Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

I was reminded this week of Steve Yegge’s Programming Dirtiest Little Secret, in which Yegge claims that touch typing is the most significant skill a programmer can have, because the very mechanics of hunt-and-peck typing use up brain power that the professional programmer cannot afford to waste. Yegge says that the important stuff of programming, […]


Shiny New Linux Surface Pro 3!

Posted by Elf Sternberg as Uncategorized

So, after a heartbreaking month of having a Surface Pro 3 that was utterly unstable and unusable, I now seem (emphasis on seem) to have it completely stable and successfully running an instance of Linux Mint 18.2. Required Equipment Here’s all the things I did, probably in the order I did them. First: buy some […]


“What Motivates You?”

Posted by Elf Sternberg as Uncategorized

I won’t link to the Orange Website for Hacker Bros, but a question asked yesterday has collided with a conversation I had had ealier this week. The question was: “What motivates you to do what you do?” I had a simple answer. These guys: If you’re not familiar with the briliant Pixar film Inside Out, […]

I’ve been struggling with the notion of theories and provers in the context of computer programming for a long time now. I was reading Peter Naur’s general concept of Programming As Theory Building and I don’t see how it connects to Type Systems at all. In Naur’s thesis, there are three kinds of objects: (1) […]


Posted by Elf Sternberg as Uncategorized

After my talk: Guy: so who coded your demos? Me: I did G: so you used a GUI? M: no I coded it G: you code? M: yes G: no, like actual code — Sarah Drasner (@sarah_edo) April 8, 2017 I realized this morning that, out of a team of eight people, there are only […]


The DIM Epiphany

Posted by Elf Sternberg as Uncategorized

When I was 13 years old, I laid my hands on my first true computer. It was a DEC PDP-11/44, later upgraded to a PDP-11/70, running RSTS/E and the BASIC/PLUS shell environment. Live every teenage boy, I started out by writing video games. Bad ones, naturally, since all we had was the ANSI escape codes […]

I wrote an example of Bob Nystrom’s “Baby’s First Garbage Collector,” which I’ve been wanting to implement for a while in order to understand it better. To make the problem harder (as I always do), I decided to write it in C++, and to make it even more fun, I’ve implemented it using the new […]

At work, I’ve earned a bit of notoriety for being a code style commisar. I’ve been part of the group that from the bottom has been pushing people ot use flake8 and eslint, and I even wrote a tool to make polyglot testing easier. My latest kick is types. After experimenting with them for two […]

In my ever-shrinking spare time, I write stories. When I’m writing a particularly long story, or dabbling in the 300-odd episodic space opera I’ve been working on for twenty-five years or so, I have to read and re-read the story to make sure that every plot thread of the story has been closed in a […]


If you write Python, you should use MyPy.

Posted by Elf Sternberg as Uncategorized

I’ve discovered MyPy at work, and it works with Python 2.7 so amazingly well that I’m here to say, if you haven’t added it to your workflow, you need to immediately. The last project I worked on at my day job, an automated inventory and services manager, was 2200 lines of one class object. When […]

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September 2017
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