Monthly Archives: January 2012

What Tools Developers Actually Use

In Infographic: What Tools Developers Actually Use (ReadWriteWeb, December 9, 2011), David Strom wrote:

The folks at BestVendor.com interviewed 500 developers and compiled this profile of the tools that they actually use. A few stalwarts predominate, such as Git, Eclipse, AWS, Dropbox, MySQL, and Google Analytics. But there were a few surprises too, including 23% using Notepad++ as their text editor and 8% using Heroku to host their apps. Many of the categories are wide open. All of those surveyed are from companies of less than 100 people from around the world.

There seems to be little love for Microsoft development platform for small shops.

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Angels and Demons

Vittoria was watching him. “Do you believe in God, Mr. Langdon?”

He chuckled. “Well, it’s not that easy. Having faith requires leaps of faith, cerebral acceptance of miracles – immaculate conceptions and divine interventions. And then there are the codes of conduct. The Bible, the Koran, Buddhist scripture … they all carry similar requirements – and similar penalties. They claim that if I don’t live by a specific code I will go to hell. I can’t image a God who would rule that way.”

“Mr. Langdon, I did not ask if you believe what man says about God. I asked if you believed in God. There is a difference. Holy scripture is stories… legends and history of man’s quest to understand his own need for meaning. I am not asking you to pass judgment on literature. I am asking if you believe in God. When you lie out under the stars, do you sense the divine? Do you feel in your gut that you are staring up at the work of God’s hand?”

Vittoria paused, brushing a lock of hair from her eyes. “Religion is like language or dress. We gravitate toward the practices with which we were raised. In the end, though, we are all proclaiming the same thing. That life has meaning. That we are grateful for the power that created us.

Langdon was intrigued. “So you’re saying that whether you are a Christian or a Muslim simply depends on where you were born?”

“Isn’t it obvious? Look at the diffusion of religion around the globe.”

“So faith is random?”

“Hardly. Faith is universal. Our specific methods for understanding it are arbitrary. Some of us pray to Jesus, some of us go to Mecca, some of us study subatomic particles. In the end we are all just searching for truth, that which is greater than ourselves.”

… “Do you believe in God?”

Vittoria was silent for a long time. “Science tells me God must exist. My mind tells me that I will never understand God. And my heart tells me that I am not meant to.

Extreme Management: What They Teach at Harvard Business School’s Advanced Management Program

In poorly managed companies, people are problems. In well-managed companies, people are problem-solvers.

The wrong person in the wrong place = Regression
The wrong person in the right place = Frustration
The right person in the wrong place = Confusion
The right person in the right place = Progression
The right people in the right places = Multiplication

Little Bets

Barnholt calls it the tyranny of large numbers, explaining that “there’s a natural tendency to think in terms of bigger bets as you get to be bigger.” … Barnholt recalls, “Around that time, people said, ‘We [HP] don’t even want to look at opportunities unless it was going to be a billion dollar business.’ A billion dollars kind of became a mantra.” They then researched and analyzed the markets, segmented them, and developed products. … “We had all these ideas. And they were all big,” Barnholt recalls, “but they all failed!”

The reason they all failed and the reason they were big is that someone was already there.” To borrow a phrase from Silicon Valley consultant and author Eric Ries, they “achieved a failure.” Their ideas made sense. The technology was great. They executed on their plans well. But they still failed.

HP’s assumptions turned out to be wrong because of what Barnholt calls intangible factors, the realities beneath the surface: the underlying customer problems, needs, preferences, and supporting market dynamics. They were not discovering new opportunities or developing new products, they were relying on the success of competitors to identify the areas they targeted. They weren’t being creative. … “That’s how I learned the importance of making a lot of little bets.”

銀河英雄傳說

「銀河英雄傳說」(Legend of the Galactic Heroes)對國家、政治、民主、專制、政客、特權階級、唯利是圖的商人、和國民使命等話題都有深刻的探討。完整的故事可以在這兒讀。

楊威利語錄

軍事篇

  • 『以少勝多是異常的事情,他之所以顯眼,和瘋子在正常人之中會比較顯眼的理由是一樣的。』
  • 『戰爭並非光靠數量的想法,不過是湊不齊數量的人所做的自我正當化辯解罷了。』
  • 『對戰爭而言,最重要的莫過於補給及情報。』
  • 『設法造成狀況的是戰略,而利用狀況的是戰術。』

歷史篇

  • 『因為信念的理由而殺人,其實比為金錢而殺人更下等。因為金錢具有萬人共通的價值,但是信念的價值則僅限定於本人才有用。』
  • 『人類的歷史上,沒有所謂的「絕對的善與絕對的惡」之戰爭,有的只是主觀的善與主觀的惡之間的爭鬥、正義的信念與正義的信念彼此相剋罷了。在單方面的侵略戰爭中,發動侵略的一方都認為自己才是正義的一方,戰爭因而永無止息。只要人類相信神與正義,世界將永無寧日。』
  • 『或許由於絕對的善和完全的惡。這種思想的存在,所以使得人類的精神無限制地荒廢了。自己是善,便將對立者視為是惡的時候,便無法從其中產生協調以及體諒。只不過是將自己加以優越化,並且將打敗對方並加以支配的慾望變成正當化而已。』
  • 『如果死亡真如他們﹝一些主張靈魂不滅、生死輪迴而輕視肉體死亡的宗教﹞所說的那麼美好的話,他們怎麼不讓自己走進死亡試試看呢?』

Resources

第六天魔王

每次聽到織田信長(Oda Nobunaga, 1534年6月23日-1582年6月21日)的綽號第六天魔王,就會想到他在著名的桶狹間之戰,面對比自己多五倍的兵力,臨行前舞起幸若舞《敦盛》。

人生五十年,與天地長久相較,如夢又似幻;一度得生者,豈有不滅者乎?

1560年5月,身為足利將軍家庶流的駿河戰國大名今川義元,當時國力如日中天,人稱「東海道第一弓」,率領2萬5000大軍,並對外號稱有4萬大軍上洛覲見將軍。由於上京之路必經尾張,織田信長不願臣服,決定興兵對抗,但總兵力只有5000人。面臨織田家危機的信長則龜縮在清洲城內,面對這樣的危機織田信長心中也沒有太大的把握,臨行前信長舞起幸若舞《敦盛》。6月12日出發救援的信長在接獲負責間諜築田政綱報告義元進入桶狹間之後,他立即決定出擊桶狹間,之後在善照寺砦以約2000人兵力出擊,以山間野武士率軍突襲之態強襲正在歇息的今川軍陣地,遭突擊的今川軍雖然抵抗,但氣勢不及當時的織田軍,成功割取當時被稱為最接近天下的今川義元的首級。

唐詩

蝸牛角上爭何事,石火光中寄此身。
隨富隨貧且隨喜,不開口笑是痴人。
白居易

縱使功成名就,也只是蝸牛角上的爭奪;就算富貴百年,也只是石火光中的一閃。「蝸牛角上」和「石火光中」是何等的渺小短暫?但即使這樣,在浮生若夢中的人們,還是苦苦的追求著名、利、情,成也擔心,敗也擔心。然而相信天命、承認天理的人都知道,世上的富貴貧賤,各憑造化,榮祿平庸,早有安排。知曉真相的人,怎麼還會為這種事煩惱呢?所以,不開口笑的才是癡人哪!