0801: "Golden Hammer"

This forum is for the individual discussion thread that goes with each new comic.

Moderators: Moderators General, Prelates, Magistrates

Polaris75
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Mar 07, 2007 3:53 pm UTC

Re: "Golden Hammer" discussion (#801)

Postby Polaris75 » Mon Oct 04, 2010 1:34 pm UTC

The Java-rant portion makes me think of Blu-ray.

CodexDraco
Posts: 19
Joined: Fri Sep 24, 2010 1:37 pm UTC

Re: "Golden Hammer" discussion (#801)

Postby CodexDraco » Mon Oct 04, 2010 2:13 pm UTC

If there's a processor commercially available, then there's a C compiler for it. It would make more sense to train the devs to use C, but since they are Java developers, they wouldn't be good C developers.

desetgled
Posts: 14
Joined: Wed Dec 09, 2009 2:32 pm UTC

Re: "Golden Hammer" discussion (#801)

Postby desetgled » Mon Oct 04, 2010 2:19 pm UTC

Of course, the flipside to the Golden Hammer problem is when developers feel like they always need to come up with a new flashy gimmick to solve a problem instead of using the myriad of tools already at their disposal.

Sometimes a nail is just a nail.

jakster
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Aug 18, 2010 12:55 pm UTC

Re: "Golden Hammer" discussion (#801)

Postby jakster » Mon Oct 04, 2010 2:29 pm UTC

This made me think about realtime java

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Real_time_Java

User avatar
BrewBaby
Posts: 29
Joined: Thu May 24, 2007 6:42 pm UTC

Re: "Golden Hammer" discussion (#801)

Postby BrewBaby » Mon Oct 04, 2010 2:47 pm UTC

For the obligatory "Get out of my head, Randall" of the thread... I came over to xkcd today while waiting for the JDK to install on my spanking new, university-paid-for laptop.

And as for the jokes. Yep - I'm guilty of the heinous crime of using Excel as a database, I have an idiosyncratic way with vodka and bolt croppers and I didn't know who Wolf Blitzer was though and on starting to google him, decided I couldn't care less. I'm more of a Zeinab Badawi kinda guy.
By appointment to the Royal Danish Court.

bobbeathome
Posts: 27
Joined: Sat Aug 01, 2009 12:14 am UTC

Re: "Golden Hammer" discussion (#801)

Postby bobbeathome » Mon Oct 04, 2010 3:09 pm UTC

exh wrote:I use the Law Of The Instrument all the time, when it's the only rule you can remember everything looks like a Golden Hammer.


This is the funniest thing in the world.

bobbbbbbby1234
Posts: 10
Joined: Fri Dec 18, 2009 12:31 pm UTC

Re: "Golden Hammer" discussion (#801)

Postby bobbbbbbby1234 » Mon Oct 04, 2010 3:17 pm UTC

So basically nobody gets the entire joke....

User avatar
Nyerguds
Posts: 62
Joined: Mon Aug 27, 2007 7:43 am UTC

Re: "Golden Hammer" discussion (#801)

Postby Nyerguds » Mon Oct 04, 2010 3:32 pm UTC

I get it... just the 'golden' hammer threw me off. It's pretty clearly not in any way a comment about Java itself, just a general comment on how people go through far too much effort just to use toolset/programming language they're familiar with.

And then there's Black Hat Guy and property damage :P

truth vs sanity
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Oct 04, 2010 3:48 pm UTC

Re: "Golden Hammer" discussion (#801)

Postby truth vs sanity » Mon Oct 04, 2010 3:56 pm UTC

I might be able to shed some light on the Wolf Blitzer connection. Apparently there was a recent scandal involving CNN reporter Abbie Boudreau, her somewhat hostile interviewee James O'Keefe, and his boat. I would provide a link, but don't want to violate TOS on my first xkcd forum post ever. This should be enough information to allow anyone to find relevant articles.

User avatar
neoliminal
Posts: 626
Joined: Wed Feb 18, 2009 6:39 pm UTC

Re: "Golden Hammer" discussion (#801)

Postby neoliminal » Mon Oct 04, 2010 4:02 pm UTC

I believe Java has patented the Golden Hammer(tm).
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0073YYXRC
Read My Book. Cost less than coffee. Will probably keep you awake longer.
[hint, scary!]

bobbbbbbby1234
Posts: 10
Joined: Fri Dec 18, 2009 12:31 pm UTC

Re: "Golden Hammer" discussion (#801)

Postby bobbbbbbby1234 » Mon Oct 04, 2010 4:03 pm UTC

Nyerguds wrote:I get it... just the 'golden' hammer threw me off. It's pretty clearly not in any way a comment about Java itself, just a general comment on how people go through far too much effort just to use toolset/programming language they're familiar with.

And then there's Black Hat Guy and property damage :P


So what's the Wolf Blitzer boathouse thing all about?

pennypyro
Posts: 11
Joined: Tue Aug 10, 2010 3:59 pm UTC

Re: "Golden Hammer" discussion (#801)

Postby pennypyro » Mon Oct 04, 2010 4:15 pm UTC

dear maxh:

now "Maxwell's Silver Hammer" is stuck in my head. heheh.

pennypyro
Posts: 11
Joined: Tue Aug 10, 2010 3:59 pm UTC

Re: "Golden Hammer" discussion (#801)

Postby pennypyro » Mon Oct 04, 2010 4:20 pm UTC

Personally, I feel that BHG would prefer a silver hammer.


now "Maxwell's Silver Hammer" is stuck in my head. heheh.

User avatar
DorkRawk
Posts: 51
Joined: Thu Mar 08, 2007 6:50 am UTC
Location: Chicago
Contact:

Re: "Golden Hammer" discussion (#801)

Postby DorkRawk » Mon Oct 04, 2010 4:25 pm UTC

Guys... this comic is pretty funny if you just don't try to over think it. It basically goes like this...

"Man, it's really frustrating when people use the wrong tool for a job, just because it's the only tool they know how to use."

"That's great, I broke into some guy's boathouse last night!"

or more simply:

nerdy reference/social commentary -> non sequitur

User avatar
SirMustapha
Posts: 1302
Joined: Mon Jul 21, 2008 6:07 pm UTC

Re: "Golden Hammer" discussion (#801)

Postby SirMustapha » Mon Oct 04, 2010 4:48 pm UTC

DorkRawk wrote:Guys... this comic is pretty funny if you just don't try to over think it. It basically goes like this...

"Man, it's really frustrating when people use the wrong tool for a job, just because it's the only tool they know how to use."

"That's great, I broke into some guy's boathouse last night!"

or more simply:

nerdy reference/social commentary -> non sequitur


I.e. Guys, this comic is pretty funny when you realise it's a piece of shit.

M_in_MN
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Sep 21, 2010 1:03 pm UTC

Re: "Golden Hammer" discussion (#801)

Postby M_in_MN » Mon Oct 04, 2010 4:55 pm UTC

My own guess is that Mr. Munroe is spending the day graphing the number of Google searches for "Wolf Blitzer + boathouse" vs. number of XKCD hits.

User avatar
adaviel
Posts: 41
Joined: Wed Jan 14, 2009 5:30 pm UTC
Location: Vancouver Canada
Contact:

Re: "Golden Hammer" discussion (#801)

Postby adaviel » Mon Oct 04, 2010 4:57 pm UTC

arbivark wrote:Actually, gold, with twice the density of lead, would make a kick ass-hammer or blackjack.

Gold is too soft to make a good hammer. So is lead. Depleted uranium I believe is much harder, if you can get it , and nearly as dense. http://environmentalchemistry.com/yogi/periodic/U.html (Young's Modulus)

User avatar
Pinktits
Posts: 28
Joined: Sun Oct 03, 2010 11:46 pm UTC
Location: NYC

Re: "Golden Hammer" discussion (#801)

Postby Pinktits » Mon Oct 04, 2010 5:12 pm UTC

SirMustapha wrote:I.e. Guys, this comic is pretty funny when you realise it's a piece of shit.


Lowered expectations make the world a better place.

Tobu
Posts: 22
Joined: Mon Aug 10, 2009 10:09 pm UTC

Re: "Golden Hammer" discussion (#801)

Postby Tobu » Mon Oct 04, 2010 5:25 pm UTC

I don't recognize what stick-guy is tinkering with on the second panel. What runs 20 lines of Java and looks like a big button from the side?

User avatar
mikekearn
Posts: 128
Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 9:34 am UTC
Location: El Cajon, CA, USA
Contact:

Re: "Golden Hammer" discussion (#801)

Postby mikekearn » Mon Oct 04, 2010 5:59 pm UTC

snowyowl wrote:
mikekearn wrote:With creative repurposing, damn near any tool can be used for any job. If all you have is a hammer, then by god, use the hell out of that hammer.

Tonight on [<reality tv show>, Mikekearn attempts to seal a core breach in a nuclear reactor, perform quadruple bypass surgery, and program a TI-82 calculator to accept Java - using a hammer.

*grabs popcorn*

Step 1. Threaten someone more competent than me with hammer.
Step 2. Force them to fix everything.
Step 3. ???
Step 4. Profit!

You just have to think outside the box on these things.
"I will not succumb to temptation. Unless she's cute."

This is a haiku.
It has correct number of
Syllables. I think.

Visit the orphateria.

User avatar
weex
Posts: 87
Joined: Wed Oct 29, 2008 5:50 am UTC

Re: "Golden Hammer" discussion (#801)

Postby weex » Mon Oct 04, 2010 7:51 pm UTC

Tobu wrote:I don't recognize what stick-guy is tinkering with on the second panel. What runs 20 lines of Java and looks like a big button from the side?

My question as well though there are a couple of devices there that it would be interesting to identify.
Salvador Dali wrote:Those who do not want to imitate anything, produce nothing.

Simple Pen Art, now with an Archive page.

User avatar
Tyrannosaur
Posts: 107
Joined: Thu Sep 02, 2010 5:39 am UTC

Re: "Golden Hammer" discussion (#801)

Postby Tyrannosaur » Mon Oct 04, 2010 8:25 pm UTC

adaviel wrote:
arbivark wrote:Actually, gold, with twice the density of lead, would make a kick ass-hammer or blackjack.

Gold is too soft to make a good hammer. So is lead. Depleted uranium I believe is much harder, if you can get it , and nearly as dense. http://environmentalchemistry.com/yogi/periodic/U.html (Young's Modulus)


OOO that would be good.
Oh wow. forget that pair of bolt cutters. I want a depleted uranium hammer now...
djessop wrote:The t-shirt should read "There are 11 types of people in the world, those who understand binary, those who don't and those who insist the number above is pronounced as eleven no matter what base you're in".

Skid
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Mar 08, 2010 5:34 am UTC

Re: "Golden Hammer" discussion (#801)

Postby Skid » Mon Oct 04, 2010 8:30 pm UTC

Black hat guy is applying a modified version of the "if all you have is a hammer everything is AWESOME!!!" saying.

What he was up to last night probably involved drinking the vodka and then trying to find some rich guy's boathouse to steal the boat while intoxicated. Which would also explain why they were unable to salvage the boat after he was done with it.

stillyslalom
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Feb 05, 2010 6:42 am UTC

Re: "Golden Hammer" discussion (#801)

Postby stillyslalom » Mon Oct 04, 2010 9:04 pm UTC

weex wrote:
Tobu wrote:I don't recognize what stick-guy is tinkering with on the second panel. What runs 20 lines of Java and looks like a big button from the side?

My question as well though there are a couple of devices there that it would be interesting to identify.


I may have an answer:

http://lejos.sourceforge.net/

The Lego Mindstorm processor used for Lego Robotics can have a Java platform crammed onto its 32 kilobytes of RAM, and has been used to create a piano-playing robot, a bomb detector, a baggage identifier, and hosts of other random projects.
It isn't as if that's what Randall intended for it to refer to, but it fits.

manu
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Oct 04, 2010 9:07 pm UTC

Re: "Golden Hammer" discussion (#801)

Postby manu » Mon Oct 04, 2010 9:16 pm UTC

Possibly the hardware is this http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PicoJava. It (clams) to speed byte code execution by 20 times, maybe this is a reference to the 20 lines of code?

User avatar
arbivark
Posts: 531
Joined: Wed May 23, 2007 5:29 am UTC

Re: "Golden Hammer" discussion (#801)

Postby arbivark » Mon Oct 04, 2010 9:52 pm UTC

gold is inert. i dont think you want little flakes of depleted uranium around your workbench.
and in the interest of brevity i'd left out the part about a steel jacket for your golden hammer.
it still works ok as a blackjack. i guess you could chromeplate your uranium and put it in the same steel jacket.

Image
Last edited by arbivark on Mon Oct 04, 2010 10:16 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

qazmonk
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Oct 04, 2010 9:47 pm UTC

Re: "Golden Hammer" discussion (#801)

Postby qazmonk » Mon Oct 04, 2010 9:53 pm UTC

arbivark wrote:I know the idiom "when all you have is an x, everything looks like a y"
I just never heard it called the golden hammer before.
Actually, gold, with twice the density of lead, would make a kick ass-hammer or blackjack.
When all you have is a hammer, it's hammertime!

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0800369/
http://www.reelcomix.com/2009/07/natali ... t-in-thor/


Gold is a relatively soft metal and considering the high density, basically you would end with a heavy hammer that wouldn't do much

rcox1
Posts: 112
Joined: Wed Nov 11, 2009 11:23 pm UTC

Re: "Golden Hammer" discussion (#801)

Postby rcox1 » Mon Oct 04, 2010 10:17 pm UTC

qazmonk wrote:
arbivark wrote:I know the idiom "when all you have is an x, everything looks like a y"
I just never heard it called the golden hammer before.
Actually, gold, with twice the density of lead, would make a kick ass-hammer or blackjack.
When all you have is a hammer, it's hammertime!

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0800369/
http://www.reelcomix.com/2009/07/natali ... t-in-thor/


Gold is a relatively soft metal and considering the high density, basically you would end with a heavy hammer that wouldn't do much


Exactly. Gold is for those old folks that cannot seem to move into the modern world. Today is all about the Depleted Uranium Hammer, or DUH.

In terms of using traditional nomenclature, I would have preferred the silver hammer, since we already have a 'silver bullet' mentality in software that relates well to the comic. For instance, Java was seen as the 'silver bullet' that would solve all the programming issues related to cross platform development and security over open networks, which is why it makes sense to port to all devices.

User avatar
StNowhere
Posts: 251
Joined: Tue Jun 29, 2010 7:24 am UTC

Re: "Golden Hammer" discussion (#801)

Postby StNowhere » Tue Oct 05, 2010 12:34 am UTC

rcox1 wrote:
qazmonk wrote:
arbivark wrote:I know the idiom "when all you have is an x, everything looks like a y"
I just never heard it called the golden hammer before.
Actually, gold, with twice the density of lead, would make a kick ass-hammer or blackjack.
When all you have is a hammer, it's hammertime!

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0800369/
http://www.reelcomix.com/2009/07/natali ... t-in-thor/


Gold is a relatively soft metal and considering the high density, basically you would end with a heavy hammer that wouldn't do much


Exactly. Gold is for those old folks that cannot seem to move into the modern world. Today is all about the Depleted Uranium Hammer, or DUH.

In terms of using traditional nomenclature, I would have preferred the silver hammer, since we already have a 'silver bullet' mentality in software that relates well to the comic. For instance, Java was seen as the 'silver bullet' that would solve all the programming issues related to cross platform development and security over open networks, which is why it makes sense to port to all devices.


But Maslow had to take the golden hammer, because Maxwell already has the silver one.

DanD
Posts: 335
Joined: Tue Oct 05, 2010 12:42 am UTC

Re: "Golden Hammer" discussion (#801)

Postby DanD » Tue Oct 05, 2010 12:45 am UTC

Just so everyone's aware, lead hammers are fairly common. They're used as deadblow, non-marring, non-sparking tools. Given lead's toxicity, if gold were cheap enough to stick a couple of kilos worth on the end of a hammer handle instead, it would be, by far, the first choice.

Kyrn
Posts: 937
Joined: Sat Sep 05, 2009 3:55 pm UTC
Location: The Internet

Re: "Golden Hammer" discussion (#801)

Postby Kyrn » Tue Oct 05, 2010 1:35 am UTC

mikekearn wrote:
snowyowl wrote:
mikekearn wrote:With creative repurposing, damn near any tool can be used for any job. If all you have is a hammer, then by god, use the hell out of that hammer.

Tonight on [<reality tv show>, Mikekearn attempts to seal a core breach in a nuclear reactor, perform quadruple bypass surgery, and program a TI-82 calculator to accept Java - using a hammer.

*grabs popcorn*

Step 1. Threaten someone more competent than me with hammer.
Step 2. Force them to fix everything.
Step 3. ???
Step 4. Profit!

You just have to think outside the box on these things.


Or you can bribe them with said hammer, considering it's a golden one. Think further!
I am NOT a snake.

Opinions discussed are not necessarily the opinions of the people discussing them.

User avatar
StNowhere
Posts: 251
Joined: Tue Jun 29, 2010 7:24 am UTC

Re: "Golden Hammer" discussion (#801)

Postby StNowhere » Tue Oct 05, 2010 1:55 am UTC

Kyrn wrote:Or you can bribe them with said hammer, considering it's a golden one. Think further!


That might require giving up the hammer. Unless you plan to go back on your bribe, which makes future bribes harder to get.

User avatar
SpringLoaded12
Posts: 350
Joined: Wed Oct 08, 2008 1:58 am UTC
Location: Guarding the Super Missile
Contact:

Re: "Golden Hammer" discussion (#801)

Postby SpringLoaded12 » Tue Oct 05, 2010 2:00 am UTC

Hmm... I can understand nameless stick guy's complaint, but not what single-purpose hardware he's referring to. Looks like he's holding a circuitboard of some sort, with unnecessarily long wires connecting it to his computer.

Do they need to port the JVM, or can they just port JRE? Or does one include/imply the other and I'm talking nonsense?

smartalco wrote:I'm mainly confused about how the guy's head appears to be attached to his upper arm in panel 2.

Floating heads. New here?


EDIT: Oh, forgot. I have no idea what this strip has to do with a golden hammer.
"It's easy to forget what a sin is in the middle of a battlefield." "Opposite over hypotenuse, dipshit."

User avatar
phlip
Restorer of Worlds
Posts: 7573
Joined: Sat Sep 23, 2006 3:56 am UTC
Location: Australia
Contact:

Re: "Golden Hammer" discussion (#801)

Postby phlip » Tue Oct 05, 2010 3:10 am UTC

SpringLoaded12 wrote:Do they need to port the JVM, or can they just port JRE? Or does one include/imply the other and I'm talking nonsense?

The JVM is the actual core part - the bit that takes the compiled bytecode and actually runs it on a machine. Naturally, this needs to be individually ported for each machine.

The JRE is the JVM plus all the runtime libraries... all the classes in the java.* and javax.* packages. Most of them don't need to be ported, since most of them are actually written in Java. There are some, though, like java.io.* which actually interact with the host system that would need to be ported.

The other magic acronym is the JDK, which is the JRE plus all the development tools, like the compiler, and the help docs, and whatnot. Chances are you wouldn't bother porting this... you'd just do all the compiling on your actual computer, and then just copy the compiled classes to the machine.

Code: Select all

enum ಠ_ಠ {°□°╰=1, °Д°╰, ಠ益ಠ╰};
void ┻━┻︵​╰(ಠ_ಠ ⚠) {exit((int)⚠);}
[he/him/his]

correnos
Posts: 16
Joined: Tue Sep 14, 2010 12:17 pm UTC

Re: "Golden Hammer" discussion (#801)

Postby correnos » Tue Oct 05, 2010 3:27 am UTC

So I guess there's not much point to the target being Wolf Blitzer specifically, that clears part of it up. As for the java compiler, I really do want to know which device Randall is thinking of. I wouldn't think its android, there is a large enough UI present there to warrant the porting of a JVM. Even with no other benefits of Java considered, the security benefits of a VM are pretty sweet (iPhone being jailbroken because the BROWSER runs as root? Really?) The theory of the NXT brick does sound marginally more sound; as an FLL assistant coach I can personally attest that those things have very little running under the hood.
If you're seeking the bottleneck, look at the top of the bottle.

User avatar
Stanistani
Posts: 73
Joined: Sat Jan 26, 2008 6:13 pm UTC
Contact:

Re: "Golden Hammer" discussion (#801)

Postby Stanistani » Tue Oct 05, 2010 10:07 am UTC

SirMustapha wrote:
DorkRawk wrote:Guys... this comic is pretty funny if you just don't try to over think it. It basically goes like this...

"Man, it's really frustrating when people use the wrong tool for a job, just because it's the only tool they know how to use."

"That's great, I broke into some guy's boathouse last night!"

or more simply:

nerdy reference/social commentary -> non sequitur


I.e. Guys, this comic is pretty funny when you realise it's a piece of shit.

You're funny.

flamewise
Posts: 35
Joined: Tue Oct 05, 2010 2:40 pm UTC

Re: "Golden Hammer" discussion (#801)

Postby flamewise » Tue Oct 05, 2010 2:48 pm UTC

You made me register so I could wonder two things:
- Are In-Jokes still funny if nobody else knows that Wolf Blitzer's boathouse is painted in fuchsia?
- Would a neutronium hammer be harder than a depleted uranium one, then?

dp2
Posts: 346
Joined: Wed Aug 18, 2010 3:06 pm UTC

Re: "Golden Hammer" discussion (#801)

Postby dp2 » Tue Oct 05, 2010 4:58 pm UTC

Singulaire wrote:I lol'd at panel 2 more than panel 3. While technically Java is the only programming language I know, I still find the thought of going to great lengths to use it quite pathetic.

Yup. I'm daily reminded how desperately non-software people cling to the little bit of software they do know, no matter how atrocious or how much extra work it requires.

User avatar
bmonk
Posts: 662
Joined: Thu Feb 18, 2010 10:14 pm UTC
Location: Schitzoed in the OTT between the 2100s and the late 900s. Hoping for singularity.

Re: "Golden Hammer" discussion (#801)

Postby bmonk » Tue Oct 05, 2010 7:48 pm UTC

The flop side of this principle is those languages in which no new programming is ever done--all they do is edit current programs to add a new subroutine...
Having become a Wizard on n.p. 2183, the Yellow Piggy retroactively appointed his honorable self a Temporal Wizardly Piggy on n.p.1488, not to be effective until n.p. 2183, thereby avoiding a partial temporal paradox. Since he couldn't afford two philosophical PhDs to rule on the title.

User avatar
Platypodes
Posts: 218
Joined: Mon Nov 19, 2007 8:42 am UTC
Location: On a knot on a log in a hole in the bottom of the sea

Re: "Golden Hammer" discussion (#801)

Postby Platypodes » Wed Oct 06, 2010 12:28 am UTC

I'm fond of the hammer rule myself (never heard it as "golden hammer," though). Every time I have a new tool, I catch myself wanting to use it on anything I possibly can.

I took the significance of hat guy's part to be something along these lines...

If all you have is <tool>, everything looks like <something you'd naturally use that tool on>. But if all you have is <tool> and vodka, everything looks like <something you might think was a great thing to use that tool on if you were drunk>.
videogamesizzle wrote:so, uh, seen any good arbitrary, high numbers lately?


Return to “Individual XKCD Comic Threads”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 29 guests