But, but, who is going to remind me every 36 hours that a new version of flash I need to download (along with crapware) is available?
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Programming an audio engine, or dynamic light engine for the umpteenth time is not being creative.
I think it's *incredibly* creative. In fact it's the very essence of creativity: you know what you want to achieve but it is non-obvious how to get there.
Perhaps it is a different kind of creativity compared to other aspects of game design but the times when I've been deep into highly technical development have been some of the most creative periods of my life.
I actually agree that using a game engine should be OK for this, but creativity isn't one of the reasons.
It's been this way whenever a new technology became normalized in the public eye.
I had a chat with my late grandfather about this in the mid-90s. I told him about when I was a kid and there was a big push in making children "computer literate". So much so, in fact, that I took a class in 3rd grade or 4th grade in LOGO on a VIC-20.
My grandfather said that reminded him of when he was a boy in the 1930s. In his time people thought EVERYTHING would be mechanized and learning how machines work and how to fix them would be required to be literate in the future. So, he actually took classes in engine design (!) and maintenance in the mid-30s, and it wasn't a vocational school.
As we all know, the deep knowledge required to design a car or an oven similar machine is held by specialists and baked into the products we buy.
Similarly, the deep knowledge required to program a computer to do useful work SHOULD be baked into the products we buy.
Think of it this way: who needs to read the manual when they get a new car? You just figure it out because it is largely intuitive. A TON of non-intuitive thought went into making the car easy to use.
I think it is our responsibility (those of us here who are engineers) to work towards putting that level of ease of use to work. This is the real reason Apple is popular. Their stuff is easier to use than most other products and people are HUNGRY for that.
We don't need to teach every kid to program. We just need better programs.
I hate to jump on you for this because you made an excellently informative post but what exactly did greed do? Greed seems to be a buzzword for any failure in business today, at least to people who prattle on about how anti-establishment they are while taking every advantage of corporate output.
Jack Tramiel (the owner of Commodore) sucked as much cash out of the business while not providing even a shoestring business to develop more advanced integrated circuits. They limped along for a while based on the heroic efforts of a few creative engineers but Commodore Semiconductor Group (CSG) collapsed because Jack Tramiel treated CSG like his own personal bank account.
Once he left to buy Atari in 1984 CSG was too far behind in the microprocessor wars to field another chip.
So, in this case it was greed. Jack Tramiel's greed. Too cheap to fund long term developments, he instead bought an airplane and milked current technology until his company was so far behind it could never catch up.
MOS Technology did a big business in manufacturing ROMs for Atari's cartridges (both the 2600 and 400/800
Eventually MOS was purchased by Commodore and stopped making ROMs but cranked out the 6502s and SID chips.
For some reason they never got around to making a followup to the 6502 and let the next generation business go to Motorola. Greed does that.
Another fun fact: The original VCS games were programmed on a PDP-11 using a cross-assembler (!) and soon enough Atari upgraded to a VAX. When a game was finished they sent program tape to MOS who made the metal mask. The ROMs were pre-processed up to the metal deposition step. Then the final metal pattern was defined by whatever program was being written to ROM. This is one reason how MOS made them so cheaply: they mass produced ROM blanks and then programmed them with a single mask. I talked with an Atari old-timer about the process a couple of years ago. Great stories.
Take my wife as an example. She's incredibly smart, hard-working, and capable. She could be AT LEAST as good an engineer as I am. Why isn't she? Because she's smart enough to make a conscious choice to choose a field with better work-life balance than I did (engineering). She can take 3 months off when we have a child and organize her work to be compatible with having a young child. It's much harder for me.
I think she's smart.
I thought maintaining legacy systems using COBOL was the road to riches. Is that a myth?
This is exactly right. I'm a scientist, not a programmer, and we use Python in my group because it is clean, easy, and gets the job done. When we hire people for scientific programming they typically use some mix of Python, C++ (ROOT, anyone?), and Fortran. These engineers are sought-after because they know how to solve tricky large-scale mathematical problems using computers, not because of a specific language.
So it isn't a matter of "programming language x is valuable", but more a matter of "valuable people use programming language x".
If the US government owned all our nuclear plants and subsidized them (as it is in France), we could also be paying less for nuclear-derived electricity but it would be meaningless.
Perhaps you think a planned economy is more efficient than a market-driven one?
I'm work for an organization that provides design services (as opposed to building and selling products). If you are ever, ever , realistic about the time it will take to deliver or what features you can include in a design for a given set of resources, you won't get the job. It's as simple as that.
Why do you think most construction projects go over budget? One big reason is they had to make a crazy bid because if they didn't, someone else would.
The bottom line is: if you say no, you're out of a job.
You're probably right, especially considering neither Berkeley nor San Francisco are in Silicon Valley.
Interment camps, not concentration camps. Also, interment wasn't done from a desire to oppress the Japanese, but out of fear of the Japanese Empire. So it's not so much that the Americans felt the Japanese inferior, but rather that they feared a full scale invasion of the west coast by the Japanese Empire.
Not defending it, but it's still important to understand these things in context.
Indeed, context is everything.
We put American citizens of Japanese descent in concentration camps (a weasel word like "internment camp" doesn't change what it was).
We put American citizens of German descent in charge of our armed forces (Eisenhower, for example. He was Pennsylvania Dutch, who are of German descent).
DARPA is an organization that provides grants to researchers. It does not do the work.
The work was performed by engineers at Northrup Grumman. This work was funded by DARPA.
I'm a professional in the business and I was really happy to see that they seem to have gotten everything right! I was prepared to roll my eyes when they showed a cross-section of a bipolar transistor (which they didn't) and their treatment of BEOL processing was outstanding.
I'd like a few examples as well so I can check them out. I'm an engineer and I found it to be one of the most plausible books I can remember in science fiction. The one mistake that got me was that the narrator grossly overestimates the number of calories a day a human needs to function, but that is hardly Phantom Menace quality.