The Real Reason I Love AdBlock

First, let’s get this out of the way: Yes, there are ads on my web site. I have no problem with anyone blocking them. In fact, I have no problem with anyone doing what I’m going to discuss in the remainder of this article. I’d love to hear from you if you do, so that …

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Olympic Note Passing

A good analogy can often be useful to explain intricate technical details. In an earlier article, “Wrong Fish Food”, I related an analogy that I used to describe a technical issue to a non-technical audience. This article shares an analogy I created for a technical audience, because sometimes even techies need an analogy to grasp …

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I have a wide screen. Let me use it.

Dear web-design people, Please don’t design sites that look like this: Rather, please design sites that look like this: I’m not knocking Herb Sutter, here. I’m pretty sure he’s just using a stock template, but templates that don’t flow to fit the browser width really puzzle me. Is there a good reason for them that …

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Wrong Fish Food, or, Communicating Frustration Non-technically

If you’re reading this site, you’ve probably already determined that I’m a geek. A hard-core, dyed-in-the-wool, walks-into-trees-because-he’s-thinking-about-computers kind of geek. My wife and daughters, bless them, are not. Well, my daughters are somewhat nerdy, in a hip kind of way, meaning that they can quote large portions of Star Wars and Lord of the Rings, …

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Hyphens. Use them. They’re important.

I hate to follow one rant with another one, but I’ve got to get this off my chest. Look at these pictures: See the difference? The first picture is of a high-school student (my elder daughter, Madeline). The second picture is of a high school student (Sean Penn as Jeff Spicoli in Fast Times at …

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Please Stop Holding Project Status Meetings

(I’ve also posted this same article on Code Project.) Before I launch into the body of this essay, let me say that I think meetings are wonderful things. I’ll even go so far as to say that people in my field, software development, probably don’t have enough meetings. I have to qualify these opinions, however, …

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How To Ward Off Interruptions

I don’t work at home exclusively anymore, which means that at some point during the daylight hours I’m usually at my desk at the office trying to get all the annoying work done so I can focus on the productive work that I still do at home in the early morning or late evening. Just …

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It’s Not a DOS Prompt!

I’ve been hearing this a lot lately (you know who you are), so rather than pull all of you aside privately and give this lecture, I thought I’d do it once, publicly. You’re not running a DOS prompt. When you click on that shortcut that says, “Command Prompt” in Windows XP, or you run cmd.exe …

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The Hitchhiker’s Guide to UI Design

Larry Osterman talked about Windows 7 user interface changes in a post today, and it generated a minor comment storm, in which I participated. He talked about some buttons that used to be obvious buttons in Windows Vista, but which were made “flat” in Windows 7 so that they’re no longer obviously buttons until the …

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Diablog?

I can’t stand all the silly neologisms floating around the “blogosphere” (ugh) these days, like “webinar,” “vlog,” and all the silly tripe like that. But earlier today, I traded blog comments (I can’t even stand that word) with Larry Osterman, and it occurred to me that we were having a “diablog.” Ugh. Ugh. Ugh. It’s …

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