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Ask Slashdot: Finding a Job After Completing Computer Science Ph.D?

Qbertino The air is thin for PhDs (329 comments)

That reads both ways:
a) You've gotten the highest formal accreditation anyone in the field can have. That means you're able to get into jobs that others can't.
b) The flipside is, that, all-in-all, those jobs are wide and far between, at least on global scale.

Think of the PhD as the last cog to get the machine working. The other cogs still have to be there. You have to move in to an area where PhDs are sought after and where they have their place. The webshop in a 30000 people town is not where you want to put your rank to use - you have to leave that "comfort-zone" behind. If you haven't built a network yet, you better get starting now. Or maybe you *have* built a network, but aren't aware of it. What are your college buddies doing? Is there no vector there to get into a field?

Mix the C++ experience in when pointing out your PhD. I all honesty, you'd be stupid if you don't combine your pratical C++ skills with your academic PhD-stuff from here on out. There is tons of neat stuff all over the planet. Scientific work, embedded, big data, financial (obscene amounts of money to be made in those last two).

And if you don't know what you want to do and where you want to do it, go apply for an internship at Google or some other famous scary company. No joke. Go there. Who knows, maybe you're a team-lead in 6 months on some new Android lib they're cooking up. If they ask you why you want to intern with a PhD, say you don't know what you want but you'd like to find out. That's how I got my job in the gaming industry. I had my back against the wall and started applying for jobs all over the country. BAM - 4 weeks later inet gamedev paradise with a very neat project that went on for two years and was specifically designed to burn massive sums of money. Or at least so it felt. The reference I got out of that job is worth a masters degree and serves me till this very day.

Or maybe you want to get more into algorythms and DB stuff - go find a company or scientific project that deals with such problems and ask to join - if only as an intern for a few weeks.

And someone else pointed it out already too:
Get a professional company to write your resume and a recruiter or an agent to help you find a job. That, or just call and ask to talk to the PM of the job for hire because you "want to find out if it makes sense to apply". Your application will most likely end up in the stack or bin with all the others, only it will be on top, because your a PhD. ... People want to see and talk to the people they're supposed to work with - that goes especially if your not a designated expert in a field.

And last but not least - if you are an expert or want to become one, there's another two options:
Freelance or own company. Think about it.

Good luck.

3 hours ago
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Why You Can't Manufacture Like Apple

Qbertino HTC seemed to manage (396 comments)

HTC seemed to manage just fine building devices of the quality of Apple or even better. I've dropped my 3.5 year old HTC Desire (solid aluminum body) more times than I can count and it still works as it did the first day. My first tablet - an HTC Flyer, case by apparently the same design team - serves my every day aswell.

I've seen and held my share of iPhones, and IMHO HTCs devices are better.

As far as enclosures go, I'd even say the new iPhone 6 ripps one or two things from the HTC One M8.

3 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: How To Avoid Becoming a Complacent Software Developer?

Qbertino My passion is as high as always ... (274 comments)

My passion is as high as always, only the world has changed and I've become wiser. Mind you, I've still broken my personal record in job-switching in the last 2 years, despite being in my mid-40ies. If anything, with age I've become *more* nimble but less anoyingly eager - at least on the outside.

Here's some advice:
1.) Switch your job. Don't worry, you'll live. And if only it is to find out that you had the best job in the world. Ok them, *now* you know. Look for the next one like that. Sometimes a bit of jobhopping is required to find out what you want and what you don't want. Pratice job-hopping and interviewing. Not to make it a habit, but to get used to looking until you've found a place where you are valued. Going freelance is a variant to that. If you're scared of going freelance even though you'd like to: Go freelance! Again: You'll live. And you'll never look back at your old life with anything other than pitty.

2.) More experienced people in our field - like me - would rather do nothing than work with a shitty team unwilling to learn or toil away on something that can't work or only will work with extreme stress and effort, because someone in sales or PM wasn't listening and didn't do his homework. Contrary to my younger colleagues, I, like most other experienced in our field, smell a projekt doomed to fail from 10 miles away. They might think I'm not passionate or that I'm complacent. Until three weeks later they've wasted 50hrs trying to get something to work that simply can't under the given circumstances. When the project finally runs against the wall and the crew and the problem has everyones attention, the boss turns to me. I say: "We need A,B and C. Otherwise this won't work. End of Story." Optionally, depending on the situation, I add in ".... As I said 3 months ago.". Sidenote: I allways *did* say it 3 months ago, but sometimes it's wiser not to rub it in. Also a thing experieced devs have learned.

Then we get what we need - which usually is simply a phone number of someone who we need to talk to and the mandate to do freely as we will, as long it stays within budget and solves the problem. Then I fix the problem by working a few hours of overtime - which I do gladly, because I, at this point, don't have to deal with any bullshit and I feel like getting something done. Just happened again yesterday, btw. Stayed till half past eight and did all the scaffolding and on monday morning finally everybody is going to hush and listen how we're going to do the last fixes.

3.) There's life beyond computers. I ditched my internet connection at home. Capped mobile data and Inet caffees are enough for regular E-Mail or getting your surfing fix inbetween. I've got enough of that at work, and I try not to spend 12 hours at the keyboard each day as I used to. It's lost its exitement. Mind you, I still pick up new stuff each day and make technology decisions 5 times a week at a minimum - but I've gotten way better and faster at dropping ideas. I try not to run in circles on the web anymore. I'm slowly building my Idea Immune System, and try to avoid getting all worked up within minutes about every new tech-fad that comes along. I've also got other things to do before I grow old. When my joints start aching, then I can go back to surfing and trying new web-toolkits 24/7, until then I want to get better at things I'm not that good at yet. Meeting women, cooking (moving away from fast-food), martial arts, exercising, traveling, dancing and perhaps even going back to playing guitar.

You should think about stuff like that too.

My general advice on this is:
You should at least have one regular thing in your life that fulfills you with deep inner satisfaction that has nothing to do with your job or other parts of your life. That can be a religion, any form or art or some outdoor activity or something along those lines. It should be that you can say to yourself: OK, even if I lose my job tomorrow, go broke, have my wife running away and my house burn to the ground, there's still that thing I can do that is fun and gives my life true meaning.

Hope I could help.
Good luck.

3 days ago
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Slashdot Asks: What's In Your Home Datacenter?

Qbertino What's the point? (284 comments)

What's the point? Eat's power, wastes my time, is noisy, etc.

I've got two 1TB USB HDDs for archive and longterm storage (USB powered, to avoid the hassle with powerbricks) and I regularly archive to one of those and then arsync to the other twice a year or so, so they're basically manually mirrored. I've got three smaller Timemachine/Incremental Backup drives (again USB, USB powered) for sequential backup and disaster recovery, should one of my laptops (MB Air & Lenovo Linux Thinkpad) or my Mac Mini crash its HDD/SDD.

I do not have a landline internet connection, but that's a different story. I find I use my time more usefully. I've got plenty of broadband at work and at Starbucks or Tenten. For private Inet sessions I go there for a few hours saturdays or sundays. When I'm of the grid I hang out with my daughter and her mom, go dancing, meet with friends or read a nice book. So no need for fiddling with oversized hardware on that side either.

4 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: Remote Support For Disconnected, Computer-Illiterate Relatives

Qbertino Chromebook. Problem solved. (334 comments)

That's easy: Chromebook.

Looks flashy, neat little apps, apple style all around but without the premium costs, impervious to any malware not sanctioned by Google, starts in seconds and they'd have to put in a real expert effort to screw things up. And no hard feelings about having Google take care of them, since all Princes of Nigeria allready have their contacts, so this Problem can't get any worse anyway.

Set up their account and put the access data in an envelope for them and keep them handy for your self, so you can log on their account and clean up if things get messy or they want something deleted and are to overwelmed to handle it.

Unless, of course, their connection is too flaky for Chrome OS to be useful. Then you're screwed. Fiddling with custom Linux and all that stuff you mentioned would be to much of a hassle IMHO.

5 days ago
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Industry-Based ToDo Alliance Wants To Guide FOSS Development

Qbertino More releases? No problem. (54 comments)

Only some manager falling for some marketing thing would think more releases means better software. I can give them releases of my new FOSS TotallyUseless.exe/TotallyUseless.bin Programm - 3 times a day, no problem. 100$ per hour and you can have bucketloads of releases.

about a week ago
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Why Apple Should Open-Source Swift -- But Won't

Qbertino What I like ... errrm, respect about Apples Swift (182 comments)

What I respect about Apples Swift (not to be mistaken for the other PL Swift) is that it/Apple doesn't claim Swift to be anything other than it actually is. An improvement on PLs already exisiting in Apples Ecosystem tailored *specifically* for developing in that ecosystem, catering to the preferences and addressing the pet peeves of their developer community. AFAICT with no downsides and measurable upsides if you intend to develop native iOS Apps exclusively.

*This* all IMHO is a new lock-in PL done right - as far as you can do those right.
contrary to all the lies, damn lies and hideous marketing bullshit that went into the .Net/C# mess.

Apple did it right again in the way that they actually let the engineers take care of the language, the designers layout a nice free iBook on it and basically kept marketing out of it. ... Not that Apples marketing is really that bad.

If I ever do native iOS development and embrace the golden cage, I might even look into it - the syntax does look less scary than that of the classic C family.

My 2 cents.

about a week ago
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Why Atheists Need Captain Kirk

Qbertino Bullshit. (922 comments)

WTF is this? Religious people not just claiming a factually facist souverenity of all things moral but now also claiming the same about passion, poetry and emotion? WTF, dudes?

Just because I believe in science and reason, in the scientific method and in moral values by what Dawkins calls "intelligent design" - i.e. debating, weighing and reasoning - doesn't mean I'm not passionate. I have a diploma in performing arts, love poetry and music, am pratically addicted to dancing tango (i.e. holding hot cuties in my arms while moving to passionate music ... you'd get addicted too, trust me ...) and indulge in stoic philosophy and mysticisim and enjoy studiing and debating religious philosophy and architecture.

I just don't like some religious facist telling me - or anybody else for that matter - what they are supposed to believe, think, advocate, pray, meditate, celebrate or otherwise do due to some invisible dictator in the sky or some ancient bronce-age myth written in a book most people are to dumb to interpret correctly anyway! Or telling others that they will burn in hell if they don't chop of certain parts of their penis or will go to heaven if they wear certain clothes of blow themselves up with some unbelievers!

If anything I'd say that my likes - I like to call them 'free thinkers' - are *more* passionate about most things than 'religious' people, who simply have found a sad and sorry reason to turn off their brains when it comes to difficult questions.

I'm starting to believe we need a more outspoken movement for reason and gotta go out into the street standing right next to the Salafist handing out free Qurans and the J-Wittnesses with their watchtowers and hand out free copies of Hitchens' 'God is not great' and copies of Seneca and Spinoza.

Religious factions made up of losers are starting to claim to much space in public attention, imho. This is getting out of hand and needs a little counter-action, don't you think?

about two weeks ago
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The MOOC Revolution That Wasn't

Qbertino And yet, AnimationMentor.com is doing well (182 comments)

Yet animationmentor.com works just fine. Why? They offer specific training to a specific field, they teach all around the world, they have scheduled online classes using videochat technology, a tight curriculum with deadlines, they have scheduled mentor sessions with the best exerts in the field and they have anual student meetups and regional group meetups.

What's the lesson?
Don't just throw a bunch of material online and expect magic to happen. You have to take care of your courses and student either way. The only thing that's different is that you can save considerable operation costs on buildings, facilities ans such and can inlcude students from all around the planet without them having to relocate to your school.

My 2 cents.

about two weeks ago
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Apple Announces Smartwatch, Bigger iPhones, Mobile Payments

Qbertino Apple is solidifing their fashion brand appeal. (730 comments)

Apple is solidifing their fashion brand appeal, no doubt about it. This is their single largest feat within the last 1,5 decades: They've managed to become the only tech company in the world that factually is a fashion brand in broad perception and a tech brand with a professional reputation. Brilliant, that's what.

Sad thing they've been pissing of us opinion leaders with golden cages and lock-in in recent years. I just bought my first non-apple device in 8 years - a refurbished Lenovo ThinkPad. Couldn't say I'd by an Apple computer again. They're still good, Maveriks, hw integration and all, but having to sigh up just to get the FOSS compilers and all just doesn't scrub the right way with me.

My 2 cents.

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Are the Strangest Features of Various Programming Languages?

Qbertino Perl, PHP, Lingo, Transcript, TypoScript, Lisp (729 comments)

Perl is pretty bizar in a hilarious sort of way - almost every aspect of it. PHP, being Perls former template engine, sheds most of that just to add in it's own featureset from wonderland. Both get the job done, PHP a little more so.

Coulnd't say that for Lingo though. As far as regular usage PLs go, Lingo is about as shitty as it gets. 'Please' is an actual Lingo keyword - with no effect other than to make the sourcecode more polite. No joke. And seriously - that is not even its crappiest feature. If you want to kill braincells and a mixture of crystal meth and crack isn't fast enough, check out Lingo. Gladly it's basically gone extinct since the demise of Director, its platform.

Transcript is simular to lingo, without the outlandish crappyness - but still pretty bizar.

TypoScript is Typo3s configuration language. Think of a total programmer n00b learning just enough PHP4 to do turing complete stuff then inmediately trying to implement Basic for his CMS with it and failing one 3rd it but keeping the ruins as main means of configuration. Typoscript is what happens when a guy who can't programm takes psychoactive drugs and then takes a shot at it.... Luckyly there are some good oreillys on it, which makes it bearable. Sort of.

Perhaps the language with the most bizar appearance is Lisp./eLisp. How anyone could come up with that syntax is totally beyond me. It must be realy powerfull if it is still around. ... Then again, emacs is a very strange programmin itself, so no supprise here.

about three weeks ago
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Music Training's Cognitive Benefits Could Help "At-Risk" Students

Qbertino Isn't it weird how every other decade ... (58 comments)

... things that are basically common senseor at least have been for about a century are 'discovered'?

Everything said here reads exactly like a bona fide copy of what alternative educational - i.e. non-mainstream one-dimensional eductation - methods have been preaching since the dawn of broad public schooling, right down to the insights into the development and function of the human brain. So diversity in education helps the brain and soul develop better? Wow, what an insight. ... No wonder our culture is in such a sad state.

about three weeks ago
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For $1.5M, DeepFlight Dragon Is an "Aircraft for the Water"

Qbertino Re:Nice! (76 comments)

One single drug run^h^h^h^hdive and the thing has paid for itself.

How long can it dive? What mods does this thing need to lengthen the dive+travel time to a few days or even a week or two, depending on its speed? Extra Oxygen, toilet substitutes, extra battery packs, stronger motors to tug the drugs, etc.

Could maybe be done, but it's not easy. Truth is, I think by now it's actually more feasible for the cartells to get their hands on decomissioned subs and their former crew. Or something along those lines.

about three weeks ago
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PHP 5.6.0 Released

Qbertino Yeah, impressive list. True. But ... (118 comments)

... consider this:

How many people and projects use PHP? How many use another PL? How many fixes and updates would be in line for that other PL if it would have the same userbase. ... When did Ruby finally become UTF8 safe again?

Make it work, then make it beautiful.

If any PL incorporates this philosophy, it's PHP.
And AFAICT they're doing pretty well following it, don't you think?

My 2 cents.

about three weeks ago
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Why Women Have No Time For Wikipedia

Qbertino Re:Obvious Reason (579 comments)

With good reason. It's obvious by this that Wikipedia isn't doing enough to attract women to contribute. Such a small representation among women is shameful and certainly something must be done to address this glaring example of gender bias.

I'd say Wikipedia isn't good enough for *anybody* with more than two braincells to rub together to contribute to. Pseudoexperts deleting content without any explaination at all just because it was posted by anons, flat out wrong content, political scirmishes, lack of seperation of concerns and distribution of power, etc.

Wikipedia might be useful, but it is measurably worse than it needs to be. Try to do some useful contribution as anonymous to see what I mean.
I've stopped contributing to Wikipedia about 10 years ago.

about three weeks ago
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If Java Wasn't Cool 10 Years Ago, What About Now?

Qbertino Java & C# (511 comments)

Java combines the wonderfull readability of C++ with the blazing speed of smalltalk. C# is an innovative language from Microsoft that takes those two features of Java and adds in the portability of Visual Basic.

about a month ago
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Latest Wikipedia Uproar Over 'Superprotection'

Qbertino Oh, really? ... (239 comments)

... so Agile can fuck off, yeah?

It's bad enough having to put up with all the "agile" bullshit at work, from their utterly pointless daily stand-up meetings to their fucking little cards on the wall everywhere (managers of the world: WE USE ELECTRONIC TRACKING SYSTEMS NOW). Add to that the unbearable Friday "retrospective" meetings (yeah, the last fucking thing I want to do on a Friday is sit in another pointless meeting talking about our problems) and then the Monday three hour meetings where we waste time voting on how long it should take other people to do their job instead of just fucking doing it.

I suppose you're talking about Scrum. As a Scrum Master, maybe I should give some hints.

Let me fill you in on some details:

1.) You're supposed to stand at dailies, so you are eager to finish them fast and so you're quick to move your cards on the board. That's why Scrums are timeboxed (with me it's 15mins max) and limitied to what you can discuss about. If the team doens't get through, no matter. Scrums over. Move your remaining cards and get coding. Be more brief tomorrow. It's that simple.

2.) After trying various electronic tracking systems we moved to cards on a wall. The crew gets away from their PCs and are forced to communicate with each other. And even the secretary and the sales team can use a pinboard without futher explaination, and when they join a Scrum they don't feel like standing in a room full of antisocial douchebags just typing away at their desks. Plus, when you are using it, everyone is watching, which helps you stick to the method. That's why I advocate pinboards for scrum tasking ever since. For huge amount of tasks managed in backlog software, printing the cards might be an option - we did that once - but a Pinboard it should be. People get their coffee or water and meet at the pinboard, not at the watercooler or the kitchen. Does wonders to project awareness and awareness of what others are doing.

3.) Backlog assembly meeting (BAM) - apparently your Monday 3 hour thing (makes me sleepy just thinking of it) - should be done by those who need to do it you don't need the entire team for BAM, especially if 300 tasks need to be judged. You do need the team for assigning complexitiy points, but that can be done if there's something the BAM team has no clue of. BAM task-complexity is temporary anyway, as is the setup of the team. If there's only editing and no programming to be done for the next 4 weeks, it's beyond pointless having a progger do BAM - unless you've got nobody else to do it and the programmer has some spare time. And only in Sprint Planning is complexity set in stone. And Sprint Planning / Sprint Assembly is a different meeting, also timeboxed (1 hour with me, Fridays (I've got weekly sprints)).

Complexity assignment should be done with planning poker, and shouldn't cover microtasking. It should only cover sellable features and one tasklayer below that. Also, BAMs should take place when you need them, not on a fixed date. That's a recipe for timewasting. That aside, planning poker is fun and lets you walk through droves of tasks in no time. You get to judge effort and requirements and *everybody* on the team has an impression of what's coming up in the next few weeks. That is *very* important. ... This should happen in sprint planning the latest. Very often people of a certain field notice things that have been forgotten by management, long before the task is even due. Also very helpful and a big plus of a formalised method such as scrum.

4.) Yes, Scrum has an overhead, just like any other method. Quit whining. The job of Scrum is to keep the overhead to an *absolute* minimum while keeping everything else tightly organised and flexible on a sprint to sprint basis at the same time. If that doesn't happen, you or your Scrum Master is doing it wrong.

5.) Scrum gives your Scrum Master the power to tell you boss "Leave my guy alone, we're full up with tasks, unless you want me to bust this sprint and push everything ahead for the amount of sprintdays left." Keeping the bosses at bay is one big upside of scrum and one of the many tasks of work-organisation. ... Imagine what that would be like if it weren't for the method. ...

Thinking of it, maybe your Scrum Master should take you out of the team and hand you over to your boss and his sales team as their personal coding monkey for a few weeks - maybe that would change your mind. I'd do that. You'll come back loving Scrum and Agile so much, you'll want children from it. :-)

My 2 cents.

about a month ago
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Munich Reverses Course, May Ditch Linux For Microsoft

Qbertino Idioten am Start (579 comments)

Idiots in charge. The Mayor is complaining that it took weeks to get email on his smartphone. That certainly is not a Linux problem. And if their groupware is still based on Exchange that needs some bizar mobile setup, it's quite a stupid idea to switch to Linux in the first place, if you aren't ready to switch your groupware aswell.

about a month ago
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Swedish Dad Takes Gamer Kids To Warzone

Qbertino Three words: Best Dad ever! (419 comments)

This is awesome. I bet he's very thoughful about it - you don't do this sort of thing on a whim. Truth is, his boys will have a lesson for life and are very likely to end up way more useful to themselves and society than the average couch potato that plays CoD and doesn't think once about how much of a war simulator it may be.

If I'd have a son that would be into CoD or other warfare simulators and would have the time and resources, I'd do the same. I'd like to take my daughter and her friends to visit the sweatshops in Bangladesh, where the Primark clothes are made. Sadly, I don't have the time or resources. ... But she was in malasia for half a year. Indian family where girls/women are second-class citizens and slave-servants sleeping on the floor and all. She did learn her share.

My 2 cents.

about a month ago

Submissions

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Ask Slashdot: Open Hard- & Software based Security Token Thingie?

Qbertino Qbertino writes  |  about 2 months ago

Qbertino (265505) writes "Hoi Slashdotters. I'm just musing about a security setup to allow my coworkers/users access to files from the outside. I want security to be a little safer than pure key or PW based SSH access and some super-expensive RSA Token Setup is out of question, so I've been wondering if there are any feasible and working FOSS and open hardware based security token generator projects out there? Best with readymade server-side scripts/daemons.
Perhaps something arduino or rasberry pi based or something? Has anybody tried something like this? What are your experiences? What do you use? How would you attempt an open hardware FOSS solution to this problem? Discuss! And thanks for any input."
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Is it feasible to revive an old Linux PC setup?

Qbertino Qbertino writes  |  about 3 months ago

Qbertino (265505) writes "I’ve been rumaging around on old backups and cleaning out my stuff and have once again run into my expert-like paranoid backups and keepsakes from back in the days (2001). I’ve got, among other things, a full installset of Debian 3 CDs, an original StarOffice 6.0 CD including a huge manual in mint condition, Corel Draw 9 for Linux, the original box & CDs — yes it ran on a custome wine setup, but it ran well, I did professional design and print work with it.

I’ve got more of other stuff lying around, including the manuals to run it. Loki Softs Tribes 2, Kohan, Rune and the original Unreal Tournament for Linux have me itching too. :-)

I was wondering if it would be possible to do an old 2001ish setup of a linux workstation on some modern supercheap, supersmall PC (Rasberry Pi? Mini USB PC?), install all the stuff and give it a spin. What problems should I expect? Vesa and Soundblaster drivers I’d expect to work, but what’s with the IDE HDD drivers? How well does vintage Linux software from 2003 play with todays cheap system-on-board MicroPCs? What’s with the USB stuff? Wouldn’t the install expect the IO devices hooked on legacy ports? Have you tried running 10-15 year old Linux setups on devices like these and what are your experiences? What do you recommend?"
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Would you now bet on server side JavaScript (Node.js)?

Qbertino Qbertino writes  |  about 4 months ago

Qbertino (265505) writes "How realistic is it to place most bets on server side JavaScript / Node.js rather than a P language (PHP/Perl/Python)?

Back in the day, when Netscape had the only useful web server, server-side scripting was done with JavaScript — that was somewhere around 96 or so. Along came LAMP and got rid of proprietary solutions (for the most part that is) and somehow PHP got critical mass for being at the right place at the right time and having good documentation and a very low bar of entry.

However things have changed. Flash as a rich client technology is basically dead, just about everything web-based done client side has its logic coded in JavaScript, and with HTML 5 & CSS 3 being the go-to platform of today (also for wrapped x-platfrom mobile apps) and Node.js has recruited the remarkable V8 JS VM for serverside stuff. I’m now seriously considering the move away from PHP / Python to JavaScript for non-trivial server side development aswell. It would be so cool to have one PL for everything, and finally getting rid of PHP / mod_php doesn’t really hurt either.

I am wondering if it is feasible to bet on server side JS and Node.js in particular for large non-trivial web apps. I’m talking about Apps with the functional depth compareable to Pimcore or Typo3 here.

Concrete Example: Let’s say a client would come up to me and say he want’s a custom DTP platform that runs entirely on the web, with heavy Ajax/JS/HTML Canvas coding in the client (modern HTML 5 browsers) and a large app model in the backend (x86 Linux with print PDF generation and lots of other features).
Would you say it’s a risk worth taking to do the lions share of server side logic in JS running on Node.js with C/C++ extensions to Node.js for the speed-critical parts (Node offers some neat features in that dept) or would you suggest to play it safe and use existing PHP setups and toolkits, such as Zend or Symfony for such a thing? I’d say if the client is heavy JS lifting already, you might aswell use the same PL on the server — especially since I know how to abstract persistence and app layer, no matter the PL and could probably write the framework for all my persistence needs in a week. That would be a week in a project planned for 6 — 10 months.

Basically it would mean to restrict PHP work to quick and simple hacks on existing platforms such as Wordpress, Drupal or Typo3 and do every other from-scratch‘ project on JS / Node.js from here on out.

What do you think? Feasible or just to risky? What would you do? Have you been itching to go full force on Node.js yourself? Educated opinions of slashdotters desperately needed. Thanks."
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One Phone to rule them all

Qbertino Qbertino writes  |  about 5 months ago

Qbertino (265505) writes "The Oneplus One, brazingly subtitled "2014 Flagship Killer", is a mobile phone specifically designed to go head-to-head with and beat the flagship products of existing behemoths in the industry and apparently also caters to the opinion leading crowd, i.e. us. It sports a quadcore 2.5 Ghz Snapdragon CPU, 3GB of RAM with a Sysclock of 1.8Ghz and 32GB (299$) / 64GB (349$) of storage, a replacable battery, a 6-lens 13 Megapixel sony camera and a 5 megapixel webcam for videochat. It runs CyanogenMod 11S based off Android 4.4 KitKat. Specs, especially when compared to pricing, blow the lid off current expectations and definitely raise the bar for next gen phones. Three concluding words: I want one."
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How do I wrap my head around (My)SQL?

Qbertino Qbertino writes  |  1 year,13 days

Qbertino (265505) writes "Hi fellow slashdotters. I've got a problem. Basically I'm the regular Type A 80ies computer-geek, starting programming on a Sharp PC (PocketComputer) 1402 back in 1986 and been coding for money since the web-boom back in 2000-2001. There is one thing that has been bugging me ever since, and that is the developer communitys obsession with SQL as a means to automatically access persistance from the app layer. I'm not quite sure if it may just be MySQL, but the strange, human-communication-emulation syntax of SQL and it's ever-present ambiguity never fail to piss me off on a day-to-day basis.

However, I now have a job that requires me to become at least mid-range fluent in MySQL. Modifying the setup to avoid MySQLs SQL, such as adding ORM layers or frameworks, is not an option, for various reasons, some of them silly, some of them quite resonable. One being that we actually do access and analyse data direct and manually — what SQL originaly was built for.

My specific questions:
What can I do to get solid results and make measurable progress with non-trivial SQL (JOINs and beyond) whilst not constantly running into MySQL annoyances like, f.i. its bizar error messages to often?

What strategies do you recommend for a born SQL hater to grow a little acceptance and get to learn to handle the strangeness of this PL? Maybe a book of sorts that adresses issues more experience developers may have with (My)SQL? Perhaps you have some personal advice on how you tackled this problem — if you had it?

Finally, what do you recommend to get more firm and less confused with the non-trivial pieces of set theory and day-to-day data analysis ... books, online resources, games/riddles or excercises and explanations for pratice? I'd like to get quicker and more fluent at this in general.

Thanks for your input."
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What's the best State-of-the-Art FOSS Product for Java (Web) Projects?

Qbertino Qbertino writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Qbertino (265505) writes "Hi Slashdotters. After 12 years of realtive abstinence I'm looking to get my hands dirty with Java again and thought I'd do so by attempting one of the countless non-trivial Web projects on my idea list. I'm looking for something that removes a few layers of the crufty LAMP stack that so many of us got used to, in order to compensate for the Java typical hassles I'll inevitably run into. For this I'm looking for a FOSS Java Product (Framework, Toolkit, Enterprise CMS, Appserver, whatever) that has a certain set of features and attributes (see below). I've allways been keeping an eye on the PHP and Python projects on a regular basis, but couldn't say so about Java, so I need some input from you guys.

The following attributes are a must:

1.) Must be a pro-level/enterprise tool, meaning: When I learn it in the end I should be closer to typical enterprise products like jBoss, Glassfish, Oracle Whatever, SAP Whatnot, IBM Websphere, etc. with the knowledge gained. Ergo: Not some avantgarde experiment that has me crying myself to sleep once I get a gig at some Java shop that uses todays regular products, but something that prepares me for the things to come. At least a little.

2.) I'm willing to use some avantgarde stuff if it is stuff I can easyly integrate into existing enterprise toolstacks later in my career (SAP, Oracle, IBM, ect.) without having to install countless things below the regular Java level. Or obscure Java Libs that are a licencing liability to my employer/client.

3.) This one's a little contradiction with point 1: I which it to have absolutely zero fuss in integrating application and persistance. Think Zope/Plone. If I build a type/entity I want to do that exactly once and only once and I do not want to be manually editing XML in order to do so. Best would be if it had some kind of modeller where I can click together my entities and objects, maybe in some Java Application or a Web/Ajax Backend Interface (very fancy I know). I wish to avoid seperate persistance level logic programming with a specific language (read: No SQL or XML Situps!) entirely. In other words: In terms of persistance/applevel integration I really would like to leave the current state of things which to me appears to have been stuck in the early 90ies. I have no problem if this is all covered by fully automated scaffolding/crud or whatever and tons of autogenerated SQL in the background — I just would like to avoid having to deal with seperate layers alltogether whilst prototyping. Basically I'd like to stick to building my objects/types in Java and nothing else.

4.) The product should be either a one-command install on x86 Debian stable and other x86 Linux distros or should be easy to deploy manually with just a runtime as a prerequesite and a jar or something. Likewise it should be easy to deploy the required runtime environment and sub-libs on Mac OS X Snow Leopard. It should have a webserver option that is production ready and tried-and-true tested. It would be nice if that webserver option would either be an intergrated HTTP thingie inside the Java product or a first-choice integration with a FOSS HTTP Server binary that is *not* Apache, like lightHttpd or whatever the newest hype in enterprise ready lightweight HTTP-thingies is. I'd like to avoid Apache Configuration hassles just as I'd like to avoid SQL hassles.

6.) It should be established as a product — at least in the FOSS community (not just on one obscure mailinglist somewhere deep in the massive Apache Java Project grabbag) or be notably promising with a small company or dedicated team behind it. Something like PHPs ZendFW, Symphony, the Typo3 or Rails community — they've got a hang at pushing their stack in respective markets. (I.E.: Their websites don't look like shit and the projects opinion leaders actually know that marketing is important — even for a FOSS product) If it's a young but promising project I have no trouble helping out once I'm up to speed, so don't hesitate to advertise your own below, just don't ignore the requirements above completely.

Bonus points if the product has a braggable enterprise customer/user list and a real shot at pissing into the soup of the established players (Oracle, SAP, IBM, etc.).

Number 6 and 7 are nice to haves:

6.) Native integration with a well-established seasoned Ajax Toolkit like Sencha/Ext3, jQuery UI, Tipco GI or something of the sort. Perferably with a FOSS interface builder along with it.

  7.) Built with zero-fuss Mobile App integration (Android & iOS) in mind, since I think we all agree that that is the next big thing. Perhaps Android/iOS Libs already in place/available or something like that.

Thanks for you input, it's allway a great help."
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Late-ish Career Boost via degree: CS or Business Informatics?

Qbertino Qbertino writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Qbertino (265505) writes "Hoi Slashdotters. I'm in my early 40ies and after a little more than 10 years of web, scripting and software development as a freelancer and some gigs as a regular fulltime employee I'm seriously considering giving my IT career a boost to be more able to move up the food chain by getting a degree. I'm your regular 80ies computer kid and made a career switch to IT during the dot-bomb days. Now I'm with quite a bit of programming and project experience but sans a degree and find myself hitting somewhat of a glass ceiling with maybe a little age discrimination thrown in there — i.e. at my age you're either moving up the ladder or out. Since I'm in Germany, degrees count a lot (70% of IT staff have a degree) so getting one seems fitting and a nice touch to my portfolio. However, I'm pondering wether I should go for CS ('Informatics / Informatik' in German) or Business Informatics.

I'd like to move into Projekt Management or Technical Account Management and am in a little dilemma: CS gives me the pro credibility and proves my knowledge with low-level and tech stuff and I'd be honing my C/C++ and *nix skills and emphasising my tech cred. BI would teach me some bean-counting skills, I'd be doing modelling, ERP with Java or .Net all day (creepy, I know) and give me some BA cred but I'd lose karma with the T-Shirt wearing crew and the decision makers in that camp. Help me make my move with some educated opinions please. I'm leaning a little toward BI because I suspect that's where the money is in my case, but am not quite sure wether a classic CS degree wouldn't still be better — even if I'm wearing a suit. Any suggestions?"
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LSE drops .Net for Linux & Solaris Solution

Qbertino Qbertino writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Qbertino (265505) writes "Heise.de reports (text in German) that the London Stock Exchange will drop its .Net based trading software solution for a Linux/Solaris alternative. Its mostly performance and cost issues that bring Microsofts prime example for the feasibility of .Net for large installations to a grinding and unpleasant halt. What really gives the .Net camp a major blow in the TCO arguement though, is that amoung 20 evaluated solutions the one chosen was buying the entire Sri Lanka based company MilleniumIT that offers the chosen alternative for the equivalent of 30 Million Euros. In comparsion, the mere rollout of the current insufficient .Net infrastructure cost LSE the equivalent of 65 Million Euros. ... 'gues I'll continue stearing clear of .Not."
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Ton Roosendahl recieves Honorary Doctorate

Qbertino Qbertino writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Qbertino (265505) writes "BlenderNation, a Blender News site, reports that Ton Roosendahl, lead developer and founder of the Blender Project, will recieve a PhD HC at the University in Leeds (UK) today. Blender isn't just a flagship open source project, it also has gained a solid reputation in the scientific community. Honor whom honor is due, i say. He very much deserves it. I'm sure the Blender community as a whole is happy and proud for and with him."
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3rd Blender Open Movie Project 'Durian' Announced

Qbertino Qbertino writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Qbertino (265505) writes "After 2 Blender Open Movie projects (Elefants Dream and Big Buck Bunny), both of which where huge successes for the blender communtiy and did a remarkable job at achieving the target goals, the blender foundation has announced it's third open movie project codenamed 'Durian' which is to be another animated short film made with an entirely FOSS production pipeline with Blender at its core. This time with an epic setting, an action-oriented presentation and a heroine as main character. The scenario rollout will be provided and overseen by the renowned dutch comic artist Martin Lodewijk. To all artists, blenderheads and 3D programmers: If you want to participate, now is your time to apply. The project team will be finalised and announced by June 20th this year. Shortly after the project will start in Amsterdam and go for the usual 6 to 9 Months. With Blender versions and projects increasing in quality and impact in leaps and bounds at each iteration, this is yet another gem from the Blender crew to look forward too. Especially with Blender 2.5 coming up with a large redo and overhaul of core components and features."
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Removing naggapps and clutter from a fresh Vista

Qbertino Qbertino writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Qbertino (265505) writes "Hello fellow Slashdotters. I've got a rather unusual problem: I'm a Linux veteran and haven't used Windows for production work since 8 years ago and stopped using it entirely about 6 years ago. However, I'm about to recieve a brand new Laptop as an xmas present from my employer and it comes with Vista preinstalled. I'd like to use the preinstalled OS as a foundation for working with some apps I use at work that only run on Windows, so I'd like to keep the install if possible. And, no, there are no replacements for these on Ubuntu. What can I do to clean up Vista and remove any crap that bogs down the system or gets me angry by nagging me with "Please register this OS and give us your genetic fingerprint" popups and simular shite MS has been pissing off people with lately? I'm even willing to pay 30 Euros or so for Windows cleanup utilities, maybe there is something you Windows guys can recommend? Any free tools I should run before doing anything on Vista? Thanks for any help."
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Are you also growing sceptical of todays IT?

Qbertino Qbertino writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Qbertino (265505) writes "I am, just as many other slashdotters, the typical Generation X geek. I started programming in my teens in the mid-80s and have done it ever since, with maybe a few year break inbetween. In 1999 I joined the first web craze full-scale and have since then been developing software and contributing to IT projects for a living. I currently have a compareatively safe and fun job in a currently booming market (MMO Gaming) and a chance to yet again try out the newest of technologies in my field and even get paid for it. However, I've grown increasingly weary of a world embracing IT technologies where I feel they don't belong. IT-Bots deciding wether someone is elligeble to a credit or not or a terrorist or not based on some obscure metadata, indian taxi-drivers required not to smile in order for bots to be able to read their faces, bizar amounts of virtual/digital money being leveraged to unhinge entire economies, ect. pp. ... you get the picture. Don't get me wrong, I don't think the world will end because of this, but I do think people will have to move away from IT in order to reclaim their lives and that this will hurt our field of expertise where it actually *is* usefull and meant to advance humanity. On the other hand, people are starting to think this is normal. They don't see the nature of computers or the web, but simply take it in without even reflecting it. And the scary part about it is that no matter how ineffective it is, it is actually more effective for everyday life to mostly stear clear of IT and not become to dependant on it. Which — as I see it — only IT experts can actually really do proactively. What I'm saying is that more and more I see it becoming increasingly difficult to actually see the work I do actually benefit the people around me. What I see is a huge machine decoupled from humanity, squeezing the last bit of net gain out of everything and sinking people to mere co-dependant parts of it rather than empowering individuals. What are your observations? Similar, or is this just some sort of a winter depression I'm having? I don't see myself as overly romantic or backwards — on the contrary — but could it be that we as IT geeks more proactively have to embrace a counterculture? And maybe stand up against a world in which *everything* is ruled by IT? What do you fellow slashdotters think?"
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CakePHP 1.2 RC 1 released

Qbertino Qbertino writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Qbertino (265505) writes "After a long developement time and massive improvements in functions and featureset the CakePHP project has released RC1 of their Web Application Framework. CakePHP is one of the popular full-scale MVC web frameworks written in PHP. Unlike most others, it still actively supports PHP 4, allthough not with all features and it is officially inspired by Ruby on Rails."
Link to Original Source
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German Supreme Court blocks 'Big Eavesdropping'

Qbertino Qbertino writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Qbertino (265505) writes "The 'Big Eavesdropping Attack' ('Großer Lauschangriff'), a set of german anti-terrorisim laws forcing network and telco providers to store any connection data for 60 days (amoungst other things), is a major YRO/privacy issue in Germany. According to Spiegel Online (Article in German) the German Supreme Court has invalidated substancial portions of the bill in a short-notice arbitration. This is yet another instance in a series of swattings of the German gouverment for this sort of thing from the Judges of the German Supreme Court. A big relief for all whom it concerns. Nice to see the authorities still believe in citizens rights. Makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside."
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Microsoft offers 44 Billion $ for Yahoo

Qbertino Qbertino writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Qbertino (265505) writes "According to the major German news-site Spiegel Online, Microsoft wants to buy Yahoo for $31 per share, adding up to 44 Billion for a majority in shares. Prices for Yahoo shares started climbing after the news. Tricky thing. This would reduce the amount in Microsofts piggybank considerably and could backfire big time if their plan doesn't work out. And this time there'd be not much left to pay off the mistake. It's suprising to see MS announcing such a bold move. Is Yahoo really worth that much? And doesn't this appear a tad desperate?"
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Workplace Shell replacement for Mac OS X?

Qbertino Qbertino writes  |  about 7 years ago

Qbertino (265505) writes "I'm proud owner of an older 12" G4 iBook (1,0 Ghz) from a few years ago, the one many geeks have and liked to use because of it's price/performance ratio for a subnotebook. Many people I met use it to run Debian Linux PPC or some other OSS operating system and do their programming on it. However I mostly do web developement where the OS hardly matter and I've come to like the benefits of running the native OS and the neat and frictionless hardware integration that comes with it. I do quite a lot of Flash developement aswell and need to be able to use the official Flash IDE from Adobe. The downside is that the desktop bogs down the systems performance which I'd like to use for other things by running a replacement of the Aqua Workplace Shell & desktop enviroment. There are quite a few wps replacements for windows — I've use Litestep with Windows 2000 — but I'm looking for one for OS X. What lightweigth WPS replacements are there for OS X and what other strategies are there to take some weight off an OS X desktop?"
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Qbertino Qbertino writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Qbertino (265505) writes "The high-end open-source 3D engine Crystalspace has reached Version 1.0. From the website: "After almost 10 years of development we finally release Crystal Space and Crystal Entity Layer 1.0!" Crytalspace has several sub-projects: A game engine called CEL, a scripting exstension for that game engine called Cellstart, and CrystalCore, a single-player FPS Demo-Game built to show off Crystalspaces features. Crystalspace is generally considered a modern and extremely powerfull 3D engine and allready is in use in commercial products."
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Qbertino Qbertino writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Qbertino (265505) writes "A company called Applied Business Technologies Inc. has recently released an open source web RAD system and application server based on Java and Java EE. It's called jVantage and seems to do away with the usual 1995ish grind Java developers have to put up with before having a decent web application ready. The developement enviroment is completely web based and somewhat reminiscent of the way the Python web application server Zope handles things. The screencast demonstrations (front page, bottom right) — in django/rails/cake/yourFavoriteWebFramework style — display an impressive set of features and a developement speed that is nearly breathtaking and faster even than with the aforementioned code-generating frameworks. It's nice to see now that Java has completely joined the OSS world it also is quickly catching up with the goodies other enviroments have to offer. And even picking up the Zope concept. With projects like these and the mature OSS developement pipeline Java has it may even be able to step back into the ring with PHP in the everyday web developement game. They've got me (Python, Zope & PHP Fanboy) curious anyway."
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Qbertino Qbertino writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Qbertino (265505) writes "Apple introduces the iPhone. The Specs go as following: Touchscreen controlled with a patended gesture system, OS X, 61x12x115 mm, 480by320 Screen resoltution, 4 or 8GB storage, 4-Band GSM, Edge Bluetooth, WiFi, 2 Megapixels Camera, Battery Time for Talk, Video, browsing: 5 hrs, Audio Playback 16 hrs., Weight: 135 grams. Looks: Sweeet. ... I want one."
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Qbertino Qbertino writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Qbertino (265505) writes "I'm currently working myself into a large web application project (Flash / Ajax / PHP 4 / MySQL 4) for which I'm supposed to become the lead maintainance programmer. Currently I'm trying to wrap my head around an admin area where each user interaction triggers roughly around 10 actions that range from Ajax calling variables from special PHP files, flash components loading subcomponents and those yet again loading stuff from other PHP files — data passing to and fro via GET *and* POST — and all of the server side stuff doing roughly 5 to 10 DB actions via individual class related custom SQL statements, each of which are stored in seperate, class related PHP files (neatly named though, I have to admit). Allthough naming is somewhat consitent and PHP Documentor did a good job at listing APIs, there is no written documetation about which component is supposed to do what and how they relate to one another. [sarcasm]"Gee, thanks a bunch. Yeah, I believe the manager though you were doing a good job at the documentation, since it looks soo neat with the right stylesheet."[/sarcasm] Needless to say, the thing is living hell to work through and is a prime example of the big downside of web-developement. I'm starting to miss a solid callstack debugger, and web-call-tracer or whatever you call it, to keep track of what's going on if I load template X with Master Flash Component Y. We use Eclipse with no success so far in getting the debugger to work correctly (still working at it), but that won't be enough anyway. I need to keep track of what's going on between client(browser) and server, what's going on *in* the server (that's the classic debugger, I know) and what's going on between serverapp and DB. And all of that *at the same time*. Since PHP is the most commonly used server enviroment I expect a measurable set of tools available to tackle this problem, some well-configured Unix CLI "scope-tracker" or watchamacallit or something and maybe a sophisticated logfile-reader or so. Any suggestions on how I can approach this problem? Note: The original programmer is long gone, so whooping his lazy ass for not documenting properly is not an option."

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