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Comment Smart Person Ego (Score 1) 637

So you're asking - is the quality of the programmer determined by ability to write in lower level languages? Well, then I'd have to say the answer is a resounding "no". Having an understanding of the machine and how modern languages came to be is extremely useful, but managing memory yourself without a clear reason (such as limitations at the hardware level where optimal performance matters) has no purpose but to supplement the egos of the programmers involved. It is a question of mental prowess - not skill as a programmer. It is roughly equivalent to asking someone to rub their belly and pat their head at the same time. There are those of us who do better with managing complexity, and we can deem them "smarter" or "possessing more intellect" if you like. If that's you, then congratulations for you. You're more capable than others at this. Bet you can't write in straight binary! Languages like Java exist for the same reason programming languages in general do - to lessen the burden on the human mind and allow us to concentrate on the real problems instead of the machine problems. Playing "how low can you go" is a childish game.

Comment This is just a trend (Score 1) 1162

Really all this is all about is having a medium which fits all our needs - durability, performance, capacity, universalness, etc.. When this happens the trend of constant upgrades will end. Really in the grand scale of things we're in a relatively small "ramp up" phase in our technology. One day it will be sophisticated enough to accomodate all these needs and then this trend will end. No sense speculating on it and drawing all kinds of curves and making this pattern into some sort of holy thing (this is our problem in the first place). The other part is here is that it's obvious that I should not have pay full price for content I previously purchased just to have it copied to a new medium. This is just a flaw of capitalism that is holding us back from change - if it were really up to the people this would have changed long ago, but business resists any change which reduces profits and forces them to adapt to a new model. It's up to us to force business to adapt. People will complain that this destroys jobs but I think that's garbage because there are plenty of jobs to be done that never get done because all the money is going into fake BS like paying these companies immense profits to recopy their old stuff onto new media.

Comment Not doing anything better (Score 1) 218

I quit playing WoW for quite a while, thinking the same thing as many above posters - my time is better spent on other things. After some time and careful experimentation I have found that I just don't have it in me to be productive after a day of work. I just end up wasting my time on other stupid junk (tv, movies, console gaming). Of the array of time wasting things which I have to do it turns out that WoW is actually quite a bit better than most of them. Mainly because it's a social game. Hell, I'll take it over what I did the past 6 months on my time off.

Comment Linux = Monster (Score 1) 1348

There are many reasons why Linux has failed on desktop. First of all, "Linux" as we refer to a modern "complete" distro, is a Dr. Moreau style monster, patched together from pieces it is statistically improbable that all of these pieces are going to a) be free of bugs and b) fit together properly with the whole picture in mind. Try as Canonical, or any organization might, they will always end up kludging some of it. For example, plaintext configuration files. As stable as my ubuntu system "seemed" to be, let's hope to hell there's no parse errors in my xorg.conf or else it'll never start up again.

In fact, plaintext configuration is a perfect example of where the desktop and server worlds collide. This problem can be seen all over the place. The first time I saw it was when the kernel developers introduced the preemptive kernel which you could tailor for desktop systems so that when you were doing a compile your desktop wouldn't be completely unusable. It still never achieved the type of low latency desktop that these other operating systems are capable of.

The nail in the coffin for me is the desktop. Not that all that effort put in to make things more "window-sy" wasn't appreciated, but they need to get their priorities straight. I remember suffering under the burden of nautilus' horrible desktop icon alignment for years and then installing the new GNOME when it came out, only to find the only significant changes noticeable to the end user were that by default double clicking icons would open new windows instead of a single one, and they added a cd burner, which crashed my desktop every time I used it. Years later, the CD burner works, the default window opening scheme is BACK to 1 window by default, and the icon alignment code STILL HASN'T BEEN FIXED. I mean, how hard is it to factor in the panel when drawing the icon grid?

The average linux user will scoff at these comments, perhaps, claiming the importance of icon alignment is low. But that's exactly it - that's what the end user notices! The Linux desktop has always, ALWAYS lacked the sort of professional polish that these other operating systems have. The community advertises reliability, but while the kernel stays up the desktop goes DOWN, and to the end user that doesn't mean squat. Personally I think desktop Linux could make it, but I definitely agree that it isn't currently. If Canonical can't do it, then who can? What entity will be able to put forth the sort of Herculean effort that it would require to circumvent all these problems?

Comment Dynamic Languages? (Score 4, Informative) 81

Perhaps a candidate for the latest "revelatory" term. IMHO tailoring languages like Groovy or BSH is a lot of fun and can be pretty easy to do, but it's far from a true "dynamic language". Poster above is right about lex / yacc / bison. Also in the C++ world I can recall reading about boost's "spirit" library. Although I think more of these as "parser generators" (perhaps a less revelatory term), at least that is what they were intended to be. Groovy and BSH are mostly nice cause of how they so cleanly interface with java at runtime (both are capable of resolving references via the classloader). I've always found that using them has been a pretty ugly exercise.

Comment Re:food (Score 1) 284

Being disgusted won't help you. If you're like me, your goal is to effect change. I recommend dropping the disgusted attitude and learning to just accept that some people are not very well informed about the rest of the world. It's human nature. Although it might be painful to look at this fact, I can hardly blame people considering the lack of pressure in this regard, combined with my regular old human laziness. If you can take an understanding attitude then you can accomplish all sorts of things because when you talk to people about these things they will not hear contempt and bitterness but a desire to be helpful.

Comment Re:older developers... (Score 1) 742

Sounds like you are in the market for computer science professors, not employees. Who in the real world ever needs to write a binary search? And even if I could do it in a snap 5 years ago, who says my value as a programmer has decreased because it takes me more time, or a glance at a book? The human brain is not a computer hard drive, you can't expect people to retain this type of information to be recalled at a moment's notice. What you will get if you ask these questions is nothing more than the guy who took it most recently, or the guy who recently refreshed on this material - not the most intelligent, or most innovative, or most productive programmers.

Comment Way to go (Score 5, Insightful) 363

ISPs are yet another market where companies have been allowed to sit high on the hog because of the cost the advantage they have in their existing infrastructure. Any sort of competition that can give these companies a good kick in the arse is a good thing in my book. Now Google just needs to get into the banking business :-)

Comment Re:Conservation of Mind. (Score 1) 484

I guess it really depends *which* blogs you read. I have a very different opinion of blogs than yours, since my experience of them is mostly through my father who reads political blogs and listens to political pod casts most evenings. Not that blogs have the kind of refined presentation that television or newspaper news have, but I think as with anything the kind of material that gets the most attention tends to be the most outrageous, or the most widely appealing. One unpleasant side effect of capitalism is that the less substantial but more widely appealing consistently beats out the more substantial but more difficult to appreciate. Ah, I know this fact so well :-(

Comment Not so great (Score 1) 57

If you put together the cost of a Tivo DVR, a subscription to Tivo, and a subscription to Netflix / Blockbuster, this is not so great of a deal. In the Chicago area where we have Comcast, they loan you the cable box, the Comcast guide is actually quite a bit better (IMO) than the Tivo one, and you can easily add DVR service for cheap. As for Netflix streaming content, it's not quite to the point where it's worth it yet - most streaming content is the type of stuff you see on TV at 2AM - bad Seagal action flicks, etc. etc. Any good movies and you gotta get it sent. I dont' expect Blockbuster's selection to be any better - especially when we all know the kind of collaboration going on behind the scenes here, preventing streaming content from really taking off....

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