Here’s an amusing list of 26 types of programmers. Which one are you?
Advertising executive and blogger Hugh MacLeod gives his 30 tried and tested tips for being truly creative. Acknowledging that everyone is creative from birth, the article suggests ways of tapping into that innate creativity.
Warning: Slightly NSFW due to language.
Submerging your PC in cooking oil seems like one of the worst ideas ever suggested, but it’s been done by the guys at Tom’s Hardware. Turns out that oil is a pretty good coolant, and as it doesn’t conduct electricity, won’t short out your components.
The associated Digg story links to a few other people who have tried similar things. My personal favourite is this one – in my opinion, he’s done a better job by avoiding the gratuitous use of silicone sealant and employing mineral oil to improve visibility and presumably reduce the chance of the oil becoming rancid. I also like the airbrick which sends bubbles up through the case.
I’m interested in trying something similar – I replaced my graphics card today and stuck the old card’s fan in a pot of sunflower oil. When I powered it up, it started spinning as normal, although silently and a lot less quickly. I’m not ready to rebuild my main PC in a fishtank full of baby oil, but I’m tempted to drag an old junk PC down from the loft and see how it fares as a silent, oil-cooled system.
Note that it’s unlikely that you’ll end up with a completely silent system – certain components such as the drives and power supply are definitely best kept out of the oil – but you can at least reduce fan noise and maybe even improve cooling at the same time.
Obviously, experimenting with cooling-by-oil-submersion is not without its risks – there’s a chance that you’ll fry (no pun intended) your system and/or end up with a pool of oil on the floor – but you can certainly have fun trying.
I have a rather scary exam in Formal Software Development tomorrow morning, so am finishing my last minute revision this evening. Rather than bore you with the details, here are a couple of fun stories I found on Digg earlier today:
PHP Easter Egg
?=PHPE9568F36-D428-11d2-A769-00AA001ACF42 to any URL on most PHP-powered sites to see a cute picture of a dog (or a different dog, a rabbit or a guy with breadsticks up his nose, depending on the PHP version in use).
There’s some more information here.
My only concern about this bit of harmless fun is that it exposes sites running PHP, but there are lots of other ways of finding this out with a default PHP installation. If you want to disable this, and other “clues”, set php_expose to Off in your PHP configuration file (php.ini) which I assume also removes other “clues” (such as PHP-specific HTTP headers). But I say: use PHP, and use it proudly. :)
(via Digg) – note that the trick no longer works on Digg URLs – the server guys did the php_expose thing!
How to cheat at Windows Pinball
The author of this article has uncovered a cheat in the 3D Pinball game bundled with Windows XP that has lain undiscovered since XP’s 2002 release. By typing the magic words “hidden test”, you are able to drag the ball around the board and do some other cheaty things. What makes it more interesting, though, is his explanation of how he unearthed the elusive cheat using debugging tools.
Apparently it only works on the XP version of the game, not the previous version which shipped on the Windows 2000 disc. However, the XP EXE should run on any version of Windows from 95 upwards. (If anyone can confirm or deny this, let me know.)