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Ask Slashdot: Are Progressive Glasses a Mistake For Computer Users?

DudeFromMars Find a good Dispensing Optician (464 comments)

I had the same issue - progressive lenses suck for reading or using a computer. Single vision reading or "computer" glasses work great. My optician (the guy who sells / makes eyeglasses) had the patience to grind a few trial lenses to get the focus distance correct. Focus distance = from my face to the computer screen. The first set, exactly per the ophthalmologist prescription did get everything in focus. Something was not quite right however, I felt a lot of eyestrain when using that set of lenses. Of course I had to pay for each set of trial lenses, but it was worth it. I used drugstore reading glasses when I was younger, and those worked fine at the time. As the years passed, my range of focus distance (accommodation) diminished, and off the shelf glasses just did not work any more. If you can find a set of drugstore "reading glasses" that get everything in focus and don't cause eyestrain, go for it. If you need a custom solution - pay the money to get it right. It is well worth it.

about three weeks ago

Ask Slashdot: Best Practices For Starting and Running a Software Shop?

DudeFromMars Misery (176 comments)

You are volunteering for a lot of misery. If you must persist, read Steve McConnel's "Rapid Development" - He lists all the normal pathologies of software development. Also read Steven Blank's "4 Steps to the Epiphany" - about the normal pathologies of the software business. The problem with reading about the mistakes everybody makes - you won't believe you will make the same mistakes. You will of course painfully repeat each mistake, guaranteed.

about 2 months ago

Ask Slashdot: Dealing With VoIP Fraud/Phishing Scams?

DudeFromMars Re:Level3? (159 comments)

Clever in it's simplicity, yet fiendish in offloading the headache and punishing someone else. Hopefully, that someone is at least partly responsible.

about 2 months ago

Ask Slashdot: When Is a Better Career Opportunity Worth a Pay Cut?

DudeFromMars Been There, Done That (263 comments)

You are under-estimating the odds of the new company failing, or the job just not working out.
Seriously, your resume should show you moving UP to better positions at bigger companies.
The kind of lateral move you are considering is just not good for your resume or career.

Take some side projects you can do with the latest and greatest technologies on evenings and weekends.
You will polish the skills on your resume, have a little fun, and make a little extra money.

about a year ago

Ask Slashdot: What Do You Do If You're Given a Broken Project?

DudeFromMars Take Control of the Situation (308 comments)

If you do not document your assessment of the code, then all the problems and cost "overruns" are going to be your fault.

You will be able to "blame the other guy" for the first handful of bugs.
After a very short period, all the bugs are your fault.

You have to be nice, but firm in your assessment of the situation.
Your boss(es) will try very hard to make you accept the project and commit to adding features fast and cheap.
If you accept that assignment on their terms, you are doomed.
If they accept your assessment and your terms (rewrite all or part) then you succeed.

about a year ago

How Good Are Charter Schools For the Public School System?

DudeFromMars Re:Public School System can DiaF. (715 comments)

Your view of Texas may need some updating. I pay over $6,000 per year in property tax - and something like 80% of that is collected directly by our school district. We have great schools here in Round Rock. It is THE reason we moved here from California.

1 year,14 days

Wireless Charging Start-Up Claims 30-Foot Radius

DudeFromMars Smells like a stock scam (242 comments)

The physics of this just can't work.
His 30 foot radius = 60 foot diameter sphere the power is broadcast to.
If you can pick up enough power on the surface of that 60 foot diameter sphere to replace a AAA battery, it would be a death ray at close range.

about a year ago

Ask Slashdot: How To Make a DVD-Rental Store More Relevant?

DudeFromMars Postal Return & Drive Thru (547 comments)

Free postal return envelopes would help.
Drive-thru returns would help.
Browsing and renting online would help.
Maybe even a drive-through pickup for online rentals.

If there is a drive-thru fast food in the parking lot, it can be a two-fer
Make a deal with the fast food joint to let online rentals be picked up from their drive-thru window.

The reason I won't rent DVDs any more isn't that I can't find a movie in the store, or enjoy it.

It is the hassle of returning the DVD and late fees and all that.

more than 2 years ago

Can Anyone Become a Programmer?

DudeFromMars Like Algebra 1 (767 comments)

Less than half the kids in high school can grasp algebra 1. There is nothing you can do to make them "get it" - their brain either works that way, or it doesn't. Algebra, Geometry, and Programming seem self-evident to me. On the other hand, I can't draw, and dropped out of English 101 on six separate occasions. Metaphors, similes and analyzing literature are just a ridiculous to me - that stuff makes no sense at all.

more than 2 years ago

Ask Slashdot: Getting Feedback On Programming?

DudeFromMars Read Books, then Criticize (196 comments)

Code Complete by Steve McConnell
Refactoring: Improving the Design of Existing Code by Kent Beck, Martin Fowler and Akira Hirasawa

Get a colleague to read books and then criticize each other's code.
It gets amazing results.

I had the same problem, no senior level programmers to teach the craft. We had once per week lunch meetings and had one programmer show his work, and the others criticize. Our code became much clearer and our bug counts went way down.
Good Luck!

more than 2 years ago

Ask Slashdot: Handing Over Personal Work Without Compensation?

DudeFromMars Crappy Code (848 comments)

You wrote a program "way above your pay grade."
It has no user input.
It has no design or review from senior programmers.
It has no testing.

And your little jewel is so precious that you want to extort your company that has no budget?

about 3 years ago

US Senator Proposes Bill To Eliminate Overtime For IT Workers

DudeFromMars Less US Jobs under Present "System" (1167 comments)

I own a small IT outsourcing shop.
Work comes in a trickle or a deluge, no in-between.
There will be overtime hours worked, it is the nature the beast.

It is a competitive business, I cannot put in higher bids and expect to get any business.

Since each hour of US overtime would be a large loss to me, I just cannot afford to do it. I will not do it.

I was using two solutions to this:
1. US coders working on Salary + Bonus, where working more = more bonus.
2. Offshore coders on straight hourly wages.

The recession hit, and I could not afford the high base salaries for the US guys.
I laid off 8 US coders - after exhausting the business accounts and my personal savings.
I still have the offshore guys. They stuck with me even though their hours went in half.

Business has picked up, but I have not hired any more US coders.
I would love to hire more guys in the US.

I have not managed to afford to get health insurance for my family yet - next year looks good for getting that going again.
Obamacare gives me nightmares: Absolute requirement to provide unaffordable care for US workers.
Mandatory overtime bonus pay = too risky to depend on US workers for projects with low profitablity - and this economy is only producing low profitability projects so far.

The answer to all these problems is to go make more money and not assume any more risk.
And that means not hiring any US coders, although I would really love to do that.

more than 3 years ago

Scott Adams Proposes a Fourth Branch of Government

DudeFromMars The old system is fine, er wait... (341 comments)

Well, it would be fine if we actually followed it.
Our government was designed to be limited, and citizen juries are designed to be a check and balance against tyrannical laws.

The career politicians have slipped free from the enumerated powers and the 10th amendment.
No laws were changed, they just found the system to limiting, so reinterpreted it.
Citizen juries are told they cannot judge laws -- and this is the sole purpose of citizen juries - consent of the governed.

We have a sweet little system, too bad the insiders have stolen it from us.
There are no public servants - we are all servants to the public sector.
It was not supposed to be like this...

more than 3 years ago

Crowdfund a Moon Monolith Mission?

DudeFromMars Let's Do It! (199 comments)

I got my $100 right here!

about 4 years ago

Desktop Linux Is Dead

DudeFromMars Android? (1348 comments)

A front door assault on Windows is not getting anywhere.
Android is proving wildly popular for phones.
If Android can prove as popular for tablets.
If Tablets can make laptops obsolete
If both those things happen, then Android could get somewhere.
It will take a platform shift to displace Windows as King of the Hill.

more than 4 years ago

Old People Enjoy Reading Negative Stories About Young

DudeFromMars Re:Explains why old ppl vote Republican... (122 comments)

Perhaps the "old people" see past the rhetoric about "saving the planet" or "helping the needy"
Perhaps the "old people" see that politicians are douchebags who buy votes using other peoples money.
Perhaps the "old people" see that politicians give YOUR money to bureaucrats and unions where 80% is wasted before making it to the "worthy" cause.
Perhaps the "old people" see that when the money finally gets to the "worthy cause" the recipients spend it wastefully, because it is "OPM" ("Other People's Money")

Perhaps the "old people" are just mean when they believe politicians are only after money and power.

Perhaps the "old people" are right.


more than 4 years ago

Chicken Feathers May Hold Key To Hydrogen Storage

DudeFromMars Crazier than Bat Shit (318 comments)

Oh! Wait, I wonder if bat droppings would work?

more than 4 years ago

Microchips That Shook the World

DudeFromMars Bender? is that you? (185 comments)

If the 6502 was good enough for Bender, why did they bother with anything else?

more than 5 years ago

How Best To Deal With WiFi Interference?

DudeFromMars Re:Solution (451 comments)

And how many people have fish tape, really.

Most of us just use duct tape when we need to repair a fish.

about 6 years ago


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