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Comment Rockstars ... everywhere and nowhere (Score 1) 356

Rockstars are in every field. Rockstar CEO's - do you need one? No, but it MIGHT help the portfolio. Do you need Rockstar Managers? No. Do you need Rockstar ANYTHING? No. Do you WANT them? Are you willing to pay them? (Including $$, ego, office, quirks, etc) companies do, and if they did not get a precieved rate of return on investment, they are normally gone. Apple got rid of Woz, and still did OK. They got rid of Jobs, then let him back when the 'ones that were left' couldn't keep the water out of the leaking boat. Was Jobs NEEDED? No. But neither is Apple, M$FT, IBM, XEROX, Polaroid (are the last two still there?). We know the pioneer computing giants Sperry Univac is toast, so is DEC and DataGeneral and a host of others. They all had rockstars. Linux has Linus and a few others that help get things done and keep things on course. At this point with 'good management' they aren't needed and one day WILL be replaced by V2.0 or whatever. Bethoven was replaced by Beatles who was replaced by Miley Cyrus? Ok, it doesn't always work out. It still doesn't detract from the good folks have done even if they go on to unworthy lifes. ... Now back to your daily diatribe on life ...

Comment Re:Expropriate Comcast under a workers government! (Score 1) 215

Even if they don't they can inflict serious financial 'judgement' for even opposing them, due to the costs of lawyers and investigators needed to defend your own rights. Just because you have the rights and are on the side of right doesn't mean protecting it comes for free/cheap.

Comment Programming as a craft, not Science (Score 2) 479

I have a degree in computer science (mainly software oriented, but included some hardware design), but people still say I am 'just a programmer'. Most programmers don't just 'do code', they do systems analysis, systems design, program development including some coding, testing at various levels, systems maintenance, and in there is a lot of 'interfacing' with suits and customers. Very little is coding. Of a properly done developed system lifecycle, less than 10% is normally coding.

There are the 'coder factories' that advertise on late night TV. The people that come out of there, and even out of high-school and Jr Colleges or trade schools are all dropped in the same pool as 'programmers'. Most programmers, at least the better ones, view their code as in many ways an art form. Once upon a time (think '70s) using 'tricks' to save memory was a big thing and was often used as some sick form of 'job security'. From what I have seen most individuals are over that, but not so much commercial software companies that think 'protectionism' is 'protecting their assets'. Much code has been 're-implemented' by doing blackbox reengineering.

There is still a place for the arts in computers and even software, but making things run better, faster, be smaller, use less resources, use 'vertical' AND 'horizontal' computer power, failsafe, encryption, API's, easier to network/interface, secure, better human interface, usability, etc.

Yes, I have studied the history of computing both academically and as a personal interest. That includes anything from mechanics of the babbage engine, digital systems design (that has been useful several times since school in 'doing what everyone says can't be done'), studying the architecture of the Saber System (hardware and software from IBM for American Airlines - now antiquated, but a leap forward in interactive computers, networking, and database architecture). I have worked with some of the architects and developers of the original National Semiconductor UART chips and the IBM HASP system originally written for NASA to keep them from being kicked out of NASA in Houston. Knowing HOW these worked, how the succeeded and failed ALL helped in my systems I wrote for customers (Mainly Fortune 500 types but includes medium to mom&pop shops).

It has been interesting studying some of the big failures and successes of the past, both in computing and business. Seeing the advanced systems before they were appreciated by the public. Seeing the marketing faux pas of large and small companies. For many small companies it is fatal, for large it hurts reputation even if they get through it (Ford Edsel, Apple Lisa, New Coke, we can all name some more).

I don't think EVERYONE needs to get as deep into it as I have, but it would help understanding and appreciation of the history both technical and of the people and times when developing solutions for today and the future.

Education is never lost. It just adds to the tapestry of life.

Comment Re:Their loss (Score 1) 410

they could pass such laws/rules. They can even enforce them. A few mfgrs could step up (mainly TI and IBM) but the chips will cost so much and be such low production quantity. To ramp up to domestically quantity that would make a difference will take lots of effort and $$. Now is it worth it? That is beyond my pay grade.

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The first myth of management is that it exists. The second myth of management is that success equals skill. -- Robert Heller