“Lost” Finale a Disappointment

OK, so I’m a little behind the times on this, so sue me. I just finished skimming the finale of the TV show “Lost” and I have to say I’m disappointed. This was supposed to be the season that provided more answers instead of questions, yet I find that the answers are really quite unsatisfactory or just simply missing. What originally attracted me to this show were the sci-fi elements that appeared in the first couple of seasons. (I’ll also confess that the appearance of vintage computer equipment in the “hatch” didn’t hurt. A couple racks of the SAGE and an Apple ][ make an appearance.)

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“History of NSA General-Purpose Electronic Digital Computers” (1964)

governmentattic.org just published a PDF version of this internal report on the history of general-purpose computers at the National Security Agency. Dated 1964, it provides lots of interesting information on early computers used by the NSA, both tube-based and transistor based. The NSA is the part of the US government responsible for cryptographic codes.

Tony Blankley on Bennett’s Loss

Tony Blankley at newsmax writes a syndicated piece about Bob Bennett’s loss of the Utah GOP nomination. If I could paraphrase Tony’s article it would be: “Thanks for your service, Senator. Don’t let the door hit your ass on the way out.” Will Bennett be a crybaby about Tony Blankley as well?

Channel9: STL: Some Underlying Algorithms, Data Structures, and More with Stephan T. Lavavej

On Channel 9, Stephen T. Lavavej gives a presentation about C++ and the Standard Template Library. Stephan really knows the standard library (or STL, if you prefer) and his presentations are always worth your time. The video is about an hour in length.

Pearson Publishing Sponsors “You Can Test Anything”

I’m pleased to announce that Pearson Publishing will be supporting the Agile Roots 2010 session “You Can Test Anything”, presented by myself and Zhon Johansen. The publisher will be giving us some books to give away to attendees of our session. They are also a sponsor of the conference in general. Thanks, Pearson Publishing!

Today, May 14th, is your last day to register for Agile Roots at the early bird discount and save $100 or more.

Bennett Soft Pedals His Ass Kicking

Over at the National Review Online, Bennett soft pedals the ass kicking he received, trying to blame it all on the Club for Growth thinktank. They call bullshit on that.

Bennett cries like a baby saying he’s as conservative as they come. Well, if that’s true, then we’re all so screwed that we might as well be planting survival gardens in our backyards in preparation for civilization to crash, burn and reboot. I confronted this guy with a core conservative principle during his first term and he waffled. Since then he’s been on a bureacratic power trip for three terms—after having told us he’d only serve two—and has acted in a way that says the best conservative principles mean fighting for your state’s turn at the trough of federal spending. If that’s conservative, then sorry, but we need less conservatives.

unixronin on Threats to Liberty

unixronin writes an interesting blog post about threats to liberty. I agree with the sentiments he has expressed there. Since I’m reading For Liberty and Glory right now, the word “liberty” has come to mean something a little more tangible and a little less ephemeral these days.

Richard’s Forty Years of Who

This is a long post that serves two purposes: one to recount my personal love affair for my favorite band, and two to provide “liner notes” for my 4-disc 40 year retrospective of The Who’s music. You can skip to the liner notes, skip to the Youtube playlist or continue reading for my story.

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dxprof – GPU Profiling Tool

Sergey Nenakhov posts to the DirectX developer list that he’s created a GPU profiling tool for Direct3D applications:

I’ve created a tool, which hooks directx api inside any desired application. Then each draw call will be wrapped with asynchronous timing query, and when timing info arrives for all draw calls made during a frame an overlay is rendered showing you the timing information of each dip (or memory transfer) in a compact and informative manner. For deeper analysis you can press the ‘~’ button (or whatever key you have below the ESC) to pause the sampling, and when paused, mousing over any bar will show you the callstack where that draw call was made with precise timing information about that call. I personally find this tool extremely useful because it can show you the bottleneck of your application very quick, and also it shows relative costs of various stuff you have going on in your application, giving you a significantly better understanding of the performance aspect of your game.

I haven’t tried this tool myself, but it looks interesting and might prove valuable to any Direct3D developer trying to performance tune their application. (Remember: first get it right, then get it tight! Or, as Donald Knuth says, “Premature optimization is the root of all evil.”)

Styles of Pair Programming

Iwein Fuld writes a good blog post about the practical styles of pair programming.

One Down, One To Go

This past weekend, Tea Party forces within the Utah state GOP denied Bob Bennett an opportunity to continue his personal political career at taxpayer expense, at least under the banner of the Republican party. I suppose he could always consider running as an independent like Joe Lieberman, but I doubt it will happen and even if it does, I doubt he would garner any significant portion of the vote.

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