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Comment: Re:Analog Science Fiction & Fact (Score 2) 279

by hendrikboom (#46775655) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Good Print Media Is Left?

I've been trying to maintain an e-subscription to to Analog for some time now, mostly because I've run out of room for books in my hose and I've reached the point where, for every paper book that comes into the house, I need to find a book to throw out. It has been an exercise in frustration. e-subscriptions are handled by independent businesses, not by the publisher (as paper ones seem to be). And they've been closing one after another. First fictionwise closed, apparently subsumed by Barnes & Noble, which sells only within the US. I switch to Sony despite their reputation with rootkits. Then the Sony reader drops my subscription so I have to resubscribe, and a few months later the reader store closes to North American subscribers. They've handed over their customers to Kobo, which in OK for books (I read my books on a Kobo device anyway), but they abandoned their magazine subscribers. Kobo, on the other hand, treats Analog like most epublishers treat magazines, that is, as throwaway items. They even delete your magazines as a service when they're a certain number of months old. I'm told it's possible to take some action to keep them around longer, but I have no idea what that is.

Not to mention the ever-present DRM.

Publishers need to get their act together if e-publication is to work for readers. Tor and Baen seem to have figured it out. Few others.
   

Comment: Athabasca University (Score 1) 84

by hendrikboom (#46673799) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: the State of Open CS, IT, and DBA Courseware in 2014?

Athabasca University is a leader in distance education in Canada. Have a look at http://www.athabascau.ca/

They have tutors on-line, by email. I once met one of their tutors, answering students' question part-time while he was working full-time as a programmer in Montreal, which is the other end of the country from Athabasca. Yes, the tutors are actual practitioners, and may be anywhere on the net.

You might find it to your liking. Check out the cours listing and see if it's what you're looking for.

-- hendrik

Comment: Get rid of the poorly designed environments. (Score 2) 306

by hendrikboom (#46515023) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Can an Old Programmer Learn New Tricks?

Or find a better one. I recommend you try "How to Design Programs", an intro to Scheme, which, despite its syntax, is a very decently designed language. You can buy the book for money, or download it for free. (there's two versions. The newer one is more fun. The older one is more finished.) Racket is the implementation that's designed to work with it, and is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux. For free.
The book is about program design, not about piecing together fragments found on the web.
The Racket mailing list is a place where students can actually ask questions and often get the language designers and implementers to answer even trivial questions.
Try it. It won't take long, and you will learn.
To the extent you are already experienced, you will find the beginning a bit tedious. So skim through until you reach your level.

-- hendrik

Comment: Re:Proof or paper (Score 1) 149

by hendrikboom (#46267523) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Options For Ongoing Education?

About Lisp --- yes, ancient academics still use it. But the cutting edge of Lisping seems to be Scheme these days, and its very much alive indeed, with implementations like Racket (with excellent educational resources), Gambit (which gets along well with C), guile (the FSF's scripting language), and many others, In the user communities around Racket, for example, you see an eagerness to try new things and redesign the language for future generations.

-- hendrik

Comment: Leave a choice? (Score 1) 60

by hendrikboom (#46177465) Attached to: Slashdot BETA Discussion

Maybe if it is necessary for whatever reason to migrate slashdot to a new visual format and you let slashdot.org point to the new format site you should hang onto your user base by making something like, say, alpha.slashdot.org point to the the same textual content in the old format. It wouldn't bother me at all to have my bookmarks point to alpha.slashdot.org instead of slashdot.org. And for those few devices for which the new format works better, I'll still be able to use the new format.

If it manages to preserve your user base (which surely would contribute to profitability), maybe it would be worthwhile?

Comment: Re:more generalized... (Score 2, Insightful) 208

by hendrikboom (#46067323) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Educating Kids About Older Technologies?

The schools tend to teach history in terms wars, royalty, and loyalty to country.
I won't pretend that understanding the dynamics of conflict isn't important.
But the history of technology is an extremely important part of history that's usually given short shrift.

-- hendrik

A LISP programmer knows the value of everything, but the cost of nothing. -- Alan Perlis

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