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Comment: Re:No problem (Score 1) 423

by Nefarious Wheel (#46599589) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Preparing For Windows XP EOL?

There are analogue targeting computers on naval ships that still work, and work quite well. Deck guns that can fire a Volkswagen Golf-sized projectile from (say) Hobart to any tennis court in Launceston. Maybe not the best economical solution, but what's money to the military, anyway?

Point is, you look at the system, and determine whether you can support the subsystem that drives it. As an integrated system it either works or it doesn't, irrespective of the weight, the cost, or the paint job on any subcomponent of it. And sometimes the bit that the computer controls is just as old and slagged-out as the operating system driving it.

Comment: A book and a project. (Score 1) 306

by mypalmike (#46516245) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Can an Old Programmer Learn New Tricks?

> I never learned to ... write modular, DRY code

Don't worry about frameworks right now. This is your problem right here.

The book that helped me best in learning to write modular code was "Analysis Patterns", by Martin Fowler. (http://martinfowler.com/books/ap.html) It's ancient now (from 1996), and you can find used copies on Amazon for under 10 bucks. I came across it back around when it came out (yikes, that's 18 years ago!) while I was buying up every book I could find on OO, and this is the one that really made plain to me how to approach object design.

With book in hand, I might recommend also trying to write a text-oriented version of a card game. Crazy 8's or go fish where the number of players can vary and the "AI" is simple.

And if you really want to focus on modularity, I'd say write this game from scratch in Java. It's a language that definitely prods you towards modularity. Everything is in a class. One class per file. With that constraint, most developers learn to think carefully about how to organize code, and the lessons learned can be used in any language.

Comment: Re:No place for 'almost', 'not quite' and 'nearly' (Score 1) 423

by Nefarious Wheel (#46403853) Attached to: RadioShack To Close 1,100 Stores

In Australia, we've got Jaycar, half discrete electronics and componentry, half electronic toys, with very knowledgeable staff, and they're expanding. I go there by choice, because they always seem to have at least one of the odd little bits I need, and instead of blank stares I get people who listen, pay attention, and know what I'm talking about. They're able to shift their conversation levels to your level quickly.

Personally I think their educational level is a little better than average. I blame Monash and surrounds.

+ - A Billion More Years of Earth

Submitted by Nefarious Wheel
Nefarious Wheel (628136) writes "I've been following our Martian rovers raptly, as evidence mounts for water, the effects of water, and the possibility that life existed on Mars perhaps a billion years ago.

Which all leads to the question — If a similar rover were to visit the Earth a billion years from now, would it be able to detect that life ever existed here?"

Nothing is rich but the inexhaustible wealth of nature. She shows us only surfaces, but she is a million fathoms deep. -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

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