Parallel Thinking

Computers are well able to nowadays even though it sounded like some science fiction myth to me when I started my computer science studies at university. Many of my friends took ‘parallel computing’ as one of their courses.

And then there are the operating systems and their multitasking which has come a long way in the last few years.

Fine, everything is fine. But I am simply human and I am neither parallel nor truly multitasking. The first is simply impossible and can only be simulated by talking so fast noone gets it. The latter is often attempted and always ends in a huge mess. Oh yes. And I don’t feel better. My programming may be object oriented but my task-handling is optimized for sequentialization. One thing after another. Not two things at once.

Actually I am lucky to work at a company that has some project manangement procedures which reduces the frequency of parallelisms a lot. But I guess you all know what happens when your old long-finished project has a bug? Oh yeah you start juggling the tasks around: ‘nicing’ this one, killing that one, to squeeze in some time for the bug-fix. And then it just takes some time for the normal workday to come back.

Since one assumes some kind of learning curve, each project is better than the previous, so fixing a bug on an old project – which in this case wasn’t even really my fault – becomes a tedious and hated affair because you have to touch code that is not up to your current standards anymore, even worse if it’s a totally different environment (other language f.e.)

So slowly I am calming down, after having spent three very angry hours with my old code, fixing something that should never have happened anyway because someone else put in a linebreak in 1 (!!!) of about 50 logfiles with 50k lines each.

So that’s how expensive one linebreak can become 🙂

By Yashima

Writer of code and stories