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Gates Warns of Software Replacing People; Greenspan Says H-1Bs Fix Inequity

RedMage In related news... (516 comments)

In related news, Mr. Greenspan has no clue about inequity in stratified markets. If you push on the top, you just compress the layers into smaller layers, with the bottom filling until it can absorb no more. Then you get slums, riots, and chaos. The only way the market works is with a strong middle class with buying potential. Without that there is no market, and hence no profits or growth. Once that contract is broken, it's not a long way to the bottom for most.

about a month ago

NASA Wants To Go To Europa

RedMage Interstllar? (216 comments)

FAIL. Try Interplanetary.
Listen to the Beastie Boys...

Interstellar would be a cool trip also, and more probable of finding life than under 100 miles of ice on Europa. Of course there is that extra mileage charge on the rental, and the roaming fees would bankrupt you...

about a month and a half ago

The Real Story of Hacking Together the Commodore C128

RedMage Too little too late (179 comments)

I was a big fan, and a game developer for the C64. Those were the days that a machine could be fully understood by an untrained person with a knack for programming. When the C128 came out, I was interested, especially in the 80 column screen and CP/M software compilers. But there were too many limits on the machine (no hard drive easily added, no real OS, etc.) and it didn't feel like enough of an advancement over the C64. My grandfather did buy one, and I had some time with his, but that never really sparked much either. My next machine would be the Amiga, and as soon as that become somewhat affordable by a college student (the A500), I never looked back.


about 4 months ago

Motorola Developing Pill and Tattoo Authentication Methods

RedMage Big "D" cell (194 comments)

This is all well and fine, until they herd us all into some kind of processing center and then hook us up like some kind of "D" cell in series to power the mastermind machine...

about a year ago

Turning the Hayden Planetarium Into a Giant Videogame

RedMage Did this in the 80s, believe it or not (80 comments)

Richmond Science Museum, on the E&S DigiStar projector - we could play a space-war variant on the dome. No color, of course, but the resolution was pretty good if my memory serves me right. Plus the dials of the control panel were just about perfect for controls.

more than 2 years ago

What To Do With a 1,000 Foot Wrecked Cruise Ship?

RedMage Casino! (416 comments)

Drain the fuel, set it upright, patch it up, tow it to Atlantic City - Profit!
(Drop it Lake Mead - Profit!)
(Park it outside Boston - Lawsuit!)

more than 2 years ago

IE6 Almost Dead In the US

RedMage Re:What about internally? (335 comments)

Among my customer base? Yes, it's used internally. A lot of them are IT shops dealing with very old equipment, like 10 year old PC's. Some of them have internal intranet apps that only work on IE6. It will be awhile before those move.


more than 2 years ago

IE6 Almost Dead In the US

RedMage Can't celebrate yet (335 comments)

I'll pop the cork when my customers get off IE6. Until then I need to sink development resources into maintaining and testing on IE6, no matter how painful it is.
Unfortunately my customers' IT departments are slow moving and not motivated in moving quickly off XP and IE6. Most of them are understaffed and underfunded and dealing with PC's that are sometimes more than 10 years old. I suppose they have more pressing problems, given that...


more than 2 years ago

Does Outsourcing Programming Really Save Money?

RedMage Re:Faulty Reasoning (653 comments)

I think the fallacy in this argument is not that quality doesn't win out, but that quality isn't always important.
The problem is that the determination process is flawed.
I might make the decision that I need lesser quality (whatever that means) for an internal time-keeping application than I do for something customer-facing, such as my sales portal. The article is of course arguing that I shouldn't be making that decision based on initial cost but on longer-term factors, but on the management side of things as long as I've got a fixed budget rooted in the short-term I can't make that decision equally. Like many financial equations, X dollars today vs. X dollars tomorrow is in play.


more than 2 years ago

Oracle Claims Google 'Directly Copied' Our Java Code

RedMage Re:Here we go again (SCO) (675 comments)

There are two types of fools:
1. The fools who trust in the optimization skills of the compiler/JIT compiler
2. The fools who trust in their own optimization skills


Yeah, but there's rules for them:

1. Don't optimize.
2. Don't optimize YET.

Rule 1 is for type 1 - and is generally the best case. Then you can come along and after rule 2 has expired, make the improvement where it matters. Type 2 fools skip both rules and make a mess.

more than 3 years ago

Jack Horkheimer, 'The Star Hustler,' Dies At 72

RedMage I met Jack in 1987, he will be missed (84 comments)

Jack was a charismatic person with an infectious personality. He always was genuine, and had a passion for teaching astronomy. I was traveling and visiting various planetariums up and down the East Coast, with a final stop in Miami to visit the Space Transit. Jack made me feel very welcome and gave me a ton of his time explaining what made his planetarium special. Eventually I came to know that it wasn't the equipment (although that draws the public in initially), but the people that make these programs successful. Jack Horkheimer brought the wonder of the universe down to earth for many people, and I'm glad to have known him, even if only for a short while.

more than 3 years ago

Suspected Mariposa Botnet Creator Arrested

RedMage Well, thanks goodness... (95 comments)

... that THAT didn't go on for too long and they got 'em in a timely manner - I mean if that had kept up, millions of machines could have been compromised! I say, good thing they had LOTS of people investigating so we could catch these crooks before the damage was done.

(Yes, for the impaired, that's sarcasm!)
Two years to track this down?! Give me a break...

more than 3 years ago

The Amiga Turns 25

RedMage Re:Why where rom updates needed? apple did t softw (289 comments)

Not completely true - the old 68000 series of Macs had lots of different ROM revisions. Some worked with different versions of MacOS, but others didn't. The problem wasn't the ROMs however - it was memory. Remember back in '84-'87 128K-512K was fairly standard, so if you needed to use up a big chunk of that with OS code then you reduce the memory for user applications and graphics. Later versions of the AmigaOS could do tricks and map out various ROM routines into RAM, and even map out the entire ROM to faster RAM using the MMU, giving the machine a good speed boost in the process.

more than 3 years ago

One Step Closer to Star Wars Holograms

RedMage How's it done? (122 comments)

With mirrors! Seriously, I saw a "tank" 3D system back in the late 80's/early 90's hooked up to an E&S display system.

more than 3 years ago

How many processes are running on your desktop box?

RedMage Re:I have a VT52 you insensitive clod (382 comments)

Time to upgrade to a VT100?

PDP-11/40 running RSTS/E 7 or RT-11 5. But I don't surf using it... Most of the time it's running 0 processes too (off).

more than 3 years ago

Modern Day Equivalent of Byte/Compute! Magazine?

RedMage Re:byte archive? (327 comments)

Yeah, I've got that. Not a bad computing history overview, if slightly self congratulatory at times. Also let down a little by the printing quality. But overall I would recommend it.

more than 3 years ago

Modern Day Equivalent of Byte/Compute! Magazine?

RedMage byte archive? (327 comments)

Slightly OT, but was wondering if there was a good BYTE archive online? I've found various sources for other magazines (gazette, transactor, etc.), but nothing for byte. I've got 5-6 complete years of byte that could be a good starter if someone were doing it.

Anyone know what kind of copyright hassles some of these archives are getting? Are people getting permission, or are they relying on these publications being out-of-print and out-of-mind? I doubt there's much commercial potential left, for example.

more than 3 years ago

Set Free Your Inner Jedi (Or Pyro)

RedMage Not that useful really... (463 comments)

Except as a tool of mischief, this type of laser isn't that useful. Think it through:
. Laser display - not so good, as you'd have to mount it behind some scanners, etc. and the beam probably isn't that great in quality.
. Laser pointer - not so good either, unless you want to point out things pretty far away. Perhaps as an astronomy pointer, but green works just as fine here at much lower powers.
. Cat toy - no, unless you like blind cats
. Cutting tool - not nearly enough power to be useful here.

What's left? Nothing I can think of besides the "Hey George, see how bright this sucker is!" I certainly wouldn't want a 1W laser that I couldn't absolutely control where the beam was, and hand-held would be right out. I like my eyes.

(Yes, I own several lasers in the 500mW-1W range and operate them safely, with interlocks and keys, etc. They're not toys, but you can do fun things with them if you know how to do them safely.)

more than 3 years ago

Chrome OS To Support "Legacy" PC Apps Through Remote Access

RedMage A more interesting approach would be... (95 comments)

If the Chrome OS could act as a VM host, and just host the "legacy" OS as a virtual machine. Use VNC like technology sure, but put it all in one box.

more than 3 years ago

True Tales of Tech Hoarding

RedMage Retrocomputing! (268 comments)

I agree that throwing old hardware all over the room is excessive, but some of us "collect" these old machines. I collect them for a mixture of history and as a way to remind myself "Don't do THAT again!" I even write about them and their history: http://codeslave9000.blogspot.com/ for anyone interested in following along at home. Parts is parts, but keeping old machines in running order is much more challenging and rewarding.

more than 3 years ago



Development Environment for Scala?

RedMage RedMage writes  |  more than 3 years ago

RedMage (136286) writes "Scala is an up-and-coming functional-relational hybrid language the runs on the JVM. As the language matures and grows in popularity, the usual questions about development environments come up — to IDE or not to IDE, if you IDE then which IDE is the best? What is the strategy for handling a mixed-language environment where you have Java, Scala, and various scripting languages all in the same projects? And finally, what tools are people using for automated builds in this kind of environment?"


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