A tech incubator comes to The Bronx

What is that building?

Every day as I drive home from work, I pass a rather non-descript old factory building by the side of the Bruckner Expressway.  Last fall, I noticed that it was getting spruced up.  New windows, fresh bright yellow paint on the fire escapes, that sort of thing.  I wondered what was going on, but it was only this afternoon that I discovered what was up.


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It turns out this is a landmarked building, built by the American Bank Note Company in 1909 as a printing plant.  After being unused for years, it is ...

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Test Happens

As the saying goes, test happens. Sometimes it happens because the developer writes and runs the tests at the same time he's writing the code. When this happens, bugs get found quickly. And they fixed quickly, when it's cheap and easy. Life is good.

Sometimes, it happens when the code gets thrown over the wall to the QA department. This might be a few days later. In some shops, it might be weeks or months later. By that time, the developer who wrote the bug has probably forgotten everything about the code and has to spend time getting ...

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The Early Years

The first computer I ever programmed was a HP-9810 programmable desktop calculator. It must have been 1975 when I first got to use it. It weighed 34 lbs, had a stack-based architecture, and perhaps 4 KB of memory when fully tricked out with the optional expansion module. The math department at my high school had one. We also had access to a time-share system running BASIC, accessed via an ASR-33 over a 110-bps leased phone line.

In 1976, I had the good fortune to spend part of the summer between my junior and senior years of high school at Stevens ...

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