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Comment: Re:If you miss the 8-bit era... (Score 1) 245

by vertigoCiel (#31470158) Attached to: Programming the Commodore 64: the Definitive Guide

I'm a youngin' myself, so I wasn't around for these "good ol' days." However, I recently got hooked on AVR microcontrollers via Arduino, and I'm loving it. Being able to have total control and understanding of the hardware, to hold the entire execution context in ones head, is exhilarating. My laptop is more or less a black box that I stick my code into, but with these AVR chips I understand exactly what's going on with each and every instruction, and there's simply nothing that I can't do.

Right now I'm working on a threads system for the ATMega family of microcontrollers. It's tons of fun, and I'm learning a lot, not only about the hardware and assembly programming, but also about how my "real computer" and "real languages" work (for example, what exactly is going on when function calls happen).

I can't recommend these things strongly enough. I think that it's an essential experience for any programmer, and if you've just started programming in the past five years or so, chances are you haven't dealt with anything like it. Even if you have, you can still do tons of nifty stuff with these things, and they're only $30 for a ready-to-program, USB package.

Comment: Re:Just got a Nook (Score 1) 684

by vertigoCiel (#31149682) Attached to: It's 2010; What's the Best E-Reader?

I'm interested in the Nook because it's very hackable (since it runs Android OS), so I was wondering whether there was any built-in reflow feature of the PDF reader that could intelligently deal with two-column layout. The PRS-600 does look nice, but I'm not as interested in it.

Oh, and by the way, since you solicit corrections in your signature, verbs are never conjugated with apostrophes. Apostrophes are meant to show missing letters in contractions. For example, I should have used "it's" when I asked

Could you try putting something like this paper on your Nook and seeing if its readable? Perhaps post a few pics?

and you should have used "gets" when you said

Unzoomed it's readable after I cropped it tightly, but of course the font get's very small.

You correctly used "it's" earlier in the sentence, where the apostrophe is used to denote that "it's" is a contraction of "it is".

Your English is already pretty good, but good luck continuing to improve it! It's basically a third grader's arts and crafts project of a language–I'm very thankful that it's my native tongue, since learning it has to be very difficult.

Comment: Re:Just got a Nook (Score 1) 684

by vertigoCiel (#31141456) Attached to: It's 2010; What's the Best E-Reader?
I'm interested in getting a Nook, but I haven't been able to find any rundowns of its PDF display capabilities. I'd be looking at reading a lot of CS papers, which are typically two-column with graphics. Could you try putting something like this paper on your Nook and seeing if its readable? Perhaps post a few pics?

Comment: Re:Google is not far from Engrishisfunny.com... (Score 2, Insightful) 178

by vertigoCiel (#31070488) Attached to: Google Shooting For Smartphone Universal Translator

The translation party equilibrium:

I, Google Maps and do a link and, please, I do not think it is successful. Aruuebu, all Web search experts, to discuss the background of existing knowledge. In addition, various efforts and vision, dedication, today (U.S. time askjeeves, wolphramalpha etc.) lead. But this has obviously reached the foreseeable future. However, the search is very useful.

Similarly, from the perspective of our toilet, I can eat, and to translate the conversation reaches the end of a universal translator, the parties, to purchase a backup location to buy me a house helpful must. If there is a need for war and peace, I am one of only two of 11111111 / 100 of the Treaty in all bilingual machine, I can do anything in order to understand them very is convenient to convert to respect the delicate negotiations, if the authorities.

(To find the "equilibrium", it translates the paragraph into Japanese, then translates that result back to English, and so on, until output n = output n+2).

Comment: Re:Just pollin' (Score 4, Insightful) 671

by vertigoCiel (#31070372) Attached to: The iPad Questions Apple Won't Answer

It's not for you. It's for your Mom.

No filesystem, locked down OS, sandboxed apps = impossible for the average user to screw up.

The touch UI is stupid simple. My Mom still struggles with computers since she has trouble remembering UI conventions. I don't see that being a big problem with this device.

People need to stop comparing this to netbooks & other computers. It's a web appliance for people who don't want computers.

Comment: Re:Yes, in this case, +1 for MS. (Score 1) 400

by vertigoCiel (#31043024) Attached to: Oh, What a Lovely Standards War

Apple has chosen to deliberately not support Ogg Theora, even though it would be trivially easy for them to do so. It has taken this position, I believe, because it knows that Firefox can't implement H.264. I honestly think they want to kill off Firefox so that there's more marketshare for Safari.

Apple really doesn't care about Firefox. The reason they want to H.264 to win out is because all of their embedded products (iPod Touch, iPhone, and soon iPad) have hardware specifically for H.264 decoding. This allows them to decode H.264 with little impact on either battery life or the CPU. If Ogg Theora were the standard, they'd have to switch to doing video decoding in software, which would eat up the CPU and kill battery, if it were indeed practical.

Apple isn't every geek's favorite company for a reason, but they're not supporting H.264 out of malicious intent towards Firefox.

Comment: Re:Lame. (Score 1) 233

by vertigoCiel (#29157537) Attached to: Google Brings SVG Support To IE

You can override this manually, but why would anyone do that for other purposes than debugging...?

Because their user-agent sniffing doesn't work well for more obscure browsers. I'm using Camino, a lightweight gecko-based browser for OS X, and the demo page defaults to Flash, when it actually runs better with the native SVG option.

Comment: Re:Know your Cardinals (Score 1) 520

by vertigoCiel (#29061463) Attached to: My sense of direction is ...
Heh, I can see how that would really mess your cardinals up. Most cities are tilted slightly one way or the other... but that's almost dead 45 degrees.

One solution would be to try to adopt a consistent left-handed or right-handed preference for labeling which direction is what-e.g., a left handed preference means NW is N, NE is E, etc. Of course, you'd have to get everyone else to use it, too...

Highways never make sense on a local scale, since they always twist around to accommodate cities. You kind of have to keep a large-scale picture in your head to work out which local directions correspond to the labels.

Comment: The AP Has No Clue What They're Doing (Score 4, Insightful) 138

by vertigoCiel (#28874079) Attached to: Inside the AP's Plan To Security-Wrap Its News Content
So, if you can't be bothered to RTFA, the AP obviously has no idea what they're talking about. Some snake oil salesman came along and told them that Microformats are magic digital beans that will protect their content with some sort of "tracking beacon" that will phone home and prevent infringement.

This is so cluelessly ridiculous that I can't decide if it's hilarious or just sad.

Some people have a great ambition: to build something that will last, at least until they've finished building it.

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