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Comment Re:Limits of Moor's law?? (Score 1) 99

No I don't think I did. The post I responded to seemed to think that the law was for shrinking transistors, and it is not.

You CAN do it other ways than shrinking the die, but you don't HAVE to to stay inside the parameters of Moore's law, which is what the original post I responded to claimed to be the case.

Making the transistors smaller has been the easiest way up until now, so now they are looking at esoteric materials to get past the limitations of the current materials.

Comment Re:career advancement (Score 1) 162

I work for IBM, I had 3 advancement opportunities as a Systems Admin:

1. Line Manager, Plain old management.
2. PM
3. Architect

I tried all 3, (well, I skipped PM, I knew I did not want to make a living using MS Project) settled on Architect. Specifically an Integration Architect
Now I manage from a technical aspect a group of SAs, developing technical offerings and acting as their interface layer with management. I am responsible from a technical aspect the quality of delivery of the services my SAs and other Subject Matter Experts (DBAs, Apps, etc) provide. Most appreciate having that highly technically person acting as a buffer between management, while at the same time giving guidance without micromanaging. (well, usually, anyway =0 )
I am often bridging across many delivery areas like storage, network, DB, OS in order to resolve conflicting requirements or problem determinations.

Some, maybe most, architects don't do that, they develop process and product offerings, or develop solutions for specific customer problems, etc.,
It is a very wide ranging career, and I enjoy it. Definitely never bored.

I have had from 2 techs to hundreds under me, depending on what I am doing this week.

The drawback is that there is just not that many companies that hire architects at my level and skillset. If I ever leave IBM, I would probably look to become the Director, CTO or CIO of a very small company or maybe a non-profit.

Comment Re:Limits of Moor's law?? (Score 3, Informative) 99

Except that Moore's law has nothing to do with the size of transistors, but the number of transistors on a single chip.

You can keep up by expanding the chip size, but then the yields tend to go down. If we could make perfect chips, the size could double every 2 years, although that would make for some very big chips indeed. Connections to the pinouts also become a problem as surface area expands faster than the perimeter.

You could also go about it by making a true 3-d chip, instead of stacking individual chips on top of each other as they do today. That would make the external pinout problem even worse, as interior volume grows much faster than external surface area or edges.

Shrinking the transistors is just the most effective way to do it, until you hit the red brick wall.

Comment Re:Racism v. Bias v. Intelligence (Score 1) 444

At least in my district, the test is not the only factor. The teachers have input as well.

My son is on the low end of the Autism Spectrum, with specific cognitive and motor delays that make testing difficult. So he did not qualify based on the test because it does not take his testing needs into consideration. Everyone gets the same test, administered the same way.

He passed with flying colors when his teacher advocated for him and asked them to do a verbal examination not a written test. His cognitive issue makes it very difficult for him to fill in the bubble, but he can tell you verbally it is answer A.

Several teachers wrote in as well, saying that he far above average understanding of advanced reading materials, even if his essay skills are poor. (That written cognitive delay again)
He has gone from strength to strength in Jr High, and is undefeated in Chess Club 6 weeks in, and has lots of friends.
Years of his hard work at Occupational Therapy, some medication and the computer based testing at the Jr High have removed the hurdles he faces. Kid can crank out an essay faster than most of his peers with a keyboard, but was stopped cold when using a pencil.

Comment Re:Synergy + Monitor Inputs (Score 4, Informative) 127

Synergy automatically handles these edge cases. When I plug my external monitor in, synergy does not care if the laptop screen keeps working as screen 2, or everything goes to the external.

If I unplug one of the two monitors attached to the PC, Synergy still does not care.

I have even had 3 set up, and attach mouse to the one that won't move, and place the others on either side. That way, if they are missing, it does not cause any problems.

What does not change is the boundary. If I used both monitors and it is "taller" than the other screen you have to move the mouse to the lower screen before sliding to a side to change computers.

Comment Wrong just wrong (Score 1) 300

My wife was a school attendance clerk.
She could do the word docs, and the Excel, and she could use the predefined reports that the attendance software provided.

Enter the new software, Infinite Campus. It put the control of the reports in the hands of the end user.... big mistake.

Rather than learn to code the new reports themselves, which means every school might have different reports, she simple quit, along with many others, teachers and staff, who just did not want to deal with it.

Had she been taught programming in High School, like I was, she could have easily learned the pseudo-sql language needed to make your own reports.

Alternatively, you could argue that a system with totally undefined reports was a bad idea, and I would agree, but that is what the school district did.

Comment It may not be a single line of code. (Score 5, Interesting) 618

I worked for a Small software house that made SAP type ERP software before SAP ate the majority of the market. This was 1998 or so...

We had a customer come to us and ask for certain modifications. Then a few more. Then a few more.

Not unusual, we made a lot of money from change orders. So the first few were done. All were acceptable in the Generally Accepted Accounting Practices guidelines.

Somewhere along the line the GAAP accountant realized that this last modification set would, taken in combination with all the other mods, make a check disappear from the system and become untraceable.
We refused to do it, and the customer dropped the product, saying we were too hard to deal with. A million+ of revenue were lost, no small amount for the company.

That customer? MCI Worldcom.

They clearly had picked apart the source code and found the edge case that triggered the behavior. I had left the company before MCI blew up, but my understanding is that they were called to give testimony/evidence in the trial.

This could be the same thing, a series of unrelated changes that trigger a diagnostic mode when hooked up to the test equipment.
If so, it would be very hard to trace who made the ultimate decision to do this, as it might be spread across many teams working independently.

Machines have less problems. I'd like to be a machine. -- Andy Warhol