Andy Gavin's blog

The Gladiator

It is not the critic who counts, not the man
who points out how the strongman stumbled,
or where the doer of deeds could have done
them better. The credit belongs to the man
who is actually in the arena; whose face is
marred by dust and sweat and blood; who
strives valiantly; who errs and comes short
again and again; who knows the great
enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends
himself in a worthy cause; who, at the best,
knows in the end the triumph of high
achievement, and who, at the worst, if he
fails, at least fails while daring greatly; so
that his place shall never be with those cold


Home Manufacturing

In the future will products be manufactured in the living room? Would you download the plans of what you would like to build from the internet and print it on a 3D printer?

Already there are printers that can print 3D plastic ceramic and circuits. Parts manufactured in this way can be robust and a fraction of the cost of normal manufacture. Further advances with new materials may mean a future of downloading plans off the internet for home manufacture.

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Design Simplicity

In design, and software design is no exception, simplicity is hard. It's not just a matter of reducing the number of variables or applying Occam's Razor, although this may help to a degree. Simplicity does not mean trivialing either. Sometimes particularly, in visual design, simplicity can be knowing about people. A design can be arranged in an intuitive way, the complexity reduced not by removal; but rearranging to appeal to intuition. Some software packages, like word, have more functions than ever--- the number of functions hasn't decreased; some would say that makes them less usable. But on the hole, the functions that most people want from word are readibly available.

How can Java be faster?

I've just remembered two, perhaps rhetorical, questions that I was once asked:

  1. How can ever Java be faster than native code when it runs in a virtual machine?
  2. When I miss a semicolon of the end of a compilation line, why doesn't it just insert the semi-colon and continue? If it knows what's wrong with it, it should just fix it?

Pursue your dreams

Tumble out of bed and stumble to the kitchen
Pour myself a cup of ambition
And yawn
and stretch
and try to come to life.
Jump in the shower
and the blood starts pumping
Out on the street
the traffic starts jumping
With folks like me on the job from nine to five.
Working nine to five
what a way to make living
Barely getting by
it's all taking and no giving.
They just use your mind
and they never give you credit
It's enough to drive you crazy
if you let it.


Did religion hold society back?

There has been interesting comparisons about the Americas: the rising of North America as dominant and more progressive compared to South America is more than religion. It has been put down to the tendencies of the Spanish and Portuguese to have more hierarchy; there were definitely rules and classes. Where, on the other hand, North America benefited from the contributions of all in society. When talking about religion it is possible to always look at the fanatics but it has also enabled some to do the most amazing things. There is a type of educated person who embraces the commonality of the world religions in a spiritual way. This has a lot of benefits and actually deep down I think it strikes the cord of nobility. If a person is to be truly a king among men he doesn't try and argue people out of their beliefs. First of all it's bad politics and second he illustrates he's not the leader. The relationship between those in power to religion is different from the average churchgoer--- there is a relationship between humility before God and power. It is a very useful political device; I do not doubt that politicians do believe. But it’s also useful to them.


calligraphies, set announcement

calligraphies, set announcement Originally uploaded by clickykbd.

Some interesting swirls. Has typography lost the influence of the pen?



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