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Comment cut the pseudo-intellectualism (Score 0, Offtopic) 823

"Like some Slashdot users, I began attending university last month for computer science. The experience represents my first time away from home and I'm almost constantly with my peers, many of whom are also computer science students. Recently, I have become cognizant of the many negative opinions associated with a 'normal' person's perspective of what a nerd is like. Conversing with my college computer science peers (many of whom are quite nerdy), I have noticed that many of them are extremely arrogant. Upon introspection, I have come to the realization that I am also very similar to them and am very curious, but worried. I have noticed similar personality characteristics on Slashdot. Where does this nerd arrogance come from? How can it be rectified? I am concerned that, if I do not abolish these annoying tendencies, I may have trouble later on in life with my career and relationships. Has anybody run into problems in life with the arrogance that seems to be so prevalent with nerds? If so, how did you handle the situation?"

You might start by dialing back the flowery and mostly unnecessary vocab. Eschew obfuscation!

Comment any questions? (Score 4, Insightful) 360

Not sure how those questions would indicate, you didn't specify. I could see some thinking "recent" technology means "good", but my personal experience provides little evidence to correlate "new technology" with good. I could even make a case that it's a red flag. (I worked on a disastrous project where by fiat we had to develop with .NET. Horrible)

Code reviews? Meh. Some think they're doing code review, they're not... or they're horrible at it.

I always ask what their turnover is, and why the position being filled was vacated. YMMV.

Comment 75 floppy disks (Score 3, Interesting) 867

Was it slackware? Can't remember for sure.

Anyway, I remember downloading the dist, in "sections" (e.g., X11), each spanning a number of floppy disks with a grand total of 70+ floppies. Then from there I installed linux. If all went well, it usually took about a day to get it up and running, start (download) to finish (first full boot). (Keep in mind, this was in the day of ADSL.) Horrible.

These days, I grab random different ones I've seen recent reviews for and download and boot just for fun. Typically I just download the iso's and point a virtual CD drive from vmware or some virtual pc and boot and install. Much nicer, usually less than an hour.

Faves: Suse, Mandrake->Mandriva, Knoppixware (to save friends and family lost corrupted Windows data), Ubuntu (3 years ago, not today). Mint.

Comment yes (Score 5, Insightful) 1010


substitute in his thesis,

Algebra is an onerous stumbling block for all kinds of students: disadvantaged and affluent, black and white.

and substitute to:

History is an onerous stumbling block for all kinds of students: disadvantaged and affluent, black and white.

and you have a perfect argument for me and the school system not requiring History.

Even better,

$yourWorstSubject is an onerous stumbling block for all kinds of students: disadvantaged and affluent, black and white.

and we've eliminated the need for any required subjects.

"I am not good at", or "I don't want to" are not good arguments for not requiring learnin'.

(-e**(i*pi) st post)

Comment don't build too much intelligence into name (Score 1) 2

I worked with a group that insisted on naming printers and servers with a rigid scheme to identify:
  • city
  • building
  • floor
  • wing
  • room

Said it was dumb. Six months later when we moved across the lake to downtown Seattle, with all of the named equipment, they agreed.

Use creative names, and it doesn't hurt if they're a little fun. Contrary to popular belief, the names catch on, become easy to remember and everyone knows which host/printer/machine you're talking about.

Submission + - Amazon attracting more ire. (

Grekan writes: Amazon seems to be attracting ire from a number of sources these days, especially from bookstores. The latest onslaught from the online retailer comes in the form of an app that encourages book buyers to go into brick and mortar book stores, find the books they want and then leave without making a purchase. Purchasing the book from amazon at a steep discount instead. Thus Amazon is using other companies stores as a showroom. Even a U.S. Senator has spoken out against the practice. From the article:

"Maine senator Olympia Snow (R) released a statement calling on Amazon to cancel the promotion, stating that "paying consumers to visit small businesses and leave empty-handed is an attack on Main Street businesses that employ workers in our communities.” She went on to describe use of the app as "incentivizing consumers to spy on local shops.""

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The flow chart is a most thoroughly oversold piece of program documentation. -- Frederick Brooks, "The Mythical Man Month"