as sheepish on how stupid the Iran deal is
as they are sheepish on Planned Parenthood
as they are sheepish on anthropogenic global warming
as they are sheepish on pretty much everything else.
Feeling a little nostalgic at the moment, but also beginning to sense a serious part of why I feel like a dunce today when it comes to computing when once I felt like a genius.
Quick wall of text on the Nostalgia bit
That article on Vector Graphics the other day reminded me a little of the S-100 bus, and the whole move to the PC ISA that came just before I really got into computing. The first computer I really touched was our school's RM 380Z, which was a proprietary CP/M based system, but exposure to that at school was mostly a "You can book 15 minutes to use it at lunchtime but otherwise the school maths teacher will use it to demonstrate things now and then." So the first computer I learned anything from was a friend's VIC 20. I then used a variety of cheap single-board-computers until my Amiga 500+, the most powerful of which was a Sinclair QL.
So... I never touched S-100. And I didn't really touch the PC until there was literally no other choice that was viable. S-100 was never an option for two major reasons: it was expensive, and it was crap. I mean, seriously, awful. S-100 survived because the home computing establishment's equivalent of the Very Serious People decreed it was Serious, and it was Serious because it was "standard".
A typical S-100 system consisted of the S-100 box itself - a dumb motherboard (very dumb, the only components on it were the edge connectors and a few capacitors and resistors to do all that magic EE specialists understand and I could never get my head around) enclosed in a card cage, plus a CPU card, a completely separate memory card or three, a completely separate disk controller, and a completely separate serial I/O card. The disk controller would be hooked up to a disk drive it was designed to control (yes, proprietary), which would be unlike around 90% of other disk drives out there - that is, if you were lucky. And the I/O card would be hooked up to a terminal that frequently was more powerful than the S-100 computer it was hooked up to..
Each combination of I/O and disk controller cards required a custom BIOS so you could run CP/M with it.
The bus itself was essentially the pins of an 8080 turned into a 100 line bus. So you were essentially wiring each card to an 8080, or something pretending to be an 8080, in parallel. This required quite a bit of hardware in each bus to make sure each didn't conflict with other S-100 cards.
Now, technically, you could get graphics (and maybe sound) cards, but that was unusual. Likewise, you could get more exotic CPUs - though getting software for them was a problem. But the typical S-100 system was text only with a Z80, and the typical S-100 system owner spent rather a lot of time trying to figure out how to order a "standard" CP/M application in a form that would run on their "standard" S-100 system, taking into account their disk drive that only 10% of the market used and their terminal that used VT-52 codes rather than VT-101 codes or (insert one of the other popular terminals here.)
Did I mention this is expensive? While the original Altair 8800 was $500 or so, it came with nothing but the card cage and motherboard, the CPU card, and a little bit of memory. And even on this, the makers barely broke even, expecting to make the profits on after sales. Useful memory, a terminal, an I/O card, a disk controller, and a disk drive, pushed up the prices considerably. Realistically, typical "useful" S-100 systems cost somewhere around $4,000.
Given all of that, it's not really surprising it got supplanted by the PC. Much is made of the fact IBM was taken more seriously by people outside of the personal computer industry in 1981, and that undoubtedly helped, but I can't help but feel that S-100 couldn't have survived for much longer regardless. You could buy a complete system from Commodore or Apple that was more capable for a third of the price even in 1981. The PC didn't need to be cheap, it had IBM's name behind it, but it was obviously more capable than S-100, and it was obvious that if the architecture was adopted by the industry, machines based upon it would be more standardized.
The "Feeling like a dunce" bit
So anyway, that was my train of thought. And it occurred to me that the fact I even have opinions on this suggests my mindset is still stuck there. Back then, even when you programmed in BASIC, you were exerting almost direct control over the hardware. You had a broad idea of what the machine did, what memory locations were mapped onto what functions, and every command you typed affected the computer in a predictable way. The computers themselves were (mostly) predictable too.
As time wore on, especially with the advent of multitasking (which I welcomed, don't get me wrong) you learned to understand your software would be only one party to how the computer behaved, but you understood that if you followed the rules, and the other programmers did too, you could kinda get your head around what was happening to it.
And you felt like a genius if you understood this. And I say "if", because it was possible.
At some point that stopped being possible. Part of it was the PC ISA, the fact an architecture from 1981 was still in use in the mid-nineties by which time it was long in the tooth and needed serious work. Its deficiencies were addressed in software and hardware. Intel essentially replaced the CPU, leaving a compatible stub there to start older applications, and the industry - after a few false starts - threw out most of the PC design and replaced it with the PCI architecture, again, like Intel leaving compatible stubs here and there to ensure older stuff would work. And Microsoft worked on making Windows the real interface software would use to access the hardware.
Logically the right thing to do under the circumstances is to take back control, to use lower level APIs and simpler sets of rules, but in practice that's just not practical, and doing so means that my tools no longer fit inside the ecosystem with everyone else's. So it's not the right thing - it's actually the worst thing I can do, and if I tried to do it, I'd be shunned as a developer.
I was a genius once because I (mostly) understood the computers I was programming. I feel like a dunce today because that's just not possible any more.
"Wisconsin is in turmoil," Trump told a boisterous crowd at a rally in Iowa. He pointed to the state's roads, schools and hospitals, which he said were all "a disaster."
Walker, who is leading polls in Iowa, remains one of Trump's biggest rivals in the race.
"I hear the only person beating me in Iowa is Scott Walker," he said. "I can't believe I'm in second place. Folks, will you please put me in first place so I feel better?"
Trump told the crowd Saturday that he had helped Walker win his race because he admired the candidate's "fight," but didn't know what he was fighting for. "I've been very nice to him," he said.
But after Walker's fundraising email went public, Trump declared: "I can finally attack."
I think Trump is a buffoon, but, if the Vichy GOP put up JEB, I'll cheerfully vote for His Donaldness.
I've been making use of GreaseMonkey for some time now. I found some scripts that i lie, namely Allow Password Remembering, Block youtube users, and Google Hit Hider by Domain. I've added a few of my own, Displaying Monk Levels and Checking Saint in our Book for ties, both for PerlMonks and now, Amazon Star percent to number.
I love Amazon Reviews, and those stars mean a lot to me. However, Amazon, in their great wisdom, decided to replace the useful numbers with useless percentages. Well, not useless, but compared to actual numbers, percents mean next to nothing. Who cares if 100% 5-star it, if that's only one person. I'd rather purchase a product with 80% 5-stars, but by a few hundred people. Sure, the number is on top, but who wants to do the math all the time?
To grab the number, the reviews page would have to be loaded for each star. So, i just did multiplication, which will be close enough. I guess the reviews page can get the actual number as opposed to multiplying, but this is good enough, and since it can be the same as the main product page which i did first, i'm not interested in putting in the effort to change it for the reviews page.
I'd like to ask the worms on here to defend that scumbag Chisholm, but such would require vertebrae.
It is utterly clear that the special prosecutor has employed theories of law that do not exist in order to investigate citizens who were wholly innocent of any wrongdoing. In other words, the special prosecutor was the instigator of a "perfect storm" of wrongs that was visited upon the innocent Unnamed Movants and those who dared to associate with them. It is fortunate, indeed, for every other citizen of this great State who is interested in the protection of fundamental liberties that the special prosecutor chose as his targets innocent citizens who had both the will and the means to fight the unlimited resources of an unjust prosecution.
I rarely feel genuine shame over my country, but this is an example of a source thereof.
According to slashdot, apparently not. I keep getting "You have failed to confirm you are a human"
Imagine winning three elections (one being a recall election that public sector unions poured thousands upon thousands of dollars into) in four years in the deeply divided blue-collar progressive Utopia of Wisconsin. Imagine breaking the back of the organized heart and soul of the Democrat party and dispatching AFL-CIO leader Richard "Morrie The Wig Salesman" Trumka back to the White House to show the President the "W" shaped scar carved into his forehead as a warning to anyone else who stepped foot in the state.
Imagine doing all this after Democratic state legislators fled for the safe harbor of Illinois to avoid voting on your legislation. Imagine having woken up every day to phone calls relating tales unionized shock-troops on your parentsâ(TM) front lawn and threats not only on your life but the lives of your kids. Now imagine having the real heroes, the brave national media, mock and ridicule you over this. Imagine accomplishing all of this while a partisan Milwaukee District Attorney authorizes the illegal invasion of the homes of your friends, supporters and aides, lawlessly confiscating private property, all while colluding with Lois Lerner and the IRS.
I happened to catch his announcement speech live on OANN yesterday. The Left will be invoking Cthulhu in most maniacal tones trying to call down some unfortunate demise on this Walker.
The two most egregious examples of government interference in recent elections may share a link. More than two years after it got exposed, the IRS' partisan probes of conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status remains unresolved, thanks to the obstruction of the IRS in producing the relevant records to Congressional investigators--and the refusal of Lois Lerner, the central figure in the scandal, to testify. The status of the John Doe probe in Wisconsin that also attempted to derail conservative groups from participating in elections is similarly unresolved, but has been halted by judges who may end up killing it and the law on which itâ(TM)s based altogether.
- There Is Nothing To See Here, Move Along, and
- Nuremberg Defense, and
- Conservatives Are Just Lightweight Metallic Headwear Aficionados, and
- If The Tea Parties Hadn't Worn That Short Skirt To The Bar Where The Violent Illegal Alien Was Cleaning The Federal Agent's Hog-Leg, The Tea Party Probably Wouldn't Have Been Ventilated.
Those zany conservatives. Always going for the victim narrative.
Since slashdot is slashdotting my slashdot account with random logouts.
I'm reading Java: A Beginner's Guide by Herbert Schildt. Schildt really is good. The lessons are smooth, with small complete examples of everything, explanations, and learning in steps, that is, each chapter builds on what was learned in the past. It's not just a bunch of concepts thrown together.. Here's one case where the O'reilly book just didn't do the job. It was good, but not for learning (reviewing, perhaps.)
I'm typing in every example, skipping the comments though. Also, changing names when they use plurals. An array should be named num, not nums, because each member is an instance of a num. It acts as a collections of nums, but it is not what it is. It's the J/P thing again. In databases, which is J territory, it should clearly be singular. Each record is an instance of the singular object (table.) And, people who think of tables in the plural often come up with terrible deigns and write horrible queries. Their using the database to support a specific process (which always changes, anyway) and not to hold data. They never learn. But i digress. Programs are about getting something done, so, it is more likely it should be named in the plural. I guess i'm in the wrong here. Though, as my code is for me (as opposed to if i was on a team), i'm going to follow my own preference.
In the Self Test for Chapter 6, question 6 is: Write a recursive method that displays the contents of a string backwards. I hit a mental block with that yesterday and just couldn't get it right. I was amazed (read: horrified) that such a small thing could be so hard. I ought to be able to (know what i need to do to) write that in seconds. After some fumbling over char vs String, it was time to go home. Today i approached the code and fixed it in just a few minutes.
static String backward(String a)
if(a.length() == 1) return a;
return a.substring(a.length() - 1) + backward(a.substring(0, a.length() - 1));
public static void main(String arg)
When i first got the question, i misunderstood it. I saw his answer and realized i misread it, so i tried this. Compared to his answer, he cheats. He used
But why did it take me so long? At first, i assumed its because i'm not used to Java, recursion is silly in this case, and i don't usually do recursion. But that's not true. I had a problem conceptualizing it, its effective, and i do it occasionally in SQL. But there's the answer. I do it in SQL.
Recursive CTEs are a pain. While more versatile than Oracle's hierarchical queries (which have a number of their own benefits), they are also confusing to learn. At some point it clicks though, and then its just a matter of keeping things straight in your head. However, in SQL's recursion the inner most level is also the final level. Outside of SQL, the opposite is true.
It's convenient to have blame it on SQL, though i know it's not true. Embarrassing as it is, i hit a mental block on the concept. Nonetheless, SQL likely had something to do with my confusion. I love these "easy" tests.
I went to SlashCode.com and saw there was a link for the code that runs Slashdot (well, probably several versions ago). Fine. I have a file called Bundle-Slash-2.5.2.tar.gz . There's a link for instructions, BUT it's a dead link.
I wonder how long it will take before I have something useful?
If I can get it running, I'll let you all know... Pudge, if you're reading this... A little guidance would be greatly appreciated.
Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it is too dark to read.