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Comment: Soft-focus world (Score 1) 547

by spaceyhackerlady (#47531625) Attached to: Laser Eye Surgery, Revisited 10 Years Later

I'm nearsighted and have worn glasses on and off since I was about 10. I wore contacts through most of my 20s, but returned to glasses in my 30s.

Now that I'm in my 50s I'm in that stage where my near vision is starting to deteriorate and I'm slowly becoming far-sighted. The first real manifestation of this was when flying at night, when I was experiencing massive eyestrain reading charts in my lap, but could see outside the plane just fine. So I got progressives the last time I got new glasses, and I'm fine.

I don't wear glasses when I'm not driving or flying. I prefer a soft-focus world. :-)

Am I a candidate for laser eye surgery? According to the web sites, not really. I could get good distant correction, but would then need glasses for reading. Since I need glasses to drive and to fly anyway, I'm not sure this would buy me anything.

...laura

Comment: Too secure == insecure (Score 1) 280

The problem with crazily-complex passwords is that if you can't remember them you write them down, and, at a stroke, have compromised security. One of the worst I've encountered is the U.S. Customs eAPIS web site, for sending advance information when you want to fly a private plane or sail a private boat to the U.S.

The other issue is that you risk locking out legitimate access.

My bank does the password plus security question thing. My security questions (you can make up your own) are more than a little interesting. :-)

...laura

Comment: Colour temperature vs CRI (Score 1) 278

by spaceyhackerlady (#47432963) Attached to: My most recent energy-saving bulbs last ...

This was an educational experience for me, learning the difference between colour temperature, which is really only valid for continuum sources, and colour rendering index, more applicable to spectral line sources. Low CRIs don't necessarily have a low colour temperature, but they definitely distort perceived colour, whether they're too blue, or the weird orange of sodium vapour lights.

The most stringent CRI requirement in my home is my makeup mirror. Which is the last incandescent bulb...

...laura

Comment: Three years and counting (Score 1) 278

by spaceyhackerlady (#47408247) Attached to: My most recent energy-saving bulbs last ...

I installed my first CFLs in 2011. They're still going strong.

The choice I made at the time was between startup behaviour and colour temperature. They either come on immediately but have a blue cast, or take a minute to warm up but have a warmer colour. I have the former in my kitchen, the latter in my living room and bedroom.

LEDs are interesting but their "white" is such a weird colour I'll pass on them for now.

...laura

Comment: Safety. Always. (Score 1) 468

I'm intrigued.

The visibility from the cockpit of many planes is actually quite mediocre. This was an issue, for example, for American flight 191. The pilots couldn't actually see the DC-10's engines from the cockpit, and did the wrong thing in response a perceived engine failure. Anything that helps pilots process and interpret information is A Good Thing.

Another bit of fictional prior art: the Far Star's control system in Foundation's Edge.

...laura

Comment: Moderately, I suppose... (Score 1) 163

by spaceyhackerlady (#47307233) Attached to: I suffer from jet lag ...

Funny you should ask: I just got back from a trip to London. Eight time zones worth of jet lag.

I find the first night there or back is no problem to get to sleep, because I'm so totally wasted I can't hold my eyes open anyway. It's the second night that's the killer. After that I'm fine. Getting up at the right time is a challenge on flights to the east coast, but is rarely an issue for Europe.

Unless you're making a phone call or having some other sort of live interaction, the time at home is irrelevant. Don't even think about it. The time where you are is the time that matters.

...laura

Comment: My approach to the subject (Score 1) 199

by spaceyhackerlady (#47287281) Attached to: Overeager Compilers Can Open Security Holes In Your Code

I always insist on a clean compile with the warning level turned up as high as it will go. If the compiler is cool with my code, I have a better chance it will do the right thing with it.

Once I have an application that works I see if it meets performance goals (if any). If it does, I'm done. If it doesn't, profile, find the hot spots, optimize as needed. Compiling an entire application with -O3 is idiotic, and misses the point.

...laura

Comment: Customers in the east (Score 3, Interesting) 141

by spaceyhackerlady (#47251999) Attached to: I typically start my workday ...

I get in to the office nominally at 8, but usually get in a bit earlier, like 0740.

Since I'm on Pacific time and almost everybody I deal with is on Central and Eastern time, I consider it a courtesy to them to be in the office promptly. At one time I had a job that got me over to Paris and Brussels quite a bit, but the "engineering" folks were the sort who rarely showed up in the office before 1000. This is getting kinda late in western Europe when you need to work with somebody to solve a problem. Since I was in the office earliest I took most of the calls from Europe, and, oddly enough, was the one invited to fly over and help them figure things out.

...laura

Comment: What is the goal? (Score 1) 232

by spaceyhackerlady (#47026109) Attached to: Programmers: It's OK To Grow Up

My boss and I routinely look at new tools and technology with an eye to solving our company's problems and build cool new stuff. Our goal is not to embrace flavour-of-the-month technology. It's to identify better solutions to old problems, or find good solutions to new problems. Tools have to work, or they serve no purpose. Everything else follows from there.

We do most of our development in C on Linux, but have incorporated virtualization and cloud computing, new technologies that provide better solutions to old problems. The jury is still out on other goodies. I like python, while my boss prefers perl. I like Django, while he prefers PHP. He's the boss, so I write lots of perl and PHP... :-}

...laura

Comment: The thermostat is on the wall (Score 1) 216

by spaceyhackerlady (#46993547) Attached to: Who controls the HVAC at work?

It's on the wall, for all to see. Inscrutable display, mysterious controls, the works. When the weather changes it tends to lag a day. So the first warm day we cook with the heat on. The first cold day we freeze with the heat off.

I prefer opening the door out on to the balcony. Fresh air is so much nicer than anything the HVAC can do.

At home I leave my bedroom window open - even if only a crack - all year.

...laura

Comment: First and still the best (Score 4, Interesting) 457

by spaceyhackerlady (#46931237) Attached to: Favorite Star Wars Movie?

My fave is still the original Star Wars. It was fresh, it was new, yes, it was hokey, but it worked. Check your sophistication at the door and enjoy the ride!

I find the prequel movies unwatchable.

Some things never change: when The Empire Strikes Back was imminent, they re-released Star Wars in the theatres to get some buzz going. It was accompanied by a short, a trip to the Moon, assembled from NASA footage. Some younger members of the audience expressed loud displeasure at the "fake" movie. They didn't read the credits where it said "Filmed on location by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration".

...laura

Comment: First year CompSci 1978/79 (Score 1) 230

by spaceyhackerlady (#46881867) Attached to: One-a-Day-Compiles: Good Enough For Government Work In 1983

I did my first year Computer Science in Algol W with punched cards.

The system required a blue "ticket card" to do anything other than list your card deck. We were issued a supply of ticket cards, and could (and did) buy more at the campus bookstore. We punched our cards ourselves. We were very careful to write everything out, to walk through our programs to make sure the program was syntactically correct and might have a chance of doing what it was supposed to do before spending a ticket card to find out what the compiler thought of it. We had immediate turnaround, which meant you could go through ticket cards that much faster.

I now program mainly in C on Linux boxes. The programs I create are orders of magnitude more complicated than what I created then. My interactive productivity is much higher too. I'm not sure I'd even attempt much of what I do now if I didn't have much more powerful computing and debugging facilities available.

...laura

The biggest difference between time and space is that you can't reuse time. -- Merrick Furst

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