08 January, 2009

Steve Yegge Is My Hero

I regularly read Joel Spolky's blog, Jeff Atwood's blog, and Steve Yegge's blog. I really like them all, but Steve's is probably the most thought provoking blog out of the three.

Recently, for example, he had a post where he discussed (at length), a very intersting topic:

Imagine Mario, and his brother Luigi, having a conversation in which Mario asks Luigi what's on the other side of the boundary to their Mario Kart
universe. Interesting, huh?

It's interesting because to Mario & Luigi, stuff on the "other" side of their universe boundary is "undefined"; it's undfined in the sense that anything could be there. In fact, to some extent, it doesn't even make sense for them to ask what's on the other side; they simply cannot define what's on the other side as long as they reside inside the Mario Kart universe.

On the other hand, programmers living outside the Mario Kart universe can easily define what's outside the Mario Kart universe: all they have to do is inspect the memory contents of the system running Mario Kart, and take a peek at what's in there, on the "other" side.

I enjoyed Steve's post on embedded systemsbecause it helped me make sense of the embedded system I live in. I now understand that anything could be out there; it's truly undefined.


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