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Comment Re:Swift (Score 1) 351 351

Perhaps they need to be exposed to machine language as part of their CS curriculum. Hopefully it isn't being dropped from current programs. I was forced to take an introductory course in it and got quite a bit out of it (even though it was technically for an "obsolete" CPU).

Comment Re:so? (Score 3, Informative) 79 79

Whats odd is this model is a downgrade over the refreshed W541. Unless you really need a Broadwell CPU, the W541 offers Thunderbolt, Expresscard, and double the memory capacity of the W550s. Heck, the optional battery for the W541 is higher capacity (99WHr) than the one for the W550s (72WHr).

Comment Re:"got practical" (Score 1) 154 154

It depends on the school's curriculum. I had to take an assembly language programming course (VAX!) when I was in college 10+ years ago. Pretty sure nobody had a class on hardware performance. The only time I was exposed to multi-threading was in an operating system theory class (mostly the concept of critical sections and semaphores). Linked lists usually appear in a second semester data structures programming course along with heaps, trees, queues, and stacks. I was first exposed to them in high school in AP Computer Science class. The same teacher also taught object oriented programming even though it wasn't required for the AP test.

Still despite all this, I know people who graduated with a Comp Sci degree that really didn't know how to program.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

IBM Advanced Systems Group -- a bunch of mindless jerks, who'll be first against the wall when the revolution comes... -- with regrets to D. Adams