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Comment: Yes, I know 3 who have done this. (Score 1) 504

2 history majors and a psychology major. 1 just got into the internet thing when it started (2000 ish). 2 went and got "graduate certificates" at a college, then got hired.
I was a civil engineer who got into computers,
so I went the "graduate certificate" route, used college to get an internship at IBM, decided I really liked it and got a Masters. It can be done. I did learn a lot of techniques in school that I probably wouldn't have picked up just hacking away, but some are better at learning just by doing.

   

Comment: Prius Looks Green (Score 3, Interesting) 599

by acomj (#39231249) Attached to: Chevy Volt Meets High Resistance, GM Suspends Sales

There are a lot of hybrids that look like normal cars (toyota camray, ford escape....).

I like hatchbacks, but the prius shape now screams I like the environment. It makes a statement which probably shouldn't be discounted as a reason people buy them.

  Plus that shape is areodynamic, thus the honda insight looking almost the same

Comment: I disagree (Score 4, Insightful) 545

by acomj (#38685122) Attached to: How To Get Developers To Document Code

As someone who's started a new position and using classes with No comments, I can say I've wasted a good deal of time trying to figure out what certain public methods and certain classes do. They've used good naming conventions, but even so there is some subtly about what is done that could have used some explaining, plus looking through 1000s of lines of code before using a method isn't time effective. Its would be far easier for me to read through method header with inputs/outputs than to slog through code trying to figure out if this is the method I want. I don't want every line commented (I've seen that some placws), just the jist .

I came from an internal api writing group, and those using our code would just ask us questions if they couldn't figure stuff out, and we rsther they didn't so we documented ..

Examples or some test code I agree are super useful.

Comment: Duh - Slab based multi touch phone (Score 2) 988

by acomj (#37791336) Attached to: Jobs Wanted To Destroy Android

There were so many slab based finger gestured multi-touch phones with almost no buttons before the iphone. Really?

The ability to install applications without going through the carrier buy in was pretty novel too.

    And Eric Schmidt was on the apple board, and at the iphone intro so google knew were this was going. If you look at andriod prototypes before the iphone, they are basically blackberrys.

One expects the ideas to be copied eventually, but not verbatim. I think Jobs was in the right to be pissed. They worked on this thing for years. Even microsoft came up with a different UI, which I think is better for everyone than to have companies just cloning.

Comment: LED bike lights = tons of interference (Score 1) 213

by acomj (#37716132) Attached to: Scientists Build Wireless Bicycle Brakes

I know someone who bikes a lot (From california to Massachusetts this year.) He has a wireless bike computer, which basically measuses each time your wheel goes around, and sends it wirelessly up to a little display on the handlebars. This worked great till he turned on his LED light, then the link was severed. By repositioning the light he could get the computer to work mostly. But computer isn't a key to functionality as brakes.

  I think as a proof of concept this is fun, I would caution against testing at night.............

Bikes are a interesting engineering compromise between "make it state of the art" and "keep it simple/exposed/fixable" engineering. We'll see if hub brakes/ belt chains and other "advances" make a mark..

Comment: Keeping MS honest, mainstreaming UNIX (Score 1) 1613

by acomj (#37621302) Attached to: Steve Jobs Dead At 56

Apple is the only company that survived the MS pc consolidation years. They lost the PC battle, but they were the only ones to really survive. CPM, TI, Atari, Commodore all failed.

With OSX apple took UNIX and made it a mainstream OS. Showed how to make it easier for consumers which is finally happening to linux. Even MS started to invest in there OS too. Competition helps us consumers.

I started with the Mac Clones, which Steve killed. I got a form letter from apple, I was mad, but got over it.

I have to admit really like the Apple Products. The less is more and focus on user experience really appeals to me.

Comment: Don't forget lotus notes (Score 1) 152

by acomj (#36838352) Attached to: Making Sense of the NoSQL Standouts

I was a notes programmer a decade ago... (wow...) I went to a talk on CouchDB and It all seemed strangely familiar.

Basically lotus Notes is a NoSQL database with an email and calendar program attached. Of course anything was better than "lotus script" but I can see why this stuff is very appealing. I think some of the couchDB developers are former notes developers are involved in the NoSQL movement.

Comment: Re:The World is not for children..... (Score 1) 561

by acomj (#36419108) Attached to: Why Doesn't 'Google Kids' Exist?

My point is by connecting to the internet you are basically connecting the entire outside world into your home and that has lots of not appropriate materials for kids (as the real world does, particularly cities which are a good representative slice of people, and the majority now live). Its up to parents to supervise this matterial. Google already has filter ("safe search"), they work with mixed results.

Much the same way responsible parents don't let kids play with knives, explosives and poison, but will still let them go out and play, even bike around town (depending on age).

There is children's software that doesn't require the use of the internet, although its not as common as it once was.

A internet sandbox might work well for young children, but by middle school they'll figure out how to go around it.

A whitelist is very expensive and technically quite difficult, as most pages load content from a large variety of hosts. Plus as has been pointed out there is a fuzzy line for some material (heck Harry Potter is out in some parents minds). Not to mention threats from hackers and trojan horses.

A tip that seems to work is to set up computers in family spaces (a corner of the living room) where all activity can be watched.

Comment: The World is not for children..... (Score 2) 561

by acomj (#36417756) Attached to: Why Doesn't 'Google Kids' Exist?

The World isn't for children and the internet is part of that world. This is a fundamental thing.

Just as you wouldn't let a child run around un-supervised in a city, you don't let them run around free on the internet. Suburbs were supposed to be a child safe environment, but ultimately they aren't either (I would argue they are about the same as cities, but thats getting off topic).

Some web sites are for kids, but to allow them on the internet they should be supervised.

The internet is not the same as TV where there is much greater control of what is coming in. The internet is all about interacting, while TV is about consuming.

There are services that promise to make the internet "safer" but I doubt they work well. I wouldn't trust them.

Comment: Macos 7 - 9 were terrible (Score 1) 342

by acomj (#35607990) Attached to: How Mac OS X, 10 Today, Changed Apple's World

Nobody really knew what to expect. The transitions from version 7 to 8 to 9 where really minor so its not too surprising they were ignored. Apple was beleaguered.

Thank goodness for OSx. As someone with a power computing box and various mac os versions before X, they were ok but the lack of command line. OSX worked great for grad school. Unix on the desktop and it worked.

Plus they got rid of the "chooser" which couldn't make me happier.

Nothing succeeds like success. -- Alexandre Dumas

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