Monday, January 19, 2009

"Matt Ball on Technology" is now "Heisencoder"

Short story: I've changed the name and URL of this blog from "Matt Ball on Technology" ( to "Heisencoder" (, and have updated the theme to better accommodate posting source code.

Long story:
As of last November, I started working at Sun Microsystems as a full time employee and have basically stopped my year-long consulting work with my company M.V. Ball Technical Consulting (MVBallTech). This blog was previously hosted on the domain to increase MVBallTech's visibility, but now that I'm no longer trying to build this company, I've decided to choose a name that's more concise, and pick a more memorable domain.

The name 'Heisencoder' came to me while I was trying to think of a name that concisely and uniquely described the focus of this blog (programming and cryptography). My criteria came to me while listening to the StackOverflow podcast #37, where Jeff and Joel described how they came up with the name StackOverflow, and how they wanted to have another contest to name their new IT-centric spin-off. "StackOverflow" was picked because programmers know exactly what it means (i.e., a buffer overflow off the execution stack), but it has some meaning to the common person (i.e., it sounds like maybe there's a stack of papers on a desk that is overflowing...).

I tried to keep this in mind when I created Heisencoder. The term "Heisencoder" is a concatenation of Heisenberg (as in the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle) and coder, as in one who writes code. (The name can also read as Heis-encoder, sounding somewhat like something that performs cryptographic encoding.) The name is also a little bit of a play on the term "Heisenbug", which means a computer bug that changes when a programmer attempts to monitor the bug (typically by adding in extra debugging code). The act of monitoring the bug changes the bug itself.

I'll leave it to the readers to think of clever meanings for "Heisencoder". The more self-deprecating, the better.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.