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Lonny Kapelushnik
Lives in New Jersey
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Lonny Kapelushnik

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Alexandra was right! Hope she enjoyed the tablet! #donorschoose
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Lonny Kapelushnik

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NASA.gov brings you images, videos and interactive features from the unique perspective of America’s space agency. Get the latest updates on NASA missions, subscribe to blogs, RSS feeds and podcasts,...
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Good argument for writing code from scratch
"Don't Reinvent The Wheel" is a phrase that we hear used all the time in software development. Usually it's used in the context where a library exists to do what the user wants, but they are writing t...
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A chalkboard? Really? #googlefiber  
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Have him in circles
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Lonny Kapelushnik

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So what is everyones opinion on the new MS Surface? Did you get your hands on it yet? I went to take a look at it, but found out I was a day early. Is it worth going back to check out?
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I wanted to check it out but the line was long and I needed to costume shop! Pretty positive my next laptop will be a convertible win8 device... looking at the Lenovo Yoga, others tol
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A lesson in shortcuts.

Long ago, as the design of the Unix file system was being worked out, the entries . and .. appeared, to make navigation easier. I'm not sure but I believe .. went in during the Version 2 rewrite, when the file system became hierarchical (it had a very different structure early on).  When one typed ls, however, these files appeared, so either Ken or Dennis added a simple test to the program. It was in assembler then, but the code in question was equivalent to something like this:
   if (name[0] == '.') continue;
This statement was a little shorter than what it should have been, which is
   if (strcmp(name, ".") == 0 || strcmp(name, "..") == 0) continue;
but hey, it was easy.

Two things resulted.

First, a bad precedent was set. A lot of other lazy programmers introduced bugs by making the same simplification. Actual files beginning with periods are often skipped when they should be counted.

Second, and much worse, the idea of a "hidden" or "dot" file was created. As a consequence, more lazy programmers started dropping files into everyone's home directory. I don't have all that much stuff installed on the machine I'm using to type this, but my home directory has about a hundred dot files and I don't even know what most of them are or whether they're still needed. Every file name evaluation that goes through my home directory is slowed down by this accumulated sludge.

I'm pretty sure the concept of a hidden file was an unintended consequence. It was certainly a mistake.

How many bugs and wasted CPU cycles and instances of human frustration (not to mention bad design) have resulted from that one small shortcut about  40 years ago?

Keep that in mind next time you want to cut a corner in your code.

(For those who object that dot files serve a purpose, I don't dispute that but counter that it's the files that serve the purpose, not the convention for their names. They could just as easily be in $HOME/cfg or $HOME/lib, which is what we did in Plan 9, which had no dot files. Lessons can be learned.)
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The entertainment media doing...what the entertainment media does..
Twas just a week ago that the NY Times argued that Craigslist was virtually bulletproof. Not because it’s anything special, but because they cultivate a false image of doing good while simult...
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me is hanging out with 8 people right now in a live Hangout On Air! #hangoutsonairScott Maxwell, Dave Mosher, Pamela Gay, Philip Plait, Miles O'Brien, Scott Lewis, Fraser Cain, and SETI Institute .
Virtual Landing Party for the Curiosity Lander
Fraser Cain and 8 others participated
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#dropbox  discovers why 2-factor auth is important
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I can't figure out the first word of the second sentence. The rest I got. If you know it please PM it to me so we don't ruin it for others.
 
See if u can read this. If so share.
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Have him in circles
2,443 people
Noel Welsh's profile photo
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Explorer, Technologist, Hacker - Loving Life
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I like to solve problems. I also like to learn.

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