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Comment BASIC (Score 1) 518

BASIC, back in the day. I started teaching myself at 13, on a TI 99/4A. The school I was attending at the time had barely heard about computers, much less come up with a way to try to teach someone that young about them. I was actually starting to dabble in assembly language on that machine, and managed to get a sprite to move in response to me moving a joystick around. The school may have been woefully uninformed, but the public library was a pretty good resource.

A fortunate move to upstate New York put me on a track to pick up some classes on BASIC and Pascal at the high school and Watfiv and assembly language at a local university that had a high school summer program. My senior project in high school was a graphing program that generated several kinds of graphs using Apple Pascal and the turtle graphics package that came with it. The system could barely handle it, but it was pretty spiffy. I wrote my own keyboard input routines that would allow me to set up fields of a specific size that would only allow certain characters to be typed into them.

College was more Basic, which I was entirely fucking sick of by then, and some scripting languages. I got my intro to REXX there, which was much nicer than Basic. I switched schools into a more CS-oriented program and picked up C, Ada and COBOL. By then I was starting to hear about this newfangled C++, which really sucked back in the early '90's, let me tell you. They didn't even have a STL yet. They started talking about adding templates to the language a few years later.

By then I knew my way around C pretty well, but mostly had to work on the shitty proprietary languages of the 90's. I got into some work that involved actual C programming in the mid 90's, and had a pretty solid decade of C programming. Since 2005 it's been a pretty steady mix of Java and C++, along with a bit of maintenance on some really badly-designed projects in Perl, Ruby and TCL. I'm currently doing a mix of C++ for hardware-level access to some specialty hardware I'm working on, and Java to provide some web services associated with that hardware. I might get into some Javascript to put it all together, but I'm going to try to leave that to the guys who are more comfortable with Javascript than I am.

I don't see much new coming along the road. .net, go and rust are all sufficiently close to Java or C++ that they really don't interest me. Maybe if someone offers some large briefcases full of cash to work with them. I'd be more interested in doing some hand-optimized assembly language and perhaps some GPU programming, but that would probably take another decade to get good at.

Comment Re:So... (Score 1) 330

The cyber may be hard for the people who do it, but it is not hard for the president to appoint a team to do it. At least it shouldn't be hard to appoint a team.

Q. What is difficult then for Trump?

A. Trying to find anyone with technical skills that is willing to work with Trump.



(also: risking their reputation, career, and possibly life if some kind of "accident" occurs when they look into the wrong thing too deeply.)

Comment Re:And it... (Score 3, Funny) 60

Microsoft is trying to be more like Linux now. Windows Subsystem for Linux to (poorly) run native Linux binaries on Windows. SQL Server on Linux. Haven't you heard? Microsoft Loves Linux, and Sharks Love Fish too.

Now Microsoft will have two yearly releases -- like Ubuntu has. I wonder if Microsoft will next introduce an LTS version of Windows.

Comment Copyright free? (Score 1) 123

TFA says "copyright free".

That's wrong. The materials will not be free of copyright. The authors that create the materials will have a copyright. Just like all authors of open source code have a copyright in that code. What makes open source open is that those authors choose to license their copyright rights to anyone under terms that effectively make it open for all to run, use, copy, study, modify and distribute the code. Similarly, these open course materials authors would have to license their work under terms that grant similar levels of freedom.

Comment Re:Because everyone knows... (Score 2) 123

Don't compare open source documentation to open source courses and textbooks.

The proper comparison is to compare open / closed courses and textbooks to open / closed server software. What wins? Open source. Linux and other open source server software dominates. So much so that Microsoft had to create Windows Subsystem for Linux. And then admitted it was to lure developers back (to Windows).

I suspect that subject matter experts creating open textbooks will work out about as well as open source server software did for servers.

Comment Re:What good is satellite tracking... (Score 1) 70

Yes, Iridium would mean satellites. So position can be tracked globally, even in the middle of the ocean as long as (1) aircraft can still transmit, and (2) aircraft still knows its position by either GPS or other means.

If position transmission can be turned off, you at least know when and where it was turned off. Knowing how much fuel was aboard at that point, gives you a radius of where the aircraft could be -- which might not be that helpful.

Comment Re:Once again... (Score 0) 144

If your business plan depends on snippets of information that Google can show you quicker and easier, then you seriously deserve to fail.

The world doesn't owe you a living.

The snippets of information you serve up are not your exclusive property.

It's too bad that your small information site that you spent time building is instantly obsoleted by Google making more information accessible. But that is their very mission statement: "to organize all the world's information." Their motto is "Don't be evil". Once upon a time, Bill Gates said he had seen Google's mission statement and he disagreed with it. I think he meant "motto" instead.

But "don't be evil" no longer means what it once meant. Inflation.

Comment Re:Agent Orange is sending an aircraft carrier... (Score 1) 70

Don't you think it a bit unfair to call our dear leader "impotent" or "ignorant"?

Being illiterate, unable to speak in complete sentences, and ignoring facts doesn't mean he is ignorant any more so than having tiny hands might mean he is impotent. Being orange doesn't make him a clown any more than it makes him an oompa loompa. it's because as everyone knows, oranges have thick skin. Oh, wait. He doesn't have very thick skin. Oh, well. At least the other crazy dear leader doesn't appear to use Twitter. Or we would be in real trouble.

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