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Comment: Find a good Dispensing Optician (Score 1) 464

I had the same issue - progressive lenses suck for reading or using a computer. Single vision reading or "computer" glasses work great. My optician (the guy who sells / makes eyeglasses) had the patience to grind a few trial lenses to get the focus distance correct. Focus distance = from my face to the computer screen. The first set, exactly per the ophthalmologist prescription did get everything in focus. Something was not quite right however, I felt a lot of eyestrain when using that set of lenses. Of course I had to pay for each set of trial lenses, but it was worth it. I used drugstore reading glasses when I was younger, and those worked fine at the time. As the years passed, my range of focus distance (accommodation) diminished, and off the shelf glasses just did not work any more. If you can find a set of drugstore "reading glasses" that get everything in focus and don't cause eyestrain, go for it. If you need a custom solution - pay the money to get it right. It is well worth it.

Comment: Misery (Score 1) 176

by DudeFromMars (#48441787) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Practices For Starting and Running a Software Shop?
You are volunteering for a lot of misery. If you must persist, read Steve McConnel's "Rapid Development" - He lists all the normal pathologies of software development. Also read Steven Blank's "4 Steps to the Epiphany" - about the normal pathologies of the software business. The problem with reading about the mistakes everybody makes - you won't believe you will make the same mistakes. You will of course painfully repeat each mistake, guaranteed.

Comment: Been There, Done That (Score 1) 263

by DudeFromMars (#46337389) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: When Is a Better Career Opportunity Worth a Pay Cut?
You are under-estimating the odds of the new company failing, or the job just not working out.
Seriously, your resume should show you moving UP to better positions at bigger companies.
The kind of lateral move you are considering is just not good for your resume or career.

Take some side projects you can do with the latest and greatest technologies on evenings and weekends.
You will polish the skills on your resume, have a little fun, and make a little extra money.

Comment: Take Control of the Situation (Score 2) 308

by DudeFromMars (#46143007) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Do You Do If You're Given a Broken Project?
If you do not document your assessment of the code, then all the problems and cost "overruns" are going to be your fault.

You will be able to "blame the other guy" for the first handful of bugs.
After a very short period, all the bugs are your fault.

You have to be nice, but firm in your assessment of the situation.
Your boss(es) will try very hard to make you accept the project and commit to adding features fast and cheap.
If you accept that assignment on their terms, you are doomed.
If they accept your assessment and your terms (rewrite all or part) then you succeed.

Comment: Postal Return & Drive Thru (Score 1) 547

by DudeFromMars (#42020447) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How To Make a DVD-Rental Store More Relevant?
Free postal return envelopes would help.
Drive-thru returns would help.
Browsing and renting online would help.
Maybe even a drive-through pickup for online rentals.

If there is a drive-thru fast food in the parking lot, it can be a two-fer
Make a deal with the fast food joint to let online rentals be picked up from their drive-thru window.

The reason I won't rent DVDs any more isn't that I can't find a movie in the store, or enjoy it.

It is the hassle of returning the DVD and late fees and all that.

Comment: Like Algebra 1 (Score 1) 767

by DudeFromMars (#41354717) Attached to: Can Anyone Become a Programmer?
Less than half the kids in high school can grasp algebra 1. There is nothing you can do to make them "get it" - their brain either works that way, or it doesn't. Algebra, Geometry, and Programming seem self-evident to me. On the other hand, I can't draw, and dropped out of English 101 on six separate occasions. Metaphors, similes and analyzing literature are just a ridiculous to me - that stuff makes no sense at all.

Comment: Read Books, then Criticize (Score 1) 196

by DudeFromMars (#39402117) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Getting Feedback On Programming?
Code Complete by Steve McConnell
Refactoring: Improving the Design of Existing Code by Kent Beck, Martin Fowler and Akira Hirasawa

Get a colleague to read books and then criticize each other's code.
It gets amazing results.

I had the same problem, no senior level programmers to teach the craft. We had once per week lunch meetings and had one programmer show his work, and the others criticize. Our code became much clearer and our bug counts went way down.
Good Luck!

Comment: Less US Jobs under Present "System" (Score 1) 1167

by DudeFromMars (#38239196) Attached to: US Senator Proposes Bill To Eliminate Overtime For IT Workers
I own a small IT outsourcing shop.
Work comes in a trickle or a deluge, no in-between.
There will be overtime hours worked, it is the nature the beast.

It is a competitive business, I cannot put in higher bids and expect to get any business.

Since each hour of US overtime would be a large loss to me, I just cannot afford to do it. I will not do it.

I was using two solutions to this:
1. US coders working on Salary + Bonus, where working more = more bonus.
2. Offshore coders on straight hourly wages.

The recession hit, and I could not afford the high base salaries for the US guys.
I laid off 8 US coders - after exhausting the business accounts and my personal savings.
I still have the offshore guys. They stuck with me even though their hours went in half.

Business has picked up, but I have not hired any more US coders.
I would love to hire more guys in the US.

I have not managed to afford to get health insurance for my family yet - next year looks good for getting that going again.
Obamacare gives me nightmares: Absolute requirement to provide unaffordable care for US workers.
Mandatory overtime bonus pay = too risky to depend on US workers for projects with low profitablity - and this economy is only producing low profitability projects so far.

The answer to all these problems is to go make more money and not assume any more risk.
And that means not hiring any US coders, although I would really love to do that.

Comment: The old system is fine, er wait... (Score 1) 341

by DudeFromMars (#37993658) Attached to: Scott Adams Proposes a Fourth Branch of Government
Well, it would be fine if we actually followed it.
Our government was designed to be limited, and citizen juries are designed to be a check and balance against tyrannical laws.

The career politicians have slipped free from the enumerated powers and the 10th amendment.
No laws were changed, they just found the system to limiting, so reinterpreted it.
Citizen juries are told they cannot judge laws -- and this is the sole purpose of citizen juries - consent of the governed.

We have a sweet little system, too bad the insiders have stolen it from us.
There are no public servants - we are all servants to the public sector.
It was not supposed to be like this...

Like punning, programming is a play on words.