Sometimes a hack is the right tool to use.

Before we go much further, please take a moment to read (at the very least) the definition of a hacker on this web site here…… (I will wait for you, really I will).


Ok, to answer your question, yes. I consider myself a bit of a hacker…. “Someone who is good at what he does with computers is a hacker”. Like it or not, I fall into that camp.
The point of this blog is also to talk briefly about how sometimes, using a hacker (me) to write a software hack (what I did in PHP with Google’s help this week) is the right thing to do.

I am all about using the right tool for the job. Just ask Gary (ok, perhaps not), while he was over here we had extensive, long (pointless and conclusionless) discussions about whether Windows or Linux is best. My stance then, and now, is thus; it’s a matter of using the right tool for the job.
Zim asked me the other day if my new computer would be a Mac or not.
You can read my answer by following that link, but I will repeat it here….. I firmly believe in using the right tool for the job. There are some things that Windows is really good at, some things that Linux is really good at and some things that a Mac is really good at. Why in the world would I use a sledgehammer to clean my teeth??? Perhaps you can get a Mac to host a web site, run a weather station, control Opto and host a blog, but, woza, it sounds like a tough way to go about it.

There are lots of talented engineers here at Opto, all of them real programmers, so why in the world were Google and I mashing together some PHP code to massage some data?
A few reasons; it had to be done quick. Doing something right is not always fast.
It only had to demo the concept, not be a bullet proof production version.
I was already up to speed on the project.
The engineers are working on things that will make the company money, I am able to spend the time to hack something together for a trial that may or may not make us money.

So, what in the world has all this got to do with someone sitting in say, Perth Australia? (Hi Gina).
Well, I picked up this link via Twitter from my friend Jason. Its very short article about finishing projects. It perfectly describes both my programming efforts and some of my 365 Project photos…… Some times you just have to hack something together to get the job done and nothing more.
We can often get too hung up on our big and small projects, spending time making them perfect, when really, we just need to get them done.

Sometimes, a hack(er) is the right tool to use.