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Portal Now Available On Linux

Richard Steiner Re:Finally... (115 comments)

You must be new. Cerfification does not imply functional. :(

about a year ago

Can Older Software Developers Still Learn New Tricks?

Richard Steiner Re:Of course not (365 comments)

It would be easier to teach new programmers the old mainframe environment we used to use than the new Java environment that replaced it. Not that Java is inherently difficult in itself. It's just that the newer system had to reinvent so many wheels that were performed "under the hood" on the mainframe that the application itself became a lot more complex. On the older system, applications programmers could concentrate on the application and not networking, file logging, security, etc.

One of the reasons cited for moving off the old environment was a lack of people with mainframe skills. Mainframe isn't a skill ... it's just an OS, editor, set of languages, and programmer environment like anything else, and simpler than many.

about a year ago

Can Older Software Developers Still Learn New Tricks?

Richard Steiner Re:Of course not (365 comments)

If you are over 30 and a programmer, your walker will be arriving shortly. Security will be on hand to escort you out.

Thankfully, not all companies are that shortsighted. :) I'm past your limit by 20 years now, and yet I'm still elbows deep in code and relatively young compared to many of my cow orkers, though as of last year it's more shell, PHP, Perl, and C++ bits than the Fortran 77 I was writing back when I started my career.

My most recent partner in crime (manager, teammate, etc.) just retired in January of this year. He had 20 years of seniority on me, literally, and he was still very very good at what he did.

Don't underestimate the combination of a good mind, good training, and a few solid decades of hard-earned OJT. Sometimes younger programmers are better, and that's good, but having an old fart or three around to mentor (and help by spotting and correcting blatant mistakes) is one of the fastest ways to learn. I had several mentors coming out of college, and i'm thankful for all of them.

about a year ago

2012 Free Software Award Winners Announced

Richard Steiner Re:Conditions? (43 comments)

Many developers share that view. Many others do not. Is this really the time and place?

about a year ago

Researcher: Hackers Can Jam Traffic By Manipulating Real-Time Traffic Data

Richard Steiner Re:Nothing new (102 comments)

"Go" at a stop light or stop sign means "go with caution" anyway, so the behavior of others doesn't matter as long as you drive defensively.

about a year and a half ago

Hacked Companies Fight Back With Controversial Steps

Richard Steiner Re:Companies are known to strike back (320 comments)

I think most posters here are too young to know what you're talking about. :-)

more than 2 years ago

The 30 Best Features of Windows

Richard Steiner VirtuaWin is stable and fast. (470 comments)

VirtuaWin is neither buggy nor slow. I've used it for years on XP boxes, and even though I prefer some Linux virtual desktop implementation, this one is at least as good than most of those.

more than 2 years ago

Software Engineering Is a Dead-End Career, Says Bloomberg

Richard Steiner Re:Cool, so where do you go next? (738 comments)

Athletes degrade somewhat more than programmers do by the age of 40. :-)

I juggle C, Perl, PHP, Java, Fortran, assembly, and a few macro languages most Slashdotters have never heard of in my current position, sometimes in the same day. You need it, I'll code it. If it's something new, I'll learn it and stick it in the toolkit with the other few dozen other languages I've learned on the job over the years...

more than 2 years ago

Software Engineering Is a Dead-End Career, Says Bloomberg

Richard Steiner Re:Nothing new? (738 comments)

In the programming world I've been a part of for almost 23 years, "programmer" has actually meant designer, developer, unit and system tester, tech writer, system implementer, and application/system support person as well as level 3 help desk and several other roles.

If you think I'd have been happy being a simple code monkey for two decades, you need help. :-)

There are advantages in having one person able to do the work of a half-dozen others, and someone who does it well can get the job done without having to stretch the work week to unreasonable lengths.

It sounds like some folks simply haven't found a (relatively) sane shop in which to hang their hat, or have never really worked with a good experienced programmer.

more than 2 years ago

Ask Slashdot: Good, Forgotten Fantasy & Science Fiction Novels?

Richard Steiner Re:sci fi masterworks (1244 comments)

I will enthusiastically second Lord of Light. One of my all-time favorites!

more than 2 years ago

Ask Slashdot: What Is an Acceptable Broadband Latency?

Richard Steiner Re:Latency (396 comments)

Would leading zeros be acceptable? :-)

more than 2 years ago

Ask Slashdot: Life After Firefox 3.6.x?

Richard Steiner Re:Why the anxiety? (807 comments)

Wasn't support for older or dying platforms supposed to be one of the advantages of open source?

Do Open Source projects really want to put themselves in the position of being the reason people move to the latest version of the popular proprietary platform?

more than 2 years ago

Ask Slashdot: Life After Firefox 3.6.x?

Richard Steiner Re:Why the anxiety? (807 comments)

The internet is accessible to all kinds of machines and operating systems. Just because you're using the latest and greatest popular platform doesn't mean everyone else is. I sometimes use XP, Win2K, Win95OSR2, various flavors of Linux, and even old classics like BeOS 5 from time to time. Why should that concern you?

Luddite. Piffle. Good multithreaded GUI software used to run in 1MB of RAM. I would rather be a luddite than dependent in the horsecrap that substitutes for good software these days. :-)

more than 2 years ago

Ask Slashdot: What Is the Best Distro For Linux Lessons?

Richard Steiner Re:Ubuntu (319 comments)

Not very intuitive for GUI-centric users, which would be a sizable percentage of Ubuntu's target audience.

more than 2 years ago

Defending Your Cellphone Against Malware

Richard Steiner Re:Step 1 (157 comments)

What spyware is installed on an iPhone out of the box, pray tell?

more than 2 years ago

For 1 kWh of electricity, I pay ...

Richard Steiner Mableton, GA USA (Greystone Power) (216 comments)

Unlike most of the Atlanta metro, I have the advantage of NOT having to deal with Georgia Power. :-)

Greystone Power uses a seasonal system (summer and winter), and three tiers for residential power for each season.

For wintertime (which is now), they charge USD 0.074/kWh for the first 650, 0.072/kWh for the next 350, and 0.0637/kWh for anything over 1000 kWh.

For summertime, they charge USD 0.074/kWh for the first 650, 0.097/kWh for the next 350, and then 0.108/kWh for anything over 1000 kWh.

There's also a generic $11.75 service charge every month.

more than 2 years ago

Linus Torvalds Ditches GNOME 3 For Xfce

Richard Steiner Re:I deeply understand his frustration (835 comments)

If if compare the usability experience of the 1993 WPS on OS/2 and *any* modern Desktop Environment in terms of consistency, accessibility and general performance, WPS beats them all.

You know it. I know it. Sadly, the folks doing interface design for these projects don't know it. :-(

about 3 years ago

Ripping CDs Set To Be Legalized In UK

Richard Steiner Some format shifting is explicitly legal in the US (156 comments)

No, some format shifting is explicitly legal. The Philips 765 CD burner that I own, for example, is explicitly intended to convert analog audio from other stereo components into digital and record it on CD, or make digital copies of existing CDs, but it (a) will only burn to CD-R discs which are marked "Digital Music" (making sure the music industry gets a cut of the CD price), and has certain copyright features(SCMS) in place to limit making multi-generation copies.

The Audio Home Audio Recording Act of1992 explicitly allows for such format shifting as long as authorized equipment is used.

about 3 years ago

How and Why Wall Street Programmers Earn Top Salaries

Richard Steiner Re:Perversion of Capitalism (791 comments)

Translation: I already have mine. I don't have to care.

about 3 years ago

Microsoft Pays University $250K To Use Office 365

Richard Steiner Re:Gracious Outrage (219 comments)

I used PROFS/VM (and OV/VM) for a decade, and I've used Notes for almost seven years.

I preferred PROFS by a mile. It had space issues, sure, but at least it would send e-mail reliably and tell you when new messages were in your mailbox in a timely manner. Notes here is terrible ... there is sometimes a 10-15 minute delay between an internal mail being sent and being received, the "new mail" indicator triggers but I have to manually refresh to see the actual messages, etc.

Worst e-mail client I've ever used. I even liked the old "NITS" MAPPER interface to SperryLink better...

more than 3 years ago


Richard Steiner hasn't submitted any stories.



A Rockboxed Gigabeat F40 can play DVArchive movies! w00t!!

Richard Steiner Richard Steiner writes  |  more than 6 years ago

So, like, I installed DVArchive on my LAN so I can use my PC hard drives to store shows from my ReplayTV 5040, and it turns out that DVArchive stores 'em as fairly vanilla MPG files. Massage them a little with a tool like Mediacoder 0.5.1, and you can load 'em up on a Rockbox-enhanced Gigabeat and play them in color with sound.

I have the Halliwell sisters, Martha Jones, *and* both Jackie and Donna in my pocket! Proooot!! :-)


A new box and Ubuntu 7.10. Wow. Linux is growing up. :-)

Richard Steiner Richard Steiner writes  |  more than 6 years ago I've been using Windows since before it probably should have been used, and I've been using OS/2 since I first had a 486DX/33 box built for me to run it back in 1992.

Up to this point, I've also been dabbling in Linux off and on. I took Linux seriously the first time with the Slackware 3.1 release, the second time with Red Hat 5.1, and the third time with Mandrake 8.2.

I loved Mandrake 8.2. On my PPro hardware, it saw every bit of hardware, and it rocked.

Sadly, computers moved forward, Linux moved forward, but my PC LAN stayed much the same four roughly a decade. Win95 OSR2, Warp 4, BeOS 5 Pro, Mandrake 8.2, and a few other stranger (but still dated) OSes snuck in here and there.

I've played with some LiveCDs now and then. Puppy rocks, I like DSL, and I've even done a little playing around with Ubuntu, Xubuntu, PCLinuxOS, Mandriva, SLAX, Debian, and a bunch of others, but I've not really taken them too seriously.

This is changing.

A month ago, I picked up a $179 box from Tiger Direct for my wife to play The Sims 2. It's an unbranded COMPAQ SR5010NX being sold as a "Famous Brand Refurbished Intel Desktop Computer - Intel Celeron D 360 3.46GHz, 512MB DDR2, 160GB SATA II, DL DVD±RW/RAM with Lightscribe, 10/100 LAN, Modem, NO O/S". I dropped in a copy of Win2k Pro, found all of the drivers, and presto! An instant box for her game. I will eventually drop a new power supply and a real video card into it, but for the time being her issue with slowness and instability appears to be solved. w00t! :-)

I also, during the course of configuring it for her use, got a chance to see how some of the LiveCDs I've been playing with on my older boxes (and on my work laptop) would fair on that box.

Puppy and Ubuntu *both* get top marks. Puppy saw all of the hardware (video, sound, network card, etc.), and all I had to do was use the network wizard once to kickstart DHCP. End result -- working distro. Ubuntu (and its siblings Xubuntu and Kubuntu) required even less effort; all I had to do was drop the disk in and boot.

Hmmm. I noticed that this new box of hers ALSO played the older Windows games I liked quite well (old stuff like NFS3, classic UT, Tribes 1, etc.), and the mommyboard had a nice PCI-E X16 slot for video and could also apparently be upgraded CPU-wise to a certain extent, so perhaps this was a cheapo way for me to get a new gaming box??

I was sold. I bought another. $199 this time (sale was over). And I don't regret that decision one bit.

I've dropped Win2k Pro and Ubuntu 7.10 on it thusfar, with Grub playing boot manager, and for now it's happy. Even with the crappy on-board video, TA Spring 76b1 (and the slightly older 75b2 which I'm loathe to delete) runs acceptably fast. What a wonderful time waster! And Ubuntu 7.10 dropped right in. DOSEMU runs most of the stuff I've thrown at it so far, and I've already grown to appreciate both TORCS (a free auto racing game with a variety of cars and tracks and a lot of potential) and Tux Racer. The latter is a LOT more fun on a faster machine. Yes, I'm easily amused, but there's something about hurtling through the air at 150kph with a shiny ice surface below that gets my blood flowing. :-)

My first impressions of the Ubuntu LiveCD version were back in the 5.x days, and it really didn't do it for me back then. I'm not sure what it is, though, but I'm really liking 7.10 on my hard drive. Could it be an OS/2 replacement? I'm not sure yet, since I've only been exploring it for a week or so. But I've not hit any roadblocks yet. We shall see. Film at 11!


Okay, that was simple. :-)

Richard Steiner Richard Steiner writes  |  about 8 years ago

Xerces/C++ isn't difficult to use at all. It was fun to convert stuff to/from XML and get a test message gateway going. I wonder if we'll ever use it?



Richard Steiner Richard Steiner writes  |  more than 8 years ago

I've been taking an XML Basic Concepts course all day and I think all those DTD's are frying my brain.

Next stop -- learning the Xerces SAX2 parser. Cool beans! :-)


Wrote in journal again...

Richard Steiner Richard Steiner writes  |  more than 8 years ago

I've been here for longer than I can remember, but I'd never bothered to pay attention to the Friends/Foes feature until today. Huh.

It seems that I need to pay more attention to my environment. :-)

I may start making journal entries, too. How's that for scary?


Richard Steiner Richard Steiner writes  |  more than 11 years ago

Discovered Journal function today. Interesting. Maybe I should spend more time exploring the /. site. :-)

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