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Comment So give a Linux hardware company some love (Score 1) 518

System 76 will sell you a Linux-based laptop, as well as other companies (don't have additional links offhand) that take regular hardware (Lenovo, Dell, etc.) and will install Linux on it, and support it. At this point I buy hardware only from companies that support exactly what I want (e.g. MacOS, Apple, Linux, System76). Maybe I'm getting old (git off ma lawn!) but tracking down bleeding edge drivers for this and that equipment has ceased to be any fun; I want my machine to start up, get to a desktop, so I can do *my* stuff.

Comment Re:Poor Use of Resources (Score 2) 50

I don't know what these folks are doing, but I wrote a sort-of-similar-but-not-really system that uses Wikipedia data and all you need is the "pages" and "pagelinks" tables, which you then load into your own mysql database; no touching of the actual site is necessary (and allowed; they have some strict rules about spiders and you can get your IP banned for abuse).

Comment One sound Gen-X'ers may remember (Score 3, Interesting) 231

Two words:

1. Filmstrips
2. Beep

(For all you whippersnappers on my lawn, instead of watching actual movies, we'd watch essentially a roll of slide film that was projected, and the accompanying audio, on either tape or LP, would have the narrator pause, then a "BEEP" was made to indicate it was time for the oh-so-important (*cough*) member of the AV squad (only person who could be trusted to load the projector properly) to advance one frame).

Comment Gotta dance (Score 2) 672

To quote Bob Fosse: I don't want people who want to dance; I want people who *need* to dance. That is what I look for during an interview, someone who clearly loves what they do and doesn't just sit around waiting for orders or just did whatever was told of them. I typically ask them about a project they were on, and if they get into the details, even if it's not exactly specific to programming but that they understand the "big picture", as well as their role in it, and look to see the eyes light up. It's especially Then I move on to the question that a lot of people don't expect, surprisingly, but is very telling: "What got you into programming?" Any flavor of "because it's really really cool" works; sadly a lot of responses are "it was either this or becoming a lawyer | dentist | whatever".

Comment Not Sqlite (Score 2) 148

Just one small nitpick...sqlite is really meant as an embedded database into an application, it's not a full-fledged database like any of the others mentioned (it doesn't have networking, for example). I suppose you could be scaling up from an embedded sqlite db, but that suggests your application has gotten so big that an external database is necessary.

It's also one of the backing store options for Apple's Core Data framework.

Comment Working during Nor'Easter at the WTC (Score 4, Interesting) 395

I was working in World Trade Center #1, on the 95th floor, during the nor'easter of 1992, which if I recall was the remains of a hurricane. It was quite an intense experience; we had the space-saving "rolling file cabinets" that were rolling back and forth on their own, with one finally derailing and spilling files onto the floor (guess who had the job of cleaning it up). Bathroom stall doors were opening and closing by themselves, you could hear a definite creaking from inside the walls, and they were always shutting down the express elevator due to flex.

The thing that was really wild, though, and sadly not to be seen again, was looking out the window and being able to easily make out the other tower swaying as well. I had to keep telling myself "the buildings are designed for's okay!" until it was time to go home.

Comment Re:Ubuntu (Score 4, Informative) 204

Funny enough, I just set up an Ubuntu box and decided to grab JDK 7 without knowing that today would be the day it was "released". As such, I downloaded it directly from Oracle/Sun/Java/Whatever..

Note, I then installed Eclipse Indigo, which was having some problems with some of the plugins. I added the following line to the eclipse.ini file and the problems went away:


Everything's working fine now.

Comment How can you be sure it's identical? (Score 1) 315

Note: I have absolutely no position on this issue; I am not taking sides at all. My only question is how you can be certain that two programs are identical when you presumably don't necessarily know how each was compiled. Assuming all you have of rybka is a binary, but have the source to fruit, how could you be certain that you could get the code to compile in such a way as to produce identical assembly as disassembled rybka. Assuming a general standard IA32 machine, you still presumably have a lot of opportunities for variation in output from compiler to compiler, version to version, and even flags to flags.

I restate that I have no horse in this particular race; I've read of similar scenarios where a program was discovered to be a clone of another, and I've never understood how they can tell.

Comment The things IBM made... (Score 5, Interesting) 189

I worked for a large organization in Chicago that had the "gold" IBM support contract back in the early 90s; they would show up at 2 am Sunday morning to replace a keyboard if necessary. Our main contact was a guy who had been with the company for 30+ years and he would mention some of the things he'd had to fix, in addition to the standard computer stuff: scales for weighing meat in the meat packing district and the thing that was most surprising: the clock on the Wrigley Building. Apparently IBM didn't actually out-and-out make the clock mechanism but had bought some company that had and they inherited the support contract. He mentioned having to get some gears specially made when it broke down.

The thing I thought was so ahead of its time was the wireless device he had that was essentially a large, two-line blackberry that he'd carry on his shoulder with a strap; it would beep and he'd flip the cover open, read the message, then type some sort of response. I remember he'd use it to order parts and within an hour(!) another guy would show up with them, a new ps/2 mouse, a monitor, or a reel-to-reel tape drive for the as/400. I was surprised IBM never thought to market that device; much like Apple is reluctant to talk about their ipod touch-based POS terminals, he wasn't too keen about showing it off or even talking about it.

Comment Where would all the content come from? (Score 5, Insightful) 577

Apple just recently announced Final Cut Pro X, they've revamped XCode, and they're heavy into LLVM and clang. Doesn't seem like they're ditching the Mac any time soon. An iPad with iMovie is fine, just like Garageband is fine (and a lot of fun to use!), but for my next $100 million dollar blockbuster, I'm going to want more robust tools.
All the content consumed on an iphone, ipad,etc., has got to originate from somewhere, and I think apple would be happy to have both ends of the spectrum: the content producers and the content consumers.

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