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Quick Links

Google Adwords Still Getting Owned
Some people have found a way to really abuse Google Adwords. If you go to this article by Jeremy (aka Shoe), he even has a great screenshot of the a Google search result with every single Adword ad pointing to the same page!

Bugatti Veyron Vs. Jet Fighter
This is one of the two lighter links for this batch. Ever wonder who would win between a Bugatti Veyron and a Jet Fighter? Wonder no more.

The Big Ball of Mud and Other Architectural Disasters
A while back Brian Foote and Joseph Yoder wrote a paper entitled Big Ball of Mud paper. Jeff’s basically extracted and summarized it, which makes for a great read. If you have time I also recommend reading the original.

Garlic Programmers for Silver Code?
It’s known that some programmers are much more productive than others, as much as 10x, if not more. However what’s less talked about is that the environment can also have as big an impact.

12 Learnings From My First Turn As Startup CEO
Some great lessons here from someone who’s already been around the block

Real Programmers
If you get each panel of this joke you’re definitely a real programmer. The fun we use to have with ed.

For those of you who aren’t computer programmers, deadlock basically means that you have multiple processes going and they somehow manage to block each other, so everything is completely deadlocked. This is a picture of a REAL traffic deadlock.

Outcomes vs. Activity
Many people often confuse busy work with valuable work. Just because you’re busy it doesn’t mean you’re creating value. For example organizing your emails is generally considered busy work as it doesn’t really create value. It helps, but it doesn’t create value. Here the author argues that all company founders have to learn and understand the differences between what’s busy work and what’s not.

Quick Links

CPC Ads Earn 50x More Than CPA
A very interesting article on one companies experience testing Google CPA (Cost Per Action) compared to CPC (Cost Per Click). What stands out is that Google is going to a much much harder time figuring out which are fraudulent actions. They just don’t have access to enough data like CPC’s.

11 Tips for Getting Your Comments Noticed on a Popular Blog
Darren always has good tips and this is another one of them. Here he gives some great advice on how to increase the odds that your comments on other blogs get noticed.

101 Ways To Know Your Software Project Is Doomed
Almost funny except that it’s all too real.

A Lesson in Control Simplicity
What is progress? Sometimes adding too many new features might actually be a bad thing.

Want to Succeed? Then Get Off Your Ass and Work
Part of Jeremy’s success is his ability to be honest, sometimes even brutally honest. And in this case he clearly states the secret to his success.

Warning: Software Startups are Not as Easy as Everyone Says
These days it seems we keep seeing headlines about all kinds of people who just started a software company in their basement and have suddenly become overnight successes. The truth is not that simple. Of course that doesn’t make for an as interesting story.

The Zero-Testing Time Bomb
Never ever skip the testing phase of your software development lifecycle, you’ll regret it. No matter how tempting, don’t. It’s as simple as that.

Blogging Success is About The Long Haul
Too many blogs start and die every day. Blogging takes a while to get going. I can tell you having interviewed many high profile bloggers for my book, very few achieve success overnight. It takes time and effort.

Help me Roberto, my web server just got hacked!
A good guide to help you prepare for if your server ever gets hacked.

Quick Links

Building a Fort: Lessons in Software Estimation
This is a great example that shows just how hard software estimation can be.

You never know unless you try!
As I’ve always said, action is the key to success. You can’t succeed unless you try.

Financial Models for Underachievers: Two Years of the Real Numbers of a Startup
Not only do you get numbers, it also includes some lessons learned on top of it.

The Monkey Experiment, (or) “Why Do We Do That?”
Sometimes it’s good to questions “because it’s always been done that way.”

Software is Hard
It’s a longer article, but it’s also very good. If you really want to understand why software is sometimes hard to build, read this article.

document.f.q.focus(); The Billion Dollar Line of JavaScript
How simple little things can have such large impacts!

The F5 Key Is Not a Build Process
Unfortunately this is all too common in the software industry…

Why Does Software Spoil?
Another great article by Jeff. He gives a great argument as to why some great software applications sometimes spoil over time.

10 types of programmers you’ll encounter in the field
A little humor to end today’s list. And there is a lot of truth to this list.

Quick Links

Amazon Architecture
Ever wonder what’s involved in building large scale enterprise systems? Although I don’t fully agree with everything here there are some excellent points in this article

Homeowner uncovers mortgage fraud
This is the story of larger scale scams going on in the real estate market.

Business of Software microISV survey
For all you would-be entrepreneurs looking to start a Software company, this survey has some interesting metrics you should be aware of.

Debit or Credit? Here’s the answer
If you don’t know whether you should use your credit card or your debit card when making purchases, this article will definitely help you. Bob explains most of the ins and outs of both.

Tradition will accustom people to any atrocity…
I don’t know how many times I’ve heard this one. The most famous example I’ve personally heard is of the grandmother cutting her roast in half because of the size of her oven and each generation afterwards for no other reason than that’s how it’s always been done.

Fears of dollar collapse as Saudis take fright
If you’ve never really thought of how the international community can affect the dollar, then you really need to read this article. You’ll be surprised at how much outside influence others have on the dollar.

Building a Fort: Lessons in Software Estimation
If you want a great analogy of how hard software estimate truly is then read this.

How Much Internet Connection Downtime Costs You?
If I had a nickel for every time I had this discussion…

Learning from Bill Gates & Steve Jobs
Different people have different presentation techniques. You need to pick a technique that works with your style. In this case the author compares the differences between how Bill and Steve present.

Quick Real Estate Links

Today’s Quick Links are all real estate related because of the collapsing real estate market. For some people these are bad times while for others great deals are starting to appear. I can tell you based on our continuing growing sales of LandlordMax that the more astute real estate investors are still very active in the market today. Most likely what’s happening is that the late comers coming in at the end of the boom for quick capital appreciation gains are being punished for being last. It’s very much a repeat of every other boom bust cycle, just like the recent dot com stock market boom and bust.

Without further ado, today’s Quick Real Estate Links:

August foreclosures zoom
The number of homes in some stage of default jumped 36 percent month-over-month in August

This Is Why I Rent: Median Incomes Do Not Support Median Home Prices
Another interesting argument of renting versus buying with the exception that this time it’s not from the point of view of which is better financially, but rather which is possible.

Current Foreclosure Crisis Deemed the Worst in U.S. History
I think the title says it all!

Builders’ confidence at all-time low
Home builders see weakest buyer traffic in 23-year history.

Latest Links

Derren Brown – Subliminal Advertising
If you don’t believe in the power of subliminal advertising, just take a look at this six and a half minute video as it’s successfully applied on two marketing advertisers.

Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex
In software development, too often a very complex and over the top solution is devised when something very simple would have solved the issue.

Why You Should Polish Your Code
Having read and refactored a lot of other people’s code, I can’t express how important it is to clean up your code afterwards. Would you want your painter to leave his mess after he finishes painting your house?

10 Developers For The Price Of One
I’ve just talked about this in my last entry. This article goes into a lot more depth as to why this is often true.

A game of inches
Joel is a great writer, and in this article he really brings about the point that great software is achieved through continual improvements over time.

This is a good explanation of why sometimes it can be more expensive to try and be cheap.

10 Steps to Improving Your Email Customer Service
I’ve been reading Ian’s blog for as long as I can remember, and here at LandlordMax we use his product HelpSpot to manage our technical support. And this is why I personally value, and so should you, his suggestions on how to improve email customer service.

23.4375 terabytes in a box (Sun Fire X4500)
On the lighter side of things, have you ever wondered what a large data server looks like? Take a look.

Free Blogging Tips Podcast with Darren and Yaro
I listened to the podcast in my car and found some very good nuggets of information. For example, you’ll now see at the bottom of every one of my entries a “Like this article? Subscribe to my RSS feed.” link.

Two Techniques That Help You Embrace Brevity
If you ever wanted to read a great blog on how to write, this is it. In this entry he offers two great tips to reduce your word count while increasing the quality of your copy.

The 4 Pillars of Writing Exceptional Blogs
Darren’s blog ProBlogger.net is always filled with great information for anyone interested in blogging. In this entry he provides you with a quick yet precise definition of what it takes to blog successfully.

9 Reasons Why I AM An Amazon Affiliate
Darren gets the honor of three full links this week (you can see now why I say he’s always got some great information to share). In this particular example he shows why the Amazon affiliate program can be very profitable if you don’t just look at the short term but also the long term.

The importance of targeted website traffic
Andy is another ISV’er who’s Successful Software blog I follow. In this article he clearly articulates why not all traffic is not equal. And once you understand this, it can really make a difference in where your ad dollars are spent.

Code Critique as an Interview Tool
Sometimes showing what’s wrong can be a better indication of your understanding than trying to solve an issue. Here Adam nicely argues an interview method where you hand the candidate a small snippet of code and discuss with them what’s wrong with it. From simple and obvious issues to subtle and complex ones. All within a page of code.

Latest Links

Promoting your software Series
This is a great series by Andy Brice over 6 parts on how to promote your software. He covers a lot of ground and provides a lot of good information therefore I strongly recommend reading it. Here part 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6.

Ariane 5 Flight 501
An extreme example of why you should always do product testing.

Foreclosure pace nears decade high
California is really experiencing a downturn in the real estate market creating a lot of opportunities for savy real estate investors.

No One is Going to Steal Your Brilliant Idea
I don’t know how many times I’ve said it here, but Ideas are a Dime a Dozen. Don’t worry about someone stealing your idea, worry more about how you’ll execute on it.

Two-Income Trap: Why Many Couples Shouldn’t Both Be Working For The Money
This is a good example of why you should always do the math before you decide anything. Sometimes you can come out ahead, or very close anyways, with a completely different path.

Programming Knowledge versus Programming Ability
I’m also a strong believer in that there’s a large difference between knowledge and ability (this goes for anything) but wasn’t able to properly express it. This article does just that.

The man who owns the Internet
Most people don’t really understand why there are so many single page sites with just ads. It’s because there’s a lot of money to be made through the natural traffic of domains, which this author explains in good fashion. This world is a little more complex, but this is a great introductory article.

Latest Links

In software no good deed goes unpunished
In software there is often a large disconnect between perception and reality. This is a clear example of such a disconnect.

My Own Successful Startup Story … In 1984
A well writen real life story with lots of life lessons.

Top ten things ten years of professional software development has taught me
The title says it all.

Oops! Techie wipes out $38 billion fund
Talk about a disaster. But the real tidbit to get from this piece is if you’re own software/data is correctly (and regularly) backed up?

If Crack Dealers Took Lessons From Walgreens, They Really Would Be Rich
A great example about pricing and complacency.

9 Confessions From A Former Enterprise Rental Salesman
Everyone knows there’s certain things that make renting a car more pleasant. This is the first time I’ve seen it written down.

Features vs Ideology
Ian writes a great article on the debate many software vendors have when including new features into their software.

Good Programmers Do Like to Code; It’s All the Other Crap They Don’t Like
The argument of this article is that developers want to spend time solving problems and not rewriting solutions to the same problems over and over (they don’t want to re-inventing the wheel over and over).

The Truth About the Single Founder Startup
A very good article about what it takes to start your own company if you want to do it solo. This is the route I took and I can attest that you need to wear all the different hats at one time or another.

Why There Isn’t More Multilingual Support
At LandlordMax continually get asked why we don’t support other spoken languages within the software, especially by developers. The truth is that providing multi-language support is no longer that difficult, whats difficult is all the other stuff that goes along with it that Ian describes here.

Latest Links

Programming Language Usage Graph
Interesting graph showing open source project adoption of the different programming languages (as hosted on Sourceforge.net)

Design by code
Excellent article on how coding should be done. Great analogy!

Why IQ is Important
Although I don’t think this IQ is the cause, the following chart does provide some interesting correlations

Programmers Don’t Like to Code
Yes and no. But what I really liked about his argument, where he hits dead on, is that programmers like problem solving.

Blinded by the user interface
Never forget the importance of the User Interface.

Ship or Shut Up
If I had a dime for every time I saw this happen… (humor)

Website Demographics in Photos
I don’t know that I necessarily agree, but it’s very interesting nonetheless. (humor)

If It’s Not in Google, Does Your Website Really Exist?
The reality is that this is more often the truth than not!

Weekly 7

After this week I’ll change the “Weekly 7” to something else as I’m finding it hard to keep discovering 7 new interesting articles each week. Don’t get me wrong, I have no doubt that I can, I just don’t have nearly as much time these days. Therefore, expect these regular postings to be spread out a little more, and be titled a little differently.

The Big Rewrite 
Chad has a good series explaining why rewrites aren’t nearly as easy as they first appear. Anyone looking to do a software rewrite should take heed of his comments.

The Iceberg Secret, Revealed
Joel has some good corollaries on how business and technical folks should try to communicate.

Amazon mystery: pricing of books
Amazon has been receiving some slack for its pricing policies, but the reality is that they’re a smart business. It’s no different than the airlines, gas prices, etc.

A Hunt for Energy Hogs
An interesting article on how to find where you’re consuming energy in your home. I’m personally in the process of converting from incandescent to those highly efficient spiral bulbs. Every bulb goes from 60 watts to 13 watts!

A Plan for Getting a Poor Man Back on His Feet
I might not completely agree with this persons statements, but he makes some very compelling points

Compiler Optimization Of MechAssault 2
Some things in life are actually free. The game MechAssault 2 was able to substantially increase their performance with compiler optimization.

Text Appearance
The presentation of your text will greatly affect how well it’s read (please note this is a pdf link)

Most people don’t think much about it, but whitespace is very important when writing any kind of document. Mark has some great examples of the power of whitespace.



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