I don’t usually care about in-flight entertainment, since I carefully plan what I’ll be watching, reading or working on during flights and I pre-pack my laptop and kindle with the necessary stuff. However, last week I was travelling to Angola and the plane I was in had one of those neat in-flight entertainment systems per seat and I decided to try it. It was packed full of movies, tv shows and music and since I had a few hours to kill, I decided to watch a couple of movies (and maybe doze off until arrival).
Programming is not only about knowing how to use specific words and abstract constructs to build a program. It is also about being able to design and develop complex structures of data and algorithmic workflows. And most of the time, these complex elements are interconnected, which means that when you decide to mess with one of them, you’re actually messing with several others.
The by-products (or side-effects) of some functions can affect the rest of your system. Thus, programmers generally need to keep a mental picture of the entire system to avoid creating bugs. That is why it is so important for a programmer to maintain complete focus while building such elements.
Derek Johnson sums it up:
Interruptions are to developers what kryptonite is to Superman—they kill productivity and there’s a significant recovery period.
Even if you’re not a follower of the World Cup you’ve probably heard by now of the strange appetite of a certain Uruguayan player: Luis Suárez.
If you haven’t (under which rock have you been?), here’s the juicy part:
I thought about creating different ways to control a toy car in a race track, instead of the typical handheld joystick-like device. One of those ideas was based on the use of a sonar (that measures distance to an object) as the controller for the car – the closer the hand to the sonar, the highest the acceleration.
However, considering that the sonar works through eco-location and that the track makes an infernal sound, the sonar accuracy is affected by the sound of the track, thus rendering this approach useless.
Any alternative ideas? I will try the best one (as long as it is not cost-prohibitive) 🙂
When I was a kid, I used to do these spinning paintings using a small motor (salvaged from a broken toy car) connected a 9V battery with a piece of paper on top. The effect was mesmerizing and I had fun for hours.
Last week, given the amount of hardware I gutted for parts (for a digital fabrication workshop), I ended up with a bunch of different motors and that brought back those memories. So, I decided to do the same setup again, this time using an arduino (to easily control the speed given to the motor) to see if my son would find it as amusing as I did.
Check the video for a demo: