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Jupiter from the Eyes of a Kung Fu Expert

April 8, 2005

Have you ever wondered if an expert in Kung Fu knows anything about astronomy?

Greg and I, after deploying this software application (I’ll get to that later, it’s not very exciting) stopped by Doyle’s store — The Old World Trader. I love Doyle. I’ve always wanted a telescope and now he has several for sale. He was showing me some images he’s taken of various planets and the moon using his ground based telescopes and a digital camera. It was amazing! He showed me a picture of Jupiter he’d taken from the ground. It looked exactly like those pictures you see in Astronomy books. From the ground! Naked eyed, you can’t even tell Jupiter from those other stars up there. They’re all just little lighted dots. I really want to get a nice telescope. Doyle definetely knew what he was talking about. I’m going to look into getting a telescope and start looking at the stars and planets from the ground. He said you can get a VERY nice setup for under $1000, minimum $500. He said a big part of looking through a telescope is the base. You have to have a strong sturdy base (so it doesn’t wobble). He took his pictures using a custom eye-piece that accomodated a camera. I was definetely impressed. But unlucky me, there just happened to be a ‘specialist’ there in the store over-hearing our conversation. The innocent question I asked Doyle, “How can you tell the planets from the stars?” Then he started going. I’m a nice guy, maybe too nice, and this guy just kept going. “You can tell by blah blah blah.” I can’t remember what he said. You wouldn’t of either. Then Greg and I wanted to talk to Doyle about the Wideband excursion, but this guy apparently knew about that too. He must’ve been, at least at one time, an ex-IT Disciple of Doyle. So, this guy, being an expert in Computers/IT, and an expert in astronomy — I was thinking, he’s quite the intelligent guy. Then after the guy finished his astronomy lecture and the UMR astronomy program, I asked Doyle, “Do you have any samurai equipment/armor?” It just didn’t stop. This guy started going on about every discipline of samurai warfare, then also got into Kung Fu and ninja stuff. He knew how to pronounce every art, and knew all about it’s history and everything. He just happened to know several guys who make Samurai armor. Man, who is this guy? Make him stop. I just want to see some neat armor to look at, I can study history on my own. After the samurai lecture I asked Doyle something to the effect of forging weapons and if he knew anything about it. OH NO, this guy just happened to know all about that too, and knew several guys who actually forged all kinds of weapons. He actually knew a guy who was hired by Japenese experts to forge samurai swords here in the U.S. I had to get away from this guy. His personality was just awful. Just going on and on with WAY too much detail. Greg came up to me as we were leaving and said, “Oh, I meant to tell you, that guy teaches the Shao-Lin Kung Fu here in Rolla.” Lesson? Kung Fu guys can be annoying and — Don’t be annoying. If you’re annoying, I’ll give you some hints as to why you’re probably annoying and how to fix things:

1. You probably go into more detail than the hearer cares to hear.
2. Tip: Watch a person’s face. If they don’t nod their head and look interested AND reply with questions that imply you to keep going — STOP!
3. Tip: Feed the information in small chunks. After small chunk 1, if they reply wanting to know more, deliver chunk 2, and so on. Quit when they quit. Never sit there talking and talking with the other person looking away, tapping their fingers on a counter, whistling, … You get the idea. This is a law, don’t break it.
4 … This isn’t a people skills article — I’m done, but this guy broke the rules above.

As for the Pulaski trip — software deployment, I think a rant against Borland Delphi is in order. Greg and I went to Pulaski to deploy the software tool for a conversion between their Amazon and CodeRed data. Then, after fiddling with the program I found I had compiled the executable incorrectly. Borland Delphi — retarded. I don’t know why they allow these multiple ‘compile options’ when they just BARELY change the executable size. Debug information on a huge software app is only 20~30k! Ridiculous. THEN, if you try to run a program with Debug info it doesn’t run on any other computer without the debugger. So, all you techie guys who love playing with your worthless options, make sure you have EVERY stupid option in Delphi configured correctly or your software isn’t going to run. A worthless 70 mile journey. Why? … I won’t go there. Could there be a solution? Well, Greg, an intelligent guy, but not exactly the hardcore software developer made an excellent suggestion: Why doesn’t Borland make a button that you can click and it will reconfigure the Project Options to accomodate to run on any system? Genius! Borland, oh Borland! To all at Borland who has ears let him hear! Greg can figure this one out, why can’t you!

Also, I finally tried out Borland ECO — Borland Enterprise Core Objects — The dream of database developers. Well it is, if it was documented. There’s a few pansy tutorials online showing some basic application development using it but I’m still too worried that I’ll have to rely too heavy on the newsgroups to develop a real application using ECO. I was impressed with the little bit I used though. If I could figure it all out completely I think I could LITERALLY develop software applications 25x faster. That’s not an exagerration. It makes things very easy — at least that what I know how to do with it. I like it and I’m going to pursue using it. I’m probably going to develop the IPM project using it. It’s now just about time to actually start developing that project. Be nice to see that program done.

Ladies and gentlemen, stay tune because, as for the rest of tonight, I plan to write some nice journal entries here for the website. Greg mentioned I need to write down some — stories — oh yeah. They’re some good ones too, and all TRUE. You may not believe some of them, but yes, they are real.

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