Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter


Forgot your password?

Slashdot videos: Now with more Slashdot!

  • View

  • Discuss

  • Share

We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).


Comment: Hitting the nail on the head (Score 1) 1134

by EmbeddedJanitor (#27220335) Attached to: Are Quirky Developers Brilliant Or Dangerous?
If you rely on a Josh you're fucked!

Sure, it is handy to have a Josh that miraculously saves your project, but the fact that you needed that Josh in the first place says that you don't have the right staff/skill sets. Needing Josh is a sign to management that there are some serious shortages that need addressing.

Sure, all companies sometimes need firefighting, but the REAL firefighters are those that not just put out fires, but help to prevent there being other fire call outs. Really effective fire-fighters help mentor others and, in essence, make themselves redundant. [Aside, firefighters (of the thermal sort) actually spend a lot of their time doing fire safety inspections etc for this very reason].

Those Joshes that code so cryptically that they are needed forever are essentially blackmailers and saboteurs. They force you into a position where you have to put up with them to keep functioning. Make a plan to dump them and replace them.

I've worked with a few Joshes in my time. The one was brilliant, but it took the next three most productive engineers to clean up after him and quite a few almost as clever people just quit because they could not work with him. When you realised that the cost of having him around was not just his remuneration, but also the opportunity cost of the next three engineers too, then he didn't look as valuable.

Comment: WinCE was not a complete rewrite (Score 1) 274

by EmbeddedJanitor (#27175377) Attached to: OLPC Set To Dump x86 For Arm Chips In XO 2
Most of it was, but that was not because of ARM.

I've done WinCE diriver/OS work since WinCE1.0 days. In the beginning there was **no** ARM support, just MIPS, x86 and SH3. PowerPC came along a bit later and then ARM.

Some of the PowerPC code was directly lifted off the NT PowerPC porting effort (that got shelved).

WinCE has very little CPU-specific code - no more than Linux - but most of the rewrite was done to fit into a small system (few MB) where the traditional Windows bloatware just would not work.

Comment: Probably trolling for Intel and MS funding (Score 1) 274

by EmbeddedJanitor (#27175261) Attached to: OLPC Set To Dump x86 For Arm Chips In XO 2
A move to ARM would indeed cut OLPC from mainstream Windows (though daresay Windows could be built for ARM - like Windows CE is).

Technically, moving to ARM is a great choice. These CPUs are far cheaper. They also require far less power meaning that batteries and power circuitry can be smaller, cheaper, lighter and the handcrank give more page loads per crank. Also no need for cooling fans etc.

Given the way OLPC and similar projects move, the skeptic in me wonders whether this will actually happen. OLPC could just be "inviting" Microsoft/Intel to offer some good deal to keep them on x86.

Comment: Serving curry might be your future job (Score 1) 770

by EmbeddedJanitor (#27073661) Attached to: Smart Immigrants Going Home
Burger flipping for American consumers makes money when Americans have money.

In the future you might find yourself serving curry to Indians or sushi to Japanese, or whatever, depending on who has the money and is prepared to offer a pathetic Westerner such as yourself a menial service job.

Times change and those that don't realize that are going to struggle.

Comment: Re:Your definition of touch-screen would be annoyi (Score 1) 174

by EmbeddedJanitor (#27073003) Attached to: First Touch-Screen, Bendable E-Paper Developed
You're trying to weasel my words.

The primary sucky point with a stylus is that they are easy to lose. You can generally find an easy back up for a passive stylus by using a retracted ball point pen or the back of a pencil or such. A magnetic stylus is a specialized item.

Comment: Not such a fire hazard (Score 1) 182

by EmbeddedJanitor (#27072949) Attached to: LEDs Lighting Up the African Darkness
As a child I spent a lot of time in rural Africa using kerosene lamps etc. We just grew up knowing to be careful.

They were plenty light to read by. So long as you are not trying to be wasteful (lighting your driveway or water features etc - which Africa tends to lack anyway) then low lighting is adequate.

Comment: You miss the point (Score 1) 134

by EmbeddedJanitor (#27019883) Attached to: Google Dev Phone 1 Banned From Paid Apps
It might be possible to crack the protection but Google should still not leave the barn door open and support piracy. If they do then they will kill the commercial side of the App Store or will at least get sued by App Store developers: "We wrote this cool app, but Google just made it easy for pirates".

Comment: How much proof is enough? (Score 1) 267

by EmbeddedJanitor (#26955161) Attached to: Court Reinstates Proof-of-Age Requirement For Nude Ads
The clerk or owner at the store where underage kids buy beer does not really care whether they are under age or not. All he cares about is whether they can show ID so he doesn't get into trouble.

Pretty much same deal in the porn industry. All the owner really cares about is that the model produces enough ID that he can use the model without getting arrested.

The legal system probably also doesn't really care that much, so long as they can say that they've done their bit to pacify the puritans.

Comment: The format is the least important issue (Score 1) 114

by EmbeddedJanitor (#26938891) Attached to: Freeing and Forgetting Data With Science Commons
It is an almost trivial exercise to convert one format to another.

What is a lot harder is knowing how the data sets were measured and whether it is valid to combine them with data sets measured in other ways.

At least half the Global Warming bun-fight is about the validity of comparison between different data sets and the same goes for pretty much any non-trivial data sets.

Comment: Exactly right (Score 1) 874

by EmbeddedJanitor (#26909869) Attached to: Don't Like EULAs? Get Your Cat To Agree To Them
If she really wants the cat to be doing a random act then she needs to leave the mouse clicking apparatus there the whole time allowing the cats to perform other random acts such as clicking the mouse while she's trying to drive Photoshop.

I bet she's disabling the device at other times making it not-so-random.

Time-sharing is the junk-mail part of the computer business. -- H.R.J. Grosch (attributed)