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Comment Speaking as a "young developer" (Score 1) 742

It's not that we're not interested in the kernel, it's that the kernel moves so rapidly along with the sheer size of the kernel, where's one supposed to start?
I've seen some Google tech talks from Andrew Morton and Greg Kroah-Hartman, they both recommend that patching the kernel is the best way of learning it.

Most universities that I know of either use OS161 [http://www.eecs.harvard.edu/~syrah/os161/] , Nachos [http://inst.eecs.berkeley.edu/~cs162/sp10/] or Minix from Tanenbaum. These kernel's are small enough that a student can know all of it, but is that any good for "real" kernel's like Linux, BSD, etc...?

I don't think systems programming has lost it's "cool", any respectable university still has a low level operating systems course where they either work on simulated hardware like SYS161 or work on actual real hardware where they have to get their hands dirty with assembly for context switches/interrupt handlers/low level IO (UART's and Serial/Parallel) and do Processes/Multiprogramming/VM in C.

And no, we're not given any IDE's like Visual Studio, it is still just a text editor (vi or emacs, pick you weapon) along with Makefiles and gcc/gdb. And yes, we were taught Java/.NET/Scheme, and we know when and where to use these languages/tools appropriately.

Its more about transferring these experience from the "Ivory Tower" world of academia to the real world, and we have no idea how to start that.

How did you experienced developers start? Did any of these academic kernel's help at all?

Comment FPGA SDK's for Student's to work on... (Score 1) 301

This might be offtopic, but while we're on the topic here, does anyone know of any *afforable* FPGA kits for students?

Our university used the Altera DE2 boards, found here http://users.ece.gatech.edu/~hamblen/DE2/

I really liked the DE2 because it has a whole lot of peripherals and can be used with Quartus II. I wanted to get one so I could tinker with it in my own time for fun.

Any recommendations for one less than $500~ ?

Comment A University Student's perspective on VHDL... (Score 2, Informative) 301

We were introduced to VHDL in our University's Digital Circuits course.

Most of the above commenter's have mentioned that Verilog is C like, I personally have never used or programmed in Verilog so I can't comment on that.

I did however like VHDL very much, particularly because it was *different* from C, I'm kinda growing tired of C like languages and VHDL was a breath of fresh air. It made FPGA's and the entire course in general a whole lot of fun.

It's strong typed nature was a bit cumbersome at first especially with converting std_logic to std_logic vectors and such because we weren't really shown how to do this or given a syntax/library reference like MSDN or Java's Documentation site.

So I'd say make a good introduction to Entities, Ports and Architectures, explain Process, Signal and Constant statements very well, also particularly highlight the strong typed nature of VHDL.

I think most of your students (such as myself) will not have done any programming in a true strongly typed language before, so this will be bit of a shock, and getting those conversions will be frustrating. (I have been there, Googling really does not help all that much)

I hope your students get as much fun out of that course as I did.

Cheers,
filereaper.

Comment E-Voting done in India right now.... (Score 2, Informative) 154

Relating to this, India's going through elections and E-Voting is being used there. We've used a different approach alltogether towards this problem and thought readers might like to read if they're interested. :)

Here's the main article covering the devices used:

http://techaos.blogspot.com/2004/05/indian-evm-compared-with-diebold.html

Here's the /. article covering that:

http://yro.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=04/05/14/1448230&art_pos=5

Comment Bad habbits formed from Firefox useage (Score 1) 114

I for one am constantly launching links in new windows from Firefox's retarded right click menu, it's actually really noticeable when I use Google Chrome...I have to force myself to choose the first menu option when I right click a link.

Hey Mozilla, forget Javascript performance, how about more simple things like making a decent right click menu?

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