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Comment: Re:Not in visable uses... (Score 5, Interesting) 135

by mcrbids (#47578853) Attached to: HP Gives OpenVMS New Life and Path To X86 Port

The most bad-ass server I've ever had the pleasure of working with was a Digital VAX 11/750 generations ago. It was *built* to be reliable from the very first rivet.

Oh sure, my pocket phone has far more power, memory, and storage. Despite the ample square footage of my "McMansion" house, It would not have fit in my kitchen. It ate power like global warming really was a myth. But as a server, it was in its own class.

It would automatically detect memory that was failing and rebuild from memory (like ECC) but then would remap that address so it would no longer be used.

You could upgrade its CPUs one at a time without shutting it down.

It was like a hoover with data, versioning files was intrinsic to how the O/S worked.

One time, the A/C in the computer room went out. It mapped *everything* in RAM to disk as the temperature rose and the chips became unreliable. We literally pulled the plug on it because it was completely unresponsive, as all operations were working directly off HDD. When the A/C was fixed and it was powered up late that night, it spooled all of RAM out of the HDD swap, and everybody's workstation resumed exactly where they had left off that afternoon - we couldn't find any data loss at all.

I will forever bow in deference to the greatest server I have ever had the pleasure of working on. How HP managed to acquire such a legacy and turn its back... part of me cries inside.

Comment: Re:Trust (Score 2) 98

by DoofusOfDeath (#47574365) Attached to: "ExamSoft" Bar Exam Software Fails Law Grads

Those are preparing to be lawyers, not judges or prosecutors.

I thought that even civil and defense lawyers are considered officers of the court.

I also think that even they are given certain powers not available to regular citizens, such as issuing subpoenas. I thought that was one of the reasons for requiring even them to be of good character.

Comment: Re:Paywall (Score 1) 204

by DoofusOfDeath (#47573429) Attached to: Vint Cerf on Why Programmers Don't Join the ACM

Same thing for me. I'm naturally biased against paying exorbitant prices for papers that the publisher received for free. So for my PhD work I basically avoided using papers that were only available by paying ACM, IEEE, or Elsevier.

Fortunately, in the age of CiteSeer, Google Scholar, and authors who publish their own papers even if they've submitted them to journals, I was able to boycott those publishers and still get my PhD done. Also, having a good team of technical librarians goes a long way.

5-10 years ago though, I'm not sure I could have so easily avoided paying money to those publishers.

Comment: Re:Great when you're in school (Score 1) 204

by DoofusOfDeath (#47573373) Attached to: Vint Cerf on Why Programmers Don't Join the ACM

Yeah, same for me. The ACM journals IEEE Transactions were really useful reading while I was working on my Master's. By the time I got to my PhD work though, the combination of Google Scholar, CiteSeer, and papers being available over the internet (probably in contravention to author's agreements with the journals that published the paper) made ACM and IEEE irrelevant.

It seems to me that the only part of ACM's publication system that's still relevant is the selection and vetting of good papers for their journals. So maybe they should just continue that editorial process, and periodically publish those papers as PDF's on their website. Heck, I bet Google or Amazon or MIT would host that for free.

I think that would test whether or not ACM is focused more on advancing computing as a science vs. maintaining its own bureaucracy.

Comment: Re:Is Jackson arguing against diversity? (Score 1) 504

by DoofusOfDeath (#47568683) Attached to: Jesse Jackson: Tech Diversity Is Next Civil Rights Step

I thought he was arguing against HB1 visas that import foreign workers instead of trying to hire more diverse American workers.

That's my best guess too. What if those workers are black? Or black and from impoverished countries? I'm curious if a liberal Democrat can bring himself to say "Americans first."

Comment: Are only black people "diverse"? (Score 4, Insightful) 504

by DoofusOfDeath (#47568561) Attached to: Jesse Jackson: Tech Diversity Is Next Civil Rights Step

From a NYT article:

Of Google’s technical staff, 60 percent are white, 1 percent are black, 2 percent are Hispanic, 34 percent are Asian and 3 percent are of two or more races.

As I read it, America is about 63% non-Hispanic white. Which sounds pretty close to Google's proportion of white technical staff.

It sounds like Jackson really needs to have a discussion as to why black people are being so out-hired by Asians.

Comment: Confusing position (Score 5, Informative) 504

by DoofusOfDeath (#47568441) Attached to: Jesse Jackson: Tech Diversity Is Next Civil Rights Step

I'm confused... is Jackson arguing for more Americans, or more black people, or more black Americans, to get tech jobs?

After listening to Jackson over the years, it's now almost a reflex for me to argue against his statements. But I'm still sketchy on what they are in this case.

Comment: Re:So it's like all other information? (Score 1) 183

by Quirkz (#47567725) Attached to: An Accidental Wikipedia Hoax

Oh, yeah, I'm not arguing that. You'd think given a few millennia someone would try something besides rock and feather, or any other light object with significant air resistance. It's mystifying how religiously they took Aristotle on all subjects, by the way, not just gravity. Nearly everything wrong with science for the next thousand years can be attributed to him, or a misinterpretation of him.

Math, according to my possibly faulty: Aristotle tutored Alexander the Great, who peaked around 320s BC. The Macedonian era was either the last gasp of Greek superiority or by some accounts post-Greek. Rome was already on the rise, and soon to eclipse it. Greek history definitely goes back another thousand years before that or more, though by 1600 BC I think you're deep into the realm of Homer already.

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