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Comment: Re:A legend of OS design (Score 4, Interesting) 88

by MightyMartian (#47424441) Attached to: Prof. Andy Tanenbaum Retires From Vrije University

Minix was really the first of its kind; a Unix-like OS that you could run on cheap (relatively speaking at the time) commodity hardware and that you could get the source code for. A lot of the computing we take for granted now comes from Tanenbaum's work.

My first Minix install was on a 386-SX with a whopping 4mb of RAM I borrowed from work back in the early 1990s. I quickly abandoned Minix for Linux once it came out, but for several years I had Minix running on an old 386 laptop just for fun.

Comment: Re:His epitaph in future years: (Score 3, Insightful) 88

by MightyMartian (#47424411) Attached to: Prof. Andy Tanenbaum Retires From Vrije University

I really miss the good old days when technical debates were over the merits and faults of such simple things as different kinds of kernels, and not about whether or not every single thing you do online is being stacked into half a dozen nation's permanent data storage facilities.

The Linus vs. Tanenbaum dustup is from a simpler, more positive age.

Comment: Re:another language shoved down your throat (Score 4, Insightful) 394

by MightyMartian (#47411209) Attached to: Python Bumps Off Java As Top Learning Language

That's rubbish. Most of the major platforms have had Java ported to them. Including various obscure systems is ludicrous. If I want a program that I'm almost guaranteed will run without recompile on Linux, Windows, BSD and even many mainframes, then Java remains the best solution. I'm not saying, from a programming perspective, that it's all that great, but from a platform neutral perspective for most of the systems that a programmer will encounter, it remains the best.

Have fun running an x86-64 Linux binary natively on a Windows 8 machine. I can. however, write a Java program that I can almost guarantee will in fact run on x64 Linux or Windows.

Comment: Re:Not surprising. (Score 4, Interesting) 688

by MightyMartian (#47393709) Attached to: When Beliefs and Facts Collide

If you shot all the people you believe are demon possessed, there will be far less people you believe to be demon possessed. That doesn't make demon possession real.

Eugenics is based in part on gross oversimplifications of genetics and in part on the absurd idea that attributes like economic status are biologically heredity.

Comment: Re:Not surprising. (Score 5, Interesting) 688

by MightyMartian (#47393677) Attached to: When Beliefs and Facts Collide

True, but some of us are willing to accept that the universe doesn't give a fuck about ideology.

When AGW first became a big issue in the 1990s I was talking against it as a big scam on Usenet; particularity my old haunt it was when one of the regulars, a biologist (why any scientist would waste his time debating Creationists I'll never understand), pointed out to me that the theory was reasonably well supported, there were a boatload of papers and that science isn't the product of emotional need, and I finally accepted that AGW, even if it suggested things that I didn't like, was legitimate science.

Comment: Re:Not a good thing (Score 2) 154

by MightyMartian (#47388479) Attached to: Oklahoma's Earthquakes Linked To Fracking

I'm not clear why it should. If you have geological structures under stress, there is already considerable energy in the system, and it may only take a small amount of additional energy to release the much larger amount being pent up.

If you have a bowling ball balanced at the top of a cliff, the energy released by it falling and hitting the ground far below is far greater than the energy required to push it over the cliff.

Comment: Re:So, it's true (Score 1) 119

by MightyMartian (#47385613) Attached to: New Class of Stars Are Totally Metal, Says Astrophysicist

Huh? It's been demonstrated many times in many different ways that gravity is by far the weakest of the fundamental interactions. Gravity makes little difference at the atomic and subatomic levels. Atoms are not mini-solar systems. The forces that bind atomic nuclei and bind electrons to atomic nuclei are fundamentally different from gravity. Here's a tip; at least at the temperatures and densities you will find virtually everywhere in the universe today; gravity, electromagnetism, the strong and weak interactions are very different.

Christ pal, your claim was known to be rubbish eighty years ago. To see someone making a claim that atoms are mini solar systems in the 21st century isn't too far different from someone claiming the Sun orbits the Earth.

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