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Comment not with books (Score 1) 623 623

I started programming about 7 years ago with visual basic 6, now I'm finishing my sophomore year of college (CS major). When learning new languages, I would start out with beginner tutorials and then move on to writing my own projects as quickly as possible. I would then do all my learning from experimentation and online resources (google, stack overflow, etc). Now I have enough experience that when I learn something new I can jump right in and start making stuff. But I've never learned from books. I tried a few times, but they just seemed boring/slow paced. I learn so much quicker from google anyway. I don't think I'm really missing out on any in-depth knowledge from not reading books--I try to research things I don't understand quite heavily, and works quite well as far as I can tell. I often hear other programmers talk about how they learned/learn from books, but I figure I just learn differently. I never read the text books for my c++/java classes either. I find that half-paying attention in class and then researching anything I don't understand on my own time is much more efficient.

Comment Re:Sample of 162 in 9.5 Million (Score 1) 542 542

It actually doesn't matter that the sample is such a small percentage of the population. It's size that matters, not percent.* A sample of 162 will be just as statistically relevant whether the population size is 9.5 million or only 10,000 (assuming the sample is taken properly). There may be other issues with the study, but this isn't one of them.

(At least that's what I learned last quarter in intro statistics. Feel free to correct me if I missed anything)

*Though if the sample is drawn without replacement (i.e. putting each subject back in the pool before choosing the next), the sample should be under 10% of the population.

Comment Re:People want better ads. (Score 1) 978 978

What also annoys me a lot is the lack of variety in ads, if I open three tabs on Youtube, chances are they will all play the very same commercial and often one that I already have seen five times before the same day.

This really bugs me. I'll be listening to Pandora and they'll cycle between just 2 or 3 ads. Do they think that repeating ads is going to make them more effective? Maybe to a degree, but it starts to get really annoying to listen to the same crap over and over again (same goes for the music, but that's a different rant).

Comment Re:Focal Dystonia (Score 1) 165 165

I started noticing issues with my typing a month or so after I stopped playing clarinet (September). I can still sort of use the pinky, but it locks up and gets tired quickly. I'm not sure exactly how to explain it. I went to a neurologist at the University of Washington Medical Center. She suggested two treatments: pills or botox injection. The botox seemed to be the better choice, so we tried that. They gave me a small injection at the end of January, but there was no effect. I'm scheduled to get a larger dose in May. However, the doctor isn't optimistic that the botox will work in just the right way to let me play clarinet again. We'll see, but it doesn't look good. I would love to hear any treatments or other advice you have. You mentioned finger splints in another post; would you recommend that I try that? Do you know if it's common (or at least not unheard of) for musicians to be able to overcome dystonia? I'm repeating myself I guess, but the neurologist wasn't too optimistic...

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Keyboard Layout to Reduce Right Pinky/Ring Finger Usage?

Tooke writes: I've developed focal hand dystonia from playing clarinet. It affects my right pinky (and my ring finger, but to a lesser extent). My pinky isn't totally unusable when typing; however, it isn't nearly as agile as it used to be. When I must press a key with it, I tend to keep the whole finger rigid and move my entire hand instead. I also use my ring finger to press the P and semicolon keys (on QWERTY) which is a bit awkward but better than using the pinky. Thus my question: are there any keyboard layouts that are optimized to reduce right pinky/ring finger usage? I switched to Programmer Dvorak a few years ago, but Dvorak seems to make me use my right hand significantly more than my left. I'm considering mirroring the letter keys so my left hand would be used more. I also came across the Workman layout which looks interesting. I might try using that after switching the numbers and symbols around to be more like Programmer Dvorak. Has anyone been in a similar situation? What else could I do to make typing more comfortable? I've got a long career ahead of me as a programmer (I'm currently a high school senior) and I'd like to take care of my hands as much as possible.

"Ignorance is the soil in which belief in miracles grows." -- Robert G. Ingersoll