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how to solve a Fermi problem

Fri 08 November 2019

A lot of annoying irrelevant interview questions are Fermi questions. (Enrico Fermi was a famous nuclear physicist.) A Fermi question is one where there's some real answer that you could get by carrying out an arduous and possibly ridiculous procedure, but making a good guess and showing your work will be just as good and be much less effort. Interviewers sometimes like to pose questions of this type "to see how you think", but their actual motivation is a combination of finding out if you are reasonably numerate -- and perhaps for the feeling of superiority they can derive from your failure.


systemd to sysvinit: why so slow?

Tue 05 November 2019


no reply considered harmful

Wed 30 October 2019


new phone, who dis

Tue 29 October 2019


typing is a useful skill

Tue 24 September 2019


bad cable, no biscuit

Tue 20 August 2019


x11 font substitution

Mon 19 August 2019


lifecycle of a technical blogger

Fri 02 August 2019


spinning disks are still cost-effective

Fri 12 July 2019


sysvinit in debian buster

Tue 25 June 2019


intuitive interfaces

Thu 30 May 2019


falsehoods non-programmers believe about programming

Wed 29 May 2019


the best politics are local politics

Fri 17 May 2019


low power cpus

Wed 15 May 2019


leaving Amazon reviews: a policy

Wed 17 April 2019

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