So, we are having airport food for dinner – pizza with basil and tinned mushrooms (we could have had hotel food but the hotel is scary). We keep telling ourselves that we would have gone into Vienna today if we hadn’t have slept for only two hours last night. Likely story.

I Love Books

I have only brought three books with me. Three books seemed to be enough when I had to try to find room to pack these in my rucksack last night. If I had thought about this I would have realised that three books is never enough. I like to read. I read about three books per week. This is during an normal week when I work and have other commitments. If I’m not working I can easily go through a book a day. I’m going to be away for more than three weeks – how could I ever have thought that three books we enough?

I’m a compulsive reader. The sort of person who gets so desparate to read that I’ve caught myself reading the backs of shampoo bottles. I’m already more than half-way through one of my books. I have this fear that it will be finished soon. Everytime I pick it up I think to myself “20 pages, I’ll just read another 20 pages”.

Marty has just offered to let me read through the linux kernel source code. This is not the sort of reading that I like to do. He has also told me that there is a bookshop in the airport that sells some English books. Once we get to Japan hopefully we will be so busy that I won’t have time to read.

O Vienna

Marty and I have arrived in Vienna! We had thought about going in to Vienna to take a look around but I think we will probably spend the afternoon in the hotel sleeping.

Our hotel room is tacky. Actually, the whole hotel is tacky and sticky – the air conditioning doesn’t seem to be working but it was only a two minute walk from the airport.

Stallman is right!

Finally, after what seems like years of planning we are on our way to Japan!

I have done quite a lot of travelling over the past fews years and still haven’t learnt that packing on the night before I am going away is stressful and that it is possible to get ready days in advance. The other thing I haven’t learned is to at least leave work early the day before I’m going away.

It’s 6.15am, I’m in the BMI Diamond Club lounge but I want to be in bed and Marty has just started into one of his many “Stallman is right” rants. Do you think he’ll notice if I fall asleep?

Missing the big picture

A few things that I have been reading lately (Beowulf’s blog, Never Wrestle With a Pig and MJD’s Conference Presentation Judo) have made me think about just how critical programmers can be. I’m considering submitting a proposal for a talk at one of the Perl conferences which sounds like a good idea but means having to talk to a room full of programmers. Programmers – the type of people who go to see a great presentation and it’s spoilt by one or two typos on a slide, the type of people who are willing to discard everything you’ve said because they don’t like the way you indented your code, the type of people who allow the smallest of trivial details to distract them and are first to point out why something isn’t exactly correct. How can I be sure of this? Because I’m a programmer.

One Response to “Missing the big picture”

  1. russell Says:

    Perhaps they’ve got the mindset of syntax errors causing everything to be broken… I agree with you that it’s annoying, but I don’t know many who’d go as far as you’ve mentioned.

    I don’t think it’s confined to CS people – many scientific/techy people seem to be this way.

Work Smarter Not Harder

I was reading an article in Dr Dobb’s Journal on the way to work this morning about Tiny Perl Server Pages. I have never heard of Tiny Perl Server Pages before and I couldn’t understand why everything in the article seemed to be familiar. I was about half-way through this when I realised why it didn’t seem new: we have implemented a system that works in an similar way to this one.

It made me wonder if all across the world companies that use Perl for building web based applications are all busy writing the same thing.