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Comment Re:Other than [...], It beat DEC documentation (Score 1) 73

Unix was so much easier to comprehend and had such nice tools compared to the DEC RSX OS and documentation that it replaced on PDP-11s. Just to know where to find something in the DEC documentation, you had to have read it before. I finally simply read all four feet of that stuff. (I think it was in orange 3 ring binders.)

Comment Re:Right to Read (Score 1) 419

He has been awfully good at forecasting and at figuring out how creative people can organize for their mutual benefit. When I saw the headline, Stallman's "Right to Read" was the first thing I thought of. I expected it to be cited in an early posting.

As a professor for 15 years I grew to dislike publishers of journals and textbooks. I hope that free journals and textbooks replace current publishers. Perhaps the money that authors of popular texts make will stand in the way, but there are already some good texts available on line.

Comment ad hominem (Score 1) 122

I don't like Noah Shachtman or his work. I last thought about him when he wrote something about Los Alamos, NM, which I know well. His article was misleading and had a misplaced sense of excitement and drama. At the time, I checked out some of his other work and found that it was similar.

I put him in with Dvorak. I ignore what he says.

Comment I used the first edition but have Beazley now (Score 1) 163

I learned python out of the first edition of Lutz and Ascher. I just pulled out my copy for the first time in years. The last page number is 366. I use Beazley's "Python Essential Reference" almost daily. Not having taught python and not having learned it twice from two books, I don't have much to say about what would be a better introduction. I recommend python the language and Beazley's book. I never found Lutz and Ascher's book (first edition) useful as a reference.


Man Uses Drake Equation To Explain Girlfriend Woes 538

artemis67 writes "A man studying in London has taken a mathematical equation that predicts the possibility of alien life in the universe to explain why he can't find a girlfriend. Peter Backus, a native of Seattle and PhD candidate and Teaching Fellow in the Department of Economics at the University of Warwick, near London, in his paper, 'Why I don't have a girlfriend: An application of the Drake Equation to love in the UK,' used math to estimate the number of potential girlfriends in the UK. In describing the paper on the university Web site he wrote 'the results are not encouraging. The probability of finding love in the UK is only about 100 times better than the probability of finding intelligent life in our galaxy.'"
The Almighty Buck

Forrester Says Tech Downturn Is "Unofficially Over" 130

alphadogg writes "The US IT market will grow by 6.6% as high-tech spending rebounds in 2010, according to Forrester Research's latest estimates. The research firm based its projections on data reported for 2009, though its fourth quarter numbers are incomplete. Forrester says hints of a recovery surfaced in the third quarter, and now the company expects the global IT market to grow by 8.1% in 2010. Forrester's US and Global IT Market Outlook: Q4 2009 reads: 'The tech downturn of 2008 and 2009 is unofficially over, while the Q3 2009 data for the US and the global market showed continued declines in tech purchases (as we expected). We predict that the Q4 2009 data will show a small increase in buying activity, or at worst, just a small decline.'"

Comment Re:The evil of a closed platform (Score 2, Interesting) 308

Right! The last Apple product that i bought was an early Mac. Writing code for it was unnecessarily difficult because Apple was protecting the secrets of the "OS". I used SUN products for a while after that, but since really open systems became available I've used them exclusively. I will do the same thing with phones.

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