Do you shop on the internet?
Ever think about how many other people there are looking over the same pages you are?
When you call into a call center, how many others are holding, and how many operators are you queing on to take your call?
When you’re in a crowded supermarket, you can see all the lines and all
the people, so you know when there’s too many people for the lines, and
can even tell when the store is completely overwhelmed and that there’s
nothing anyone can do about the crowd.
When a website is overcrowded, it’s percieved as malfunction by most,
and if the server’s response when overwhelmed is to post an 800 number,
soon there’s an overcrowded PBX too.
When 200 people want to buy 50 items from a web store, what happens to
the other 150? I had a caller who was among the other 150 twice,
and had no idea how it could happen. She also didn’t know there
were 200 people in the hold queue behind her and proceeded to waste
seven minutes of all their time. That’s 1400 mythical man-minutes gone.
Enough about my work…
Thanks for all your comments. Sorry this time of year makes me busy so it’s hard to come here to write…
linuxaddict11111 thanked me for a
link to tree wave, an Austin, TX based group that make their music on
old Commodore 64’s, and Atari 2600 and a dot matrix printer. I’ve
written about them in the somewhat distant past.
sswanson: Glad you’re catching on-
soon I’m going to confuse you more by showing off my recent
misadventures with the language Python…
There are two issues that prevent me from working on video. The
huge one is that my computer is nearly obsolete (though I’m working on
that, keeping old computers useful is part of my hobbies and something
I’m proud of. This workstation is a Pentium 3) and my hard
disk tends not to have enough space on it to reliably work on video,
though I’ve got plenty of room (and tools!) to work on sound.
It is also worth noting that I am a Linux user…
Organic_Gaming: …which means
I can’t help you out with Visual Basic or Access, however, there’s a
project called GAMBAS which is coming along rather well, and as long as
somebody’s written MySQL or Postgres bindings for it… (hell,
even if nobody has, all you need anymore is a ‘system’ or ‘shell’
command and a way to capture ‘stdin’…)
Please tell me more about the sort of game(s) you want to create…
ON THE INTERNET, NOBODY KNOWS YOU’RE A GNU
This is the third draft of this section, the other two attempts
repeated things I’ve written about before, so, since my Python project
isn’t ready to be shown off just yet, let me explain why I decided not
to write it in Ruby, though I think if I had chosen Ruby I’d have
finished it by now…
Python is from the family of scripting languages that came up in the
early 90’s, and I want to think only Perl is more popular. It’s a
bizarre language that frankly, has quite a lot of haters. I know
one person that likes to work with Python, and yet, there’s quite a
following of Python users, so what gives?
Python is a very common language for plugins (I’m learning it by
writing a plugin myself) and is the language of choice for a lot of
setup scripts for different operating systems (I believe Mac OS X uses
it quite a bit) and, since the interpreter is in my computer because of
other software I have that needs it, why not give it an honest go?
You see, if you’re programming servers, especially if you’re
programming web servers, the only result Joe Public ever sees is the
page on the screen, so it doesn’t really mean a damn where the HTML
that renders the page came from at all, as long as it’s done
efficiently and successfully, so why tie yourself to any one
tool? I’m all for web servers and web scripting in ancient
languages like Pascal and Forth if the end result is cool. It’s
not like a majority of end users know where it all is coming from,
anyway. (It’s funny how in music school, we used to say that
about the difference between the sounds of Synclaviers, Korgs, and
Fairlights… the end result is that only other musicians that
use them will care.)
Python scares off a lot of experienced programmers with its rigid
syntax. Code must start at the left margin. Blocks must be
marked by indents, because there is no way to show the end of a block
otherwise. Curly braces are for hashes (I mean, dictionaries;
even the vernacular is messed up) only.
Despite that, I see the method in it, and I think it’s a good language to learn on even though I only see three advantages:
1) Your code must be properly structured. If it isn’t, it won’t even run.
2) ‘import’ed (not included) libraries are compiled and the parse
tree saved, making library loading faster than, say, Java.
3) The IDEs (visual editing environments) for Python are pretty sharp: check out Eric, for example: http://www.die-offenbachs.de/detlev/eric3.html
Will I use Python all the time? If a better IDE comes out for Ruby, hell no.
More later… everybody have a great holiday season!
See you next time.