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Comment: Re:MS still don't get it (Score 1) 240

by taoboy (#49266203) Attached to: Windows 10 Enables Switching Between Desktop and Tablet Modes

> Most people do NOT want an operating system that is for both a tablet, and for a normal computer.

I do. I'm tired of lugging around a full-sized Dell laptop when I travel, and I like to read whenever I'm in ever-shrinking airplane space. So, I do want a tablet that'll step up to laptop/desktop functionality when I sit down at whatever desk they come up with for me at the places to which I travel.

And, while I am ever hopeful that a Linux distro will step up to the switch-hit tablet/laptop challenge, it is my humble opinion that Microsoft is making better progress in getting there. Not perfect, at this point, but definitely useable.

Comment: I know I'm gonna catch a lot of crap for this... (Score 2) 240

by taoboy (#49264155) Attached to: Windows 10 Enables Switching Between Desktop and Tablet Modes

...but I'm finding Win 8 as a switch-hit tablet/sorta-netbook is working pretty well for me. I've been using both Windows and various Linux desktop distros for decades now, waiting for someone to put together an OS that would alternatively do the tablet thing, then do desktop with a BT keyboard and mouse. Ubuntu seems to be heading there, but Win 8 actually does a passable job in both modes. I'm running it on a cheapie WinBook from Microcenter with 2GB RAM and 32GB flash as C:. And then, to add insult to injury, IE 11 is the best tablet browser I've tried, and I've tried quite a few. I still use Firefox when in the desktop, as well as all my old Windows desktop applications, but I try to Metro-app in Metro when at all possible. Thing is, when in desktop, get out the mouse and keyboard; the screen is too small for fingering around. But I'm finding Metro to be like any other device; you've gotta spend a little time figuring it out, but there's nothing onerous about it, well, maybe the app killing thing.

I wanted Ubuntu to get there first, but it is my studied opinion that Windows is ahead in tablet/desktop switch-hitting. So there; flame away, I've already attracted my mate so I don't have to worry about how I look, smell, or are regarded your eyes... :D

Comment: It all (mostly) looks like C... (Score 1) 306

by taoboy (#46515305) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Can an Old Programmer Learn New Tricks?
It helps that most of the "new" tech either builds on or borrows from the imperative programming foundations laid by C. I've transitioned from Perl to stuff like Java and Javascript/HTML5 without a lot of pain. Over the years, I've occasionally revisited stuff like Lisp and Scheme, but that seems a bridge too far. Yes, John McCarthy, I'm doing it wrong, but I'm too old now to give a shit...

Comment: Re:AWS GovCloud (Score 1) 274

by taoboy (#44398967) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Secure DropBox Alternative For a Small Business?

Yep, mod this one way up.

It has or is associated with a sufficient number of acronyms to qualify as a government-approved service, e.g., 3PAO - Third Party Assessment Organization ( Geesh...

Seriously, you want to consider services like this because 1) you need to certify your solution in some accreditation official's notion of sufficiency, and 2) they've already done the work in dotting the 't's and crossing the 'i's

Comment: "Multi-Disciplinary" Is All In Your Head (Score 1) 401

by taoboy (#44260297) Attached to: Electrical Engineering Labor Pool Shrinking

My training is in software, but in my recent job I have worked issues involving manufacturing processes, concrete spall, the dynamics of new grease in generator bearings, and thermal stresses on electronic components.

WRT the hobby thing, a lot of my current responsibilities involve networking, both long-haul and local, and I learned what I know wiring up my house. No courses, no certs...

It's good to learn a particular engineering discipline early on, but if you want to really show value to employers while continuing to do interesting things, my experience is that it's more about demonstrating logical, data-driven thinking than coding or soldering or somesuch...

Comment: From-From The-The Voice-Voice Of-Of Experience (Score 1) 656

by taoboy (#43876767) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Important Is Advanced Math In a CS Degree?

-Experience... (subject line wouldn't let me type the whole thing...)

I'm now at the wane of my career, and here's how math went for me:

- B.S. CIS (in the business college, three math courses; in the advanced course, if you could identify the integral sign, you got a B. Oh, and a stats course, more on that later)
- M.S. CS (curiously, you don't need the advanced math as a prereq to a lot of master's CS programs. Took a discrete math course, which IMHO is the only directly relevant math to the concepts that comprise CS)
- DCS (Doctor of Computer Science, but we did the dissertation thing. No math per se, but my diss chair had me go chase the second differential as a possible test for my hypothetical correlation, but it didn't work that way. I think he just did that to be funny)

My computer career has had a healthy dose of software development and management, and until recently my calculus deficiency wasn't a hinderance. However, statistics have been pervasive in all my jobs, either directly in the code or indirectly in testing or management. My last string of positions have been in the domain of missile defense, and this is where I had to go dig out the old texts to figure out such things as Taylor series and RK4 integration - knowing ballistic trajectories is all about this topic. And again, stats pervades.

So, based on direct experience (three degrees, four 'math' courses, and a varied string of jobs), I'd say 'It Depends.' There are a lot of things to do out there, and I know you can make a decent career in computer science without running the undergrad math gauntlet. However, there are certain domains where it is used; if you want to go there, you need to be able to 'speak snake'. And, as much as I hate to say it, familiarity with the ways of statistics is useful in most any place, if for nothing else than to be able to tell people who put up graphs of amorphous point clouds with a line running through them who say, 'and it's evident there's good correlation' that they're full of liquid shit without the proper statistical test.

So There.

Comment: Depends on how fancy you want it... (Score 1) 320

by taoboy (#42935195) Attached to: Why Hasn't 3D Taken Off For the Web?

I suffer with the Intel GPU in my personal laptop, so I've long been interested in what can be done minimally. So, here's my take on "Hello World" for VR. using Three.js:

No shaders required in the current download, but I do have a commented-out shader skybox in the source, look at index.html. A simple y-deformed terrain mesh from a grayscale heightmap, water is just a phong-material mesh, no extra texture. I got the character and basic keyboard/mouse event handling from another Three.js example. In fact, most of it is copy/pasted from other available examples, my intent being to round up the minimum needed to produce a rudimentary 3D VR for subsequent enhancing.

It will do multiplayer with a broadcast-repeater websocket server, which I have turned off right now because I DON'T TRUST ANY OF YOU!! I used the test-server that comes with libwebsockets, almost without modification.

WASD keys make you walk around, as do the arrow keys. Drag the mouse around to rotate your view. t-key immediately transports you to the highest point on the island, otherwise you have to walk everywhere. c-key toggles character crouch/stand. x-key toggles websocket connect/disconnect, but there's no server running right now. Oh, I already said that.

Runs okay in FF18 and really good in Google Chrome. I have had my laptop shut down for thermal, but I was running three Chrome windows to test multiplayer...

If you want the code, git-pull it here:

"I'm a mean green mother from outer space" -- Audrey II, The Little Shop of Horrors