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Comment Re:Tracking weeks works better than hours (Score 1) 214

We estimate points by getting everyone together, talking about it, and getting everyone's estimate in Fibonacci numbers of points. Then we ask people who voted unusually high or low why they think their estimate is right, and pick some number in the middle. It works well enough.

Comment Re:I'm curious, how old are you? (Score 1) 201

I think it would have more of an impact on punch cards. I've dealt with systems that use punch cards or the equivalent for data storage. They're limited to 80 characters (fewer if the cards are sequenced), and going from one card per record to two is a major pain. Nobody would waste two columns on a punch card for data that would remain constant.

Commercial computer use dates back to the 1950s, and not many places had computers until later. Application software was usually custom written for each organization. Software was typically thought of as a short-term thing. Even in the 1980s I went through a cost-benefit analysis training course in which the software was considered not to provide benefit after five years. This was short-sighted thinking then, but there wasn't much expectation that the stuff you were writing would be used in some distant future date like 2000.

My first exposure was in 1981. A friend of mine was maintaining the software for child support payments. After the first few months of 1981, the software would figure the baby would be born in 82. Add 18 to get 00, and it's 81, so obviously no more child support was due. Presumably banks with 30-year mortgages faced this earlier, but I never worked for a financial institution until 2005.

Comment Re:Perspective of an old fart (Score 1) 522

One reason Social Security etc. is counted on is that people pay for it. Currently, the Social Security fund gets about 15% of your salary, which would make a pretty good savings plan. I'd be willing to forego it if I were to get that money back, with interest and accounting for inflation.

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