Perpendiculous Programming, Personal Finance, and Personal musings

2008.08.21

Divide and Conquer

Filed under: Uncategorized — cwright @ 11:32 pm

The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one — Mark Twain

The past few weeks have been overwhelmingly busy, and I’ve let some things get behind. Mostly small stuff, lots of free stuff, so I’m not terribly worried about my financial well-being, but I am worried about the trend. With the number of hours available to me, I should be able to at least hold my ground. But sometimes it just feels like I’m slipping slowly, losing more than I gain.

Perhaps this comes from multitasking too much? The overhead involved in multitasking is killer for performance (even if you think you’re getting more done, you’re probably not.) Perhaps it comes from simply too much to do (this has been steadily increasing in probability with time, and might have finally crested). Maybe it’s just me being inefficient. I don’t feel burn-out at all. I’m not unhappy or unfulfilled. So I have no idea… need to measure things or something.

The next few months will be busy as well… hopefully I’ll be able to polish off the bigger stuff, and then clean off the small things at my leisure. The trick, of course, is to just focus on each one, and that one alone…

2008.08.15

Spendthrifts and unsolicited advice

Filed under: Uncategorized — cwright @ 11:43 am

Humans have an insatiable need to add their input to everything. Normally it’s polite and tolerable, but often enough it’s not as well. That “often enough” part eventually pushed me into choosing to keep people in the dark most of the time, simply out of simplicity. I don’t care if Car X and better than Car Y, I don’t care if City Z is more expensive than City W, and I already know that Platform N is better than Platform M for certain tasks, so please stop wasting my time… (more…)

2008.08.06

I WANT MY F*ing Semaphores!

Filed under: Uncategorized — cwright @ 4:34 pm

Modern applications can often realize a substantial performance boost by dividing the work they have to do into logical groups that can be performed in parallel. Humans call this “Multi-tasking”, computer scientists call this “multithreading”. Not all workloads easily lend themselves to such divisions without a bit of effort, and even ones that endure the transformation well still require a way to re-group and coordinate once their work is done. In Computer Science lingo, these are called “synchronization points”. (more…)

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