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Comment Re:A good start (Score 1) 385

No, not a magic bullet, but a self-consistent, extensible, logical, location-independent basis for straightforward communication. Conversion of units doesn't scare me, it just seems a splendidly archaic and sometimes error-prone way to spend time. A quick trite example: without knowing where your interlocutor lives or works or chooses to base their unit system on, tell me how much liquid is in the gallon container next to my desk?

"Everyone different from me" is amusing, maybe even ironic, though I don't know where you hail from so I can't be sure.

Comment Re:A good start (Score 1, Interesting) 385

Personally I think that part of the problem is the non-metric units that are still in use. By accepting that it is in any way sensible to use them, you've already given up on the logical, elegant approach to quantification. You've made it more likely that people resort to the "football fields" etc.

Comment Re:Sad, but inevitable. (Score 1) 137

With regard to the long exposures, I've found digital makes one aspect of the process much, much better, and that's the oldest argument in favour of digital in general: experimentation is quick and cheap. I've started using Lee's Big Stopper recently and I'm pleased I can chuck away (without developing) 97% of my early work with it!

Comment Re:HUD (Score 1) 375

1. Traffic monitoring built in to my chosen GPS enables changes to route after setting off.

2. Even without automatic traffic updates, I can see problems ahead, turn off the current route and let the GPS pick up the pieces.

3. If I've got a long route memorised (in a hypothetical world without GPS), but somehow forget a turning I will have to backtrack or find signs to the next "waypoint" in my mind. If I'm in another country, or well outside my usual area of travel, that's a non-trivial task.

4. "Safety" camera information is available from the GPS, along with stuff like petrol stations, car parks, etc..

5. Why shouldn't I use GPS? Just because people have done things for about a century doesn't mean we can't embrace progress. I can still read a map quite nicely, thanks and still use one for planning longer walks or driving tours etc. But I would not willingly sacrifice my car's GPS for day-to-day driving.

Comment Re:Money is in bi-annual books and training (Score 1) 136

Get off the treadmill :) Whilst I do have some "current" Rails books (notably The Rails 3 Way), I've stopped getting new editions of the Pickaxe or Agile WDR books. RailsCasts and good old fashioned studying the docs or picking through Stack Overflow have replaced purchasing books on Rails.

And the solution has hardly changed "completely" every two years. You'd still recognise Rails 1 code if you saw it today.

I limit my book purchases now to well-regarded overviews of new technologies, published before the full developer ecosystem has evolved, along with meatier tomes on design or subjects that I might one day make use of but don't currently need (most recently a book on ANTLR).

Comment Re:Yes. (Score 4, Insightful) 136

Microsoft's wide portfolio of products may allow a little cross-subsidisation (mild understatement), which is not really an option for a one-product firm as described in this story.

Also the Express editions might be considered loss-leaders: you start with the basics and eventually you need the full-blown paid product. It doesn't seem like this firm is differentiating its offerings in such a way.

Comment External drives (Score 1) 212

Small company, 10 employees. Offsite to a Drobo (rsnapshot and Carbon Copy clones of various Linux and Mac servers). Back that up to another external drive.

Separately back up key info from the servers, including complete email incoming and outgoing, to a portable drive, moved out of my office every night.

Also site-to-site backup of key Linux servers.

So I've got backups in London and two locations in Kent, for servers in London and Frankfurt.

And still I wake in a cold sweat every once in a while...

Comment Tests green, checked into git? (Score 1) 384

Check your test suite covers all the functionality you want your program to have. If you're feeling paranoid, create a couple of tests that WILL fail when the undesirable code is deleted. Make sure everything is in the repo. Maybe branch/tag. Delete, repeat tests, roll-back or checkin (after deleting the canary tests added above) and move on to the next thrilling episode in your coding career.

The first sentence of the paragraph above is of cours the killer - without a full-stack suite of tests there'll always be room for doubt.

Comment Re:US Metric System (Score 4, Insightful) 1387

250ml, 500ml, 1l, 2l and 4l are typical sales units for dairy products in the UK. And before you say "look, they're using powers of two, metric is all a sham", those particular sizes map quite closely to the old sizes, making it easier for uber-conservative (and ardently anti-European) Britons to accept and understand metric.

I'm not conservative or anti-European and I prefer to work in base 10, with consistent ratios, not having to remember the different number of ounces in a pound, vs the number of pounds in a stone, vs the number of fluid ounces in a pint. I like that I can think of a litre of water and have an immediate feel for what a kilogram weighs, or what 100mm looks like.

I'm 43 years old, so I went to school post-initial-metrication, but there are still plenty of hold-outs my age and older who "can't stand metric", including my otherwise-sane wife. But at least we're 30 years further along the metrication process and can report that the world won't end if you do get with the program(me).

Comment Re:21 KB RAM (Score 2) 198

The following assumes you were making a serious point - a self-inflicted "whooosh!" if you weren't.

Power, in this context, is relative. The power of the electronic calculator is obviously portability combined with immediacy. The resolution of which you speak so proudly came with a form factor that was inappropriate for putting in your pocket (unless you've got seriously baggy cargo pants on with room for a small CRT, a power supply, and a tape player or perhaps a microdrive).

The Spectrum's handling of maths from complex numbers upwards was also a little challenging (write your own routines from scratch).

Program retention was limited at launch time to saving to audio tape, which again hampered portability and also meant you couldn't just switch it on, factor a polynomial and get on with your life.

Horses for courses etc., and I don't think anyone would advocate using a ZX for maths, any more than you'd use a TI (or an HP) to learn BASIC programming (basic programming maybe, but not BASIC).

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