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Comment: Re:Environment (Score 1) 389

by James Youngman (#39240191) Attached to: Why Did It Take So Long To Invent the Wheel?

My point was nothing to do with adoption - in fact I was pointing out that people used programming languages even when then did not intend to use or write a compiler for them.

Lack of a stack doesn't imply a machine is not a von Neumann architecture. For example, if I recall correctly, the Cray Y-MP series had no stack for procedure activation records and yet still had a shared instruction/data storage.

Comment: Re:Environment (Score 2) 389

by James Youngman (#39238549) Attached to: Why Did It Take So Long To Invent the Wheel?

It's like compilers. Sure we can't imagine computing without them nowadays, but for 10-20 years in the early days of computing, there WERE NO PROGRAMMING LANGUAGES. It wasn't until computers were powerful and "cheap" enough to make the concept of an abstract language cheaper to code than raw machine code that the compiler and programming languages really took hold.

Your estimate is a bit too high. Plankalkül was developed between 1943 and 1945, and published in a paper in 1948. FORTRAN was implemented in around 1955. I ripped these dates from Wikipedia's History of programming languages article.

For that matter, Turing's famous and influential 1936 paper On Computable Numbers paper introduces an abbreviation system ("Inst{...}") for building Turing Machine configurations (on page 260) which might loosely be described as a higher-level language.
 

Comment: Re:Electronic patient records (Score 4, Insightful) 86

by James Youngman (#36490378) Attached to: Electronic Health Records Now In All US Military Hospitals

If by "scares" you mean manufactured, misleading hyperbole, you're wrong. There are tens of thousands of adverse drug interactions annually in the UK (and more in the USA). Many of these are avoidable (they're not just drug-drug interactions, adverse drug-condition or drug-{age,procedure} interactions occur too) and key to avoiding this is delivering timely, accurate information to your healthcare providers.

Keeping yourself off the relevant clinical databases is a choice and a compromise of risks; on the one hand the risk that your data will be leaked and on the other hand that your choice to equip your clinicians with less information will cause you to get less effective treatment in the future.

In some senses this is a balancing of benefits to do different people; first, your healthy, vigorous, young self. Second, your elderly, sick, incapacitated self. The latter cares most about the privacy angle but I'm pretty sure the latter cares most about the quality of care. But it would too late for the elderly you to benefit their treatment by reversing the decision made by their younger self.

Comment: Re:Misread the RFC (Score 2, Informative) 123

by James Youngman (#34353458) Attached to: Google, Microsoft Cheat On Slow-Start — Should You?

Comment: They shouldn't just stop an encryption (Score 2, Insightful) 555

by James Youngman (#32056152) Attached to: Recourse For Draconian Encryption Requirements?

If a major hospital is letting people roll up and connect personal (i.e. uncontrolled) laptops to their internal networks, the information security team/officer there is either incompetent or being ignored. They should take responsibility for making sure neither of those things is happening.

As for the OP, they seem to me to be recklessly endangering the security of patient data. People's personal laptops have all kinds of scary cruft on them. Seventeen different kinds of malware, if they run Windows, probably.

Comment: Disk is UFS, but do you have tape too? (Score 1) 325

by James Youngman (#31560208) Attached to: Need Help Salvaging Data From an Old Xenix System

The Altos 586 I used to own also had a QIC tape drive in it (it's in the front of the unit). It also had an Ethernet connector - blanked off in the case of my machine, the Ethernet controller wasn't installed. But check yours.

The filesystem format is UFS and is intelligible by Linux (I verified this in the case of the 5.25" floppies, but the hard disk should be the same).

One good reason why computers can do more work than people is that they never have to stop and answer the phone.

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