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Posts Tagged ‘Dennis Shasha’

I went to my sister (Carm) to watch the NFL conference finals with her and her husband (Art).  They treated me to pizza and chips and dip.   They have a wonderful new flat panel TV.  I don’t know how we ever got along with regular TV’s.  Green Bay defeated the Chicago Bears and Pittsburg defeated the New York Jets.  I didn’t really care too much who won, but the teams I thought would make for the best (most interesting) Super Bowl both won, so I guess that’s a good thing.  Now if only the SB45 pans out…
 

I finished reading “Out Of Their Minds“, by Dennis Shasha and Cathy Lazere, (1998©).  It is an excellent book and I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to get a better understanding of the history of computing / computer science.  The book is sub-titled: “The Lives and Discoveries of 15 Great Computer Scientists“, which basically means it is both biographical (about people) and explanatory (about ideas and discoveries).  The book is so good it makes we want to take up programming again!  I will be (and have been) using some of the quotes from this book on this blog.  Some of the ideas and experiences of the book really resonated with me.
 

I missed my walk/jog yesterday for no particular reason.  My “excuse” was I was out of the house most of the day and wanted to spend the evening with Hil (we watched a movie), but that’s pretty much just what it is – an excuse.  Tonight, I got home and went for a late evening  jog.  It was another beautiful, clear, cool night but I just wasn’t into it.  I did my laps around the schoolyard (70 minutes, about 4 miles), but it felt like moving in treacle.  Sometimes these things are just gut-checks and you have to work through them.  The good news is I got through it and with no pain, no palps, no irregular pulse.
 

 

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Okay, lots of trivial stuff to cover and all of it in no particular order.
 

First, of course, Happy Martin Luther King, Jr Day to everyone!  If you haven’t read it lately, I highly recommend your re-reading the “I Have A Dream…” speech.  I believe it’s one of the top 10 speeches in American history.  As a Christian, I revel in the fact that we have a national holiday for minister who’s stated purpose in life was service to others.  That’s saying something as I also firmly believe in the separation of Church and State.
 

Exercise:
Went out for 35 minutes tonight. Not really a jog, not really a walk, more of a shuffle-step.  It felt good to almost slow-jog.  (Remembering that last weekend I was in the ER for my heart makes that a whole lot easier to accept.   Pride goes before the heart attack!)  Anyway, I reckon I did between a mile and a half and a mile and three-quarters.   No pain.  No shortness of breath.  No chest tightness.  I didn’t feel “right” last night, so I skipped the walk.  I’m trying to err on the side of safety, if I have to err at all.
 

How I spent today:
Mostly, as you can tell from viewing today’s post, I spent the day just adding quotes to the blog.  I started a book about the lives of 15 of the greatest names in the field of Computer Science so I had a lot of little quotes to add.  The book (“Out Of Their Minds” by Dennis Shasha and Cathy Lazere) is excellent so far and I’ll be shocked if I don’t end up highly recommending it when I complete it and do the review.  I’m continuously amazed that most of the great discoveries / inventions / algorithms  have been made / created during my lifetime.  I went to get some blood taken for my cardiologist appointment tomorrow.  I also finished unpacking the last of my suitcases from the aborted trip to Baltimore.
 

Finally, I went through some photos and I have a bunch to add to the site.  Unfortunately, there is just so little time…  As a taste, here’s a photo of Hil’s mum with her mum (Hil’s maternal nana):
 

 
Hil's Mum and Hil's Grand-mum

Hil's mum (as a little girl) and her mum at the beach.

 
And, here’s a QRC image for my site (I haven’t figured out how I’m going to use it yet, but I think it’s pretty cool) :
 

 

 
And, lest I forget, here’s a shout out to Vera Valiana, who has become the first person to post a “Like” with a Gravatar to my blog.   (Vera, if you’re out there and have a blog, let me know the address and I’ll be happy to go check it out.)  Being the “newbie” that I am, I inadvertently became the second person to post a “Like” with a Gravatar.  And, no, I haven’t yet figured out how to unlike my own post or how to remove my own Gravatar. 
 
 
 
 
 

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…Roughly 40 percent of all software projects are canceled.  About 70 percent of the rest are late.
 

–Dennis Shasha and Cathy Lazere,
quoted from “Out Of Their Minds

[This means only 18 out of every 100 software projects are on time.  Note, the authors do NOT offer a number for how many of those “on time projects” are on or under budget.  This underscores the risk of software development.  —  KMAB]

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One of the primary virtues of commonsense reasoning is its resiliency.  It adapts well when confronted with new facts about a situation.
 

–Dennis Shasha and Cathy Lazere,
quoted from “Out Of Their Minds
 

The problem is too few people have developed commonsense and many of those who have don’t believe their eyes when confronted with new facts.  (See In Broken Images)  —  [KMAB]

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As of the mid-1990s, programming costs are roughly fifty times hardware costs in most corporate software development settings. So you set yourself two new goals: reduce the time required to produce the first version of a program and make the program easier to improve when customer request changes.
 

– Dennis Shasha and Cathy Lazere,
quoted from “Out Of Their Minds

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In the culture of computer science, an idea that works in one situation is called a hack, an idea that works twice is called a trick, and an idea that works often and pervasively is called a technique.
 

–Dennis Shasha and Cathy Lazere,
quoted from “Out Of Their Minds

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