I’m a big fan of Twitter and have gradually over the years amassed a small but eclectic group of people who I follow or follow me. Some have impressive knowledge of antique and modern computer systems and equally impressive beards (yes, @PeterOnion, I’m talking about you). Others, in the words of the legend Stephen Fry, are simply Quite Interesting.
Needless to say Twitter is my first port of call in the morning whilst sat at my desk, drinking coffee and getting ready to debug yesterdays work.
One follower in particular has stood out from the crowd this week and has managed to optimise my mornings by posting me a mug. Not just any mug, but a programmers mug, which arrived with aplomb this morning.
Let’s start by reviewing the basics. The mug itself is a good size and weight. It’s the perfect size for a slow coffee drinker; large enough to satisfy a morning thirst yet not so large that you are left with cold dregs. Initial tests indicate that the mug is microwave-proof and the quality glazing should ensure that it survives the dishwasher.
But this is not just about the mug. It’s about the design on the mug. How often have you had to look up an ASCII code on the Internet, or struggled to remember what resolution an XGA graphics card runs at? My memory at best is not brilliant; frankly first thing in the morning I can barely remember my name.
The “Debug-U-Mug” is the perfect solution, providing a ready reference for most common programming enquiries.
The bulk of the mug is taken up with a hex/decimal/binary lookup table, including ASCII characters up to 0x7F. In the spirit of helpfulness it also includes an RGB colour lookup table, some common trig tables and equations, the size and range of common C/C++ integer types, debugger shortcut key operations and much more. Helpfully it contains a bright panel with the warning “HOT LIQUID!” and instructions to reference the mug when empty. Clearly Jon understands the level of awareness my body has pre-coffee. Hopefully my lap will remain dry and scald-free.
I’m sure if the ancient Egyptians had been as good as they are cracked up to be they would have delivered the Rosetta Stone in this format.
My only niggle is that the print is a little on the small side; my eyesight is not what it used to be. That notwithstanding I would not like a “large print” edition; I prefer the density of information on the mug and I’m not sure my pride would stand for it.
This mug has now taken pride of place on my desk at work. If you are a developer or are looking for a quirky Christmas gift whilst boycotting Amazon then head over to Jon’s website.