Tuesday, December 25, 2007

And I, for one, welcome our new robot overlords!

The best gifts are carefully chosen

Let’s say it is Christmas season and you need to buy a gift for your geeky spouse. It’s the easiest task in the world! You see, we might have grown up, became parents project managers and all that. But we’re still geeks. So turn on that dusty laptop we bought you a long time ago, google for geek toys and buy anything with robot, usb or led in the description.

The best gifts are gifts that need assembling

It appeals to our geeky nature to have to figure things out, to learn what makes stuff tick and to get a gift as a collection of parts is pure heaven. To us the assembly phase is not the means to a goal, it is the goal.

The best gifts come with “spare” parts

Nothing worries us more then parts that don’t fit. You see, missing a part is not our fault. They forgot to pack it in so it’s their fault. But parts left over from construction – now that’s pure horror. Then again – perhaps we’re so brilliant we somehow managed optimize the construction and saved on parts.

The best gifts are robots


Monday, November 12, 2007

Two point oh and still in beta

Yes, we did it! We shipped! You should have been there. I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe. Parties, beaming with kids dancing to loud music… I watched confetti glitter in the disco light near the plasma TV. All those moments have been captured on digital discs as zeros and ones, to live forever in that which is web. Time to upload…

So what’s new in version 2.0?

  1. Upgraded to Verbal Communication Foundation (with sl-si language support and reliable messaging services)
  2. Waste Disposal Adapter (potty)
  3. Auto navigation (not slamming into walls so much)
  4. Auto recharging (self cleaning module missing!)
  5. Voice Directed Action Control™ (stop, don’t, wait, OMG)
  6. Innumerable bug fixes and corrections

But the most important thing isn’t visible in the fact sheets and comparison charts. There’s been a fundamental shift in the way this project is developed. Throughout the 1.0 phase it’s been mostly about mom and dad. Everything revolved around us. We controlled the vertical and the horizontal. As we approached the new milestone, we began detecting small foreign inputs, bits and pieces that didn’t fit in our neatly structured curriculum. A paradigm shift not unlike that which happened on the web had begun.

David’s progress and development had slipped out of our control. We’re no longer the editors. User generated content now replaces all we tried to teach. With so many information providers out there, you can’t really compete. It’s the kindergarten teacher, it’s his peers, it’s the tubes and the series of tubes, it’s the passerbys and bystanders. Mom and dad still matter, but matter less each day. I know that now and I’ll accept that one day. Till then I’ll take comfort in my zeros and ones captured on digital discs, that live forever in that which is web. Time to download…

Monday, October 29, 2007

OT: Gaming

Just felt like sharing some of my favorite games. Surprisingly, most of them are free or really cheap games. Perhaps it's down to my c64 and amiga upbringing but games based on ideas attract me more then games based on polish and bling.
Also, most of the games are physics based. This is only natural as small scale / single developer games can't compete on professionally drawn graphics, orchestrated music, star actor voice-overs... A single guy doesn't have the time to draw all the baddies, but he can program them! So here's a short list:

Tower of Goo

Originally an experimental game-play project game (see below) but one that might have spun a new company for the author. The game is based upon a simple idea of having to build a tower using amorphous substance called goo. All you need to do is pick up a goo blob and stretch it to form a truss. Besides building a solid structure the player is rushed by remaining goo blobs which have a tendency to concentrate on the most precarious, the highest peek of the built structure. This shifting mass makes your buildings somewhat unstable and reaching the target height proves quite challenging.

Crayon physics

Another EGP favorite. The basic idea of this game is that your drawings become physical objects in the game. You draw a box and a box of the same size appears in the game, drops down to a see-saw and flings a ball across the screen. The object of each level is to touch a star with your ball.


I bought this game a while ago but newer versions seem to be free. Also the rendering engine got upgraded a lot! The basic premise of this game is physics based fighting. You control a 3d fighter through issuing basic commands (relax, stretch, hold, grip...) to his joints. After making your moves the simulation continues a certain amount of frames whereupon you're given a choice to again issue new commands. In multi-player mode you have a limited time to issue your commands before the simulation continues. This results in an amazing combat game with no prefixed moves or combos but simply amazingly realistic action. The game is heavily modded and supports a wide array of game rules (most damage wins or player that touches the ground first looses etc.).

Zen bondage

In this game your task is to wrap a wooden object with a thread. Your task is to cover almost 100% of the object so any concave areas must be navigated with care.


An extraordinarily clever game following a unique game design philosophy. You control a small creature that gains size and speed by eating other creatures in the game. You're given free choice of progressing through the game levels (depth) in sequence or skipping through to the final level at once.

Bridge construction set

My all time favorite (although not free!) game. The history of this game started out with BridgeBuilder which was a 2d bridge building game. Next came Pontifex which moved the game in 3d environment and added different bridge building material. The last of the series called BridgeIt upgraded the graphics engine but for me BCS is still the best in the lot. Your task in this game is to use the available material (iron, steel trusses or cables) and build a bridge capable of passing a test (like having a train pass over it). It's one of those games where creativity rules. BBG still hosts contest where the most efficient bridge (read cheapest) which completes a level wins. Some of the entries just blow you away. Also somewhere along the line we started making walking / moving structures :). This was not something the creators of the game ever envisioned but clearly shows the power of building games as a platform for expression a not a collection of pretty pictures.

If you like games like these, then head over to Fun Motion, Experimental game-play project or Introversion Software. Those should keep you busy for months!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

The Gnome Achievement

Anyone even remotely connected to gaming computers has surely heard about Half-life 2. While most will agree the game is a brilliant example of what games can be – I for one believe it is much more then that. Half-life 2* is a metaphor for life.
Episode one begins with you waking up buried under a pile of rubble (womb). The character dog (your dad) helps you out (birth) at which point you are reunited with Alyx (your mom). You hit the ground running fending of Combine (bad influences), following Vortigaunts (good influences). Most of the game revolves around trying to escape the Citadel (college) and avoiding antlions and zombies (drugs and other dangers of college-life). Your choices are limited and usually directed by Alyx.
In episode two you have graduated to adulthood. You’re given more choice and control of movement. And finally, although cleverly hidden, you’re given a choice of ensuring progeny.
Of course I’m referring to the now infamous gnome achievement award. The gnome, you get a choice of bringing along through the game, is your child. In this wonderful parable that is episode two, you will be given the task of taking care of it, making sure it gets through to the next level and finally placing him carefully into the rocket thereby ensuring its prosperous future.

*1/2 life * 2 = life

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

About keeping score

One thing we parents do obsess about is constantly testing our offspring to see how they measure up to other kids within the same age group. This “friendly” competition used to be quite contained to relatively small groups of friends and families. You could always rely on some smug relative commenting on the fact that his project reached a milestone a full week ahead of yours. “These things matter you know,” he’ll say. “She’s only two but by this time next year, we’ll be enrolling her to collage! She’s a genious like that kid on YourTubes!” (Yes, both misspellings were intentional)
While I’ve yet to meet a 5yo who can’t walk or talk (barring illness or birth defect!), it somehow seems crucial our kids start doing those things way ahead of schedule. I wonder why we’re less enthusiastic when our kids start dating at 15…
So the next time you get cornered like that, put on your best casual face and calmly retort with: “How wonderful! Ours just had his first beer.” and walk away.
Beats the hell out of “saved the rainforest”, “cured cancer” or “finished a new C++ compiler written entirely in javascript”.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Mom vs. Dad

Sometimes life gets overwhelming and bloging falls of the daily routine. I know I have lots of catching up to do (there are a couple of posts that are missing parts) but this one takes priority.
Mom had to leave on a business trip today. As always, packing was done two weeks in advance. Mom is a waterfall model proponent. Me? I’m agile of course. I pack on (JIT) my way to the door. Luckily the bathroom is right next to the front door so I rarely forget my toothbrush.
Anyways, mom took a week planning the trip, mentally packing the suitcase, integrating various articles of clothes and testing for stylistic mismatch. With no automated regression testing (this is the specification phase of the project!) the only recourse is to mentally construct the model of a finished outfit and check for faux pas. This was followed by a week of separating, washing and rewashing of selected garments and actual packing. My agile approach would consist of grabbing any clean (not necessarily recently washed!) clothes spread out from the bedroom to the bathroom.
Special items such as gloves, umbrellas, second and third pair of shoes and other just-in-case objects would be purchased on a need-to-have basis at the airport at my place of destination. I probably need to buy them anyway so I might as well save myself an unnecessary trip to the shoe store. Not to mention the fact that thinking of things you'll bring along, talking them over with your spouse, then writing them down and finally putting them in your suitcase clearly violates the DRY principle!
With packing phase concluded it was time to find a lock for the suitcase. Security is the most overlooked part of any project. This is what mom’s idea of a suitcase padlock looks like:

A puny, tiny padlock hardly worthy of it’s name and clearly no match for the security device I selected:

Behold the Targus Defcon 1 – Ultra. All in one solution complete with 4 digit security code, status indicator and motion detection alarm. The first image shows the two in comparison. I know – as if there was any...

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

OT: Why I think William Shatner is a demigod

When you say William Shatner people think Captain James Kirk of the Enterprise. How his amazing career managed to get hidden is unbelievable. Did you know he starred in a movie with all dialog spoken in Esperanto? Did you know he recorded two studio albums (some songs with Ben Folds among others)? If you get a chance go listen to Has Been please do (here’s a live performance of Pulp / Common People from the album) . It’s an amazing album and it’s more serious than it first appears. Did you know he wrote books (yes he, not some ghost writers)? Did you all manage to not see him play Big Giant Head in 3rd rock or Danny Crane in Boston Legal? The guy even has a vlog!

Anyways – that’s all I needed to say. You're no common man and I’m your number one fan!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Classic mistakes (part I)

Having recently been reminded of the classic mistakes in software development I decided to see how well they apply to parenting. As this covers a large area I’ll split the posting in three parts covering 12 points each. So here we go:

  1. Undermined motivation

    Your parents will (without fail) tell you (in excruciating detail) exactly what you are doing wrong. On rare occasions you'll do something right just to be reminded of the many times you did it wrong.

  2. Weak personnel

    Uhm… I should skip this one.

  3. Uncontrolled problem employees

    See 2.

  4. Heroics

    In this field you’ll need heroism. Especially at 3am while forming the words: “Honey, I think it’s your turn now.”

  5. Adding people to a late project

    Grandparents, friends, babysitters, friendly neighbors will add new behavioral patterns to your baby (they will not correct or improve them).

  6. Noisy, crowded offices

    The emphasis is on noisy.

  7. Friction between developers and customers

    Your baby may feel you are not cooperating and not meeting his/her needs. You may feel your baby is being unreasonable. This leads and is partially caused by poor communication.

  8. Unrealistic expectations

    You may expect to do a good job – give your offspring a happy childhood and all. Fifteen years from now, you’ll get a chance to explain it all to their psychiatrist.

  9. Lack of effective project sponsorship

    There are no sponsors in this business. There are however family members eager to fill the role.

  10. Lack of stakeholder buy-in

    See 9.

  11. Lack of user input

    You need to read this one as lack of meaningful user input. There’s plenty of meaningless user output (also see 6.)

  12. Politics placed over substance

    You’ll receive unbelievable amount of hints, suggestions to follow and vehement criticism for not following some latest parenting model (apparently - Indigo parenting has been renamed Fundamental Communication Parenting).

There’s nothing like taking a word most unrelated to children and stick parenting at the end. I recommend making-up your own parenting model to counter such advice. Lately I’ve had some luck using (well Agile and Asynchronous parenting were already taken!) Ajax parenting. The idea behind Ajax parenting… well it deserves a separate posting. Keep an eye on your rss reader for the next 12 points though.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

OT: International Slow Server Day

As a Chief Paradigm Administrator at my current place of employment I nominate this day - 13th of June as the International Slow Server Day. It's free - I checked!
You know those days when queries just seem to take forever, when transactions have a way of getting entangled, when every (l)user just has to access just about every record in the database, when rendering a simple "Hello world" is more then the poor ol' web server can handle, when disk access is maxed and constant and there's no free memory left? Well, today was that day...
So If you agree with my notion that we need a special day, dedicated to just keeping the servers cool and giving them a day off - sign up below.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Polyphonic David

Following some late night debugging sessions and feeling like I reached a dead-end I took a break. I browsed around my bookmarks (OT – I’m in the habit of book-marking interesting sites I discover while hunting for something else. Whenever I feel bored hor desperate I go rummaging through that dusty attic to see if there’s anything there to get me going again) and reading through some interesting articles I had an epiphany. It was right there in plain sight. This was the reason David had failed to respond to direct requests. My calls were blocked with no apparent cause – till I put on my reflector glasses. The signature of the main metod call was quite revealing:

public void Execute(CommandObject request) 
& public async Bribe(ISweet sweets)
The calls to the Execute method were stacking up but I failed to call the Bribe method. After this things went smoothly – it looked like anything implementing ISweet would do…
… that is until mom showed up and depreciated the Bribe method.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Why don’t you write about… #1

… that new cool Japanese robot called CB2.

Well, for starters – it’s freaking me out. I can’t even bring myself to post a picture of the thing. It’s too big, it has the weirdest color they could possibly choose and it has a big mouth that is always open, so it looks like it wants to eat you. And I bet it could!

I love (nearly) all things Japanese (hey I play go :)) but this thing jumped the shark. Stop digging it – please!

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Gizmodo David

I know it's kinda weird but I love this :). Leave a message!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Model / Reality Impendence Mismatch

As a newfangled dad, you’re blinded by idealistic visions. In these visions you see yourself teaching, guiding and building your child. Explaining things as you wish someone had explained them to you and revealing the secrets of nature as you have discovered them. You see your offspring sitting patiently, absorbing knowledge like a sponge. This is the Model.
As a newfangled dad, you’re faced with illuminating objectivity. Here you see yourself repeating lines (and mistakes?) your parents made and being bored to tears watching the episode of Teletubies for the umpth time. You see your child taking pleasure in deconstructing your (painstakingly glued and painted!) WWII model aircraft – deconstructing your Model. This is the Reality.
There are numerous schools of thought that pretend this impendence does not exist or that it is at least partially solved. You have your Attachment parenting, Balanced parenting, Christian parenting all the way to Quantum and Zen parenting. There are various commercial products (such as NAnny and They-Care) that purport to help you make the transition to model state completely transparent...
At the end of the day – it all depends on you. You are the system architect. It’s your job to make sure all deliverables are there on time. Be waterfall or be agile, but be there for your child. That’s all there is.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Implementing interfaces (IRespondable)

The most important aspect of baby development is the correct and timely implementation of various interfaces in the Human.Babies namespace.

This week David implemented another useful interface. Finally this enables us to have meaningful conversation with our flagship product. The interface contract is quite simple:

namespace Human.Babies
public interface IRespondable
bool GetResponse(string question);

Unfortunately David’s implementation is even simpler:
public bool GetResponse(string question)
return false;

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Project failure #1: DadoVac

I had this brilliant idea getting David to do a few house choirs. Considering his ability to break stuff I immediately discarded dishwashing and window washing. So I thought about vacuuming. Seeing how IRobots seem to be the industry leaders I thought I’d check out the competition.
I must say I’ve failed miserably. Here’s a short review:

Vacuums dirt and debris from carpets and hard floorsNot enough surfaces vacuumed to make any analysis
Gets under beds and couches every time it cleansGets under beds and couches all the time
Knows where to clean—and where not toUses random cleaning patterns to catch your dust-balls unprepared
Works great on pet hairLooks cute
Automatically returns to charge itselfAutomatically asks for food when hungry
Try Roomba for yourself, with 30-day risk-free guaranteeNo refund

Friday, April 27, 2007

OT: One-liners #1

On this sunny morning I feel like this should be discovered by WeFeelFine.

OT:Report and a Trixie suggestion

I’m sorry to report that family illness, accidents and work schedules prevented me from posting any updates. In addition we’ll be going off-line for the next few days for maintenance (off to the Jadran sea!). I’m sure you’ll be seeing other geek baby blogs. Some of you will even indulge in brief affairs. I’m sure you’ll claim it meant nothing and I’m sure I’ll forgive you.

In the mean-time, all you newfangled (or soon to be newfangled!) geek dads might want to check out the TrixieTracker. It’s your web 2.0 online baby management site. I have only three tiny little issues that are preventing me from using it:

  1. It offers only paid subscription (Subscription fee in this day and age!? What kind of business mode is that?);
  2. I discovered it just a bit late;
  3. It was my bloody idea and they stole it two years before I thought of it!

Monday, April 16, 2007

Qrio vs. David

Somehow I’ve missed the news about fare well of QRIO and AIBO. It’s a bit sad really. I’m a part of generation that grew up thinking we’ll be going to work in our flying cars and robots will do most of the household chores. We saw ourselves as the Jetsons and it never occurred to us that what we saw on our TV screens wasn’t (jet) real. Our future was to be the SF future we read about in stories the Futurians wrote (remember Amazing, Astounding? The titles themselves convey the optimism of the era!). Yet we lived to see year 2000 pass as by as uneventful as the year before. There was no space odysseys for us, no trips to the Mars (nor zero gravity … er you know). But no matter - with companies like Sony working on our stuff of dreams there was a chance the next generation might get there. That’s why news like this gets me down.

Anyways – let’s get back to the topic! You might want to take a look at the Aibo / David comparison table. However, David received some major upgrades in the last year so an updated comparison table between David and Qrio was inevitable (due to lack of technical data for Qrio, this one focuses on the features).

Qrio vs. David (Comparison table)

Development time2.5 years1.5 years
Power consumption1 hour – fully charged7.5 hours – fully fed
Height0.6 m0.85 m
Weight7.3 kg13 kg
Top speed23 cm/s40 cm/s
Transportation modeISA powered - independent and stable bipedalQuadpedal / Bipedal modes
FeaturesWireless networkUses wireless network
Precision mechanismAmbiguous mechanism
Pinch detection sensorsPinch avoidance sensors
Quiet constructionLifelike construction
Safety coverSafety covers optional
Shock resistantSelf healing
Obstacle detection sensorsObstacle removal operators
Internal mapping of locationsExternal mapping of locations (mostly with crayons)
Face recognitionFace and food recognition
Own vocabularyShared vocabulary
Autonomous behaviorIndependent behavior
Expressing emotionEmotional being
ExtrasCan dance to choreographyCan spin (to the right)

All in all - I have to say David rulez!

Saturday, April 14, 2007

OT: Re-labeling and stuff

You might have noticed that old TDE posts are popping up in your newsreader. I’ve decided to go through the old TDE posts and label them. Blogger.com didn’t have this feature when TDE started so most of the posts haven’t been labeled. I think TDE readers will appreciate the fact they can now get all the random things posts with one click.

For those of you that haven’t done so pls. re-subscribe to the new feed.

Who broke the build?

Somebody (I say mom) messed up and David didn’t build (wake up) properly this week. Our CI server (crib) reported (loud cries) a failed build! It seemed like some (most) unit tests have failed and we’ll be able to fix him right up.
First of we identified the failed unit test and found it failing at:

Assert(this.Core.Temperature.ToCelsius() <= 37.5,
"Core temperature to high!");
It’s always nice (sarcasm) to find a bug in your core library. So we re-built a debug version (washed, changed diapers, fed him), enabled tracers and run the standard tests again (went to the pediatrician). The results were inconclusive (“the lab results are inconclusive”) so our team (me and mom) decided (were told to) deploy the application (David) in the debug mode (closely watched) and see what happens (wait).
Of course we did some tweaks to the code (paracetamol, cough syrup, ventolin) and put other projects (work) on standby (dev null). This made a few project managers (bosses) happy (mad). They now had the time to reflect on (yell profanities) and improve (change beyond recognition) their project requirements (an e-mail) to better suit the reality (their imagination).
Eventually we resolved the temperature issue and our daily builds (mornings) are doing fine. The annoying thing is – we have no clue as to what went wrong and who broke the build! This is what they fail to teach you at parenting classes and this is what your parents never got around to tell you. Once your child is born - you will never know solid ground again. All that is certain from now on is the uncertainty. Sudden fevers will scare you, bumps and bruises will have you running to the ER. Coughs will put wild ideas in your head and most cries in the middle of the night will turn out to be yours.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

OT: Vanity? Surely not me!

After reading Haacked vanity piece I decided to check up on you - my reader(s). I’ve moved my rss feed to FeedBurner so if you get the chance please re-subscribe.

Or just leave a comment detailing why you do not wish to do so…

Or whatever...

Or come back tommorow for an on-topic post...

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Four phases of development

An interesting article (just follow on through tynerblain) articulating UX we all must have had being part of software development projects. And my current project is no different. The four phases of development are the following:
Oh it’s a Boy!
Great news! Lots of e-mails, SMS texts, quick phone calls, telegrams, oh joy, oh boy… - nothing gets done for weeks.
Oh Crap!
Baby and Mom get back from the hospital. Reality kicks in. Lots of “you get up”, “shut up”, “OMG”, “what is this coming out of his”… - nothing gets done for months.
Oh Ok!
Your baby finally breaks you. Lots of changing, bathing, cleaning… - that’s all that gets done for months.
Oh Cool!
Your baby gives you a hug. You faint… - you don’t feel like doing anything for a year.

Since Scott has put on such nice visuals I thought I should do as well.

Oh Boy!
Oh Shoot!
Oh Well!
Oh Wow!

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

You’ve been H4x0rd

Newfangled parents tend to worry – a lot. One of the top 10 concerns (now there’s a dig story waiting to happen!) we have is child-proofing one’s home. So you decide to try and outwit your baby with clever gadgets designed to prevent him (her) from accessing dangerous resources, while still allowing you unrestricted and easy access. As is the case with most bright ideas parents come up with – this one too is inane.
Surely by now you realize your child is more intelligent then you? Well, if you were half as smart as your kid, you’d know. Those ingenious devices are nothing more then funny little puzzles for him (her) to solve.
So you end up buying bigger, better and more complicated locks and eventually you end up locked out while your child reigns free. You need to face the facts – you’re out of your league n00bie.

Lock #1 was cracked after 4 months. It’s quite vulnerable to random pulls and presents a challenge only to entry level hackers.

Lock #2 is on the verge of being cracked. It offers little resistance to brute force attacks.

Lock #3 proved to be quite resilient but is still relatively new and has yet to see any real action.

Monday, April 02, 2007

A random thing you will want to, but probably shouldn’t must do as a newfangled dad #9

Buy your baby an expensive RC toy … you’ll end up playing with yourself!

Friday, March 23, 2007

Guiding system malfunction?

This weekend marked the beginning of a series of failures in David's navigation subsystem. It started out with an uncertain step or two and quickly escalated into serious collisions with solid state objects. Our development team (mom and me) was stumped. David was apparently turning into a danger seeking missile. After lengthly consultation with senior developers (grandparents) we decided to continue monitoring the situation and keeping an eye on trace logs.
After a while it became apparent that there was no bug in the subsystem module. All system are go. It seems David just got way to confident in his abilities. A busted lip, some bruises and a few head bumps are just warning signs of things to come. It seems David is definitely not one of those quiet, unassuming, modest children that play with their toys while mom and dad lovingly observe them with that serene look on their faces. He's more like... well this:

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Teeth counter #2

Teeth count is now at ten!

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Distinction Driven Design

One of the most frustrating issues I have with doors (and apparently it’s genetically inherited by David!) is their inherent direction ambiguity. Looking straight at a garden variety door- can you tell me which way it opens? Does it open towards you? Away from you? Does it swing both ways? The only practical way to determine the direction of this interface is by testing.
Would you care for an Api in your programming language of choice that contains such vagueness? Consider a series of DataAdapters with methods like Process, Do, OpenOrSave… Now some consider putting a label on a door a good enough solution. But that’s just like plugging a hole in a dam with your finger. Another one will spring right up. Some people can’t read, some don’t understand your language and most of us don’t bother to read. When was the last time you read code comments? When the damn thing stopped working, right? Sure I read those– right after I crash my head against the “pull” label.
So I’m watching David successfully navigating all sorts of door handles (push, pull, turn or raise handles) while still having problems figuring out which way the door swings and it got me thinking. There’s something inherently wrong about out door designs. If David can figure out how to turn off my computer he should not have problems with 19th century doors should he?

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Multiple inheritance issue

It turns out I was wrong about baby class inheritance. In addition to the abstract baby class (,which is responsible for most of your problems!) babies inherit a few things from both you and your partner. It’s a classic case of multiple inheritance and all that jazz.
The most important feature of any MI system is conflict resolution. How does the inheritor decide which inheritee implementation of a common method to use? Predictably – it tends to use the worst possible configuration it stumbles upon. What does that translate to?
For example: Mom likes to keep it neat while I like to crumple paper before throwing it in the tin can. The resulting combination at breakfast time is David keeping his part of the table neat by crumpling his toast and eggs and throwing them in the direction of the tin can.
I guess we have a few bugs to iron out here…

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Something to think about

According to this list of strange facts (boy if there’s anything internet was invented for – it’s the strange fact lists!) “The average four year-old child asks over four hundred questions a day”. What does that mean?
Well if you subtract 8 hours of down-time, than your average answer-server (you) is responding to requests 16 hours / day. That averages to about a question every 2.4 minutes. Considering the time it takes for your child to finish his question and for you to answer it – I’m guessing - by the time David hits four, I’ll stop doing pretty much anything.
So please enjoy this blog while it lasts! And don’t bug me if I skip a day or two – I might be busy answering questions…

Tuesday, January 30, 2007


As a project lead of a 14 month old toddler you get to answer a lot of questions. While most of them start with “What is …” and end up with a little finger pointing at the red fire truck – they are in no way superfluous. Your consistent answers will let your child know that red items are frequently called red something. He will start to understand what a fire truck is. Fire trucks come in many shapes and sizes but they are still called fire trucks (and toddlers have an uncanny ability to grasp the Aristotelian model of fire trucks!).
Yet there’s another important piece of information hidden within your answers. It’s a tiny little common sense rule that object rarely change their names. If something is called a fire truck it will probably still be called a fire truck tomorrow. Now you may think that is obvious but it really isn’t. It’s a common sense rule you picked up in your formative years. And that is what common sense is. A collection of tiny rules you never think about but use everyday. You might call them meta rules, as they are frequently used as rules about rules. They are kinda like David asking a “What is …” question while pointing at his pointing finger. What is this thing I use to find out about things?
It is your first meta question David and I’m glad I was there to answer it.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

David’s Toribash

At toddler stage you’ll see a rapid development of your baby’s mobility. Early stages of motion control will seem uncanny like Toribash. Each movement is overdone, each countermove over amplified and the end results wonderful and often scary. There is no gradient of control, if a limb needs extending - it is extended to the full. Whether your head is in the way or not.
Toribash effect isn’t limited to physical movements only. The same effect can be observed in your baby’s psyche. If laughter is required - it’s as loud as a train, if there is cause for tears -they flow a waterfall.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Your DNA?

An interesting visualization project is up on baekdal.com. What does your DNA look like?

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

A new book

Comming out soon!