Long number Entry and Equal Opportunity

I recently worked on a security application where the employee used a swipe card to identify themselves at certain locations. The event of identifying themselves was transmitted to a server, which had a database which contained the mapping from the serial number of the swipe card to the name of the employee. All o f […]

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To C++ or Not to C++ – That is the question…

There are raging discussions about my latest column, Real Men Program in C, going on at Techonline.com and Reddit.com. Though it was never my intent to malign C++, some of the forum participants have headed off in that direction. Even Dan Saks has been compelled to weigh in, in his latest column. For the record, I agree with Dan Saks about the […]

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Consulting as a leading economic indicator

The IEEE has a rather depressing news release out that claims that EE unemployment more than doubled last quarter to a record high 8.6%. The previous quarterly record was a mere 7% in Q1 2003. Interestingly the unemployment rate for all engineers was a mere 5.5% which suggests that EE’s are taking the brunt of engineering unemployment. […]

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Effective C Tip #5 – Use pre-masking rather than post-masking

This is the fifth in a series of tips on writing what I call effective C. Today I’d like to offer a simple hint that can potentially make your buffer manipulation code a little more robust at essentially zero cost. I’d actually demonstrated the technique in this posting, but had not really emphasized its value. Consider, for example, a […]

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Back to The Moon

OK, you are right. I’m beating this topic to death. I already did two blogs on this (“They Say We Landed a Man on The Moon” and “July 20, 1969“), but there are two good reasons for just one more. First, I need to correct a possible misconception. A couple of people seemed to think I was being […]

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Measurement Changes Everything

Introducing an electronic or computerized system to a human activity often opens up opportunities to measure aspects of the activity that could previously not be monitored in any cost effective way. This column strays a little from pure usability issues, but the nature of the measurements you take is partly a feature-set decision, but it […]

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A tutorial on signed and unsigned integers

One of the interesting things about writing a blog is looking at the search terms that drive traffic to your blog. In my case, after I posted these thoughts on signed versus unsigned integers, I was amazed to see how many people were ending up here looking for basic information concerning signed and unsigned integers. In an […]

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Real Men Program in C

A couple of months ago, I ate a pleasant lunch with a couple of young entrepreneurs in Baltimore. The two are recent computer science graduates from Johns Hopkins University with a fast-growing consulting business. Their firm specializes in writing software for web-centric databases in a language called Ruby on Rails (a.k.a., “Ruby”). As we discussed many of the similarities […]

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