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Comment: Learn assembler (Score 1) 637

by waimate (#47618155) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: "Real" Computer Scientists vs. Modern Curriculum?

Doesn't matter much which one, just learn to so some even trivial things in assembler. Then understand *this* is reality, and everything else is an abstraction.

For bonus points, then do it in hex without the benefit of an assembler to translate mnemonics into opcodes and calculate your relative addresses.

Comment: Yep, jealousy (Score 1) 176

by waimate (#46845601) Attached to: SpaceX Files Suit Against US Air Force

I think you're right: jealously. Musk has runs on the board - multiple runs in multiple arenas. He should be every geek's action hero, but instead people are calling him a con-man, a fake, a wannabe. It's absurd in light of the observable facts, and the only explanation that fits is that a collection of true wannabe's are sitting at home chucking sour grapes.

Comment: Re:Lego building != Architect (Score 1) 72

by waimate (#46362929) Attached to: Code.org Resurrects 'Flappy Bird' As Programming Lesson

Yes, it's Scratch-like in construction -- but it excludes concepts like loops and branching. This tutorial is really not much more than configuring a couple of parameters in a pre-built flappy-bird game.

I'm a big fan of Scratch, of code.org, and of teaching kids how to code. But sad to say this offering misses the point entirely.

Comment: Re:Fahrenheit is more naturally understood (Score 1) 359

Temperature doesn't have the absurd issue of units that the other measurements have. If Faremheit included features like "12 degrees to a larksvomit, 3 larksvomits to a thrumblehorn", so a 75 degree day would actually be expressed as "3 thromblehorns and a larksvomit", then it would have the same issue.

The problem isn't the magnitude of these things, the problem is the absurd units and multiples involved.

Comment: Re:Christmas (Score 1) 152

by waimate (#45790805) Attached to: Apollo 8 Astronaut Re-Creates 1968 Christmas Broadcast To Earth

What about 'shortest day' is it that trips you up?

It's that when the advert says "Jaws 12, coming to a theatre near you not far from the longest day of the year", I have no idea when to don my Jaws 11 T-shirt and head down to the multiplex.

Anyway, happy Generic Solstice to you !

Comment: Re:Christmas (Score 1) 152

by waimate (#45790281) Attached to: Apollo 8 Astronaut Re-Creates 1968 Christmas Broadcast To Earth

I'm not sure what you're saying. I think you're saying christmas is a shortest day celebration, and that therefore in the southern hemisphere christmas should be observed in June. I think you're saying the southern hemisphere is doing the right thing on the wrong date.

If you never said 'christmas == cold' (two equal signs, note), you certainly did say 'christmas == shortest day', and by virtue of physics 'shortest day == cold'.

Seasons are local effects, but many inwardly-focussed societies don't grasp that. Whenever I see an ad that says "coming this summer", my immediate reaction is "when the fuck is that?". I'm not being obtuse for the sake of it, I'm just being tripped up by someone using a metric that is not appropriate for indicating time. I have to consider a) where I am, b) where the ad writer was, c) whether the ad writer has a global view (usually not), d) convert.

What do you in the north do to celebrate the shortest day of the year in the southern hemisphere? I'm guessing not much (and rightly so) !

If you think nobody cares if you're alive, try missing a couple of car payments. -- Earl Wilson

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