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Scientists Create 'Fastest Man-Made Spinning Object'

il dus Levitates like a beach ball? (159 comments)

Now I can understand that the BBC felt the need to fill the article with stupid comparisons, but why can't the summary here just replace them with ellipses for the sake of the presumably more technical readership here? One would think that the typical slashdot reader would understand 600 Mrpm just fine and wouldn't need such twaddle as "This spin speed is half a million times faster than a domestic washing machine and more than a thousand times faster than a dental drill" for edification.

Yeah, yeah, I know. I'm just old and bitter. Now get off of my lawn.

about a year ago

Ask Slashdot: Do Coding Standards Make a Difference?

il dus Can't follow simple instructions? (430 comments)

If you can't follow a simple style guideline, what does that say about the rest of your code? When reviewing code, if I start to see a pattern of not adhering to the coding standards, I'll kick it back immediately. Why? Well, if you can't figure that out, then I don't expect you can figure out whatever algorithm you're working on either.

Coding standards are in place to enforce consistency throughout a code base and to save developer time. When reading code, you shouldn't have to be scanning for how things are indented or whether or not a bug is caused by a dangling else, you should be able to focus on the code. Looking through inconsistently formatted code takes additional time and effort - not much, but scale to a few thousand developers over a period of years, and that's a serious amount of wasted effort.

As others have said, if you want to write code your way, do it on your own time.

about 2 years ago

Memorizing Language / Spelling Techniques?

il dus Flash cards (237 comments)

The low-tech kind. When learning Russian I was able to memorize a new wordlist (40-50 words) in 10-20 minutes after having written them all out on flash cards. The writing itself was a major part of the learning process. As for retention once learned, a lot of practice is really the only way. Reading out loud is actually fairly helpful, and conversation is the very best.

more than 4 years ago

The US's Reverse Brain Drain

il dus Reverse? (757 comments)

Maybe my brain has been drained, too, but, if all the educated people are leaving the US, wouldn't that be a good old regular brain drain and not a reverse brain drain?

more than 5 years ago

Suitable Naming Conventions For Workstations?

il dus My simple scheme... (688 comments)

...is to use the md5 sum (expressed in sexagesimal, of course) of the MAC address of the secondary NIC, prepended with an "n" for legibility. Simple, logical, and useful.

more than 5 years ago

Worst Working Conditions You Had To Write Code In?

il dus A tent in Afghanistan... (1127 comments)

...in the middle of summer with a broken air conditioner and a RAID whose power supply kept beeping loudly because it was sensitive to the fluctuations in voltage provided by our loud diesel generator parked just outside. I was coding up an interface to an Access '97 database on stripped down Win2k running on a very dirty laptop (mud made from the very fine dust I was breathing combined with the sweat dripping off my fingers would occasionally cause a key to stop working) in Perl using OLE, with *no* internet access and little documentation. Funny thing was, I actually was having a pretty good time.

more than 5 years ago

Intel CPU Privilege Escalation Exploit

il dus Re:more nonsense from the same people (242 comments)

That's one of the cool things about virtual machines: physical addresses in a VM are, in fact, virtual addresses. And anyways, I'm not sure about Xen and friends, but vmware has its own BIOS and own SMM code, and taking control of one VM's SMM (which none of these exploits can do, so it's a moot point) wouldn't affect the rest of of the host system at all.

more than 5 years ago

IT Job Without a Degree?

il dus No degree worked for me (1123 comments)

I've dropped out of college six or so times (depends on how you count) and still don't have a degree. Nevertheless I'm holding a very technical and highly challenging and enjoyable programming position and absolutely no one I work with cares in the least about my interrupted education. What they do care about is my technical ability and I wouldn't have been hired if I hadn't been able to impress the engineers I interviewed with.

That said, the company I work for isn't too large, and I was referred by a friend, so I was able to clear the first hurdle of just getting noticed. It's unfortunate, but with larger companies especially, a decidedly non-technical person (or an equivalent SQL query) will be reviewing your resume and will only be looking for certain magic keywords. My advice is to make sure you're solid technically (which you should be anyways), then either try at smaller companies where you're more likely to be noticed, or impress someone and have them bring your resume in. There are, I'm sure, other ways to go about this, but that's my experience. Good luck.

more than 5 years ago


il dus hasn't submitted any stories.



Been a while...

il dus il dus writes  |  more than 10 years ago

Well, it's been a while since my last entry. I do work for Advent now (which has since been purchased by Titan). The job is a very good match for my skills and interests. In fact, if it weren't for the commute (Santa Cruz to Mountain View - about an hour each way), this job would be ideal. I've also started school again. I looked at all the college credit I have, and I seem to have more than most grad students, just not in the right places. Oh well, I've decided to go for a B.A. in Mathematics. That would probably be the most useful. Of course working full time means that I'll only be able to take a few classes at a time, which in turn means that it'll be a few years before I have my degree.


Back home

il dus il dus writes  |  more than 11 years ago

Well, I'm out of the Army and in Santa Cruz. Advent did hire me and I start work in a couple of weeks. In the meantime, I'm just getting myself established here in SC. The only hitch so far is getting my car registered. I might have to go to Humboldt to do it (only have to smog it once as opposed to every two years here). We'll see.

On my way from North Carolina, I visited a couple of friends and toured three national parks in as many days. I'll put most of the pictures up on my website when I get them developed (today). It was pretty nice being able to see the country which I had been defending. One can easily lose sight of just how much it's really worth it.



il dus il dus writes  |  more than 11 years ago Being in kind of a transitional period in my life, I figured that now would be the ideal time to start writing in my /. journal. I've been meaning to for a while, but haven't ever got around to it. Next Friday will be my last day in the Army. I've been in for the last five years as a signals intelligence analyst and Russian linguist. What's next? Well, I've been talking to Advent Systems, and so far, things are looking good. I'm looking for a software job near Santa Cruz. They're looking for a programmer with my qualifications. Seems like a good match. I guess I'll see how things go with that. Here's to wishing myself good luck...

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