XKCD Computer Problems


Who are you?

My name is Erick Johnson. Hi! Welcome to my collection of Internety stuff

Why is your web page so ugly?

Well... I'm an engineer - with the wish to be a designer but not the talent. So when I'm on my own in no mans land - this is as fancy as I get. However given a spec sheet from a real UI/UX designer I can build the crap out of it.

I was looking for "Cliffs of Dover". Is that you?

No. But Eric Johnson is a fine guitarist, though not exactly my personal taste

Why shouldn't I leave your page right now?

I don't know. Why did you come in the first place?

Can you offer me anything?

I'm a very good software engineer. Do you need some software? I can offer you a webservice or maybe just some software related advice. I also am a good listener - you can send me your issues to one of the contact URLs above - that's a good way to get in touch with me.

What are standards?

That's the first good question you've asked. Standards are the specifications to which all modes of communication adhere - think of the rules of english grammar. Without standards we'd all end up speaking our own gibberish and nobody would understand anyone else. Software standards let us build web pages, Javascript to run on those pages, protocols to serve those pages, web servers to speak those protocols, operating systems to run those web servers, system calls to open sockets on the operating system. You can bring standards all the way to the electricity running out of the outlet in your wall - for instance 120V at 60HZ alternating current is a standard. In software - standards ususally emerge from standards bodies. The big two (IMHO) include IETF and W3. The IETF is a body that concerns itself with writing standards for the whole Internet (i.e. not just port 80). W3 pretty much just sticks to web standards. The IETF maintain the RFCs that define the standards of the Internet. The biggest 3 standards I work with are partially defined in these RFCs 3261, 6120, and I suppose 2616. The RFCs give me a place to go find the authoritative answers to recurring question, "how is this supposed to work?"

Why are the letters in the headers changing colors?

Because it feels happy :) You can also click each letter if you would like to help change it' color.

Who is that ridiculously cute baby half way down the page?

That is my daughter, Nara Grace Johnson. Thank you for calling her ridiculously cute - I concur.

What is something you can't stand?

I hate when marketting departments rebrand existing entities with new words and the world thinks it's something new - I call it the phenomena of new and improved. The examples I bitch about to my poor wife the most (God bless her for at least pretending to listen to me) are "The Cloud", "Web 2.0", and "Anything As a Service". I'm positive there are non Internet related examples, but I'm less tuned in there.


Random Assortment of Programming Stuff

Readings Worth The Time...

Amazing World


My Daughter - Nara Grace Johnson 03/20/2011

Nara Grace Johnson

Listen to Bertrand Russel

The Future of Education

The Khan Academy Video Library will amaze you.

Nature by Numbers

Nature by Numbers from Cristóbal Vila on Vimeo.

Using Simple Premises to build Complexity

Creativity and Schools

What's your bias?

Cognitive Biases - A Visual Study Guide by the Royal Society of Account Planning

Good Stuff

Just in case you're curious

Current National Threat Level is elevated

My Public Key