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I, Cringely - The Survival of the Nerdiest with Robert X. Cringely
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The Pulpit
Pulpit Comments
Status: [CLOSED]

O.K. you're back to "duty as normal" - but I really liked your education columns too !!!

thanks Bob!

thomass | Apr 11, 2008 | 3:58PM


Bob, you're wrong about this catching crashes and notifying being only newly available to ISVs. There was a framework as far back as NeXTStep called, I believe, CrashCatcher.

Robert Thille | Apr 11, 2008 | 4:13PM

Few comments. Good article. Thanks.

Ronc | Apr 11, 2008 | 4:14PM
Robert Thille | Apr 11, 2008 | 4:16PM

Bob - you called this one in. BAD!

Ellie Mae | Apr 11, 2008 | 4:37PM

C'mon, be reasonable. You can't expect every high profile tech journalist who has kept close tabs on Steve Jobs for decades and who has an interest in the history of MacOS X to have heard of some fly-by-night operating system such as NeXTstep, can you?

Doug | Apr 11, 2008 | 4:38PM

Uh, Bob? Cogs are part of gears.

David B. | Apr 11, 2008 | 4:39PM

Eh? Sending in crash reports has been in Netscape/Mozilla/Seamonkey/Firefox/IceWeasel for years.

As for sending in detailed usage reports, guess Bob never got infested with Spyware... or hasn't realized why his machine is so slow. Oh wait, Mac user.

John Morris | Apr 11, 2008 | 4:54PM

I've been using EurekaLog for Delphi for a couple of years now. It has this kind of error reporting capability. By using it, I've been able to improve the quality of the software, and get consistent error reports that users just couldn't provide.

George Sexton | Apr 11, 2008 | 4:57PM

Uh, Bob? You "bear the brunt."

Steve | Apr 11, 2008 | 5:02PM

Python is good stuff and when it's well written it performs quite good.

I work for a large ASP and we use Python to manage our entire infrastructure in data centers around the world. It was imposed on us then we fell in love with it. The SysAdmins use it for scripting just about everything. Others use it to develop WebApps and client GUI apps.

Everyone learned it quickly and it's easy to read. I can get into someone else's code and read it and understand it quickly. I can't say that for Perl. It's possible to obfuscate Python but it takes effort.

D. B. | Apr 11, 2008 | 5:24PM

I would say that Python is Python and that REALbasic is the "new BASIC". :)

Geoff Perlman | Apr 11, 2008 | 5:24PM

I can read my own Ruby code a year later. Can't say the same for Python.

Bob Gustafson | Apr 11, 2008 | 5:43PM

Mr. Gustafson if you can't read your own Python code a year later.

#1) You probably don't know how to code.
#2) Refer to #1 and stop writing code.

I've had nothing but great experiences with Python and taking up Django now I am sure that will be just as pleasant of an experience....

Sako | Apr 11, 2008 | 6:02PM

Bob tries hard to make spyware seem attractive, but I am not convinced!

Martin Ward | Apr 11, 2008 | 6:06PM

A nice enough article, but I'd rather have heard about the outcome of the 700 MHz auctions, rumors of a 3G iPhone, the conspiracy that is Red (Dell and Microsoft have hopped on board now), or even more education stuff, which was very good.

@David B. - good catch, but cogs (pl.) are actually parts (pl.) of gears.

dblanchard | Apr 11, 2008 | 7:24PM

As a developer you can get access to application crashes from Microsoft (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winqual) - you just need to sign the product with Authenticode and sign up for the program. You can even get hang reports as well as crash reports (but not usage data).

Robert Ellison | Apr 11, 2008 | 8:46PM

Uh, Bob, Java and C# were released after Python reached 1.0. Kinda hard to abandon something that hasn't been released yet. The C history path is only one of a number of successful lineages in programming language development. As for "the new Basic", Winer is right only as far as he's talking about Python's accessibility; as far as functionality goes, it's as powerful as Java and probably more so.

Sam Bayer | Apr 11, 2008 | 9:07PM

Robert your comments about python are ill informed and rather irrelevant. Stick to the corser tech issues and you'll be OK. Winer is a dilettante.

bubba | Apr 12, 2008 | 12:09AM

Robert your comments about python are ill informed and rather irrelevant. Stick to the corser tech issues and you'll be OK. Winer is a dilettante.

bubba | Apr 12, 2008 | 12:09AM

The only "comment about python [sic]" was:

"Dave Winer calls Python "the new BASIC" and I suppose he's right,..."

Hardly a strident fanatic or detractor, I think.

Richard Haven | Apr 12, 2008 | 1:33AM


Those interested in a crash analysis tool for stone-age tech like c/c++ should check out www.bugsplatsoftware.com

Good service that lets you analyze like the big boys.. with significantly less cost. I've used them for two years, and having the ability to pinpoint that dangling pointer or 200 is the fast release cycles we're forced into has been crucial to surviving and thriving. On top the guys there are pretty cool and responsive.. wish they had an obfuscation tool on top though, that would be absolute perfection.

-someQAguy (other than being a customer I have no financial links to BugSplat)

someQAguy | Apr 12, 2008 | 3:30AM


Those interested in a crash analysis tool for stone-age tech like c/c++ should check out www.bugsplatsoftware.com

Good service that lets you analyze like the big boys.. with significantly less cost. I've used them for two years, and having the ability to pinpoint that dangling pointer or 200 is the fast release cycles we're forced into has been crucial to surviving and thriving. On top the guys there are pretty cool and responsive.. wish they had an obfuscation tool on top though, that would be absolute perfection.

-someQAguy (other than being a customer I have no financial links to BugSplat)

someQAguy | Apr 12, 2008 | 3:30AM


Those interested in a crash analysis tool for stone-age tech like c/c++ should check out www.bugsplatsoftware.com

Good service that lets you analyze like the big boys.. with significantly less cost. I've used them for two years, and having the ability to pinpoint that dangling pointer or 200 is the fast release cycles we're forced into has been crucial to surviving and thriving. On top the guys there are pretty cool and responsive.. wish they had an obfuscation tool on top though, that would be absolute perfection.

-someQAguy (other than being a customer I have no financial links to BugSplat)

someQAguy | Apr 12, 2008 | 3:32AM


Those interested in a crash analysis tool for stone-age tech like c/c++ should check out www.bugsplatsoftware.com

Good service that lets you analyze like the big boys.. with significantly less cost. I've used them for two years, and having the ability to pinpoint that dangling pointer or 200 is the fast release cycles we're forced into has been crucial to surviving and thriving. On top the guys there are pretty cool and responsive.. wish they had an obfuscation tool on top though, that would be absolute perfection.

-someQAguy (other than being a customer I have no financial links to BugSplat)

someQAguy | Apr 12, 2008 | 3:36AM

This podcast is available on +1 (212) 404-6272

Shrimp | Apr 12, 2008 | 3:49AM

This podcast is available on +1 (212) 404-6272

Shrimp | Apr 12, 2008 | 3:51AM

"I think Runtime Intelligence will become an important part of building applications in future."

Bob, maybe you had a busy week with other things (like rockets?) on your mind? With desktop applications easing into yesteryear, offerings like the one from PreEmptive maybe interesting now for existing desktop products, but certainly not for the new generation of apps which will all work on Amazon or Google like systems. No bright future for PreEmptive if you ask me.

All applications will move to the cloud. All.

Dirk Stevens | Apr 12, 2008 | 6:35AM

@ Dirk
Spoken like a man who's main app is office. My work is in digital audio and video. It's going to be a long time if ever, before this class of apps runs from a cloud.

Tom | Apr 12, 2008 | 9:59AM

surprised the whole column wasnt abt google app engine - maybe next week eh

j1mmy | Apr 12, 2008 | 10:39AM

Based on what is on PreEmptive's site, it seems the "Runtime Intelligence" is not just for desktop applications, but for any app written in .NET including web based apps. As applications become more distributed (standalone, SaaS, Software + Services) tracking information from multiple sources and aggregating it with backend business information could be useful.

Software services and always on high speed bandwidth will be a transformational event over the next 10 years. But, I don't agree with you that all applications will move to the cloud. Many will, but some things will still be best done with the option of running as a rich application (on a desktop, a smart phone, on your TV, etc.) interacting with services. The future will most likely be a mix of on-premise and service-based IT capabilities. Just my 2 cents.


David Kessler | Apr 12, 2008 | 10:51AM

HNSO.PK: 0.0060 +0.0010 (+20.00%) : HEALTHNOSTICS NEW - Yahoo! Finance

The stock is HNSO

The latest news release acquiring a significant interest in Global Med Direct. Read thoroughly to get a real understanding of what is going to happen with this stock trading under a penny! 25 million people in America suffer from Diabetes! Think of costs when it comes to medication, testing strips and doctor visits.... And understand that diabetics NEED to test themselves and buy the supplies. As per the press release last week, HNSO states that GMB is doing $10,000,000.00 in Annual revenues, but it is a small piece of a huge pie. That is why I am so excited about the potential here now!

First you need to visit the new company..... http://www.globalmeddirect.com/

Global Medical Direct is a nationwide Durable Medical Equipment provider specializing in direct to consumer diabetes supplies. The Company provides diabetes products and educational services to help patients lead healthier and more productive lives. Global Medical Direct provides an easy-to-use, cost effective and convenient way for patients to obtain their diabetes supplies and medications through their health plan, employer and government payers such as Medicare and Medicaid. The Company's products include blood glucose meters, test strips and ancillary supplies, insulin pumps and supplies, diabetic shoes and orthopedic inserts and diabetes maintenance medication.

Look at the potential market and these INSANE PPS numbers. Remember...These are real numbers and all part of potential growth.....This makes me wonder how long this PPS WILL BE SUB PENNY!!
The total annual economic cost of diabetes in 2007 was estimated to be $174 billion. Medical expenditures totaled $116 billion and were comprised of $27 billion for diabetes care, $58 billion for chronic diabetes-related complications, and $31 billion for excess general medical costs. Indirect costs resulting from increased absenteeism, reduced productivity, disease-related unemployment disability, and loss of productive capacity due to early mortality totaled $58 billion. This is an increase of $42 billion since 2002. This 32% increase means the dollar amount has risen over $8 billion more each year.

The 2007 per capita annual costs of health care for people with diabetes is $11,744 a year, of which $6,649 (57%) is attributed to diabetes.
One out of every five health care dollars is spent caring for someone with diagnosed diabetes, while one in ten health care dollars is attributed to diabetes.

How do I know if GMD will not grow to 100 mill in revenues based on the increase in the amount of money being spent each year? I don't, but I MUST assume based on the FACTS stated.
WHAT IS WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE? $$$$$ With 200 million shares outstanding and a price of $0.006 HNSO has a market cap of 1.2 million dollars. GMD is doing $10 mill in revenues.....not including medbioworld valuation of between 6 and 10 mill......THIS STOCK SHOULD BE TRADING WAY HIGHER RIGHT NOW! I SAY AT LEAST NOT LESS THAN $0.15 WHICH IS LIKE A MOON SHOT! LIKE 25 TIMES THE PRESENT PRICE

Do the math Cringers..Compare this to other stocks. This is a no brainer. All you have to know is that when a company has REAL revenues, not projected....The share price will rise accordingly. We have all of the signs of a major event unfolding here. And the best part of this is the price right now. Under around a half penny is INSANE....

PUTTING RUMORS & DOUBT TO SLEEP

HNSO does not have a convertible debenture and was never financed with DEBT! NO REVERSE SPLIT. 200 mill out is no reason to do a REVERSE SPLIT No back door stock financing or printing of shares. What you see everyday is a bunch of Bull that the traders want you to see. Nobody has shares that they can unload unless they are taking a major LOSS! This stock was 12 cents 2 yrs ago when they had NOTHING!!

$1,200K.....How is this with 10 mill in revs? Its gonna explode! This is a product of my research and I am so happy to share it with my chummy Cringer persons!

After you're in spread the good word$

j bailey | Apr 12, 2008 | 12:04PM


Those interested in a crash analysis tool for stone-age tech like c/c++ should check out www.bugsplatsoftware.com

Good service that lets you analyze like the big boys.. with significantly less cost. I've used them for two years, and having the ability to pinpoint that dangling pointer or 200 is the fast release cycles we're forced into has been crucial to surviving and thriving. On top the guys there are pretty cool and responsive.. wish they had an obfuscation tool on top though, that would be absolute perfection.

-someQAguy (other than being a customer I have no financial links to BugSplat)

someQAguy | Apr 12, 2008 | 1:39PM

@Tom

My believe is that a common platform/standard (like HTML today but a lot richer) will emerge that will enable all kinds of applications in the cloud.

And yes, absolutely are rich media and video apps included. Imagine 1000 CPU cores doing the work that your 4 local cores are doing for you right now... Your screen refresh would take more time than the processing :-)

What kind of application do you consider Adobe's newly released Photoshop Express last week? Clearly this is merely a start...

Dirk Stevens | Apr 12, 2008 | 2:50PM

> Dave Winer calls Python "the new BASIC" and I suppose he's right,

> especially in its BASIC-like choice to abandon thirty years of C, C++, Java,

> and C# technology for a different path.



This seems unnecessarily caustic. Python could hardly "abandon" those technologies, since it precedes both Java and C#, and as for C, it is basically a smarter, cleaner syntax layered directly on top of C.

Tim Keating | Apr 12, 2008 | 3:44PM

> Dave Winer calls Python "the new BASIC"

Dave is a bit behind on this one. DARPA funded "Computer Programming for Everybody" c. 1999, which was a curriculum for teaching programming in python to students:

http://www.python.org/doc/essays/cp4e.html

Bill McGonigle | Apr 13, 2008 | 4:25AM

(Yawn) This so-called Runtime Intelligence, is a trivial contribution to the art. The larger problem, aside from error notification, is in deciding what usage metrics to collect and how to interpret them, given the anonymity of the user.

Peris | Apr 13, 2008 | 12:01PM

It's strategic for Google and important enough that they'll do whatever it takes to make the platform attractive to us while also doing whatever it takes to keep us from knowing how it really works.

Ah. You mean they use the core philosophy of modern software design.

Jove | Apr 13, 2008 | 1:53PM

(Yawn) This so-called Runtime Intelligence, is a trivial contribution to the art. The larger problem, aside from error notification, is in deciding what usage metrics to collect and how to interpret them, given the anonymity of the user.

Peris | Apr 13, 2008 | 4:57PM

Actually software vendors can sign up with Microsoft to recieve crash reports related to their applications. But I just rolled my own crash reporting for my PerfectTablePlan software, which runs on Windows and Mac. It wasn't that difficult to do.

Andy Brice | Apr 13, 2008 | 6:20PM

I think Winer, for all his erraticisms and outbursts is spot on about his observation on Python. It's transparent, it's easy to code, and it handles abstraction (something which BASIC doesn't) nicely. It's a decent compromise between

As for the commentary about Ruby, I don't get it. It's write-only code. I've dive-bombed into troubled Ruby implementations and the code was ridiculous and obscured, seemingly simply out of "manliness."

onescomplement | Apr 13, 2008 | 8:28PM

"Alas, this kind of diagnostic capability hasn't been available to those developers who don't also happen to own the operating system as Apple and Microsoft do."

This is untrue (for MS at least). 3rd party developers can sign up to access this information for their own applications. Unfortunately, MS don't widely publicize that this service is freely available.

Maverick | Apr 13, 2008 | 11:16PM

Microsoft allows vendors free access to the Windows Error Reports for their code. For details, see:

http://www.microsoft.com/whdc/maintain/StartWER.mspx

Austin Donnelly | Apr 14, 2008 | 7:06AM

Google is a real world threat to Microsoft, time will tell if their pursuit of Yahoo will be too late. I see the clever use of 'quantum thinking' within google and I know these guys will win in the end. Microsoft still has the 'agricultural mindset', sowing seed and harvesting. Old concepts in the 'quantum era, useful for the part of the process but lacking the use of Gaia principles. Wishing you all well,

Paul Richards | Apr 15, 2008 | 4:21AM

First, as an interested party, i am thrilled to see runtime intelligence thrown out there for all to debate, deride and (hopefully, over time) adopt. I have resisted the urge to reply to each comment - but i think it might be helpful to this thread to emphasize one point - runtime intelligence is not a dump analyzer - and should never be considered as a replacement for one. Runtime Intelligence Services send feature/session usage information (with no personally identifiable data) in "near-real-time." Yes - it can indicate "unstable" environments - but such instability is as likely to be caused by user error or network issues as it is to be a crash.

Connecting usage activity (organized by application, user, process outcome, etc) to other business/operations data can do for "point of work" what point-of-sale did for retail.

Producers (ISVs), retailers (software channels) and consumers (IT organizations) can all benefit via integration of this info as one more spoke in their respective "BI wheels." If your organization runs beta programs, buys or sells software or is interested in understanding the organizational impact of the adoption of a particular app - or software component - then perhaps this approach may offer another view to consider.

sebastian | Apr 15, 2008 | 1:01PM

You never write, you never call, You never post until Friday afternoon! ;->

a_one,a_two | Apr 18, 2008 | 12:24PM

You never write, you never call. You never post until Friday afternoon! ;->

a_one,a_two | Apr 18, 2008 | 12:28PM

I read as far as the Orwellian phrase 'code theft' and stopped.

fewqwer | Apr 22, 2008 | 1:45PM