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Which desktop environment do you like the best?

hism Fluxbox (611 comments)

I quite enjoy Fluxbox on my Linux desktop. It's more intuitive to me than xmonad and relatively minimalist. I like the shade window functionality and it doesn't have anything that gets in my way. On my Linux desktop I pretty much only run Firefox, xterm, and IntelliJ IDEA. On my laptop where I do more "multimedia" things, I like OS X.

about 8 months ago

Could Google's Test of Hiding Complete URLs In Chrome Become a Standard?

hism Call me old fashioned... (327 comments)

No thanks... I already avoid Chrome because I'm don't like that it doesn't have the usual title bar. Even more annoying that Firefox and Opera followed suit. I can't think of any other programs that do this on OS X. This behaviour is annoying to me because I often have many tabs open and this makes it hard to read the entire title of the current page. So, this leaves me with Safari. I like Chrome's approach of each tab having its own separate thread, but I just can't get over this lack of title bar.

about 9 months ago

How 'DevOps' Is Killing the Developer

hism Re:Someone doesn't understand devops. (226 comments)

developers treating the systems as an infinite resource pool with no real rules or resources past "does my code run?"

While I agree that some developers are cavalier with rules, consideration of resources is fundamental to writing software. I would say developers who ignore that aren't doing a very good job...

about 9 months ago

Ask Slashdot: What's the Most Often-Run Piece of Code -- Ever?

hism Fast Fourier Transform (533 comments)

I'll bet the Fourier transform is up there. Especially if you count the hardware implementations.

1 year,9 days

Daily Pot Use Tied To Age of First Psychotic Episode

hism safe levels of cannabis usage (382 comments)

It is still unclear whether there are dangerous levels of use for cannabis, she added.

Fixed that for ya.

1 year,17 days

Ask Slashdot: What To Do With Misdirected Email?

hism Unsubscribe or filter (388 comments)

I have the same problem. There's at least two dozens distinct individuals who have had emails erroneously addressed to my inbox.

For automated emails that offer an easy link to unsubscribe or dissociate my email address from that account, I use the provided link. Those are pretty easy.

Sometimes people register for paid services that send a monthly bill and it comes to my email address. They may or may not be of English origin. For these, I just add a filter or rule to my email provider or client to just delete them or move them. Communicating with someone, possibly in another language, possibly requiring lots of bureaucratic red tape, is not really worth it. If they care about it enough, it's their responsibility to fix it.

The most annoying case is when a large group of friends start an email thread with a whole bunch of different people in the "to" or "cc" field. Asking them to correct the email address is pretty much an exercise in futility, since all it takes is one person to hit 'reply to all' and your email address is back on the thread. For these, I just block every recipient on the thread.

I've never had the problem of someone already having registered my email. One way around it would be to set up another email address that just forwards to your actual email address.

1 year,17 days

Microsoft Working With Suppliers on Designs for Watch-Like Device

hism Re:A smart watch? (260 comments)

That's silly, plenty of people still wear watches. Your hypothesis might hold for a small demographic of the younger generation who are particularly technically inclined, but even I know of multiple Microsoft and Amazon employees who would never be caught without their smartphones, yet still wear a watch; partly for the practicality and partly for style. And they need not be some gaudy Rolex to achieve that. On the note of practicality, I'm a bit behind the latest tech trends and only recently switched to a smartphone, but now I'm considering a watch for one simple pragmatic reason: watches don't have a maximum battery life of two days. Speaking of that, if this 'smart watch' has such limited battery, I imagine it'd be an instant deal-breaker for many people.

about 2 years ago

Of the Love of Oldtimers - Dusting Off a Sun Fire V1280 Server

hism Power usage (281 comments)

I thought about buying an old Sun or SGI box for kicks... the thing that killed it for me was that if I ran with any sort of regularity, it would be terrible power consumption. And it doesn't run anything useful to me that a newer, more efficient machine wouldn't run...

about 2 years ago

What Are the Unwritten Rules of Deleting Code?

hism Revertable (384 comments)

what best practices do /.'s use when they modify production code?"

Should be able to easily revertable

about 2 years ago

Ask Slashdot: What Were You Taught About Computers In High School?

hism Last generation when computers made you a geek (632 comments)

I don't have a super old school story to tell, but me and my friends, we often think of ourselves as one of the last generations that didn't grow up with the Internet and computers surrounding every aspect of life. I'm 24 now and went through the public school system in Ontario, Canada between 1994 until 2005.
br> Around the age of five, my dad brought home a 486 DX with 8 MB of RAM. I quickly became the primary user of it. There were computers at school, even as early as second grade, but it was primarily a toy for learning math, playing with art programs, using Microsoft Works, and learning typing. In the second grade I had a reputation in class for being extremely proficient with the keyboard. I think I hit maybe 40-50 WPM, which was impressive for my age back then. Nothing really interesting happened with computers throughout elementary school.

Then in middle school, I was at a school kind of reputed for technology. We played with Flash, a lot of MS Office, and a lot of CorelDRAW, which was kind of like Adobe Illustrator. There was a 'web team' extracurricular activity, which consisted of maybe the top ten to fifteen computer geeks of the middle school. That was mainly doing a little bit of HTML and a Macromedia Dreamweaver. And a lot of Unreal Tournament in our off time. We got to stay out of the cold winters in the computer lab to play with computers. Around this time I was experimenting with Linux at home so I would often putty to my home machine and go on IRC, which lead most classmates to think I was some sort of computer hacker.

In high school, computer classes was actually a kind of step back compared to middle school. I don't think the mandatory classes ever went beyond MS Office. We also did some research for science classes and such using computer. In grade 11 was when you could actually take a course called "Computer Science." My teacher taught us Visual Basic. The focus was making a usable UI most of the time. Rarely was there any math or any theoretical CS involved. It seemed like the provincial curriculum didn't really specify what exactly this course was meant to teach because a friend at another school was learning basic AI concepts and programmed a tic-tac-toe game.

By the end of high school, the closest thing to real computer science we had done was a VB6 program was computed steps in the Goldbach Conjecture. Anyone who was truly interested in computer science had self-learned skills that far outstripped the curriculum. When I entered university as a computer science student, the difference was staggering. I had probably been in the top three most respected computer geeks in high school, but I was absolutely average when I reached my university. I thought I was a real ace at computer science before, but there, I realized I had only been a child who had just experimented with programming in utterly nonsensical approaches...

more than 2 years ago

Ask Slashdot: What Distros Have You Used, In What Order?

hism Redhat, Mandrake, Debian, Slack, Windows, OS X (867 comments)

Started around 2002 with Redhat 5.2 and then some version of Mandrake. I had a 56.6k WinModem back then, which I couldn't use on either Linux distro. I found an old 28.8k hardware modem and hooked it up to that, but it wasn't very practical. About a year later I got broadband, so I went back to experimenting with Linux; can't remember which ones I experimented with but I ended up with Debian potato or woody for a few years, before I switched to Slackware for fun. I think the big motivation for my choice of OS back then was experimentation and learning about Linux.

Around 2006 I got a laptop which just was a nightmare to work with any Slackware so I mainly used Windows. It had become too painful to try to make Linux work on it, but I had access to Ubuntu and Solaris at my university's machines so it was not all bad. In 2009 I got a Macbook, and OS X does everything that I had once wanted from Linux so I've been sticking with that since then. And it is pretty, graphically. So in this 'era' of my OS choices, I was mainly driven by picking something that works for my needs, without being a pain to set up.

For work at an enterprise and as a research assistant I've also been using RHEL9 and Ubuntu, but that is not really by choice. If I threw away my Macbook and got a PC laptop today, I might go with Archlinux, since its orientation towards a simple design seems appealing to me.

more than 2 years ago

Facebook Says It's Filtering Comments For Spam, Not Censoring Them

hism Re:Why do intelligent people (continue to) use FB? (155 comments)

Not having Facebook would seriously inhibit my social life. It is hard to avoid it when the vast majority of your social circle uses it to communicate and plan events. I try to limit what I share, what information I put on it, and avoid associating my other online accounts with Facebook, but I can't control what others put up about me...

more than 2 years ago

Game Theory, Antivirus Improvements Explain Rise In Mac Malware

hism Re:Hey Apple Users... (319 comments)

The majority computer science students and professors at the two universities I've attended use Macs...

more than 2 years ago

Ask Slashdot: Finding an IT Job Without a Computer-Oriented Undergraduate Degree?

hism IT in non-tech companies (504 comments)

I've met a handful of programmers who had a liberal arts background (i.e. Classical studies) who did programming at a non-tech company. For instance, working in the back office of a retailer or a bank to code up some internal desktop apps, web apps, or create-remove-update-delete business apps. For these jobs, knowing trade-type of skills (i.e. some experience programming especially in the "trendy" technologies) I believe is adequate. However, these jobs may not always feel very rewarding, what some computer scientists might call "code monkey" jobs... As a computer scientist, I would say it'd be very good to get a degree in it to strengthen your understanding of the theoretical background, which will help you to get a deeper understanding, helping you to become a smarter programmer and likely open the doors to more interesting projects/positions.

more than 2 years ago

Reversing the Loss of Science and Engineering Careers

hism Re:Engineering shortage? (375 comments)

So what if there's no girls in my major? It is possible to interact with people outside of your studies. If anything it brings a healthy balance to your life.

more than 2 years ago

Chrome Users Are Best With Numbers, IE Users Worst

hism So? (203 comments)

So am I expected to move to Chrome now so I can be part of some exclusive club to validate my IQ? Or move away from IE so people don't think I'm stupid? Maybe they should have called this study, "Chrome Users Are Most Insecure?"

more than 2 years ago

Microsoft's Azure Cloud Suffers Major Downtime

hism Credibility (210 comments)

At this point, the best way to keep their credibility from further deteriorating is to provide good reports on what is going on. E.g., not like PSN, more like Amazon. Currently that Azure dashboard doesn't even load for me... has it been slashdotted or something?

As an aside: whenever a cloud system goes down, people come out to rag on the reliability of the cloud. While I'm also annoyed by the marketing guys throwing around "just put it in the cloud!!" as much as anyone else, and agree some applications make no sense living in the cloud, I'd also like to point out that for some people, doing the admin work in-house results in the same amount or more headaches.

more than 2 years ago

Facebook Prepping For Massive Hiring Spree

hism Re:Engineers? (105 comments)

Not sure how prevalent it is in the U.S., but in Ontario, Canada, "Software Engineering" is recognized as an official type of "Engineer" -- http://www.peo.on.ca/enforcement/Software_engineering_page.html. In Ontario, like the states that you mentioned, it is illegal to call yourself an engineer without being granted the title by the self-regulating engineering body of the province. In order to be granted the title you have to taken part in an engineering university program that's been accredited by that body, and then take some further ethics tests, and work for a while under an engineer who has x years of experience.

It is a fairly new 'discipline' in engineering and I went to such a "Software Engineering" program that is accredited. The thing is, I know zero people in my graduating class of about 90 who actually took the extra steps to become a professional engineer. Mainly for two reasons; a) It only has a meaning in Ontario, and most of the lucrative software 'engineering' jobs are not in Ontario, and b) Even in Ontario, its relevance for employment is fairly limited... approaching useless I would say.

more than 3 years ago


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