Intractable Programming Problems

Can you write a program to check to see if another program performs an infinite loop? There are many ‘good enough’ hacks/solutions out there to address this problem, but the true answer is a simple “no”. There are many proofs out there for this, and I would point you too look up the halting problem for more pointed discourse on this matter. This difficulty in detection is a core issue for a different and more annoying programming problem.

An infinite loop is, fortunately, a relatively obvious thing for a human programmer to spot and what is far more dangerous is a program that is ‘almost’ an infinite loop. In other words, a program that runs for a horribly long time but does actually conclude itself eventually. The most treacherous of these types of programs are problems that are termed NP-Complete. read more

How to Design a Website

Here are some tips on how to design a website. This tutorial will take you through the basics of client management, design theory, and design process. Hopefully, when we are all done, you will be able to design a usable website from scratch as well as manage your client’s expectations reasonably well. Today’s section is outlined below:

1. What you need

2. Planning your design

  • a. Setting client expectations
  • b. Setting up your scope
  • c. Design planning with your client
  • d. Identifying your build method
  • e. Sketching and wire-framing

Please note, all sections of this tutorial have to do with design only, and will not include any coding. We will go over how to build certain areas for quick and efficient coding, but for the most part we will be working on methods and in Photoshop. I will probably do a future tutorial set on building the code as well. read more

Read this article if you are still using IE.6

Read this article if you are still using IE6 (or even more importantly if you don’t know what I mean by IE6) and don’t want to end up with a smart virus ruining your computer

Recently my computer was infected by a virus. A very smart virus. This virus infected me just because I visited a web page. It was not sent through an email. I did not have to download anything. All I had to have in order to let this virus onto my machine is IE6. My anti-virus software did not stop it and once I was infected my protective software could not get rid of it. The virus then disabled my firewall and windows security settings, contacted a site and began to load my machine with many other viruses and trojan horses. I went from a couple infections to 21, and then rapidly on to 75 before I quickly unplugged the ethernet (internet) cable, and then spent over a week and many other people’s time trying to repair my poor computer. read more

What it Means to be Web 2.0

You know, it seems pretty commonplace for web firms to describe their services as “Web 2.0” but if you were to ask them what that meant you’d get a variety of similar answers along the lines of “websites with greater interactivity.”

While that is part of it, it’s really something a little more specific and most people aren’t really aware of the origins. It’s not a new version of anything technical nor is it a guideline or standard you adhere to.

Remember the dot.com boom and bust? I do! I lost a lot of money while I was in school investing in overnight successes (or failures as it were). read more

The Style is the Substance

I have a weird hobby. When I’m waiting at the grocery store, or the pharmacy, or any retail establishment where the checkout lines are festooned with magazines, I like to pick them up and go hunting. Not for interesting articles on how I, too, can lose 50lbs by eating only chocolate, or pictures of the latest explosive Hollywood divorce. I’m looking for ads. Specifically, adds with nice, dense blocks of copy text.

Now, I’m not a shopper, or a big spender. I’m not even the target audience for most of the ads I read. I am a different beast all together, for I am a copy coinsure. Take, for instance, a two page spread for Revlon. An impossibly beautiful woman tosses her impossibly glossy hair across the fold, her eyes alight with the promise that all this bounty could be mine if only I would stop being such a cheapskate who buys store brands. read more

A Good Designer: Making the Cut

Good personality, sense of humor and great with kids. Just kidding!

The relationship you have with your web designer is based on one simple premise: They need to meet your expectations. If you don’t know what you’re expecting, then you don’t have a good basis to judge their qualifications.

Do you want them to be good listeners?

Do you want them to be able to guide and direct you through the process?

Do you want them to be able to figure out what you want?

Should they be business savvy or the artsy creative type? read more