Sunday, February 3, 2008

Tom Cargill

I ran into Tom Cargill at Radio Shack.

Tom thinks most of his cell phone calls are to people in the same room he's in -- he uses them when he's at Wal-Mart and Costco to find out which aisles the rest of his family have gotten themselves to. "I think the most useful button on my cell phone is 'off.' "

Tom, who's also the discoverer of the ninety-ninety rule, has a habit of being right on such things.

Me, I like mine because it replaces my watch, my phone, my alarm clock, and my phonebook. Plus, I take a lot more pix with it than I ever did with my camera. (Do you like the way the ceiling lights in this picture blend in with the post background to make it look like the top border's irregular?)

"So, how's the world of C++ and objects?"

"Boring. No one's figured out how to program multiple machines yet."

He went on to say that lots of folks have tried, and Intel's bet the farm on dual-core boxes but no one's figured out how to make programming languages deal with them in ways most of us can use: not C++, not Java, not anything else, either.

"How about Ruby? Lots of my former-Java pals are hot for Ruby."

"No, Ruby's thread model is limited to a single CPU. It literally cannot take advantage of multi-CPU machines."

Chris Riddoch was telling me, at Hacking Society last Thursday, that there's a new replacement for Ruby threads. I'll have to ask him if it addresses this.

Unfortunately, Radio Shack didn't have either the power cord or the telephone connector I was looking for. Tom looks happy because they had batteries.

Well, and, of course, he's happy to see me.

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