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Comment This is not a one size fits all :-) (Score 1) 102

There are some subjects, and some students, for which the MOOC is fine. A highly-motivated student may not need the guidance of a face-to-face teacher. I have taught freshman classes where many of the students took the class only because they had to have a science course; it is possible that they learned something, and they probably would not have taken the time to dig it out on their own. I am convinced, however, that being "in residence" is extremely valuable for graduate work. Attending seminars regularly, having a good major professor, and interacting with people who are interested in learning the same material is a powerful teaching method.
Desktops (Apple)

Submission + - How to run OSX in a virtual machine? (

tonyt3 writes: "It is straightforward to run Windows or Linux on a Mac, because there are several ways — and mostwork well. There seems to be no similar way to do the reverse: run Mac OSX on a virtual machine under Windows or Linux. Of course there is the Hackintosh series of methods, and some people have used VirtualBox. But these seem to require serious hacking of the system, which is very different from running Windows via Parallels. Is this a technical problem? or is it a legal problem? Any suggestions?
Many thanks,

Comment Re:At what level to teach? (Score 1) 103

Sometimes we need to step back a few paces to ask exactly what it is that we're trying to accomplish. When a teen-ager is ready to learn to drive, it is not essential for him/her to be able to rebuild the engine or put in new piston rings. After a person has an introductory-level understanding of what an automobile does, then he/she may want to explore the details in greater depth. Some people may actually turn out to be more interested in painting the car in different colors, or using it to transport sick people to the hospital. We need to be careful, I suspect, not to overwhelm the new computer student with a lot more than the student has to know _at that stage in his development_ ... there needs to be a few (well supervised) joy rides in there to keep up interest. To be sure, the new student does not know enough to know " what he needs to know." But the level of study should be an outgrowth of the person's real interests.

Comment Re:Barringer Meteor Crater and other such sites (Score 2) 363

Two comments: first, you will probably not see any " Science." You may see the results of engineering feats ... but check out places well before you go too far out of your way; some " science sites" that I am aware of actually consist of two parts: the places where science is done and where they really wish you would go away and leave them alone, and the other parts -- where the "outreach" people have set up demos. The Air and Space Museum in D.C. is a fantastic place to visit, and I'd recommend that, but (for example) you should not expect to see the science or engineering behind the Blackbird. If you saw any genuine supercomputers, you'd see a large room full of cabinets, but no science behind the calculations being done (mostly by people in other locations :-) Lots to see, and fun, but be thoughtful about what you are looking for. tony

Submission + - The Feynman tapes (

tonyt3 writes: I just stumbled across this; it is a year old, now but I'd never seen it. Gates has bought the royalties to a set of 7 taped lectures by Feynman. apparently for a freshman-level audience, altho' they claim a bright ten-year old could understand them.

Comment Something to be careful for (Score 1) 565

Many people here refer to the Bosses and/or PR folks as complete a$$holes. If you go to an interview with that in mind, it will probably turn out to be true. If you go with the attitude that they just might want the best for their company, and you are trying to find ways to help the company as well, your success rate will go up. If you draw a bozo, just be polite and go somewhere else. They may know some programmers who are somewhat challenged socially as well. So try to convince them that you are a decent human being who happens to be a very good programmer. imho.

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