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Comment Re:Does it run a stock kernel and distribution? (Score 1) 74

That's not what I meant. I know there are distros for each of these boards. What's lacking is any kind of standard for the platform like we have in the PC world. I don't want to run some custom hack of debian with a special kernel on each board. Arm boards will be infinitely more useful when I can download one ISO from the distro web site such as debian.org, and have it boot and run on each of these Arm boards. Right now there's no standards for boot loader let alone device tree. It's a mess.

Comment Re:Tables are turning (Score 3, Insightful) 297

And what would you call this proposed bill in Wyoming? It's an unapologetic subsidy to the coal industyr, because clearly the Wyoming government believes that the Wyoming coal industry will not be able to compete with renewables. Now maybe the justification boils down to "we get more taxes from coal than wind", but whatever that justification is, the intention is clear, Wyoming coal is seen as being at a competitive disadvantage, and therefore it will be subsidized by making renewable energy sources more expensive.

Comment I must have accidentally done something right (Score 2) 31

Just checked some of my certificates that I use on my own server and domain. They are all signed by my own personal CA. Looks like they are signed with SHA-512, which is part of the SHA-2 family. Been that way for 5 years, maybe 10 now. Guess I accidentally did something right when I created those certs years ago.

Comment Does it run a stock kernel and distribution? (Score 1) 74

Does this new board run a stock, off-the-shelf Linux distribution with a stock distro kernel? Is the bootloader open source and easy to use to boot any kernel and OS? If not, then it's really of little consequence.

I think these devices are neat and have a lot of potential, but sadly until we see the kind of standardization in terms of booting and hardware interfacing, these devices are way beneath their potential. Even the Pi, as popular and useful as it is, is hobbled to a degree without this standardization. I'd like to run the same distribution (whatever that is) on my Pi3 as on my Pine64. Or this board. Or some generic chinese SoC board.

Comment Re:They took the worst part of Python (Score 2) 173

You've obviously not used Python before. It's very easy to comment out a block of code and it doesn't require indenting anything, and it doesn't require an if (0) kludge. Your criticism and claim of being error-prone is not valid in this case. Python has a lot of gotchas and warts, but what you describe isn't one of them.

Comment Reminds me vaguely of Pascal with Python syntax (Score 1) 173

The example code I've seen from Nim reminds me a bit of Pascal. At least the use of the keywords proc and var. Glad they went with Python-style blocks instead of Pascal-style begin and end.

But nim does look like a nice language. The fact that it generates C code and compiles with a C compiler means that it could be integrated quite smoothly into projects using other languages.

Nim is on my list of languages to try some time if I ever need to write C-compatible code.

Comment Re:They took the worst part of Python (Score 4, Insightful) 173

Interesting how personal preference plays into it. But it also sounds like you haven't spent any real time with Python. Because it doesn't take long to get past the whitespace syntax and get on with programming. For most Python programmers, the block syntax is one of the things they like the most. It's true that a bad copy and paste or accidentally deleting some spaces in the wrong place can break things badly and potentially lead to subtle bugs. But in practice, that doesn't seem to be a significant problem. The fact is you should be indenting consistently anyway, so braces and semicolons are superfluous, and ugly.

I find I can write several pages of Python code and often it runs the first time without issue, which was never the case with any of the other languages I worked with, including C++. Invariably I'd forget some closing brace somewhere and a semicolon. Compile errors on first run are almost expected with C-like languages.

Python's real gotchas emerge more from its dynamic nature than its syntax; dynamic typing is a two-edged sword. Test-driven development is pretty much required for large applications.

Nim of course is statically-typed and has some measure of compile-time safety.

Comment Re:Jumped the shark a long while ago (Score 1) 158

And maybe TOS was best because its three leads were archetypes; you had the brave and adventurous Horatio Hornblower figure in Kirk, you have the cold intellectual in the form of Spock, and you have the emotional and moralistic McCoy. Though the casting was never quite that intentional, it's pretty clear that by the first few first season scripts were being produced that Roddenberry and his writers understood the good fortune they had in the chemistry between Shatner, Nimoy and Kelley, and fleshed out those three characters to a point that by the mid-way point of the first season, we basically have the Holy Trinity in place. Thus, when you have the penultimate scene in The City On The Edge Of Forever, where McCoy is restrained from saving Edith Keeler, you have those three archetypal characters in one of the entire franchise's most dramatic moments.

And that really is the magic of TOS; some damned good stories matched up with actors with incredibly good chemistry (which is something you can't manufacture, but was just damned good luck on Roddenberry's part), and the rest just flows. Even awful episodes are redeemed by the fact that Kirk, Spock and McCoy are in it.

You can see through the other Star Trek series where the writers and producers tried desperately to reproduce that chemistry, but even when they came closest in the final seasons of TNG, it still felt somewhat stilted, as if the actors and writers were trying to show us what good friends they all were, without ever really convincing us emotionally that these people were more than just comrades. I suppose the friendship between Geordi and Data came closest, but even that felt one-dimensional as opposed to what seemed like genuine love and friendship between the three TOS leads.

And the brilliance of the TOS characters extends even past the three leads. The second tier characters; Scotty, Uruha, Sulu and Chekhov all were well enough written and portrayed (more the latter than the former considering how few lines these actors generally got) that you could feel some emotional attachment to them. Scotty, in particular, is one of my favorite characters out of the whole ST universe. A bit cranky, but brilliant and incredibly competent, he's sort of the archetypal engineer, to the point where I've read that a lot of people were inspired into technical fields because of Jimmy Doohan's portrayal.

Comment Re:Sounds like wrong approach... (Score 1) 158

Enterprise could have been incredible, and there were brief glimpses here and there, and particularly in the fourth season, when it became clear that it wasn't going to be renewed. If Enterprise had been about the founding of the Federation, if it had paid more attention to the cold war between the Andorians and the Vulcans, if it had spent some time on the human supremacist movement on Earth, instead of squandering so much screen time on that idiotic "Temporal Cold War" crap in the first three seasons, and in particular on the idiotic Xindi arc which made the third season into a pointless aside, then it would have been possibly the best Trek of them all.

I like to imagine an alternate Enterprise, where the first season is for the most part what was shown, minus any Temporal Cold War episodes. The second season could have been more about the Andorian and Vulcan conflict, plus run of the mill exploration episodes. Season 3 could have seen the founding of the Federation and then season 4 would have been the Romulan War, then I think you would have had a killer series. But I don't think Braga and Coto ever knew what to do with it, and just tried to turn it into another Voyager.

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