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Comment Re:Fortran (Score 1) 617

I'm not quite old enough to have used FORTRAN.

What does age have to do with anything? I took a computational linear algebra course in the late '90s that used FORTRAN nearly exclusively.

That said, I started out, like most kids in the '80s, with BASIC and assembly language (6809 and 6502, in my case). I started college early enough that the introductory computer-science courses were still in Pascal, but pretty much every course that needed to do real work used anything but Pascal...lots of C, with a systems-programming course splitting time between 8086 assembly and VAX assembly and a database course that introduced us to SQL (of course).

The computational linear algebra course mentioned above was a math course specifically for computer-science majors; other engineering students took a different linear-algebra course.

Comment Re:People have workflows. (exactly) (Score 2) 382

I often see people asking why so many users are willing to keep shelling out all the money it costs for products like Adobe Acrobat Pro, when free or inexpensive commercial or shareware alternatives are all over the place that would allow you to edit a PDF document and save a modified copy. Same goes for Adobe Photoshop, or even Microsoft Office.

The answer is most cases is that the familiarity makes it worthwhile. I mean, yes, in a minority of cases, you actually have users who need advanced features or functionality that's not provided by any of the alternatives. But I'd say the vast majority of the time, it's simply that someone spent years using those "name brand" products for the work they do, and switching to something else that has menu options in totally different places, and toolbars with different icons for the functions they're after doesn't seem like a good value to them.

Comment Privacy issues aside? (Score 1) 69

This is asking for headaches and issues because you're forcing all of your mail and calendar/contact data to get stored TWICE and synced properly and rapidly between both entities consistently, at all times. Twice the risk of something going wrong with 2 major points of failure in the mix.

Comment Doesn't mean much but .... (Score 1) 223

It seems like the artificial sweeteners have been implicated as potential health threats for various reasons over the years. IMO, it's very possible that at least a few of them really do have negative side effects.

I agree with the people who questioned why you'd drink diet soda anyway? It always has a weird chemical aftertaste. Yes, like most things, you can get used to it after a while. But why bother? There's nothing redeeming, health-wise, about drinking a soda -- so it has no upsides there. Seems like you may as well get used to the flavor of something else instead like tea if you're just drinking it to avoid sugar and you want something with more flavor than plain water.

I'm kind of a regular soda fan, myself. Bad habit? Sure, but I really enjoy Dr. Pepper and Mr. Pibb and several of the others. But at least I don't feel like I'm compromising flavor when I drink one -- and I know the downsides of sugary drinks. It's not a big question-mark like artificial sweetener chemicals that were often discovered and produced initially for very different purposes.

Comment Might be an unpopular opinion, but .... (Score 2, Insightful) 256

I'm just going to point out that the public schools in poor districts who supposedly "never got Internet yet" OR are supposedly in real need of reduced cost Internet broadband because they can't afford to pay the "going rate" for it are, indeed, PUBLIC schools.

When you hear about our failing school systems and those pushing to allow tax dollars to fund sending their kids to private alternatives via a voucher system of some sort -- this is a good example of why. Any government run public school that's so bad off, it still hasn't even obtained Internet access is a FAILURE. It doesn't need subsidized broadband to fix it. It need to be completely gutted and overhauled! Tax dollars pay for everything it does already. If that's not sufficient to pay its bills for things like its Internet connection, then it's not really viable.

Comment Re:Reminds me of the Pico Brewer (Score 2) 352

I kind of liked home brewing. But home bottle sterilizing was a fucking bore.

That's why I started kegging after a couple or three years. Sanitizing the bottles wasn't too bad (a trip through the dishwasher would suffice, either with heated drying or (if available) the sanitizing option enabled), but it's much easier and faster to fill one keg than 50+ bottles. You can also dry-hop in a keg.

Comment Re:Seriously? (Score 4, Informative) 352

why would someone buy a $400 machine that requires you to buy prepackaged produce to be squeezed out of it...?

Consider this quote from TFA: "Tech blogs have dubbed it a 'Keurig for juice.'" Then consider how Keurig machines and the coffee pods they use have sold over the past few years. Nobody ever went broke overestimating people's laziness.

Comment Re:$70k? (Score -1, Flamebait) 268

Oh, so $70,000 is meaningless to you?

I think savings is important wherever you can find it. The fact that Federal govt. spends such amazingly huge amounts of our money (and it *is* our money, after all -- since it comes from taxes) shouldn't mean they can ignore wasteful spending on a small scale.

I'm not exactly a Trump supporter, but things are so polarized right now, I hear nothing but negative talk about pretty much any decision the guy makes in office. In reality? I see no value in making visitor logs immediately available for anybody who decided to visit the White House? I would expect they'd have a bit tighter security than to just make that info openly available, actually. So Obama, IMO, went about that the wrong way.

Comment Re: Texas Instruments.. (Score 1) 857

the only way to choose in assembly was to use PEEK, POKE, and CALL from within TI BASIC

Did TI BASIC even have PEEK and POKE? Maybe it did and I just never knew what to do with them due to a lack of available documentation, but as I recall, those commands weren't in the console. They might've been in Extended BASIC, but I didn't have that cartridge back in the day. I have one now, as well as a bunch of other things (such as a PEB) that I didn't have back then, but a lack of space has kept it packed away the past few years.

Comment Re:TI-99/4A (Score 1) 857

Started with one that my parents had picked up cheapish ($150?) as the prices were starting to come down. Peripherals were still expensive as hell, though, and the console by itself didn't support much real work without them. Combine that with TI exiting the computer business a few months later and you can probably see where this is going: two years later, we ended up getting an Apple IIe (this time, with a couple of floppy drives, a monochrome monitor, and a printer), which got me through high school and a fair bit of college.

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