Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed


Forgot your password?

Comment: Re:OK, you asked ... (Score 1) 381

by tommeke100 (#49758899) Attached to: 25 Years Today - Windows 3.0
I agree. During my university Computer Science days starting from '95 we could get a Slackware distribution on CD-ROM (which ironically was considered the user-friendly distribution back then). Although basic installation was not that hard (partitioning HD, installing software, etc...) many hardware peripherals were not compatible. I don't think I ever managed to make my modem work (I admit, it was probably a win-modem based cheap one) nor get the X windows system to run in SVGA or find the correct horizontal/vertical scanning/refresh frequency to put in the properties file (again, my cheap video card probably did not have a linux driver either and same with the monitor). Also, the dual bootloader was not always that stable either, bricking not only my linux but also my ms-dos partition.
So even in the later 90s, you had to buy the correct hardware making sure it was linux compatible, which usually wasn't the cheapest hardware.
I'm a happy camper now, using linux on both my laptop as at work but it certainly wasn't all rainbows and sunshine back in the 90s.

Comment: EVERYONE plays video games! (Score 2) 169

by tommeke100 (#49753539) Attached to: Video Games: Gateway To a Programming Career?
Breathing also a gateway to a programming career! Yes I also started fiddling with computers and playing video games at an early age, but so did all the other boys my age. We all had C64s, Amigas and later on PCs. But most didn't end up in IT, let alone software development or programming.
I'm sure today you'll have a harder time finding a 12 yr old kid without a game console, tablet or computer than with.

Comment: Re:Quite the Opposite (Score 1) 264

by tommeke100 (#49750857) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Career Advice For an Aging Perl Developer?
That's if you have a good PM. Nowadays PMs, especially in bigger companies tend to be office managers that set up meetings, don't participate in them or at least don't lead the discussions, keep minutes and have no clue at all about the what the software engineers are talking about. Their job is to go person to person and ask "how long will it take for you to do this task" and fill given data into his spreadsheet.

Comment: You want to see actual widespread sexism? (Score 1) 612

by tommeke100 (#49699259) Attached to: A Plan On How To Stop Sexism In Science
Go into Sales and Marketing. I really wonder how sexism compares in STEM, Academia (a recent study already concluded that you have twice as much chance to get tenure being a woman) and IT to 'regular jobs' like your local supermarket and bar/restaurant. I'm pretty sure you can expect crude sexist remarks there as a woman all day long.

Comment: Peanuts compared to their value (Score 4, Insightful) 202

by tommeke100 (#49663279) Attached to: Study Reveals Wikimedia Foundation Is 'Awash In Money'
Yes, for a non-profit 50 million $ just laying around seems like a lot. The WMF page says there are 230 employees for a revenue of 38 million $ (mostly from donations). You can hardly claim they are being secret about it. Also, paying 230 ppl an avg of 50,000$ a year is already 11 million$ ( so it's not a trivial amount, and if the avg is higher that goes up by a margin as well).
However, when you look at the presence of WikiPedia on the internet, it's basically first hit on google in every search on every possible subject. It's probably the number one source for people to find information about a subject. They have a HUGE presence. If someone had to put a value on that, it would be worth billions. Look at other internet companies. Google (365 billion $), facebook (200 billion $), etc... Sure, they are not Google or Facebook, but would definitely be valued in the billions. The 50 million $ is just change compared to their net worth.

Comment: Re:At the same time (Score 1) 323

I think we are both right in the sense that Woz indeed wrote the first Basic which was actually called Integer Basic for the Apple 1 and early Apple 2s. It had no floating point support (hence the Integer Basic), because Woz was mostly interested in writing games which did not need floating points. Since it was one of the most cited critiques by users/developers, they licensed Basic from Microsoft which they called AppleSoft and subsequently used as their primary Basic, however Integer Basic was still available. Both Wikis about AppleSoft BASIC and Integer BASIC contain this information.
Commodore licensed BASIC from Microsoft as well, adapted it for their 64, but did not print a MS copyright notice, which they did on the 128. There is actually a MS easter egg, if you type some obscure command, it will display MicroSoft! Again, this can be find on the Commodore BASIC wiki entry.

What you're saying about MS-DOS is not true though. I remember loading MS-DOS 3.0 from big floppies in school, and that came out in 1984. It's true that at that time the IBM-PC was mostly a business machine, as most kids had C64 and Amigas to play with. It's only once the 386 came around that gaming took off on the PC.

Comment: Re:At the same time (Score 2) 323

A lot of operating systems of early "affordable" Personal Computers (Apple 2, Commodore 64, ...), mostly running Basic were actually licensed by Microsoft as well. So really, although the industry in general would have come around eventually, it's still Microsoft that understood early on that Software was were it's at. It's actually IBM that fueled the convergence to the PC with their open standards.

Comment: Re:government science = more money gravy train (Score 1) 347

This is highly dependent on what your degree is and what PhD you are going for. I'm pretty sure some liberal arts grads would be happy to pursue a PhD on a grant instead of serving people happy meals. At least here (Belgium and maybe Europe in general), going for a PhD the regular way (meaning you had a good grade during your Master and got the grant/scolarship to pursue the PhD) ensures you a good starters income for 4 years. It's actually hard as a starting professional (even with a Master in Engineering or CS) to find a better paying job at the beginning of your career. This of course changes if you are an engineer and get some years of experience professionally.

Comment: Re:The Problem is Wage Discrimination (Score 1) 636

by tommeke100 (#49584381) Attached to: Disney Replaces Longtime IT Staff With H-1B Workers
I know in Belgium if you have skilled foreign employees you actually need to pay them at least a certain amount according to their degree.
Which is sometimes annoying for these employees because it makes them harder to get hired (because of the lower-bound) if they lose their job as well.
We had a PhD (this is at least 10 yrs ago, so laws may have changed) who got fired because of restructuring in the company (not his fault), and he was complaining about this.

Comment: Re:Hard to take sides (Score 1) 355

by tommeke100 (#49570913) Attached to: University Overrules Professor Who Failed Entire Management Class
This is a class about Strategic Management, not People Management. The higher you get in the hierarchy of a company, the more important your strategic/vision management skills become and the less your people leadership skills.
I do agree he's partly responsible though for not taking action sooner. If you are really being cursed at and need protection in the class-room, I'm sure there are many disciplinary sanctions the University can take against individuals, ranging from an official warning to expulsion.

"You're a creature of the night, Michael. Wait'll Mom hears about this." -- from the movie "The Lost Boys"