Skip to main content

Muscle memory: geeky, but cool

There are moments when the you realize that you're always going to be a geek, and you're still pretty stoked about it. Yesterday offered me one such moment.

Despite all my plans over the last year or so to get back to programming a little bit, it has just never happened. A combination of being incredibly busy and almost as lazy ensured that.:)
However, a need to keep myself occupied over the summer and curiosity about if the Facebook platform is really as easy to program to as advertised meant I finally got around to writing some code again. Big surprise: not doing something for two years will leave you rusty! Particularly if its web programming, which you never really did anyway.

Some things still stay constant though; like the time you need to waste up front to prepare so that you can actually get some work done! It took me more than a day and a half to (re-) install the necessary software on my machine, figure out the particular eccentricities of the web-hosting provider I decided to use, and recover from pulling out my hair because of the way Facebook sample files play with PHP4 and PHP5.

Somewhere in the middle of that was when my geeky moment happened. My programming editor of choice is XEmacs. However, the rust has meant that I've forgotten most of my keyboard shortcuts.
The one I use most frequently is splitting the window into multiple parts so that I can have more than one file open at a time.

For the life of me I couldn't remember what the shortcut was, and since I could get along without it, I did. After working for a while though, the thought just popped into my head, "I need to split the screen", and involuntarily my fingers just moved and the screen was split! I didn't know what the keys were until I looked down and repeated the action.
Don't ask me why, but I think that's kinda cool!:)

By the way, I spent a while trying to figure out if this was geeky or nerdy. I don't think this satisfies the "deep knowledge" part of the "geeky" definition, but still ...its slightly more flattering to my ego.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Whimsy when I changed my profile picture...

I changed by profile picture at work.



Later in the day, two people on my team had changed their profile pictures to these.. :-)



It made my day!

I changed my profile pic again today. Let's see how fast anyone catches on this time. :-)

Yup - humans still lack humanity

Every once in a while, I'm reminded that humans can be completely lacking in humanity.

My wife had the following experience yesterday on her ride back home. She got on the train and found a seat. The train was unusually crowded and it looked a lot of people had to stand for a long ride. An elderly Asian gentleman carrying a few things in both hands, was looking for spot, started to complain smilingly about the train being so full and stood in the aisle at the back of the carriage some seats away from her.

She expected someone closer to gentleman in the aisle (lots of younger people on the train) to give him their seat.

No one did.

The train started, and it was clear the man was having a lot of trouble standing up. Then at the next stop there was actually an announcement saying the train was full so please give up your seats to people who needed them.

Still nobody moved.

My wife got up walked to the end of the train and asked the gentleman to go over to her seat. She still couldn&#…

Measure f-ing everything, and assume f-ing nothing!! - Or how mentoring ruined lives :-(

I've been really enjoying the Freakonomics podcast of late. This episode and the lesson we should take a away from it, was a stark reminder of one of the most important things we should be doing - but often don't - in building products or making any decisions: measuring the impact of absolutely everything we do, including the things that seem obviously good.

I recommend listening to the podcast if you have the time, but here's the summary. Stephen Dubner describes the Cambridge Sommerville Youth Study. The impact of social intervention programs in general is hard to measure and so they seldom are. This was the first attempt at measuring the impact over a long period of time.

It's a great story and there are a few good take-aways, but here's the main one: troubled or at-risk youth that received mentoring (good mentoring!) had worse life outcomes across every dimension than the kids that were left alone. Despite the recipients saying that the mentoring was incredibl…