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Comments

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The New Science of Evolutionary Forecasting

NikeHerc Prediction is very difficult... (63 comments)

Niels Bohr famously said, "Prediction is very difficult, especially of the future." I think he was on target, even factoring in possible facetiousness.

about two weeks ago
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The World's Best Living Programmers

NikeHerc SDS/XDS Fortran IV compiler authors (285 comments)

Several of us were talking recently about the SDS/XDS Fortran IV compiler. If my memory is correct, Steve Hartman (not sure of the spelling) and Buzz O'Gard (not sure of this spelling either) were the authors. I would definitely nominate them as the best programmers, along with whoever wrote the MetaSymbol assembler.

In addition to a number of amazing features, Fortran IV had the first Easter egg I ever saw, a funny compiler message that came out if you used a GO TO JAIL statement.

about three weeks ago
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FCC Proposal To Limit Access To 5725-5850 MHz Band

NikeHerc Re:So who is behind this? (112 comments)

... on my local cable system, The Weather Channel has been replaced by the lamer WeatherNation...

There's something lamer than the Weather Channel? Hard to imagine. It was ok (exception noted below) before they tried to be the next Today show, now it's approaching worthless. I don't want endless moronic, idle chitchat, I want the weather.

Exception: whoever thought it was a good idea for the Wx Channel to broadcast all the idiotic reality crap needs to go back to the janitorial crew.

about three weeks ago
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Happy Software Developers Solve Problems Better

NikeHerc wrong dept. (121 comments)

This was from the "beatings-continued-until-morale-improved" dept. It should have been from the "tremendous-grasp-of-the-obvious" dept.

about a month ago
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IRS Recycled Lerner Hard Drive

NikeHerc jail time (682 comments)

Somebody needs to go to jail for mishandling this situation. Our government has gotten way, way out of control.

about a month ago
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A Scientist Is Growing Asparagus In Meteorites To Prepare Us For Space Farming

NikeHerc invasion (59 comments)

Why does this story bring "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0049366/) to mind?

about a month and a half ago
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NSA's Novel Claim: Our Systems Are Too Complex To Obey the Law

NikeHerc orphan (245 comments)

This reminds me of the story of the kid who murdered his parents, then threw himself on the mercy of the court because he was an orphan.

We have (or at least had) a Constitution to protect citizens from governmental abuses of this nature.

about a month and a half ago
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Become a Linux Kernel Hacker and Write Your Own Module

NikeHerc Re:GOTOs (143 comments)

rationale

The koblents.com link is an interesting read and using a goto may actually be valid inside an o.s. Having said that, after having written a significant number of tens of thousands of lines of C (most of which was outside the kernel), I still have never used a goto and I don't plan to.

about 2 months ago
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Why You Shouldn't Use Spreadsheets For Important Work

NikeHerc Re:Not "important work" (422 comments)

... "spreadsheets should not be used for work that's not suitable for spreadsheets".

I previously worked for a multi-billion dollar, multi-national company that everyone has heard of. They did the goofiest things imaginable with spreadsheets and thought they were providing us tools. It was similar to using jello to build a hundred foot tall tower.

As someone else wrote, most people who build spreadsheets have no business building spreadsheets.

I often convert the things to plain text files so I can use Unix or Linux tools such as grep, awk, less, and others.

about 2 months ago
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One-a-Day-Compiles: Good Enough For Government Work In 1983

NikeHerc not good enough (230 comments)

Good Enough For Government Work In 1983 isn't good enough, even for government work.

In the mid- to late-70s, our XDS Sigma computers (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SDS_Sigma_series) were doing everything online (unless you really wanted to do it offline for some reason). As many as 16 offline ("batch") jobs ran at one time with (in our environment) about 60 to 70 online users. And this was with one CPU and two megabytes (yes, 2MB) of memory.

People knew how to code operating systems well with few resources back in those days.

about 3 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Good Print Media Is Left?

NikeHerc Re:worth reading (285 comments)

I forgot one: Quest is an excellent magazine devoted to the history of spaceflight. Highly recommended.

about 3 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Good Print Media Is Left?

NikeHerc worth reading (285 comments)

QST, Nuts & Volts, Air & Space, maybe Circuit Cellar, although CC seems to be changing and not necessarily for the better.

Arizona Highways has, very sadly, fallen from a great height. I couldn't recommend it to new readers.

about 3 months ago
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Russia Wants To Establish a Permanent Moon Base

NikeHerc Russky moon base (313 comments)

It's better they take over the moon than even one more country!

about 3 months ago
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Zombie Plants Help To Spread Bacterial Pathogen

NikeHerc update (38 comments)

"The plant appears alive, but it's only there for the good of the pathogen."

The citizen appears alive, but it's only there for the good of the government.

FTFY.

about 4 months ago
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Fifty Years Ago IBM 'Bet the Company' On the 360 Series Mainframe

NikeHerc stack instructions? (169 comments)

The model 360 was the first machine I coded in assembler. I didn't realize until I learned assembler on a more sophisticated machine (an XDS mainframe) that the 360 didn't have stack instructions (i.e., push registers onto or pull registers off a stack).

Does anyone know whether IBM ever added push/pull instructions to their mainframes?

about 4 months ago
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Your Car Will Tell You How To Hit the Next Green Light

NikeHerc Re:Green wave (364 comments)

... red lights are staggered so that you will have to stop at every single one of them...

Around here, the traffic control idiots time lights so that you stop at every other traffic light. I've experimentally determined if you drive about 48mph in a 40mph zone, you'll rarely stop.

OTOH, cops love speeders, so this is not an optimal solution. The optimal solution is to time lights so as to present as few red lights as possible, but people in government around here are generally complete losers.

about 4 months ago

Submissions

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Lowell Observatory crowd-sources refurbishment of 24" Clark telescope

NikeHerc NikeHerc writes  |  about a year ago

NikeHerc (694644) writes "On March 13, the 158th birthday of Percival Lowell, Lowell Observatory [http://www.lowell.edu/] in Flagstaff, Arizona, announced a crowd-sourced campaign to raise $256,718.50 to refurbish the 117-year old 24" Clark telescope and its dome.

For much of its history, the Clark telescope was involved with research, beginning with Percival Lowell's perception of Martian canals and oases. V.M. Slipher's spectrographic observations through the Clark telescope in the early 20th century contributed to the discovery of the expansion of the universe.

As the "Restore The Clark" Campaign Launch [http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/restore-the-clark] notes, "In the 1960s, a team of scientists and artists used the Clark Telescope to create detailed maps of the moon in support of America's manned voyages to the moon."

Help restore the Clark!"

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