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Attack of the One-Letter Programming Languages

BlackHawk-666 Re:APL: A Programming Language (125 comments)

I swear, the "articles" are getting more idiotic every year. This stuff is of the level you'd expect on one of those 'Top x About y' sites.

2 days ago
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2014 Hour of Code: Do Ends Justify Disney Product Placement Means?

BlackHawk-666 Re:Of course not! (125 comments)

Which girl was the positive portrayal? The ditsy airhead who fell in love with an obvious creep about 20 seconds after meeting him, or the ice queen bitch who shut everyone out of her life and went on to live alone in an ice castle. Lucky that ice cutter (prince) guy was there to help the ditsy one or they never would have even made it to the castle.

Sure, these princesses aren't as completely helpless as a whole bunch of other Disney princesses, but they're certainly also not empowered woman providing a good role model.

3 days ago
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2014 Hour of Code: Do Ends Justify Disney Product Placement Means?

BlackHawk-666 Prince Charming (125 comments)

I foresee a dark future of lonely princesses spinning code in the top of a locked tower, waiting for their Prince Charming to come along and save it.

3 days ago
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Eizo Debuts Monitor With 1:1 Aspect Ratio

BlackHawk-666 Re:WANT. (329 comments)

Why don't you just rotate a 16:9 monitor into portrait orientation, or better yet a 16:10 portrait would be both tall and wide, just like you asked for.

4 days ago
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Russia May Be Planning National Space Station To Replace ISS

BlackHawk-666 Re:Forget the Space Station (235 comments)

But we'll need a new shuttle design for transporting equipment back and forth, with a cool, American sounding name like....lambs, pheasants...no wait, Eagles!

It'd make a great place to dump all our old nuclear waste!

about a week ago
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BitTorrent Unveils Sync 2.0

BlackHawk-666 Yay (60 comments)

Yay, finally I can stop enjoying the 100GB of free cloud storage that Google provide me, and instead pay $40 / year for no storage at all and the need to provide my own servers :D

I suppose there'll be a free version for people who don't need the "support". I'm just wondering who the pro version is targeted at.

about a week ago
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Intel Announces Major Reorg To Combine Mobile and PC Divisions

BlackHawk-666 Re:only greyneckbeard dinosaurs use PCs anyway (75 comments)

That might be marginally true, but only for consumers. The people who actually make the shit everyone consumes still need those tower rigs. Try running MSVC, Photoshop, Max, CRYENGINE and other DAW tools, all at once on your phone or tablet. You could run it on a beefy laptop, but that would seriously cost several times more than a standard PC and still be worse at the job.

So sure, over for the people who's only real need is a web browser...still going strong for the rest of us.

about two weeks ago
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Scientists Optimistic About Getting a Mammoth Genome Complete Enough To Clone

BlackHawk-666 Re:Exciting! (187 comments)

Clearly he's rescuing her from tentacle rape at the hands of a giant octopus - this is Japan after all ^^

about two weeks ago
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Scientists Optimistic About Getting a Mammoth Genome Complete Enough To Clone

BlackHawk-666 Re:huh? (187 comments)

He probably just has a chicken coop with a few hens and a rooster. Even some suburbanites do this since a back yard is plenty enough space for some chickens to run around as long as you supplement their diet.

about two weeks ago
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Do Good Programmers Need Agents?

BlackHawk-666 Re:Everybody's special. (215 comments)

I think even the terrible ones will notice the line comment at the start.

about two weeks ago
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MARS, Inc: We Are Running Out of Chocolate

BlackHawk-666 Re:Time to modify it to grow elsewhere (323 comments)

Slaves are a lot cheaper than you think.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...

"The children are kidnapped or purchased for $20 - $70 each in poorer states, such as Benin and Togo, and sold into slavery in sex dens or as unpaid domestic servants for $350.00 each in wealthier oil-rich states, such as Nigeria and Gabon"

I'm sure you heard of that incident in Africa where a school of girls were kidnapped recently. Those girls will all be working as some form of slave now.

In India, parents will put their children into slavery (indentured service) for less than you spend on a night out. The owners make it so that they can never buy back their freedom by charging them for food and board, often in squalid conditions. The longer they remain a servant, the more they owe. Over time the females will give birth to children of their own and these are in turn owned as slaves with no way to buy their way out.

I'm not sure what sort of robot you think you can buy for a few hundred dollars.

about two weeks ago
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World's Youngest Microsoft Certificated Professional Is Five Years Old

BlackHawk-666 Re:Exactly why we test all candidates. (276 comments)

"If you'll indulge me in a little reductio ad absurdum... you mean people with a joint degree in Philosophy and History?"

Heh.

I'm not a huge fan of typing, since my fingers ache most the time from a life at the keyboard. So long as I managed to convey the gist, I'm reasonably happy to let the reader follow the train of thought on their own.

Anyway, good points there, all stuff I agree with. I went to uni in '87, and I can still remember to this day the difficulty of the switch from BASIC (my first language) to Pascal (where's the line numbers, no goto, what!), the introduction of C, and then...WTF...Lisp! What the hell is going on here? You definitely need a different state of mind and a different set of skills to use Lisp instead of most modern imperative languages.

You can jump from Java to C# and back pretty easy. Just learn the libraries and a few foibles and their "preferred style of coding" and you should be set. You can pick up a C based language pretty fast too...just learnt the ways it's different to C and hit those libraries again.

Ideally, you'd try and test a candidate on their ability to absorb knowledge, comprehend, reason, design, prototype and their understanding of the fundamentals. Most everything else is fru fru.

"If we add together all the computer knowledge that every computer recruiter thinks is "missing" from CS degrees, we'd end up designing a 20 year long programme...."

I've been at this 35 years now and all I know is that there is a vast ocean of things I still do not know.

about two weeks ago
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World's Youngest Microsoft Certificated Professional Is Five Years Old

BlackHawk-666 Re:Exactly why we test all candidates. (276 comments)

People laugh at that comment but he's quite right. It is literally impossible to work today in the programming field with just the information you can remember in your head. You should instead focus on getting people with good reasoning and research skills. People who can learn fast, apply past lessons and derive a correct solution based on your situation.

There's still a need for quite a large amount of information to be remembered by team members, but that is definitely trumped by how fast they can acquire it from resources they will have on hand at their work. For programmers they will have a syntax highlighting, auto-completing editor, project and make file management tools, language references, API references, and of course, vast realms of information on the net.

I was a little surprised the other day when I tried to remember the old definition for an OOP language. Inheritance and encapsulation jumped straight to mind but the third was just out of reach of my memory - despite actually using it every day for almost 30 years; polymorphism. I'd had to think I wouldn't pass some recruiter's idea of an test simply because my memory isn't what it used to be.

There's some skills like regex that I need to look up every time I use them. Mostly because they are used infrequently, have an arcane syntax, an API that varies from one language / environment to the next and every implementation seems to use different syntax. I've written heaps of SQL, I know where to place a key when to leave it down to a table scan. I can find my way through a query plan and figure out which part of a query is nonce...and yet I might still have trouble remembering some vague syntax thing. I have existing code to remind me and the web for when I don't have a snippet.

There's too much emphasis on rote learning of information that often is not even that useful, and not enough on developing analysis, research and planning skills.

about two weeks ago
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MARS, Inc: We Are Running Out of Chocolate

BlackHawk-666 Re:Time to modify it to grow elsewhere (323 comments)

Let's see

Option 1: buy incredibly expensive robots able to detect when beans are ripe, harvest them, dry them, etc These would come with service contracts, need constant maintenance and other high level - high tech skills.
Option 2: find some dirt poor local and indenture their children for some piddling small sum of money and have a slave labour force for life

Option 2 will always be cheaper and so market forces will always move some men towards it.

about two weeks ago
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MARS, Inc: We Are Running Out of Chocolate

BlackHawk-666 Re:This is what the Free Market is for (323 comments)

There's no shortage of other parts of the world where it could be grown. The real problem is that it's simply too expensive to grow it there, since they don't have a large workforce willing to work for slave labour wages. We could grow tons of the stuff here in Australia, but our people are used to decent work conditions, health care, a pension fund, and minimum wages that allow for a reasonable lifestyle.

about two weeks ago
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R. A. Montgomery, Creator of the "Choose Your Own Adventure" Books, Dead At 78

BlackHawk-666 Re:Got you, Mrs. Sampson (80 comments)

That's a perfectly cromulent thing to do around here.

about two weeks ago
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Microsoft Losing the School Markets To iPads and Chromebooks

BlackHawk-666 Re:Google could win Education (219 comments)

"3) Hypervisor / broker that allows their platform to seamlessly remote/VDI onto Windows/OS X/Linux big iron for desktop environment as required. If they give this piece away, I think they eventually succeed in the other OS vendors entirely."

There's been an RDP client available for Linux for years that runs happily on Android and no doubt on the Chromebooks now. For accessing Linux boxes you can either forward X, or run a VNC client (a bit slow and clunky compared to RDP on Windows).

about two weeks ago
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Microsoft Losing the School Markets To iPads and Chromebooks

BlackHawk-666 Re:Who is ubmfuturecities? (219 comments)

"Back in the day, I spent ages working on a 40x25 screen (teletxt!) and also 80x25. It was fine because it was what I was used to. These days it would feel dreadful. However if you'e neer been used to seeing more than 10 lines of whatever you're working on, it won't bother you."

I grew up in the days of green phosphor (or if you were lucky, amber!) as well. Actually, initially I learnt on a 40 x 25 displayed on a black and white television set. I can remember the days of 80 x 25 CGA, then EGA and finally, VGA. If you were very lucky, you had a machine with a Hercules card in it, which made that 80 x 25 display look like it was made of refined gold, rather than sand :D

Text editors were pretty simple beasts back then, and the square display didn't feel like it helped a lot...but now, using VS 2013 with a screen cluttered with all sorts of sidebars and the like it feels even more cramped than the simple old 80 x 25 with just a menu bar at the top and a status bar on the bottom line. Twenty three lines of code on screen...I use a 24 inch monitor running 1080p nowadays and I still only get 40 lines of code on that screen. The monitor is literally 10 inches larger, vastly better resolution and I still only get 17 more lines of code.

I often wonder if I would be more productive using a stripped down editor again, with the monitor in portrait mode and a really solid text mode set.

My old editor, the workhorse I used for years was the one shipped with TopSpeed Modula 2 (and then TopSpeed c++). It was clean, used a standard keybind set which could be customised and was capable of having *four* documents open at once. You could flip between them with a couple of keybinds. I reckon, with a good modern editor and hardware, that it might not be too bad working like that again :D

about two weeks ago
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Worrying Aspects of Linux Gaming

BlackHawk-666 Re:What does Linux bring to the table? (265 comments)

"They released Destiny on the PS3/360 as well as the PS4/Xbox One for goodness sake. So keeping the same hardware for 5 years isn't a limit, it saves you money for games"

You mentioned this point twice so I'll bite. You can also choose to do exactly this on the PC platform. Buy a decent machine and keep it for 5+ years, spend the rest on games. You're not required to upgrade a PC, it's just an option. I consider myself an enthusiast gamer, so I've always had pretty reasonable machines and upgrade roughly every 3 years. I'm actually working with the free CRYENGINE SDK now, so spending $1500 on PC parts is not such a bad thing.

And since you mentioned Destiny I should point out that for it's beta it wasn't able to run at 1080p at 30fps, but they did eventually manage to do it by release, probably by cutting down on the pretties.There's been several articles on latest gen console games not being able to hit 1080p at 30FPS, just goggle and you'll pull up enough of them. Many games are rendering out at 720p or other resolutions and using a scaler to scale it up to 1080p for display - but it's still just a 720p render.

about two weeks ago
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Worrying Aspects of Linux Gaming

BlackHawk-666 Re:What does Linux bring to the table? (265 comments)

It looks like laptops and low spec general purpose machines are dragging those scores down. Around 7.1% were running on an Intel HD Graphics 4000, which is almost a hate crime against gaming ^^

I guess the point I'm making is that if a person so chooses they can enjoy the benefits of a gaming rig that is much better than the latest gen consoles. Gaming is pretty ubiquitous now, so I'm not surprised to see the hardware summary showing people using gear that I wouldn't have used even 5 years back. Let's face it, lots of Steam games aren't exactly demanding on the hardware in any case.

I'm running a pair of GTX 670s at present on a i7 3770k with 16GB of RAM clocked to around 2ghz (note: it's not just for gaming, I do other demanding stuff on this machine). Next year I expect to upgrade to a pair of 980s. The thing is, with PC gaming, you're not restricted in the same way as a console. It's not a fairly cheap to manufacture spec that is two years out of date before the console even hits the shelves. You can choose to keep upgrading parts as newer gear becomes available. I'm not having to run my games at 720p or lower like many console games just to hit the target of 30FPS. Most games I own will run at 1080p at 60-100FPS, which is great because 30FPS looks really jerky to my eyes.

In five years time, console players will still likely be stuck on the same hardware as they have today, so that limits the games they can play. I can choose to buy new parts to support my passion for high quality gaming. It's one of the things I like more about PC gaming...that, and having a keyboard / mouse / controllers.

about two weeks ago

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