Recent Best of…

Our "best" articles of years past.

Dec 2022

Best of 2022: Special Validation

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Ah, password validation, how can that possibly go wrong? Original --Remy

Wireless Router (50841204223)

Ah, routers. The one piece of networking hardware that seems inescapable; even the most tech-illiterate among us needs to interface with their router at least once, to set up their home network so they can access the internet. Router technology has changed a lot over the years, including how you interface with the admin portal: instead of having to navigate to a specific IP address, some of them have you navigate to a URL that is intercepted by the router and redirected to the admin interface, making it easier for laymen to recall. But routers have their share of odd problems. I recently had to buy a new one because the one I was using was incompatible with my company's VPN for cryptic reasons even helpdesk had no real understanding of.

Best of 2022: Padded Mailers

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Managing whitespace is one of those things that feels harder than it should be. It gets even harder when you do it wrong… Original. --Remy

Veteran developer and frequent contributor, Argle, once worked for a company which handled shipping. On April 3rd, 1988, a C function which used to work stopped working. What's so special about April 3rd of that year? Why, that's when the United States Post Office changed their rates.

The post office changed their rates on a fairly regular cadence, of course. The previous change had been in 1985. Thus the developers had planned ahead, and decided that they wanted to make the rates easy to change. Now, this was mid-80s C code, so they weren't quite thinking in terms like "store it in a database", but instead took what felt like the path of least resistance: they created a lookup table. The function accepted the weight of a piece of postage, checked it against a lookup table, and returned the shipping price.

Best of 2022: Crappy Wiring

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The Daily WTF would like to take this chance to remind you: wash your hands. Original. --Remy

Ellen had just finished washing her hands when her phone buzzed. It vibrated itself off the sink, so there was a clumsy moment when it clattered to the restroom floor, and Ellen tried to pick it up with wet hands.

After retrieving it and having another round of hand washing, Ellen read the alert: the UPS was in overload.

Best of 2022: The Biased Bug

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As per usual, we're looking back at some of the best articles of the year. This one's so good, we need to quote it twice. Original --Remy

2018-09-22 Royal typewriter keyboard

Back in the 90s, Steve was the head (i.e. only) programmer and CEO of a small company. His pride and joy was a software package employed by many large businesses. One day, a client of Steve's named Winston called him concerning a critical, show-stopping bug.