18 August, 2008

The Nerdery: s02e17: On Problems

I just realised that it's now Tuesday 17:31 and I've still got to write another 200 words, arranged in a fashion that makes clear and concise logical sense and has something tech-related. So, this weeks article is about problems. When faced with a problem you usually have two options; ignore the problem and use enough resources to live around it, or face the problem and use enough resources to solve it. I realise my insight is a tad generalised (and the phrasing probably has something to do with the fact that I've been playing a lot of Age of Empires lately), but has held true for just about every case I've thrown at it. [1]

Unsurprisingly, you've probably come to the same conclusion at some point in your life as well (although you probably didn't word it as eloquently as I did). And yet, many people don't accept it, not foreseeing the cost of resources to live around an issue. I could list examples such as doing homework before the due date as opposed to right before the due date, but instead I'm going to dive right for the more technological issue; data backups. Drives are cheap and getting cheaper. And yet I look at how many people take regular backups and am still amazed at how few take regular backups. Remember people; data is cheap, time is expensive.

Now, in life (of Comp. Sci.) we also have the problems of the more interesting kind. The Programming Competition kind. Congratulations are in order for the solo guy who just wanted a T-shirt (which he received), the DARTH VADER team (esp. Daniel for the pelvic thrust after solving a hard question), and to everyone else who competed and managed to beat agp (Almost Grey Power), who despite being senior programmers, were only able to solve the 3 easiest questions.

Finally, I've been alerted by my girlfriend that blue LEDs are pretty. Indeed they are. But that's still no excuse for them glaring in my eyes when I'm trying to listen to music. I've also been told by randoms that I use a lot of brackets in my articles (mostly to extend a point while keeping within an acceptable sentence length). To this, I can say "kiss my ass", as I like to use excessive punctuation where appropriate. It makes the English programming language a lot more fun, like php.

[1] Of course, some of the more insightful philosophers reading my column would be quick to point out "Hah! You forgot, you can throw resources at the problem before the problem occurs, adding a third option!" and would be right, except that you'd be ignoring that you've faced the problem, it's just you faced it before the problem became a problem.