Archive for July 2005

News 07 Jul

“This is when you give up and realize that something that could take you 10 seconds to fix in person is about to become a two hour nightmare during which you'll alienate your family, lose sleep, tie up the phone line while your Auntie Marge is stuck on the turnpike with no gas and can't get through to your uncle to come rescue her, and curse your lot in life. Just because you're a programmer doesn't mean you have to be the help desk for a dozen friends, relatives, and the people in the apartment next door. Does it?”

Project Aardvark Midterm Report

News 14 Jul

If you're in or around New York City today, you won't want to miss Fog Creek's Open House today!

  • Meet our summer interns, the Aardvarks, and see a demo of that copilot thing they've been cooking up.
  • Celebrate the first beta of Fog Creek Copilot with wine, cheese, and even rumored chocolate-covered strawberries
  • Check out the bionic office in living color before all the expansion-construction chaos begins
  • Meet the filmmaker, working on a documentary on software development. You might even be in the movie!
  • See the fish, the new server rack, the polarizing film, the treasure chest, etc.

No rsvp necessary.

THURSDAY, July 14, 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm.

Fog Creek Software, 535 8th Ave. (near 37th St.), 18th Floor

A, C, E to 34th Street

News 15 Jul

Fog Creek Copilot(SM) LogoOne of the most common reactions we keep getting to Fog Creek Copilot is, "Please don't tell my mom about this!"

Fog Creek Copilot is still in a limited beta. Yesterday we opened it to the first 50 beta testers and today we're adding another 100.

We're finding a lot of small bugs and making a lot of improvements. Over the last few days most of the bugs have been deployment issues. Since we're deploying the service on a web farm with two servers, and most of the development has been done on a single server, we found a few tiny details that needed to be fixed. Nothing major.

We're also putting a lot of work into features that it takes to make an online service with very high uptime. For example, when we upgrade the reflector part of the service, anybody still using the old reflector can continue to use it until they're done, while the new reflector picks up the new traffic; this is called "draining." And if one of the servers goes down, even while people are using it, the clients automatically reconnect to the other server.

News 18 Jul

Fog Creek HouseJD has a report and pictures from the Fog Creek Open House. Thanks to everyone who came!

Also in attendance, deadprogrammer, whose website Deadprogrammer's Cafe best illustrates, through beautiful photonarratives, my theory that "New York is the kind of place where ten things happen to you every day on the way to the subway that would have qualified as interesting dinner conversation in Bloomington, Indiana, and you don't pay them any notice."

News 25 Jul

Does it even make sense to talk about having the "best programmers?" Is there so much variation between programmers that this even matters?

Maybe it's obvious to us, but to many, the assertion still needs to be proven.

Hitting the High Notes

News 26 Jul

A small note from yesterday's post. Although the compression algorithm is commonly called "LZW," the original paper was credited to Ziv first, so I think it should properly be referred to as Ziv-Lempel-Welch or ZLW.

News 28 Jul

I (Heart) UnicodeThe contents of the office next door to us are being auctioned off as we speak. I hope that means we'll be able to expand into there soon: we've totally outgrown our existing office space.

The interns have spent the last two weeks working on performance enhancements to They put in support for automatically finding proxy servers and using them if necessary, and this week they've been working on raw speed. Tonight the whole company is going to sales training, in the form of the play Glengarry Glen Ross.

Thanks to David McNett for sending me the great I (heart) Unicode T-Shirt! He's selling them, both in Mac and Windows format, on cafepress.


News 30 Jul

Usability TestingThe great thing about usability tests is with a day of usability testing and handful of subjects, even if you're as senile as I am, you can find the biggest areas where you didn't realize where the program's behavior diverges from the user's expected behavior.

Usability Testing with Morae

Current News >>

Historical Archive

1114 posts over 16 years. Everything I’ve ever published is right here.

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Now that you’ve read all that —

There’s a software company in New York City dedicated to doing things the right way and proving that it can be done profitably and successfully.

Fog Creek Software