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C Beats Java As Number One Language According To TIOBE Index

John Bresnahan Re:C? (535 comments)

Labeling a C function "static" makes it invisible outside of the source file, and uncallable from anywhere else in the program.

That's how we C programmers practiced encapsulation way back in the '70s.

about 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: How Can I Explain To a Coworker That He Writes Bad Code?

John Bresnahan Re:How long... (683 comments)

This!

I had the exact same experience early in my career. The senior programmer just smiled and let me work it out for myself.

about 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Typing Advice For a Guinness World Record Attempt?

John Bresnahan Re:David Letterman (307 comments)

Presumably, the typist didn't even notice the gag until after she finished typing. Not having to look at the output (or the keyboard) is a major advantage of touch typing, as opposed to hunting-and-pecking, no matter how fast one can hunt and peck.

about 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Typing Advice For a Guinness World Record Attempt?

John Bresnahan Re:Mechanical Keyboard (307 comments)

I loved my old Model-M keyboard, but IBM made one that I liked even better. It was the keyboard for a block-mode terminal for an old System/34 system I used in school. The keyboard was essentially the same one used on the Selectric typewriter, and with the power off, it felt terrible. However, with the power on, a solenoid in the keyboard case would bang the case with each keystroke, simulating the effect of the typing ball in the Selectric.

Having the physical feedback (*BANG*) made the keyboard a delight to use. Of course, it was even noisier than the Model-M (which is the chief complaint of those sitting near a happy Model-M user).

about 2 years ago
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Microsoft Urges Businesses To Get Off XP

John Bresnahan Re:Won't happen (727 comments)

Tried the VM approach with a materials stress testing machine. Didn't work out too well. It's software that can only run on XP with an RS232 port to access test results. To say this specific vertical hardware/software solution is expensive would be an understatement.

I'm not sure why this would be a problem. I helped move a SCO Unix-based legacy system to Windows, while running the legacy system in a VMware virtual machine. One of the major reasons to do this was because VMware allowed us to make USB- and Network-based peripherals look like legacy parallel and serial ports. The last I heard, the system was being used in over 14,000 locations.

BTW, did you know you can map parallel and serial ports in a VMware virtual machine to named pipes?

about 2 years ago
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Windows RT vs. Windows 8 Could Burn Consumers

John Bresnahan Re:I never expected my iPad to run OSX application (297 comments)

Just as everyone who buys a current "Windows 7" phone will soon discover that they are totally obsolete. 2012 is not a good year to be buying new Microsoft devices.

about 2 years ago
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Windows RT vs. Windows 8 Could Burn Consumers

John Bresnahan Re:I never expected my iPad to run OSX application (297 comments)

I can't think of anyone I know who would assume that Windows 8 won't run everything that Windows 7 runs.

I've been warning people away from Windows 8 (in any form) for the time being, until it becomes clear how big a mess this is going to be.

about 2 years ago
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OpenOffice Is Now, Officially, Apache OpenOffice

John Bresnahan Re:The problem with FOSS office suites (266 comments)

OTOH, I have "saved" several Word/Excel documents that had become too corrupted to be used in Microsoft Office. All I had to do was load them in OpenOffice and then save them with a different name, and they suddenly worked again in MS Office.

about 2 years ago
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FCC To Allow Cable Companies To Encrypt Over-the-Air Channels

John Bresnahan An Antenna... (376 comments)

will also work for many people. I recently cut my cable TV service when I realized that almost everything I was actually watching was programming being broadcast over-the-air. A $50 antenna and I'm all set

about 2 years ago
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Why Ultrabooks Are Falling Well Short of Intel's Targets

John Bresnahan Re:Tiny hard disk, limited RAM (513 comments)

Most users doing most end user stuff prefer using iPads instead. Who is the target audience for Ultrabooks?

That would be people who actually create content and who want to be able to conveniently use their work machine wherever they are (including places like airplanes).

FWIW, I have a 2011 Macbook Air, and the 4GB of Ram and 256MB of SSD are sufficient for me to run everything I want, including Win7 in a VM. My last machine was a 2009 Macbook Pro, and that had twice the RAM and disk space, but I found I didn't really need the extra storage, and the combination of faster CPU and much faster "disk" makes the new, lower-spec Air run (or at least seem to run) faster and better than my old laptop.

about 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Best Protection Plan For Your Phone?

John Bresnahan Re:The best plan (225 comments)

The same argument could be used to argue against getting health insurance, life insurance, auto insurance, homeowner's insurance, etc. Sometimes, the cost of misfortune is far higher than the cost of protecting against misfortune.

more than 2 years ago
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BBC Radiophonic Workshop Revived Online

John Bresnahan THGTTG, hurray! (32 comments)

Amazingly, most of the Hitchhiker's Guide fans I know have never heard the original radio production. Many of them didn't even know that it was a radio production first.

more than 2 years ago
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Fujitsu Building Robot To Pass Math Exams

John Bresnahan My dog ate my math exam... (75 comments)

My dog ate my math exam, and later passed it. Thank you! I'm here all week!

more than 2 years ago
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Recent Apple Java Update Doesn't Fix Critical Java Flaw Claims Researcher

John Bresnahan Re:Java blows (102 comments)

FlightGear is a multi-platform (Windows, OS/X, Linux) flight simulator written in C++ and QT. Seems to work well enough for them.

more than 2 years ago
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Recent Apple Java Update Doesn't Fix Critical Java Flaw Claims Researcher

John Bresnahan Re:Java blows (102 comments)

FlightGear is a multi-platform (Windows, OS/X, Linux) written in C++ and QT. Seems to work well enough for them.

more than 2 years ago
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Bring On the Decentralized Social Networking

John Bresnahan I'd be happy to use this, but... (238 comments)

First you have to convince my family to switch to it, because the only reason I'm on Facebook is because that's how my family members (non-geeks) communicate these days.

But, before that, you'll have to convince everyone who is friends with anyone in my family to switch. And, you'll have to apply this recursively until you've switched everyone in the world.

Oh, and you'll have to add stupid games, because that's why my family and their friends are on Facebook.

But as soon as you do that, count me in!

more than 2 years ago
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Taking Telecommuting To the Next Level - the RV

John Bresnahan Re:Non-Internet issues (365 comments)

It amazes me that so many people apparently can't imagine that one would use an RV to travel someplace other than a remote National Park or the middle of a desert, especially when full-timing

Yes, if you set up camp in the middle of nowhere (and I would consider National Parks "the middle of nowhere" when it comes to working) you may have problems. For the 99% of reasonable destinations, there will be cell phone service.

more than 2 years ago
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Taking Telecommuting To the Next Level - the RV

John Bresnahan Re:Non-Internet issues (365 comments)

And so we circle right back around to what I originally said - you obviously don't spend much time outside of built up urban areas if you believe that. If for no other reason than there's an awful lot of empty places you're going to travel through to get to those places "other people also like to see".

I guess if you're trying to work while driving, that will be a real problem. I was assuming that the original poster would be working at various destinations. I suspect most destinations (unless you're trying to get away from everything) has some sort of Internet accessibility. And, if you really are trying to get away from everything, then you presumably wouldn't care about Internet accessibility.

more than 2 years ago
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Taking Telecommuting To the Next Level - the RV

John Bresnahan Re:Non-Internet issues (365 comments)

Methinks you don't actually spend any time outside of built-up urban areas.

My Mother lives on the fringe of cellular service (you cell phone might work if you stand in the yard face the right direction).

Certainly there are large areas without coverage. But those are, by definition, area without anything to attract a significant number of people. I guess it depends on what the original poster is trying to accomplish. If (s)he is trying to get as far away from humanity as possible, then satellite may be the only practical solution. However, if the goal is to travel around the country and see things that other people also like to see, then cell phone service shouldn't be much of a problem.

more than 2 years ago

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