Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed


Forgot your password?
DEAL: For $25 - Add A Second Phone Number To Your Smartphone for life! Use promo code SLASHDOT25. Also, Slashdot's Facebook page has a chat bot now. Message it for stories and more. Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 Internet speed test! ×

Comment Fortran - on punched cards (Score 1) 624

And get off my lawn!

And yes, I still cut code ... though not, I admit , in Fortran. Thankfully. (Tried C, Basic, Pascal, Java, C#, COBOL, RPG, BCPL, Algol, Simula, PHP, Forth, assemblers, Javascript, and many, many others. They all look the same after a while - oh boy, the number of times I've used a + in PHP where it needs to be a dot).

Yup, Fortran on an IBM 11/30 - 1970 (think bell bottom jeans and possibly The Beatles). It had a multi pass compiler (said to be 14, but maybe someone was exaggerating) and 4096 words (not bytes) of memory - core memory. Actual core, with little rings and everything. And an IBM Selectric output printer. I made the sucker play chess really, really badly - hey, I was 16.

Comment Re:I can't post the title without flaming (Score 1) 281

I'm ashamed to be on the same planet, actually. What the heck is going on with you folks? Whatever happened to "Truth, Justice, and the American Way". (I admit I have no idea what the American Way is, maybe it's "the other thing")
So let me see if I have this right ...
The new incoming administration is trying to reduce the accuracy of evidence checking.

The only reason I can think of is to hurry up and send the kind of people that end up in court to jail. Actual guilt is no longer relevant. Just "round up the usual suspects" and away we go. (Yes, that was a quote from Casablanca [1942] - now that's the sort of thing USA does to be proud of, not this orange nutter).

Hmm, I can think of a few people I'd like to see in jail, possibly including several members of the aforementioned administration. Do we need actual proof?

As the years pass, I become every more glad I picked Australia, instead of America when I changed countries. (Not that we don't have our problems, but still). And come to that, I'm glad I didn't stay in the not so very United these days Kingdom. (I mean, Brexit, really? What the is wrong with you folks too?)

Comment Re:Positive feedback? (Score 1) 314

Let's review this list of reasons:
* divorce is inversely correlated with wealth - actually I doubt this is even true
* probably working only one job - really, why is this? Not true where I live
* Healthier diet - indeed, cheap food is not so good
* Parents value an education more - actually, the ones that seem to value it most are recent immigrants
* Neighborhood with higher property values means better funded schools - stupid way to fund schools, they should be funded according to need (check Finland, etc)

So only two points of 5 seems likely to be true, and the most important one, the funding, is the product of a really bad system.

I think the educations system needs a bit of a review. I'm sure Trump will fix that ... cough.

Comment Get off my lawn (Score 3, Interesting) 495

Yes, indeed. When I left university, in 1976 with a UK degree in Computer Science (that's what it was called then), I was the first of a breed.
Employment was assured. I worked at Plessey for a few months, on the radar system for SE England (cool), then fled to the continent where I was paid quite astonishing amounts of money. First building a nuclear reactor monitor (even cooler), then a packet switching system for Holland (yup, that's the predecessor to our beloved Internet).
I made so much money [new sports car = 1 months disposable income] that after a few short years - ie when I was 25 - I took my money, bought an ocean going yacht and set off for a pretty decent adventure.
A couple of years later, I decided to stop (in USA), and ended up in Australia, still with enough money to pay for 1/3 of a house. (Houses were about 2-3 years salary at the time, really should have bought several).

So yup, I was definitely richer than today's poor kids, who get to leave university with huge debts, struggle to get an internship (otherwise known as slavery), then maybe, just maybe get a sensible job after a year of unpaid labour.
Then they might try to buy a house, now at 1 million dollars, 10 years salary (if you don't eat). Good luck with that. And have kids - can they afford to breed?

So they might have the internet, mobile phones, and great flat screen TVs, but they sure as heck aren't richer. I was way, way luckier with my timing.

Comment Re:And... NO CONTRAST (Score 2) 331

It's not just the Internet. Just the other day I was trying to read some cooking instructions. They were printed in something like 4 point type in white on gold, on a plastic bag. My 14 year old daughter could read them, but I could not. (Disclaimer - I am 60 and have triple focus implanted lenses in my eyes, but still have trouble reading in poor light).

And this perpetual dark grey on light grey tiny font stuff - if you want me to use your site, I'd better be able to read it!

So get off that green stuff (I think it's a lawn).

Comment Re:and when it misreads? (Score 1) 425

Maybe the USA should tax guns, better yet, a license fee, like for dogs. How about $100 dollars per year for each gun-related death that year?
No, what the heck, let's make it $1. That would be, let me see, about $800 per year.

Thee are about 300 million guns in the USA, so about 800 * 300 million, that's 2.4 billion dollars per year. That would help the budget.

I'm sure the NRA would approve, after all, it only seems fair. Guns should pay for the damage they do, like cigarettes pay for cancer treatments, or cars for road repairs.

Comment Re:Why lock the car? (Score 1) 215

If you are going to quote great people from my (ex)home country, please get it right ...

"There is only one thing in life worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about." Oscar Wilde

Maybe this is what our non-friend Trump, serial liar, murderer of language, is going for. He is certainly getting talked about. It saddens me that the great country of USA, 350 million people or so, can only come up with Trump and Hillary. I mean really, is that the best you can do?

You have astonishing folk - Elon Musk, Bernie Sanders even, Bill Gates (maybe), Steve Jobs,Susan B. Anthony, Washington, Nader, Fermi - the list is long and impressive (ok, I admit most of those are dead, history is a bit like that).

America, you need to do better!

Comment OS/2 (Score 1) 211

The catastrophic error IBM made while building OS/2 was not aiming at the 386 chip. Instead they targeted the 80286.
Had they started off aiming at a chip with decent memory handling, it would have been far more effective.

But still, big companies had a terrible record of not grasping the PC nettle.

The "best chance ignored award" definitely goes to DEC, who at the appropriate time (first released 1972) had a brilliant multi tasking, time sharing, system for 16 bit computers called RSX-11. They could not bring themselves to sell it for a sensible price, and completely missed the boat.
Sad, as it was a vastly better system than DOS, CP/M, etc.

And now they are gone.

Comment Re:$399 per month (Score 1) 67

>> in ten years there will be a number of people who will never open the hood, will not check the air pressure themselves

I am the only one in my family to ever open out car's bonnet (ok, you can say "hood" if you like), or check the tyres. (I added a little gadget on each wheel that flashes when pressure is low - and they tell me it's flashing. As opposed to actually doing anything about it).

Mind you, come to that, none of the other family members (yup, all female) have ever changed a fuse, wired a plug, changed a washer in a tap, or even flipped a circuit breaker. I think the lawn has been mowed once by someone other than me or a gardener.
Correspondingly, I am expected to - and can - cook, clean, change nappies, calm babies, the list is quite long.
And of course I also get to work longer, retire later, die earlier, and am expected to do all the dangerous jobs, go to war and die for my family.

So how's equality of the sexes working out for you, eh?

Comment Re:How is this not win/win (Score 1) 663

I signed - complete with sarcastic message.
Foolish, I guess, as republicans has zero knowledge of sarcasm. Or statistics Or history. Or any other parts of the world. As far as I can tell (ie - "Despite the fact that reducing guns has reduced gun death everywhere it's been implemented, it wouldn't work here in the good old USA". I'm pretty sure that's not actually a quote, it shows awareness of other parts of the world, after all).

I especially love the line suggesting it's actually dangerous to NOT have people armed and will attract, y'know terrorists. That's priceless. (As a matter of interest, are there any cases of people actually resisting terrorists successfully with their guns, or even burglars come to that, where they have NOT managed to shoot themselves or their families? I'd love to see some statistics).

Back to the convention ...
Maybe they could take their kids, give them guns too, and everybody could shoot everybody else.
Just like last week.

Oh look, another mass shooting ... move along, nothing to see here ...

Comment A little balance (Score 1) 523

It's hard to imagine the masculinity of the majority of researchers does not affect their research. The background of people always affects their outlook on life, so it's pretty likely something as fundamental as gender will too.

Historically, a lot of science has centred on conflict, and perhaps a little more female input would see more cooperation and manipulation in their subjects.

It's very probable a more even gender balance would result in more balanced science.

That would be good.

But feminist geology, loaded with anti masculine propaganda? Really? That doesn't sound too balanced.

Come back Marie Curie, we need you. (Also Rachel Carson, Ada Lovelace, Chien-Shiung Wu, Grace Hopper ...)

Slashdot Top Deals

Memory fault -- Oh dammit, I forget!