Douglas Adams on teaching programming

What I mean is that if you really want to understand something, the best way is to try and explain it to someone else. That forces you to sort it out in your own mind. And the more slow and dim-witted your pupil, the more you have to break things down into more and more simple ideas. And that’s really the essence of programming. By the time you’ve sorted out a complicated idea into little steps that even a stupid machine can deal with, you’ve certainly learned something about it yourself. The teacher usually learns more than the pupil. Isn’t that true?

Douglas Adams in Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency

Podcasts you should listen to right now

Programming Related Podcasts

  • This Developer’s Life – Podcast in the style of This American Life dealing with programming related topics. An all time favorite of mine.
  • Hanselminutes – Scott Hanselman talks about web development, usually dealing with C#, javascript, ASP.NET, and other MS technologies.
  • Herding Code – K Scott Allen, John Galloway, and others talk about programming topics.
  • Programming Throwdown – The hosts pick a random technology and give you a broad overview of it followed by its advantages and disadvantages.
  • Floating Point – News, tech, programming, random topics are discussed.
  • Javascript Jabber – The JavaScript frameworks that are released approximately 20 minutes are discussed here.
  • Developer Tea – Podcast covering a diverse amount of topics relating to being a developer.
  • Iterate – UX, design, and related ideas are discussed in this podcast.
  • Debug – Mobile development is discussed in depth, mostly on iPlatforms.
  • /dev/hell – Uncensored ramblings of two insane developers.

Hall of Fame – My favorite non-programming podcasts

  • 99% Invisible – The best podcast ever? Short, well produced episodes dealing with design.
  • TED Radio Hour – TED Talks are a must.
  • Radiolab – The best production of any podcast ever made. Interesting and seemingly random discussions.
  • This American Life – I think this has been cited as the most popular podcast ever until Serial came along… which was also created by them.
  • Reply All – Random things relating to the internet are discussed. Gimlet Media is worth paying attention to as every podcast they release is solid gold.
  • Startup – A podcast documenting company creation from brainstorming, soliciting investors, creating a startup, running it, and more. Interesting look at something not normally public.
  • Freakonomics – Economists can be interesting too.
  • You Are Not So Smart – Self delusion… and cookies?

Windows – Unable to delete a file or folder with a long filename (256+ characters)

So I was using a 3rd party iPod management program to copy songs from my iPod back to my hard drive and the program somehow made a folder with a name that was absurdly long. So long that even windows refused to delete it no matter what. The exact error says: “The filename or extension is too long”. The official MS documentation gives 5 suggestions and none of them seemed to work for me. Here is what I did to fix the problem.

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How to upgrade the OS on a TI89 Titanium (or most TI Graphing Calculators)

The option to upgrade or reinstall the OS on these calculators is hidden deep within the UI nightmare known as TI Connect.

  1. Make sure you have TI Connect installed.
  2. Connect calculator to PC, make sure it shows in TI Connect
  3. Select TI DeviceExplorer
  4. From the menu at the top, select Tools > TI OS Downloader
  5. The wizard will guide you through the installation process. It has an automated downloader built in so you do not have to worry about downloading the correct OS version from the TI website.