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Comment Re:The things they will NOT learn are interesting (Score 1) 255

Linked lists. Recursion. Calling by reference. Strong typing. Explicit declaration (or at least the need of it). There are some ways around those, but these hacks are even going to warp their minds worse than not learning those things would.

You certainly don't need to learn those things in your first semester of programming.

Comment Re:Hmmm ... (Score 1) 755

As a recent CMU alum, I can testify that the Java language is not stressed by any means at the University. There are 2 introductory programming classes that are Java based. If you scored a 4 or 5 on the AP computer science exam, you can get credit for 1 or both of these, respectively. Java is a perfectly acceptable programming language to begin learning with. I studied it in high school and was able to pass out of both of these classes, so I took C classes next. If one has a solid understanding of the Java language they will see that it is in fact very similar to C, and any C class should be a breeze. Then there is an algorithms class (15-211) which is Java based. After this, every other standard undergraduate computer science class is not Java based, but more focused on systems/functional programming (if one wishes to take a programming route). After freshman/sophomore year, you will be hard pressed to find significant Java work in a CS class. Note that the above was true when I attended CMU, things may be slightly different now.

Comment Re:can't expense that much? (Score 1) 495

With win7 you don't have to install drivers, don't need to reinstall the OS, and don't need to use IE. Building a PC is way cheaper (and I daresay more satisfying) than buying a premade mac. You can be just as productive with win7 as with a mac. Don't see your point here or a compelling reason to get a Mac.

Comment Saw a similar demo at Carnegie Mellon (Score 1) 330

Last semester, in my Embedded Systems senior design class, one group of 4 students did something very similar to this. It was essentially a wireless, distributed Kill-A-Watt for the home; for each device you want to monitor, you plug it into a small power adapter which then plugs into the wall outlet. These adapters wirelessly transmit power usage statistics to a base station, which connects to your wireless router. Then you can view statistics online, and shut off power to any adapter to "truely" turn off a device. I thought it really improved on the Kill-A-Watt concept and was one of the coolest projects (besides mine, of course; we made a bluetooth-enabled vibrating alarm clock pillow cover). Anyway, here's a link to their website if anyone is interested:

Stellar rays prove fibbing never pays. Embezzlement is another matter.