25 Dec 2001 mstarch   » (Journeyer)

So this is christmas...

In the following I will adher to the established Advogato trend of partitioning my diary into sections

Books

Finished reading "Flashman and the Redskins", yet another refreshing read about the english voyeuer and hen-teaser Sir. Harry Flashman, knight of the order of Bath, holder of the Victoria Cross, the order of the Elephant (funny for a dane), the congressional medal of Honour, and several other ill-deserved honourary titles. This book takes place both in the year of the gold boom of 1849, as well as 27 years later, in 1876, where he takes part in the "battle" of little Big Horn.

Because I've run fresh out of Flashman books, because I didn't get any for christmas (sigh), I've started reading a book by Rose Tremain, entitled "Music & Silence", about a english musician who get's hired at the court of the danish king Christian IV in the 1630's. Very relaxing.

Inspired by reading joelonsoftware.com, I ordered "Peopleware" and "High stakes, no prisoners" from amazon, which I will be looking forward to reading.

Work

No work until january 3rd :) Although I at the moment don't know what other uses I can make of my time, I probably need some time off.

Advogato

How about an option to "show recent diary entries, without observer diaries". In either case I really don't mind if a spammer writes a few diary entries once in a while. It's really quite interesting that someone can be so incredibly bored that he spams a site as effectively "boring" and "dry" as advogato :)

Programmer-philosophy

Sometimes I worry that we as programmers will run out of cool software to write. When the ultimate operating system exists running the ultimate productivity apps, and when every industrial sector has killer stock-management and auto-ordering, auto-configurating management programs. When hospitals have the best patient monitoring software that money can buy, when military weapons and space rockets as well as crude household equipment never fail. What if new software becomes unneccesary, or what if the need for new software stabilizes at a level supportable by very few people given the ultra-high-productivity languages and tools that are made for that purpose?

This might very well happen in our lifetime, and sometimes I wonder if all we're doing as programmers is working towards the day where we will all be obsolete or at least to a large extent neglectable.

I try to console myself with the thought that humans are basically vain creatures, who will always desire new and improved versions, if not to have better software, then to follow the newest trends and the newest fashion.

Maybe software will some day not be a matter of "pushing the envelope", but instead of polishing new and improved slick interfaces to the same low-level implementations of this years "software-fashion".

I guess that development would basically be a good thing, because it would mean that the basic infrastructure will already be in place, software and computers and the possibilities they provide will be a commodity taken for granted. I think the development is inevitable, given the basic "construct-once-use-in-all-eternity" nature of software.

It's like being amongst the many people who are building the big railways across asia or the north american continent. While building them we are heroes, but when the tracks are complete, we better start look for some alternative ways to make ourselves useful, because history will not be looking back.

Advogato diaries are such clich├ęs :)

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