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Comment: Re:Umm (Score 2) 143

by WalrusSlayer (#47103227) Attached to: Become a Linux Kernel Hacker and Write Your Own Module

Try this with windows and there's a good chance you'll find some incomplete example code from three API revisions ago that won't even compile with the latest libraries (BTDT)

Uhhhhh.... for the most part, the kernel API in Windows has been remarkably stable. I have an *extremely* non-trivial Windows driver that works from NT all the way through Win 8. The only major disruption in the 10+ years between NT4 and Vista was the TDI client debacle where they deprecated TDI and there were some workarounds that needed to be implemented to run on the new kernel.

That. Was. All.

I'm not a Linux kernel dev (though have lots of user-mode Linux/Unix experience), but my understanding of that world is "we'll change anything and everything if and whenever we feel like it, and it's up to the rest of the world to keep up with those changes". So your example, ironically, would apply much more to a Linux driver sample than it would a Windows driver sample.

Comment: Re:ah, those were the daze;-) (Score 1) 230

by WalrusSlayer (#46880917) Attached to: One-a-Day-Compiles: Good Enough For Government Work In 1983

Me too. But that was the 1970s, not the 80s. Using punch cards in 1983 was idiotic.

Idiotic yes, unheard of, no. When I started as a freshman undergrad I was enrolled in a music school that was part of a state liberal arts college. By that time I had done a ton of programming on my TRS-80 in both BASIC and Z-80 assembler on my own. I considered taking some comp sci classes, but they forced everyone to take a course that involved programming on punched cards on the mainframe.

Needless to say, my reaction was "screw that!", and I went on with my studies.

By the end of sophomore year it was clear that (a) I wasn't going to make a decent living as a musician, and (b) I know how to work a computer, may as well get a piece of paper that says so. By that time they had dropped the punched cards stupidity and I went on to earn a double-major in CS and Music.

Comment: Re:Why do you want to combine them? (Score 5, Informative) 165

Uh, methinks you haven't really used tool chains designed to maximize the value of RAW files. The camera's built-in processor does way the hell more stuff than just compress raw pixels into JPEG. White balance is a huge one, along with level curves, sharpening, and a bunch of other stuff. Much of it either one-way or very hard to unwind. And as others have pointed out, most RAW *is* compressed, just lossless.

So yeah, you can fix white-balance in a JPEG, but it's way simpler and more accurate to set the white balance if the pixels haven't already been misbalanced in the first place. Ditto for exposure. Most tools that deal with processed JPEG's don't even have an exposure adjustment---quite often the same tool that does both file types will have an exposure slide if it's RAW but not if it's JPEG. Sure, you can futz with brightness, contrast, levels, gamma, etc to correct an under-exposed shot. But sliding over to +2/3 for a slight underexposure is one click and you're done.

As a guy who has deep-drilled many a software engineering discipline in his 25 year career, and shot tens of thousands of frames as an amateur enthusiast, you can pull me out of the "photographers who don't understand the tools" pool thank you very much.

I have gone back and forth between JPEG and RAW over the years. There have been periods where, with two small children, I simply didn't have time to invest in RAW processing. And I was pleased the neutrality of the DSLR's processing anyway. Other times I knew I was shooting in challenging conditions, and set the camera to RAW+JPEG as a safety net. I've rescued many a shot that way. Recently I've been putting mileage on Lightroom and can extract an immense improvement out of the RAW's that would take me 4x the time to do if they were JPEG, and probably not end up with the same result. I now have more time to invest and the payoff is real and significant.

Comment: Re:Improved Roaming (Score 2) 82

by WalrusSlayer (#39573041) Attached to: AT&T Microcell Disassembly; Security Flaws Exposed
You obviously don't have one of these. There is in fact a GPS inside, and they specifically instruct you to put it near a window if the GPS LED doesn't go solid. There have been various complaints on other boards about this fact, with tips on where to find GPS antennas and connectors (yes, there is an antenna jack on the back of the unit) so that the MicroCell can be used in a more convenient place while still getting a GPS signal.

Comment: Re:iPads suck as reading devices (Score 2) 381

by WalrusSlayer (#38050612) Attached to: Reviews of Kindle Fire Are a Mixed Bag

The comparisons to the iPad are ridiculous. I do expect the Nook Tablet to be a better device and The Nook Color has the least reflective LCD display I have ever seen on a mobile device and the only LCD display I consider good enough to read on.

However the iPad is a horrible reading device. Anyone who thinks an iPad is a reading device doesn't read much.

Yeah, and despite all that, my Kindle Library pretty darned large thank-you-very-much. 90% of it read on an iPad, the other 10% on my 2nd-gen Kindle which was immediately given to the in-laws once I got the iPad. For my situation, reading on the iPad is a way better situation than the Kindle.

Comment: Re:Get an iPad (Score 1) 155

by WalrusSlayer (#37959786) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Touchscreen Device For the Elderly?
Exactly. Or the shorter version: Get an iPad. Duh.

And as others have pointed out, skipping out on Internet is silly---she will get a huge benefit by being connected. eBooks, video calls, multi-player games, news, etc. If the nursing home has Wifi, then there ya go. If not, get the 3G model and have the family chip in the measly $15/mo to keep it on a basic data plan.

Comment: Re:Why not just wave your arm in the air... (Score 1) 402

by WalrusSlayer (#37813278) Attached to: Siri Envy? Iris Brings Some Voice-Assistant Features to Android

Siri is ultimately at a disadvantage for taking that route, because ultimately it has to have much better comprehension of the spoken words as it can't count on matching just most of the command before worrying about what to do with the input.

And yet it is suprisingly good at figuring out the command and parameters. You seem to be saying that Siri is worse because it doesn't force the user to speak as if it were typing commands in /bin/sh. Which is precisely why it is better than traditional voice recognition. I've used Google Voice, and I was a very frequenct user of the much-more-limited iOS 4 voice commands. Both worked well for their intended use. But Siri is a whole 'nother thing.

Comment: Re:Android has it's flaws (Score 4, Interesting) 645

by WalrusSlayer (#37769422) Attached to: Ballmer Slams Android As Cheap and Overcomplicated
So the fact that Apple has successfully beat the carriers with a stick and essentially said "no crapware", is somehow not an advantage an iPhone?

From the consumer's perspective, it doesn't matter where the crapware came from. If it's on the phone and it can't be removed, then you are stuck with a phone full of crapware, end of story.

And that simply doesn't happen with an iPhone. What's so hard to understand about that?

When you don't know what you are doing, do it neatly.