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Ask Slashdot: What Tech Products Were Built To Last?

Kaldaien Re:HP48g (702 comments)

I made the mistake of buying a Ti-89 in the 90s... I liked its higher resolution screen but because it had a symbolic algebra solver it was not allowed on the SATs so I had to do the SATs without a calculator.

Later, when I took the GREs and they didn't allow a calculator of any sort I felt vindicated :P

The SATs are a total joke. They have been trying to make them more GRE-like, but I don't think they'll ever be able to get to the point where they expect High School students to do simple arithmetic without a calculator. That is a skill I picked up in college, as funny as that sounds. It's something you're supposed to learn in elementary school, but because of the prevalence of calculators it doesn't take long before students (myself included) simply forget from lack of actual practice.

As for not being different from a modern Ti calculator, I beg to differ on that one. Have you seen the Ti NSpire? They're color now and finally TI solved the issue of symbolic algebra by selling two versions - one with the feature and one without.

about 5 months ago
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Blizzard's Unannounced 'Titan' MMO Rebooted, Development Team Reduced

Kaldaien Blizzard was making a new game? (193 comments)

Just goes to show how irrelevant this company is. They have supposedly been developing this project since 2007, and this is the first I have ever heard of it. Hopefully they restarted the project to increase the difficulty and implement a system to prevent children (mentally) from speaking their racist garbage.

EQ Next has started over 2 or 3 times already, it is refreshing to see that Blizzard is having the same trouble even if their project has flown well under the radar.

about a year ago
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A Commencement Speech For 2013 CS Majors

Kaldaien Re: and the same people think CS = IT work (144 comments)

You're not getting it. Computer Science is meant to be the foundation of later specialization in graduate school. However, so many people stop at a B.Sc. in CS that now many schools have begun offering Software Engineering as an undergraduate degree program.

about a year ago
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A Commencement Speech For 2013 CS Majors

Kaldaien Re:$130k a year?! (144 comments)

Wow, for a thread about higher education, this has devolved into grade school antics.

Seriously though, it would be wise to wait until you have (if ever) a well-paying job before starting such a large family. If you have no interest in high-paying work, then the obvious solution would be not to start a family you cannot afford to support. I know it sounds cold, but the harsh reality is people overestimate their earnings potential and it leads to bad things in the future. Look at the housing crisis, there is blame to spread among all parties involved, but part of the problem was people buying into houses they honestly could not afford and banks knowingly allowing this.

I have no plans to ever pursue a high paying job, I like research and I am happy living a lower quality of life than my more money conscious peers.

about a year ago
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A Commencement Speech For 2013 CS Majors

Kaldaien Re:$130k a year?! (144 comments)

I don't know about you, but I don't consider housing a luxury.

about a year ago
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A Commencement Speech For 2013 CS Majors

Kaldaien Re:$130k a year?! (144 comments)

I have most certainly. Nobody really needs luxuries like cable, cell phones, etc... If you live within your means, it is very easy. In fact, I do not own a cell phone to this day. Once upon a time, people realized what was a luxury, and what was really necessary to support oneself. Those days are over, it seems :-\

about a year ago
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A Commencement Speech For 2013 CS Majors

Kaldaien Re:and the same people think CS = IT work (144 comments)

and the same people think CS = IT work

now CS is more on the programming side.

This is precisely what I have been saying for years. Computer Science is mistaken for software engineering or worse still, IT. It is a general study that should focus on theory, and form the foundation for either continued theoretical work or later specialization. It used to be that software engineering was an advanced degree program for CS graduates, but now you can even major in it at the undergraduate level. With this change, you would *think* that the industry would finally realize the two are not the same.

about a year ago
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A Commencement Speech For 2013 CS Majors

Kaldaien Re: research and theory = a poor setting to learn (144 comments)

research and theory = a poor setting to learn job skills and people in that setting may just do the min to pass and you can really see that in the filler and fluff classes.

I don't know how many times I can stress this. Computer Science is not supposed to teach trade skills, there are specialized programs such as software engineering for that purpose. At my school, many of the students who could not hack theory quickly dropped out of computer science and enrolled in either information systems or software engineering; the way it should be.

about a year ago
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A Commencement Speech For 2013 CS Majors

Kaldaien Re:true... true (144 comments)

I've been an IT professional since '95. Unix admin / DBA / network admin / SAN admin / Release Engineer / etc. etc. This advice really speaks to my career.

I have to wonder why, or even how, this was tailored specifically to computer science, though. Many of these statements are true of software engineering, and IT in general, but computer science is a theoretical field. So many of the things mentioned in this commencement really do not apply to someone who studied computer science to do research. We get the lowest salaries by far, which is made especially sad by the additional time spent in academia pursuant to an advanced degree, and definitely are not at risk of being replaced by slackers or under-paid Indians or Chinese 5 years down the road.

about a year ago
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A Commencement Speech For 2013 CS Majors

Kaldaien Re:$130k a year?! (144 comments)

People working on minimum wage can afford to support themselves and pay rent. Someone with a degree in Computer Science ought to be smart enough to do the same with a salary based job, and to live within their means; otherwise, I sort of doubt the legitimacy of their degree :P

about a year ago
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A Commencement Speech For 2013 CS Majors

Kaldaien Re:$130k a year?! (144 comments)

Also, you may find that unchallenging implies uninteresting. So, unless you want to be bored, you probably can't avoid challenge.

Which is why so many academics wind up staying in academia. It's not just those who "can't do" that teach, but those who find what the job market wants them to do uninteresting. Fortunately, I have a career in Computer Grahpics, which is challenging but ultimately does not pay as well as many generic software engineering jobs. I will never strike it rich, but at least I am doing something that I love.

about a year ago
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A Commencement Speech For 2013 CS Majors

Kaldaien Re:and schools need to be more trades / tech schoo (144 comments)

I don't know that I'd say that. Honestly, software engineering broke off from computer science for precisely that reason. I would like to see CS curriculum stay theoretical, and leave the implementation to software engineering degree programs.

So many schools these days are dropping CS altogether and replacing it with software engineering, I would have to say that what you're asking for is effectively already happening.

about a year ago
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A Commencement Speech For 2013 CS Majors

Kaldaien Re:Goes along with my poll: (144 comments)

I definitely saw that in my undergraduate experience. I'd say a good 90% of my peers never went the extra mile on anything; if it wasn't going to be on an exam, you can bet they wouldn't bother studying it. When it came time to collaborate with them on projects, all they did was drag the serious students down. It was so frustrating by the time I graduated, but fortunately I had a really nice professor who worked with me to publish two papers on my independent study.

I really hope the slackers don't wind up with these mythical $130k a year jobs. I know I'll never be in a position to earn that much, because I'm more interested in research and theory. Which, to be honest, is what CS should really be about - these generic programming jobs are more or less software engineering, which has its own curriculum.

about a year ago
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A Commencement Speech For 2013 CS Majors

Kaldaien $130k a year?! (144 comments)

That's ridiculous. None of the jobs that interest me offer anything near that much, even for senior management. I guess he is silently implying that you find a job that will bore the hell out of you but pay well.

I'm not buying that, as a summa cum laude graduate, I want a job that challenges me. I could have settled for software engineering or even some mickey mouse IT degree if I cared about salary. Honestly, I think computer science is too lumped in with software engineering these days.

about a year ago
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ARM In Supercomputers — 'Get Ready For the Change'

Kaldaien Re:Not buying it. (238 comments)

Yeah, it's definitely not the norm at the moment. However, GPGPU is gaining traction very fast.

It really comes down to the application, algorithms still have to be re-tooled to function optimally on stream processor architectures, and the languages that have cropped up around the new hardware (e.g. CUDA / OpenCL) introduce challenges to legacy software as well. Some applications will never benefit from billions of simple simultaneous threads, as much as they would fewer, more capable hardware threads.

We'll probably see a mix of all three architectures in the coming years. You have the pick the right tool for the job, and the jobs are just as diverse as the hardware we're discussing.

about a year ago
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Ask Slashdot: Is the Bar Being Lowered At Universities?

Kaldaien Blessing in disguise (605 comments)

I had two papers published during my undergraduate years because my writing was head and shoulders above every other student in my department. Granted, I also put more work into my research than anyone else, but the deciding factor that made the head of the department eager to publish undergraduate research was the clarity of my writing. Needless to say, when it came time to apply to graduate school, having two papers published as an undergraduate was one hell of a plus.

At the graduate level, thankfully, the story is a little bit different. The SATs did not always have an essay section, but the GREs have had them for as long as I can remember. Multiple choice tests, even as sophisticated as the GREs and SATs are, do not give an indication of a student's ability to organize their OWN original thoughts. It always struck me odd that the SATs did not include any sort of writing when I took them.

In any case, the quality of students at the undergraduate level is really to blame here. By the time you get to graduate school, academia filters out most of the dumbasses (except in the case of basket weaving and MBA programs).

about a year and a half ago
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GNU Hurd To Develop SATA, USB, Audio Support

Kaldaien Re:HURD not founded in 1983 by RMS (274 comments)

By work started on the operating system, he is referring to the user-land side of things. Basically, most of the command line stuff that you interact with in an implementation of GNU/Linux. GNU is basically user-land, and Linux is kernel-land. The marriage of the two gives you the most widely used Linux desktop platform.

about a year and a half ago
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GNU Hurd To Develop SATA, USB, Audio Support

Kaldaien Re:Why should I bother? (274 comments)

OS X has a hybrid micro kernel, that mostly powers a desktop platform (true server implementations exist). I did a year's worth of research on kernel-level memory allocation in the context of real-time systems, and OS X's kernel design surprisingly came out head and shoulders above Linux and (not surprisingly) Win32 and in many scenarios, better than specialized kernels such as VxWorks.

Unfortunately I never had a chance to extend my research to QNX, which has a true microkernel. But microkernel performance penalties are largely overrated, and desktop platforms that have adopted the design have found clever ways around the issue :)

about a year and a half ago
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Xbox 720 Could Require Always-On Connection, Lock Out Used Games

Kaldaien Re:Replacement console?? (592 comments)

If it is anything like the current 360 architecture, the content is actually licensed partially to the storage medium, partly to the console and partly to the Live account.

You can do license transfers between 2 of the 3 online and using a device to transfer files between drives, but I do not think transferring between Live accounts will ever see the light of day :)

You wind up having to re-download / rip most software after installing a new hard drive and migrating previously installed games to satisfy the license system that is ALREADY in place. They definitely have a better solution to replacing hardware than Nintendo, which requires you to send your old Wii / Wii-U back to the factory to transfer software licenses :)

about a year and a half ago
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Xbox 720 Could Require Always-On Connection, Lock Out Used Games

Kaldaien Re:Always on = !on (592 comments)

Yeah, the game will play but it will force you to disconnect from Xbox Live the entire time you play it. I do not do this often, since 360 game updates are MUCH smaller than PS3 updates and download in a matter of seconds usually. You can even continue to earn achievements while playing an un-patched game.

I think the disconnection from Xbox Live mechanism is just an anti-cheating system, which is silly for games that do not even use online services :)

about a year and a half ago

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