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Ask Slashdot: What Would You Do With Half a Rack of Server Space?

bokmann forget about it (208 comments)

I'd forget about it, let the lease run out.

First, I'd be afraid that anything I tried to use it for would become 'mission critical' once it existed, then I'm the one 6 months from now saying "Yeah... we can't get rid of that as we planned in the budget..."

Second, if you ever need something like that again, would you rather lease all new shiny stuff, or mess with rebuilding what you have as leftovers into something usable?

Its legacy stuff. get rid of it.

If you must, do something like run the Great Internet Mersenne Prime Search on it.

about 5 months ago

Ask Slashdot: Where's the Most Unusual Place You've Written a Program From?

bokmann 2 locations (310 comments)

first location, Sandusky, Ohio, at Cedar Point amusement park. in 1993, I was working for a company building atm-like machines to sell tickets at venues like Cedar Point. I had to do some emergency maintenance, so I was inside the machine with the monitor turned around so I could use the internal computer. In this configuration, it looked a little like a trash can, and I would routinely have stuff thrown in on me. Worst was a half-eaten ice cram cone landing in my lap.

Second location, the Tito Barracks in Sarajevo, Bosnia, in 1996, just after the war ended. I was working as a contractor for the U.S. State Department, and we were setting up a system to keep track of the progress removing landmines - a process still going on today. We were still writing the system as the hardware (and trailers) were being set up in the barracks courtyard, with landmines surrounding us! I spent a total of two months there over two trips. I wrote about it and posted pics a while back on facebook:


about 7 months ago

OpenSSL Cleanup: Hundreds of Commits In a Week

bokmann Hey - Thanks OpenSSL Contributors (379 comments)

With all the other tripe on this thread, I thought it necessary to say this loud and clear:

Hey OpenSSL Contributors - thanks for your hard work on OpenSSL, and thanks for the hard work under this spotlight cleaning this up.

Any serious software engineer with a career behind them has worked on projects with great source code, bad source code, and everything in between. It sounds like OpenSSL is a typical project with tons of legacy code where dealing with legacy is lower priority than dealing with the future. Subtracting out all the ideological debate and conspiracy theories, please realize there are plenty of 'less noisy' people out there who appreciate everything you're doing. And even more who would appreciate it if they understood the situation.

Its now time for companies who depend on OpenSSL (and other projects) to realize that Open Source software can lower their development costs, but some of that savings needs to be put back into the process or we will all suffer from "the tragedy of the Commons".

about 8 months ago

Phil Shapiro says 20,000 Teachers Should Unite to Spread Chromebooks (Video)

bokmann Um, RasPi anyone? (101 comments)

As TFA suggests a ChromeBook without a keyboard or monitor, something like a mac mini, I suggest a Raspberry Pi. You could get a trivial case and the power supply and still be in for under $50. Give each kid their own SD card paritioned into an unmodifiable boot partition, a modifiable 'system' parition for software, and a section for their work, and have all the benefits he's talking about, but even better. The kid plugs in their own SD card and gets to work. Could still back up to cloud, forgoing their own partition on the SD card entirely.

about 8 months ago

Code.org Stats: 507MM LOC, 6.8MM Kids, 2K YouTube Views

bokmann Re:YouTube is blocked (123 comments)

I didn't take it as just an alternative suggestion, I took the comment "not just a fill in the blank coding exercise" as a denigration of the effort many people were putting into this. Its easy to make suggestions from the sidelines.

1 year,5 days

Code.org Stats: 507MM LOC, 6.8MM Kids, 2K YouTube Views

bokmann Re:YouTube is blocked (123 comments)

How about you volunteer a week of your time at a school and do what you want to do instead of telling me what to do and denigrating the tool I chose to do it?

I'm a professional software engineer and learned to code as a 10-year old in 1979. I think those 'fill in the blank' exercises you mention strip away all the syntactic sugar and illustrates the pure logic of coding. I also show the kids several real ruby programs so they understand the difference between blockly and real programming text.

1 year,5 days

Code.org Stats: 507MM LOC, 6.8MM Kids, 2K YouTube Views

bokmann YouTube is blocked (123 comments)

I personally ran this last week with almost 200 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders, and will be doing it Monday and Tuesday to make up for snow days last week.

First, because their lab time is an hour and we also did a warm up and closing lecture, most kids didn't get to all 20 exercises in the first blockly set - we had perhaps 15 kids get all the way through it. Second, Most of the kids weren't patient enough to watch *any* of the videos, clicking through them to get to the next exercise. The dude from NASA in that last video talks for a while about the problem they just solved - it took about 7 seconds for the kids to get bored hearing about what they just solved, and they wanted to jump to the part where they could get their certificate at the end.

In my kids' school I had to prearrange to unblock access to all of this stuff as well. I'm sure there are plenty of schools that unblocked code.org, but not YouTube... so they could do the exercises but not watch videos.

1 year,6 days

Ask Slashdot: Suitable Phone For a 4-Year Old?

bokmann My personal success (682 comments)

I have 6 y/o triplet boys, and they have had ipod touches since they were three. They have helped them learn to read, play games, and do all kinds of age appropriate stuff. More importantly, they can call me with facetime! The first time that happened unexpectedly I was surprised and proud... Now its actually helped in an emergency once when they locked themselves in their room, their mom was outside, and they called me while one of their brothers was climbing out on the roof to get her attention.

We don't allow them in the bedroom after bedtime, before or at school, and occasionally take them away for punishment. I wish we could time-lock them the same way you can OSX, but other than that, they have also been useful in teaching responsibility.

about a year ago

Compared to my 1st computer's memory ...

bokmann TRS-80 to Retina Macbook (587 comments)

TRS-80 Model1, Level 1 Basic, 4K of ram to a 16 Gig Retina Macbook pro.

4,194,304 times as much.


about a year and a half ago

Tech Companies Looking Into Sarcasm Detection

bokmann got yer algorithm right here (167 comments)

sarcasm = (company.attributes.include?([:big_and_evil]) && comment.classification == "complimentary")

about a year and a half ago

White House: Use Metric If You Want, We Don't Care

bokmann Makes perfect sense to me (1145 comments)

The country doesn't have a national language, despite the fact that the majority speak English... so why do we think the Federal government could just mandate metric? Hell, even if they tried, a bunch of angry southern congressman would probably cry 'states rights'. Thanks Obama.

The cooking channel, the car dealers, gas stations and everyone reading this response could start speaking metric tomorrow if they wanted too... about the only thing that would seem awkward on the green highway mile markers and speed limit signs... and we already largely ignore those...

If you think you care so much about metric, why can't you tell me how many liters per 100 km your car takes? Its *your* car... no one is stopping you.

about a year and a half ago

Disney Announces "One Star Wars Movie Per Year" Plan

bokmann Re: Are they Sequels? (342 comments)

I prefer to think that after the events of that movie, Old Spock simply took a ship to the Guardian of Forever, jumped through, and restored the original timeline. After all, there were time travel plots for far less grandiose reasons than saving the Vulcan homeworld...

about a year and a half ago

Ask Slashdot: Making Side-Money As a Programmer?

bokmann not worth the management overhead (257 comments)

speaking as the owner of a successful 7 person software consulting firm, its not worth my time to manage you.

We have tried time and time again to try to utilize people for '15 hours on the side'. It fails miserably. You aren't there when I need you to unblock someone looking at your work, and if you have any other commitment, overtime on your main job, a sick kid, a band rehearsal, a stubbed toe, its evident that the '15 hours on the side' is your lowest priority... and that's fine, I mean, I wouldn't give up time with my kids for some beer money on the side, but generally, our priorities don't line up and its only a matter of time before I pay the price.

Contribute to open source, build a portfolio, then determine if its something you're ready to commit to.

about 2 years ago

RunCore Introduces Self-Destructable SSD

bokmann The DriveInator (168 comments)

Dr. Doofenschmirtz is head of their R&D Department. Marketing wouldn't let him call it the "Driveinator"

more than 2 years ago

Open Source Payday

bokmann non profot != no profits (129 comments)

more importantly, non profits doesn't mean that the organzizaion doesn't make profits... non-profit is simply a tax designation that says "profits aren't our first motivation", and in exchange get slightly different tax considerations under the law, especially in regards to 'gifted contributions'. Every organization must make at least as much as it spends, or it dies. whats leftover from year to year is the profit.

more than 2 years ago

Comparing Today's Computers To 1995's

bokmann Young whipper snappers (461 comments)

When I started, I had 4K and saved programs I typed to cassette tape! The differences between then and 1995 are orders of magnitude greater than 1995 to now.

I clearly recall the last three jaw-dropping moments:

circa 2001, Seeing AMD beat intel to the market with a 1GHz processor
circa 1997, being able to download a music file in less time than it took to play.
circa 1991, seeing a postage-stamp video of the moon launch on Quicktime from the Apple Developer CD they distributed monthly.

Other than that, its all more of the same, or far enough back in history as to be a blur.


more than 2 years ago

How Does a Self-Taught Computer Geek Get Hired?

bokmann Prove to me you know something (523 comments)

I don't care if you're self taught or have an ivy league education - prove to me you know something. Let me see a portfolio. Contribute to open source. Build your own website, do IT support for your local volunteer fire department, build a web app that helps a local pet rescue organization accept donations. Get involved in your local user groups. Anything - just get visible.

I'm not just talking 'out of my ass' here either. If you are in the Reston, VA area and have skills with html/css/javascript/ruby/rails, I'm hiring right now, and thats how I'm trying to find candidates.

Education is irrelevant when compared to knowledge and motivation.


about 3 years ago

Ask Slashdot: CS Degree Without Gen-Ed Requirements?

bokmann You underestimate the value (913 comments)

I think you underestimate the value of those things. Most of these classes aren't strictly about history, english, and the like, but enhance your overall mental ability - such as the ability to write, comprehend, and reason, which frankly, is generally missing from those in our field.

If you don't have those things, that's fine, but that's not a BS or a BA, thats a trade school education.

more than 3 years ago

Is Software Driving a Falling Demand For Brains?

bokmann LawBot 2000 (622 comments)

Using computers to replace auditoriums full of lawyers? ... how can I help?

more than 3 years ago

Canadian Songwriters Propose $10/mo Internet Fee

bokmann unworkable (407 comments)

Dear Canadian Songwriters,

    The internet isn't about you.

more than 3 years ago



Where is AT&T's iPhone Tethering Option?

bokmann bokmann writes  |  more than 4 years ago

bokmann (323771) writes "Way back in 2008, AT&T Mobility chief Ralph de la Vega confirmed that iPhone 3G users would be able to use their phones as wireless modems in the U.S. in 2009. We are now in 2010, and it is still not available, despite the fact that the phone can do it, it is available in other countries, and AT&T allows it for other phones. WTF? Steve Jobs, how can this be true on your watch?"

The Future of Home Networking

bokmann bokmann writes  |  more than 5 years ago

bokmann (323771) writes "I just found this article about the future of wireless networking. Besides an interesting overview of the IEEE and where names like 802.11n come from, it talks about some really cool stuff on the horizon, including standards like a wifi cloud around your own computer for peripherals and hardware that could be embedded in everything in your house. From the article, "you could someday use your cell phone to lock all your doors at night"."
Link to Original Source


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