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Marc Wandschneider is a professional software developer with well over fifteen years of industry experience (yes, he really is that old). He travels the globe working on interesting projects and gives talks at conferences and trade shows whenever possible.

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My book, "Core Web Application Programming with PHP and MySQL" is now available everywhere, including Amazon.com

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Jan 08, 2009 | 18:59:34
Coolness vs. Age: FIGHT! (Hint: coolness loses)
By marcwan

During my third year of university, I took a course in compilers where, essentially, we wrote a pascal (well, Oberon 2) compiler in 3 months. I would wake up at 7am, go to the computer lab and start programming, attend classes as time permitted, and then go back to the lab and program until sometime around midnight. While this upset the girlfriend immensely, I did get a passing grade in the class.

About halfway through the semester, however, a weird thing started happening to my right eye: it was getting slower. I would move my eyes and my left eye would move very quickly to look at whatever I wanted to look at, but my right eye would take a fraction of a section to arrive at the same destination. It made for a very strange blurring / dizzying effect, and completely freaked me out.

I spent the next few months doing the most comical and insane eye exercises constantly. If you’ve programmed a lot, you know the kind: eyes up, eyes down, eyes up, eyes down, eyes left, eyes right, eyes left, eyes right, clockwise circle, three times, counterclockwise circle, three times. repeat ad nauseam, many times daily. People thought I was completely retarded or, at least, quite nutty (now that I back on it, it might not have had anything to do with the eye exercises … hmm).

But it worked: the class ended, the exercises continued for a while, and my right eye got better. A few eye tests showed that I had excellent vision in both eyes and would be fine.

Cue forward many (many) years to the present, where I’ve been working like a mad-man for the last n months on a new startup project, adylitica. My right eye is grouchy again. But this time, I suspect that no amount of eye exercises are going to do the trick – it’s very likely that I’m just getting older. The classic hyperopia that causes old people to tilt their heads at weird angles, pull out their bifocals and read things from as far away is slowly creeping its way into my life. It’s not all that bad yet, and the zany eye exercises have started again, but there’s no denying: I’m getting older.

When I first got into Macs, in addition to the unix underpinnings, I was always impressed with how stylish and well deisgned the UI was compared to other systems. One of my favourite things was the ability to have transparent Terminal windows:

It was super cool and made my computer look more bad-ass geeky (in a completely non-female attracting kind of “bad-ass” way).

Sadly, with the latest developments, I’m back to good ole’ old-folks style Terminal windows:

I’m still not at the point where I need to increase the font-size or do head gymnastics, but that’s coming, I’m sure!

Age: 1. Geekiness: 0.

D’oh!

You call that an old folks' terminal window?
Posted By: Jerry K Jan 20, 2009 14:01:10
Dude, your Terminal.app windows won't be entirely old folksy until you're forced to increase that font size from Keith Ohlfs 3 point normal weight or whatever the F that is... :-)
Well ....
Posted By: marcwan Jan 23, 2009 18:20:23
i'm not using the super high contrast blue colour theme yet, so i'm okay (do macs even have that?) .... maybe i'll fire up the reader one day and see how it does on the average line of objective-c code ...
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