"This story was told to me by Jon Miller (UNIX sysadmin) in the
first person. It has stuck with me as an excellent illustration of the power
of simplicity and the devil that is the human tendency toward
The very thing happened to me. I was really overloaded that semester, taking OOP (Object Oriented Programming), OS (operating systems) and SE (Software Engineering) with two other courses. Needless to say, I had very little time. In the OOP class, we had to write a robot that would compete in a game called RoboWars. My roommate was an extremely hard worker, and put in a great number of hours in those projects. He always managed to finish a week early than the due date, and then would sit optimizing the code. When it came time to compete in the game, he spent a week optimizing the robot and all. I barely had time to finish the project or optimize it.
When it came time to load the robots, well, my roommates would not load. My robot finished 3rd. Heh. Thankfully for my roommate the game itself was meant for extra credit so he did'nt lose out, and I got the extra credit :)