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Comment: Re:Too bad (Score 1) 474

by Sesostris III (#47949051) Attached to: Scotland Votes No To Independence
Actually, this comment hits on an interesting issue. The problem with Greece et al is not the EU, it is the Euro, i.e. a shared currency. The UK is in the EU, but not the Euro (we've still got Sterling).

One of the claims of the Yes proponents in the Scottish Referendum was that Scotland could share a currency with the rest of the UK, despite being a separate country, i.e. Scotland and the UK could have a currency union without a political union. This was firmly rejected by the Westminster parties, and this rejection may have influenced the No vote. The reason for the rejection of sharing Sterling is precisely because of what is happening within the Euro zone of the EU - without some form of political union, a currency union will not work.

(I should add that I think the Euro zone shouldn't abandon the Euro to get it to work, but should engage in greater political union! I would like the UK to be there as well, but currently the idea of the UK joining the Euro - currency and political union - is as likely as a viable chocolate teapot, more's the pity)

Comment: Interesting geographical breakdown (Score 1) 474

by Sesostris III (#47947995) Attached to: Scotland Votes No To Independence
As an Englishman observing this from outside Scotland (but from within the UK), I find the geographical breakdown interesting. The overall result was 55.30% No and 44.70 % Yes, but looking at the results from the 32 councils only four had majorities for the Yes vote. 28 had a majority for No (albeit very slim in one instance).

The councils where the Yes vote was in the majority were all urban. In all the rural (and some urban) councils the No vote had the majority. OK, some of these are a lot smaller (in population) than the councils where the Yes vote had the majority, but they were a lot larger geographically.

What was very interesting was that some areas which voted No are SNP strongholds, including Alex Salmon's own constituency.

I think there is enough here to keep the pundits going for months!

Comment: Re:A glorious victory for all (Score 2) 474

by Sesostris III (#47947289) Attached to: Scotland Votes No To Independence
There are probably a lot of people in both Scotland and the rest of the UK who agree with you! Interestingly there were no plans for an independent Scotland to give up the monarchy. The Queen would've remained their Head of State, as she is for Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

Incidentally, the Union of the Crowns predates the Union of the Parliaments.

Comment: Re:The over-65's swung it for No (Score 1) 474

by Sesostris III (#47947203) Attached to: Scotland Votes No To Independence

Since I last posted, the pledge from the parties behind the No campaign for more devolution powers have already fallen apart. A lot of people voted no because they were promised a more federalised UK

I assume you mean Milliband's statement at 17:42 BST:

"Our task now is to make sure that we deliver on the timetable we've set out, to deliver extra powers to the Scottish Parliament, and we will deliver on that."


Don't worry, as someone from England, I want to see the leaders keep the promise they made. Don't give up yet!

(For our non-UK readers Milliband is the leader of the Official Opposition, and potential next Prime Minister. His words carry clout.)

Comment: Java in an IDE (Score 1, Insightful) 466

Java in Eclipse or NetBeans. It's not interpreted but you can create it and run it in-situ ('Run As' in Eclipse). It also ticks most of the other boxes (web - Apache Tomcat. Mobile - not looked int this but there's mobile Java or there's Dalvik. GUI - Swing, SWT or JavaFX). I believe that NetBeans may be better for visual GUI development (I'm not familiar with NetBeans. I use Eclipse and set things up manually with Swing if required).

The only down-side is the learning curve. However there are lots of resources on the Web, and many books available. It is also cross-platform, maintained (by Oracle) and free (Gratis and, if you use OpenJDK, Libre). There are also plenty of third-party libraries you can download.

If I need something quick and dirty, it's what I use. (But then, I'm a Java developer so probably biased!)

Comment: ICL 1900 (Score 1) 230

by Sesostris III (#46881229) Attached to: One-a-Day-Compiles: Good Enough For Government Work In 1983
That was my first computer in 1979 (British Government). Not only was coding (COBOL) done on coding sheets, but you hand drew flow diagrams first before you started coding. When complete you sent the code off to be punched (onto cards) and compiled. Frustratingly the source code was only stored once one got one's first 'clean' compile. Before then one got the listing back (with compiler errors) along with the punched cards, and one had to replace the incorrect punch cards by hand. If I remember rightly, the Operating System was called George III.
Once compiled and stored, you could book your half-hour per day on the teletype! We did hear stories about terminals, but we didn't have any. This was the time you could do your daily compile, and then wait for the compilation listing to come back.

I've still got a few of the punched cards, along with the flow-chart template. They live at work and I bring them out occasionally to show the young 'uns.

By the early 80s I was on a team working with one of our first mini-computers (a Perkin Elmer). This lived in it's own air-conditioned room, with a large wardrobe-height CPU unit, an equally bit tape unit, and two massive removable disk drive units - big both physically (desk height) and in capacity (300 Mb each!). Input was via a terminal (so no more punched cards). Also, enough terminals for all us programmers ('programmers', not 'developers'). Again in COBOL.

One final part, I got an email circa 2003 to say that the first program I ever wrote, in 1979, had just doe it's final run (system EOL). 20 something years - not bad (although how much of my original code was left is anyone's guess).

One interesting technology that came and went was graph plotters. You could get desktop versions of these connected to early IBM PCs. They were fascinating to watch. Replaced by ink-jets and laser printers.

So in short, my journey; started with COBOL on 1900; continued with COBOL and some ICL specific 4GL (that I can't remember the name of - AML or something) on 2900; C (on DEC), VB6 in 2001 (yes, after 20 odd years I progressed to the dizzy heights of Trainee VB Programmer!), and currently Java.

I think I prefer the Java!

Comment: Re:OneNote is very good (Score 1) 170

by Sesostris III (#46804205) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Professional Journaling/Notes Software?
Then use onenote. Of course you'll then be tied down to a specific application and even (as I seemingly trollishly demonstrated above) to a specific operating system!

Should I want to reference a document, presentation, audio, video or something else in a text file, I just record the file location. OK not embedded, but I haven't found this to be problematic, especially if I group things into folders.

"When it comes to humility, I'm the greatest." -- Bullwinkle Moose