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Comment: It Depends (Score 1) 307

On my personal machines, nothing has ever broken - they've all been Macs. My work Windows machines tend to eat hard drives, I've also had one motherboard failure, and one dead laptop power supply. And these weren't no-name cheapo machines, they were HPs, Lenovos, and so on.

Comment: Still My Favorite (Score 3, Interesting) 300

by Anonymous Codger (#49195907) Attached to: Mozilla: Following In Sun's Faltering Footsteps?

Firefox is still my favorite Windows browser. IE still sucks, and Chrome chews up so much memory that it is useless after a few hours. On Mac, I prefer Safari, although I keep Firefox around for those rare sites that don't support Safari.

So I think they're still doing a good job on the desktop/laptop browser market. I just hope that their struggles in the mobile market don't impact the desktop.

Comment: Not need, but useful (Score 1) 307

by Anonymous Codger (#48923943) Attached to: The iPad Is 5 Years Old This Week, But You Still Don't Need One

I have a 4th generation iPad, and I recently bought my first smart phone, an iPhone 6 Plus. The iPhone is a great device, I'm really glad to have it. But it's not as usable as the iPad. Mobile versions of web sites are usually less useful than desktop versions, and if I request the desktop version of a site on the iPhone, it's usually too small to read without a lot of panning and zooming. Reading things like books and magazines on the iPhone is also problematic.

The iPhone's only advantages over the iPad are (1) more portable, and (2) it's a phone. If I'm at home, I reach for the iPad for looking things up or sending emails. If I'm out, the iPhone is perfectly adequate, but not as pleasant for some tasks - but it's always with me. It's good to have both.

Comment: C++ puts you at an advantage (Score 1) 149

by Anonymous Codger (#46249099) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Options For Ongoing Education?

If you know C++, you have the fundamentals and then some. Picking up Java, C#, etc. will be something you can do in your spare time over a couple of weeks. I know, because I was hired as a Java programmer on the strength of my C++ experience, in spite of having written only one tiny Java class. I read an ebook and was productive immediately. Granted, it took a lot longer to learn all the rest of the ecosystem, like HTTP and all the godzillions of available libraries, but it wasn't hard.

Comment: OOO First... (Score 1) 387

by Anonymous Codger (#46034669) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: It's 2014 -- Which New Technologies Should I Learn?

Learn object oriented programming, using Java or C++. That will give you a strong basis for almost anything else you want to do (I used to be a C++ programmer, and was hired as a Java programmer in spite of having no Java experience, on the strength of the C++).

if you want to do web stuff, learn a little HTML and CSS - you don't need to become an expert because most companies have people who specialize in HTML and CSS. You just need the basics so you can understand and modify pages. Also get familiar with HTTP.

Then Javascript, followed by some back-end language(s). Start with Java and/or PHP.

Most professional-grade sites are built on CMS's. Drupal is quite popular. Learn that with PHP and you should have a leg up.

Be prepared to keep learning new technologies constantly. Things are changing quickly, and even if you establish yourself as a PHP or Java programmer, new libraries are always popping up that you'll need to learn.

The meat is rotten, but the booze is holding out. Computer translation of "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak."