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Last night I ran into a bug that was just driving me nuts. I was up till 2:00am beating my head against it. The frustration probably didn't help my sleep any. I still managed to drag myself out of bed when the alarm clock went off. (You know the furry one with the claws.) I sit down in front of the computer this morning and within 10 minutes I've got the bug fixed.
Now I'm left wondering: If I'd gone to bed at 11 or 12 last night, would I have still fixed the bug this morning so fast? or. Could I have spent 10 more minutes last night and fixed the bug, going to bed with a feeling of god like power over those devious 1's and 0's?
hmmm, pondering such things might keep me up late..
I sit down in front of the computer this morning and within 10 minutes I've got the bug fixed.
I've experienced this enough that I basically set a 60 minute time limit on bashing my head against bugs. Actually, you'd be amazed how well that works--"uh oh, 10 minutes to, gotta find the bug." The vast majority of the time, I find the problem just when the time expires. I should try 15 minutes. It seems there's a sub-process running that says "consume all allotted time before." Rather like copying files in Vista.
It's the break that makes a difference. Going for a midnight swim, watching Deadliest Catch, reading a story to your kid/grandkid, eating Swiss Rolls, anything to take your mind away for a few minutes allows you to reset. Then either during the break or when you start again you think about the problem a little differently. Sometimes you have to take two or three breaks to get it right. I usually don't start on a hard project until I have had several days to just think about it while I am doing other things.
SS => Qualified in Submarines
"We sleep soundly in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm". Winston Churchill
"Real programmers can write FORTRAN in any language". Unknown
Absolutely! I take my two doggies for a walk every morning, rain or shine. It's a great way to start the day and invariably, if I have some problem on my mind, be it technical or personal, by the time my 45 minute jaunt with the girls is over I have everything resolved in my mind. So.... get yourself a dog
I think it might have had something to do with the sleep. I heard somewhere that your brain works better after even a 10 minute nap. Thomas Edison used to write a problem on a pad and lay down on the couch with something in his hand that would make noise when it hit the floor. This would wake him up and he would grab the pad and look at the problem anew. He claimed to have solved more problems this way. I notice it too as I solve problems immediately after I fall asleep in my cube...
Do not do what has already been done.
Absolute power corrupts absolutely.. but it ROCKS absolutely, too.