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At 40, a person is ...

hughbar Bah! Youngsters (150 comments)

I'm 64, still running and still coding. I demoted myself from 'consultancy' back to code about 10 years ago. I take care of myself, but it's not obsessive, besides like many runners, I like to run. I don't have a car and walk or cycle nearly everywhere, as in the 1960s when I was young. 40, given current expectations of longevity etc. is a young person nowadays. But I believe that attitude. lifestyle and personal expectation play a large part in ageing where there's no actual dysfunction.

yesterday
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Spacecraft Spots Probable Waves On Titan's Seas

hughbar Re:Springtime on Titan (82 comments)

Yes, sorry, over enthusiastic about the whole concept and I should have checked! Thanks!

2 days ago
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Spacecraft Spots Probable Waves On Titan's Seas

hughbar Springtime on Titan (82 comments)

Autumn for Pluto and Uranus.

Sorry, even at 64 years old, I couldn't resist that.

3 days ago
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Starbucks Testing Mobile Order and Pay In Portland On iOS

hughbar Fuck Starbucks (40 comments)

They've 'managed' [in all the senses] to avoid paying taxes in the UK, so there's no reason to buy their weak, frothy, expensive, faux-hip coffee from them. Go away.

about two weeks ago
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Chromebooks Overtake iPads In US Education Market

hughbar Re: vendor lock-in (193 comments)

Oh yes, the documents as you say, will be fine. The apps and infrastructure around them and any interactive content will not, for example. There's a certain amount of lock-in with anything that's cloud, except something open-source from top to bottom.

As for 'no lock-in' generally, try moving away from gmail.

about two weeks ago
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Chromebooks Overtake iPads In US Education Market

hughbar Actually, some are 'free' (193 comments)

I've been to a couple of meetings in UK schools where Chromebooks are being marketed agressively and potentially given away or sold at cost. If that's happening in the US, it's bumping up the numbers.

All the class material and class management are in the 'cloud' [that is at Google central] so 'you don't have to worry about anything' and the total cost of ownership is near-zero.

What's wrong with this picture? Plenty, vendor lock-in, third party and [in the UK] foreign control of a vital resource and not understanding whatever long game Google is playing, just to start with. They're maximising shareholder value or about to, they are not a charity. And as for 'don't be evil' my a***.

Above all, we can make [or repurpose] Linux books, quite easily.

about two weeks ago
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First Experimental Demonstration of a Trapped Rainbow Using Silicon

hughbar How Sad (79 comments)

A trapped rainbow, how sad. Next thing they'll be freezing the nice pink unicorns. This is bad science and something must be done, just think of the children.

about a month and a half ago
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The Great IT Hiring He-Said / She-Said

hughbar Re:Let me speak for every one here (574 comments)

I think you've been very lucky.

I'm 64 and still working freelance, nearly every day I get emails that are orthogonal to my skill set. For example, I've never been a tester and it's not on [and never has been] my cv, but I get emails for testing jobs.

That's apart from the over-specified buzzword bingo related to web CMSs and frameworks. For example, someone that's pretty good with Drupal [not me] can probably deal with Joomla after a week or two.

My main niche is Perl but I did an MSc project in Java, so I can read it and do elementary maintenance programming. But sometimes I see Java/Perl/Ruby/C#/bash specified in the same ad, makes you -really- wonder about the architectural choices going on in that shop, doesn't it?

To be honest, with honourable exceptions [you know who you are] most of the ones I've met seemed to have started their lives as estate agents [that's real estate brokers in the US] or car salespeople.

about a month and a half ago
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U.K. Supermarkets Beta Test Full-Body 3D Scanners For Selfie Figurines

hughbar Re: Boycott ASDA (165 comments)

Never said that I did? As for your bad language and attitude that speaks for itself, doesn't it? So I wouldn't want to speak for anyone with that size of chip on their shoulder. It's nothing to do with 'fashionable' and nothing to do with 'excuse', it's e-th-ic-al. One side of my family are lowlands, but you make me ashamed. Enough said.

about 2 months ago
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U.K. Supermarkets Beta Test Full-Body 3D Scanners For Selfie Figurines

hughbar Re: Boycott ASDA (165 comments)

I notice you're an AC. Yes, a fair amount of the radical London East End left do it + the London chattering classes {N16, N1]. Since you probably work for ASDA or Walmart, you're not doing it, of course.

Of course, the 'not many people doing it' so it's useless is a common way to try and instill powerlessness. Got to start somewhere, ASDA, Coca-cola, KFC etc. etc.

about 2 months ago
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U.K. Supermarkets Beta Test Full-Body 3D Scanners For Selfie Figurines

hughbar Boycott ASDA (165 comments)

Many of us boycott ASDA anyway, since it's Walmart. Waitrose provides good food and pays its staff. And no, I don't work for Waitrose.

about 2 months ago
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Raspberry Pi Founder Demos Touchscreen Display For DIY Kits

hughbar Re:Wow (81 comments)

Who said anything about 'product'? Maybe people want a) to learn stuff b) have an enjoyable hobby c) not interact with some vast evil American corporation d) do something different.

But please carry on with Google Play, iTunes etc. etc. we're not stopping you.

about 2 months ago
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White House Wants Ideas For "Bootstrapping a Solar System Civilization"

hughbar I'd love this but... (352 comments)

As a baby-boomer, still waiting for my toga and flying car [and unlimited leisure with good pay], I love this.

However I think a clear sub-text is that the 'powers that be' have finally realised that we're fucking this planet over and we're going to need a few other places. No apologies for the language, it's an accurate description of what we're doing.

about 2 months ago
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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 4 months ago
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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: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... 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 4 months ago
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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 4 months ago
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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: http://sourceforge.net/project... 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 4 months ago
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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 5 months ago
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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 6 months ago
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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 6 months ago

Submissions

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Starting on intermediate maths?

hughbar hughbar writes  |  about 9 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."
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Events Calendar for Local Community

hughbar hughbar writes  |  about a year 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 http://mrbs.sourceforge.net/ and webcalendar: http://www.k5n.us/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."

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hughbar hughbar writes  |  more than 8 years ago

hughbar writes "The BBC is carrying this article [url:http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/6057734.stm] 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?!"

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