Announcing: Slashdot Deals - Explore geek apps, games, gadgets and more. (what is this?)

Thank you!

We are sorry to see you leave - Beta is different and we value the time you took to try it out. Before you decide to go, please take a look at some value-adds for Beta and learn more about it. Thank you for reading Slashdot, and for making the site better!



Toyota's Fuel Cell Car To Launch In Japan Next March

helixcode123 Could dovetail with current electric vehicles (216 comments)

The nice thing about fuel cell technology working it's way into to the automotive arena is that it can dovetail quite nicely with the ongoing developments being made with electric vehicles, since there is significant overlap between the two.

about 7 months ago

Understanding an AI's Timescale

helixcode123 Spoiler: Don't read if you haven't seen "Her" (189 comments)

The OP's point is similar to the last conversation Theodore has with Samantha where she tells him that her relationship with him is like a book, but that the time between the words keeps getting longer and longer for her, and she is becoming what is "in between the words".

about 8 months ago

Ask Slashdot: Professional Journaling/Notes Software?

helixcode123 Emacs "Org Mode" file (170 comments)

I use Emacs with "Org Mode". It lets me collapse each day's information to single line, but all of the information can be searched like a normal Emacs buffer and expanded as needed. You even get the handy table formatting. If you need to output sections they can be rendered to PDF, HTML, etc.

about 9 months ago

Goodyear's New State-of-the-Art Airship Makes Its First Flight

helixcode123 Name suggestions? (66 comments)

They haven't named it yet. I'm guessing they won't be going with "Hindenburg II"

about 10 months ago

Ask Slashdot: What Software Can You Not Live Without?

helixcode123 Re:emacs (531 comments)

Emacs is a necessity for me.
For editing local and remote (via tramp) files.
Run simple shells, compile, grep, diff, clean directories. All within emacs.

Long time Emacs user here. Can you expand on "clean directories" please? Parent posters have mentioned Tramp, the ability to (nearly) seamlessly edit files on remote system. This is a wonderful feature, along with ediff, for merging updates on my development system (i.e. my laptop) with my deployed code on my remote VPS.

about a year ago

Should programming be a required curriculum in public schools?

helixcode123 Re:No. We've been lied to (313 comments)

I think that you can find crappy work environments in any field of employment, and Software is no exception. I've been coding professionally since the late 80s and have nearly always enjoyed my projects and work environment.

about a year ago

Apple Macintosh Turns 30

helixcode123 Re:I wonder... a time machine and a NetBSD install (154 comments)

Remember that many of the early UNIX variants (SunOS, HP/UX, some others) started out on the 68000 chip. It was a very well designed and flexible chip. Then PowerPC was supposed to be a platform. (Remember CHRP? of course not).

Macs have this image of oddball hardware, but except for NuBus it really wasn't all that true.

Early? You call Unix on a 68000 Early? By cracky, I started out back in 1981 on our shared university system that ran on a DEC PDP-11/70. Boy were we all excited when a few years later we got to run on a VAX!

And fortunately this was in California so the 5 miles I had to walk up hill to get to the computer lab was free of snow.

1 year,2 days

The Case Against Gmail

helixcode123 Calendar access: Yes you can (435 comments)

TFA's statement "And neither configuration gives you access to calendars and contacts." is just wrong, or at least misleading. While it's true that you can't access calendar info through IMAP, there is an entire Google calendar API for event manipulation (I use in my Sig webapp).

about a year ago

How Companies Are Preparing For the IT Workforce Exodus

helixcode123 Re:Glut of IT workers? (248 comments)

(Replying to back out erroneous "Overrated" mod on your post.) As an over-50 software engineer I can attest I was able to find a position at my former salary within 3 weeks of a surprise layoff.

about a year and a half ago

If I search online for my full name...

helixcode123 Masters Thesis (213 comments)

I don't usually go by my full, middle, and last name, but interestingly my M.S. Thesis from 1985 comes up. Nice to know it's still out there somewhere.

about a year and a half ago

Immigration Bill Passes the Senate, Includes More H-1B Visas

helixcode123 Oh Sure. More Supply == More Demand (274 comments)

> If anything, one recent study suggests, the growth of immigrant workers in American companies helps younger American technical workers

Of course. Isn't that a basic law of economic theory? As the supply of labor increases so do salaries.

I have some doubts.

about a year and a half ago

Ask Slashdot: What Should a Non-Profit Look For In a Web Host?

helixcode123 Static or dynamic pages? (100 comments)

If you're serving up static pages you shouldn't need much in the way or resources. I've been hosting my heavily dynamic site (see sig) on Pair.com and have found them to be quite competent.

about a year and a half ago

XP's End Will Do More For PC Sales Than Win 8, Says HP Exec

helixcode123 Move to Win 8 doubtful (438 comments)

I don't know if this is any sort of indication about the popularity of Windows 8, but I got my daughter a new Acer laptop with Windows 8 for a graduation present. She asked my to put Ubuntu on instead. Interestingly, she prefers Mate to the default Unity desktop. Aside: boots in seconds because I put /boot and /usr on the SSD drive. Very nice.

about a year and a half ago

Professors Rejecting Classroom Technology

helixcode123 Technology != Effective teaching (372 comments)

I don't see technology as inhabiting much of the universe of effective teaching. A good teacher with deep subject understanding and good communication skills is always going to be better than a crappy teacher festooned with the latest IT.

about 2 years ago

KDE 4.10 Released, the Fastest KDE Ever

helixcode123 MTP capability will be useful (184 comments)

I haven't been able to mount my new device running Jellybean because it uses MTP instead of the old Mass Storage, so this capability is welcomed.

about 2 years ago

Tolkien Estate Sues Over Lord of the Rings Slot Machines

helixcode123 Surprised to see this the othe night (211 comments)

A few nights ago my band was playing at one of the local Casino showrooms, and I noticed these new LOTR machines. I did a double take! Most of you probably do not frequent Casinos (nor would I, except for my gigs there), but they have all these movie-themed slot machines; Wizard Of Oz, Dirty Dancing, etc. But LOTR machines just seem really strange for some reason. Funny.... no Ocean's Eleven ones.

more than 2 years ago

Ubuntu Asks Users To Pay What They Want

helixcode123 I'm OK with this (280 comments)

I use it daily for my work and the kid's machine runs it. I'll drop them some $$$ next time.

more than 2 years ago

Are you better off than you were four years ago?

helixcode123 A big Yes (524 comments)

Both my wife and I changed companies within the last year and a half where we have better work environments and significantly better salaries. We're both software engineers.

more than 2 years ago

Software Engineering Is a Dead-End Career, Says Bloomberg

helixcode123 Re:Not bloody likely (738 comments)

I'm almost 54. Going strong and doing what I love. My wife is 45 and also a software engineer. I had a project end about 9 months ago and had to find a position within 4 weeks. Lots of work, even for a guy my age (Southern California).

more than 2 years ago

Free Apps Eat Your Smartphone Battery

helixcode123 Re:Free? (214 comments)

Well, as a counter example, I was sick of ads on my Droid "Free" metronome app, so I wrote an ad-free one, and yes, it was produced via "Good Will". And unlike the ad-festooned apps, mine comes with both Cowbell and Fart sounds!

more than 2 years ago



Unique Foreign Talent: The Other Side Of H1B?

helixcode123 helixcode123 writes  |  more than 5 years ago

helixcode123 writes "There is often grumbling from U.S. engineers (like me!) about abuses of H1B visas. But what about engineers with exceptional ability that happen to be non-citizens? Isn't it sub-optimal for companies to miss out on the unique talents they bring to a project?
This question is addressed in a New York Times article that features one of Google's top engineers, forced to live outside the U.S. because of immigration laws."

Link to Original Source



Gig 02/07/03 Gaslamp

helixcode123 helixcode123 writes  |  more than 11 years ago The Gaslamp, for you non-SanDiegans, is the "hip area" downtown. There's lots of clubs and restaurants, etc. This place was a zoo a few weeks ago before the superbowl, and I played down there on Thursday. I can only imagine the debauchery and mayhem going on Friday and Saturday night.

It must be that with the Gaslamp the city fathers are trying to emulate the "Big City" experience that one would get in a place like New York. For example there are people coming up asking for spare change, and there is nowhere to park or often even a place to pull into to unload my gear. There are loading curbs, but these are taken up by gimicky horse drawn carriages that take up the space waiting for customers (leaving small, aromatic piles of residue), or by "pedicabs" which are not, as one might assume from their name, cabs driven by children, or cabs driven by pedophiles, but "bike cabs" often pedaled by southern California surfer-type dudes sporting rasta dreads.

This night I happen to be playing with a latin jazz band in a restaurant/bar/club owned by the widow of and named after a talented songwriter who died before his time. This is a fine place to play, and the staff treats the musicians well, and with respect.

Although I like to play all kinds of music, and love jazz, I'm not what one would call a true jazz musician. I know this because I hear real jazz pianists and am thoroughly blown away by their improvisational talents and the cool ideas they come up with during their solos. Listening to me next to the real deal would be akin to watching the Oakland Raiders' center engaged in a pas de duex with Mikhail Barishnikov (hint: center == me). Thus, I am honored that this band asks me to play with them.

As any good latin band should be configured, the number of percussionists in this band matches or exceeds the number of other instrumentalists. We have a "normal" drummer, a timbale player, and a conga player. Then comes bass, sax, and keyboards (yes, I know piano is technically a percussion instrument, but let's see how many pianists have gigs as percussionists in thrash metal bands).

This entry is getting kinda long, so on to the gig: Fun gig! You can tell the fun gigs 'cause all of a sudden the night is over, the tip jar is full, and you have this cool musical glow. All night I felt really good communication with the bass player, and often found myself going into a "percussion trance" while comping behind the sax player, settling into the solid groove underlying the beautiful organized confusion of the percussionists' syncopation.


Gig 02/01/03: Bistro221

helixcode123 helixcode123 writes  |  more than 11 years ago This was an interesting gig for me, as it was a solo. I like solo gigs. I can just play whatever I feel like, however I feel like playing it, and I can play requests without worrying if the rest of the band knows it.

I really like playing requests even if I haven't played the song for quite a while, or ever played it at all (if it's simple enough :-)

The trick to playing solo gigs is to have enough songs on a list to help out with ideas, since it seems that I can never think of a song if someone just comes up and says "Hey! Play something." I'll always come back with "So what's your favorite tune?" and they won't be able to think of anything either, so I'll ask their favorite artist, and that usually works.

I don't have trouble with song lists anymore since I got a palm m500 a few months ago. I just have a "memo" item with a list of songs. Whenever I think of a song I like I stick it on the list. So convenient, but hard to read on the gig :-).

Back to the gig. It was a bit slow in the restaurant and I wasn't getting much response. I had the mental conversation "I'm I sounding OK out there or really sucking?" but I persevered. Towards the end of the night, after the folks had finished their meals, they walked over to me to tell me how much they had enjoyed my music. That felt so good.

I'd like to do more solo gigs, but my calendar is pretty full with my other bands for the next few months, so I don't feel too motivated to go out and hustle.

Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?