Links 2007-01-17

Playboy Playmates pranked into Apollo 12 mission checklists
Apparently the boys at NASA slipped a few interesting items into the Apollo crew’s checklists. Even engineers have a sense of humor.

The Problem With C++ - Jeff Atwood, Coding Horror
MIT’s Technology Review recently interviewed Bjarne Stroustrup in a two-part article (part one, part two). The most important question to ask about any language these days isn’t how fast it is, or how general it is, but how well does it protect you from yourself?

The One Trillion Dollar Development Pyramid - Jeff Atwood, Coding Horror
We’re all participants, willing or not, in the One Trillion Dollar Development Pyramid.

  1. Dozens. The developers working on your kernel should be Dave Cutler-esque geniuses. There aren’t many guys playing the game at this level. Copying UNIX over and over is laudable enough, but developing an entire OS architecture from scratch is the ultimate in hardcore development.
  2. Hundreds. Those kernel developers support several hundred OS developers, who should be the best of the best, your Raymond Chens, if you will. They create the OS infrastructure that makes everything else possible.
  3. Thousands. Those OS developers support a thousand framework developers. Highly talented, handpicked developers building abstract APIs that enable huge productivity gains.
  4. Millions. The framework supports millions of developers of wildly disparate skill levels: everything from rank beginner to near-genius. And they’re pounding out trillions of lines of code on every imaginable kind of application.

Snap Preview Anywhere
Cool little popup preview’s are easy to add to any Web site. Takes one line of JavaScript.

Six Software Tips for Hardware Makers - Phil Hacck’s blog
Phil rants about the poor quality of software that ships with personal computers (think Dell’s crapware). Thing is, they’re good tips for any software developer.

The Global Broadband Speed Test

Broadband speed test with some very nice animations depicting the process. The image at the right displays my local cable service test results.

Playful, mechanical stick figures that you control.

t.y.p.o.r.g.a.n.i.s.m : ASCII-O-Matic
Online generator renders any image in ASCII characters. Reminds of the days of dialup bulletin boards.

The Universe Within
This is a classic animated illustration of the scale of the universe in powers of ten. You start from the farthest reaches of the universe and progressively zoom to the sub atomic level. Fun for the kids.

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