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Comment Re:my point of view (developer) (Score 1) 268

the only thing that is definitely "used" is the name (Lemmings) and the original EGA graphics from the game

So it's a trademark and a copyright violation? I mean, no offense, but is anyone surprised that Sony freaked?

This reminds me of Office Space. "So you took a name and some art." "Right." "That wasn't yours." "Well, it became mine." "How is that not stealing?"

Comment Steve sez... (Score 1) 476

In a statement by Steve Jobs: "Who the fuck is this guy?! Theoretical physics? How about I put my theoretical foot up his ass! Can you differentiate the pixels of that, motherfucker?"

Please note that I am not advocating any violence, theoretical or otherwise against physicists, theoretical or otherwise.

Comment Re:sounds risky (Score 1) 457

what if some big foreign country who has anti satellite weapons decides to blow up our GPS satellites?


Only the United States and the Soviet Union have ever demonstrated the ability to destroy an orbiting satellite. Of course, if an enemy is willing to expend enough time, money, materiel and other resources, any system can be disrupted, damaged or destroyed.

As with many things, I guess it's a question of hoping someone doesn't do it. And then of course there's:

In spite of the fact that satellites are designed to operate in space, more satellites have failed due to the effects of the environment than any other cause.

Comment Re:Prof's need feedback (Score 1) 664

I'm in a band and the one thing that really makes it hard to play well, or at least enjoy playing the show, is an unresponsive crowd.

I'm in a crowd, and the one thing that really makes it hard to respond to a band is when they suck.

I'm not the one paid to fix it. I guess we need to work together somehow. But I'm not sure how this is the crowd's fault.

Off the top of my head if you sucked less, I'd respond more. No offense. Same with lectures. Same with product presentations. Same with meetings. Same with anything that you want me to participate in. The leader sets the tone.

Comment Solve a problem (Score 1) 799

Well, here's what I'd advise:

Solve a problem.

My background is that I got an Apple ][+ in 1979. I was 11. Today I'm a professional programmer, and I've worked in lots of different languages. The first things I remember doing "solved a problem":

  • I modified the PHONE LIST program to say DATE LIST. Like I pawed through the BASIC code and found where it printed it, and changed it to say DATE LIST. And I used it to try and impress a girl (I put her phone number in it). I'm not kidding about this.
  • I had a paper route. I used VisiCalc to figure out my margin from my paper route. Like I knew how much I paid for my papers, and I knew how much I charged, so I figured out what my margin was.

But the point is that I didn't start with "I want to program", I started with "I'm gonna solve me a problem."

And then I started keying in programs from the BASIC Computer Games and More BASIC Computer Games books. Which is actually how I learned BASIC, because the dialect of BASIC in the books wasn't the same as Applesoft BASIC, so I had to learn how to fix it.

And I just spent a lot of time finding new programs and playing with them.

I wasn't pressured by my dad to program a computer. It was just lying around. I responded to it. If you wanted to do anything cool, you better get to typing some BASIC. So I did.

My daughter is 11 right now. She hangs out on the Neopets website. A large portion of participating in that community is doing stuff in HTML, Javascript and CSS. She makes pages in order to participate in the community, and she understands how the changes in CSS work. Some of her designs are pretty clever. She has taken HTML from other places and modified it to suit her needs. She's showing very programmer-like behaviors.

In my day, I wouldn't consider a BASIC -> Pascal progression. That's if you're going to get a CS degree. Pascal wasn't a practical operating environment on the Apple ][. Professional programming in general was done in 6502 assembler, which I learned when I started making more advanced stuff that I wanted to use personally. In my teens, I started working at a software company part-time after school, and I had to maintain 6502 code, which is where I ultimately thrived.

So anyway, solve a problem that your kid wants to solve, and let the problem dictate the tool. Much as with professional programming. Don't just hunt around looking for tools to learn at the outset. Make the learning evolve naturally from the problem.

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