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+ - Ask Slashdot: Best eReader for Linux?->

Submitted by r0wan
r0wan (60177) writes "I'm a Windows server janitor looking to develop my Linux skills that have stalled somewhat after management reversed their "cross-training" policy.

I'm currently running KBOX2 with nano and a Scheme interpreter on my rooted Galaxy S3 work phone, but I'd like to move this environment to a non-work device. Most of my extracurricular Linux work is done on the go, but budget is limited, so I'm looking at the lower-priced eReaders...specifically the NOOK Simple Touch. I figure I'd root it and install bash plus the utilities I need.

My question is, while the price is perfect and the specs look right, would the NOOK ST be the best eReader for this, or are there others (Kindle, etc) that Slashdot readers recommend?"

Link to Original Source

Comment: Having A Project Is Vital (Score 3, Interesting) 247

by r0wan (#40893773) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Way To Jump Back Into Programming?
I went from knowing absolutely zilch about programming to writing my own Blackberry app. Mind you, I was not in a car accident that affected my memory, but I do have issues with memory for reasons too boring to go into. To make a potentially long story short: Have a project. Mine was having a decent ReadItLater and Tumblr Blackberry app. There weren't any at the time I was using a Blackberry and I didn't want to wait for someone else to charge me for one they wrote.

I cannot emphasize this enough: I did not know *anything* about programming. The *only* way I was able to learn it was the project I wanted to complete.

You have a goal, which is to get back into programming...preferably for gaming platforms. Now you need a project. Something that *you* want to make and use.

Comment: It Depends On The Person... (Score 1) 448

by r0wan (#40793475) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: the Best Linux Setup To Transition Windows Users?
What kind of person are you talking about? Regular user? Change-adverse relative? Windows admin? My recommendation would depend on your answer.

I can't speak for the regular user, but as a Windows admin who supports a parent I can speak to the others. If you're dealing with a change-adverse relative (or any other person with a similar temperament, forget it. Maybe if you drop hints for a year or so they may become interested enough to think about a distro.

If you're talking about a Windows admin, just say the following two words and they'll be hooked. Ready?

command history

That's what did it for me. If that fails, throw the RC of Server 2012 at them. If THAT doesn't do it, forget it.

Comment: Programming How-To Rollup (Score 1) 799

by r0wan (#30571092) Attached to: How To Teach a 12-Year-Old To Program?

get him to learn the basics - we all have been there and then start getting into the more fun projects like simple games and build on the skills he learns as you go. Programming is hard but it can be very rewarding to see something you built working efficiently... and then making it work better!

To piggyback on this...and roll up a few aforementioned key steps:
1) See if he's got an interest first
1a) See if there's a program he wants that's not available for x platform.
2) Start with what he's interested in
3) Start with something easy in what he's interested in.

I started out with BASIC on an ATARI when I was about six(?)...then dropped programming until about two or three months ago when I got frustrated with the lack of Blackberry apps and decided to write my own instead of waiting for someone to do it for me. I didn't know object-oriented programming, much less Java or JavaME, to save my life (and most would say I probably still don't) but I hit up the Java tutorials and RIM API documentation. It was hard work, and I froze my own Blackberry a number of times, but three/four months later I have a working Blackberry app that wasn't out there before. I can confirm what the quoted poster is very rewarding to see something you wrote work...and use it.

Comment: Re:Keepass (Score 1) 1007

by r0wan (#30059262) Attached to: Best Tool For Remembering Passwords?

I agree. Been using KeePass and Password Safe (both OSS) for years now. Prefer KeePass, but both are great if you keep the database file on a flash drive.

+10 on KeePass. Especially for the following features
1) You can require two forms of auth for viewing the password database
2) Clipboard 10 second restriction (if you copy password to paste into credentials request, password is removed from clipboard in 10 seconds)

+ - Submission For Public AskSlashdot-> 2

Submitted by
r0wan writes "I made this submission to the askslashdot queue but somehow it got tagged as a story for logged in users only.
I'd like to submit this as a possible public AskSlashdot, if this is possible.

Apologies for any double submissions, obvious questions; I haven't logged in to the new Slashdot yet and I'm fumbling around a lot."

Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:no beter way (Score 1) 4

by r0wan (#29438677) Attached to: Zero-Knowledge Coding: Am I Crazy For Deciding To

There is no better way to learn software development than what you're doing. However, you have bitten off quite a large bite: awfully hard to go from zero to sockets protocols with GUI interfaces. I suggest you take it in steps: first make a program that displays something on the blackberry. Then make a program that connects to a web server, downloads a text file and displays the first few lines on the blackberry. And so on. Get there in steps rather than diving straight for the goal.

Actually I found a post from someone who was trying to do the same thing and the response to that post mentioned that, while there wasn't a J2ME client library for the GData Blogger API, what would probably be needed for one was pretty simple: an HTTP client, an XML parser and code for handling GData auth.

I found several HTTP clients (one that actually has a sample blog client) and XML parsers and there's sample code for interacting with ClientLogin, Google's installed application auth method. I've also gathered a bunch of articles and reference docs on the interfaces I think I'd need. I was going to open them up and see if I could put something together while reading what's necessary until I saw your post.

I'll back up and start with building something that displays "hello world" first.

Oddly enough, I haven't seen any detailed tutorials on that :-\

+ - Zero-Knowledge Coding: Am I Crazy For Deciding To 4

Submitted by
r0wan writes "I maintain a blog and currently have a Blackberry 8310, for which there are zero Blogger mobile clients that work with the new GData Blogger API (and yes, I do know about Mail2Blogger, but until Blackberry coughs up a rich text mail client, it's not a great option). Being the type of person who unscrewed lightbulbs as a kid 'to see where the light comes from', I decided to write my own.

The problem? At the moment of my decision, the closest I'd ever come to programming was VBScripting a lot of admin scripts, and I knew absolutely zilch about Java or J2ME and less than that about object oriented programming.

That was about two weeks ago. Now I know fractionally more than zilch about Java and J2ME thanks to Sun's Java trails, and I've managed to install the Blackberry JDE, the Blackberry JDK, the J2ME 3.0 SDK and Eclipse. I've even successfully figured out how to open a few existing open source J2ME projects (MobileBlogger and Azure for those still reading) and build them, which required some minor troubleshooting that was major for me since I had to look up what a workspace was, and figure out that you can't use spaces for them.

My co-workers, however, think I'm crazy, stupid, or both and that I should either pay someone to write it for me or pay for hosting and PHP something that I can browse to on my Blackberry. I'm stubborn, so I'm ignoring them and reading up on What Is A Constructor during my lunch hours, but part of me wonders, are they right? Am I biting off way more than I should try to chew?"

+ - Is Happiness Catching?->

Submitted by chrb
chrb (1083577) writes "The New York Times has an interesting article about research into modelling of real world social networks, and how tendencies to be happy, to smoke, and to become obese, are passed between nodes in a directed graph in a way that suggests such concepts are "contagious". Well connected nodes in the graph (i.e. people with more friends) are more likely to be happier than less connected nodes, even when the edges represent more distant friendships. Individuals quitting smoking, or becoming obese, influence not only their immediately connected friends, but also friends of friends, with the effect sometimes skipping the intermediary node. The contagion effect is most noticable when a tendency is passed from one person to another of the same sex — friends of the opposite sex, including spouses, are not as influential."
Link to Original Source

+ - The Real Reason AIG Crashed Our Economy-> 1

Submitted by Analytical Coward
Analytical Coward (666) writes "From the non-obvious-connections department:

First, read the best article on understanding and managing IT professionals ever written, by Jeff Ello at

Then read this article by Michael Lewis at Vanity Fair, author of Liar's Poker, on Joseph Cassano, "The Man Who Crashed The World."

Taken together, if you believe that IT workers are similar to the people who worked at AIG Financial Products, these two articles offer the best understanding of what went wrong at AIG, and nearly crashed the world economy."

Link to Original Source

Machines certainly can solve problems, store information, correlate, and play games -- but not with pleasure. -- Leo Rosten