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Comment: Re:People don't upgrade (Score 1) 432

by MerlinTheGreen (#45914859) Attached to: Why Do Projects Continue To Support Old Python Releases?

Agree on the professional organizations...

All this rage at the python devs because someone forgot to buy a RHEL (or some other companies) subscription in order to keep security fixes rolling into legacy versions of python.

There *is* an eco-system to support long term business critical use of tools such as python. You just don't go and buy it from python.org .

Comment: Re:Bug hunting (Score 1) 254

by MerlinTheGreen (#44026973) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How To Start Reading Other's Code?

This is right on the money.

Don't learn the code base. Work on something. Change something. Do something.

If you're worried about breaking stuff then read back the change very carefully and follow all the impacted variables (and data types) back in a source navigator. That is when you really start learning because there's some focus. Following the variables back also gives you an insight into how to write a test case for your new work.

However for me the biggest myth in programming is that you have to understand how it all works. You only need to understand a couple of really basic common idioms (approach to threading and thread-safety, coding style) before diving in. The new code doesn't have to be right... merely make the code base better than it was before.

Comment: A fixed payment is not a royalty (Score 1) 48

by MerlinTheGreen (#35492424) Attached to: Red Hat Paid $4.2m To Settle Patent Suit

Wikipedia defines royalties as "usage-based payments made by one party (the "licensee") and another (the "licensor") for ongoing use of an asset, sometimes an intellectual property.". While wikipedia is not authoritive that matchs my own understanding of royalties. By their very nature royalty payments are on going.

Thus Redhat is not paying royalties to FireStar (present tense) they have paid (past tense) money to them as a royalty-buy-out (meaning neither they, nor any downstream user, must pay royalties).

This does not, in any sense whatsoever, contradict the position that royalty encumbered standards are incompatible with the GNU GPL.

Comment: Re:I hear ya.... (Score 5, Informative) 262

by MerlinTheGreen (#32848462) Attached to: Where Are the Joysticks For Retro Gaming?

Devices based on V-USB (software only USB implementation for AVR microcontrollers) are probably worth a look because designs you can copy are so numerous.

This is one of the most versatile. I doesn't support the Apple IIc yet but the BBC joysticks had a similar capability so the only difference is likely to be in the adapter lead:

http://denki.world3.net/retro_v2.html

Perhaps you don't want to make your own circuit board. If so, I had a quick look at the retro's schematic and reckon you should be able to get the retro firmware running on an off the shelf board such as the one adafruit sell.

http://www.adafruit.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=16&products_id=174

I've got one of these and its a great little board. I built a temperature logger using one and I got it running (hardware and software) in about four hours. That said I did spend another three building the programmer!

Finally there a gallery of lots of HID devices made using cheap AVR controllers:

http://www.obdev.at/products/vusb/prjhid.html

Air pollution is really making us pay through the nose.

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