Article Review: The Accidental Enterpreneur

September 30, 2007 § Leave a comment

This is an essay written by Gordon Moore one of the co-founder of Intel (the other one is Robert Noyce).

He starts describing his journey after graduated from Caltech PhD program. His sight was first set on Dow Chemical, but things didn’t pan out.

Then he moved on to: Applied Physics Laboratory at Johns Hopkins University. Not liking the job, he started to apply a couple other places before receiving phone call from Bill Shockley.

At Shockley Semiconductor, most of his peers were about the same age, late 20s.

After Shockley freaking out on several occasions, eight of the employees (nicknamed Fairchild 8 ) quit and set up Fairchild Semiconductor.

Setting up Fairchild Semiconductor itself was pretty accidental. All 8 of them were just looking for another job but later approached by a group of people from Hayden Stone Investment Banker. They told Fairchild 8 to set up their own company instead.

One interesting lesson to learn from early days of Fairchild Semiconductor:

Fairchild 8 hired an engineering manager because they don’t want to repeat Shockley’s mistake. Then, they got Ed Baldwin. This guy taught the young entrepreneurs various things, but in the end he left to create competing semiconductor company. Yeah, that must felt sucked.

A couple of years later and $150 million worth of business later, things started to go bad between Fairchild and its parent company. This resulted in Robert Noyce and Gordon Moore left Fairchild and setup Intel.

The Fairchild tale as well as each individual founder stories are awesome. It is safe to say that they bring silicon to Silicon Valley in a big way.

References:

Main Article

Eugene Kleiner’s Bio at Wikipedia

Gordon Moore’s Bio at Wikipedia

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Python: Myths about Indentation

September 26, 2007 § Leave a comment

I got this from my friend, and he got it somewhere from GVR blog.

This article is an attempt to dismiss those who exercise FUD towards Python’s indentation.

Below is the summary that I compiled for readers:

Whitespace is significant in Python source code.

Response: No, not really. Only the most-left white space.

Python forces me to use certain indentation style.

Response: If you use new line for your block of code, yes that’s true. That’s because the indentation is explicitly enforcing the block structure.

You cannot safely mixed Tab or Spaces in Python.

Response: C also has the same problem, and most modern IDE will choose one or another anyway.

I just don’t like it.

Response: Whatever…

How does the compiler parses the indentation anyway?

Response: You have to read the main article. It’s fairly simple & well-defined.

Reference:

The article

Prototype Window Class, JS library for creating DHTML window

September 10, 2007 § 2 Comments

Prototype Window Class is free (as in beer) and easy to use library for creating DHTML window.

It is based on prototype.js and doesn’t really require Scriptaculous.

Resources:

Firefox Plugin: Opera-like Speed Dial

September 10, 2007 § Leave a comment

The love affair between me and Opera (Web Browser) started not too long ago, about 1.5 month.

And I’m sold! Big Time! I like every feature that Opera offered, especially Speed Dial.

Speed Dial appears when you open a new Tab. It can render 9 of your most favorite/visited websites.

Now, I still use Firefox, mainly because it has Firebug but… also because most of online games work on Firefox.

Thus, I installed Firefox Speed Dial Plugin. Try it. Firefox experience will never be the same.

Apple, Inc. articles (or mostly Steve Jobs)

September 8, 2007 § Leave a comment

List of articles which are hard to come by:

Video Resources:

Random: Exploded car in parking lot

September 7, 2007 § Leave a comment

Somehow, out of nowhere, an old beemer exploded in company’s car lot.

Too bad, I didn’t carry my cellphone while watching it bursting in flame.

Resource:

Quick Link from Company’s Blog

Some of my thought about Software Architecture

September 4, 2007 § Leave a comment

Upon various drinking occasions with fellow developers, there are a couple of wisdom worth sharing about software architecture. Enjoy…

Design Pattern:

Don’t do some of them because James Gosling said so. Don’t do some of them because the book said so. And more importantly, don’t do it because your blue suit client demand you to do so.

Use design pattern technique based on necessities and careful consideration about the feature’s purpose.

Don’t just use design pattern that you only know. Depending on the requirements, sometimes you just have to learn new design patterns. Better start learning now rather than never.

Polymorphisms:

Be very careful with it. Don’t over do it. Nobody wants to see 10M lines of stack trace.

Remember that the purpose of polymorphisms is to re-use parent object’s properties as much as possible. Extending excessively cause object’s behavior to keep changing throughout software’s life cycle.

Web Frameworks:

Which one is really good for you? Is the company you are working for a JAVA shop? Is the application that you build need Perl? The answer of this question depends on what skills you already have. Unless, if you make an application for the sake of learning something new.

CakePHP is awesome by the way, but that’s me being a zealot.

If you think a framework sucks, is it because the framework really suck? or is it because you don’t want to learn it? or it’s because the learning curve was huge? It is best to stay objective when reviewing or using a framework, you might miss some awesome features.

Ain’t nobody cares about your choice of framework, as long as it get the job done.

Scalability:

Scale what? How to scale it? It is very important to be able to identify which part of the application that needs to scale well.

Software/Jargon Zealotry:

Between friends, the zealotry is fun (i.e. OS X rulez, Windoze sux) but in professional setting, this is bad. Not because it would make you look “unprofessional”, but because it will clouds your judgment.

Not everything needs to be Service Oriented Architecture & definitely not everything needs to be AJAX.

Ruby on Rails may be cool, it is actually so totally cool, but the performance may varied (depending on the Gems and many other things).

Sometimes reading Slashdot too much makes you think that all of your choices sucks big time. For example, client-side development requires AJAX, or Flash, or Java Applet, or Browser plugin. All 4 of them suck big time in different categories. Maybe it’s best to just pick 1 and read more API.

I think Java sucks, and becoming suckier in every upcoming version but it is de facto standard for blue suit jobs. If I’m starving, I will code in Java.

Debunking Old Myth:

Just because Javascript/Flash used to sucked, it doesn’t mean that both will stay suck.

It is true that IE 7 is still suck, but try opening IE 6… you will realized that the world had become a better place. In addition, Firefox was and is still awesome but the memory usage is still brutal.

Scriptaculous was great, but there are others which is flat-out better now, i.e. Mootools or Mochikit. Why I said that Scriptaculous was great? Browser memory is precious and Scriptaculous is not really efficient, new Effect is always creating a new object as opposed to recycling existing Effect object.

Resource:

IBM – Best Practice for Web Developers

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