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Justified: Visual Basic Over Python For an Intro To Programming

ameoba Based on C? (630 comments)

this language is also based on the C language

No, it's based on BASIC. That's why they call it VisualBasic. It's a completely different family of programming languages.

He loses credibility there & then just keeps piling on bullshit afterwards.

5 days ago

PHP vs. Node.js: the Battle For Developer Mind Share

ameoba Re:Missing (245 comments)

People stuck on "cheap hosting solutions" don't pay good money to developers to develop software for them. Cheap hosting solutions don't even come close to scaling to anything beyond a blog for a local business.

Unless you've decided to work on a bottom of the barrel open source CMS/Forum system (a market that's pretty much saturated already), the argument that "PHP is the only thing we can run" is just not relevant. Maybe it carried some weight ten years ago but it's a non-issue these days.

about two weeks ago

Sony Thinks You'll Pay $1200 For a Digital Walkman

ameoba Re:Clearly (391 comments)

It's FLAC so 128GB is really only enough space to hold The Wall & Frampton Comes Alive.

about three weeks ago

The Making of a 1980s Dungeons & Dragons Module

ameoba Re:5th Edition kind of sucks (59 comments)

The beauty is that you can still buy and play all the old stuff. There are both official reprints of the old 1st & 2nd edition games as well as free/low cost clones of everything pre-3rd edition (the Original game as well as the early "Basic" box set games). A great many of the adventure modules are available in both PDFs and hardbound reissues of the more iconic ones.

As for the price of the books, $20 in 1980, adjusted for inflation is $57. It's still hard to swallow when you can buy a printed copy of Basic Fantasy for under $5.

about a month ago

Paul Graham: Let the Other 95% of Great Programmers In

ameoba Re:What Paul Graham doesn't get... (552 comments)

Paul Graham gets it perfectly. He's no longer a "hacker", he's a venture capitalist that lives to churn through startups & make money by exploiting workers.

He doesn't care about keeping wages up, he wants cheap labor to drive his costs down.

about a month ago

UK Man Arrested Over "Offensive" Tweet

ameoba Re:WTF UK? (360 comments)

It's like the damn island hasn't heard of the UN Declaration of Human Rights.

...or the Streisand Effect. Arresting this young man is only going to give his comment more attention and spread it further.

about a month ago

How Relevant is C in 2014?

ameoba Re:Agreeing? (641 comments)

Social media popularity is an extremely poor metric. That's more based on fads and marketing than usefulness.

So you're saying that node.js isn't going to take over every aspect of computing by 2020?

about a month and a half ago

Speed Cameras In Chicago Earn $50M Less Than Expected

ameoba Re:Really? This is a problem! (398 comments)

It reminds me of tobacco tax they tried to push through a few years ago in Oregon. They claimed that it would both reduce smoking and provide funding for children's health.

Either one of those things was wrong or they were setting up a healthcare program that would run out of money in the next few years.

about 3 months ago

Ask Slashdot: Any Place For Liberal Arts Degrees In Tech?

ameoba Re:Let's see your portfolio. (392 comments)

That's wouldn't be "looking for people with liberal arts degrees", that's "looking for people with demonstrable technical experience" and finding that they just happen to have a liberal arts degree. The lit degree is almost completely irrelevant here.

about 4 months ago

High School Student Builds Gun That Unlocks With Your Fingerprint

ameoba Re:The other question that needs to be asked (600 comments)

Forget self-defense for a minute, how well is this going to work when you've been in the woods hunting for 3 days and haven't wash your hands?

about 4 months ago

High School Student Builds Gun That Unlocks With Your Fingerprint

ameoba Re: 999 (600 comments)

If you're using a 3-digit LED display, yes.

about 4 months ago

ACM Blames the PC For Driving Women Away From Computer Science

ameoba Re:The problem, as always... (329 comments)

Zuckerberg was already going to Harvard when he started Facebook. He was in the club from the beginning.

about 5 months ago

The Tech Fixes the PS3 Still Needs, Eight Years On

ameoba Re:Wet Dream (99 comments)

This is in like somebody demanding a $12k Kia have premium sound system, leather seats & a V-8 under the hood.

about 5 months ago

The Tech Fixes the PS3 Still Needs, Eight Years On

ameoba Wet Dream (99 comments)

That's a fanboy wishlist, not a well thought out, profit-oriented list of reasonable items that have any hope of getting added to a down-market, end of life console that's in cost-cutting, discount sales mode.

The only one of those that seems halfway reasonable would be upgrading the WiFi & that's only because it might be easier/cheaper to source modern WiFi chips during the extended production run.

about 5 months ago

Estimate: Academic Labs 11 Times More Dangerous Than Industrial Counterparts

ameoba Re:Depends on what they are doing (153 comments)

Our problem was Electrical Engineering grad students continually burning popcorn in the microwave.

Yeah... the admissions standards were a little soft.

about a year ago

Nokia Design Guru Urges Apple To End Cable Chaos

ameoba Re:Oh, I totally agree... (791 comments)

More importantly, micro-USB was designed so that the cable would wear out rather than the plug. Even if your OCD has you up against the limit in 6 months, it's a $5 cable that wears out rather than a $500 device.

about a year ago

Majority of Enterprise Customers Finally 'Migrating Away From Windows XP'

ameoba The real reason IT departments are finall moving (246 comments)

When was the last time you actually did a fresh install of XP? Just the other day I tried doing it on an early Vista-era laptop.

To start with, the XP (SP2 media - it was the only XP license I could find) installer couldn't recognize my SATA drive. Lacking a floppy drive, I had to go searching for ways to get the drive recognized. I was left with two options: Either rebuild my installation media & slipstream drivers onto it or go into BIOS and set my drive controller to a legacy emulation mode.

Once I got the base OS installed, almost none of my hardware was recognized. Neither my wired nor my wireless network controllers were recognized. Sound and video not recognized. There were about a half dozen other unrecognized devices that Windows couldn't even tell what type of device it was. Fortunately, being a laptop, I was able to go to the manufacturers site to locate and download all the drivers on another PC and bring them over on a USB stick. I, knowing that I would need to prepare myself, took the opportunity to grab Service Pack 3. These installed without a hitch.

Finally, having an installed system with the (mostly) recognized hardware & the latest service pack, I tried running Windows Update. You'd think that would work, right?


The Windows update components installed on the system tried to connect to a service that no longer exists. All of the links it threw me to troubleshoot the problem 404ed. None of the troubleshooting docs on the MSFT website seemed to help. There were automated "FixIt" scripts that didn't do anything and tried linking me to a website that no longer existed. Somewhere along the way it was suggested I install the .NET framework - the download page barely functioned in my crufty old browser. Eventually I found a post in a forum with a link to an installer for an updated Windows update component which I gladly grabbed and installed.

After installing a functional WU client, I tried, again, to update my system. It spent a good 45 minutes searching for updates to my system. At the end, it returned a single required update - yet another version of the Windows Update client. Download, update & reboot.

The next time I ran Windows Update it, again, spun its wheels for 45 minutes. Finally, it came up with a list of over 150 updates that I would need to install, several of which were marked as needing to be handled individually. At this point, I'm well over 4 hours into the process.

If I'm having this sort of trouble installing and updating XP on hardware that could have originally been purchased with XP, just imagine how much trouble you'd have with something contemporary. This is why IT departments are moving away from XP; getting new systems up and running is already a nightmare. When everything goes EOL in less than a year it's just going to get worse. Even if I had known all the issues that would pop up & how to address them, I would still have been looking at 3 hours to get the base system installed before I even got around to installing any software.

In the end, I gave up on XP and just installed Fedora. It took all of about 15 minutes to install off a USB stick, recognized all my hardware & performs like a charm on this old (ca 2007) machine.

about a year ago

Why One Woman Says Sending Your Kid To Private School Is Evil

ameoba Re:Larry Correia wrote an interesting refutation (1255 comments)

At least the original author was sincere - this guy is just being an asshole because he knows it'll bring in pageviews. Once you've started using "Liberal" as an insult, you're just preaching to the choir & have no intent of actually engaging in rational discourse.

about a year ago

Will Your Video Game Collection Appreciate Over Time?

ameoba Not really. (127 comments)

Let's look at the typical life-cycle of a collectible using baseball cards.

When they first came out in the early 1900s, nobody really cared about them. Through the 70s and 80, they were mostly seen as kids stuff and abused, lost & thrown away. Supplies of cards up through this time are fairly limited. Around 1990, news hit of a baseball card selling for half a million dollars. Things changed overnight - every kid was treating their cards like treasure. People have held on to them in pristine condition. These days, you can buy unopened, complete sets of cards from the mid-90s for less than their original retail value. They have become so un-collectible that their value hasn't even kept up with inflation.

Video game collecting has passed this point. Sure, you might still see big deals on used NES collections but anything much newer was sold in large enough numbers and preserved well enough that unless you have sealed boxes, it's just used junk. There's always going to be exceptions but, for the most part, I wouldn't plan my retirement on keeping my XBox clean.

about a year and a half ago


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