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Comment: Two Camps (Score 3, Interesting) 643

by djbckr (#48856471) Attached to: Justified: Visual Basic Over Python For an Intro To Programming
I see two camps:
  • The people that want to know what goes on in the computer - systems level stuff
  • The people that want to get something done - application developers

The first people would do good to learn straight-up C, and graduate to C++. The latter group should learn Python/Java/C#/Javascript/HTML/CSS/SQL. Though I don't use Python regularly, I think it's a good starter language.

Comment: I have a great gig... (Score 1) 294

I was lucky enough to be hired by a company that lets me work remotely. I get paid what I expect/deserve, and I didn't have to move to San Francisco. I go there about 3~4 times a year just to get face-time with the people I work with. They like it because they don't have to find a space for me, and I like it because I didn't want to move to California.

Comment: Idiot Alert x2 (Score 4, Insightful) 386

by djbckr (#48697315) Attached to: The One Mistake Google Keeps Making

First, the author of the article. Only an idiot would think normal consumers would actually buy this car. It's going to be pay-by-ride, almost like a taxi but without a driver.

Second, HughPickens, who thinks people actually like what he has to say - and repeats the idiot author - which makes him just as much of an idiot.

Please, for the love of $DEITY, go away

Comment: Maybe I'm on the edge or something... (Score 1) 190

by djbckr (#48685305) Attached to: Know Your Type: Five Mechanical Keyboards Compared
I used to use a clicky keyboard for many years, the UniComp one, but I don't really use it much anymore. I also have a friend that had a nice cherry keyboard and I got to use it for a while. When I got a Mac a number of years ago, I got the Apple "chicklet" full-size keyboard with a number-pad. I love it. Practically silent operation, and the tactile feedback is quite sufficient. I feel like I always know when the key has been pressed, it never ghosts or misses a stroke. I play a few video games on it (not many) and never had issue with it. Lastly, it's not huge. Very low profile, and I really like that.
It just seems the clicky keyboards are really just clunky to me.

Comment: XML??? (Score 1) 32

by djbckr (#48676751) Attached to: Net Neutrality Comments Overtaxed FCC's System
I really don't get it. XML wasn't designed for things like this, and yet people still want to use it as a database. It's one of the most goofy things I've come across in my years as a developer. I've been working in this industry since before XML was even an idea, and it's still a bad one (well, for things like this anyway). Admittedly it's good to get data from one system to another *in small chunks*, but don't try to move so much data in one block.

Comment: Re:Paralyzed yet Fully Aware (Score 1) 105

by djbckr (#48399083) Attached to: How To Anesthetize an Octopus

why not just flood the execution chamber with nitrogen or some other inert gas?

I think it's even easier and I'm not sure why nobody does this: Drain the blood from the person. I gave blood (once) and passed out. It was not very scary, a very short window of "oh, that's weird" and I was gone. I came-to several minutes later and was fine. No gas or dangerous environment, no pain, just drain the blood out.

Comment: Passion + Education + Practice (Score 1) 192

by djbckr (#48023869) Attached to: New Research Casts Doubt On the "10,000 Hour Rule" of Expertise
I think it really requires all of the above (Passion, Education, Practice) to be a real expert. Those that really love a particular subject tend to do the other two automatically. Whether it's fixing cars, botany, math, or computer programming. I look for people with passion to work with. If they do what they do just because it's a job, I don't really want to work with drones.

Comment: Simple is good (Score 4, Insightful) 94

by djbckr (#47841297) Attached to: Scala Designer Martin Odersky On Next Steps
I really like Scala, but I only use a small subset of all the crazy (and what I consider a bunch of superfluous) language features. Simpler Java with Closures is what is should be. Granted I'm not a language expert/theorist, but most of us that code for a living aren't. Trying to read some of the more esoteric features of Scala leaves me with "I thought it was supposed to make my life easier". When I have to spend an hour looking up syntax to describe what the code is doing - well, that doesn't work for me.

Comment: Still not cool, *but* ... (Score 1) 511

by djbckr (#47742835) Attached to: If Java Wasn't Cool 10 Years Ago, What About Now?

Java as a language isn't fun - I haven't used it for many, many years now - but the advent of JVM-targeted languages makes the Java ecosystem fantastic.

Starting with the JVM - a very good machine that runs on pretty much anything, without having to re-compile your program. Perfect, no, but is anything? And the performance (given that it's a virtual machine) is top-notch.

Then there are the JVM-targeted languages: Scala, Groovy, JPython, BeanShell, etc, etc... Pick your poison.

Then there is a crap-ton of very useful libraries out there, and they can be used with any of the above targeted JVM-targeted languages.

So, we can whine about Java (the language) but really, I use it (the JVM, the other languages, and the libraries) to get stuff done. Cool, no. Productive, yes.

Comment: Re:Those who can't... (Score 3, Interesting) 179

by djbckr (#47721211) Attached to: Professor Steve Ballmer Will Teach At Two Universities This Year

It's been said many times - Those who can, do. Those who can't, teach.

I know where that saying comes from as I have had numerous terrible teachers. However I have had many amazing teachers both in normal public schools and in the corporate world. These people could "do". I also used to teach a popular corporate class and my students always appreciated my insights into the product I taught because I actually worked with it in real life. I quit because of the travel and relatively low pay, but I can very much "do".

I suppose what I'm getting at is, I don't like that saying - it implies that teachers can't do what they teach. I think that's probably the bad apples that create that sentiment. Along the same lines as "99% of the lawyers give the rest a bad name." I'm sure there are a few more percent that are good.

Comment: Re:Old cars look better and better. (Score 1) 89

by djbckr (#46458675) Attached to: Volkswagen Chairman: Cars Must Not Become 'Data Monsters'

After owning a Prius(*), I specifically went looking for an old vehicle and found an old, 1988 Jeep Wrangler that I'm in the process of fixing up. You see, you can't fix up or work on a Prius, or most cars these days and I very much missed doing that. The Jeep is carbureted with no computers whatsoever and I'm loving it because I have control over what I want to do with it. This summer, I'm going to make a project out of replacing the dash and user controls with Arduino and Beaglebone controllers and displays. It's going to be so much fun I can hardly stand it. I'll probably put an after-market throttle body fuel injector on at some point to help with the fuel delivery at least.

(*)Note that I didn't buy the Prius for the mileage - rather than I'm a computer geek and I thought it was cool. This Prius did not have the stuff they have now tracking your every move.

Comment: Tough question... (Score 1) 313

by djbckr (#46363865) Attached to: Should programming be a required curriculum in public schools?
It makes sense to have one required class that teaches the basics - logic, loops, and basic algorithms. It has to be basic enough that everyone should be able to follow along and accomplish something trivial, but meaningful. Once this course is complete, then the people that like it can move on to more advanced classes if they want them. The stuff I've seen online (I'm afraid I don't remember what it's called) that Bill Gates and Zuckerberg and those guys are doing is a good first step, but most normal people aren't going to go there on their own.

Weekend, where are you?