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Comment: it's a trick question because you will learn both (Score 1) 211

by izzo nizzo (#48486957) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Objective C Vs. Swift For a New iOS Developer?

Both are incredibly well-designed languages with some tricky parts but a lot of smooth sailing.

Swift seems to be solid enough that it's ready for most use cases - or perhaps closer to a quarter or a third of what you need to do every world-class app out there.

If you focus your next few months on Swift you'll be fine. There are lots of good examples, courses, lessons, blogs, and clever people who can answer questions.

However you will find yourself missing out on a lot of easy wins - particularly in cases where you read some Objective-C code and want to know how to translate it into Swift for your projects.

Objective-C is easy enough to learn - if you are going to be mostly just reading it. If you are writing it, of course, there are some tough things.

Either way you absolutely cannot go wrong and you will end up knowing both very well within a year.

Comment: Barbie was actually both real and responsible (Score 1) 561

by izzo nizzo (#48431369) Attached to: "Barbie: I Can Be a Computer Engineer" Pulled From Amazon

I read the book via the Gizmodo blog post. I understood the critiques that they leveled at each page. At the same time I felt that a lot of the plot twists were open to interpretation. The most basic example is that her collaborators were boys. Is she supposed to only work with women? Of course not.

The virus and its aftermath are another example where they felt it was showing how inept she was but I felt otherwise. People get viruses. She did a good job at figuring out how it was spreading and acting quickly to repair all of the hard drives that had been exposed. In real life, most of the time, when you have something like that to resolve, are you going to ask a man for help? Sure, most of the time you are. This is a good lesson to teach Barbie's readers. Do it right away. Don't be "ashamed about who got the virus". This shame is only on the part of Gizmodo. Barbie didn't overreact.

The last point I'll touch on is when Barbie began her project as a designer but then ended up claiming "I guess I am an engineer". This could be painful for professionals, both men and women, to digest. However, for many young women, computer engineering is reasonably intimidating - for some reason they often think of it as something that is hard for them. Perhaps awkward sexual attitudes from male programmers are part of the struggle. Perhaps everyone is a little awkward. But for Barbie's readers, they get a little shot in the arm of "I can do this". It doesn't matter if she had to write a lot of code on the preceding page of the book. What matters is that she is encouraging people to think that they can do that if they choose to!

I'm not saying the book couldn't have been better. But I felt that the attention to details in the plot was good. Always having her thumb drive, for example - that's a great habit! Designing something before you start coding - sure! The programming team could have been half men and half women, yes. Of course. Barbie could have saved the day by doing research instead of asking for help (although that's not really good advice when you get a virus). There may also be things that I missed that will end up amounting to poor role modeling for young women. But on the whole I think there's some good stuff in here and I hope that it doesn't all get lost in the backlash.

Comment: Re:Cost vs. Benefits (Score 1) 477

by izzo nizzo (#45535307) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Laptops For Fans Of Pre-Retina MacBook Pro?
Repairs are indeed possible with the new computers. As for upgrades, consider that Mac laptops have excellent resale value and a great set of tools for migrating your data to another Mac.

So rather than performing an upgrade (and I'm not saying that upgrading RAM was onerous, but yeah, it sometimes was), you can get a new machine and resell your current one. Let's say you're now out $600.

If you can't accomplish $600 worth of productivity and fun by using a Retina Mac instead of a PC, keep in mind that you're also saving your eyes from strain by using the Retina display.

I know Slashdot commenters won't appreciate this advice, but I think it's worth mentioning that the high resale value is an alternative to buying an upgradable machine.

Comment: Re:Good (Score 1) 150

by izzo nizzo (#43818865) Attached to: Judge Thinks Apple Will Lose E-Book Price-Fixing Case
The equipment that made the e-book possible is not free of costs, just like the equipment that made the paper book. In fact it might even cost more. Just because there are no molecules in the e-book doesn't mean it was less costly to produce than the paper version. Nor does the price have to mirror the cost - the price also reflects the value, which for an e-book is potentially greater than the same book printed on paper and shipped to your door.

Amazon operates at a loss by selling e-books for $10. That essentially meant that no smaller companies could compete since they most likely did not have the luxury of selling e-books at a loss. Apple was trying to move things in a pro-competitive direction.

You may or may not be correct that what they did was illegal. But your implication that they were trying to pad an already-profitable margin is, to my understanding, mistaken. This I find to be an important detail of the case, particularly so because e-books are potentially an important part of healing our economy and culture. This suit has strengthened Amazon's position to the point where a monopoly is not out of the question. That is the scary part.

Comment: Rails class in Brooklyn (Score 0, Troll) 164

by izzo nizzo (#39499373) Attached to: Parlez-vous Python?
Today is the last day to register for my beginner's Ruby and Rails class at 3rd Ward. It's five Tuesday nights from 7-10 beginning on April 3.

It's very aggressively priced, at $295 for 15 instruction hours.

The focus of the class is on practical techniques for getting started with Rails and making the best use of your time and the newest, best tools. No computing experience is necessary. The instruction will focus on OSX, but a certain level of support for other OSes is available.

Comment: Re:What we do/don't need in Calculus. (Score 1) 1153

by izzo nizzo (#34083438) Attached to: How Much Math Do We Really Need?
I can't agree at all with this premise that we don't need to know advanced math. Knowledge of how things move, change, and interact is of practical use all the time. And, being able to understand data and make predictions are important no matter what your job is.

I feel that saying that the usefulness of math is overrated is akin to saying that toilets are overrated. Sure, we got by just fine without them, but in a modern society with a large population, this is a crucially important ingredient for progress.

Understanding gradients is a good example here - it gives you a much more realistic perspective on everything from good real estate deals to good social skills. Gradients are invisible but you can see them everywhere if you have a solid understanding of math. Sure, teaching people how to take tests is overrated, but this is not an indictment of math, no way.
Utilities (Apple)

+ - Bootcamp v. 1.2 released with full Vista support

Submitted by
Victor Lee
Victor Lee writes "Bootcamp v1.2 is now available directly from apple's website.

Quoted from Apple's website:

Changes in Boot Camp 1.2 beta

Boot Camp 1.2 beta contains several updates and is intended for all new and previous Boot Camp beta users.

Boot Camp 1.2 beta includes:

        * Support for Windows Vista (32-bit)
        * Updated drivers, including but not limited to trackpad, AppleTime (synch), audio, graphics, modem, iSight camera
        * Support the Apple Remote (works with iTunes and Windows Media Player)
        * A Windows system tray icon for easy access to Boot Camp information and actions
        * Improved keyboard support for Korean, Chinese, Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, Finnish, Russian, and French Canadian
        * Improved Windows driver installation experience
        * Updated documentation and Boot Camp on-line help in Windows
        * Apple Software Update (for Windows XP and Vista)

Updating to Boot Camp 1.2 beta

If you previously installed Boot Camp beta, you can easily update to Boot Camp 1.2 beta. You don't need to partition your hard drive again (unless you want to change its size) or reinstall your Macintosh and Windows software or documents, but it's very important to update the Boot Camp Assistant software, create a new Mac Drivers CD and install the updated software it contains onto Windows. Complete instructions are provided in the Installation and Setup Guide included with the Boot Camp 1.2 beta software."

If you think the system is working, ask someone who's waiting for a prompt.