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Comment Re:Damage from BASIC (Score 1) 625

This.

I used BASIC as it was what was available on the machine I was paid to write.

My BASIC, though, looked more like good FORTRAN than most basic, with thought out calls, etc.

If the language you need to use doesn't have the control structure you need, just write it.

Although I don't miss worrying about what line number to put routines at for efficiency (MBASIC until 5 or so would search through memory on a GOTO or GOSUB, making low-numbered calls faster than high-numbered).

And it's amazing that noone has pointed out the adage that a sufficiently skilled programmer can write bad FORTRAN in any language . . .

hawk

Comment Re: My experience... (Score 1) 443

I had a programming job before college (hey, it was silicon valley in the early 80s) and got called back a few months later.

They had hired an Indian with an MS, and weren't getting anywhere.

I sat down with him to work with code he didn't understand, and he was baffled by the whole "sort" concept.

I tried again at lower and lower levels, finally having to pull out some cards to physically demonstrate a bubble sort . . .

(yes, I know there are many more efficient sorts when more than a few objects are involved; that's not the point here).

hawk

Comment Re:Most of the alternatives he describes... (Score 1) 140

>does not seem to require to the latest internet fad app in order to work.

Telegraph was good enough for my grandfather, and it's good enough for me.

OK, so it takes a while to read these articles, and the bandwith is even lower than an 1149 connection, but . . .

hawk

p.s. My grandfather delivered Herbert Hoover's telegram offering him the party nomination. My father has Mrs. Hoover's thank you note to him . . .

Comment Re:Nope, I'll use he, she, they, there, their etc. (Score 1) 301

As an undergraduate, I had Set Theory class taught by Paul Halmos (yes, *that* Halmos).

On the first day, during his introductions, he suddenly veered into grammar. He addressed the ignorant statement as put forth in the quoted text above that "To recap: In English, there is no gender-neutral pronoun for a single person."

First noting that some languages have a pronoun for persons of unknown gender, he finished with "English is such a language. The word is 'he.' So you will forgive me if I do not say 'he or she' throughout this course."

He was (and remains) correct. "He" and "him" do not imply gender in English unless context indicates otherwise.

hawk

Comment Re:"glass of wine has heathful benefits" (Score 1) 125

Growing up, my grandparents had a couple of acres of zinfandel.

Each year, a winery would pay to pick & keep them, and my grandmother would go pick the late ripeners about two weeks later.

She juiced them, and canned them in mason jars.

The stuff was wonderful, heavy, and pulpy. It did, however, etch the jars . . .

Today, my father tries to see it to me every year or two, but I live a few hundred miles away. (anyone want to buy a couple of acres of northern californian zinfandel? :)

hawk

Comment Re:Prior Art (Score 1) 97

Tivo is still around.

Well, sort of.

I switched from Directv to the hated cable company to get back to a tivo (a romio). Turns out that the interface just isn't, well, what we liked tivo for.

Rather than clicking on record in the listings, it's something like three. And for a season pass, rather than clicking record twice, it's several. Because, gosh, they've got to make buying it to watch the default first choice, don't they?

Can't screen for series premiere any more either.

Now, it's just a slightly better DVR :(

hawk

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