Simo Virokannas

Writings and ramblings

Category: Informative

  • Just some pointers

    Just some pointers

    The book “Machine Code for Beginners” (by Usborne, 1983) likened computer memory to a shelf or a cabinet with lots of tiny little drawers, all of which can hold just one byte of information at a time. The pictures had robots carrying the information in and out of them, on little pieces of paper. One…

  • The Information Problem

    The Information Problem

    There’s a lot of information available for software developers. On one frequently updated list of free programming books on GitHub, there are several thousand books listed for different programming languages and subjects, in almost 50 languages. And these are just free books, one list. Amazon returns over 40,000 results for the search “programming book”. Reading…

  • The Three-Axis Problem

    The Three-Axis Problem

    Generation X, Gen-Y (or millennials), Gen-Z. These are terms we use in everyday language to categorize the last three generations that form the majority of global workforce. What are they? Where did the labels come from? Why is this article amidst software development articles? First, investigating these labels, or boxes people are put in, can…

  • What is Software Salvage

    What is Software Salvage

    Summary This article describes the method for software rewrites when the original source code is unavailable – or unstable, of questionable quality or otherwise the product of a beautiful mind. Background One part of what I do is software salvage. I’ve had the joy of working on bringing life back to abandoned codebases, extend them…

  • Transference of Complexity

    Transference of Complexity

    Summary Programming languages have evolved in accessibility, complexity and readability in the past six decades. The overall internal complexity of a single software application has grown exponentially, while the amount of code lines written to achieve a specific end result has decreased. This naturally occurring transference of complexity brings about completely new kinds of problematic…

  • Google site-kit plugin for WordPress update mayhem

    I recently did a blanket update for all plug-ins for a WordPress site (good idea security-wise, bad idea, turns out, otherwise). This revealed a surprising three problems within the whole ecosystem. Here they are in descending order of importance: fixing the first makes the other two non-issues, fixing the second removes the third issue, fixing…

  • Compiling Pixar’s USD natively on Windows 11 / VS 2022

    If you’ve tried it, you’ve probably run into the endless catch-22 that is getting everything to behave when trying to compile the Universal Scene Description on a newly setup Windows machine. NOTE: if there’s any way for you to avoid this in your life, don’t look back, rejoice. Prerequisites You’ll need to install at least…

  • Out of the Box Software site is up

    The completely-renewed OOTB site is now up. You can find it either by clicking on a link in the sidebar (statement that might not be future-proof) or here: