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Comment In school, Introduction to FORTRAN Programming (Score 1) 515

As an undergraduate I took an Introduction to FORTRAN Programming course because I needed another course to maintain full-time student status after dropping a much-hated French literature course. Punch cards on a CDC 3600, with later use of a CDC 6500 and an IBM 1800 prior to graduation. That first course was the second quarter of my freshman year; I took a CS course every quarter until I graduated, then spent two years in grad school working on a master's degree in computer science, until I dropped out to go to work in compiler development at Sperry Univac.

Comment Re:Lesson Here (Score 1) 250

Good idea in principle, not always helpful in practice. I diagnosed an application failure on a UNIX system some years back that resulted from using the system's "time since last boot" function as a real-time clock with greater than one-second precision. We discovered that in order to prevent the terrible things that would happen if the 32-bit signed counter of 0.01-second intervals ever overflowed, the UNIX vendor had programmed the reported time to stop changing when it reached 2^31-1. Since the system provided no other interface that provided elapsed time with greater than one-second precision, we ultimately had to tell those of our customers with systems from that vendor to be sure to reboot their servers at least every six months.

Comment Bought one locally (Score 1) 273

Voted for "ordered a new HDD"; should probably have voted for "Something else". Bought a new 2-TB drive on Tuesday at the local hardware emporium, to replace a 32-month old drive that is starting to show bad spots. Prices had gone up slightly since Saturday, but the same drive (bare drive, rather than the retail package I bought) is $30 higher from NewEgg today.

Comment Re:More than 20 is too many? (Score 1) 559

I picked "11-20", but I suspect I low-balled the count by ignoring, among other things, the car (!), the programmable thermostats, the pocket calculators, the digital clocks, the CRT monitor and TVs, and probably a few miscellaneous bits that I simply forgot. "Too many" would only apply if some of the processors would be better replaced with simpler controls or simply eliminated altogether, and I can't point to any that fit that criterion at the moment. Well, with a few exceptions that are only being retained for sentimental (read "hoarder") value -- I could probably live without the Z-80 in the Exidy Sorcerer that hasn't been out of its box for at least twenty years!

Comment Re:Shrug (Score 1) 349

I hope he has the shit raped out of him

+5 Insightful? Only on Slashdot...

"The only sure defense against rape is the willingness to fight, and even this may be no protection against gang assault. In many prisons a small, unaggressive white is sure to be raped, probably by blacks or Hispanics. As one prison guard explains, a young white has “almost zero” chance of escaping rape “unless he’s willing to stick someone with a knife and fortunate enough to have one.” Some of the tougher inmates may even fight each other for the chance to rape an effeminate young white." link

Have you never, ever committed a crime? Really? Because if you have, maybe you would like to reconsider your views.

"I hate to say this, but if you weren't racist when you came to prison more than likely you will be when you leave."

Sounds like a great way to rehabilitate criminals and build a better society. Not.

Comment Re:DRM, restrictions, outcry (Score 1) 610

http://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/news/1597631/no-firefox-windows-mobile

"Parmenter ['head honcho of mobile software development' for Firefox] laments at the lack of a native development kit that's available to developers, meaning that they are unable to create native applications for Windows Phone 7 Series."

True Microsoft doesn't "limit" you to a specific language, but in reality does it really matter if no matter what language you program in, it's just a front end for IL? I'd much rather be able to develop truly native apps

Comment Re:My impression (Score 1) 109

Exactly! Wery well said.

My problem is the people who always strive for some divine "elegance". If someone (especially an academic) calls something "elegant" you can be 99% sure that it is pain in the ass in practice.

  - Elegant theorems are usually oversimplified -- therefore unusable in practice (at least in the original form)
  - Elegant proofs are too compressed -- you are not able to learn from them, because the original ideas and failures of the prover got weeded out. They need a mental reverse engineering without "source code" or "documentation"
  - Elegant programming languages are too opinionated and constrained -- pure OO, pure FP, pure whatever. Static vs Dynamic typing.

etc.

Comment Re:DRM, restrictions, outcry (Score 1) 610

Microsoft has every right to do the same.

I see the real reason behind this hubbub being 2 fold.

1. There are a lot of formerly non-Apple programmers who are coming to terms with the mercurial nature of the CEO and the company itself. They are infamous for sudden changes in direction without a backward glance. Blessing or Curse? I'm sure this thread will be filled with hundreds of examples of each.

2. The uniqueness of this move. Yes, we all know that game consoles have this kind of "we control all" development structure to varying degrees. However, I am not aware of a console originally allowing something (by not explicitly denying it) and then taking that option away after developers had put time into it. That's got to sting.

As I said at the start MS could do this if they chose. However, MS has never been overly concerned with the user experience or the quality of 3rd party software. (I'm of the opinion that they prefer mediocre 3rd party software because it makes it easier to "Embrace and Extinguish" when they move into that market themselves, but that's speculation). They've also never been very comfortable with angering their developers, which is not something Apple has ever had an issue with. In the end, it's the culture at MS that prevents them from making this kind of move, not legal or moral. And we all know that the culture at MS and Apple are as different as their CEO's

Comment Re:Two words ... (Score 1) 1238

what happens when a generation of Americans brought up to believe that:

1. their nation was chosen by God to lead the world

grow up in a world where the American economy is losing ground and will be incapable of supporting their place on top of the hill, let alone shining the beacon?

Perhaps the same thing that happened to the Islamdom?

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