Magic Debug Values: “…are specific values written to memory…so that it will later be possible to tell whether or not they have become corrupted…. Memory is usually viewed in hexadecimal, so memorable repeating or hexspeak values are common.” Though not a programmer, I’d seen some of these in various other contexts. Particularly fond of 8BADF00D, BADC0FFEE0DDF00D, D15EA5E, DEFEC8ED, and FEE1DEAD.

Sometime between January 11th and January 12th, I thought this stuff was interesting. You might think so too!

  • Tobey Maguire, Sam Raimi Out of ‘Spider-Man’: "Columbia Pictures has pulled the plug on 'Spider Man 4' and will instead make a younger, cheaper installment of the superhero franchise. Star Tobey Maguire and helmer Sam Raimi, who were both set for big paydays for 'Spider Man 4,' will no longer be involved in the franchise as Col moves forward with a high school-aged Peter Parker pic, which will bow theatrically in summer 2012."
  • The C Programming Language: 4.10 Recursion (Brian W Kernighan & Dennis M Ritchie & HP Lovecraft): I never heard of C Recursion till the day before I saw it for the first and– so far– last time. They told me the steam train was the thing to take to Arkham; and it was only at the station ticket-office, when I demurred at the high fare, that I learned about C Recursion. The shrewd-faced agent, whose speech shewed him to be no local man, made a suggestion that none of my other informants had offered. "You could take that old bus, I suppose," he said with a certain hesitation. "It runs through C Recursion, so the people don't like it. I never seen more'n two or three people on it– nobody but them C folks."
  • The Conservative Case for Gay Marriage: Among many fascinating things about the Prop 8 trial in California is that a prominent conservative lawyer, Theodore B. Olson, is helping to make the argument that banning same-sex marriage is unconstitutional.
  • Avatar Hit by Claims of Racism: "Avatar is a racial fantasy par excellence … It rests on the stereotype that white people are rationalist and technocratic while colonial victims are spiritual and athletic. It rests on the assumption that non-whites need the White Messiah to lead their crusades. It rests on the assumption that illiteracy is the path to grace. It also creates a sort of two-edged cultural imperialism. Natives can either have their history shaped by cruel imperialists or benevolent ones, but either way, they are going to be supporting actors in our journey to self-admiration."
  • The Loudness Wars: Why Music Sounds Worse: "'The 'Loudness Wars' have gone back to the days of 45s,' Ludwig says. 'When I first got into the business and was doing a lot of vinyl disc cutting, one producer after another just wanted to have his 45 sound louder than the next guy's so that when the program director at the Top 40 radio station was going through his stack of 45s to decide which two or three he was going to add that week, that the record would kind of jump out to the program director, aurally at least.' That's still a motivation for some producers. If their record jumps out of your iPod compared with the song that preceded it, then they've accomplished their goal. Bob Ludwig thinks that's an unfortunate development."

Someone discovered a fun easter egg in Apple’s Final Cut Pro 5:

Open up “Final Cut Pro.rsrc” (/Applications/Final Cut Pro HD/Contents/Resources/Final Cut Pro.rsrc) in any text editor and you will stumble upon this hidden message:

If we can’t ship this puppy by then, we might as well be herding yaks. I’m glad it’s getting weird again. I didn’t understand it when it wasn’t weird. The C switch statement: Mmmmmm! Chock full of nooses! That would be like crossing the streams or something. Mmmm… Chicago style pizza! I’ve got my blankie, I’m good to go. A lot of this job is mental. “Mostly clockwise, sometimes reverses…” What’s the sound of one luma clamping? I just wanna be in the app! Oh, rough and woeful music which we have! Cause it to sound! The Yak is a delightful creature… rather like a visit with a bovine Confucious…

There’s a lot more there, I’ve snipped it for the sake of brevity. I think it’s a hilarious little random screed — and my guess is that they just took every little “in-joke” from the FCP programming team and tossed them all semi-randomly into a single text file. That’s what it reads like to me, at least — with the recurring Yak theme and the general random silliness of what’s in there, reading it reminded me a lot of some of my old brainstorming sessions with friends.

  1. Specifications are for the weak and timid!
  2. This machine is a piece of GAGH! I need dual processors if I am to do battle with this code!
  3. You cannot really appreciate Dilbert unless you’ve read it in the original Klingon.
  4. Indentation?! — I will show you how to indent when I indent your skull!
  5. What is this talk of ‘release’? Klingons do not make software ‘releases’. Our software ‘escapes’ leaving a bloody trail of designers and quality assurance people in its wake.
  6. Klingon function calls do not have ‘parameters’ — they have ‘arguments’ — and they ALWAYS WIN THEM.
  7. Debugging? Klingons do not debug. Our software does not coddle the weak.
  8. I have challenged the entire quality assurance team to a Bat-Leth contest. They will not concern us again.
  9. A TRUE Klingon Warrior does not comment his code!
  10. By filing this SCR you have challenged the honor of my family. Prepare to die!
  11. You question the worthiness of my code? I should kill you where you stand!
  12. Our users will know fear and cower before our software. Ship it! Ship it, and let them flee like the dogs they are!

Seeing as how old school programmers think like Klingon programmers, I believe that it can be reasonably assumed that all old programmers are Klingon.

(Found on /.)