Dave Lenton

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since Jan 20, 2005
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Recent posts by Dave Lenton

Originally posted by Frank Silbermann:
If anyone tabulated the number of nonfiction books read per year by the average American, I think people would be shocked at the low number.

I wonder if there is a correlation between relative affordability of electronic entertainment (TV, lots of TV channels, games consoles etc) and levels of reading. Perhaps Americans don't read much (I have no idea if that is true or not) because on average they have more distractions then countries where reading levels are higher.
12 years ago
I work in an open plan office, but the room is in a ring shape around the central kitchen/stair well, so it doesn't feel like working in a huge cave full of desks. Although the idea of a private walled off area is sometimes tempting, I really like the social aspect of working in an office where I can chat with colleagues. The banter which goes back and forth is an enjoyable part of the job. When I have lots to do and need to concentrate, I just put some music on my MP3 player and shut the world out.

I think if I worked in a cubicle I could well go the entire day without talking to anyone, which would be a bit annoying.
12 years ago

Originally posted by Venkatesh Sai:
Atlantis and its mysterious legendary stories ... few say that it was a hoax by Plato to illustrate his political theories and a few other belive it!!

Although Atlantis as Plato described it most likely didn't exist, I think it likely that he based the idea on legends that have some basis in truth. One candidate is Santorini/Thira - a volcanic island which blew up, destroying most of the city. The explosion sent tidal waves out around the Mediterranean which had a devastating effect on the early civilisations in the area (in particular the Minoans). It could be that events like this, where the sea and other forces of nature destroy important settlements, are remembered in legend and get embellished into the story of Atlantis.

Many myths are probably similar - a small basis in something which actually happened, but largely exaggeration.
[ July 19, 2007: Message edited by: Dave Lenton ]
12 years ago

Originally posted by marc weber:
...if frequency has any meaning to the user. But it seems a little like ordering objects based on their memory addresses.

Perhaps it would be better to arrange them in alphabetical order by the name of the station. Ordering them by frequency only makes sense if you remember the stations primarily by frequency. That would make sense back when radios didn't often have preset stations and required frequent retuning, but now it is harder to remember them.

I order mine initially in order of how often I listen to them, and then just append new ones to the end of the list as and when I discover them, although that is because I mostly listen to the radio on my Zen which only has up-down buttons to navigate through the radio stations, so it makes sense to group them in a way in which there is less button pressing to get to the one I want.
12 years ago
What a strange concept. I assume that companies only do it because the money they can make from being able to rapidly solve a new project is greater then the money wasted paying programmers not doing anything.

I've never heard of this idea before, here companies will hire people when there is a greater need for programmers. It seems a bit rare that a large project would need to be completed so quickly that time couldn't be spared to go through the process of hiring someone.

So, what is being "on-bench" like? Nice to have time to slow down a bit and take some time out to do things like documentation and learning some new skills, or frustrating that you can't apply the skills you've already got?

I think I wouldn't mind some "on-bench" time to catch up on some things I've been putting off for a while, but I imagine it could get a bit boring after a while.
12 years ago
What does "on-bench" mean?
12 years ago
I bet there were some Macevangelists saying "of course it works with a Mac, the aliens have clearly found out that the Mac is the One True Way to do things with computers".
12 years ago
I know it was an American site, but it would have been interesting to see a 100 international speeches. There's been some pretty impressive ones over the years, so I guess it would be hard to narrow down to just a hundred!
12 years ago

Originally posted by Ulf Dittmer:
Sooner or later his appearances will be measured against the ones of David Cameron, though, and he may have to up the ante..

So far neither have said much in the way of policy, so it will be good to find out what they have in mind. It will also be quite interesting to see how their contrasting styles match up, one of them saying "style versus substance" and one saying "new versus old".
12 years ago
Looks around nervously

I don't like coffee.

There, I said it. I'm a programmer who doesn't like coffee. I'm not even that crazy about tea, which is almost a crime in Britain. I have almost no caffeine intake while at work.

This makes lunch time trips to the pub a bit problematic. I pie and a couple of pints and I'm ready for a sleep all afternoon. Fortunately there is a solution - bananas!

Surely the greatest coding snack ever. They're great. I'm not sure how, but there's something in them which really wakes me up when I need to step up a gear and get some work done.
12 years ago
I think Brown looked a little awkward giving his speech. I guess that is to be expected - Blair was undoubtedly a good performer, and was very comfortable in front of the press. In comparison, Brown will most likely not be as good.

I wonder if he did it deliberately though. He is probably aware that Blair got a reputation of being almost too good with the press, that he was telling them what they wanted to hear all the time and not being sincere. Maybe Brown wants to portray himself as a serious politician rather then the old media-friendly one.
12 years ago
Tony Blair has just resigned. Without getting into any politics, it is undoubted that Blair has been a colossus in British politics for the last decade, and it will seem very strange indeed to have someone else at the top. Despite this being a long anticipated and planned event, it was still odd a few minutes ago when I heard "Blair, the former Prime Minister...." on the radio.
12 years ago
I guess we really are, like Churchill/Shaw said, "two countries divided by a common language".

There's some interesting differences listed here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_and_British_English_differences

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_words_having_different_meanings_in_British_and_American_English

At least "don't care" and "don't mind" have similar meanings. It seems the phrase "let's table the motion" has completely opposite meanings in Britain ("raise for consideration") and in America ("suspend from consideration"). I can imagine that causing a few misunderstandings in business conversations.
12 years ago