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Comment Self Taught (Score 1) 515

In middle and high school, I kind of self taught myself electronics by reading a lot of Radio Shack books and doing project kits, so in high school I wanted to learn how to program. Outside of some basic LOGO and BASIC stuff, I never really had exposure to programming. I took my Pascal text book from the first day of CS in high school, and read it cover to cover in about 2 days, doing all the exercises in Turbo Pascal. Next weekend I picked up a book on C/C++, took a few months to get through since it was more than a syntax difference between the two, but read that cover to cover as well. That pretty much solidified my basic understanding of modular and procedural development, and introduced me to OO. A few times in between I would code in the examples from Debug that were in PC Magazine, and that sparked an interest in Assembly that I would later go back to. Spent the next few years reading books on algorithms, program logic and design, and OO design patterns. I was pretty far ahead of the curve by the time I stepped foot into college level CS course. I spent those years honing in C++ and Java, and learned assembly and circuit design as part of engineering courses. The rest was being in the right place at the right time.

Truth be told, it took a lot of interest. I had to really want to do it. It is a passion that I pursue, and it takes more than just learning "syntax" that are taught in schools. Not everybody can do it, just like not everyone can solve complex math programs, paint a masterpiece, or break through a defensive line and run a 50 yard touchdown. But introducing it to populations of kids that wouldn't normally have access to it through schools is a good idea. But that kicks up a whole other discussion about education that is outside the scope of one post.

Comment Re:San Antonio (Score 1) 470

Me too. Saw one at the San Antonio Airport, parked in the EV charging station next to a Volt. It kept me from plugging in my Leaf, but I was so excited to see a Tesla that I didn't care =D. If there are some in San Antonio, which is about 20 years behind the rest of the world in technology adoption, then I'd be surprised that there are only 1000 in the rest of the state.

Comment Re:You're a contractor. Your "secrets" are yours (Score 1) 292

I have to agree with this. I was a consultant for several years. I've had to go over this same exercise numerous times. Be professional, use standard terminology, and make sure your code is documented and commented. If the new guy doesn't understand basic things like design patterns or standard algorithms it isn't your job to teach them, but point them in the right direction to learn. Point them to a good program logic and design, OO, book on the platform (Spring, Struts, .Net MVC or whatever), or design patterns book. When they realize that is what it will take to understand the platform, they will usually take it on themselves to learn. 9 times out of 10, the company will pick you up again in the future. You will be surprised that despite the snarky comments about the young guys failing and the company having to bring you back, the new guy will probably still be on board, they will work beside you in future engagements, and if you do the above you will be pleasantly surprised to find out that the "new guys" were your biggest cheer leaders for re-engagements. Don't let an inflated ego and hurt feelings get in the way of providing exceptional customer service.

Comment No mention of BIRT (Score 3, Informative) 57

Where is BIRT in this list? BIRT is open source and a top level Eclipse project. It is fully featured out of the box, is extensible, and is implemented and backed by several large companies. It is supported by every major Open Source reporting server (Pentaho, SpagoBI), and for enterprise conscious folks there is a commercial option. And it does away with that god awful banded report design model that is a hold over from the ancient Crystal Reports in favor of a more flexible report design paradigm. My guess is that Pentaho and Jasper paid SlashBI more money for a front page slashvertisement.

Comment My Personal Tips (Score 1) 480

1) Separate your family/friends from your work life. People tend to think that if your at home, you're available to talk/hang out. Family is especially hard to convince otherwise.
2) Make sure you get voice time with your co-workers. Don't just leave it to IM.
3) Follow a productive methodology. In my case, I used Scrum. I have a full Product Backlog, and a Sprint Board in my office. Don't try to replace these with electronic organizers. And make sure if you do Scrum from a work at home job that you participate in a Daily Scrum either through Skype or conference call. This goes into #2. The reason, if you're out of sight, you're out of mind of your co-workers. That plays big when its time to make cuts.
4) Take breaks. Walk around the neighborhood, go running/jogging. Go out to lunch. Anything to force yourself out of your house for a little while to keep you from going stir crazy, and to force you to interact with people other than family and co-workers. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy after all.

Comment Silly Theories (Score 1) 685

Simple solutions... shes either a crazy old lady talking to herself with her hand up for whatever reason, shes chewing gum, or this is "B" roll that the DVD authors used for the extra feature, and this particular footage just happened to have some women on her phone.

It would make a good aspect of a Sci-Fi story, cell phones function on their time of origin, regardless of what time the physical handset is in.


Sweet, Sour, Salty, Bitter, Protein ... and Now Fat 210

ral writes "The human tongue can taste more than sweet, sour, salty, bitter and protein. Researchers have added fat to that list. Dr. Russell Keast, an exercise and nutrition sciences professor at Deakin University in Melbourne, told Slashfood, 'This makes logical sense. We have sweet to identify carbohydrate/sugars, and umami to identify protein/amino acids, so we could expect a taste to identify the other macronutrient: fat.' In the Deakin study, which appears in the latest issue of the British Journal of Nutrition, Dr. Keast and his team gave a group of 33 people fatty acids found in common foods, mixed in with nonfat milk to disguise the telltale fat texture. All 33 could detect the fatty acids to at least a small degree."

Comment Re:Programming == Cut & Paste (Score 2, Insightful) 623

I have to agree with parent. I've written an implementation of every method I use from libraries such as STL or Java at least once in my life, sometimes in such painful languages as assembly. I did it just for the sheer joy of it (yes, I love programming that much) and as a learning experience. In all those years, I learned a very important lesson, don't reinvent the wheel. I have yet to receive a set of requirements from a client that say "give me the least efficient/over engineered way to do X" that would compel me to ever again need to re-write a quick sort algorithm, container implementation, or string parser.

Comment Fail2Ban (Score 1) 497

If your not willing to invest money into intrusion detection, vulnerability scanning, or moving to a more responsive provider, accept that your server is going to constantly be scanned by the droves of script kiddies out there throwing everything but the kitchen sink at any server that responds to a ping and keep monitoring those logs, which hopefully are stored on a separate server in case you are ever actually compromised. In the mean time, try installing Fail2Ban on your server. It will block an IP address after X number of failed authentication attempts, which will alleviate the noise of the brute force password guessing attempts.

Comment Nerd Kit Valentine Day Card (Score 1) 470

Last year I made the NerdKit Valentine Day card. I customized it so that it fit onto the top of a box of chocolates and put pictures of our pets on there. She loved that more than any other gift I've gotten her, and that includes jewelry. As an added bonus, her friends were completely jealous their significant others didnt do anything that "creative".

Play to your strengths. If she doesn't appreciate it, your with the wrong girl.

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