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Comment Re:You don't (Score 1) 533

+3, Pedant?

Sure, I want my password hidden.

I also would prefer not to have the presence of queries about porn, crypto cracking and theory and high school science projects all under the same identity to have me flagged as a threat to my country or community, or used as probable cause to have my computer equipment confiscated and destroyed in a raid that might ultimately show no notable criminal activity.

Comment Re:Cambridge BrainBox (Score 1) 368

The Elenco kits came with manuals that included clear wiring instructions, so once I learned how to follow those wiring instructions, it was pretty much self-directed from there. Individually successful or not, my experiments and tweaks with the system held my interest and drew me to greater heights of curiosity, so as an educational tool, those gifts were a complete success.

Granted, applying 9V directly to an LED with a 1.8V voltage drop and almost no internal resistance is something someone at that age only really learns not to do after they've done it. Well, they learn not to put the 9V directly across the LED. :)

Comment Electronics kits (Score 1) 368

Between the time I was six to ten years old, I was given a series of electronics kits that I loved and used to pieces (rather literally, at that). The last two in the sequence that I was given were the 200 in 1 kit and the 300 in 1 kit.

After those, I hit up the local Radio Shacks for breadboards and the like, and Digi-Key when I was a teen. Radio Shack still carries some of the parts.

Comment Re:javascript is good (Score 1) 531

If you thought the point of that demo was to show that JavaScript is suited for early-90s mass animation tasks, you're sorely mistaken. The point of a demonstration like that is to show that a language with a very complicated feature set, and normally without an optimizing compiler, can be made to execute at a much greater speed than generally assumed.

Animation just happens to be one of those problems that are known to be performance-sensitive while also having the benefit of serving as a visual aid. It's not the peak demonstrated value, it's the delta; Without their engine, how fast would have that animation code have run, otherwise?

Comment Re:Deliberately bad? (Score 1) 279

Two words: "Niche Software"

In some scenarios, the only other choice is to not use software at all, because not enough people want to do what you want to do that the developers could sell it at mass-market prices. While there may occasionally be open-source solutions for those scenarios (hey, hackers are all about the scratch-an-itch problems, right?), often those implementations are sufficiently unpolished that only the original author (and perhaps a few others) can use them.

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I judge a religion as being good or bad based on whether its adherents become better people as a result of practicing it. - Joe Mullally, computer salesman