Command Line

A blog and podcast exploring the rough edges where society, public policy and computers meet.

Selected Essays

Here is a listing of selected essays by authors I respect and enjoy and why I recommend them.


  • In the Beginning was the Command Line, by Neal Stephenson
    Do I really need to explain this one? Seriously, if you read this, you’ll understand the title of this site and the podcast a bit better.
  • The Law of Leaky Abstractions, by Joel Spolsky
    A compelling explanation why the experienced software programmer needs to keep expanding his/her knowledge base.
  • The Programmers Stone
    Not sure the origin of this series of essays, despite the thin introduction. Regardless, an interesting piece focused more on the psychology and sociology of the practice of programming.
  • How to Give and Receive Criticism, by Scott Berkun
    Criticism is important to professional growth, avoiding criticism eliminates a rich and healthy source of stimulus.
  • Teach Yourself Programming in Ten Years, by Peter Norvig
    I’ve met just about all his recommendations, all except his recommendation on what languages to learn. May be time to finally learn Lisp.
  • Does Visual Studio Rot the Mind, by Charles Petzold
    You have to love that this is written by the author that it is. I talk about this essay in podcast #19. I think that it is as much of condemnation of Visual Studio’s flaws as perhaps some hints for other IDEs to do better by avoiding VS’s mistakes.



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