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Comment Re:Anecdotal evidence from that last math test!! (Score 1) 168

As an undergraduate I too would frequently find that if, as I went to sleep, I concentrated on a problem I was having trouble solving that I would wake with the answer. This happened often enough that I began to rely on it.

Slightly strtanger was something that happened in high school. I was sitting in chemistry class looking straight ahead and day dreaming when suddenly I became aware of the teacher walking away from me. I asked the guy behind me what had happened and he told me the teacher had come up to me, asked me a question on what he had been lecturing (presumably to embarrass me for not paying attention) and that I had answered him, correctly. I was completely unaware of any of this transpiring. Similar sorts of things happened on a couple of other occasions.

One of my girlfriends would tell me that I had said such and such a thing to her first thing in the morning while we were still in bed... I'd have no recollection of these conversations and it turned out that we regularly had early morning conversations that, as far a I was concerned, had never occurred but that I knew, for various reasons, she wasn't just making up. I had to institute a "conversations don't count until I've had a cup of coffee rule" ;)

Comment Re:better yet (Score 1) 534

Your grandfather was absolutely right. Unfortunately many (most?) people do not get this. It is depressing how often I hear things like "Of course I support freedom of speech, but you have to have limits."

Yes there are problems created by that freedom but imho the cost of those problems is far less than the cost of not keeping this fundamental right protected.

The idea of freedom of speech being a fundamental right may be as important a development for humanity as the wheel but the last several decades have been filled with attempts to chip away at it.

Comment Re:Bulbs (Score 1) 1080

That's something that really needs more public scrutiny. My city is one giant blaze of light at 3am... nothing much is going on there but all the buildings are lit up. In my neighbourhood there is a street-light approximately every 100 ft, i.e. you're never more than about 50' from a street-light. I can stand on most corners and be within 100' of at least 6 street-lights. I can, and no exaggeration here, walk around my block in the middle of the night and read a book without it ever getting too dim too read - and my eyesight isn't the greatest or most sensitive.

Comment Hmmm, SSD not always best (Score 0) 405

A few things to point out (and maybe this has changed but it was accurate last I checked):

- the throughput numbers of SSD's are bogus since they are calculated using highly compressible data; HDD performance doesn't depend on compressing data and won't change just because you're writing out a binary file.

- SSD's on notebooks and smaller may make sense because of the lower power and shock resistance

- SSD's on desktops/workstations don't make nearly as much sense. I have an SSD in on of my machines. The machine also has 4 fairly old HDDs striped in RAID 0 (yes with frequent backups). The HDD's blow the socks off the SSD. If I put more modern drives in the RAID array the disparity would be even worse. Yes the HDD's use more power but the point of the desktop is performance.

- seems to me I remember that SSD's are not recommended for paging - although right now I can't remember why or where I read it so YMMV. And yes, many systems don't page.

- some people say it isn't throughput that counts it's IOP's - well again a good RAID system isn't too shabby at that either but even if SSD's were to always win out in IOP's the question of whether that matters really depends on what you are doing with your system. For example when I want that 2GBB stack of images to load I want it to load NOW and throughput is what matters. The same with compiling large sources, etc.

Comment Re:so true! (Score 2) 767

I realized a day's work of coding meant sitting in one spot, staring at chars/text, thinking, and then more of the same

I have been a programmer (developer, designer, architect... whatever you would like to call it) for more years than I care to count and I have never worked in that manner. My clients come to me with a problem. I make sure I understand the problem. I detail what I will need from them and then I tell them I will call them when I have something for them. I work when I want (as in when I feel I am going to be productive not just because it is some particular time of day) and where I want. Sometimes I don't work for days and sometimes I will work non-stop for days. The only time I go through the process you describe is if I have to use a specialized piece of equipment that cannot be moved off site.

But you're right - there is an awful lot of thinking going on and the fact is the more time you spend thinking, and the earlier in the process you do it, the less time you spend sitting in one spot staring at characters...

A very common problem with programmers is that they see the solution as writing code and really really want to get to that fast... I used to see this with students all the time... but the real solution is thinking. Programming is creating a mental object... a mental sculpture if you will... and once you have perfectly visualized that sculpture and the relationships between all the facets then translating that to code is pretty tivial and doesn't require a lot of debugging.

Comment Re:Absolutely not. (Score 1) 767

Also, if you knew about how they actually set it, they set it based on the middle people, with assumptions about the tails. As there is an absolute minimum, and no maximum, the long tail effect will push the "average" (mean) above 100.

Clearly there is a maximum for reasonable purposes. How many people out of a population of 100 Million will have an IQ in excess of 200? Maybe 1? 0? It's pretty safe to cut the curve at 200 and be reasonably sure that the cases, if any, that that cuts off have no noticeable effect on the mean.

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