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Comment: Re:Modula-3 FTW! (Score 1) 397

by Lonewolf666 (#48903339) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Is Pascal Underrated?

To me, the critical part is noticing the difference in (for instance) a code review, not so much the understanding.

I'm assuming a moderately skilled programmer here, with enough brains to see that something is different and look it up in the online help. That guy would likely see the difference between 22 div 3 and 22/3, look it up and ultimately get it right.

While reliably seeing the difference between 22/3 and 22/3.0 almost requires someone who got burned before and has learned to look specifically for these differences. IMHO a higher level of experience...

Comment: Re:Discussion is outdated (Score 1) 397

by Lonewolf666 (#48900203) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Is Pascal Underrated?

What subset of "modern Pascal" do you have to restrict yourself to avoid those "problems"?

In practice, I guess you'd have to choose between Embarcadero's Delphi and Free Pascal.

AFAIK Delphi is the only platform that still has significant commercial usage, but too expensive for hobbyists.
Free Pascal is probably the most popular open source Pascal variety, and the one I know of that seems to be actively maintained.

I think the rest of Pascal is thoroughly irrelevant these days ;-)

Comment: Re:Modula-3 FTW! (Score 3, Interesting) 397

by Lonewolf666 (#48900117) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Is Pascal Underrated?

IMHO it takes a very experienced programmer to avoid pitfalls like the fine difference between integer and floating point division. As in 22/3 vs. 22/3.0 where the difference is easily overlooked.
Pascal uses entirely different operators which makes the difference stand out more. The above example would be 22 div 3 vs. 22/3 (optionally you could write 22/3.0 but it would be the same as 22/3).

Comment: Re:Nvidia is the way to go. (Score 1) 159

by Lonewolf666 (#48845863) Attached to: AMD Catalyst Is the Broken Wheel For Linux Gaming

Now that is optimistic. Last time I checked, Nvidia was giving little to no hardware documentation to open source developers. Which really does not help projects like Noveau, as they have to rely on reverse engineering and it really slows them down.

Last time Phoronix tested the Noveau drivers, they were seriously outclassed by the Radeon drivers. Both in performance and features.

Comment: Re:ATI/AMD has had shitty drivers for 20 years (Score 2) 159

by Lonewolf666 (#48844405) Attached to: AMD Catalyst Is the Broken Wheel For Linux Gaming

Well, AMD certainly has their own less than stellar moves too. Ever since AMD bought ATI in 2006 they've been talking about synergies but to be honest, I'm not seeing it. An "APU" performs very, very similar to the same CPU+GPU if you compare cores on the CPU side and shaders on the GPU side.

Depends on which kind of system we're talking about.

On low-end APUs, the concept works fine and not needing a discrete GPU is a nice cost advantage. But Intel's HD graphics is already becoming a serious competitor in that product range.

At the top end of the (desktop) APU spectrum, the APUs tend to become bottlenecked by memory and a similar combination of cores on the CPU side and shaders on the GPU side tends to win the benchmarks. The cost advantage of the APUs still makes them interesting, but check out offers with discrete GPUs too and read some reviews.

What could help AMD here is HBM as VRAM in future APUs, that would remove the memory bottleneck...

Comment: Re:Is Mad River Hospital A Death Trap? (Score 1) 574

by Lonewolf666 (#48321031) Attached to: The Great IT Hiring He-Said / She-Said

The fact that they referred to the position as an 'IT tech' said something about the hospital.

'IT' is short for 'information technology', and 'tech' is slang for 'technician' ... ... so, basically, they were looking for an information technology technician.

So, they don't have much of a clue. If you actually get hired, expect to end up as the IT guy for everything. Because they don't really know what they need or want. Also, expect conflicting requirements...

The job application form is a PDF - but it's not the kind of PDF that can be filled out, like an 1040EZ tax form, and doesn't even need to be printed ...no, it's the old kind, that needs to be printed out, filled in, and then scanned - or mailed.

The application is four pages - scanned in, that's four separate images, one for each page of the job application - and yet the Mad River Hospital submission process only allows one file to be attached ... requiring one to submit one's application four times - once for each page.

Here you failed the test. Fill out all four pages, scan them in, insert them into a word processor document, then export said document into one PDF. Result: one PDF with all four pages, attach that to the application.

I know for a fact that the above is possible with LibreOffice. I suspect that Microsoft Office can do it too, or you could "print" the document via some PDF "printing" software.

Comment: Re: Orbital (Score 1) 443

by Lonewolf666 (#48259343) Attached to: Antares Rocket Explodes On Launch

Depends on who swallows the cost.

From the customer's POV, the logical thing would be to put a liability clause into the contract that says "you have to pay us $ XXX million if you lose the payload, and you have to show insurance for it". Then the launch company can hash it out with the insurance company, and the customer has less worries.

Under this scenario, Orbital would either pay the higher premium from its profits or lose future launch contracts to the competition. Someone like SpaceX for instance.

Comment: Re:Maybe we should actually penalize companies (Score 1) 286

by Lonewolf666 (#48219041) Attached to: Tech Firm Fined For Paying Imported Workers $1.21 Per Hour

I agree with the overall sentiment, but your numbers are not quite correct.

The article in the San Jose Mercury News says that the company had to pay the difference to the California minimum wage, $40,156 in total, plus a fine of $3,500.

So this time, they had in effect to pay the minimum wage, plus $3,500, plus some bureaucratic hassle to deal with the affair. Lets call it a loss of $4000 compared to doing things the lawful way. Had they not been caught, they would have saved $40,156 compared to doing things the lawful way.

That makes it mighty attractive to do it the illegal way at least until the first fine, even if there is an escalating penalty for repeat offenders. I think the penalties need to be much bigger for first offenders, and escalate from that.

Comment: Re:On the other hand... (Score 1) 700

by Lonewolf666 (#48210959) Attached to: FTDI Reportedly Bricking Devices Using Competitors' Chips.

AFAIK Sony has not been doing so well in the last 10 years (too lazy to dig out their financial results now). That may be partly due to the bad reputation from the rootkit affair and other things (OtherOS...).

Also, passing costs on to customers has its limits as long as there is meaningful competition.

Comment: Re:The good news (Score 1) 700

by Lonewolf666 (#48210933) Attached to: FTDI Reportedly Bricking Devices Using Competitors' Chips.

The fact that this is an automatic Windows Update that can potentially brick a system without warning (thinking of the non-tech-savvy here), this can make for a very bad nightmare on FTDI's end. I wouldn't be surprised to hear something coming out of the FTC about this before long.

Good point, and I wonder about what Microsoft will do when they realize what is going on. Perhaps retract the update in question and blacklist future FTDI updates, so they don't get into Windows Update anymore?

Comment: Re:I dunno about LEDs, but CFLs don't last (Score 1) 602

by Lonewolf666 (#48002209) Attached to: The Great Lightbulb Conspiracy

In my experience (living and buying stuff in Germany), it depends on the brand. So far, I've tried
-Osram CFLs, not the cheapest but kept their promises about lifetime. Good buy.
-"Megaman" CFLs, similarly priced but three out of four failed within a few months. That company is now on my shit list.

I don't have much experience with LEDs yet, as I only started to use them maybe a year ago. So far all of those are still working, but a year does not say much.

Comment: Re:One Sure Way (Score 1) 275

by Lonewolf666 (#47878377) Attached to: California Tells Businesses: Stop Trying To Ban Consumer Reviews

Yet it is frequently attempted, up to and including outright fraud. A common and legal variety is pricing stuff highly and trying to create an impression of highest quality, but only providing average quality. An example that comes to mind is BOSE hi-fi equipment ;-p

On the other hand, decent quality has a minimum price, dictated by material and work costs. In that direction there is a limit.

Comment: Re: What's wrong with Windows Server? (Score 1) 613

by Lonewolf666 (#47830189) Attached to: You Got Your Windows In My Linux

No. It degrades over time for entirely different reasons. But it *does* degrade over time.

No, it doesn't degrade, it stays the same. If you change the environment or system it runs on that is a different story.

And that is what happens to most environments, even if the user does not desire it.
Sometimes because the vendor of a (software) part of the environment stops supporting it and the need for support dictates going along with the switch.
Sometimes because hardware becomes obsolete and disappears from the market. Then you can't get replacement parts for your existing machines anymore and eventually they will "die out" from defects. Switching to a different system becomes a necessity.

Recent example:
End of life for Windows XP, users move to Vista / Windows 7 / Windows 8 because using unpatched XP on the internet is considered a bad idea.
Some sloppy programming practices using the installation folder as data storage don't work anymore, because Microsoft has added "virtualization" (hidden redirection to the user profile, Vista and Windows 7) or put a UAC dialog before write access (Windows 8 IIRC). Sloppily programmed software works no longer as it used to. Granted, those programs were bad ones to start with but here is your case of "indirect degradation".

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