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Comment Re:Parts of it (Score 1) 373

It's not like a novel you read front to back.

Must respectfully completely disagree. I'm halfway through volume 2 now, trying to work (or, at least, attempt) all of the exercises, and I can't imagine that I would have gotten anything from this series if I'd just treated it as a reference work. If I were to go look up an algorithm, I'd find that its description relied on (and back-referenced) some mathematical concepts that were covered in earlier chapters, and that the example code is written in MIX which itself was covered in a long section around the middle of volume 1. So you'll end up reading most of the book anyway. Further, there are important insights into the details of the algorithm that are covered in the exercises which you'll only really internalize if you work through the details yourself.

Comment Re: Unfortunately no and I have a reason (Score 1) 373

The little amount of maths that's in there is not that difficult to understand.

What? Holy shit, what books are you talking about? Definitely not TAOCP. The first half of Volume 1 is all math - specifically discrete math: the kind that's relevant to analysis of computer algorithms, but that's not studied in much detail outside of computer science. I have a master's degree in CS and consider myself pretty competent when it comes to, say, calculus, but I got lost in some of the sections on harmonic series and generating functions.

Volume 2 is _all_ math and again, not trivial math. There's 30 pages of theoretical discussion on what makes an infinite sequence random. The introduction to chapter 4 talks about number representation in base -10. There's a _LOT_ of math, and it's very difficult to understand (but it is fun to do so).

Comment Re:Hell no (Score 3, Insightful) 373

It isn't terribly complex now that geniuses like Knuth have spent literally decades simplifying it for you, sure. Step deeper into the world and you'll be truly amazed at how deep it is ... and likely staggered that it works as well as it does.

+1. Programming isn't terribly complex if you always do it with your training wheels on, and if you never write anything that hasn't been written a hundred times before.

Comment Re:It's always cost (Score 1) 272

That's really a key issue. Most "standalone" things people want are not made of plastics, except for toys.

Yes, that's a key issue, but it's not the key issue. The key issue is that a 3D printer is not like a microwave oven. It is more like a home chop saw. A 3D printer is the tool that any self respecting geek needs in their workshop, but nobody needs it in the kitchen sitting next to the microwave. The market segment that actually needs a 3D printer is large and growing. It consists of tinkerers, model builders, open sourcerers, progressive artists, parents who want to give their children a leg up on a career path, and so on. Not mom and pop. Not attention deficit teenagers. Not granddad, not the homemaker. In other words, not the general population, but still a multi-billion dollar market that continues to grow exponentially.

The linked article is not about the demise about of the home 3D printer industry, never mind the general additive manufacturing market, it is about how one company misread the wind direction and blundered its way out of a once-dominant market position. Osborne computer comes to mind as one of the many instructive examples from history. The home 3D printer market train won't stop just because one of the passengers fell off.

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