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Book review: The Pragmatic Programmer

The Pragmatic Programmer

The short version: Buy it, read it, and do what they say!

The long version: This book is well written, easy to read and very convincing. The authors lay down a number of simple rules for you to follow in order to create the best programs possible. When you read the advice, you’ll see how much sense they make and you’ll probably hear this book in your head the next time you sit down to write a program.

After reading this book, I made a conscious effort to follow their advice on my next big programming project. As time has passed and changes needed to be made, I am very glad I managed to follow as much of the advice as I could, because it really become a lot easier. For my next large programming project I’m definitely going to try to follow these rules as properly as I can. As an added bonus, telling other people the rules you’ve read in this book makes you look smart and experienced. Buy this book and thank me later.

What happens when a Linux server fills up the HD

Surprisingly little, actually. Recently I had the experience of working on a server where the hard drive went past 99% full and all the way to 100%. The first thing I knew about it was when I was trying to start a Java process and it gave me this incredibly obtuse error:

# A fatal error has been detected by the Java Runtime Environment:
#  SIGBUS (0x7) at pc=0x00007f3e0c5aad9b, pid=17280, tid=139904457242368
# JRE version: 6.0_24-b07
# Java VM: Java HotSpot(TM) 64-Bit Server VM (19.1-b02 mixed mode linux-amd64 compressed oops)
# Problematic frame:
# C  []  memset+0xa5b

It turns out that this error shows up when the there is not enough space in the temp area to write anything. (Less than 32 KB left, I think it was.) See more about this problem here.

Apart from that, the server was fine. Everything was chugging away and responding nicely. Somehow I have my doubts that would work on a Windows box.

Hello, world of WordPress
Version 2 is here.

I decided to get back in to the blogging business. All this Twittering has made me realize that I sometimes have useful stuff to share with the world that requires more than 140 characters, so here goes!

Previous attempts at blogging by me have been somewhat pretentious, so this time I’m going to try for pragmatic. I plan to write my first series of posts by going back through my Twitter timeline and seeing what I would have liked to write more about, and take it from there. In the pragmatic vein I decided that a) a meticulously handcrafted web site may be cool, but it’s also time consuming, and b) I hate the thought of the blog and the rest of the website not matching, so I’ve moved all the website content on to WordPress.

Wish me luck!