Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?

Comment Re:Experiment probably worse than the real thing (Score 2, Insightful) 145

Stupid studies. Why not look at history? A trip to Mars is about five months (150 days) with current technology, although, most of our trips these days are in the nine month category (260 days, less fuel). The American Colonists spent up to 3 months sailing across the Atlantic. A trip from England to it's colony China, back in the day was a very dangerous and lengthy journey, well over nine months in length. A circumnavigation of the planet took three years to do. US subs, regularly stay submerged for 9 months at a time. No sunlight. When's the last time you've heard of a nuclear sub being lost because the crew got lazy? Right. Never.

Idiots and their surveys. Whatever editor allowed this post needs to have his/her Geek and Nerd credentials yanked.

Comment Re:You don't (Score 1) 683

Igorance is bliss. I have to wonder about the depth of your experience. Having been around long enough to know a number of guys who worked on some of the first computers ever made, and seeing them "retire", and others come along and retire, I call bullshit.

I'm not yet at a retirement age. I could retire. My brother retired at about this age, as did my father. Rather than retire, I started my own company, and I do well enough. Old people don't lose the ability to adapt. That's just FUDspeech. Some people find adapting harder, than others. But not all old people do, and there are plenty of young people who can't adapt either.

You make a lot of unfounded and unbalanced claims, which simply don't hold up to the light of day and the rigors of time. Sometimes great coders lie hiddne in obscurity, bacause they have personality issues that make people shun them, and their skills go unnoticed.

Comment Re:You don't (Score 1) 683

Why the "C" disclaimer? There is more than one language used in the world, and I still support some code where gotos are necessary, as well as labels. There was a time not many years ago, where I would have 10, 20 or even 40 gotos in a single program I'd write on a daily basis. And it ran faster than probably anything you've ever written. Much of that code still runs today on a billing system billing 100s of millions of dollars annually. All rock solid and untouched for nearly a decade. It just works. I was the lead on the team that converted the system from a mainframe, and the billing programs that once took literally all weekend to run, now run in less than an hour. Context is everything. Granted this is not the goto used to taunt kids with. It's an almost necessary part of the obscure and aging language.

Comment Re:That's true (Score 1) 683

Speak for youself. Being even older than you, and being an experienced programmer, I can say for certain that I'm not willing to say that kids can do things I cannot. They merely have had a different learnig experience and may have learned things I didn't, because they were hacking things that I don't have the time to hack.

Nor would I "read" a book given me by some wiz kid fresh out of school. I would probably look at the book as I do all books, and make a judgemnet call on whether it was worth a read, or to be given to the nearest charity to be recycled.

The advantage the younger kids have is having had time to play with the latest technology, while in school and not needing to spend 8 hours a day working, and many hours after in raising a family. I work about 14-15 hours a day between my company, and family responsibilities. Leaving much less time to play. flexibility isn't the issue, "available time" is. Still I wouldn't discount the opinions of younger coders, and often seek it out. But I have serious doubts about random "kids" offering to teach me how to code better.

Comment Re:You don't (Score 2, Interesting) 683

No it does'nt. But your comment shows your perception based on a complete lack of evidence.

If some fresh-out-of-college kid gave me a book on coding practices, I'd certainly not toss it in a trash-bin. But the kid would certainly be added to my list of arrogant piss-ants to be crushed at every juncture.

While it may be possible this kid isn't exagerating. It's also highly likely the kid hasn't seen all his code. Code which might complie extremely compact. Compilers are very good at optimizations these days. But since the kid gives no reference of this guy's history, we have no clue whether he's an old mainframe coder, or some guy who worked his way from sales to coding.

God is in the details.

I once worked with a guy, that we all thought was the worst coder in our group. When he left and me and one other coder were all that was left of the entire department, I found out the guy had some really brilliant code in some places. He was very slow, but his shitty looking code was all rock solid and bug free. Really bug free, and he had some really complex code that I've learned from. Granted he got most of that stuff from books.

The kid here mentions nothing about code reliability or speed of operation. So, the kid has already shown himself to be less than competent in my book, and having an ego problem. But, hey, maybe I'm drawing conclusions with insufficient facts.

I should add, that I have had to explain my code to others from time to time. I have written "entire programs" in a single function (usually very small and compact and mostly used for testing code, data cleansing, internal tests, etc) . I have written programs in a single line (just to prove it could be done). I have written production programs in single functions, in advanced 4G languages covering hundreds of lines, because that is the way the language is designed to be written and used (MAPPER "runs"). I have used OOP in very ipmproper ways. I personally hate OOP, because of the terrible overhead. Anything you could write in OOP, I could write in procedural form, that is just as reusable, briefer, faster, and easier to understand and maintain. That said, when I'm lazy, I'll just use OOP the way it was meant to be, when appropriate to be used. So the kid just didn't give enough detail to draw any relevant answers, and it likely isn't his place to bring it up.

Comment Re:But fundamentally, isn't it about a tradeoff? (Score 2) 1013

There's actually a very simple solution to this. A built in trigger lock. Not meant to replace the mechanical safety catch already built in to all modern guns.

It's really quite simple, and is foolproof. A built in mechanical lock that only opens with a fingerprint scan and password. So you pick up a gun to use for the day, and unlock it. Now it's ready to use, Whenever you want. It automatically relocks itself after 12 hours, unless it's a police or military weapon which is settable to never relock itself or after some custom time period. If it fails to unlock, then you have time to fiddle with it while in a non-attack situation, or take it in to a shop/tech to make it work. If the electronics fail the mechanical lock opens.

So, if you're the type of person who keeps one around for self defense, you can unlock it when you come home, or before going to bed, or before going out for the day, etc. Or make sure you always keep one unlocked, etc. 100% access, even if it may not be 100% reliability at any given time.

That's just one example solution to the "complexity"/"reliability" argument. I own a gun. I have children. My gun(s) are secured. In order to kill me with my own guns and take them, you'd have to first load it, and then unlock it. Which means you'd need to get the keys(s) from me first. It's not a perfect-foolproof solution. But I also know hand-to-hand combat. I've had people try to rob me before. Ms. Lanza was negligent in her care of her weapons, and should not have been allowed to own guns, until proving she would be responsible with them. I'm a big believer in the 2nd amendment. But I'm an even bigger believer in personal responsibility.

While talking of personal responsibilty. Why should gun makers be held responsible for acts commited wirth guns they made? Do we arrst and sue car manufacturers for selling cars to people who go out and kill people with them? Well, we probably do, but manufacturers are immune from those lawsuits. As they should be. The whole idea to allows lawsuits against gun-makers is a dishonest trick to sneak in the back-door of gun-control under the guise of manufacturer responsibility. Not that I am against "gun control". Guns in America are a right, but with rights come responsibility. If one can prove responsible enough they should be allowed guns. I'm not a fan of assault weapons, or of assault weapons bans. Assault weapons are only good for one thing. Killing lots of people, or other animals or plants. In fact I once saw Mythbusters kill a tree with a gun. Well maybe the tree was already dead. Hard to tell, it looked like a desert tree.

Comment Re:Straight Intel (Score 1) 260

You keep assuming that everyone works from a fixed office. Some people have mobility and work from both desktops and laptops and need a computer that is mobile enough to go where the person is working. High end desktops for doing 3D work is wonderful, but some people work outside of an office also, and sometimes even while travelling.

I don't even want to think about doing 3D on a RDP connection that is also likely piped through a firewall and VPN. the fact is, sometimes you NEED that high-end 3D on a laptop, at least occasionally, and Intel isn't going to get you there.

Comment Re:What the fuck (Score 2) 361

What are you doing that takes a week to discover if your VM can or can't do it? You'll know pretty much after installing something on it if it'll work, if not, chances are someone has already had the issue and it'll be listed on their forums (or somewhere else which is accessible via Google.)

Ok, I'll field this one. Set up a machine with VM on your home network (no static ip), play with it for a week or two. Now take that machine and stick it on a network with static IPs. Oops! It no longer works.

There's one example. I could probably add more. There's plenty of good reasons to ask around for **opinions** on a good place to start. Yes, one could Google and find opinions. But if you wanted to get a concensus how would you do that with Google? It's not even close to being as interactive as /. is.

Granted, Google is far less disfunctional. But since most people come from families with varying degrees of disfuntionality, /. is a natural pace to ask for opinions.

Lighten up people. Read and understand before spazzing out with flaming responses on a simple opinion poll by a fellow /.er. Someday you might actually want an opinion on something too. Perhaps on how to behave in civil society. I won't hold my breath.

Last I checked, asking for opinions and recommendations isn't the same thing as asking for instructions or what any VM is capable of. Maybe someone changed the meaning of all the words in the English language and didn't inform me, but I doubt that. Lastly, your assumption you'd understand and run into any problems in a week is laughable. I write software for a living and sometimes bugs slip in. Sometimes users don't hit on a bug for months at a time. So a one week limit on testing is ridiculous, and with something as complex as VMs, it's unlikely anyone outside a team of engineers would be able to fully trest an install in a week. Let alone a single person in their spare time, and a newbie at that.

Comment Lord of the Rings (Score 1) 700

Tolkien's Lord of the Rings was my first trilogy. - Stirred my imagination.
John Carter, Warlord of Mars. - Got me designing spacecraft and rocket engines and building model rockets.
Stan Lee Comics. - Got me involveed in chemistry, (and using that knowledge to make my model rockets into fireworks.
Sherlock Holmes. - Critical thinking skills.
The collection of encyclopias my parents bought. ...
and many, many more!

Comment Re:Balloon (Score 1) 267

Try that with a balloon inflated to maximum pressure with the hottest gas you can use. The reason it works with a balloon is because the internal pressure in the ballon is not much greater than the external pressure (measured in single or double digit pounds), and because the surface of the balloon has a very high elasticity. Last I check, the Earth's mantle is considerable more brittle and the pressure inside the crust is incontrovertibly greater than outside the crust, by several orders of magnitude (enough to propel, dust, heavy metals and maybe even rocks bigger than cars miles into the air at extreme velocities). Two very fatal (to the brave men and women willingly offering themselves up for sacrifice to the volcano goddess Pele) flaws in your analogy.

Comment Riiiighht (Score 1) 267

Right becasue we know we can build safety protocols to drill a hole, under miles of ocean, into what is assuredly a very highly pressurized molten ocean of mostly iron.

Why don't they just call it what it is, or rather will be? A man-made plinian or phreatomagmatic (if it develops even the tiniest leak of water into the rig) volcanic vent.

I for one welcome our first man-made volcano, although I am perplexed why none of Earth's submarine volcanoes can be utilized to examine the core.

But, I look forward to this 3.7 mile deep drilled hole. What could possibly go wrong drilling miles under the ocean looking for liquids trapped in/under the Earth's crust?
Maybe Hyundai Heavy Industries knows of a rig we can use?

Comment Re:Slackware on floppies (Score 1) 867

So, I guess, trying to make a five column display is where my junk characters came from. Would have been nice to have a f***ing link somewhere to figure it out. I originally thought it was indicating some of my distros were retail version. But nooooo. Stupid /. interface. Go ahead mod this down to -1 flamebait. Y'all know the interface sucks. try switching from html to text while doing a post. Why the f**k do you include an options button in the edit screen if you're just going to wipe the edit box? Where the hell's my cluestick, someone need to be hit with it?

Slashdot Top Deals

Just go with the flow control, roll with the crunches, and, when you get a prompt, type like hell.