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Comment: Sharp PC 1403H Pocket Computer, HTC Mobile Devices (Score 1) 567

by Qbertino (#46794075) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Tech Products Were Built To Last?

Sharp PC 1403H from '91. I'd bet money that my 1986 Sharp PC 1402 (same device with less memory) still would be working too if I hadn't sold it.
Batteries are from the 90ies too - haven't replaced them since. Still work. Still have microcassettes with my own software on them, such as a Shadowrun (1st Ed.) Character Builder. Would print out the stats on the cash register strip printer. Still have that too, still works. :-)

My Mac Mini from 2006 still is going strong, aswell as my HTC Desire HD Smartphone and my HTC Flyer tablet, both of which have been in hard everyday use since 3 and 2 years ago respectively. Both have been dropped hard multiple times, the Flyer is nicked and dented around the edges, the pounch looks like it's been through a war and I've wasted 3 hardcases on my HTC Desire HD and replaced the battery and protective foil once, because it was so banged up already. I expect both to last another few years with everyday use. It's a shame replacing the HTC Flyer battery isn't done as easyly as with the phone.

I consider the HTC Desire HD and the HTC Flyer the best smartphone and tablet enclosures ever (solid aluminium), better even than Apples current cases - although the iPad Air enclosure does look cool. Shame they don't build them in that quality anymore. They are from a time when everyone was rushing into the mobile market and trying to make a name for themselves. Although the HTC One line still has pretty goog enclosures.

Interesting tidbit: The HTC Flyers enclosure is top notch and very sturdy which makes it notably heavier than your usual 7" plastic tablet. That's actually a little downside.

Comment: There's only one thing to say to this coder ... (Score 2) 445

by Qbertino (#46727195) Attached to: Heartbleed Coder: Bug In OpenSSL Was an Honest Mistake

Robin Seggelmann, thank you and the entire OpenSSL Team for your contributions to free open source software. Glad we could find a serious security flaw, that you're helping to find out how it happend and that the OpenSSL crew is so fast in coming up with a fix.
With just about any other development paradigm and folks like MS we'd've waited for weeks for that to happen.

Carry on with the good work, you guys rock!

Comment: That is *not* a Graffiti Drone ... (Score 1) 126

by Qbertino (#46727059) Attached to: The Graffiti Drone

That is *not* a Graffiti Drone, it's an RC Quadcopter with a Spraycan attached. Hopelessly imbalanced and overladen, aimlessly spraying paint about and barely even hitting the space it's supposed to paint on, let alone drawing anything remotely resembling usefull graffity.

These guys have a long way to go.

My 2 cents.

Comment: Be happy you failed so fast. (Score 1) 161

by Qbertino (#46648155) Attached to: App Developers, It's Time For a Reality Check

I now have almost $150,000 in debt, ruined credit, and no job prospects. What should I have done different?

Exited before stacking up 150k dept.

But that aside, try to stay on track. And don't waste your time. You can always make back money, you can not, however, make back time. Don't waste it. And when you start making the money back, getting of 150k gets easy very fast. Just don't *add* more dept, that would be my advice. Be glad you've got nothing to lose. ... Think outside the box.

Tim Ferriss "4 hour workweek" comes recomended as an inspirational book for you in your situation.

And hang in there. I've lost 8 jobs in 15 years, but I'm closing in on my sweet spot. ... And I'v just about paid all my depts. It works and it can be a fun adventure while you're doing it. You'll be at zero and in the plus faster than you'd think.

Good luck. Especially with the leasons learned.

Comment: Baxter robot replacing a waiter? Don't think so. (Score 1) 870

by Qbertino (#46582295) Attached to: Job Automation and the Minimum Wage Debate

The notion that something like baxter could replace a waiter is ridiculous. When I actually go to a diner, a starbucks or something simular and pay super-premium to be waited (up to 20x the price it would cost to make the same quality drink myself (time not counted)), I wan't a cute, smart, charming but servile hot chica to be kind and friendly to me and make me feel accepted, loved, respected, welcome and, yes, problably also a little more manly. And bring me my latte just as I ordered it. That would be 4,90 Euros, thank you.

Same goes for the ladies I know. They want a well-groomed polite and charming hippster to serve them their latte.

No way are those jobs being replaced by robots.

My webworker coding job I'm doing right now on the other hand - that could go away in an instant. The Flash stuff I've been doing in the 2000+s f.e. has completely vanished. Heck, if they'd let me or any other respectable geek set a usefull standard for web-like services I'd be out of a job in no time. And would probalby be happier for it. I could do visual design and software OOAD all day. ... All while being served by the sweet baristas mentioned above.

Waiting and service in a post scarcity economy rapidly becomes all about human interaction and little else. No way is that going to be done by robots. Those are for cleaning floors and assembly tablet computers. Or acutally making the latte that the cutey brings me.
Sidenote to that: Miele just came up with their first vacuum robot btw., and since they are the BMW of household appliances, I count this as an indicator that vacuum robots are finally up to the task.

Comment: Be friendly and honest. Play the senior card. (Score 2) 218

by Qbertino (#46557235) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Re-Learning How To Interview As a Developer?

Be friendy, humorous and honest. Play the senior card. Practice interviewing. That is, have many, apply for all jobs that could fit somehow. 90% of the specs in the ad are bogus anyway and are collected and written by people who can't even abstract a desktop icon from a file on the harddisk, let alone acutally know what they are talking about or asking for in a hire.

Display self-worth by not having to prove yourself anymore.
When you're losing your inner game just think: "If you don't hire me, that's your problem, not mine. I'm just being nice to you."

If you're in your mid-fourties, start wearing shirts and perhaps even ties (I'm going to start wearing my first tie soon), along with the matching pants and shoes and maybe a jacket to match. Skip the next 2-3 generations of high end grafics cards or other geek gadgets for a quality wardrobe. Get a good book on dressing well and perhaps pay a professional tailor to give you some advice if you are a total fashion n00b. It may even be time to give those printed t-shirts to the red cross or use them as oil rags.
Get and maintain a good haircut and pimp your grooming skills. Talk smart and less that a usual nerd and keep your voice calmer that you're used to. This all works particularly well if you've already got some gray hair to show. I call this 'the gray hair bonus' - played well it has a solid direct positive impact on your salary.

I got my last job by being friendly and honest and telling some interesting war stories about my times as a developer. We talked for 1,5 hours, had a lot of fun and in the end I got the job. 1 phonecall, 2 short emails (one being the contract for me to review) and a nice long chitchat. They didn't see a single piece of official paper from me. That's how interviews should go at 40+ when you've started programming in 1986 as a 16-year old.

If you're an IT expert you'll get a job, one way or the other. Don't worry to much. Take the edge of age discrimination by being approachable but with a senior aura. Your boss should to feel safer and better understood when you're around, because you're 'the experienced guy' on his team. That works best when you're around his age and are friendly and forthcoming when pointing out flaws in his software production.

My 2 cents.

Comment: You're not old or particularly experienced ... (Score 1) 306

by Qbertino (#46514845) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Can an Old Programmer Learn New Tricks?

You're not old nor are you particularly experienced at programming. Fiddling with web stuff for two decades doesn't make you an expert programmer. On the contrary, in the battle you learn lot's of bad habits. I should know, I'm in roughly the same position as you. Mind you, hacking together a messy system that has the customer satisfied two weeks from now and has the varnish of feature-completeness is a skill on its own, but it's only remotely to do with proper programming.

The problem with applied programming on the web is that it's a steaming mess and constantly moving and evolving. I recommend that you specialize in one field - let's say Android Development and dive into the accompaning technologies. Learning OOP and OOAD does not happen when you use frameworks or toolkits, it happens when you learn to build your own.

Perhaps you should get some certification alongside your field you want to specialize in. And again, be warned: PHP + JS + CSS + MySQL + jQuery + Zend/Symfony/CakePHP/FrameworkXVZ + fiddling with x-browser compatability + a litte image and/or video editing here and there does not make you an expert.

Dive in and learn OOP with a mature non-messy technology and you'll eventually get there.

My 2 cents.

Comment: Religion is stoicisim for the mentally challanged (Score 1) 529

by Qbertino (#46492755) Attached to: Religion Is Good For Your Brain

Todays Bookreligions and the way they are praticed are a watered down stoicisim for the mentally challanged and little more.
And of course a well-rounded philosophy of life will help you battle depression and and assaults on your spirits in general.

I'd bet money that stoics and zen-buddists and the like show the least likelyhood of depression, especially compared to followers of abrahamic religions.

Get Seneca, read it and be done with it. All the benefits of religion and then some without any of the downsides.

My 2 cents.

Comment: Roughly 5 hours ... (Score 1) 146

by Qbertino (#46427429) Attached to: Time sucked into Netflix or similar, weekly:

Roughly 5 hours. Between Job (part-time webdev), Coding/Fiddling with FOSS on my own time, Eveningschool (A-Level GED), Sewing (currently mending/pimping pants and sewing a pouch for my MacBook Air) and Tango Dancing there's not much time. I like to wind down during the weekdays with a movie though, even if it's late. Just watched Limitless (great one) and Contagion (dito) last week.

Last Weekend without planning to, I wound up dancing on friday, saturday and sunday. ... It get's quite adictive, especially with all the hot chicas you get to know :-))

Comment: Private Cars are just about the most stupid thing (Score 2) 187

by Qbertino (#46426781) Attached to: Is Traffic Congestion Growing Three Times As Fast As Economy?

Private Cars is just about the most stupid thing in these times. Germans spend 4.7 Billion man hours per year in traffic jams. Mind you, this is Germany, where there are better and more roads per capita, far less speed limits and people actually know how to drive. 4.7 fucking billion man hours per year. Let that sink in for a minute. And that's like 80% of the monetary income generating population wasting that sort of time (I won't say working population, for obvious reasons).

With that time wasted, we could send every person in the workincome population on a paid 3 week vacation each year and still have money to spare.

Cars are an anomally, only around today for mostly historical reasons, with no sensible reason at all. Sort of like the PC keyboard or MS Windows. Only with far more negative impact on overall quality of living and the environment.

Most populations and societies would be better of if we banned private cars alltogether and switched to e-bikes and public transport entirely. With taxis and cargo taxis for the special occasions. Would be cheaper for all, faster for all, better for the environment and we'd all be happier for it. I'd bet money on that.

If I were a billionaire I'd pay some bankrupt German cities to ban cars alltogether and then heavyly invest in them and then sit back and watch the local economy and quality of living skyrocket.

My 2 cents.

Comment: PHPs badness is its advantage. (Score 4, Interesting) 254

by Qbertino (#46406585) Attached to: The New PHP

I love Python, I think JavaScript is sort of OK and I did a lot of serious programming in ActionScript 2&3, both of which are quite simular to JS. I was basically forced into doing PHP by the market. I never really liked PHP but I really never hated it either. The thing about PHP is that it's so specific in its domain and such a hack that no one doing PHP development for a living will go around boasting about the greatness of the language. There is a refreshing lack of arrogance in the PHP community which, in my observation, makes it very easy for n00bs to pick up. As a result we get countless people reinventing the wheel in PHP and discovering basic programming patters anew for them selves and starting yet another Framework/CMS/Whatnot and the results often are really bizar. But the community remains alive that way.

F.I. I'm working myself into Drupal at my current employer because it's the prime go-to CMS here. It's like a live alice in wonderland trip. A strange historically grown mess, barely tamed by sanitiy and a relentless chaotic community that all by accident seem to come up with hacks that somehow solve the problem in some way. And yet there's a solid global corporation building its business all around Drupal. The surreal hacks with which the Drupal people solve their problems are mindboggling, and yet everybody seems totally OK with it. And Drupals track record of deployments is impressive.

I guess with PHP it's somehow like the C vs. Lisp argument: C is so shitty compared to Lisp that you have to get yourself together and work as a team, or you won't get anything done. Hence Lisp has this loner exisitance on the side and all the real work gets done in this ancient C thing.

PHP is a simular thing. It is so bad that no respectable programmer would pick it up voluntarly nowadays, but yet it grew out of Perl (which is worse in some ways), was somewhat of an improvement and was at the right place at the right time. The badness of PHP accounts for its considerable lack of arrogance (compare the PHP community to the Ruby community for instance) and for no one feeling guilty when he does a quick bad hack.

As a programmer you don't feel dirty when you do bad programming in PHP, you already felt that when you picked PHP as the solution. Hence quite a bit of work gets done in PHP. That's why PHP has Drupal and Typo3 and Joomla and the Java Community has nothing of that proportions. The barrier of entry into PHP is *very* low which gives it its momentum.

My 2 cents.

Comment: Cramming 20 commands into one line ... (Score 2, Insightful) 216

by Qbertino (#46367645) Attached to: Wolfram Language Demo Impresses

Cramming 20 commands and 8 layers of brackets into one line doesn't make your programm an 'impressive 5-liner'. It, at most, makes a neat stunt by a mathematician in a proprietary programming language he invented himself. I'd be tempted to call it shitty programming.

Nothing to see here folks, move along.

Comment: Yes, webtech is a toy. And that's why it will win. (Score 1) 82

by Qbertino (#46366163) Attached to: Github Rolls Out New Text Editor Atom

Javascript, DOM, CSS etc are a bastardised mish-mash of technologies that lack elegance and coherence; they've come about from the legacy need to display static pages in a browser. To gain functionality more and more features have been added like throwing crap against a wall in the hope something will stick. Using this spaghetti system to drive a text editor makes little sense from a technology point of view.

Web technologies today are a toy. Very true. PHP is a silly mess (Sidenote: ATM I develop PHP/HTML/CSS/JS for a living) and clientside Flash was eons ahead of everything else. That's 'was' as in 'has passed'. Adobe and Macromedia sought to that.

Devs will settle for the lowest common demoninator and will backtrack 2-3 generations of technology if it's open and free. It was the same with the PC. It was a toy. But it was open and free and you could dabble with it without a giant megacorporation sueing you into next wednesday. Now x86 rules the planet, and Amiga and GEOS Works are faint history.

That's the way things go. Nature finds the absurdest ways around obsticles, but it's true.

Comment: You got it wrong. (Score 1) 53

We spent NINETEEN BILLION DOLLARS on a chat program.

Nope. We spent 19 Billion on 450 Million active users and counting. On a programm that carries itself by asking 1 Euro per year for the service. If we play out cards right, we've just bought the soon-to-be-the-worlds-largest phone and telecommunications company at a bargain price. ... And we expect to play our cards right. Or do you think we screwed up our IPO?

Android just passed 1 billion activated devices. How long to you think it will take before the majority of humanity is communicating and doing most of its everyday work with an android based smartphone? I expect that to happen in the next decade.

Nondeterminism means never having to say you are wrong.