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Comment Yes, it is just as nerdy and fun as it used to be (Score 1) 449

When I was a kid, I could go buy a book, hit control-reset on my Apple IIe, and start writing code. Later I got a disk with an OS on it so that I could actually save my programs. The first thing I ever wrote beyond hello world was a half-assed Zork type game.

Then I got a modem, and could get on some BBS. The internet blew up, and I could get information from AltaVista about everything that I happened to look up. All of a sudden I could write programs to do far more than I could have ever imagined on my Apple IIe.

Is it fun today? Kids now can 3d print pretty much anything. They can make games easily with tooling that didn't exist when I was younger. They have access to the sum of mankind's knowledge. They don't have to write sorting routines anymore, since every major language has a built in function to do just that - better than whatever you throw together would do.

Sure, it's different, but the tools just got better and better. There are annoyances, like ads on every damn thing on the internet, but looking past that the sky truly is the limit.

How old is Second Life? Like 12 years or so? That's an amazing thing to think about. An immersive world that you could customize to your heart's content, and it's basically dead. When I was a kid, the best we could have hoped for would have been better referred to as "third world."

Is it the same as it used to be? Certainly not. Is it no longer fun? Only if you want to do exactly what you used to with those same limitations.

Comment Re:What happened to Common Sense? (Score 1) 363

> Far too often I see pedestrians step into the crosswalk in such a way as to make it all but impossible for the left turning car to safely stop.

I think you fail to understand the concept of right of way. If you are going too fast to safely stop, you are going too fast.

You quoted his caveat and then spoke as if you hadn't read it, or parsed it very differently than I did.

Even at 15 miles per hour it's easy for someone on a sidewalk in NYC to step right out at a time when it's impossible to stop the vehicle. Usually they don't do that.

Comment From the linked site on NJ taxation (Score 1) 179

As of October 1, 2006, the exemption for delivery charges imposed by the seller is repealed for taxable goods and services. For deliveries on and after October 1, 2006, if a shipment includes both taxable and exempt property, the seller should allocate the delivery charge based on either the total sales price or the total weight, and collect tax on the portion of the delivery charge allocated to the taxable goods. In such mixed transactions, if the seller does not allocate the delivery charge, the entire delivery charge is taxable.


I don't understand how this made the front page of Slashdot.

Comment Re:Why aren't more women in science fields? (Score 1) 608

This post seems to postulate a conversation similar to the following:

Bruce: Hey Bob, how about we have a company party at the museum? This was a tough project and it's finally over.

Bob: That sounds like a great plan, Bruce, but there's one problem: That damn woman Grace will show up and have fun. We cannot allow her to have any fun.

Bruce: Well, how about we hold it at a strip club? Then she probably won't show up.

Bob: Oh, those places are terrible with the naked women and loud music. I bet the team will hate it.

Bruce: Yeah, but there's no other way to prevent Grace from being rewarded!

Bob: So be it. We'll have to suck it up and be miserable at a strip club.

Comment SharePoint (Score 5, Insightful) 387

Aside from Windows itself, I'd offer SharePoint as the most wide-reaching product that the company produces. To deploy and work with a SharePoint installation crosses all boundaries between servers to end-user software.

This being the case, a brief examination of a few pieces of it can illustrate the walls between the various groups.

Firstly, there are around 6 distinct People Picker controls in use through the product. That's the dialog where you pick a user from AD or whatever authentication provider you're using to either give them rights or attach them to something. All do exactly the same thing, some look exactly the same, and some look different. But there are 6 of them.

Interface customization in SharePoint is a huge mess. You can create an application page and deploy it to the server. You can customize other page types with SharePoint Designer. You can use InfoPath to customize list forms. Now you can even take some random HTML you made in a text editor or dreamweaver and run a process to create a new layout from that as a template. I could keep going about the various customization vectors (if you can think of another manner, I've probably done that too). Even the pages making up the functionality that ships with the product don't follow any sort of reasonable pattern. Sometimes you're looking at an InfoPath form, and sometimes an HTML form, and sometimes you're kicked to an application page that looks distinct from other application pages doing the same thing for other services. Some functionality is in web parts, and some are in delegate controls.

Go to the administration settings for PowerPivot, and you get something that looks different than the settings for Excel Services. Then look at PerformancePoint. All are serving very similar functions, and providing very similar settings, but it's like learning Mandarin and then needing to also pick up Cantonese to set up the next thing that is ostensibly part of the same product.

They've taken some steps to unifying parts of the product in SharePoint 2013, but there is still a long way to go before it can be called cohesive. If they can break down some of these walls for Microsoft as a whole, then maybe it'll make SharePoint more solid as an offering.

Then again, if it wasn't a mess and made sense I'd be an order of magnitude less valuable as a SharePoint guy.

Comment Fatal flaw (Score 4, Interesting) 405

As others have pointed out, music is probably a far better distraction than random noises that people around you are making with their discussions and what not.

What I do is to put a song on repeat. There are a bunch of songs that I have heard so many times that I don't even notice that they're playing anymore, and that allows me to concentrate on whatever it is I'm trying to figure out.

When I hear people talking or walking around or anything that I cannot control, I'm distracted because I'm trying to figure out what is causing that noise and am taken out of my "figure things out" shell.

Comment Re:"Choose the best answer" (Score 1) 663

I have an enormous problem with this.

You cannot be expected to guess the intelligence level of the test-writer, and should never be penalized for answering with a completely defensible answer.

This specific test is especially atrocious because the "wrong" answers (only due to knowledge they didn't think the kid would have) are exactly the kind of answers that some self-satisfied test writer would throw in there as correct.

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