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Comment: No. but ... (Score 2) 350

You remember that super derecho that came through here a few years ago? We - and the cell towers - were without power for some time. Several days, in some parts of town. But my little Sansa MP3 player does pick up FM, so I was able to listen to local news in spite of the power outage. (Though not 100% sure why the radio station had power and the cell towers didn't ...)

Would not hearing the news cost my life after a disaster? Probably not, but allowing people to hear the news does make life easier for your local emergency management officials.

Comment: Unrated (Score 1) 220

by sgunhouse (#49414171) Attached to: How would you rate your programming skills?
I'm one of those programmers who learned in the 70s and 80s. I can do tricks in various versions of BASIC that would baffle "experts", I've done machine code - in hex - on 1802, Z-80 and 6502, I know Fortran, Pascal, a variety of novelty languages (including some I wrote myself) ... but no C, no Java and no web-related languages. Am I the greatest programmer in the world or a veritable babe in the woods? Only reasonable answer - it's not like that.

(Obviously selected "Good enough to criticize everyone else" as the best answer.)

Comment: Calculator? (Score 3, Interesting) 177

by sgunhouse (#49230877) Attached to: Preferred programming paradigm?
I selected "no preference", but that last option does deserve comment.

Having been a university math professor for a time, I tried to learn every graphing calculator available. Most use some BASIC-like language, the exceptions I'm aware of being the more powerful calculators. The HP-48 used some language based on RPN, the HP-38 (not using RPN itself) had a completely different language, and of course the TI 89 (being more of a symbolic math package stuffed inside a calculator) was nothing like the other TI calculators, So even "what did my old graphing calculator use?" is not a trivial response ...

Comment: Swiss Army knife (Score 1) 167

by sgunhouse (#49203289) Attached to: Hands-On With the Vivaldi Browser
Vivaldi is not yet my default browser, but I expect it to be there when it's ready. Some parts of the interface (especially the mail client) need a bit of work, and yes it still needs stabilization, but it seems to be coming along well.

I have been involved with Opera for over 12 years and Vivaldi for about 6 months. Not certain I'd consider any browser since Opera 12 on my old 1 GB netbook - I don't see Opera 27 or Vivaldi useful in such low RAM, which is unfortunate. On a better system, both are good browsers.

Looks to me like Opera are now copying Vivaldi - many of the features they are introducing in Opera 29 (finally) are the ones you find in Vivaldi. Good for the users, but they should have been there first.

Comment: Average? (Score 1) 304

by sgunhouse (#49144895) Attached to: I ride a bike ...
This has certainly not been an average month - we are supposed to be getting down to -5F to -10F tonight - which may break the old record. Again. Not that February is ever an average month, but this wasn't even an average February.

While I do know a couple of people who rode their bicycles in the last month ... they don't own cars and live too far to walk. (I do own a car but live close enough to walk anyway, if we get more snow than expected this weekend.)

But of course, an average month is just convenient fiction anyway - no month is average.

Comment: Re:Could Be Handy in the Gun Shop (Score 1) 133

by sgunhouse (#49100715) Attached to: Crystal Pattern Matching Recovers Obliterated Serial Numbers From Metal
I own several guns < 150 years old which never had a serial number - prior to 1968 it wasn't required on most firearms. Of course most guns did get serial numbers just for inventory purposes, but things like cheap .22 rifles or cheap shotguns sometimes didn't.

Comment: Non-trivial (Score 1) 252

by sgunhouse (#49015495) Attached to: AP Test's Recursion Examples: An Exercise In Awkwardness
To the question at the end of the article - I use either depending on language and appropriateness to the problem. Languages like CBM BASIC didn't support functions, so you had to find a way to use loops even if it wasn't optimal.

However, there are lots of non-trivial examples, so why settle for something trivial? It was always a bit of work writing a factorial in older BASICs, recursion is just so much simpler. Or maybe terms of Pascal's triangle? The Fibonacci series perhaps - while there is actually a formula for that, most people won't know it. Lots of possibilities.

Comment: Looks (Score 1) 286

by sgunhouse (#48645615) Attached to: At 40, a person is ...
I recently had someone accuse me of being in my mid-thirties (no, I selected the last option). Good genes? If so, my little bother missed out - he looks older than I do. But he works outdoors - perhaps we can blame the sun.

So, does 40.003 feel different? It's just a number. I'm going on 52 in a couple of months - yes, it's just a number too.

Do I want to live to be 100? Honestly, I don't care. I want to live a good life - length doesn't matter.

Make it myself? But I'm a physical organic chemist!

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