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Comment Rupert Giles said it best (Score 1) 331

I think Rupert Giles in Buffy the Vampire Slayer said it best when confronted about books vs. computers:

Jenny Calendar: Honestly, what is it about [computers] that bothers you so much?

Giles: The smell.

Jenny Calendar: Computers don't smell, Rupert.

Giles: I know. Smell is the most powerful trigger to the memory there is. A certain flower, or a-a whiff of smoke can bring up experiences long forgotten. Books smell musty and-and-and rich. The knowledge gained from a computer is a - it, uh, it has no-no texture, no-no context. It's-it's there and then it's gone. If it's to last, then-then the getting of knowledge should be, uh, tangible, it should be, um, smelly.

Comment Re:Oh dear (Score 1) 656

General rule of thumb for any career path: Figure out what math you need for that career and go one step further.

Your career needs only algebra? Take Pre-calc.

Your career needs only single-variable calc? Take multivariable-calc.

The experience you'll get from working with what is required in a grander scheme will help you to appreciate what you are doing and give you greater insight of how to go from point A to point C without necessarily going through point B. For the work that I do discrete math was the maximum of what I needed but taking that course in fractal analysis has been crucial in shaping the way I vew problems.

Comment Re:Linux (Score 1) 291

A thread-local variable resolves to a single instruction on x86 and 3 instructions each on ARM and PPC. Using the pthread thread-specific API requires a function call (at the minimum, potentially an OS call at worst case) and all save/restore instructions that this implies. In an application that is vulnerable to performance issues and one has to make multiple references to function-global, thread-specific variables then using pthread thread-specific data is murder on timing characteristics. Your general Windows/Linux/MacOS application may not need this level of performance but an embedded, real-time app requires this level of detail.

Comment Re:Cycling and stretching. (Score 2) 372

I agree that biking to work is a great way to wake up in the morning and the endorphins and adrenalin from riding home is a great stress reliever in the evening (you can also use it as an excuse if you don't want to stay late in the day for a meeting if you don't want to drive home in the dark).

Additionally I've started doing push-ups every hour on the hour that I'm at work; it's a good complement to the bike riding (works your upper body), it gets you off your butt for a minute or two and exercises the core muscles.

Comment Re:If you want to understand the world... (Score 1) 1010

My rule of thum for science and math is that you should learn at least one step further than what you absolutely need. The extra skills gained makes what you are doing seem less like magic and makes you feel less like just a cog in a machine.

As to the complaints about math being hard, students (and the public in general) needs to learn that life is hard and you won't always have someone there to hold your hand so suck it up and dealt with it.

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