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Comment: Re:In Theory (Score 1) 380

by hoggoth (#47865153) Attached to: Unpopular Programming Languages That Are Still Lucrative

So what did you convert everything TO? I needed a program to manage my business and whipped it together in Access in one day. It handles customer lists, project lists, billable hours, todos (customer requests) and auto generates all of my end of month invoices from the billable hours.

Thing is I *hate* Access. Every time I have to touch it I cringe because the way it works hurts my brain. But what else would let me make a system that does all this in just a few hours? Foxpro-ish tools would take weeks to code the loading editing and saving data from the database to the on-screen grids and forms. I looked at Lazarus, Rebol, DABO and LiveCode (RunRev), but they all look like they require hand coding the interface to some extent.

Comment: Jehova's Witnesses Knew This Years Ago (Score 1) 273

by turgid (#47750561) Attached to: Numerous Methane Leaks Found On Atlantic Sea Floor

Blimey, in about 1998 this old guy from the Jo-Hos knocked on my door and presented me with some literature including something about how "all scientists" believe in god, especially the Great Fred Hoyle, so God must be there.

It also said that "scientists are telling us" about this vast, untapped wealth of hydrocarbon deposits on the deep sea beds in the form of these methane thingy-ma-bobs, so God had provided us with all the energy we'll ever need. He's a great guy that God dude! He didn't mention atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations and global warning, though.

So, the Jo-Hos are right. God is really there! And we will never run out of energy!

Comment: Slackware Forever (Me Too!) (Score 1) 826

by turgid (#47750403) Attached to: Choose Your Side On the Linux Divide

Slackware does things The Right Way(TM). I've been using it since 1995 as my main distro with a brief detour into SLAMD64 in 2007 when I bought a 64-bit AMD and Slackware was still x86-32.

I've had the misfortune to have to suffer Debian. RedHat/CentOS, Ubuntu and Arago for work over the years, but Slackware is the best. Everything I've learned from Slackware has empowered me to be productive with all of those other distributions.

Comment: Re:I hope not (Score 1) 511

by turgid (#47747015) Attached to: If Java Wasn't Cool 10 Years Ago, What About Now?

why?

Learning a language that comes from a completely different school of thought (i.e. "paradigm") will give you a far larger perspective than only having learned one language or family of languages. For example, if all you ever saw was C++, Java and C# your world view would be extremely limited. Someone who has learned a little FORTH, LISP and Smalltalk, not to mention various assembly languages, would be an order of magnitude more productive than you, produce fewer bugs and be able to think of more good solutions to difficult problems.

If all you ever do is write GUIs for the corporate Oracle or MS database, then stay in your C# paradise.

Comment: Re:No no (Score 1) 243

by hoggoth (#47743207) Attached to: It's Dumb To Tell Kids They're Smart

At a place I worked, they offered the sales team a challenge very much like the 'ideal' one you described. A group target was set, and each individual was given a target at some modest percentage above what their current rolling average was. Everyone either won or lost together. The sales team was very much like in your description, with an established lead salesperson who made the bulk of the sales and was given all of the "important" big strategic deals, some middle of the pack sales people who did a tenth what the lead did, and a few clueless newbies making cold-calls.

Everyone panicked, started messing up their normal routines. The lead salesperson wanted the prize, so give big discounts to close some sales a month earlier than they would have "naturally", and handed the contact information to the lower salespeople to "close" the sales (ie: write up the paperwork). The lower salespeople gladly took the "free" sales and ignored their own "harder" sales. The contest was won, the next month the lead had a bad month because he had dredged his pipeline with the big discounts. The other salespeople had bad months too because they had messed up the flow of their routines.

I'm not saying your idea isn't good. I'm just saying it's very hard to "game" the sales process, especially when your salespeople are experts at winning the game. Unintended consequences abound...

Comment: Re: Jurisdiction 101 (Score 3, Interesting) 391

by turgid (#47727669) Attached to: UK Police Warn Sharing James Foley Killing Video Is a Crime

Errr... the UK still has an reasonable approximation of a well-functioning court system. That the police say something is illegal isn't enough to get you thrown in jail.

It is under Tony Blair's Anti-Terror Laws. You only need to be suspected of something that could be vaguely related to terrorism to be locked up. No jury trial involved, just the police, some politicians and a few judges.

Comment: Re:Code more.. (Score 1) 548

by turgid (#47723461) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Do You Wish You'd Known Starting Out As a Programmer?

Very wise words.

I'd add to that: write unit tests for your code (preferably before you write the code). You'll understand how it works and where it's broken quicker and better and free up your brain cycles more for the creative design part.

You will learn and improve much more quickly with much less stress.

Comment: LISP (Score 1) 548

by turgid (#47723383) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Do You Wish You'd Known Starting Out As a Programmer?

Back in the day (80's 8-bit micros) I started on BASIC and Z80 machine code followed by a little FORTH.

The one thing I really wish I'd known about - or understood - was what LISP really is. It was often described in the popular computing press as a language "for processing lists."

How very wrong. The reality is so much better.

I didn't seriously look at the lisp family of languages until about 6 or 7 years ago. I really wish I'd looked 25 years sooner.

Slowly and surely the unix crept up on the Nintendo user ...

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