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Comment Re:Faulty Reasoning (Score 2) 653

I think the fallacy in this argument is not that quality doesn't win out, but that quality isn't always important.
The problem is that the determination process is flawed.
I might make the decision that I need lesser quality (whatever that means) for an internal time-keeping application than I do for something customer-facing, such as my sales portal. The article is of course arguing that I shouldn't be making that decision based on initial cost but on longer-term factors, but on the management side of things as long as I've got a fixed budget rooted in the short-term I can't make that decision equally. Like many financial equations, X dollars today vs. X dollars tomorrow is in play.


Comment Re:Here we go again (SCO) (Score 1) 675

There are two types of fools:
1. The fools who trust in the optimization skills of the compiler/JIT compiler
2. The fools who trust in their own optimization skills


Yeah, but there's rules for them:

1. Don't optimize.
2. Don't optimize YET.

Rule 1 is for type 1 - and is generally the best case. Then you can come along and after rule 2 has expired, make the improvement where it matters. Type 2 fools skip both rules and make a mess.

Comment I met Jack in 1987, he will be missed (Score 5, Informative) 84

Jack was a charismatic person with an infectious personality. He always was genuine, and had a passion for teaching astronomy. I was traveling and visiting various planetariums up and down the East Coast, with a final stop in Miami to visit the Space Transit. Jack made me feel very welcome and gave me a ton of his time explaining what made his planetarium special. Eventually I came to know that it wasn't the equipment (although that draws the public in initially), but the people that make these programs successful. Jack Horkheimer brought the wonder of the universe down to earth for many people, and I'm glad to have known him, even if only for a short while.

Comment Well, thanks goodness... (Score 1, Insightful) 95

... that THAT didn't go on for too long and they got 'em in a timely manner - I mean if that had kept up, millions of machines could have been compromised! I say, good thing they had LOTS of people investigating so we could catch these crooks before the damage was done.

(Yes, for the impaired, that's sarcasm!)
Two years to track this down?! Give me a break...

Comment Re:Why where rom updates needed? apple did t softw (Score 1) 289

Not completely true - the old 68000 series of Macs had lots of different ROM revisions. Some worked with different versions of MacOS, but others didn't. The problem wasn't the ROMs however - it was memory. Remember back in '84-'87 128K-512K was fairly standard, so if you needed to use up a big chunk of that with OS code then you reduce the memory for user applications and graphics. Later versions of the AmigaOS could do tricks and map out various ROM routines into RAM, and even map out the entire ROM to faster RAM using the MMU, giving the machine a good speed boost in the process.

Comment byte archive? (Score 1) 327

Slightly OT, but was wondering if there was a good BYTE archive online? I've found various sources for other magazines (gazette, transactor, etc.), but nothing for byte. I've got 5-6 complete years of byte that could be a good starter if someone were doing it.

Anyone know what kind of copyright hassles some of these archives are getting? Are people getting permission, or are they relying on these publications being out-of-print and out-of-mind? I doubt there's much commercial potential left, for example.

Comment Not that useful really... (Score 1) 463

Except as a tool of mischief, this type of laser isn't that useful. Think it through:
. Laser display - not so good, as you'd have to mount it behind some scanners, etc. and the beam probably isn't that great in quality.
. Laser pointer - not so good either, unless you want to point out things pretty far away. Perhaps as an astronomy pointer, but green works just as fine here at much lower powers.
. Cat toy - no, unless you like blind cats
. Cutting tool - not nearly enough power to be useful here.

What's left? Nothing I can think of besides the "Hey George, see how bright this sucker is!" I certainly wouldn't want a 1W laser that I couldn't absolutely control where the beam was, and hand-held would be right out. I like my eyes.

(Yes, I own several lasers in the 500mW-1W range and operate them safely, with interlocks and keys, etc. They're not toys, but you can do fun things with them if you know how to do them safely.)

Submission + - Development Environment for Scala?

RedMage writes: Scala is an up-and-coming functional-relational hybrid language the runs on the JVM. As the language matures and grows in popularity, the usual questions about development environments come up — to IDE or not to IDE, if you IDE then which IDE is the best? What is the strategy for handling a mixed-language environment where you have Java, Scala, and various scripting languages all in the same projects? And finally, what tools are people using for automated builds in this kind of environment?

Comment Retrocomputing! (Score 1) 268

I agree that throwing old hardware all over the room is excessive, but some of us "collect" these old machines. I collect them for a mixture of history and as a way to remind myself "Don't do THAT again!" I even write about them and their history: for anyone interested in following along at home. Parts is parts, but keeping old machines in running order is much more challenging and rewarding.

Comment Re:But is the class even relevant? (Score 1) 694

Agreed - The OP is missing the point completely. I don't want to work with you if you don't know how to write a linked list or a hash table. CS isn't that different from other career paths - you need to master the basics before they let you on the big machinery. Pascal isn't a terribly useful language today (at least in it's "pure" form - I haven't used derivatives like Delphi), but its enough to get through the basics. I learned in BASIC and assembler (PDP-11), but who cares today?

Comment How many ways are there to write a linked list? (Score 1) 694

If we're talking introductory courses like Data Structures, then it's pretty hard not to look like everyone else. I don't code most of the basic data structures anymore, but I expect that anyone I hire would have been through the basics at least, so I see the value in teaching these things. But I can imagine that if I were to write basic code to manipulate a hash table or binary search it would look a lot like everyone's else code.

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