Remember Martin: Least Recently Used Rule for buffer overflow

Just finished Algorithms to live by. Lots of amazing principals in there which my nerd brain geeked out about. Of particular interest is the Least Recently Used Algorithm.

Turns out I have been using this all along to manage my closets and sort my to do lists of “someday” tasks. The term comes from computer buffer (cache) management. There is a limited amount of fast cache memory in a computer. To manage what is close at hand in this fast memory, the computer needs an algorithm for what to keep and what to replace. Turns out Least Recently Used is the best to get rid of when a choice has to be made. Get rid of the least recently used thing. Same with clothes. This is much better than a static algorithm that says something like “if it is more than x years old”. I also use this for “someday” to do list entries. When I put something on the to do list if when going through it again, the ones i have not considered or remembered recently get thrown off. Regardless of the length of time they have been there.

Published by


I ride my bike, surf, develop great software products, develop real estate and invest in great ideas.

Leave a Reply