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Comment Customers (Score 1) 1880

They expect my software to run on Windows, so I'm stuck with it. Otherwise I'd gladly be free from the pain and suffering of Win32 development.

At home, I boot to Windows once in a while for Netflix Streaming, but otherwise I'm on linux.

Comment Teach Him About Failure (Score 1) 659

I'd find something for him to do that *doesn't* come easily -- it would probably have to be something outside the academic realm, maybe a sport or martial art.

Why? Because eventually, he's going to outgrow his genius and reach a point where he needs to study and work hard in order to succeed. That seems to be the point where most child prodigies burn out. Their whole ego/self worth gets tied up with being "smart" and succeeding effortlessly -- when they fail, it can be devastating, and they may decide that they're not so smart after all and give up.

If he experiences some failures early on, he can develop the resilience to keep working when things get tough. There's a lot of evidence that, in the long run, success has a lot more to do with effort and focused practice than innate talent.

Comment Re:Rewrite the Constitution or face default! (Score 1) 1042

He did put forth a plan, and it's been analyzed by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, which is where the $2.2 trillion figure comes from.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/2chambers/post/budget-office-says-reid-plan-would-cut-deficit-more-than-boehner-proposal/2011/07/27/gIQAWPwncI_blog.html

Comment I went to CTY (Score 2) 116

I was like 10 or 11, IIRC. The older kids picked on me, and on the first day, one of the counselors yelled at me, made me cry, and called me a sissy. That's right, I was bullied at nerd camp. ;-)

But otherwise it was pretty cool. I think I did programming for the whole week. When they figured out that I had a handle on BASIC, they taught me Apple II assembler, which was pretty exciting at the time.

Comment Re:First Download? (Score 1) 453

there is no "open" command on the Ubuntu CLI (on Apple's this is like a double click, it open the file with the program it is associated with), this is both obvious and easy (you already have the associations if you have a GUI double click);

xdg-open is the command you're looking for. It should be available on any modern distro. There are also desktop-specific tools (gnome-open, kfmclient, etc), but xdg-open is a wrapper that identifies your desktop environment and calls the appropriate tool.

Comment Re:Not really (Score 1) 182

I've seen demos of linux client software developed in-house at Imageworks, so they're definitely using it so some extent. But it probably varies depending on the team and job. Some of the high-end shops are almost entirely linux, others have more of a mix.

I get out on customer visits once or twice a year, and have some phone/email interactions from time to time, too.

Comment Re:Not really (Score 1) 182

Video editing is one thing -- I agree that's mostly owned by Final Cut and Avid which run on Mac (and Windows in the latter case). But for compositing and effects work Linux is used heavily. Flame (which used to be the gold standard for compositing before Autodesk bought it and started running it into the ground) runs only on Linux, and Nuke supports Linux as well.

If you go into a place like ILM or Sony Pictures Imageworks you'll see a lot of linux client machines. And their render farms are typically all Linux. I speak from personal experience as my employer makes good money selling Linux software to these kinds of places.

Comment Re:What a shitbag... (Score 2) 464

If you study martial arts seriously, you eventually internalize the moves and you don't *have* to think about them. They just happen. But it requires a serious effort -- you're not going to get to this point from a few gym classes.

When I was in high school I studied karate and jiu-jutsu very seriously for about 4 years, with a few years of casual training before that. One night I was completely drunk, barely able to stand, and someone punched me in the face with no warning -- apparently I said something to piss him off, but in my stupor I was completely unaware of it until the punch landed.

We both fell over. By the time we hit the ground, I had him in a jiu-jitsu "guard", with my legs controlling his body and his arms tied up so he couldn't hit me. I was drunk and surprised, and I certainly didn't have the time or wits to think about anything -- but I didn't need to think. I'd practiced the moves thousands of times and they happened pretty much automatically. (Some friends of mine were nearby and pulled us apart, so that was pretty much the whole fight).

Of course I trained almost every day for several years. And that doesn't make me unbeatable or mean that I have a good chance against a knife or gun. But it is possible to train to fight in a way that really makes a difference in a real situation.

Comment Re:wrong OS? (Score 1) 1348

I do hate BSD's userland (seriously, it's the 21st century, parsing arguments in arbitrary order is not that hard). But I have lots of other complaints, too. :)

  • X11 support is clunky, and Carbon/Cocoa apps can't be run remotely.
  • You have to jump through various hoops to get a sane and useful Emacs installation.
  • In the terminal, many editing shortcuts that I'm used to either don't work, or are bound to some annoying feature in Terminal.app (Alt-Left/Right, Alt-Backspace, Alt-d).
  • launchd seems like a gratuitous reinvention of rc.d init scripts. It must have some cool features, but I don't know what they are because the documentation sucks.

I could go on, but you get the idea. It's all little things, but they add up. I'd rather run Linux and have the Unix environment exactly the way I want it, even if it takes some fiddling to get the desktop side of things going. But I'm probably not a typical user. ;-)

Comment Re:As I recall... (Score 3, Insightful) 222

I had a similar experience, but I did eventually get through the Silmarillion. I think I read it twice, eventually.

The first half is basically the Middle Earth version of Genesis. Most of it could probably be compressed into a genealogy chart without losing too much. The second half is a lot more interesting. But you have to slog through the first half so you know who everyone is. Otherwise you'll just get lost of in a sea of near-identical names.

If you're a big LotR fan, it's probably worth the effort.

Comment Re:I suppose it's nice (Score 1) 148

I use SCons at work for a project that builds on Windows, Mac, and Linux, and we even supported IRIX for a while. Our build is pretty complicated, including some code-generation steps where we build a program, run it, and generate new source files based on the output, and SCons works pretty smoothly. It's definitely lacking in a few areas, but lately it's been quite stable despite adding new features fairly quickly.

We do have a lot of "if windows... elif macos" kind of code. But I don't know if any system can entirely get rid of those. There are some platform-specific concepts that are really hard to abstract in a platform-independent way (e.g. side-by-side assembly nonsense on windows, or the weird handling of shared library paths on Mac).

The biggest downside I see to SCons is that your build system can easily get very complex, and then you have to debug and maintain all that code.

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