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SubjectRe: [ANNOUNCE] Withdrawl of Open Source NDS Project/NTFS/M2FS for Linux
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> > A good debugger is a very 
> > good leveraging agent. I can cut a 2x4 with a largish pocket knife,
> > in theory. (I have never wasted the time.) In a pinch I have cut a
> > 2X4 with a hand saw. I can see that if I wanted to do this for any
> > serious work power tools are required. The same logic seems
> > to fall into the programming realm.
>
> I disagree. No one here is dumb enough to use a wholely inappropriate
> tool for a particular task. But using a debugger is often (but not
> always) like sawing bits off your 2x4 until it happens to fit the
> gap. What you need to do is to understand the problem parameters,
> measure them, mark your 2x4, then cut using whatever tool is best
> suited to the job. In woodwork the results tend to be superior :-)
>
> Mike

Sigh, one more try to get youse guys to understand.

I started out as an RF engineer. I note that I was considered damn good
at it. Part of the reason I worked the miracles I worked, designing radios
for the military with specifications straight out of science fiction, is tools.
The one indispensable tool was a deep understanding of which way the
electrons flow and how. Another was mathematics. A third is experience.
Without these basics no other tool would have led me to the solutions I
found.

But I also used other power tools. I built my own computer aided circuit
analysis program. With that program I found some problems early on
that would have kept me at the test bench for weeks tracking down. I
added one resistor to a variable tuned circuit and increased the circuit's
useable dynamic range 30dB. I confirmed it with another tool I consider
indispensable, the spectrum analyzer. A couple years later we got our
first network analyzer and I was in hog heaven. When we finally got a
computer controlled network analyzer I did even better. I wrote some
custom software for it that led to being able to calibrate the test set
for the GPS navigation data unit to 10 times the precision of the NDU
itself in 30 minutes from drag the equipment into the room to tear down.
When the poor sod from Bendix (the folks that made that iteration of the
NDU) who was visiting that day saw this he died. It took them a full day
to get to the same results AND they had not noticed some effects I
pointed out to him DURING that 30 minutes. *THIS* is what a debugger
is for. It is a window on the software you are attempting to debug that
allows even the best in the business to do better. I rather immodestly
lay claim to being one of the best RF engineers in the country in the
70s for high dynamic range antijam receivers and frequency synthesizers.
I might not have been so good except that I adopted tools and used them
WITH my knowledge gained from building ham radio equipment of my
own since the 9th grade. Experience, knowledge, AND TOOLS lead to
the best product. Cripple your tools and you cripple your product.

30 years of experience have proven this to me over and over again from
watching auto mechanics and ditch diggers through every engineering
discipline I have ever paused to observe. Only a damnfool eschews good
tools because of some sense of "pride" that doing it the caveman way
"forces me to think more." Son, if you need to be forced into thinking you
are in the wrong business. I got into SW because RF engineering was
getting boring and this was more challenging and fun. ('Sides, it gets VERY
tiring for a "guril" to fight most of the RF weenies her age who think that
since she is a "guril" she cannot POSSIBLY understand electrons. I had
to prove them wrong and fools too many times. I got bored. SW was more
"forgiving" in that regard. It allowed me more time to concentrate on
"doing it right and well." I figure I am "good" but not "great" with SW. Er,
the company I last worked for thought different. I got all the jobs nobody
else seemed able to do. Sadly I had to do most of them without adequate
tools. I really learned to like the leverage tools give. Tools do not SOLVE
the problems. But they leverage my knowledge so that *I* can solve the
problem. It is entirely up to me to have the self discipline to think through
what I can learn with the debugger until I have a solution that "makes
sense". "It works" does not always "make sense". So I usually do not
stop at "it works". That is being an adult and having some self discipline
as opposed to a being a child in a high tech playground. I get adult level
rewards and satisfaction that the children miss, too. The "hit" or the
"high" is greater the adult way.

{^_^}


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