Announcing: Slashdot Deals - Explore geek apps, games, gadgets and more. (what is this?)

Thank you!

We are sorry to see you leave - Beta is different and we value the time you took to try it out. Before you decide to go, please take a look at some value-adds for Beta and learn more about it. Thank you for reading Slashdot, and for making the site better!



In IT, Beware of Fad Versus Functional

Casandro Solving simple problems in a difficult way (151 comments)

In IT there rarely are any hard problems. Few people operate Google scale data centres, few people do automatic voice recognition or video codecs.

This somehow seems to cause a desire for solving simple problems in difficult ways. You suddenly have complex frameworks to do more or less trivial things because you are trying to abuse something that's never meant to be used in a certain way. More and more non essential features get crammed into projects.

If you want to stay ahead in IT, avoid complexity. Simple ideas seem to persist in the long run. A typical example is the Unix philosophy. It's an attempt to make everything as simple as possible, so simple that a single person can write a cut down implementation in just a few months. Another example is the Internet. IP is a wonderful simple protocol. You just throw in a packet and it may or may not arrive on the other end. Compare that to ATM or ISDN and you will see how much simpler it is.

As a rule of thumb, if someone tells you about a new technology or trend, ask them to explain it to you in 1-2 sentences, no more than 20 words. Either they will fail, in this case you'll know that it's either just a buzzword or far to complex, or they will actually say what it is.


Vinyl Record Pressing Plants Struggle To Keep Up With Demand

Casandro It's not about sound quality (431 comments)

It's about the whole experience. While with CDs you play a file you previously ripped off it, for records you actually pull out a large disk carefully onto the turntable.
It's almost like you offer it to the turntable gods, it's a ritual and there is reason why records are so popular. It adds a whole new level of experience to music.

2 days ago

Orion Capsule Safely Recovered, Complete With 12-Year-Old Computer Guts

Casandro The word "powerfull" is rather missleading (197 comments)

I mean seriously, every "smart"phone is now much faster than anything scientists had till the 1980s... yet since you are unable to write programs for it without the need of other computers, you cannot do anything they did.

On the other hand, if you had a "digital television set" in the 1980s, yes those existed, you had a device with much more processing power than the computer you could have on your desk. The problem was that your TV-set had it in hard wired circuits while your PC didn't even have the IO capacity to get the video signal in. (Digital TVs in the 1980s used digital chips to process the analogue signal, so they would digitize your PAL signal, typically with 7 Bits, and then decode PAL in the digital domain, which can bring you much better pictures at improved reliability and eventually decreased cost)

The power of a computer lies in it's capability to be programmed. If you cannot reprogram a computer, it's no more useful than any single function device.

about two weeks ago

We Are Running Out of Sand

Casandro There used to be a joke (264 comments)

What happens if the Sahara changes to communism? Nothing for the first years, then they start running out of sand.

about a month ago

Tech Recruiters Defend 'Blacklists,' Lack of Feedback, Screening Techniques

Casandro At least in Germany, most are useless (253 comments)

So far, what I've seen most recruiters do is to read off random lists of jobs broadly in the area you are interested in. Even the ones who claim they have experience in a certain area are completely clueless.

I have seen one instance of a recruiter not being completely useless. She did an automated "objective suitability test" which was similar to an intelligence test, testing certain aspects of decision making. That was interesting at least.

So far my experience shows that companies who outsource their recruiting don't actually care about what people they get. Eventually this will lead to the "Dead Sea"-effect in those companies making them unable to hold more qualified people.

about a month and a half ago

Will the Google Car Turn Out To Be the Apple Newton of Automobiles?

Casandro I wonder what the iCar would be then? (287 comments)

Comparing the Apple Newton and the iPhone... I'd say that the iCar would be a car that's well connected and essentially controlled by Apple. It would not work on roads not approved by Apple. It would probably be controlled by a touch screen or voice. However it would not drive by itself, as that feature has been proven to be complicated. Of course it won't have a driving wheel, instead it'll have a software driving wheel on a large touch screen in front of you.

Functionality wise, the iPhone was a _huge_ step back from what the Newton could do.

about 2 months ago

Microsoft Develops Analog Keyboard For Wearables, Solves Small Display Dilemma

Casandro Calculator watch (100 comments)

There even used to be a 1980s calculator watch which used the watchface so you could draw on your digits. The technology is rather simple so it is a logical thing to do.

The problem is, while it works for calculators, writing complex command lines is much harder.

about 2 months ago

How Poor Punctuation Can Break Windows

Casandro That's actually very old... (94 comments)

... and the reason why on other operating systems you have to escape spaces every time. This way you cannot have the ambiguity if you mean a path with a space, or a program and then a parameter.

about 2 months ago

Goodbye, World? 5 Languages That Might Not Be Long For This World

Casandro Well there are many "fad languages" (547 comments)

In short you can expect most languages younger than 30 years to disappear soon.
If a language doesn't have it's special reason to exist, it won't.

In case of COBOL and FORTRAN that was a huge amount of business critical code, as well as the possibility to simply run it on your next computer. C is seen as a "smart assembler". LISP and its family are great for logical processing. Java seems to become the new COBOL.

And there are 2 languages on the List which do have those special reasons. One is Perl, which is just a great tool for dealing with strings in a quick and dirty way, the other one is "Object Pascal" which, in it's original form with Delphi is dead, but lives in in FOSS projects like FreePascal and Lazarus, it has the great opportunity of having native code plus platform independent native GUIs. In short their way of doing GUI means that you can write a program on Linux, compile it on a Mac and it'll look and feel like a Mac program.

What will die soonish is of course the .net world as it completely depends on a single company... which doesn't use it for their important products.

about 2 months ago

BitHammer, the BitTorrent Banhammer

Casandro If Bittorrent messes up your router... (429 comments)

.... you should _seriously_ consider getting a proper one. The number of concurrent connections should be _far_ higher than what you typically have, and the QoS should make SSH still go through like a charm.

about 2 months ago

DARPA Delving Into the Black Art of Super Secure Software Obfuscation

Casandro What positive aspects could that have? (124 comments)

This seems like something only useful for malware. After all the only reason you don't want the person to know what code they run is to do something they don't want you to do. And that's essentially the definition of malware.

about 2 months ago

NVIDIA Begins Requiring Signed GPU Firmware Images

Casandro Such things should be forbidden (192 comments)

After all its artificially limiting what you can do with the hardware. Plus it'll mean you'll have to run closed source firmware from the manufacturer on the device, which means that it'll probably contain malware. Why else would you distribute software in object code only? (No, competitors probably have reverse engineered it years ago.)

about 3 months ago

The Great Lightbulb Conspiracy

Casandro Well yes you can prolong the life of a light blub, (602 comments)

but this would mean it's efficiency would drop. If you make the filament thicker it won't get as hot and it'll last longer, however since it'll be cooler even more of it's radiation will be in the infrared and therefore lost for it's purpose. So if a manufacturer was to make longer lasting light blubs, they would be considerably dimmer and redder at the same power consumption.

The reason why LED lights give out quicker than advertised is because they are more heat sensitive. If you have a light fixture designed for light bulbs, chances are they are not well designed to keep them cool. However if your LED lights get to hot for extended periods of time, they will eventually break. Plus particularly with low quality ones, you have the problem of bad external components. However those failures are typically trivial to fix.

about 3 months ago

Outlining Thin Linux

Casandro Re:min install (221 comments)

Well with systemd that probably will be a thing of the past. My guess is that for such minimalistic systems, people will go towards having their own simplified init. After all Linux is designed to allow you to have init as a shell script.

about 3 months ago

Is Google's Non-Tax Based Public School Funding Cause For Celebration?

Casandro In a working democracy it would not be (88 comments)

In a working democracy the public would be able to decide what to do with the tax money. However since in the US the democratic system is severely broken, it's not surprising parallel systems are starting to come up.

about 3 months ago

Choose Your Side On the Linux Divide

Casandro Re:I'm open to it (826 comments)

Well Apache, OpenOffice and PostgreSQL are perhaps not the prime examples of the Unix philosophy however...
Apache stores all its logs and configuration, as well as much of its data in text files. It has one function and one function only, to reply to HTTP requests.
OpenOffice isn't really Unix software, it's an office package. People following the Unix philosophy see those as a violation of it.
PostgreSQL also does one thing. It processes SQL databases... and while it's using a binary format internally, all the interfaces are text based... in fact even the backup format is text.

But let's refute Poetterling while we are there:

"If you build systemd with all configuration options enabled you will build 69 individual binaries.":
Yes, but how are the dependencies? Do they share the same huge set of bloated libraries? What will happen if, for example the DBUS library gets corrupted for some reason? How many vital libraries are there?

"Myth: systemd's fast boot-up is irrelevant for servers." He refutes that himself a few lines down: "Of course, in many server setups boot-up is indeed irrelevant"

I stopped reading there. Seriously Poetterling hasn't understood Unix, if he would he would understand that binary software is something only to be done if there's a serious reason for it.

about 4 months ago

Choose Your Side On the Linux Divide

Casandro Re:Eevolution (826 comments)

1. Ever had to use AIX, Solaris or MacOSX? Do you know why so comparatively few people use those systems by choice?

2. Well yes, it's about the opinion that systems should be working well. So far there have been few systems getting you as much "bang for the buck" as Unix. And none of those use binary data formats with C or C++.

about 4 months ago

Choose Your Side On the Linux Divide

Casandro Re:not reasonable at all (826 comments)

Well I can read a text format with cat. With a binary format I need to use special tools which may or may not be available depending on the state of brokenness. It's much more likely to get cat to run than whatever binary tool there is.

about 4 months ago

Choose Your Side On the Linux Divide

Casandro Re:not reasonable at all (826 comments)

Well standard SysV init will only fail unless there are some serious problems... like being unable to mount the root file system... in those cases it will give you a helpful message on the console.
And even if it fails, you are still typically left with /bin/sh if that can be loaded. That's good enough to diagnose and fix any SysV init problem.

The problem with systemd is that it is going back to the time when there were complex systems talking via binary interfaces. It introduces complexity without benefit. For example why does systemd have to be a binary? What advantage does that bring?

In a way systemd is the line that has to be drawn when it comes to useless bloat. People did tolerate pulseaudio and DBus to some degree, those are absolutely non essential services, but booting and logging is something essential. If your system won't boot and you won't have a decent way to fix it, you'll have a serious problem.

about 4 months ago



3rd anual Desert Bus for Hope

Casandro Casandro writes  |  about 5 years ago

Casandro (751346) writes "The guys from LoadingReadyRun are doing a fundraiser for Child's Play. They are doing so by playing the most boring unreleased game of all time, Desert Bus. You can watch them via a UStream stream and chat with them via the UStream IRC-Server. (they have a web frontend for that) More information about the game, the fundraiser and Child's Play can be found on http://www.desertbus.org/"
Link to Original Source


Casandro has no journal entries.

Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?