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Comment: Firearms ARE safety devices (Score 3, Insightful) 1374

by Vrallis (#46891317) Attached to: "Smart" Gun Seller Gets the Wrong Kind of Online Attention

A firearm IS a safety device in and of itself.

To add another 'feature' to impede in the ability of a safety device to function properly is insane.

Imagine if the brakes on your car had such a 'feature.' Need to slam on your brakes? Ooops, you were reaching your right arm out to grab your coffee, watch now out of range, no brakes.

Now imagine the same thing, but in a mugging. You and your attacker go to the ground, including your gun. You manage to reach it with your off-hand. Oops, no bang--your watch was on your other hand. Or, to go with their scenario, the bad guy gets the gun. You grab his wrist, trying to push the gun out of your face--oops, you just stuck your watch within 10 inches of it...bang, you're dead.

Comment: Gmail/Google bug (Score 1) 388

by Vrallis (#45929029) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What To Do With Misdirected Email?

I have a feeling you're dealing with the same issue I am. I've reported it to Google, but years later it still isn't fixed.

I have a normal username (made up example: abcde@gmail.com). This other user apparently has "a.bcde@gmail.com". I don't know if they get any mail at all, but I get lots of theirs. I even tested it, sending an email to my address with randomly-inserted periods, and they all end up coming to me.

Comment: College Education (Score 1) 768

by Vrallis (#43939955) Attached to: Seeking Fifth Amendment Defenders

There is a common phrase in my neck of the woods: "...a level of stupidity that can only be attributed to a college education."

It isn't a knock on the education so much as it is about the sheltered lives far too many college students have led until that point.

The 5th Amendment is yet another example of our founding fathers' attempts to curb tyranny.

Comment: C64 and onward (Score 1) 623

by Vrallis (#43852079) Attached to: How Did You Learn How To Program?

I started off on C64s and Apple ][s in middle school, which upgraded to Mac LCs around 8th grade. Started off in BASIC, fiddled with stuff like Hypercard under the Mac.

That summer as I was going into high school my parents got me a Tandy PC1000. Family friends helped me with upgrades, software, etc. I eventually got my hands on a full copy of QuickBASIC, Turbo Pascal, and Turbo C. I wrote my own database app, even wrote my own mouse drivers in assembler, linked them in through C and QB, started expanding my own library of that sort of code.

My first 'paid' gig was for a friend of my father who owned a TV repair business. I wrote a program that monitored a modem to pick up caller ID info and store it in a database; searchable, printed reports, etc. Networked it to pass the caller ID info to PCs in other buildings on his property. My 'payment' was in hardware, software, and 100 packs of 3.5" floppies, which I was more than happy with at the time.

I went to college for CS, but learned more in my job at a research institute on campus than I did in the classes. I actually had a couple professors who, after the first semester with them, just came to me later with "You know this already, don't you? Here's the test schedule, just show up for the exams if you want." I dropped out after a couple years and managed to get a decent job before the first major dot bomb bust.

I did some coding for a year or two after that, but mostly moved up the food chain. Most of my coding these days consists of shell scripts, awk, some PHP, but little 'new development.' Today I effectively operate as a liaison between support teams and development teams since I have the skillset to give a better technical analysis of an issue as well as the coding background to debug issues as well as know what is and is not possible on the dev side.

Comment: Work for a full-timer (Score 1) 257

by Vrallis (#42874875) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Making Side-Money As a Programmer?

I did something like this (though more sysadmin stuff than anything), but I worked for a former co-worker who started his own full-time contracting business, mainly web design work. I got paid by the hour for odds and ends, but I was there to relieve his workload and add some fine-point expertise. If something came up support-wise it was on his shoulders to find someone to handle it if I wasn't available. It worked out pretty well for both of us. If I was doing more coding work then it would have been even better as that is where his skills were so he could fully support it himself.

There is nothing so easy but that it becomes difficult when you do it reluctantly. -- Publius Terentius Afer (Terence)

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