecture recording I would select from the menu, using DTMF tones.
I had a small keyboard sewn into my sleeve that connected to the customized mobile phone via a DB9 plug and then to the numeric keyboard, allowing DTMF codes to be sent by gently and invisibly moving my fingers. The whole setup was hideous and had it's own dedicated jacket, with wires, phone, keyboard, audio amplifier, neckloop, the earphone... a complete cyborg for academic fraud.
Back on the PC side, I wrote a C++ application from scratch that would capture audio via the soundcard using Windows Wave API, decode the DTMF pulses using a couple of IIR filters then navigate the menu and playback the required file to the mobile phone connected to the soundcard. The C++ program and menu system was scripted using an .INI file that defined the structure with links to various ADPCM-compressed .wav files that represented the menu headings or the leaf content itself (a good structure was necessary to quickly access the correct lecture after receiving the exam subjects).
Work-wise, it was a lot more difficult then putting the effort in memorizing the stuff, but I rejected memorisation on principle, that's not what an university should be about. The whole thing turned out to be a massive learning project, but I obviously could not speak about it at interviews. It's the first time I mention it to anybody.
I used the setup for two exams that I aced, was never caught but it was nerve-wracking to use in close proximity to a teacher.
The fully elaborated version of the underlying principle is probably something like: "I have much better ways to spend my time than on memorizing formulas that I could easily look up later".
Cheating to avoid memorization is childish, but let's not forget that students are usually children, or still in the process of maturing into adults.
Failing to learn critical coursework should delay graduation, and cheating should result in expulsion. These are good things.
Edit: Being a child, and acting childish is an important part of the life cycle that allows development. We seem to be bumping into some biological limits on how late we can extend it, but if it were possible I would.
There is a tremendous variation between individuals. Part of the point of the university degree as a credential is to identify those people who are responsible enough to complete the program. I graduated at the age of 21 and immediately became an Engineer in Training, working on code that could kill people if it behaved improperly. I took that responsibility very seriously, and I'm thankful that my employer and coworkers took me seriously in return.
I fear that a focus on age tends to lead to prejudice. If you just want to ensure young adults can be allowed to make mistakes without ruining their lives, I would encourage you to expand your goal. There are many adults who could benefit from a bit more compassion and forgiveness. We don't need to restrict it to the young.
Edit: that being said, in a system where there is such a thing as non-compulsory courses, and the critical path to graduation is sane, cheating on an exam on the critical path should definitely not be acceptable, even if it's "only" memorization. Some things really do need to be memorized.
I also had the seemingly good idea it would be nice to program the calculator, initially just writing algorithms like bubble-sort for CS that could be referred to, then extending to Statistics showing working for various statistical methods (the exam required steps showing working steps, learnt a little about data structures myself for that, then extending to matrix algebra and curvature). I also didn't go to most classes, only attending the ones that would be more useful than time in the library.
Typing character-by-character on a numerical keypad, getting a series of working systems. Was pretty fun.
And in the end, having working 'cheating systems'... I could do it faster in my head and never even took the calculator to the exam.
That's learning, I suppose. Did very well on the exams.
I had a lot of fun writing little programs to help out on long arduous problems though. I wish I had all my TI programs.
Casio BASIC had subroutines in IIRC 36 registers ([A-Z0-9], conditional jumps and labels.
I wish I had that source code. I can't see how I would ever do something like it again.
After serving his time, that's exactly how Frank Abagnale got a job in the FBI.
I'm not sure why you need that trait in software. You're (usually) not trying to beat other programmers. So I suppose the parent comment should have added "except in adversarial situations".
Which means it does apply to cyber security. You need hackers to outsmart hackers. If that's the kind of industry you're applying for, it probably is a good idea to mention this actually.
I'd be willing to hire someone who cheated and was caught and served time, but not someone who cheated without consequence and boasted about it.
The commenter here doesn't sound like they segued that into a career catching academic cheaters. They just used it as a stepping stone to their next personal accomplishment.
So there was nothing new to admit to, they already knew. Entirely different situation.
It was in Switzerland, and culture is different; maybe we're less black and white.
This is not very grey.
If you were caught you would probably be kicked out of your Uni, this is a serious thing.
I understand there are extenuating circumstances, people are young, they do crazy things, we all have. But it's not something we run around talking about, certainly not in an interview.
Sure, it's a no go if you're looking for a job at an academic institution, and a big company will reject you because fraud of any kind is a
huge HR liability, but I bet nose people would be impressed.
It might be well received at a startup, though. As long as you recognize your action was highly unethical.
Plus, after you admit to doing it once, if I weren't the sort to reject you outright, I'd still call every single person and institution on your resume to confirm all of those were real. Right out of the gate, you're proving yourself to be a lot more trouble than anyone else I'm interviewing.
It sounds like mostly luck that they weren't caught before. Are they going to try again, at my company? I don't want my company's legal footing to rest on one person thinking they'll never get caught.
Spaced repetition. Load up Anki or Mnemosyne and stick the info in there.
"Craig prepared for Jeopardy! by studying the online archive of past questions maintained on the J! Archive website. Using data-mining and text-clustering, he identified the topics most likely to occur in game questions, then used the spaced repetition program Anki for memorization and tested himself using his own program.
Craig played quiz bowl as a student at both Virginia Tech and the University of Delaware. Before his Jeopardy appearances, he played numerous Jeopardy scrimmage matches against his friends with quiz bowl experience."
> I rejected memorisation on principle, that's not what an university should be about.
The lengths you went to to avoid doing it the easy way are incredible. You’re not alone, but I have to say I think this idea - that university should not involve memorization - is a common misconception. If you think about it, a good education requires memorization. What we’re learning in all fields in large amounts - even in math - is some degree of human history, and some degree of human notation and convention, neither of which can be derived by logic. Think about language, becoming a fluent speaker, especially the first time, is almost entirely learn by rote.
A surprising number of the replies to your comment also seem to think cheating like that at university is perfectly fine.
Now since we need a little order for various secondary reasons, we promoted exam cheating to illegal and that's ok. We need order. But there is nothing someone should feel guilt for imho, assuming the person knows she may be harming herself.
For a long time, they were. A technical school certifies someone to do something. A university teaches you how to think about hard things (supposed to, anyway).
"There is nothing fundamentally universally wrong to cheat at an exam beside the fact you may be harming yourself."
I don't understand that, I have no idea where you got that. Or what those words "fundamentally" and "universally" add. I say it's wrong, you say "Oh, but it's not fundamentally, universally wrong".. As if it's clear what that means.
For example: You may have harmed the people who didn't get good enough marks because you cheated your way into higher marks. Then you may harm people in your career that you're not qualified for, besides stopping properly qualified people from doing their jobs. I don't want an airlane pilot or doctor that bought their degree or cheated in exams, thanks. Anyway, it seems ridiculous that I have to explain to people why cheating's bad. Well, I don't know, maybe you are in a country where it's normal, perfectly fine, accepted, everyone does it. Where I come from, people don't have to have it explained to them why it's bad.
If you are good at mathematics, you will invent a new theorem! If you are good at music, you will compose a new music! If you are good at chess, you can win! If you are good at exam answering, you can earn some more marks (guessing at answers if you do not know the answer)!
Huh? I don't see a significant difference between 'ethically wrong' and 'morally wrong', no idea why you would say that.
Another example of that could be: I want my kid to go to bed at 9pm. Sometimes I will break that rule. To some extend, because of the reasons I've advanced, I claim that cheating at an exam follows the same characteristic as the "kid go to bed at 9pm". Just not in the same magnitude if you will.
I then guessed that it may draws the limit between what's ethic and moral.
I'm just guessing here, but maybe you have a religious value system, with absolute moral commandments or something? All I have (as an atheist) are ethical/moral principles exactly like 'cheating is wrong'.
Now I'm not going to do the math for you.
But still, memorization is not the same as learning. That is one thing that the test is not always so good; whether or not is "ethic" and/or legal is independence from that, because if you understand, then you can do, but if you know the word but don't actually know what is the significance, then you might answer the question same like that one but not the difference question that you can actually use.
(I remember once on one exam, the last question I did not know, and cheated off of someone who also didn't know and was cheating off of me (I don't know if they were cheating on other questions too or not, only that it is for last question), so in this case we cheat off of each other. Of course it is no good compared to all of the effort they mentioned above, but still you can see, you can be cheating off of each other the same question. I think this is the only instance of cheating on exams I have done, although once I tried to use the "coughing code" (without telling anyone!!!) just to see if I can, and not because I actually wanted to cheat, because I don't want to cheat.)
You can get off your high horse about not being able to acquire your degree without cheating, too. I never once cheated at any point in college, but if I had spent more time working on sick electronics projects and less time memorizing the years of significant 15th century battles, I'd be more qualified technically, not less. The ethics of it are problematic as I've said, but you seem to be going farther and implying something about his ability as well.
I think the implication that he should feel like an impostor for cheating on two exams is a very large over-reaction on your part.
Society does not depend on wether or not a few students cheat.
But society definitely depends on the social and moral contract that we do not cheat, and that it is wrong. If most of us cheated, the system would definitely fall apart.
Have you ever visited a developing nation? Where outside of small villages it seems like everyone is cheating at everything, all the time?
It's like pouring sand into the gears of an engine: everything starts to break down.
I would not hire someone who admitted cheating during an interview unless they talked at length at their remorse, how they learned from it, how they grew from the experience, and there were exceptional circumstances.
While true in general, cheating in that environment is also sometimes necessary to get on with your life unharmed. And sometimes cheating the system is actually regarded highly by the fellow citizens, because the people do not believe in the imposed system. Cheating is not beneficial to the system, but it often is to the people. Now, what is more ethical, doing what benefits the people or doing what benefits such system?
If you live a totally corrupt system, maybe.
But functional societies are based on the notion that cheating is bad, immoral, and nobody should do it.
"Now, what is more ethical, doing what benefits the people or doing what benefits such system?" - ha ha ... this sounds like how psychopaths in prison justify their crimes!
"I robbed the bank because the bank is evil, now who's more important, the people or the evil bank?"
No way around this one: cheating is bad.
Yes it is.
Maybe you live in an interesting developing nation?
Robbing banks, stores, anyone - is considered basically immoral in all of civilization, thankfully.
Yes - not all bank robbers are psychopaths - probably not the majority.
But prisons are fully of people bending reality to justify their crimes.
There is no ned to see any film about this.
Erm, no, it is regarded as unethical by almost everyone except bank robbers.
So while I agree with you in the abstract, I believe it's hard for people in the western system to relate and make moral judgements about the experiences of a student in post-communist Eastern Europe, where the rules were often gray. Fellow students were cheating on a grand scale, and up to that point, I had the same principled attitude towards cheating as yourself. Part of the reasons for creating "the system" was my revolt towards what I saw around me - the tacit acceptance that those with good cheating skills, which I lacked and did not develop early in my academic career, should be allowed to cheat their way to a degree, while I was supposed to memorize garbage.
Sure, my "rebellion" was unethical and compounded the social problem around me. But what could I realistically do, could I have changed anything? At least I saved me from myself, because otherwise I would have dropped-out. In the grand scheme of things, impeccable ethics is often a luxury and could have the exact opposite effect, letting only those with no ethics whatsoever to graduate.
I don't think it's a huge deal and wouldn't personally let it negatively affect a hiring decision provided you made the right noises about how it was dumb in retrospect and you were young, etc, but your comment here is pretty much the opposite of that. Who could possibly employ someone with your attitude? Even a gas station wouldn't want to hire a cashier who steals money from the register when they can get away with it just because the petroleum industry is destroying the environment, or whatever.
The social contract includes not just what's written or implied, it's also what people do in practice, what is acceptable. If cheating is acceptable and required to get a tech job, then I can do that, in fact I can do it better than most. That says very little about my profound sense of ethics.
To counter your analogy: what if you are indicted of a crime you did not commit in North Korea? You surely accepted their rules when entering the country, but would you trust their judicial system to do the right thing? Would you bribe your way out if you were given the chance? Would you ask your country to put diplomatic pressure on your behalf, a clearly unethical advantage no Korean has? Would you consider escaping from prison if wrongfully convicted?
In a narrow definition of ethics as "whatever the current rules are" (typical, I would say, for somebody living their whole life in a state with strong rule of law), the only ethical behavior is to subject yourself to whatever abuse NK decides for you.
Also, I'm not convinced that growing up in the former Soviet bloc necessarily means that honesty isn't the best policy. If everyone around you is corrupt, being the one dependable person around is a differentiator. Maybe I'm being naive, but it seems like that reputation could have some real world value to you.
By the way, it doesn't matter what your classmates are doing. Comparing myself to the average was horribly destructive to my college education. It turns out, everyone around me putting in average amounts of studying and getting average grades ended up getting average jobs with average pay! The one or two people in class that always aced everything, about whom I thought "well I don't have to be as good as them" - those were the ones who ended up having a real shot at grad school or dat $100k Facebook new-grad signing bonus. It's just like when you move from high school to college and suddenly you're not the smartest person in the universe anymore. Your cheating classmates are bozos - stomp them with harder work and keep moving up. Don't sink to their level.
If you do not sign such a document, does it make a difference? Of course not. Getting massive advantage by extraordinary cheating is still unacceptable. However, cheating a little when stakes are very high, or cheating for 'greater good' may be acceptable. Cheating is a personal decision and whether it is acceptable depends on the situation the cheating person is in, and the person doing the judgement.
I have noticed that the worse the comment, the harder it is to reply to decently/politely/etc; maybe it was impossible for me to reply to this one, or say what I thought without arguably breaking the guidelines, so OK, point taken, better not to reply in such cases. "Someone is wrong on the internet!" is real. I really did try to stay on-point, not hard enough apparently. I mean, I really do think it was the most condescending, deluded thing I'd read in years, definitely while on here. (I guess you've read much worse!) Again, not sure if that's the part you're objecting to. Apologies if you've read 10,000 replies just like this one. Kind of surprised (and depressed) I'm the problem here though.
ps I only saw your comment by chance, it's pages back in my comment history. Is there a way of getting alerts for replies on here?
The main thing to realize is that even if another comment is bad/uncivil, you still need to refrain from replying in kind. Believe me, I understand how hard that is! But our community depends on it.
Sometimes I think that HN threads are a big experiment in all of us learning how not to get triggered. If you give better than you "get" (by reading someone's comment), you'll be on the right track.
Similar systems are even now on sale: https://www.olx.ro/oferta/sistem-de-copiat-casca-invizibila-...
IMO if you can get around a system that's as good as going through it. It usually takes a certain kind of ingenuity to be able to do, so I can't be mad at it.
Similar (kind of) trick depicted in 1965 Russian comedy movie: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KDn174Mf9PY
> but I rejected memorisation on principle
After meditating / contemplating this for quite some time, we are talking the order of months. I realized that even if someone knows 1000x more, they still may not know your niche. More than that, everyone has niche expertise from their lives, which no one else can access (from their experiences).
I don't know how I got to that conclusion, or how to explain it. It was the hardest problem I solved, because it's something that had to do with a change in perspective and personality. It also is what helps me listen to others in debates and to be much more open minded. I wouldn't say it's that big of a deal, as I felt it was part of growing as a person, however many around me don't seem to recognize that. When I hear "they are naturally gifted" or "I'm not smart enough", I feel those are people who haven't had the same realization (i.e. experience).
Anyway, that was probably the most difficult and profound problem I solved for myself. What motivates me.
They may simply not agree with the conclusion, or the end. It's pretty hard to have this discussion without crashing into the nature-nurture debate, but one could be interested in a particular result, not merely _any_ result, and they may perceive a lack of something blocking their way towards that.
Not to mention, we do not really live in a world / society that recognizes this, and social approval + hireability dramatically affects one's psyche, more so than mere rational thinking.
This doesn't count efficiency and optimization. It was just that given enough time and resources we are capable to "do something".
It's hard to learn that hard work will beat aptitude for a skill and that we actually have limited time in our lives though. But as you mention it makes a difference in the mind of people. The mental blocks many people have against learning new things really hinders how people interact with this rapid changing modern world and with their social groups. Also, there's these kind of realizations that humbles you (or lift your spirit up) and helps you being less egocentric, more empathic and forgiving.
I think bringing down these walls is a really hard problem.
I ordered a new port online, waited for it to come, then spent like 12 hours trying to get the factory solder out of the original port. I ended up accidentally frying part of the power board. By this time it was the middle of the night and I had class the next day, and my room mate expected a working laptop in the morning.
So I started trawling Craigslist for similar laptop models, emailed every single one of them that I would buy the laptop at 6am (enough time before class). I found one with a broken screen, and got a decent deal, I think I still spent $150 or something (almost a whole paycheck at the time). I brought it home and tore it open, took the entire power connector module out of it and into the new one, it fit thankfully.
I handed my room mate her working laptop and never mentioned the ordeal... It was still working 2 years later when I moved out of that house. The problem wasn't so much technical as a problem of desperation and saving face :)
Replacing the shifter is usually like a £30 part, but I was in an alpine resort in summer so the shops that stocked them were charging nearly £100!
I had my tools and some super glue so sat down to repair it. The snapped part fixed in two minutes but getting that part in place required the complete disassembly of the internal mechanics of the shifter which was all tensioned with multiple hidden springs, the internals literally burst apart half way through carefully taking it apart.
We had no instructions, no YouTube video (since it is usually cheap enough just to swap out) and no diagrams.
It took me and a random guy staying in the chalet 3.5 hours to put it back together, we essentially had to spread everything out and think from first principles of how a shifter works, the specific features of that shifter (rapid fire, mutiple down shifts with one leave arch) and build up how those peices would match how it operates.
Must have been 30 part, all small and all tensioned with three(?) springs.
6 months later still working fine but man did we get a mental workout that day.
Next day I had to fix my 3 axis gimbal but that was a lot easier.
I had a similar situation happen to on a Shimano Deore shifter, which is even less complex than the SRAM you mention.
For others who have never had this "joy", it looks like there's at least one video at least partially showing what the OP had to go through: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nrfKQfXJgd0 Jump to ~2:00 to get a sense of how finicky this stuff is.
Very satisfying to do as well.
I recommend BKXC and Seth’s Bike Hacks as good channels that avoid all the Gnar downhill stuff
So many days spent thinking, sketching, trying to swallow a concept that seemed far to big for my jaws—only to suddenly find myself on the other side, with this arcane knowledge fully internalized.
Going from a few wayward thoughts to a working proof-of-concept was the most professionally satisfying thing I've done. It felt like alchemy.
Also, I have your essay in my queue to read more thoroughly, it's high on my list of stuff to study as we possibly rethink the way this stuff works in xi-editor.
I found it a few months ago, read it through the end, and shared it with my team. It's the best survey of synchronization techniques that I've come across.
I told my sales guy that we had to collect our money somehow. He was like they are a big public company, there is no way they will go bankrupt. I insisted.
I told him we needed to start working their procurement and AP hard. We bought gifts, took them out to golf, bars, lunch, dinner, and told a ton of sob stories about how we needed the money. We managed to get our AR down to about 120K which we decided was acceptable losses.
They went into bankruptcy and I was contacted by a receivables purchase company who offered to buy our 120K for 40K, so I sold them immediately.
Many of the small companies that we worked with there went out of business as none of us could take such a huge receivables loss.
To this day I try to get my finance team to send gifts to the AP team of our clients.
1. Many, many big companies require vendors to agree to codes of conduct that explicitly prohibit such gifts.
2. If the customer were to file for bankruptcy protection, the trustee (or debtor-in-possession) likely would characterize recent payments as "avoidable preference" payments and seek to claw them back — with claw-back being the presumption and the vendors having the burden of proving that they're entitled to keep the payments (which is somewhat of a PITA). 
3. If the recipient of such a gift happens to be a foreign "official," then the criminal penalties of the (U.S.) Foreign Corrupt Practices Act might become salient. 
I noticed that the case for the lock could be pried open easily because it was just a plastic cover with 2 tabs. I examined the circuit and saw that if I could bridge the cables around the lock via a toggle switch, I could have an open phone line during the day and then toggle it at night when my mom came home and she wouldn't know. And so I did. I felt like Kevin Mitnick. I remember documenting the process and posting it to hackaday.com
Funny thing was that my dad found out but he didn't tell my mom. He would just go "hey can you make the phone work, I need to make a call". I later found out he was on phone call restrction too.
It's hard to describe the feeling of reproducing something like that, after haunting me for so long.
How much time did you spend on the bug? Was it something that you ignored for a long time, and then you decided to dive in and spend a couple of weeks on it?
I visited the customer's site about 3 times during that period with a very expensive logic analyzer. By that time I'd added a ton of debug code in the fpga, and the logic analyzer was set to trigger if any of those counters hit. A big breakthrough was we were counting packets at each point in the pipeline, and that debug was showing that at a certain point, the counters were off. This was huge since it was the first clue into what was actually happening. Prior to that we just knew that there was an exponential increase in retransmitted packets until the whole thing came crashing down.
Looking back on it, I'm really happy I ended up writing a large post-mortem with screen shots of the logic analyzer and everything. I can go back and see exactly what caused it, which is really interesting even today.
I posted on /r/FPGA on Reddit , and I asked about the best development board to start with. I was wondering if you had any thoughts on that? I think I'm going to order a snickerdoodle black  and a breakout board, and start learning VHDL or Verilog. I think it would be a lot of fun to eventually design my own soft-core processor and compile a Rust program that runs on it. And after reading about clock domain crossing issues, I think it would also be really interesting to experiment with asynchronous circuits and clock-less CPUs. Thanks for introducing me to this!
That sounds really awesome to me! I'll learn VHDL as well, but this seems like a nicer high-level language with a really good type system.
There should be a blog for this kind of stuff.
The hardest problems I’ve faced were never exactly solved, just moved past or muddled through. Things like loss of close friends and family, acknowledging my own limitations, and accepting the inertia of flawed institutions.
Any problem that eventually found a solution I remember as feeling relatively simple in retrospect.
I guess the hardest problems I've ever "solved" (mitigated) were mental (depression/anxiety/impostor syndrome). But those aren't one and done happy endings- they're a bundle of general anxieties that are never fully resolved. You just learn how to manage.
When first implemented, the equipment was reserved for the entire time of the event. A feature request came in to allow for partial reservations of equipment (we want to reserve space A for four hours, but equipment B for only the last hour and equipment C for the first two hours).
Solving it on initial event creation was pretty easy. The UX was difficult. But handling updates, especially across recurring events, in a way that was maintainable and correct was the hardest technical work I've done. I wrote a lot of tests.
The difficulty was compounded by the fact that this was a startup and I had no technical peers to discuss the issue with. The code implementing the work wasn't the cleanest either. I could have reached out to friends, but they wouldn't have had the understanding of the issue.
The former seems "better", but you also run into a whole lot of complications:
1) The user can delete specific instances of a recurring event. Eg: delete the event for thanksgiving Thursday but leave it intact for all other Thursdays
2) The user can make instance-specific edits. Eg: edit the event description with custom meeting-notes that's specific to that week's instance
3) The user can invite/dis-invite people for specific instances. Eg: invite Dave only for the event this Thursday, but not for the following weeks'
Creating a database entry for each instance avoids the above complications, but comes with its own drawbacks: if a user creates a recurring event with no end-date, you have to populate a large number of instances, all the way until some arbitrary MAX_DATE.
I was asked this question in an interview once and I recommended the latter option as the lesser evil, and the interviewer was visibly displeased with my recommendation. I'm wondering what the better solution would be.
Matterlist's recurring task descriptors ("Schedule Items") essentialy define infinite sequences of recurring events, which are not represented in the database, but are visible and editable via the same UI, just as the regular, non-recurring tasks.
Here's how we deal with the problems you outlined:
1) When a user deletes a specific instance, we create an "exclusion" record for that day, so that the function that generates an endless sequence of recurrences doesn't generate one for that day.
2) When a user edits a specific instance of a recurring task, we also create an "exclusion" record for that day (because otherwise we would have two tasks on that day, the edited instance, now with a database record, and the virtual instance), and we create a database record for the edited instance, so it just becomes a regular task.
3) We don't have shared tasks yet, but that would be handled via the same framework, as outlined in 1 and 2 above. We'd just de-virtualize an instance and add/remove users to it.
Creating a database entry for each instance of a recurring task was unacceptable for us, because we wanted infinite forward visibility, and because when a user edits the parameters of a recurring task (e.g. changes it from daily to weekly), we'd have to delete all the old records and create the new records.
BTW, we have finally released an Android app, so you can see our recurring tasks in action: https://matterlist.com/#apps
* UX was hard when people want to change individual events that are also part of a recurring event (who wins)
* daylight savings time is an issue when you store datetime in UTC (you need to shift the UTC value in Nov vs in June to have it be the same "8am every Friday" event)
* saving a change across all of a large number of events created a large, slow transaction that caused slow responses (in some cases triggering heroku timeouts)
I was lucky that we didn't need to implement inviting guests, as that wasn't needed.
There were times when I wish I'd implemented the RFC standard: https://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc2445.txt but never got to that. (We also evaluated just building on top of Google Calendar, but I was worried about building on top of an API that we weren't paying for, and there was the issue of tying in child equipment events.)
On load/view time, generate events from the list of defaults and amend with the exceptions as needed. The user should not see the default/exceptions system, just events and the pattern.
I’d say working with exceptions in this way is more efficient than storing many copies of the same event.
Great read, and shows how difficult it was and is to compete with office.
File under "things programmers assume about time". It kept doing "weird" things from the user perspective and I ended up writing more tests for that subsystem than anything else I've ever done.
It was one massive several-month nightmare. Totally relate...
Eventually I got it working and I could boot DOS and play games.
The aim of my project was to create a programmable emulator that could be used for the semi-automated analysis of malware, and sell it. Eventually this didn't really go anywhere as this was a too ambitious goal to do all by myself. See here  for a demonstration where I load tweets from Twitter and send them to the DOS text editor by triggering a keyboard interrupt via a Python API. Fun...
Later, the Unicorn CPU emulator framework implemented my idea much more effectively by creating Python bindings to an already mature emulator (QEMU).
For me it turned out to be jettisoning all of the stuff from my life that didn’t feel meaningful and reorienting my life such that all of my major time commitments positively impact things that I consider to be personal values.
This includes: hobbies, non-profits, and my job.
This does not mean I live an ascetic life. Instead, I live one that I personally find meaningful.
So I attached to it with gdb... and started going down a rabbit hole of stack traces and assembly code. I don't remember ultimately what the problem was (I think the code had been (partially?) stripped of symbols) but I do remember ultimately flipping a bit in some conditional that finally got it to launch!
We aren't 100% there yet, but we are shipping numerous times per day across 20 or so services and quality has gone _up_, not down
I could spend time on marking features 'frontend only, low impact' which we could deploy pretty much the same day. Still there are quite some features that need bigger amount of work where they might be 'done' by dev but I am sure they are not actually done, because security, because error checking. It of course is usually that one dev has his not tested feature merged to develop and then also some other dev has production ready one, then if one feature is production ready, I would have to put also some time to make release and pick only changes for accepted change. I am not sure that additional work to check what we can release ' right now' will pay off vs just taking time for fixes on acceptance by people who were working on code and then release it (after 2 weeks o 1 depending how fast it is done in sprint).
So are you having people who work only on picking changes that are low impact, or working on making stuff production ready by picking from develop?
Maybe you pick changes by yourself, or you just defer manual testing to end users and rely on automated tests unit/integration?
p.s. Funny thing with automated tests is they are good at keeping old stuff working but not for testing newly developed features where actual tester can test new GUI/ new features. If you have a lot of GUI changes you cannot automate first tests...
Mostly it comes down to organizational changes and everybody getting used to what constitutes "enough" tests.
* Every PR is treated as "production" ready. This means if it isn't ready for user eyes, it gets feature flagged or dark shipped. Engineers have to assume their commit will go into prod right away. Feature flags become pretty important
* Product Owners and QA validate code is "done" in lower environments (acceptance or staging, or even locally during PR phase). This helped us decouple code being in prod and "definition of done" in our sprints.
* All API changes and migrations follow "expand and contract" models that makes the code shippable. e.g. even if we are building new features, we can ship our code at anytime cause the public api is only expanding.
* More automated quality checks at PR time. Unit tests, integration tests, danger rules, etc. These vary from codebase to codebase. A key part of this is trusting the owners of that code or service. To a degree, if they are happy with their coverage, then they can ship. (Within limits of course. Not having unit tests at least would be a red flag)
Also, we still ship numerous times a day without a full automation test, we just make sure each release is really small (1-3) commits. The smaller the release the easier it is to manually QA it. So nothing fancy is needed, just smaller releases.
So to answer your question, we don't pick and choose work that is "low" impact or "high" impact, all code gets shipped the same and with the same cadence. It is our responsibility to ensure that when it goes to prod, it won't break anything
 commits were pushed to employees on commit, that's how we tested, but not to the public
In particular - documentation and support.
Using complicated interfaces is very challenging sometimes, to the point of obscene - Google searches for help turn up a variety of outdated answers - and it's impossible to know what's what.
I'm using Facebook Ads right now quite a lot - it's complex system that just shifts like quicksand under your feet.
Users make incredible efforts to learn the product, only to have it shift away from them like a ghost.
Documentation may or may not be up to date.
Locations of things change.
And who can you ask? Where do you search for support? Facebook has never really provided me answers to many questions in their documentation.
Tiny example - an advisor used to know how to list people that have commented on a post, so that you could 'invite them to like your page'. But it's changed and now he can't find it. One small thing now that he doesn't know how to do, a tool list from his tool-chest.
And who really gains from all of this? Seriously? I don't think anyone.
Is that 'new feature' really that important? It needs to be rolled out 'now' instead of in a major/minor delivery?
These changes are seldom well communicated either.
I suggest the total opposite might be better: release major iterations every year, minor iterations quarterly, and patches as needed.
Every time there is a release - provide users friendly release notes - something they can read at a quick glance and get up to speed. A little 10 second video for every change: "Oh, now you can do XYZ like this"
This way - you have predictability and consistency so users can know how to 'keep up'.
Also - the ability to use the OLD interface where possible for at least 1 year, or something like that - that we users are not forced onto the quicksand.
"Ok it's Jan 1 - FB Ads 2019 is released in 1 month - let's go over the changes - Mary, you can be responsible for highlighting the major changes and communicating them to the rest of the team, and highlighting any risks for us"
Otherwise, you're trolling along, these companies make changes that could feasibly have major impact on your business and you're out to lunch.
Maybe internally continuous delivery could be a useful thing ... but for the world at large the downsides are real and the upsides are limited.
The idea is based on internal reflection: Whenever lights hits the boundary between two materials with different density it gets refracted. If it goes from dense to less dense and the angle is flat enough it will reflect back. This is the principle behind fibre optics. It's also the reason why the water's surface looks "silvery" (like a mirror) when you're submerged and look up at an angle (i.e. not straight up).
Now imagine you have a plane of glass and you put LEDs around the edges that shine into it from the side. The light will zig-zag trough the glass and come out at the other edge. However, if you touch the glass you inhibit that total internal reflection because your finger is alot denser than the air and so the light will "leak" out the glass where you touch it, illuminating your finger. If you look at the glass from behind you'll see a bright spot.
Use a camera to detect that spot and you basically have a touchpad. To make it a screen you can put a translucent sheet behind the glass and project an image onto it (and use infrared LEDs).
See e.g. http://wiki.nuigroup.com/FTIR for some helpful images. Just google "FTIR touch screen" or similar for build instructions and blob-detection software.
At the risk of over generalizing it sounds like you learned to empathize. Sounds like you found that to be a key to success!
To understand what "controlling behaviour" means.
To empathise, and see oneself from the eyes of others.
Armed with a PCI analyzer, I figured out that it was a race condition where the firmware on the chip would raise an interrupt to the PC. And they would clear the interrupt right at the moment where the firmware wanted to issue a new interrupt.
If performed in the wrong order, the PCI interrupt stayed high even after the PC thought it was already serviced.
The solution was to just switch around 2 lines of code in the firmware, but it took two weeks to figure that out.
Not that long, but it was an insidiously subtle mistake.
Was about to tape out a chip when we got a last minute change order... a 100kohm resistor needed to be added. This was an already laid-out, routed and optimized chip design that was ready to be fabbed.
A few hours later (including at least an hour of shouted obscenities) I found that I was able to snake through 100kohms of poly and diffusion resistor into our design without moving anything, violating any design rules or changing any operating points even after parasitic extraction.
2. Debugging Go runtime in pre-1.0 era, to find out why it was not working stably on Windows. It involved a lot of digging through Go internals (also in Go's old C compiler & assembly), as well as WinDbg disassembly-level debugging. I eventually found out that the Windows call convention was not preserved in some aspect, in that one of the registers was being mangled on return. I see it as my most important contribution to Go, though formally I was not listed as a Contributor through it, though I got a Thank You mention in a commit message I think. But some time later I did some much simpler contribution which got me a then coveted by me (and still valued) entry on the Go contributors list.
* Improving that design to make it work reliably and conveniently enough for mass production and deployment in 3rd world countries (still haven't figured it out :(
* Reverse engineering the APIs and roadblocks to port iMessage to Windows: https://neosmart.net/blog/2018/imessage-for-windows/
* Porting an entire automated Windows PC system repair suite from Windows to Linux (still to fix Windows PCs) in two weeks when Microsoft pulled the rug out from under us and abruptly informed me that they would no longer be licensing Windows PE to ISVs: https://neosmart.net/EasyRE/ (now powered by FreeBSD)
I get a thrill out of besting myself, and find that helps extremely well when I've all but given up hope but conversely that makes it really hard to motivate yourself when it's something you know you can do (perhaps you've done it before) but just aren't looking forward to. Also it's really hard to do something that takes so much insane time/effort (literally years) when you know there's a good chance the world just won't care.
I earned my spurs (well, perhaps an enlisted stripe) back in the 1980's when I inherited a non-functional mess of an HP-85 Basic program to control an antenna test system. Many days in the Hanscom AFB RADC EE Propagation shack to get the RS-232 mag tape and IEEE HP-IB/GPIB/IEEE 488 custom hardware working. We kept bumping up against the HP-85's program storage capacity, so I had to remove most program comments, and actually shorten the variable names to get it all loaded into memory.
Then we got to fly that sucker on a pair of C-141B's from Wright Pat AFB, to Elmendorf AFB, then a flight over the North Pole, then to Thule AB, Greenland (9 days in November - do not recommend), then to RAF Lakenheath.
30 years on, I still make a living fixing crappy code.
The previous engineer on the account had overpromised and under delivered... in a rather big way. Not only that, but he also managed to misconfigure the enterprise automation software we use and accidentally delete the customer’s entire network share, then managed to get one of those cryptolocker viruses on the share after it was restored from backups, prompting a second restore. Regardless, the customer was pissed as hell and was on the verge of firing us.
After I was hired and put on the account (which I knew going in), I spent two days taking stock of all the shitty stuff the previous engineer had built, deciding what could be salvaged and what had to be discarded. Then, for the next two months, I went over the original contracts and built (or rebuilt) the originally promised system. I would basically work for 10 hours everyday, 7 am to 5 pm, then write an extremely detailed report to the customer explaining what I had done that way, which would take another 2 hours.
For the first week they ignored my reports. Then the CFO started taking interest, first by nitpicking, then asking questions, then praising. The rest of the customer’s team slowly came on board as well, especially once I started delivering the bits that were user-facing.
Today this customer is our flagship account, and has helped us land many other large accounts. But those two months were probably the most stressful of my life, not just because of the technical challenges but also due to having to simultaneously navigate the tricky political situation.
An ongoing soft-skill problem I am learning to solve is the effective customer development.
An interesting UI/UX problem I am currently thinking about is how to allow people to draw sun/shade patterns, wind current patterns, and essentially contour lines that show elevation on their property (the last is to ultimately learn how water flows on their property, and where there are drainage problems) in a fun, minimal-effort way. If anyone has any suggestions on this, please feel free to share.
The last two types of problems are for my side project, AutoMicroFarm.
Also be aware that different phones have different levels of support for non-GPS location services. I was surprised to learn recently that my Pixel 3 can use data from the US, EU, and Russian satellite geolocation systems for better coverage/precision.
I'll keep thinking about how to solve the problem.
The hosting company was trying to mitigate, but the attack was "real traffic" so hard to just black hole. I dove into one of the Apache logs and was looking for some way to sift out the bad traffic and keep the real traffic.
Then I noticed a lot of Nintendo Wii user agent headers. That was suspicious. Who in hell is using this service 100 times per second from their Wii from Pakistan and Russia?
I wrote a quick regex that blocked all IP's from requests with Wii user agent headers. This took care of 99% of the DDOS traffic. After 2 hours the whole attack stopped.
Next up: Figuring out how to talk to the world about it effectively. I'm not sure that's solvable. "Curing CF" seems easier.
If you were willing to lift up that imprecision, I bet you wouldn't have such a hard welcome.
My condition is not late onset. I have had it my whole life. Being diagnosed late doesn't mean it "came on" late. I spent years being treated by people like I was some kind of hypochondriac and asking doctors "Can we test me for something? My body doesn't seem to work normally." and being blown off.
It's not imprecision. I'm as precise as I know how to be or you wouldn't know that my actual diagnosis is atypical cystic fibrosis. I in no way hide that.
So from where I sit, that just looks like yet another BS excuse or justification for people on the internet to be jerks to me.
>My condition is not late onset.
And the only person I knew with CF had been diagnosed as a toddler and had a 20 y. life expectancy because of genetic bad luck. That you could live 30 years without heavy treatment sure says that your condition was not as bad as that person, and maybe there's a state of affliction that cannot be conservatively managed.
>Next up: Figuring out how to talk to the world about it effectively.
My guess is that you will be unsuccessful. (from similar accounts that I have read )
I've spent years trying to figure out how to explain it to other people. I actually joined HN in hopes of learning to program so I could write a simulation to more effectively convey the information, but that hasn't happened. Getting well and other life drama has taken all my time.
Trying to explain it with mere words seems to be something that needs like a million of them and still isn't really adequate.
But, in a nutshell (or an attempt at a nutshell explanation):
First, I did things I knew were helpful from before having a diagnosis and tried to then go figure out why it was helpful. Having gotten diagnosed late in life, I had my own mental models and ideas that didn't jibe with our current official understanding of the condition. I respected my innate knowledge rather than just agreeing with the experts.
Second, I tried to understand the pathology. We know the mechanism behind the condition: A malfunctioning (or sometimes missing) cell channel called the CFTR that handles trafficking of certain molecules into and out of the cell. So I tried to understand how we get from there to all the symptoms typically associated with CF, such as malabsorption and lung infections. That seems to be a different approach from what medicine currently does.
Some of my general conclusions:
Malabsorption leads to malnourishment. Many of my issues were rooted in malnourishment. Improving my nutritional status was a major cornerstone of my efforts to get healthier.
I found ways to compensate for the defective cell channel. One thing that is known is that CF involves misprocessing of fats. I got very picky about what fats I eat and tried to develop some understanding of why some fats are helpful and others are problematic. This seems to be rooted in chemistry and at least partly in how complex the molecule is. My body generally handles long chain triglycerides poorly and I favor medium chain triglcerides, though that is likely a wholly inadequate explanation of the phenomenon.
Most genetic disorders involve a misfolded protein. I learned what promotes misfolds. Chemical derangement in the cell promotes misfolds. I believe this is an important mechanism behind the progression of CF, where you steadily get worse. I think reversing the chemical derangement stopped the positive feedback loop (aka vicious cycle) and this was a huge, huge factor in being able to get healthier rather than just try to slow or halt the progression.
I'm currently trying to figure out what I want to say on my blog about my understanding of "the immune system." When we speak most systems, we can name specific organs. The digestive system involves the stomach, small intestine and large intestine. The circulatory system involves the heart and an extensive system of blood vessels. But I can't list for you the organs involved in the immune system.
So I think better understanding exactly what we mean by that -- what is going on when the body successfully fights off infection -- is a major thing and I am still trying to figure out what I want to say about that. I think we generally have a poor concept for how that happens.
That's probably several hundred thousand words short of conveying much of anything, but it's an attempt to reply to your question.