Keep Behind This Line

You can find this sign on every DART station:

Keep Behind This Line

The sign tells us to keep behind the yellow line, that’s fine. We all know that behind is opposite to in front of, right?

Now, I would like to present you an algorithm of finding the correct side of the yellow line:

  1. Get in front of the line
  2. Cross the line to get behind it
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Excuse me, we got a fire alarm

An engineer from Google was supposed to call me on Tuesday but he didn’t. Recruitment coordinator apologized and rescheduled the call to Friday. On the scheduled time I’ve sat by the table gripping firmly my fountain pen and staring at my mobile phone’s display. The phone kept silent. After a quarter I’ve e-mailed the coordinator telling her I’m ready and waiting. The mobile rang few minutes later and I got grilled.

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Directory renaming in SCM

SCM stands for Source Code Management. Pretty much the same thing can be called VCS, Version Control Software. Perhaps even more TLA’s are there out in the wild. It all boils down to a program which allows programmers to manage their source code.

Pretty much everybody who started using SCM, started with CVS and then moved to something else. Probably Subversion, which is meant to be a CVS replacement. For more adventurous or demanding developers, there are many other SCM’s: Git, Bazaar, Monotone, Mercurial, Darcs… and more.

Mark Shuttleworth has written an interesting thing: that file and directory renaming is one of the most important operations to be handled with an SCM. I got curious and wrote a test case for three SCM’s I know: Bazaar, Git and Subversion. The scenario is:

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Genetic data in PostgreSQL

People get usually famous for the things they’ve done. Well, that’s not entirely true. They usually get famous for the things they’ve done, when they were successful. You don’t get famous for attempting and being unsuccessful, now do you?

It works the same way for the scientific publications. All scientists work hard trying various things, and when they finally succeed, they publish a paper. But what happens with all those hours spend on unsuccessful attempts? Nobody seems to be proud of blowing a whole laboratory up. Or whatever didn’t work for them. This means that other people can never learn that something was unsuccessful and they’re likely to get the same, unfeasible, idea and repeat the same research. Needless to say, unsuccessfully.

Not that I’m proud of what I’ve done here, but I will at least allow other people to find this post on Google, when searching for genetic data and relational database. I’ll describe what I did, so they at least don’t do it the way I did.

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