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Comment I'd use it (Score 2) 133

My all-time favorite IDE was CodeWarrior on classic Mac (the Windows version was the best on that platform at the time.) I tried Visual Studio 6 and wasn't impressed.

Then I had to use VS every day and got used to it. Most of its problems were/are horrific UI design (hidden/obfuscated settings!) and twitchiness (hangs; recreating projects from scratch when they refuse to build.) Overall usability is now quite good, and automation (intellisense, etc) is first rate.

I haven't tried XCode recently, last time it was still a mix of all the things I didn't like about the early VS's. It's free and I could get used to it if I had to work on Mac's: Apple got all the money they will ever get from me between 1986 and 2008 or so. (I still have one MacBook left, mostly running Windows, from the days when I still thought OS X would eventually suck less.)

I'd be delighted to have a modern VS on Macs for odd projects that need a text editor and project manager. I've experimented with Code for fiction writing, not bad (lots of customization.)

Comment Lies during an election ! Tell me it's not so ! (Score 1) 284

I'm sure Facebook contributed to the spread of phony news, but it's not like everyone else (i.e., ABC, NBC, etc) wasn't doing it too. Facebook wasn't as blatantly biased as the regular media, either (whether I agree with him or not, the anti-Trump media blitz shamed everyone involved, and they well deserved what they got.)

Comment This does not reflect well on the FBI (Score 1) 822

They had to say something before the convention, so they said no problem. Now the convention is over and the issue hasn't gone away, so they "reopen" the investigation.

In fairness, the FBI can't investigate a parking ticket before the election, but they can do it before Obama leaves office. Assuming they decide she's guilty, the FBI recovers some of its image and Obama can pardon her 2 years before the next national election. He can spin that well enough: "For the sake of our nation, it's time to forgive this minor mistake, put this behind us and unite...." If the Republicans still don't have a viable candidate in 2020, it won't matter if anyone remembers.

Or, the FBI could say no problem again, depending on how afraid they are of a vengeful President Clinton. Better to be an international laughingstock with the US behind you....

Quick conspiracy theory: HRC really is sick, and she's hiding it because she wants to be the first female president. Dying in office is always better than dying out of office, and what do the people or the country matter to her? As a bonus she can propose anything she wants, and not be there when her "legacy" is voted down and her VP embarrassed.

Comment Does it have to be a "tube"? (Score 1) 275

How about a metal enclosure with a bolted flange? It would be massively easier to fabricate and readily repairable or modifiable. No pretty glow, maybe thick plexiglass would work?

If this is a one-off project with nonstandard "tubes", why not put all of them in the same vacuum container? That could look pretty awesome if it was see through.

You could use a big, replaceable getter covered with cheap, relatively safe and easy-to-get sodium instead of dealing with expensive, dangerous cesium into a tiny glass tube (or leave the vacuum pump hooked up, for that matter.) Wiring would be trivial compared to sealing pins into glass, and a six tube box could hold six versions for testing and refining before choosing the best working one, as opposed to building 6 individual tubes to try.

Comment Morlocks and Eloi ... (Score 2) 414

int the Time Machine were much the same thing: a technical, behind the scenes class that probably started off taking care of a useless "nobility", gradually evolving to exploit them as a food source. Our Morlocks would be a select few who directly serve and service the machines, the nobility are all the suit-and-tie wearers who get most of the benefits already. Think how many tech executives don't even know what their company's product is.

Our "extras" probably won't be cared for very nicely, even at first, considering how the upper classes treat them now when they're actually needed.

Comment Don't know what to program... (Score 2) 255

(Comment) For all the predictions of AIs taking over programming, this is about where they are, and will be, for the foreseeable future.

If you want to rewrite a library, then you can gather lots of attention for yourself by recreating a GPL library (with mods/improvements, of course) and making it BSD: readline would be a good example. The best part is that the ones who won't be wanting to tar and feather you are also the ones who might actually pay you.

Comment Real watches need winding (Score 1) 359

I'm a big fan of mechanical watches, you know, old school.

I've never seen anything to interest me about a smart watch. They have some good features (I often miss phone calls when my phone vibrates in my pocket), but I wouldn't trade watching the hands spin, or the date click over, or the sounds of different movements, or admiring running clockwork through a sapphire back. They often cost more than an Apple Watch, BTW.

I liked Classic MacOS better than OS X too.

Comment On a submarine (Score 1) 320

We were all sitting around the wardroom (in port) waiting for lunch, and the TV was on (it was in a locker above the sideboard.) I was standing next to the table watching the smoke column, when the explosion happened. There was a moment of silence, then someone (maybe even me) said something like, "What the hell was that?" We were just starting to talk when the Captain came in for lunch and got the news. I don't remember a lot of emotion, it was more like shock.

On the flip side, within the week we had a (highly unofficial) Ship's Challenger Joke Coordinator, a former taxi driver who filled the same role for Princess Diana jokes (he hated the British.) In case you were wondering why I didn't identify anything better before ....

Comment Wishful thinking, doomed to fail (Score 2) 300

Learning programming is worthwhile for the logical thinking skills it involves: I'm all for making it available. The problem is that putting such an emphasis on it, at the expense of other useful subjects, is going to backfire for those who can't learn it.

It's not PC to say so, and there are lots of "experts" who insist it ain't so, but programming is a talent that not everyone has. Anyone who has been in the business knows that, unless they never interviewed new people and never worked with anyone who hadn't already proved themselves. Anyone who went to college for CS knows that: there are always good students who try but just can't be taught to do the work. Genetic, or some unknown environmental factor, or whatever, it's a fact beyond debate.

I have no idea what the percentage is in the general population, but there are going to be smart, productive people who can't do this particular thing, and they're not only going to be wasting their own and their teachers' time, but they're going to be labeled as failures because of something no one can change.

Comment Like an online course (Score 1) 89

I remember seeing an online MIT Masters in CS a few years ago that cost $60,000 (flat rate.) While I'm sure people learned something, it struck me as a flat out sale of a piece of paper with the MIT logo. Most online degrees nowadays advertise that they don't distinguish whether the degree was on online or not.

The sad thing is that, for the career minded, that $60,000 was probably a good investment, just like a $250,000 (or whatever it is now) Harvard MBA could pay for itself easily by opening jobs in Manhattan, despite not containing any significant content beyond State U's program.

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If I'd known computer science was going to be like this, I'd never have given up being a rock 'n' roll star. -- G. Hirst