Entries Filed Under "Beefs"

July 9, 2006

Stop Using Cell Phones While Driving!

Filed under Beefs

I have been against using cell phones while driving for a while. If you call me while I'm driving, I let this magical device called "voice mail" answer the phone for me (it truly is amazing...you should check it out). I don't see any reason why people should be on the phone and driving.

A new study is out that shows using a cell phone (held to ear *and* hands-free) impairs a driver much like alcohol.

It shouldn't be too surprising. You see bad driving by people with cell phones all the time. If you've ever been upset by it, don't be a hypocrit...get off the phone!

June 25, 2006

Why Macs and Linux Suck (Part 1)

Filed under Beefs, Computers, Programming

I spent the last 3 years doing most of my development work on a Linux box. It is not my choice: our software only runs on Linux, so I have to play along. I am a Windows guy, and working with Linux has made me appreciate how great Windows is.

I *love* using Microsoft's Visual Studio for writing software. When I began developing software in Linux, I tried to find something close to Visual Studio. I started using KDevelop. While it doesn't compare to Visual Studio, I have found it is the closet thing on Linux. It is an Integrated Development Environment (IDE): editor, compiler, linker, and debugger all in one application.

KDevelop is a front end to other tools...GCC for compiling and linking and GDB for debugging.

When you are developing software, sometimes it doesn't work as intended. To track down the problem, there are two schools of thought:

  1. Use a debugger
  2. Insert messages in your software that help you get an idea of what is going on (aka "printf debugging")
I've always thought that *real* men use a debugger...if you can't figure out a debugger, you use printf debugging. A debugger is faster than printf debugging if for no other reason, it does not require you to change your software and rebuild it to add a printf message. There are plenty more reasons a debugger is faster, but let's just leave it at this: you will be a more efficient software developer if you know how to use a debugger correctly.

Using KDevelop put me in the former category. I could click on a line and set a breakpoint, run my application, and have it stop at the breakpoint so I could analyze what was going on. This worked well for me until I spent several days trying to track down an issue. I set a breakpoint in my software where I thought the issue was, but that breakpoint was never hit. So I assumed that piece of software was never called, so I looked for the issue else where. After studying the software for several hours, I found that it was impossible for that breakpoint to not get hit. I dropped back to the old school printf debugging technique and guess what...the suspect code was executing, but the debugger was not honoring the breakpoint!

I did some research to find out how it is possible that my breakpoint would not stop my software from running. I thought it might be how the software was built, but nothing I did would make the debugger stop at that breakpoint.

I then found out that I'm not the only one that has run into this issue...it is a BUG in the DEBUGGER!!! How unsettling is that! The tool that is supposed to help you find bugs is actually hiding them from you! Here is the problem report, #1091. This bug was submitted in February of 2003 and it is still not fixed! I thought the open source community was supposed to fix things quicker than commercial software! This is a serious issue and I am shocked more people aren't outraged about it.

So just get another debugger, right? Wrong! GDB is used as the debugger for almost everything! It is used by KDevelop, Eclipse, and (here's the tie-in to Macs) Apple's Xcode. GDB is *not* the debugger for Visual Studio...thank goodness!

I found that all the Linux gurus in my group used printf debugging. Now I know why!

With bug #1091, GDB is terrible for software development. You must use GDB for Linux/Mac software development. Then by the transitive property, Linux/Mac are terrible for software development. If only Visual Studio would work on Linux/Mac!

June 21, 2006

What a Pisser

Filed under Beefs, Mavericks, WTF

I just got back from my favorite sports bar, Frankie's. The Mavs lost game 6 92-95 to end their run for a championship.

This series blew me away. I don't know how we could play so poorly after playing so well for the entire regular season and first 3 rounds of the playoffs.

I've gotten into a lot of arguments with Mavs fans here over the past few days about the refs. I DON'T CARE ABOUT THE REFS. My view on the refs is this: if you are going to let a game come down to a single call by the refs, that is your fault. To win, you need to play better than that. We can't fix the ref'ing. We didn't lose because of the refs. We lost because we missed choice free throws. We lost because we missed open shots we normally make. We lost because we thought we won the championship when we beat the Suns.

I get *REALLY* pissed off when I hear people bitch about the refs. And guess what...every team that loses blames the refs. I know the Heat fans believe that the refs helped take Shaq out of game 1 & 2. So spare me...if we play an *average* game, we would have beat the Heat regardless of how the refs called the game.

We played sub-par the entire series. I believe Memphis could have beat us in the Finals playing the way we did. I believe that the Suns, Spurs, and Mavs are all better teams than the Heat. Unfortunately, we couldn't prove it in the Finals, when it counts the most.

Congratulations to the Heat. D. Wade was awesome. Shaq is a monster with a great attitude. It is hard not to like these guys.

Enough with my rant. I had a lot of fun following the Mavs this year. I really like our team. We have great players. We have a great owner. We have a great coach. We are young and were taught something in the Finals. Hopefully we are a better team for it.

Next season will be interesting. I hope we can keep our team together. I think time will improve our team. I expect the Suns will be stronger and the Spurs will be as tough as ever. I like our future.



About Beefs

This page contains an archive of all entries posted to David's Blog in the Beefs category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

Architecture is the previous category.

Blogging is the next category.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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