Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


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 Re:Stop (Score 3, Interesting) 185

I taught myself programming when I was about 10 years old and I'm not a native English speaker and my language is written in non-latin characters. I can tell you how I did it but many of you are not going to like it:

I started with BASIC in the pre-structured era. I wrote stuff like this:

20 SOUND 512 5
(forgive if syntax is wrong)

I spent a lot of time drawing pictures and making music without knowing anything about conditionals or loops. Then I graduated to GOTO, which in retrospect was a lot easier to understand for a 10 year old than a structured conditional block or a loop.

When I finally started with structured programming languages, making the transition took only a little time. If I had started with it at age 10, it might have overwhelmed me. The explicit representation of sequence (the line labels), conditions and iteration (the GOTO) was easier for me to understand as a kid. Especially since my English was very limited back then.

Plus I never bothered with math (I hadn't learned to love it yet). As I said, I drew pictures and made music with the PC speaker (so I was using only a few functions built into the language). Maybe that's an approach to think about, for starters.

Comment Re:I'll miss the old school special effects (Score 2) 213

I'd love it if they keep:

1. The gritty, amoral feel and the 1984 style theme
2. The liberator, zen, orac and the liberator interior
3. Avon's witticisms (http://www.imdb.com/character/ch0026780/quotes) and Servalan
4. The theme music

Actually you know what? Just keep the original. Recently, I watched everything up to the point where the liberator was destroyed (I can't stand the Scorpio), and I see no reason to remake it.

Comment Re:imagine (Score 1) 43

I don't know about gains in applied sciences, but just imagine if we subject these planets to closer scrutiny and discover something like EM emissions that could only be from something artificial? Of all the things that have ever awed or shocked humans, I think nothing would compare with the discovery of intelligent life outside our planet.

We can't possibly imagine how people will react. But I imagine it will adjust the sense of proportion for a lot of people, politically and spiritually, as in "We're a lot less special than we think we are" and "We're not all that different from each other because there are things that are a LOT more different from us out there".

Comment Re:imagine (Score 2) 43

over 5 million children in the United States will go to bed hungry tonight. $200 million would solve that problem for a month.

What about the next month? Should we sacrifice another long term program to temporarily alleviate a *symptom*? If people had listened this type of argument a hundred years ago, we might not have commercial aviation or satellites today. Those may not feed people directly, but they've contributed a great deal to flattening out the world, reducing conflicts and improving education.

World hunger is not a symptom of lack of food. If you keep throwing food at the problem, it'll never go away.

Slashdot Top Deals

It is masked but always present. I don't know who built to it. It came before the first kernel.