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Podcast 067

[Opening credits]


Atwood:    This is Jeff.

Spolsky:    Hi it's Michelle from Stickers R Us.

Atwood:    Did you get the stickers?

Spolsky:    You ordered 950 million stickers of Superuser, Howto...

Atwood:    Did you guys already get them?

Spolsky:    Yes. No, we got about ten of each.

Atwood:    That was just a sampler. The actual boxes of all the 10000 stickers minus some I took to have here should be arriving this week sometime. 

Spolsky:    Cool.

Atwood:    And since you brought it up, actually, let's talk about our fulfilment plan. So I think what we're going with...

Spolsky:    Badabom.

Atwood:    is, based on our previous discussion, is the self-addressed stamped envelope...

Spolsky:    to Zoom! [sings] Box 350, Boston, Mass., 02134

Atwood:    But it made more sense to do this from Fog Creek because you have more of an actual...

Spolsky:    Because Zoom doesn't even exist anymore. [laughs]

Atwood:    Hey, Zoom doesn't exist! [laughs] You guys have an actual office, I just have, pretty much, my house.

Spolsky:    Yeah.

Atwood:    So this way they can go to Fog Creek and, you know, your armies of unpaid interns can spend all summer stuffing envelopes. Now, one thing I'm unclear about though is...

Spolsky:    It's not going to take all summer to stuff the envelopes.

Atwood:    No, it doesn't take that long...

Spolsky:    First of all, nobody wants these stupid stickers, Jeff! It's all a figment of your imagination.

Atwood:    Oh, that's where you're wrong, my friend. We're going to move to a sticker-based economy.

Spolsky:    Yeah, and...

Atwood:    That'll be the currency.

Spolsky:    How many stickers do they get when they send us an envelope, to, by the way, Fog Creek Software, 25th Floor, 55 Broadway, New York, New York, 10006. That's the address.

Atwood:    I would imagine, since it's just a self-addressed, stamped envelope thing, probably one of each.

Spolsky:    One of each, so they get four.

Atwood:    Yeah, well three. No, they get three.

Spolsky:    So they don't get a HowtoGeek sticker?

Atwood:    No I sent those directly to HowtoGeek because I figured he would have plans for those.

Spolsky:    He's gonna use them to build an extra room in his house.

Atwood:    Yeah.

Spolsky:    Just slap 'em all together and make dry wall.

Atwood:    So you'll get one of each kind, you'll get three stickers. Now one thing I'm unclear about, though, what about international readers.

Spolsky:    Well, I'm going to translate those stickers so we have Serverfault becomes Djeuveujyeijeij.

Atwood:    That's great. No what I mean is, how are they going to get a stamped addressed envelope in US postage?

Spolsky:    Aha, that is a good question. There is a thing called an International Postal Reply Coupon that you can buy at your post office. And you send us one of those. You buy it at your post office and you send us one of those. And in fact you should probably send us two or three because that's not for air mail. And they're sold at every post office in the world and we'll wind up with a big pile of those and we'll take them to our post office and they'll give us a bunch of stacks, uh, stamps. Stamps, yes.

Atwood:    I'm not sure that I fully understood what you just said.

Spolsky:   There's a thing called an International Postal Reply Coupon for this exact purpose.

Atwood:    OK.

Spolsky:    I think it's green, it's a little piece of paper about two inches by three inches and you buy it at the post office in your country for the price of one stamp.

Atwood:    I see.

Spolsky:    So you go to the post office and you say "I need an International Business Reply Coupon", an International Postage Reply Coupon, and they sell you one of these things in your local currency for whatever an international letter costs in your country.

Atwood:    Could they also send, and I know this is kinda frowned upon...

Spolsky:    You could send us a dollar bill, taped to a three by five card.

Atwood:    That would probably work, and I guess if they send us dollar we'll give them one or two more stickers because that's a little bit more than the actual postage. Actually, no, that's not true. For an international stamp, it's almost exactly one dollar. So that does work out because it's ninety-eight cents.

Spolsky:    It is? Really? Wow.

Atwood:    That's the current rate.

Spolsky:    Darn, that's gone up a lot.

Atwood:    Well, mail's gotten really expensive.

Spolsky:    Yeah. So drop in an American one dollar bill, or...

Atwood:    Get the coupons.

Spolsky:    Or one dollar in whatever your local currency is, because that'll be fun, we'll have a big old collection of different international currencies here. So that would be like nine million Zimbabwean Rands, or whatever they are, what they have in Zimbabwe.

Atwood:    I see.

Spolsky:    Zimbab... Zimbabwean... Can we start over?

Atwood:    No, no no no, we're going to keep going, this is good! This is the plan!

Spolsky:    Keep ploughing through. All right. So if you want your stickers - we don't have 'em yet, but we will shortly have them delivered to our office, I believe - and so you send a, you take an envelope and you write on it, your name and address and put a stamp in the upper-right hand corner. And if you can't buy an american stamp, you get either a postage reply coupon or about a buck. And you put all that in an envelope, send it to Fog Creek Software, 55 Broadway, 25th floor, New York, New York, 10006.

Atwood:    Yes.

Spolsky:    Then, you take a, um, Jeep Wrangler. The four-door edition, not the two-door edition, registered to Joel Spolsky. Put that on a truck and send it over to my house.

Atwood:    I don't think you could really use that in New York City, could you?

Spolsky:    Um, sure!

Atwood:    Hey, so that covers stickers, which is good, because I'm a big believer in stickers, even though you mock them.

Spolsky:    Stickers. List. Checked. Done.

Atwood:    Yes.

Spolsky:     Got it. Are you kidding? I can't see half my screen because of all the stickers I put on there.

Atwood:    [laughs]

Spolsky:    I'm not mocking.

Atwood:    You need some room for Solitaire, or whatever you run. So we had some pointed criticism actually the last podcast, and there was some repetition. I know you said that some repetition is okay, but apparently the last podcast was the high water-mark for repetition.


Spolsky:    In the last podcast?

Atwood:    I don't want to name any names, but it was you.

Spolsky:    Well, tell me what it is so we can repeat it one more time. That's gonna happen dude, this is like, this is like radio. This is not like every episode is a standalone, carefully designed essay, and perfection. You know, this is like, you know I got my spiels and you push the 'whatever' button and then spiel number 26 comes out.

Atwood:    You know my problem is I don't fully listen to you, so I don't actually even know when you're repeating yourself, 'cos I probably didn't hear it the first time. That's my little joke. Because I don't listen! [laughs] I'm not a good judge of when you're actually repeating yourself, so it's hard for me to, uh...

Spolsky:    All right, so let's not repeat the re-repetition repeat, let's just, let's just let that sleeping dog lie, rather than making it worse, by repeating it a third time.

Atwood:    [laughs]

Spolsky:    It's all about I have no ability to make new memories in my old age.

Atwood:    Well you have some good stories, but I think you gotta make sure you stock up on the stories. This is the problem with story-based story telling. I mean, you're actually the master, I don't really do story-based stuff, you do that. But I think the downside of the story-based stuff is, you know, you have to go back to the well.

Spolsky:    I need to just stop writing and telling stories.

Atwood:    Well, you just gotta keep having new stories.

Spolsky:    That's not possible. Things don't happen to me fast enough.

Atwood:    That's why I think you should re-enlist in the Israeli Army. 

Spolsky:    [laughs]

Atwood:    That was the really fertile period of stories from Joel. The Israeli Army stuff was awesome.



Spolsky:   Jeff...are you there? Hello? Yes? I'm not picking up your mic on the recording....Oh, alright. Did you try restarting?

Atwood:    Can you hear me now?

Spolsky:    Yup...I had-

Atwood:    The wire was loose. I was-

Spolsky:    Oh. Did you use SuperUser to troubleshoot it? Hehe.

Atwood:    Yeah. I was waiting on some responses when I noticed that I had kicked this little box-thing, and it came loose.

Spolsky:    Ah, alright. Leave the question opened, I'll up-vote you. Free-rep.

Atwood: Thanks man. Hows life?

Spolsky: Good, good. You know pwning nubs as usual.

Atwood: Have we talked about my hair yet? I feel like we should.

Spolsky: Why? Is the Rogaine not working for you anymore?


Atwood: Isn't... That seems like a really bad idea. Because isn't, like, cache-invalidation considered, like, one of the hardest problems in computer science, like, just figuring out if your cache is valid or not?
Last Modified: 10/5/2009 7:54 PM

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