5 Jan 2011 ncm   » (Master)

Avery's "redo" build tool looks really interesting. It might, by itself, justify his existence.

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Thanks (again) to the many who have expressed sympathy for my health problem. I guess I wasn't clear enough, though: my memory problem has been solved with medication. It has side effects -- loud ringing, jaw clenching at night, waking at 5 AM, and "dry mouth" -- all manageable. I'd like to reduce my dosage, but dare not without objective testing to determine whether the symptoms have begun to return.

It's interesting to explore how complicated short-term memory failure can be. I didn't have any trouble remembering what I had read, or seen, or done. What caused the most difficulty was loss of what might be termed intentional memory, the register of planned future actions. Everybody forgets, sometimes, what we went into the next room to fetch, but we remember that we had meant to fetch something. I didn't. Not always, but the stack overflowed much more easily. Similarly, I could remember three digits, but add three more and any of them might be scrambled.

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My brother tells me Android jumped the shark in their 2.2 release. Now you need 500M of RAM just to run a minimal system. He blames the proliferation of background tasks that can't be turned off, and that insist on running even when they have no work to do, coupled with garbage-collection. He says the machine spends all its time oom-killing and garbage-collecting background tasks, and then restarting them and killing others, so it can't even keep up scrolling with his finger. Apple may have been right to restrict background tasks on the iPhone, but the undisciplined memory habits endemic to Java coding make it deserve most of the blame.

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