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Comment Re:The only touchscreen laptop I'll buy (Score 1) 359

I recently picked up a Dell Inspiron 15z. I'm happy with it, the hardware is excellent, and the price was right. Moving forward, I can definitely see touch screens becoming ubiquitous in laptops. That one's definitely worth a look if you're at all curious about touch screens and/or Windows 8.

No, the OS isn't perfect, but it's really not as dreadful as some people have made it out to be.

Comment Re:App bubble already popped.. (Score 4, Interesting) 240

Came here to say this. Get a solid grasp of SQL to go with your C++ and Java, and there will always be somewhere to work. Regardless of whatever shiny new toy is coming out this week, databases aren't going away anytime soon, so database programmers aren't either.

If it's an option for you, I'd suggest getting a job with the enterprise systems group at your university for a year or two after you graduate. I'm really glad I did. The pay will be below average, but getting my student loans paid off and a couple years of Oracle programming under my belt has put me in a great position to move wherever I want and launch into serious work.

Comment Bah Humbug (Score 1) 635

It's too bad this whole standing office thing is going mainstream. Too bad for everyone else, that is. Luckily (or maybe unluckily), my spinal injury makes that an accessibility issue so legally I can't be required to participate if our HR office decides they want standing desks installed for everyone. I am physically incapable of standing for more than about twenty minutes per day.

If you're having weight problems, consume fewer calories. That's it. Alternating diet coke and black coffee does wonders to suppress appetite. Working out will only make you hungry. I am the most sedentary person I know, but with about 1800 calories per day, my weight is the same as it was in high school. 6'2, 165lbs.

Am I in shape? Hell no. Doesn't matter anyways, though. Everyone else is fat so I'm still ahead of the curve.

Comment Rarely. (Score 1) 150

I reached the weight I am now as a sophomore in highschool, almost fifteen years ago. I haven't varied by even five pounds since then. I don't own a scale, so I only end up just weighing myself out of curiosity whenever I stay in a hotel that has a scale in the room.

Yep, still 165lbs.

Comment Warning Label (Score 4, Informative) 383

Keep Away From All Children!
Do not put in nose or mouth.
Swallowed magnets can stick to
intestines causing serious injury or death.
Seek immediate medical attention if
magnets are swallowed or inhaled.

It says right on the little plastic container that this isn't for children. The cardboard retail box gets torn up and thrown away, so I can understand a label on that *possibly* not being enough. The inner plastic cube is pretty explicit too, though.

There are a handful of stupid people somewhere out there, so bureaucrats close down a business that I like and decide that I can't have something that is of no risk to me or anyone around me. Gotta love this world we live in.

Comment Re:Quite the opposite... (Score 1) 388

Maybe you're just hiring/working with the wrong programmers?

CSB: I finished my CS bachelor's in 2010, and with the exception of a couple "breadth" courses, I spent nearly my entire college career programming in x86 assembly, C, and C++. Admittedly, extensive use of SQL wasn't part of the degree program, but my starter job for the past couple years has been as an Oracle developer working in Pro*C and PL/SQL. If you're finding recent bachelor's with no assembly or systems architecture background, I'd start checking University accreditations before hiring. ABET is the magic acronym on my diploma.

If anything, I'm seeing the older programmers clinging to built-in function calls and proprietary languages (SQR) because "that's how we've always done it". Problems then take a tremendous number of man hours to debug and fix when the underlying code gets changed or the customer wants a small tweak, when it should have been written from scratch to begin with. It's especially frustrating when the desired functionality is really simple, like writing a SQL query out to a report or generating a dynamic table in HTML.

Something else I've never seen from a younger programmer: goto nests.

Comment Worse off, but not by much. (Score 4, Interesting) 524

Four years ago I was single, broke, underweight, depressed, living in the dorms, bored with and failing my classes, and had racked up thirty grand in student loan debt that I didn't know how to pay off. I played World of Warcraft to get through the day.

This year I am still single, still broke, still underweight, still depressed, sharing an overcrowded house, bored with my job, on house arrest for year for a car accident, and I owe a hundred grand in restitution that I don't know how to pay off. I play World of Warcraft to get through the day.

I don't see things improving anytime soon. I'll probably pick up drinking again once I am off of house arrest.

Comment My criticisms. (Score 1) 117

I'm about ten hours in and so far I'm enjoying the game for what it is, but its got a few problems I didn't have with the first.

The enemy AI has certainly improved, as often times a bad guy will dive for cover when I start shooting at them, but nearly every time they've done that so far has resulted in them visually clipping through the barrier they are behind. It's really not very immersive combat when arms and legs are sticking out through concrete walls. I thought that technology was nailed down years ago (Gears of War?).

Melee combat is very clunky feeling. There is no visual interaction between my character and the enemy I'm attacking. There's just a generic punch animation, and if it connects, the damage number that follows it. Doom 2 comes to mind.

Framerate performance is... meh. For the hardware I'm running on (eVGA GTX 670FTW, Intel 2600k), I'd expect nothing less than a rock solid 60fps with the graphics on mid-to-high settings. Most of the time there isn't anything graphically intensive going on, but my framerate often dipped into the low 20s anyways.

Getting stuck has been a problem for me. I like to explore, but on foot, there are too many little crannies you can get to but cannot easily get out of, and the vehicle is even worse about that. With the wonky controls it'll easily wedge itself up onto walls and will have to be abandoned. It's bad enough that I just go on foot now instead. That was never an issue with the original Borderlands.

The UI is less intuitive than the original, and even that was just marginal - particularly the inventory screen. Picking a weapon from the list (that has to be scrolled through) usually takes at least two or three tries.

Overall, I'd say wait for this on a Steam special. It would've made a great DLC pack for the original, but I'm glad I didn't drop $60 on it. It simply lacks the polish I'd expect with that price tag.

Comment My missing option... (Score 1) 544

My first thought would be to combine all of the above and just print myself a girlfriend. She'd probably get bored and leave me, though. Other than being a ginger, there's not really anything to fix on my body.

Assuming I was magically the only one that could have something printed, I suppose I would sell that opportunity to the highest bidder. I'm sure someone out there with a ton of money needs a new organ.

Comment Never wore one out. (Score 1) 341

I've got quite a few keyboards, though all but one are stacked in my closet and most of those are still nearly brand new.

I can't use a Model M at all. Oddly enough, it's for the same reason that most of the others here seem to love them. The long key travel and hard feedback do not mix well with my double jointedness and unusually low digit ratio. In order to reach "F" and "J", my fingers end up in a claw shape and my major knuckles bend back the wrong way. After a couple days of that my joints ache enough that I simply can't type anymore. Split keyboards are even worse.

After trying out a dozen other "fancy" keyboards over the years, Logitech's Illuminated Keyboard is the best I've found. I might look into their new washable keyboard if I ever wear this thing out. That looks even mushier.

Comment World of Warcraft (Score 1) 220

I started playing World of Warcraft on the day it came out: November 23, 2004. I was a sophomore in college at the time. Before I started playing, my grades were poor; I had no friends, no family, and I had never been in a relationship of any kind. I was underweight and sickly. I was becoming an alcoholic. I was asocial. I was severely depressed and sometimes even suicidal. I had nothing to look forward to and no will to live.

Playing the game didn't change any of that, but the past eight years have gone by a little faster than the eight before it. I log in every night when I'm done with work, get drunk, and find something to grind until I can't keep my eyes open anymore.

I play neither because I enjoy playing or because I have an unconfronted fear of failure. I play because I've accepted failure and am biding my time. Will things ever improve? Probably not. There will always be another game to play, though. I can take some comfort from that.

Comment Another Idea (Score 1) 350

What kind of pressure would the clone be under to match whatever greatness the original had? I'd probably be completely resentful towards whoever "wished me back" if I was in that situation.

How about instead of choosing the person to have cloned right away, broadcast to the world that you can clone any one person, and give it about a month to find the highest international bidder.

Could you get a billion dollars for it? I doubt a billion dollars would be resentful towards me.

Comment Email. (Score 4, Interesting) 221

Email, email, email. Where I work, if a request comes in that wasn't emailed both to the intended recipient *and* the group/management he works for, it's not taken seriously and is put on the pile of "maybe someday" projects. No matter the urgency - in person, over the phone, smoke signal, and crop circle requests are all told to stop and do it through email or it simply won't happen.

Great part is, that's totally accepted business policy here, since we need to be able to frequently shift work around and without thorough written documentation of the request, that's simply not feasible. I'm glad the management here stands behind that, too. Surprisingly little falls through the cracks, since everyone has an up-to-the-moment record of what everyone else should be working on.

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