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Comment: Re:R is less popular? (Score 1) 387

by rnturn (#47868955) Attached to: Unpopular Programming Languages That Are Still Lucrative

I, too, found it curious to call R ``unpopular''.

If it means anything, a couple of years ago, doing a search on the internet for "R" was almost useless. Now entering just ``R'' into a Google search brings back , as a suggested search string, ``r programming language''. And as the first entry in that list. Seems to me that means it's not exactly ``unpopular'' when Google is suggesting it in the list of suggested searches. Of course, it could be that this article is the reason for ``r programming language'' percolating up in the list of suggestions.

Comment: Re:think about what it says about the company (Score 1) 387

by rnturn (#47864101) Attached to: Unpopular Programming Languages That Are Still Lucrative

``R is something used by statisticians and scientists; if you get hired solely as a programmer (rather than a scientist/analyst) to do R programming, your job is likely to clean up other people's messy R code. Can you make money with any of those languages? Sure, but the job may not be quite what you expect or what you are used to.''

While I've found R to be useful for analyzing/plotting/etc. system performance data I haven't seen any actual job listings in the past couple of years that required `R' experience that were not actually looking for someone with a background in biostatistics. I.e., they weren't programming jobs but for folks with backgrounds in medical/genetic research who would be using R at those jobs. I can see where R would be useful for working with financial data . Wonder if Wall Street might be a good place for someone with R experience to find work?

Comment: Re:Python is eating Perls lunch (Score 1) 387

by rnturn (#47863941) Attached to: Unpopular Programming Languages That Are Still Lucrative

``so we all don't have to keep half-a-dozen different versions of it lying around''

Sounds like my experience having to keep 4-5 Java runtime environments on UNIX systems to support older code that nobody had the time to rewrite to be compatible with the runtime du jour. Figuring out how to keep those old runtimes up to date every time some bozos (*cough* politicians *cough*) decided to monkey around with daylight savings time was, oh, so much fun.

Comment: Hey! Why not... (Score 3, Interesting) 282

by rnturn (#47856051) Attached to: Is It Time To Split Linux Distros In Two?

... a `Professional' and `Home' edition as well?

Seriously... is this what some people believe is holding back wider Linux adoption? There's already more than enough FUD in the press and on the web in articles about Linux providing too many choices now without adding a server and desktop edition for the naysayers to complain about.

Comment: Replacement batteries are nearly useless (Score 1) 131

by rnturn (#47735085) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Where Can I Find Good Replacement Batteries?

I have some cordless phones that have served our household well for a number of years. The original batteries lasted a couple of years before they wouldn't hold much of a charge. I was able to work via the cordless phone via the speakerphone for over an hour before the batteries gave out. Now, a couple of replacement batteries later, I consider it a good day if I can stay on a phone call for, say, 20 minutes and that's using a battery that's only a couple of months old. It almost makes me wonder if they're not selling used batteries. With the replacement batteries costing $15+, it's not likely that we're going to do it any more. The missus is the last major user of the cordless phones and she's switching to mobile next month. The crappy battery life is one of the reasons she's switching.

I have worries that I'll run into the same battery rip-off with my laptop. And those batteries run upwards of $100. Given the track record of the supposedly equivalent batteries we've been finding for our phones, I'll probably go with an original manufacturer battery for the laptop.That's probably no guarantee but I'm guessing they won't be as bad as the third-party batteries.

Comment: Re:Software Documentation is bad everywhere (Score 1) 430

by rnturn (#47602683) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What To Do About the Sorry State of FOSS Documentation?

My favorite commercial software error message fiasco was when I was asked to figure out where a cryptic error message was coming from. The message had no prefix telling which component of the software package was issuing the message. The message did not appear in the appendix where error messages were listed. When I grepped for the error message in the application's "bin" directory it turned out that all the binaries contained the error message; even utility programs that had nothing to do with the operation that was generating the error. It turned out that all of the executables contained all of the potential error messages that might be issued by any of the executables. (An insane use of an "#include" directive or something similar.) So much for the high quality of commercial software and documentation.

The best -- and last -- commercial software that I think had really thorough documentation was back in my IBM mainframe/mini and DEC mini days. You really couldn't fault the documentation that came with those systems at all. Except, maybe, the quantity of it; some serious shelf space was required.

Comment: Re:No thought required (Score 2) 135

by rnturn (#47588939) Attached to: If You're Always Working, You're Never Working Well

``It's apparently far cheaper to just muddle along with a problem for years and years and years. Or at least until the company tanks.''

Or the people who constantly point out the problem leave the company in frustration. No more complaints... no more problem. It'll be a while before the replacement hires (if there actually are any) re-discover the problem and begin complaining about it.

Nobody said computers were going to be polite.