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Edward O'Connor - from "Optimization - Your Worst Enemy" [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Edward O'Connor

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from "Optimization - Your Worst Enemy" [Mar. 2nd, 2002|02:35 am]
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[Feeling |amused]
[Listening |Escaflowne - Poketto wo karanishite]

One day we were discussing an algorithm, and it required doing some storage allocation. I was assured that this was unacceptable because storage allocation was very expensive. I said something like "Well, of course, if you use the brain-dead Unix allocator, you're bound to have performance problems. A decent storage allocator makes this a non-issue". One of the people at the meeting immediately challenged me: "I'm sick of hearing you put down Unix. What do you know about storage allocators, anyway?". I said "hold that thought, I'll be right back". I went to my office, where I had a copy of the IDL book, brought it back, and held it open to the chapter labeled "Storage allocation". "See this?" "Yes". "What is the title of this chapter?" "Storage allocation". I closed the book and pointed to the cover. "Recognize this name?" "Yes, of course, that's you". "Fine. I wrote that chapter. It is on how to write a high-performance, minimum-fragmentation storage allocator. So you asked what I know about storage allocation. Well, I wrote the book on it."

I was never again challenged when I put down Unix.

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Comments:
From: ladytabitha
2002-03-02 06:05 am (UTC)

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"Ted, you are the man!"
[User Picture]From: dwagoner
2002-03-02 08:46 am (UTC)

Thanks for that link

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His essays are all of quality on that order. Very cool.
[User Picture]From: hober
2002-03-02 11:37 am (UTC)

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Oh um um, it's a quote. I'm not that cool. Joseph Newcomer is that cool.
[User Picture]From: hober
2002-03-02 01:46 pm (UTC)

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Incidentally, he's one of the guys who helped get the SEI started, along with markardis.
[User Picture]From: gonzolawyer
2002-03-02 12:42 pm (UTC)

That rocked!

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Ted that totally ruled! Though if you took credit for it personally, I wouldn't have known.
[User Picture]From: other
2002-03-02 01:10 pm (UTC)

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This reminds me of an amusing tale on Atlantis by George Smith where he played the author card when debating the author's intentions regarding his first book.