Good error messages

I recall our little team getting into trouble many moons ago. We were writing a creditor system, and one of the requirements was for comments to be attachable to individual invoice lines. In COBOL every data structure has to be predefined. One of us thought that surely, surely, 400 comment lines would be enough for any one invoice line. This turned out not to be the case. Continue reading

Fibre? Don’t make me laugh.

Apparently some people at University College London (UCL) have achieved data transmission speeds of greater than a terabit per second to a single receiver:

To which I say – phooey!

It’s on fibre – but copper is the future.

Copper is faster, cheaper, and can be installed more quickly. That’s why all the really top-shelf research is concentrating on getting super high speeds over copper. Apparently people are already pushing tens of gigabits over inch-long snippets; it’s just a simple matter of scaling that up. And Australia’s world-class broadband network will be ready and waiting when they do!

UCL? Fibre? What a pack of amateurs. Sheesh.

Continue reading

Trust me, I’m a verbologist.

“To verb” is to make a verb out of something else, typically a noun. Lots of common words are (or appear to be) verbed nouns (even though many are nouned verbs!), so the verb “to verb” tends to be used only with obvious neoplasms.

“To verbify” is simply to use many verbs (cf. “speechify”).

“Verbification” is the noun form of “verbify”, as in “his verbification was delightful”.

“Verbifying” is an alternative to “verbification”, as in “his verbifying delighted the audience”.

A verb constructed by verbing a nouned verb is of course a “reverb”. Repeating the process (which is orthographically invisible except to the trained professional) is known as reverberation.

Trust me, I’m a verbologist.

IPv6 as the Ark

I just found this in my archives as part of a discussion about IPv6 uptake:

The point is that the storm clouds have well and truly gathered, thunder is rolling in the hills, great big rain drops are splotting into the dust all around us, and what are we  doing? Wandering around the outside of the Ark tut-tutting about the quality of the  woodwork and loudly suggesting the construction of various sorts of rowboats.

Karl Auer, 2008