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Comment Is this news? (Score 2) 508

Back in the 1940's, and even decades before that, this sort of thing was only muttered by sci-fi authors. Fast forward to our lofty, present date, and people with letters after their names get attention for regurgitating, and not adding one quip with yearing, over what was said almost a century ago. Why, oh, why, is this news? Will it still be news in 30 years after it STILL hasn't happened?

Comment Re:Math is fine! (Score 2) 218

I loved math until the 3rd grade (c. 1973); and between 3rd and 12th grades, I was a math failure. When I hit the age of 21, I decided to go to college, and that meant starting from scratch with remedial math at the local junior college, and the plan was to transfer to a 4-year university after that. Remedial math was wonderful: I had an instructor (Dr. Baum) who would keep explaining things until I could understood. This was very different from gradeschool where instructors would keep repeating the same thing that I didn't understand, but say it a bit louder each time they repeated it (as if that was supposed to help me understand). Five years later I was in my senior year after my transfer to UC Berkeley. I was an EECS major, and I had completed the Calculus (for engineers) and Math Analysis, and I was sailing toward my EECS degree. I decided to take a trip back to my original jr college, and look up Dr. Baum. To my extreme disappointment and sadness, I found out Dr. Baum had died. He never knew the door he had opened for me. Here we are, 30 years into my EECS career (more of a CS career, as it turns out; but I get to beat up on oscilloscopes and logic analysers once in a while), and it has been a lot of fun. Dr. Baum proved that it can come down to EXACTLY ONE instructor who reaches a student's mind, and without excellent instructors, we easily lose minds that could otherwise have been STEM participants. More's the pity. WE NEED MORE MATH TEACHER that aren't crappy.

Comment Looks cool... but... yet another language tool? (Score 4, Insightful) 105

I remember back when Cobol was going out of style, and I was an early adopter of C++ (1987-ish). ADA was going to change the world, C++ was doomed to never go anywhere, and C was going to vanish. Yourdon wrote a book about the fall of the American programmer. I wept over my keyboard. I told everyone I was crying because my C++ compiler was so frigging slow. But I knew the world was going to change, that ADA was going to kill all the other languages, and I really loved working in C and C++. So I waited for the world to change. Prolog was a big deal about the same time, and I didn't want to miss out, so I jumped on it for functional. And the "wow" thing of the day was Expert Systems. They were going to change the world. So I wrote some interesting diggers with Prolog. And I waited for the world to change. In around 1992 I entered the CHICAGO beta with Microsoft in preparation for Windows NT (which was going to change the world). I even wrote a device driver for CHICAGO to operate a RHETOREX PCM telephony board, and a printer driver for an old ATARI thermal printer. Fun projects, actually. Didn't make a dime, though. OS/2 WARP came out around then. It was going to change the world. It was 1994 when I first saw Java. It was going to change the world. I looked at the language, and it didn't interest me: I had C++, and C++ was starting to grow. And I couldn't even imagine not having pointers, not being able to talk to the CPU or devices directly (sans imported libraries). 1995 came along, a friend handed me a stack of floppies (I think about 20), and installed SLACKWARE LINUX over my Windows partition. "This is going to change the world," he said. It was funny, but I really and for truly was convinced this time that the world would be changed, and I didn't wait. I jumped into Linux with everything I had, and I've been working in C and C++ in linux ever since. I'm not trying to be funny or anything. The truth of the matter is that I've listed only several languages here, but I've worked in at least two dozen others that probably most people have never heard of (e.g. SPL for MTM/32). I keep seeing language come and go, that are supposed to change the world. As a young engineer I'd jump on every new language that came out, but most of the time the language turned out to be raspy in some way, was good at exactly one thing, and pretty sucky at everything else. And here we are. 2015. I still work in C and C++ every day of the work week, but I don't see ADA anywhere, I haven't cranked a line of FORTRAN since 1993, I never had to write RPG for a living, I've avoided Cobol altogether, HASKELL never took off like it was supposed to (ditto EIFEL), MATLAB costs too much (even though it is a heck of a tool), I like Python and don't much care for Perl, and on and on and on. And I've debugged way more Java code than I ever wanted to, but I haven't written a single line of Java, yet. And here's what I wanted to get to... I opened up Slashdot today and found the OP's article, and watched the video. And you know what? THIS ISN"T ANYTHING NEW! Not the features, not the tools, not the results. It is yet another language, yet another IDE, and I'm seeing the same kind of features I was using back in the 90's. Funny thing... I use gcc/g++ for my compilers; I use VIM for my editor; and I do quite well. I hate IDE's with a passion; and any time I've been sentenced to use a product with "code completion" or "intellisense", I feel like I've joined some kind of Commune of the Damned. I've quit jobs to escape the transition so the baloney world of IDE productivity. Maybe that means I'm out of touch or old fashioned or "stuck in the 80's". But I've never wanted for a job. And the kids we interview today mostly know the current "hip" language(s) and/or IDE (Hey! lets write a web page, yah!), but if you ask them about superscalar architectures, or how to write a Fibonacci generator using C++ templates, or what a 3-way handshake is for, you get a deer-in-the-headlilghts stare.

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They are called computers simply because computation is the only significant job that has so far been given to them.