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Comment: Re:Uh (Score 1) 309

by Austin Milbarge (#36574434) Attached to: If I could revisit / re-run a chunk of my schooling:

I agree. 90% of what I learned about programming I learned on my own. I think college kids look upon a college degree sort of like a crutch. They somehow feel that a piece of paper hanging on their wall by some school is going to earn them big bucks. Maybe in 1980 this was somewhat true. Today, lots of people have degrees. But it's not enough. The problem with that logic is that it takes more than just studying for a test. It takes understanding customers, how businesses operate, and most importantly a good work ethic. These things just can't be taught in a school. I've seen great test takers make the shittiest workers. Although academia has it's place, people place too much emphasis on it. Speaking of work ethic. I own a company and I see so many employees fuck around nowadays. It's an entitlement attitude that has built up in the last decade that is sadly going to bury this country. BTW, most people don't realize. Colleges and universities are businesses like any other. Sadly, academia has managed to brainwash society to mentally separate the typical business world from higher educational institutions, but I don't buy it for a second. College is big business. Look what you pay for a used text book! You think the author (probably another college professor) is on his 34th edition for nothing? They do that to force you to buy more expensive books. Some people stay in debt for many years paying off their school.

Comment: Linux GUI Library Developers Still Don't Get It (Score 1) 272

I think the main problem with Linux is the desktop never seems to get to the level of Windows or a Mac no matter how many frameworks are added. They keep changing it all the time and amazingly, the same lack of features still exist. Be it, KDE, Gnome, Unity, etc the simplest things that have been around for years in proprietary systems that people use everyday are simply avoided by Linux GUI library developers. For example, the Open/Save dialog boxes in gnome (GTK+) are incredibly watered down and weak. Example, they do not allow you to type a path or use a filter in the path. So if I type *.jpg in one of these boxes it tries to save or open a file name called "*.jpg", rather than show me only jpeg files. This is completely stupid. Easy fixes like this I find annoying and unnecessary in Linux desktop environments. Instead the developers seem to have a fetish for spending their time working on multi-desktop 3D cube animations (ie. compiz) and other useless windowing effects that are simply not productive but more of a novelty for people to ooh and ahhh about until they need to open a common dialog.

The other problem I have (as an application developer) is that these libraries are not intuitive and lack good solid documentation and non-trivial examples. Take GTK+ for instance. The GUI builder that is supposed to help you develop apps quickly using this library (glade) is weak and almost featureless. IMHO Visual Studio is still the undisputed champ of ease of use for the developer. Linux GUI's and their apps will not improve by much until a viable fully functional IDE with seamless and fully functional Drag and Drop component support is available. The ability to drop highly complex components like Internet Explorer and Excel grids into a window and access their functionality through ActiveX gives the developer in Windows a tremendous advantage over developing in a much simpler environment like Gnome or KDE. In Windows I can drag and drop a Media control and a PDF viewer into a custom app and save myself tons of time. The Linux GUI library developers need to start thinking about building in this advanced capability which Windows developers have had at their disposal for almost two decades! Otherwise Linux will sadly and unnecessarily remain in the server console environment. This is 2011, vi and emacs just don't cut it anymore.

Comment: Re:What has slipped under the radar... (Score 1) 1698

by Austin Milbarge (#30025060) Attached to: Landmark Health Insurance Bill Passes House

> Either way, see what happens next time you travel and get sick. Chances are high you'll be covered for free

That's simply not true. I've travelled outside the U.S and this is NOT the case. When a person travels outside of the U.S. they usually buy temporary/limited coverage through their credit card (Amex offers one) or through other travel insurance companies. Unlike the U.S., almost all other countries WILL NOT give you free access to their health care system. In some ways these countries have smartened up. We're going the opposite way!

Comment: Just what the doctor ordered, socialism. (Score 0, Troll) 1698

by Austin Milbarge (#30023142) Attached to: Landmark Health Insurance Bill Passes House

I am so glad the people who bankrupted Social Security and Medicare will finally have their hands in everything to do with our health care. This bill doesn't lower prices, but only shifts the actual insurance from 1100 competing private companies to one big government bureaucracy. Each year, less and less doctors are accepting Medicaid and other government health insurances because their payments stink. Of course liberals don't seem to mind because doctors are all rich people anyway who can afford to work for low wages. Nevermind that they pay hundreds of thousands in malpractice insurance, rent, electric and other business expenses. Who cares about business anyways? It's only math and numbers! Truth is, all of that doesn't matter when people are sick. In fact, I heard that the laws of gravity cease to exist when people get sick. Seriously, it seems only the lawyers are allowed to charge $500/hr because democrats love litigation, especially litigation that brings down private companies so that ill-funded and high taxing government programs can step in. I feel all future doctors should be forced to spend 10 years in medical school, come out with hundreds of thousands in school loans and do this to get paid low wages because the government says so. That will give the future doctors of America something to look forward too! However, there is one way to remedy this. Make medical school only 1 year, this avoids a lot of the expensive school loans, but gives us tons of uneducated shitty doctors who will work for government pay. I'm sure liberals don't mind that as long as everyone is covered, right?

The next thing we should do is force pharmaceutical companies to lower prices for all drugs to 1 cent a pill. That's right! Where do these big pharm companies get their nerve spending billions on new life saving drugs and then charging us a dollar or more a pill so they can keep funding their research?? Why can't these people simply work for less money? In fact, the engineers and the construction workers who build the pharmaceutical buildings, the electric companies that power the research departments and the companies that supply all the medical testing equipment should all take a pay cut because these pills are just too important! All pills that can save lives should be free, and the people who helped develop those pills shouldn't complain. If they do, then throw them out and hire cheaper chemists and scientists. If that doesn't work, we can always unionise the chemists and scientists so that instead of making drugs, they can be sipping more coffee and can keep their job even if they suck at it . That'll fix these rich pharmaceutical bastards! Right??

I love the fact that the people who scared us into getting the H1N1 vaccination and then couldn't even deliver 1/8 of the vaccines it promised are now going to run our health care system. Of course, liberals love free things. They love when someone else has to pay for their problems and they certainly couldn't care less about quality as long as everyone gets something. Something is better than nothing, right?? It's better that all 300 million citizens end up with crap than $270 million end up with good health care. Who cares that no one has read all 2,000 pages of this bill? Who cares if good doctors can't make a living and are forced to find other lines of work? Who cares if Big Pharm can't create life saving drugs because they can't fund research? Who cares if taxes go way up? Just as long as we have Hope & Change. Because without Hope & Change there is no reason to go on living.

Welcome to socialism my friends. Enjoy. :-)

Comment: Not a good idea (Score 1) 517

by Austin Milbarge (#27900643) Attached to: Should Developers Be Liable For Their Code?

Here we go again! More know-nothing government bureaucrats want to somehow interfere with technology. Unless the software were embedded in a machine built by one company, you can't hold developers accountable for software simply because there are so many variables that go into making software it's very difficult to know what type of computer and what patches, upgrades or other software will be running along side your software.

People misuse computers all the time and not all software is designed to be secure from the start. In the OS arena, hackers are constantly trying to break into Windows. Microsoft "supposedly" does their best, but even if they don't, how can a software company justify going into business only to be forced out of business by law suits where the plaintiff knows very little about securing his/her computers?

The fact that this dumb idea came from Europe does not surprise me in the least. The EU has always been very business unfriendly when it comes to how they treat their tech companies which is why very little OS and large scale application development is done there in the first place.

The only people who will benefit from stupid laws like this will be the lawyers.

Comment: The Technologically Illiterate Are At It Again! (Score 1) 857

by Austin Milbarge (#26965805) Attached to: Bill Would Require ISPs, Wi-Fi Users To Keep Logs

Have you ever stopped to take a long hard look at the people who run this country? You know, the congressmen, senators, etc? Sadly, these are the people among us that create policy every single day affecting the very mechanisms of society they simply do not understand.

The problem is most of the criminals on the Internet who aim to do harm to our country are not the same idiotic dirty old men that show up on NBC's "To catch a predator" because they were horny for a 12 year old. Proxy servers and onion routing are technologies that have existed for sometime now and are becoming more and more common and easier to use everyday, even for 60 year old perverts.

When are these empty suits in our government gonna wake up and realize that this cat and mouse game is only gonna cost our society more money and wasted effort leading to just a few more arrests than they had before? If you're worried for your child's safety on the Internet, then keep him off the damn computer! Hows that for a novel idea! I liken this whole thing to the driving with a cell phone ban. The cops can't enforce it and people keep driving with their cell phones pressed into their faces more than ever. So what's the point????

I'm all for law enforcement, just not law enforcement that amounts to wasted effort and my hard earned tax dollars thrown out the window by a clueless empty suit with a bad haircut and a southern accent. If you don't believe me, just ask Al Gore (the inventor of the Internet) what he thinks!!

Comment: I don't think MS has much to fear from Linux (Score 1) 583

by Austin Milbarge (#26775619) Attached to: Microsoft May Be Targeting the Ubuntu Desktop

When I say that I mean the way it is used currently as a Desktop OS. I've been using Linux a long time from the command line. Every now and then I pop my head up to see what's new in the desktop arena for Linux, but I'm always disappointed.

Here is what I think the problem is...

1. The GUIs are getting slower and slower.

2. Difficult for the GUI to take control of itself if a runaway process is eating up all the CPU time (Task Manger in Windows is much better).

3. Still not enough good hardware support. Configuring simple things like sound and desktop video modes are weak and buggy.

4. Playing movies is always a chore because one "good" media player does not exist for all possible video formats (you have to bounce between MPlayer, VLC, Noatun, KPlayer, etc).

5. Different programs compiled using different libraries (GTK, QT, XLib) all feel and look different. Simple and important features like Cut & Paste and object embedding don't always work between programs.

6. They are no good visual application development tools. A tool similar to Visual Studio is needed in Linux. IDE's like Netbeans and Eclipse are okay for small programs or web scripts, but simply doesn't cut it for full blown desktop application development.

There are more but you get the idea. In my opinion, if some of the above can remedied soon enough and Microsoft is stilling selling their latest OS in the same vein as Vista. Then yes, Linux would have a good chance on the desktop.

Comment: Re:PHP? (Score 1) 962

by Austin Milbarge (#26082253) Attached to: Best Introduction To Programming For Bright 11-14-Year-Olds?

> Enforcing OO from the outset is a terrible way to teach programming

I couldn't agree more! I've always taught C first. Give them good foundations on data types, functions, argument passing, how memory works with pointers in C, arrays, dynamic memory management, etc. Once that stuff is locked in, then OOP principles can be applied later with relative ease because the fundamentals are now there.

Comment: C before C++ (Score 1) 592

by Austin Milbarge (#26082143) Attached to: Best Paradigm For a First Programming Course?

I tutor students in computer science courses and have seen so many students complain that they don't understand functions and data, yet their teacher has moved onto classes and objects.

The problem with teaching C++ and not C is the that too many teachers move too quickly to the OOP stuff because they feel that it somehow "replaces" non object C programming. This is not only wrong but dangerous because these students are rushed into OOP without understanding the problems it solves. Besides, not all problems are best solved with OOP.

The C programming language is actually a simple language. You'd be surprised at how quickly students can pick up concepts like pointers and dynamic memory management if the teacher only expose it to them early on and give them short projects to boost their understanding. Sadly, many teachers do the students a tremendous disservice by trying to avoid pointers because it gets in the way of teaching OOP. Or perhaps the teacher himself is rusty.

Comment: Re:Bad CS Teachers (Score 1) 538

by Austin Milbarge (#26076675) Attached to: Bjarne Stroustrup On Educating Software Developers

Just yesterday I was tutoring a student and he has never even seen a switch statement, never heard of new and delete, never heard of an enumeration and never knew how to pass a variable to a function by reference. This is his first course in C++. Yet the course has ended and the next course that follows in the spring starts with teaching const member functions! Have you ever heard of such crap in your life?

Talk about teaching bad code design... The teacher insists that the students call exit(1) in all their functions when the user inputs an incorrect value from the keyboard. As apposed to prompting the user and asking to try again.

Seriously... I'd love to meet this teacher and ask her how much programming in C++ she has done professionally.

By the way, this is supposed to be a very prestigious school in Westchester County New York. Then we all wonder why companies hire programmers from Israel and India.

Comment: Bad CS Teachers (Score 1) 538

by Austin Milbarge (#26053655) Attached to: Bjarne Stroustrup On Educating Software Developers

I've been developing for the past 11+ years now and I've taught a few C/C++ courses along the way so I thought I'd throw my two cents in.

Now, I hate to say this but some of the curricula offered at some of these colleges are a sick joke! Is it me or do mathematics professors make bad computer programming instructors? Unfortunately, some of these fine institutions are too cheap to hire a separate computer programming instructor who is actually up to date with the rest of society and who has received the news that Java is no longer state-of-the-art.

I also think that these teachers are WAY too quick to rush into Object Oriented Programming (again because it's so "**state-of-the-art**") and not solidify the basics "like what a function is" or "what a variable is", etc. You would be amazed at how many students I've tutored where the teacher is explaining virtual function pointers and still 90% of the class still doesn't know how to pass an integer to a function!

Theory is gray, but the golden tree of life is green. -- Goethe

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