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Comment: Re:OS/2 better then windows at running windows app (Score 1) 387 387

by NJRoadfan (#49758803) Attached to: 25 Years Today - Windows 3.0
That was OS/2 2.0, the 32-bit version released well after Windows 3.0. Windows 3.0, unlike the contemporary 16-bit OS/2 1.x, allowed one to finally use all their RAM (plus virtual memory in 386 enhanced mode) and multitask DOS applications, which could also use extended memory. See: http://virtuallyfun.supergloba...

Comment: Re:Who needed it? (Score 2) 70 70

NetUSB is used by some printer servers to allow use of USB only All-in-One printers and scanners over a network. I had to fix a setup once, and it was nothing but a buggy mess. The printer and its drivers were never designed to be used in a shared environment and the client machines needed some really ugly "Virtual USB" driver to fool the AIO's software into thinking it was directly connected to the machine. It worked sometimes, just never EVER try to print or scan from multiple machines at once.

Comment: Re:Old DOS Borland Developer Tools. (Score 1) 244 244

by NJRoadfan (#49690759) Attached to: RTFM? How To Write a Manual Worth Reading
I encountered this with the Cairo Graphics library. They do have very basic tutorials, but nothing that covers the advanced functions. Any graphics library/API should show the desired output alongside the code since a picture is worth a thousand words. :P The best example of this I have encountered is Postscript: A Visual Approach. The book's examples showed the source code on the left page and the actual output of the code on the right page. The book also did a good job of explaining how coordinate transforms work, something that is important when dealing with vector graphics.

Comment: Re:One thing to keep in mind... (Score 1) 244 244

by NJRoadfan (#49690455) Attached to: RTFM? How To Write a Manual Worth Reading
Sounds like the man page for the "tar" command. This is analogous to someone giving you a box of tools and some materials with a piece of paper explaining what each tool is used for, but no instructions on how to put whatever it is together! I am trying to address this with an open source project I am working on. I broke the document down to the following sections:

Getting Started: Covers basic setup and configuration. It gets the user up and running step-by-step with the defaults complete with screen shots. It tells users everything they need to know and nothing they don't. This is what is usually lacking from most open source projects. Many times they leave you hanging after "apt get"

Advanced Configuration: Covers every configuration option in detail and the option's expected behavior. This is for the power users and the folks who need something other than the defaults.

FAQs/Troubleshooting: Covers common problems and how to fix them. Also covers any questions that can't be explained by the configuration options alone.

Comment: Re:OSS needs technical writers more than coders (Score 5, Insightful) 244 244

by NJRoadfan (#49690281) Attached to: RTFM? How To Write a Manual Worth Reading
I am in the process of documenting a system I added to an open source project. Its not easy to write, particularly if one doesn't have a background in technical writing. The basic process the same though, you have to write for your audience, and revise.... a lot. In my case, I have been sending drafts of my work to other developers in the project to not only proofread, but to actually read through the directions and perform the listed tasks as an end-user would. So far the feedback has resulted in changes in both the documentation and the program to make things easier/clearer for the user.

I guess what I'm trying to say is, don't skip review and just post the documentation. Give the documentation and software to someone not familiar with it and see how they interpret and understand it. Listen to their feedback. Way too many developers don't (I'm looking at your Google!). Wikis are supposed to address this, but don't seem to engage enough people to actually contribute.

Comment: Re:Plumbing! (Score 1) 420 420

by NJRoadfan (#49663037) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Moving To an Offshore-Proof Career?
That company was Motorola. Now look at them.

That being said, its still possible to repair a modern TV. I fixed a 4 year old plasma TV with a service manual and a multimeter to determine the fault. Actual component repair of the faulty board was outsourced to a refurbishing company (the price over buying the parts kit alone was minimal). Popped the repaired board in and the TV is as good as new.

Comment: Re:Dealerships HAVE become more cost competitive (Score 1) 649 649

by NJRoadfan (#49518167) Attached to: Automakers To Gearheads: Stop Repairing Cars
Oil changes are typically "loss leader" pricing to get your car in the service bay for other work. I used to know someone who owned a car dealership and he said the most profitable thing he ever did was give free oil changes to anyone who purchased a car there.

Comment: Re:Investment Tax Credit (Score 1) 265 265

NJ (#2 in solar in the US) has a subsidy scheme with "Solar Renewable Energy Credits". Many local governments bet on that subsidy to pay off solar panel installs with these SRECs, only for the market to crash (a victim of its own success) :

Note the collapse in prices:

Comment: Re:Disincentivized (Score 1) 407 407

by NJRoadfan (#49356581) Attached to: Millennial Tech Workers Losing Ground In US
Some of this can be attributed to the College Board changing the language of choice for the AP Computer Science test curriculum from C++ to Java in 2004. Most universities in the US phased out C++ in their introductory programming classes after that. I'm also disappointed they phased out the AB Computer Science test.

You can also add NJIT to that list of places that require programming. Check out the syllabus for CS288. I was required to take that class back in the day. It was a joke, mostly because it was developed and taught by a tenured professor that didn't seem to enjoy his job. Somebody else appears to have taken over a revamped it. Plenty of pointers to be found there.

Comment: Re:Disincentivized (Score 1) 407 407

by NJRoadfan (#49356455) Attached to: Millennial Tech Workers Losing Ground In US
After taking several semesters of Calculus without a calculator (department enforced), I can say its more about developing problem solving skills than it is actual arithmetic. Some of the higher end math beyond the basic undergrad Calculus courses is used in advanced programming algorithms (things like encryption and data compression) , but the majority of programmers aren't going to be exposed to that in the real world.

The perversity of nature is nowhere better demonstrated by the fact that, when exposed to the same atmosphere, bread becomes hard while crackers become soft.