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Comment Applesoft Basic, (Score 1) 630

Applesoft Basic on the Apple IIe was my first, along with some of the older Integer Basic, which seemed to run faster. Back then, programming for me consisted of typing in programs from magazines and books. I even typed in Apple hexadecimal machine code from magazines.

Next was Basic programming on an IBM PCjr in high school, which was my first exposure to real, proper programming. Look back now, my high school was very forward thinking, and I was lucky to have attended that school.

Pascal was my favorite early language, starting with a Pascal compiler on the Z-80 Softcard, followed by a very good Pascal compiler that ran on the Macintosh. In the late 80's, colleges taught basic principles, such as data structures and algorithms, using Pascal.

Comment Re:A bad way to start (Score 2) 917

No, she did the correct thing by going to HR right away.

It is better to make it known immediately that you will not put up with that kind of garbage. Putting up with it increases the power he will have over you, and can make it more difficult to get him to stop. It's the "show no weakness" rule.

There is no reason not to expect professionalism, even from your boss. If you can't get it, then move on to a more professional setting asap. It's better to leave because unprofessional work places can instill bad habits, expectations and reputations that will follow you around.

Comment Should Javascript be next (Score 2) 108

How many technologies have died in large part due to security issues? VB and VB Scripting, ActiveX, Silverlight, Flash, Java, Browser plugins: the list goes on.
So when is JavaScript going to be tossed?
It's frustrating for so many client end technologies to be tossed partly due to the security issues they brought.
In a way, I actually miss the days when most applications were written using VB or MFC style interfaces, and GUI widgets were being developed and released by the hundreds.

Submission + - The Earth actually has two "moons". (

CaroKann writes: Recently NASA has discovered another celestial object orbiting the earth. It probably can not be considered a moon because it is only about 300 feet wide.

The object is an asteroid called 2016 HO3 and orbits our planet in an elongated orbit. From the video the orbit looks to be perpendicular to the solar plane, but to my eyes it is hard to tell for sure.

It is believed that 2016 H03 has been orbiting the earth for only about 100 years.

The URL shows a short video of the asteroid and its orbit.

Comment Not unusual (Score 1) 172

All big companies do this. I just ignore them. Their interests never align with mine, even though they would like me to think that they do. Perhaps if the ties-that-bind were a little bit more stable, with more common interests between employee-employer, I might feel differently. Otherwise, it's just a waste of money.

Comment Margin and history (Score 1) 364

One thing all stock market crashes have in common is debt. Stock declines force margin calls, which forces selling, leading to more declines, a vicious cycle.

Margin trading for individual investors is a recent development. Previously, individual investors were not allowed to open margin accounts. As this old article explains, China brokerages became nervous of the margin debt at the peak. As soon as brokerages tightened margin requirements, the selloff began. This article from December 2014 goes into a little more detail on the recent history of margin in the China markets.

There is also Shadow debt in the market, off-balance-sheet debt invested in the market, sometimes at a leverage of 3 to 1. Normal margin accounts are much more restrictive, about 9%. This shadow debt has been around for a few years now, but the latest boom is much more recent.

It should be noted that the China market has had huge booms and busts in the past, without the more recent leverage.

Comment What about programming in general? (Score 1) 250

I sometimes wonder if programming in general is in decline. Of course, there are hot spot areas, such as phone apps at the moment. Based on my own anecdotal observations, there seems to be more demand for System Architects than Programmers. It's a "Software as a service" world now, and companies want people who can choose the correct puzzle pieces to put together into a practical system. With the advent of "cloud" services, where services are not just shared within an organization, but across the entire world, I can see how actual customized coding may become less necessary for individual companies. Companies want systems that can be built quickly, without all of the bugs and issues that can come from completely customized systems. They still want some customization, but perhaps not to the extent of a system being built from the ground-up.

Comment Overwork also makes it hard on management (Score 4, Insightful) 710

Aside from the lack of sleep and general burnout, working overtime also tends to skew expectations with management. Upper management is not going to be aware of exactly the amount of effort required complete a project. They are only going to see the results, the number of employees, and the amount of resources it took to achieve those results. So, if everybody gives it 110%, with lots of overtime and everything, that has the effect of raising the expectations of management. This leads management to believe employees can accomplish this great feat as a matter of course, when in fact, that type of effort can't be repeated. It all ends up with management making unrealistic demands while believing it is entirely reasonable.

Comment Programming is a form of writing (Score 2) 161

I've always felt that writing good code is very similar to writing a good essay or research paper. The process is about the same. The thinking is about the same. The ideal steps followed to produce a decent paper are similar to the steps followed to produce decent code.

I've always thought that a good essay writer can make a good programmer. In particular, good essay writers can make good programmer/analysts or project managers. In both worlds, you struggle with scope, organization, and fact finding. Answering the question "What is this paper/program really and truly about?" is the primary task.

Comment Re:Fraud is fraud (Score 1) 312

This guy was apparently obsessed with video poker. He played constantly and knew the game inside and out. Apparently he stumbled across a bug, and was able to repeat the necessary steps to reproduce it.

I think this is more like an obsessive video game player, who plays the game enough to learn every trick and secret. For example, say there is a particular game boss you wish to defeat. Play enough, and you learn the boss encounter by heart. You will know what the boss will do and when. You will learn where to stand, what abilities to use, how to cheese it, everything. Eventually, you will be able to beat in your sleep. Is that hacking?

To me, hacking would be modifying the software or machine or obtaining the source code to find exploits.

This is stealing, like taking advantage from a malfunctioning ATM machine to obtain lots of cash is stealing. If you take money from a malfunctioning ATM, is that hacking? It is not.

Comment I might be old fashioned (Score 1) 524

Working from home can be just 2 steps away from a day off. It is useful every once in a while, so employees can wait for the repair man or handle the kids. However, from my experiences, when you work from home, your coworkers treat it as if you were out sick. When you work from home, you miss a lot of scuttlebutt, impromptu meetings, and hallway chats that electronic communications just don't make up for.

Comment Military fat trimming is overdue (Score 2) 484

I think that some trimming of the fat is long overdue for the military. It will force them to think about what is really necessary, what is "nice to have", and what is obsolete. It might even force the politicians to think a little more carefully about how the military is used and what its role is supposed to be. (Fat chance?)

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