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Comment Re:And JCL and System 360 Mainframe HLA and CICS? (Score 1) 212

"Of course then ... then we get to JCL ... If you don't know what that is, imagine a scripting language in which spaces matter ..."

That would be bash -- or any other Unix shell script. However, I have to say that even at its most perverse, bash doesn't begin to approach JCL for pointless peculiarity. e.g. IEFBR14

Comment Re:COBOL isn't hard to learn (Score 4, Insightful) 212

Once, many, many years ago, I had to look at some COBOL software to see how it was handling some data. Remarkably easy to read and I'd never seen the language before or since.

I don't think I'd have the patience to program in COBOL

But I have to say that if I were an IT manager responsible for hundreds of thousands of lines of that stuff that worked, I'd probably be REALLY reticent to scrap it in favor of something more "modern".

Comment Re: I work for a medical billing software... (Score 1) 186

Just trying to point out that in many cases a simple firewall is going to block everything. (or maybe nothing). Either way it's more or less a waste of time and money. I would assume that anyone savvy enough to know they are sending out way more traffic than they should would have considered and rejected a firewall appliance within the first 10 minutes after deciding that they have a problem.

Comment Re: I work for a medical billing software... (Score 2) 186

Or you could save $35 and some labor costs by just unplugging the telephone company's data line. If you're willing to wait a while, don't pay the telco, and they'll unplug it for you.

BTW, I haven't tried it personally. But I suspect that if the mystery traffic is on port 443 (HTTPS) and is intermixed with legitimate traffic, the Raspberry Pi may have some trouble distinguishing real from bogus. And we're all supposed to use HTTPS because it's secure, right?

Comment Re:Still a dream (Score 1) 148

"It's almost certainly a hell of a lot easier to build a self-driving flying car than it is to build a self driving regular car."

Sadly, probably not so. A "flying car" of the type most people imagine has to be able to deal with congestion and probably traffic control -- in three dimensions. Imagine thousands of these things trying to exit parking lots around a stadium more or less simultaneously after a sporting event or rock concert -- without running into each other, pre-existing air traffic, power lines, buildings, drones, the Goodyear blimp and lord knows what else -- all with wind blowing a half gale and sleet or snow whipping around. The only things that could make it worse would be a few police air traffic control vehicles misdirecting traffic and some vehicles in the mix running some version of Windows that has decided that this is a dandy time to upgrade the OS.

Comment Re:Still a dream (Score 2) 148

"The problem with flying cars, is that they will not be able to compete with Hyperloop."

Hyperloop hardware is probably doable. But with costs for serious transportation tunnels in urban areas running well over $1,000,000,000 per mile. (Boston's Big Dig, Seattle's Alaskan Way Viaduct) I'm not sure hyperloop will ever get off (OK, OK, under ...) the ground.

Comment Re:Still a dream (Score 1) 148

Failsafe computer software to control Personal Air Vehicles probably isn't impossible. But we couldn't write it today.

My guess. Maybe 30 years for the requisite software and sensors. The airframe hardware, legal, liability, and security issues might take longer than that. ... If we started on them today. ... Which we won't.

Comment Re:It depends on the use (Score 1) 415

Maybe. But in my experience, Excel spreadsheets tend to be slow, clunky and, most annoying, very buggy. I don't think those are admirable characteristics. Nor do I think those problems are essential to the FP paradigm.

AFAICS, the principle value of non-trivial spreadsheets is the ability Excel, Oocalc, etc to generate pretty graphs for presentation purposes with less aggravation than other alternatives. And, I guess maybe under some circumstances a spreadsheet is a viable alternative to a small database.

Comment Re:I like functions... (Score 1) 415

I know squat about Functional Programming. But I'm told that Python's List (and generator) comprehensions are a functional programming concept. Input a list, perform an operation on all or part, and output an altered list. Not terribly readable IMO, but otherwise quite likeable. I find myself using them quite a lot.

As for stuff like closures. The explanations I've read tend to be utterly opaque. Sort of like a color-blind individual trying to explain the color green. I'm not sure if the problem is me or the explainers. After a lot of reading, I think I sort of might understand how closures be done in Python. But it's sort of like reading about how to build a working mechanical arm out of toothpicks. Interesting, but I'll be damned if I can envision a situation where I might want to do that.

Comment Re:Ugh spreadsheets (Score 1) 168

"You can't tell whether the results are correct in any more than trivial cases."

In most cases, I think you can safely assume that non-trivial results are probably mostly wrong. Coding a spreadsheet correctly is no easier than coding the same logic in FORTRAN, Python, or any other relatively sane programming language. Which is to say -- it's damn difficult.

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