Trust your nose.
Your nose will tell you that something is crappy long before you have nice, solid evidence. A gut feel about a command-line interface (e.g., the compiler that proudly announces “Compilation FINISHED!!!”, as if this was a seldom occurance), or the GUI that has a bunch of buttons kind of labelled similarly, but not really (do you want to Commit, or Save, or Finish, or Exit?), or the book on programming in which the publisher typeset code in a 14-point sans-serif font, with huge line spacing, no tabs and line-wrapping everywhere. Your nose can tell.
This minitribe brought to you by a bad day at work wrestling with something that I knew I should have just bloddy re-written a couple of years ago.
When you build your AFDB (note handy PDF quick reference), remember to keep the shiny side out, and that Canadian coins are worthwhile additions…
Troy: The Alamo, with funny helmets.
“Stupidity got us into this, why can’t it get us out?” — Sam Goldwyn
Few entries of late, sorry about that. All three of you who read this. Crunch time at work. I suspect this is how most blogs dry up. I’ll try not to let that happen; I actually have a bunch of stuff queued-up, just not finished…
This bit from Penny Arcade pretty much sums up the Dune mess. Go ahead and read the strip, I’ll wait.
Done? Yeah. Like that. I tried to read the first Dune sequel (by Anderson and Brian Herbert). “On a scale of one to ten, it sucked.” My well-honed suspension of disbelief crashed about thirty pages in, and nothing walked away from the landing. I’m not much for constructive literary criticism. Let’s just say that Frank Herbert has got to be spinning away.
I recently watched a rebroadcast of the Skiffy channel’s Children of Dune miniseries. It was surprisingly good. I don’t know if they’re going to attempt God Emperor of Dune (which was probably the last readable book in the series) — I think it would be a challenge, and frankly, I think that everything’s pretty much been said.
Don’t bother with Chapterhouse or Heretics (of what? Maybe “of Dune,” but more probably “of Contractual Obligations”).
Andre Norton broke her hip last month; The Ansible has details.
C.J. Cherryh (whose work is the closest in atmosphere to Norton’s that I can think of) has a blog.
Books in the queue: Reynold’s Chasm City (gets rolling about 50pp in), Bruce Sterling’s The Zenith Angle (lots of great writing, still no plot at 50pp or so). Still haven’t finished Quicksilver (man). Elizabeth Moon’s The Speed of Dark. Some geek stuff (it’s amazing what you can do with an HTML generator, a database, and a little reflection).