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this week's favorite

htop explained

For the longest time I did not know what everything meant in htop. I thought that load average 1.0 on my two core machine means that the CPU usage is at 50%. That's not quite right. And also, why does it say 1.0?

Writing userspace USB drivers for abandoned devices

I recently found some USB devices on eBay (Epiphan VGA2USB LR) that could take VGA as input and present the output as a webcam. Given that I was keen on the idea of not needing to lug out a VGA monitor ever again and there was claimed Linux support I took the risk and bought the whole job lot for about £20 (25 USD).

A Programmer’s Guide to Performance Analysis & Tuning on Modern CPUs

It used to be the case that some SW vendors preferred to wait for a new generation of HW to speed up their application and did not spend human resources on making improvements in their code. When it’s no longer the case that each HW generation provides a significant performance boost, we must start paying more attention to how fast our code actually runs.

The Magical Excel 97 Far East Language Build Screwdriver™

Office 97 was at this time already a very old product, so its build machines would need to be used only to service a critical security hotfix. Consequently, those machines were moved to the new build lab, but with the expectation that they would never need to be powered on.

12 Common Mistakes and Missed Optimization Opportunities in SQL

In an effort to make my team write better SQL, I went over reports written by non-developers and code reviews, and gathered common mistakes and missed optimization opportunities in SQL.

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