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Comment Interactive interpreted languages (Score 2, Informative) 799

I agree with most people here, but for a different reason, I think. Any scripting language is interpreted rather than compiled. I think compilation is difficult for beginners to understand. A good interactive interpreted language gives quick results so it encourages them to "experiment." I learned with BASIC and LOGO, but I'd also recommend Python or even Applescript or shell scripting (dos or linux) - those are all "quick result" languages that allow him to see that he is controlling things happening on the screen.

Comment Re:How about we pay the author not to write them? (Score 1) 426

I agree, LOTR was almost like reading the books, very faithful adaptation. Dune, on the other hand....Let's just say I liked the Sci-Fi channel's miniseries better than that monstrosity that David Lynch did. Every time I catch sight of it on TV I want to gut Sting and punch that little girl playing Alia in the face. When I saw it in the theater for the first time, I could see in the first 5 minutes it was going to be terrible, but it exerted some strange fascination over me - I had to stay to see HOW bad it was going to be. Not even Patrick Stewart could make the movie worth watching.

Comment Re:How about we pay the author not to write them? (Score 1) 426

Stranger in a Strange Land will never be made, at least not by Hollywood. It directly slams and mocks Scientology, and with as many Scientologists as there are in Hollywood, they'll do everything they can to block it. But you notice that dog of an L. Ron Hubbard movie, Battlefield Earth, got made.

Comment Stereotypes contains a grain of truth (Score 3, Insightful) 579

Thinking over the folks I've worked with, I would have to agree that geeks in general share some common traits. We hate inaccuracy (sometimes pathologically). Most of us have at least one toy (maybe more) on or in our desks. Geeks that do tech support all hate "stupid users" but depend on them for a living (there's a dichotomy). Programmers usually expect true logic to apply to people and are disappointed in people when they won't be logical. Most of us come in late and work late. Once we go home, we get on our computer at home. We tend to like science fiction and fantasy books/movies (including comic books). We will easily convince a non-player character to join our dungeon quest but get a "deer in the headlights" look when confronted with asking someone out on a date.

Not every geek will conform to the stereotype, but stereotypes come about because they are observations about life. We're not all like the above description, but see if there aren't several of those traits that apply to you.

Comment Re:I will laugh when ATT's network collapses (Score 1) 501

Sorry, I can't agree. When conversing with a passenger, I don't turn my head from the road to watch their face, and I think that's true of most of us. Hands free works fine for me without impairing my driving. But it's a matter of priorities, the driving has to come first and if I'm in a tricky part of town (road construction, stop and go traffic, etc.) I'll often tell the person I'm speaking to that I have to go and they'll understand.

Comment Re:I will laugh when ATT's network collapses (Score 1) 501

And you really think that Verizon will give up the advantage it has right now so that the smaller players are on an even playing field? I don't think so.

No, eventually this will sort itself out, the cell system in still a young industry ( 20 years) and is rapidly becoming the primary phone for most people. Let competition keep going and see where it leads. Where I live, AT&T has decent coverage and so they need to concentrate their improvements in more crowded urban areas.

They (ATT) need to work toward unlimited calling as well as data, IMO. It seems silly to limit calls and practically give away the data stream.

Comment Overdue, but still meaningful (Score 4, Interesting) 576

As a gay programmer myself, it often amazed the people I worked with that the two parts of my personality weren't in conflict. I very seldom ran into predjudice, though. In fact, often I was recognized as a good teacher and the other employees felt free to come and ask my help when they had a tough coding problem.

Alan Turing has been an idol of mine for a long time, and he was treated badly, yes. But more important than the apology is the recognition that there have been contributions of significance to the world by gay men and women and transgendered persons. Our history has been actively suppressed for centuries, but we are finally being recognized as having value in the modern age.

God bless Alan Turing, and Gordon Brown. Every little bit of kindness and generosity makes the world a better place for all of mankind.

Communications

AOL Shuts Down CompuServe 224

Oracle Goddess writes "After 30 years, CompuServe is all but dead, as AOL has pulled the plug on the once-great company. The original CompuServe service, first offered in 1979, provided its users with addresses such as 73402,3633 and was the first major online service. CompuServe users will be able to use their existing CompuServe Classic (as the service was renamed) addresses at no charge via a new e-mail system, but the software that the service was built on has been shut down. Tellingly, the current version of the service's client software, CompuServe for Windows NT 4.0.2, dates back to 1999."

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