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The Grumpy Programmer has Advice for Young Computer Workers (Video)

hughbar Re:First sentence (120 comments)

Yes, exactly. I am planning to start the 'tautology party' with policies like 'higher taxes mean that taxes are higher'. The party will make about as much sense as the current political parties.

Incidentally [and unrelatedly] I'm 63, a programmer and grumpy. I hate every 'latest' javascript framework, stupid hipster hats and THOSE KIDS ON MY LAWN.

about a month ago

Humans Need Not Apply: a Video About the Robot Revolution and Jobs

hughbar Player Piano by Kurt Vonnegut (304 comments)

This comes up nearly every year on slashdot. And very year I post this link: Like all Vonnegut, this is a great read BTW.

Perhaps next year a robot can post this for me? Or maybe just a plain bot would be simpler without the 'ro'?

about a month and a half ago

Injecting Liquid Metal Into Blood Vessels Could Help Kill Tumors

hughbar Sodium? (111 comments)

As I'm getting older, I want to say that I do not give my consent to have sodium metal injected. It might be a bit dangerous.

about a month and a half ago

Ask Slashdot: What To Do About the Sorry State of FOSS Documentation?

hughbar Writing Manuals and Documentation (430 comments)

To blow my own tiny trumpet for a moment, I've written and updated a manual to go with: for each release.

However, it isn't terrific AND I worked as a technical author for a number of years, doing mainframe software manuals. This is my main point, good manuals [mine is not] are hard and probably require equivalent effort to the software itself. The other big obstacle is that in, for example, mainframe world there is formal review process, formalised customer feedback, errata etc. etc. Also, manuals are planned as a 'set' installation, operation, troubleshooting, API etc.

I don't know a lot of my customers and can only correct things that appear in the Google group. In my case, since it's a niche. there's not very much.

Actually there's an opportunity here as well, in that non-code people could also participate in their favourite projects by writing guides. Indeed sometimes they do, but not often enough and they're fragmentary.

about 2 months ago

By 2045 'The Top Species Will No Longer Be Humans,' and That Could Be a Problem

hughbar Re:not quite (564 comments)

Absolutely. I'm 63 and as I and my boss used to joke 'it's the year 2000, where's my toga and my flying car?'. On a serious note, there's no reason why we shouldn't aim for utopia, but hyper-capitalism [and before anyone says anything, no, I'm not a communist] is bringing most people a gentle dystopia, poor diets, precarious work contracts for bad pay, pollution, overcrowding, intrusive state, intrusive advertising, small wars, 'war on terror', 'war on drugs', you name it. That's the first world and life is still bad in the third world too, in spite of our promises.

I do feel that life was better in many ways, in the early 1970s when I started work.

about 3 months ago

Ask Slashdot: Correlation Between Text Editor and Programming Language?

hughbar Re: Emacs, vi, IDE (359 comments)

Me too for Geany. Use it for Perl.

about 3 months ago

Age Discrimination In the Tech Industry

hughbar Re:60-year old here (370 comments)

So do I. Do you remember dropping a box of 2000 punched up but with no sequence number on them?! They really need to get off our lawn NOW!

about 3 months ago

Age Discrimination In the Tech Industry

hughbar I'm 63, I still work (370 comments)

This seems to come up a great deal here.

I'm from the UK which is probably [slightly] less dog-eat-dog than the USA also, I mainly work in a niche, [Perl] and I do contract work rather than permanent.

However I'm still working about as much as I want. I blew an interview recently, but I'm OK with that, since I performed pretty badly in it. I try and keep up and still enjoy computers and computing. So for my younger friends, and they are nearly all younger now:

  • - It helps to enjoy computing, not be in it 'just' for the [increasing illusory] big money
  • - Flexibility helps, the UK has a smaller square area than the US though
  • - Soft skills help, I'm a pretty medium programmer but an approachable person
  • - Niche skills often make a difference, everyone [except me] is an 'OK' Java person, for example
  • - It helps to look ahead to up-curve trends [as long as not hypeware], I learnt a lot of Javascript/Jquery quite 'early' for example
  • - The soft skills will help with the next job too, many of my 'new' contracts involve people I know somewhat, at least

That's my 2c of a euro, the html is badly formatted, but hey it's almost time for Sunday lunch.

about 3 months ago

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

hughbar Re:My Job (310 comments)

Yes. That's exactly what's wrong with most of agile, lots of project momentum and minimal thought about 'what is this for', 'who wants this', 'will this damage the architecture' etc. Result object-oriented spaghetti and lots of unreadable post-its on a board somewhere in the first circle of development hell.

about 4 months ago

IBM Discovers New Class of Polymers

hughbar Better nail polish... (90 comments)

Been waiting all my life for that. I can go out in the evening now.

about 4 months ago

The Mifos Project Makes Software To 'Accelerate Microfinance' (Video)

hughbar Re:MF successes supporting data? (39 comments)

I'll declare interest, I work on an open source, mutual social credit system: so I'm not neutral. But microfinance usually has high interest rates and is 'owned' by large aid organisations that have their private agendas.

Debt money is created by private institutions from thin air and 'ought' either to be based on existing deposits [full reserve banking which would 'slow' everything, not a bad thing] or money creation should be in the hands and governed by the 'users'. So I don't believe that microfinance is the 'answer' and can't find evidence either.

about 5 months ago

In a Hole, Golf Courses Experiment With 15-inch Holes

hughbar Fuck golf (405 comments)

Waste of a good walk and large bits of open space used by a few quite rich people. Use the courses for public parks and communal gardens [that's allotments to we Brits] instead.

about 5 months ago

Ask Slashdot: Can an Old Programmer Learn New Tricks?

hughbar I'm 63 and learn new things (306 comments)

The secret is probably that [like many anoraky people] I enjoy the new things, I'm a neophile. Also, I'm not afraid to be mediocre at some things, I enjoy, a luxury I have because I don't use everything I know 'professionally' nowadays. But, if you don't enjoy technical stuff and do it 'just for money', it's harder to learn.

A couple of open source projects, however small, probably help as well, to 'fix' knowledge. 18 years pfui, get off my lawn...but seriously, yes, you can.

about 6 months ago

How the NSA Plans To Infect 'Millions' of Computers With Malware

hughbar Re:The Expert System (234 comments)

Sorry, I wasted some of your time. I know all that, I was being sarcastic.

about 7 months ago

How the NSA Plans To Infect 'Millions' of Computers With Malware

hughbar The Expert System (234 comments)

I love the Expert System. Was it designed by the Really Clever Person? Is Dr. Evil working on the Really Stupid System to counter it? Go figure, or not, depending on the Really Mathematical System.

about 7 months ago

The Neuroscience of Computer Programming

hughbar Listening, reading and writing (161 comments)

I'm a fluent French bilingual, but I learnt as an adult in Paris where they are about as patient as New Yorkers.

There's a huge difference between listening, where you have no control over the speed of delivery/level of difficulty and reading where you can take your time, look up 'words' [or pieces of unfamiliar syntax] and writing, harder than reading but you can still pace yourself and work around difficulties.

Otherwise there's anecdotal evidence that 'extra' natural languages are easier after the first one. I feel that's also true of programming languages, the first one is alien, lots of alien concepts [variables, file handles, operations] and the next few, in imperative languages contain the same thing with different syntactic candy. It's to do with memory, usage and repitition then, less with conceptual grasp.

about 7 months ago

Microsoft Said To Cut Windows Price 70% For Low Cost Devices

hughbar Re:Whoop-de-do! (178 comments)

Thank you, my $15 is cash money, of course, I can meet them in the usual place.

about 7 months ago

Microsoft Said To Cut Windows Price 70% For Low Cost Devices

hughbar Whoop-de-do! (178 comments)

If they pay me $15, I'll take a copy. Don't want it on any device I own or use though...

about 7 months ago

Surrogate Database Key, Not Bitcoin Protocol Flaw, To Blame For Mt Gox Problems

hughbar Re:You are a debt serf (81 comments)

Agree, nearly everyone is a debt serf. If you have family, work for salary own a house, went to university and do most of the 'ordinary' things that people do in developed countries, you probably have substantial debt. People don't 'choose' to be unfree, the current arrangements compel them in the course of living their lives.

I personally have very little debt and, as a result [apart from being quite old] don't work all year, every year. Now just IMAGINE if people started doing that [actually, apparently a serf had about 100 days holiday, religious festivals included, in the middle ages] the SYSTEM would break down and people would DO WHAT THEY WANTED. Of course, they've been taught to want Facebook, Caca-cola and expensive sneakers, so maybe it wouldn't be too bad, would it?

Apologies for the sarcastic capitals in the post. We really need a 'new' financial system that serves the 'people' and not gov, large corporations, the banks and all these other layers-of-shit, to use the technical term. Meanwhile, people need to wake up to the fact that, every day, they're being gamed.

about 8 months ago



Starting on intermediate maths?

hughbar hughbar writes  |  about 6 months ago

hughbar (579555) writes "I haven't done any 'real' maths since university about 40 years ago. I wasn't useless, but not that great either, I had to do some elementary quantum mechanics and the kind of arithmetic that an empirical scientist always needs.

I'd like to start on a little more, but every entry in Wikipedia seems to lead to another entry. Can't find the end of this piece of string. Should I specialise? Is there a book or course that covers university entry and first year maths for non-mathematicians [for example, people switching major subject]? Any ideas on this welcome, I'm ready to start but just don't know where to start."

Events Calendar for Local Community

hughbar hughbar writes  |  about 8 months ago

hughbar (579555) writes "I live in a London suburb that has many activities and classes, yoga, IT [of course], running, art, assorted volunteering and many others. With the help of the local council, we'd now like to make a centralised, searchable database of these, with a number of helpful features:
  • Easy to make submissions, otherwise the whole thing will always be out of date
  • Web accessible [obviously] but mobile phone friendly as well
  • Maybe, publish and subscribe, so people can 'subscribe' to yoga listings for example
  • Handles repeating events, like a classical web calendar
  • Maybe, can be consolidate with nearby events calendars

I'm aware of and webcalendar: for example. But I'm wondering whether there are other suggestions, especially as this is a useful social application. And, yes, I'd like it done with open source, then we can tailor it."


hughbar hughbar writes  |  more than 7 years ago

hughbar writes "The BBC is carrying this article [url:] suggesting that the human race will split into an overclass and an underclass in 100,000 years time. Anyone else see evidence of this now?!"


hughbar has no journal entries.

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