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Comment Impact of the 6502 and Chuck Peddle (Score 1) 612

The Apple ][ and many other machines from that era really helped move the industry out of the labs and realm of the most dedicated hobbyists and helped to make it available for everyone. Many of the popular machines of that era were all using the 6502 or some variant. I would be curious about your recollection of any interaction with Chuck Peddle and the team behind that processor and the impact it had.

Comment Was personally fitting to me to see Atlantis (Score 1) 130

What a great write-up and thanks for all the great images.

I had seen a few launches from my school campus in the mid 80s. But the first launch that I attended in a more direct manner was STS-61B, the Atlantis in November of 1985. It was a late evening launch and was quite spectacular to see in person, even though we could only watch from across the water outside Kennedy Space Center crowding the sides of the roadways with many others who did not have access. So it was quite a thrill when I got the opportunity to get tickets to actually get on Cape Canaveral for the launch of STS135. I jumped at the chance and took my two young nephews with me to watch the Atlantis once again reach out to the stars. I hope the memory of it impacts them in a positive manner and helps to kindle their interest in pursuing and dreaming big despite the odds and the challenges it might take to get there. So it was a fantastic privilege to personally witness Atlantis take flight again.

Many thanks to the countless people who over the years worked to make the shuttle program such a source of inspiration for the rest of us.

Comment Re:11.4% of total visits here (Score 1) 479

I manage a variety of sites and for those that are not tech oriented, I would say your percentages are pretty close to what I have seen on similar types of sites. What I notice is that of the reported IE6 users on the logs I reviewed, the reported OS in usage is Windows 2000 is 100% for these for the logs I reviewed. This seems to confirm my personal experience in that that the more likely reason remaining IE6 holdouts exist are likely less to be about "application capability" and more about the fact that for those running Windows 2000 they have no other options for a newer version of IE. The reality appears to be there are still plenty of older machines out there running Windows 2000 or some variant of it and there is no Microsoft supplied option for replacing IE6 on these machines. Microsoft's lack of providing Windows 2000 with a path beyond IE6 has locked them into this position. The fact that they may have some internal web applications that are dependent on some version of IE, has them locked into not even being able to consider an alternate browser. As another posted had mentioned the use of a Terminal Server might help decrease the security attack surface represented by continuing to use IE6 on these older machines and instead use the Terminal Server to allow the older machines to run newer version of the applications. Those that still have a large number of desktops on the Win2000 platform might need to take a harder look at the potential security holes this leaves open on their network --- even if it is only "internal", it can still be exploited in the right circumstances.

Comment Re:Fogbugz (Score 1) 428

Another vote for FogBugz. Works great, can easily do everything the original poster mentioned. Plus it is extensible if you really need to build you own hooks into it. You can try it out online completely free for 45 days (and they'll even sometimes extend that if you ask real nicely) and then if you decide to use it, you can either pay to use their hosted service or if you purchase it for local use, then they'll even send you the database for you to re-install locally so you loose no time migrating your trial period data. It makes it easy for you to publish the information to others on a need to know basis and if you are having any trouble getting input from other persons or groups within the company as to how things need to be prioritized, it makes it a great centralized way to put it in front of the faces of the decision makers. The user interface is a little deceiving, as it looks a little overly simplistic at first glance, but it has an excellent and well organized interface for a browser based application. Just spend a little time with the free demo and really put it through the paces and this will become more apparent as you use it. For the value it provides, I consider it to be reasonably priced. If you already have the hardware resources in-house to run it locally, it is much more cost effective to buy it and run locally of course. But if you have any difficulty getting buy-in on it, the monthly service beyond the free trial period makes it very easy for anyone to digest to make sure you have more than adequate time to really have it prove its worth in your organization. I've had to force some customers to sit down and use it to manage their own projects, but once they get over their issues, they find it an invaluable tool without fail.

Comment Be able to demonstrate your skills (Score 1) 540

How active are you keeping in terms of continuing to flex your development skills? If you haven't been doing any programming in all that time, then most likely you have a lot of catching up to do before you can start to expect to get anywhere with an interview. If you have been letting your practical knowledge of development wane over time, it is going to show through pretty quickly if there are any real developers present during your interview. Therefore it is critical you are keeping your skills polished and reasonably up to date if you really expect to get back into the field. Even if you are only doing development projects on your own, it still means you are practicing your craft and gaining real experience. This should be apparent to a good technical interviewer and you should not be afraid to bring the topic up if they neglect to at first (although I would be surprised).

Another important point to realize is that especially as a new programmer, you are not going to be expected to have a wide breadth of knowledge in the field. But you should be expected to be able to show you can apply knowledge of common techniques and concepts. So being able to say you have done programming in 10 different languages is pretty worthless at the entry level because nobody serious would realistically be expecting that from an entry level developer. At the entry level, it is way more important to be able to show you have good command of fewer areas and are understanding development concepts and techniques. But if you can point to a couple projects where you can show applied knowledge using one specific development environment that is usually enough to get you in the door at many places. Of course, the development environment you choose to practice in is likely to define or limit the initial places you are going to be able to apply for. So don't go for anything too esoteric. One specific recommendation is that since almost all development work needs to be able to store and work with data, it is pretty likely almost any development work is going to require some sort of need to work with data in databases. Most entry level developers have very poor skills with SQL development and if you want to give yourself a way to standout, really working on and nailing down your skills in using SQL can really make you rise to the top of the list when it comes for your interviewers to make a decision.

Unless the organization you would be interviewing with is overly tied down with bureaucratic rules, it is usually pretty easy to get minimum requirements overlooked if you can demonstrate you have the skills for an entry level position.


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In less than a century, computers will be making substantial progress on ... the overriding problem of war and peace. -- James Slagle