street cleaning! all cars on the even side will be tagged and towed. street cleaning!tool

(5 comments)
June 15, 2008

Once upon a time, Douglas Adams wrote
[Ford Prefect] started to count to ten. He was desperately worried that one day sentient life forms would forget how to do this. Only by counting could humans demonstrate their independence of computers.
In my absolute lack of struggle to prevent this, and to make the whole Google is Making Us Dumber crowd cluck their tongues, and to also remind me what side of the street I need to park on on Mondays to avoid getting towed because of street cleaning, I made a webpage that I can quickly consult on my iPhone that says the following:
The fact is the course of action to be derived from the rule "April through November, avoid parking on the left on the first and third Mondays, and avoid parking on the right on the second and fourth Mondays" is not always immediately obvious... What's today's date? How long 'til the next Monday? Which Monday of the month is that? Which side is which again? Trying to calculate that in your head on a narrow one way street, possibly blocking cars behind you, with the relevant No Parking signs at various levels of visibility... I'd rather be able to press 2 buttons and get a clearly worded answer.

I thought about making a UI for this, to let people enter and store their own parking restrictions, but meh, unless there's a sudden clamor for it, which I doubt. (If someone else would find it useful I'd be delighted to host a customized page for them that they can bookmark for rapid consultation!)

(If I had a mac setup to synch with my iPhone I would try and make a "bookmarklet" out of this code, thus not needing any connectivity at all.)

Actually, going back to the Douglas Adams wikiquote page to find the wording of the thing about counting to ten, I may have found an even more appropriate quote:
I am rarely happier than when spending an entire day programming my computer to perform automatically a task that it would otherwise take me a good ten seconds to do by hand.
Computers: they think so we don't have to!