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Comment: Re:Another vote for C# from Former Delphi Guy (Score 1) 772

by dfranks (#37073756) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Am I Too Old To Learn New Programming Languages?
I migrated from Delphi to C# at about age 40 (48 now) and I would not consider using Delphi for in-house enterprise software (shrink-wrap products are a different story, I still use Delphi for those). The migration took time but was fun, .NET has a much better set of framework libraries than Delphi, and programming without generics generally causes a stream of expletives to be issued for the duration of the project. I had no difficulty getting contract and full employment jobs for C# development after age 40 (49 now). I also agree with the embedded software response. If you are a top 5%ish person, you can probably handle embedded development. I code in C (yech) for ARM and assembler for AVR and AVR32 and I think it is more fun than enterprise software development and at least as lucrative. Good places to work at always on the lookout for truly good developers and will hire you regardless of age. I have hired smelly, nearly blind programmers (nothing against blind people of course but it is a serious handicap for a developer) because they knew what they were doing, and passed on 100s of developers in their 20's and 30's with 10-15 years of "experience". If companies are choosing people based on youth or (worse) having an MBA, they are probably not a place you want to work anyway.

Comment: Re:Unfortunately (Score 1) 335

by dfranks (#33070964) Attached to: Android Data Stealing App Downloaded By Millions
Probably makes more sense to have a logo program and the ability to filter for "logo/approved" apps in the Android store. Turning on the filter by default and explicitly prompting users to turn it off the first time (with a decent warning page with guideline for what permissions apps should be asking for) would protect/inform the masses. That way Google could approve apps (and charge a nominal fee), but users with a clue can turn off the approved apps filter and avoid the Apple appstore issues.

Comment: Re:ALIX (Score 1) 697

by dfranks (#29866093) Attached to: Low-Power Home Linux Server?
I also use Alix cards and highly recommend them. They have a 44pin IDE (notebook, 2.5") connector, CF and PCI/mini PCI slots (several versions available). They run 3-5 watts at 12v and work well with Voyage linux (stripped down debian, ideal for your use). The Alix cards run between $100 and $130. You can also add a mini-pci WiFi card for around $25 and use the system as a router/firewall as well (they are available with up to 3 ethernet ports). Voyage/MadWiFi supports AP mode for the wireless. The Alix cards are mini-itx or smaller and do not need a fan or heat sink.

Comment: Re:it was an outsourced product to begin with (Score 1) 162

by dfranks (#26593213) Attached to: Microsoft Lays Off Entire <em>Flight Sim</em> Team
That is correct, the purpose of the test was not to evaluate a qualified candidate, just to identify a clearly unqualified candidate. Back then working on Flight Simulator was a "cool" thing to do so we received large numbers of resumes.
Candidates did not have to get all questions right, some were trick questions that someone with assembly language experience would get like:

write a function in assembly language that given an 8 bit pseudo angle (0=0 degrees, 256 = 360 degrees) that returns a 16 bit sin and cos value for the angle and is as processor efficient as possible.

Comment: Re:it was an outsourced product to begin with (Score 5, Informative) 162

by dfranks (#26589933) Attached to: Microsoft Lays Off Entire <em>Flight Sim</em> Team
Your version of history is not quite correct. subLOGIC became an out of balance company with around 6 engineers and over 50 people on the "business" side. The two sides of the company were separated by a door, and there was an engineering staff member who (among other responsibilities) was guardian of the door. Bruce Artwick was the president of the engineering side, and Stu Moment was the president of the business side.
Tensions rose, and one day Stu Moment basically fired the entire engineering department (I never heard what the precipitating event was).
subLOGIC owned the rights to all products except Mac and PC flight simulator (this was pre-windows as I recall), but Bruce and/or MS owned the rights to MS Flight Simulator on the PC and MAC. Bruce then opened an office a few miles away (the creation of BAO) and since Stu had fired all of us, he hired us.
subLOGIC tried to take the code base for the Amiga, Atari, MSX, etc etc and form a viable product for the PC with limited market success. BAO produced several versions of Flight Simulator (plus Scenery and Aircraft Designer, Tower Simulator and a few other products) before Microsoft decided to move the development in house (or closer anyway). I was no longer with the company at this point, but my understanding was that they initially did not bring over most of the staff as they issued a "move to Redmond or here is the door" edict. Most of the staff decided to leave, but once MS tried their hand at development several of the key engineers were rehired and allowed to work remotely. At that point, FS source was 100% x86 assembler. While it was a high quality piece of code, it was extreemly complex and required talented developers to work with it.
I assume the original BAO people eventually left and went on to other projects, I have not heard from any of them in the last 10 years or so.
So, in summary: MS did not "take" the Flight Simulator source, it never belonged to subLOGIC. I assume that Bruce sold the remaining rights to MS at the breakup of BAO.

Dean

I still remember a question from the BAO pre-interview screening test, amazingly enough only 5 candidates (out of a very large number) ever got this right:

Write a small code fragment (language of your choice) to calculate the internal angle between adjacent sides given the number of sides of a regular polygon. As I recall, scenery and aircraft designed actually had code to do this calculation.

It's not so hard to lift yourself by your bootstraps once you're off the ground. -- Daniel B. Luten

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