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Comment I don't think its too bad (Score 1) 794

While I agree that languages like Python may be better as an introductory language, Fortran is still heavily used in the scientific community, which these students will (theoretically) all eventually be part of. It makes, at least some, sense to teach the tools which they will be using. In any case, once you know one imperative language, its not too difficult to pick up another. Syntax is easy to learn.

Personally, I think learning Fortran as a first language is better than learning Java as a first.

Comment Re:VI and Emacs? In this day and age? (Score 1) 1055

Actually, I use vim as an IDE. It does everything *insert IDE of choice here* can do. If not, you can write a plugin in a large range of languages to add the features you require. I can also run my full blown vim IDE in a terminal, which you GUI IDE weenies cannot do :-D
Vim also has syntax highlighting support for a huge range of languages too - more than most editors and IDEs. Personally, I use vim to edit text files, bash scripts, C, C++, Java, Python and Factor source files and it integrates well into my toolkit.

As an editor, vim provides powerful tools and shortcuts to manage text editing quickly and efficiently providing more conveniences (though they are hinderances until you learn them, of course) than most other editors I have tried. As an IDE, it provides me with everything I could want from an IDE: syntax highlighting, code completion, tabbing, code folding, multiple text buffers (actually, how many editors/IDE's do you know which support multiple paste buffers?), split windows, build tool integration, file browser, source control integration and much much more - and all of this can be run in a text terminal! (You can also run it in a GUI, but I'm not really a fan of it tbh. Also, theres versions of vim such as Cream which hide the modal-ness of vim by default, which makes it easier to learn and use) How is this not an IDE?

Comment Re:99% of the answers are going to be Eclipse (Score 1) 1055

I dunno, I use eclipse for work and its the most unstable piece of software in my toolbox. Its also quite slow and eats memory.
I also use vim for work and it is extremely stable, fast and uses very little memory.

Feature-wise, vim compares pretty favorably to eclipse:
Both support plugins
Both support syntax highlighting for a large range of languages
Both have convenient editing shortcuts
Both support code completion
Both support tabbing
... etc

I admit that a freshly installed unconfigured eclipse is much much more usable than a freshly installed unconfigured vim, but once configured properly (eg, I use NERDTree and a bunch of other plugins, some I wrote myself) vim can do everything eclipse can and more (I can run vim in a remote terminal. I cannot do that with eclipse, for example).

Yes, vim takes a lot of work to get going, but IMHO once it is, its worth it. To each his own however.

Comment Re:Computer Gaming (Score 1) 191

They've been saying that PC gaming is on the way out since before PC gaming existed. Sales statistics seem to be telling a different story.

From the 2008 pc gaming alliance report linked above:
The PC is the largest single platform for games with annual worldwide revenue of about $11 billion. This is more than any of the console and portable systems from Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo.

Comment Re:VR was more hype than reality (Score 1) 384

The high end stuff allows researchers to build entire rooms where gyroscopes and camera tracking provide location information while the subject is surrounded by projected images or large flat panels.

I cannot seem to find the company website, since I cannot remember who it was, but one company has high resolution panoramic head mounted displays which they claimed were "better than CAVE systems". They did cost approx US$100K a pair, however. The target market being big industrial visualization.

Comment What do you mean? (Score 1) 384

What do you mean "Where Are the High-Res Head-Mounted Displays?" ??? Theres plenty out there! They just cost money.. I guess theres not enough demand to cheaply mass produce these things.

You suck at Google. Heres a few you may be interested in: 1280x1024, 1280x1024, 1280x720, stereoscopic 1280x1024 and 1280x1024.
Or if you have a lot of money to spare, try this panoramic head mounted display: 1920x1200 and apparently from 800x600 up to 2664x1160.

I can't seem to find the super high-res industrial and military grade ones though...

Comment Re:VR was more hype than reality (Score 1) 384

I disagree - AR doesn't require HMD's at all! (Though usually does, in which case: yes, they need to be transparent). I was involved in a university project to build a prototype of an audio based augmented reality system. Basically, it had all the characteristics of AR, except it used only audio feedback instead of visual. So instead of a head mounted display, you use a pair of wireless headphones. Since I worked on the original prototype, the project has continued and high quality sensors have been manufactured for it and a paper was presented at a conference in Taiwan last Monday. My point is, augmented reality need not be tied to head mounted displays.

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