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Comment Re:The 120 yr Limit (Score 1) 35

I'm not sure what everyone is complaining about.

This guy posts about twice a year. Going back a bit, but when Gene Roddenberry passed, this guy was very respectful.

He is commenting about the aging process, about what ultimately gets us, and what are our chances are. I fail to see any problem with anything he said.

Perhaps some of his points are too subtle for the 20-somethings more concerned about who they can bed tonight. For example, we do need to drop the sugar (and carb) addiction as we get older, or get Type 2 diabetes. If this saves one person from diabetes, his post is paid in full.

He then goes even further to talk about what causes us to be addicted. How this is not relevant to every single over-stressed 100 miler on Slashdot, I'll never know.

Thanks, JWillis, and I look forward to your next post.

Comment Google home (Score 2) 413

Before I get in my 3,000 pound weapon, I look up my destination on Google maps, which is still useful (if dog-slow) in its new form.

I want to know WAY ahead of time where I am headed.

Too often I see driving-by-satnav drivers frankly changing lanes while they stare at their groins. Often those lane changes could be done any time in the next 3 blocks, but they will even stop several lanes of traffic to change NOW.

Also, when you don't really know where you are going, you drive tentatively. This will drive others crazy and is generally recognized as Not Good (tm).

Then there is your unit making a mistake. Even Google Maps consistently gave me the wrong directions to one place -- the road didn't go through (and still doesn't).

Like Harold Hill said, you gotta know the territory.

Besides, most of a new trip is an old trip, with a new ending. Do you really need a gadget, or even a printout, for that?

Comment Re:And what this tells us... (Score 0) 90

Not meaning to troll, but what makes you "a pretty good scientist"?

There is a scientific method. All scientists are supposed to follow it. So the quality of being a scientist is binary -- one is or one isn't.

If one isn't, why would one say anything? If one is, it is like saying "I am a policeman", "I am a teacher".

So here you could just say "I am a scientist".

Sorry, I just don't get the "pretty good" phrase, and it makes me question whether you are or not.

Comment Numbers (Score 0) 63

They are numbers. Big ones. Small ones. Numbers that repeat themselves into bigger numbers. Number with zeroes and numbers with ones. Numbers for young and old. Many, many numbers!

Password numbers and briefcase numbers. Hot date and credit card collection numbers. Your weight last year and your weight now :-( numbers.

Your salary number and your worth number. Your debt number and your empty pocket number.

How much you will inherit and how much you actually got.

And so on.

I would have thought it was obvious who they were.

Comment Re:Agreed (Score 1) 285

Thanks. Known about them for years, if not tens of years.

As my pre-long filenames reference suggests, my adventure in autoexec.bat land predates Win9x. Let's say it was 20+ years ago.

It was my personal autoexec.bat file, not some major application. Of which I had several on the go at that time. Each of which had daily (& off site) back up procedures.

Comment Re:Agreed (Score 1) 285

The humor in (1) and (2) was too hard to perceive, apparently. Let's try a more left-brained approach.

Regarding overwriting Autoexec.bat, it is obvious that I should have been backing it up. Not stating that is me showing respect to slashdotters. Maybe you forgot the forum we are commenting on here?

The more subtle issue is that the file only works with a single name, so there is a source code versioning problem right off the bat.

Versioning it as, say, Autoexec_20150804.bat, would be a solution, except my story predates long filenames.

Copying it to, say, dated folders of the form yyyymmdd would also work...unless the mistaken overwrite happened on the same day as a large number of earlier edits.

The reality is that it is easy to open and edit Autoexec.bat.
Easy to keep a single backup of it. And harder to keep it properly backed up.

My tongue-in-cheek "lesson learned" was to not waste time documenting Autoexec.bat -- because it didn't matter. It was my Autoexec.bat only. There was no payback to messing with it further. And backup of it made it more problematic.

Another lesson learned here is "beware of automated backup processes". They can be too good. Propagating (in this case a zip of all my .BAT files) a problem to multiple other places. So, offlining, or alternating backups is part of a better solution. etc.

The real point? That there are a lot of lessons to be learned from editing one simple file. I had tried to document everything, so that it would be useable later...and ended up with nothing despite my best efforts at the time.

So humbleness is a big part of doing something well.

Speaking of a lack of humbleness, 0 K, how do you figure I learned the wrong lesson on (3) above?

Comment Agreed (Score 1) 285

There are few things more exhilarating than writing code.

Controlling the machine with just a few commands? Cool.

Debugging said program, with just a few hours of stress? Not so fun.

But, recompiling and rerunning said program when one is sure it is now bug-free? Like hammering the gas pedal of a muscle car!

Oops, missed one. Screetch.

Three of my favorite bugs or gaffs.

(1) endlessly tweaking and commenting my autoexec.bat file. Only to eventually overwrite something with nothing. With absolutely no backup. Lesson learned? Don't waste time tweaking autoexec.bat

(2) putting the computers at all our department's campus-spanning internet-connected locations into a tight "give me the code again" loop, and then going home for the night. Lesson learned? Normally polite campus sys admins spend much of their time counting the tens of gigabytes of data they reluctantly ship.

(3) one can gain full-time summer employment from the pursuit of a single bug. Nerdy organic chem professor has custom chem. sim program made for the previous year's grad. students' thesis. Only it doesn't work. Lesson learned? Tiny variables need 32-bits of precision.

Comment Re:Barking at the wrong tree (Score 4, Insightful) 114

the laundromats that use it to let you know when certain washers or dryers are finished.

I particularly like those tweets when I'm not even doing laundry that day!

The realtors that let you follow them so you get regular updates about new home listings

Real estate is a fantastically particular business. I would like to meet the person that wants to drown in every tweet from just one realtor or one agency.

When I've looked for a home, the realtor and I were busy defining exactly what we were looking for. In short order we had a short list. We checked out that list. If that didn't work out, we re-defined and repeated.

The process had absolutely nothing to do with breathlessly tweeting out every gasp in the real estate market and everything to do with being specific.

FWIW, this sounds like it might be a job for RSS or email...but the notion of having to sort through tweets is ridiculous. Another problem with tweets is you would have to follow the link to learn anything at all -- there would be no room to describe the listing (unlike in RSS or email).

Comment Re:Poor organization (Score 1) 98

While we are trying to improve the article...

Where is the 3770? I couldn't be bothered to type all the names-but-not-numbers into Google to see if one of them was the 3770.

Just because Intel screwed up their naming conventions doesn't mean everyone else has to further such marketing-driven value-removal.

Comment A few more (Score 1) 552

Great list of things that could be improved. Here are a few more:

I would like all comments on one page. Current limit is 100 max per page. I suggested to them that, when you pay, you get a new limit -- could be 500, etc. -- as one of the features. Point is, things get faster, bandwidth gets cheaper, every day. Why the limit? When you have a thread with, say, 500 or more comments, the only way you get them all on one page is at +4 or +5. But you miss so much when you browse at that level.

In the pay-to-play category, some of the things you would like could be rewards for paying. SIG size, for example. Those who don't like big (or any) SIGs would still be able to block them.

Remove or greatly limit underrated mod -- the stealth mod of choice for mod bombers. (1) use it, you lose 4 other mods, or (2) use it, and it goes up for meta-moderating right away. And (3) abuse it, and lose mod points for a month, then 3, then a year.

Remove mind-numbingly stupid posts -- Golden Girls, goats.*, etc. If they have been replied to, then *** them out, or put one of the quotes at the bottom of each page in there. Just make it clear the post was useless and has been removed.

Consider removing mods altogether from controversial subjects -- politics in particular.

Comment Cruise control (Score 5, Insightful) 157

I installed cruise control on my otherwise primitive '65 Chevy station wagon. Loved it. I'm hard pressed to think of a drawback of cruise control.

But then I would say exactly the same thing about ABS.

The rest...I agree with you. Oh, except for electronic ignition -- my car starting problems disappeared when I started owning cars with electronic ignitions.

And I'm kinda fond of those lights that come on automatically. Not the ones that are always on, but the ones that can tell when it is a little too dark. Like when you go in a tunnel. I positively love that.

Oh, and automatic overdrive, "torque lockout" and the 3-way catalytic converters.

But yeah, old cars, that weigh twice as much as new cars, are the best! Trucks that ride like trucks? Man I miss those. My crap 2002 GMC Sierra, with that high strength steel? Too car-like for me. Who needs comfort? I want the smell of oil and the bounce of a bench seat.

Oh, and the rear-view mirror that shows the outside temperature and the letters I-C-E when it is near freezing? I hardly ever use that. Mind you, when it does get near freezing I kind of appreciate knowing there might be black ice.

But the compass direction indicator is a bit much. Except when I'm driving on an unfamiliar road, at night, in the rain.

So, yeah, you're right. Who needs anything better than a model T? Well, except for the time that hand crank broke my wrist...

In a five year period we can get one superb programming language. Only we can't control when the five year period will begin.