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Ask Slashdot: Joining a Startup As an Older Programmer?

mrand You can still do dinner with the family (274 comments)

Even if long hours are called for, I assume it is flex hours?

During the mega crunch times at the start-up I was at, I'd come home and eat dinner with the family and play with the kid. After they went to bed, I'd sometimes work from home, or even go back in to the office if necessary. Question is how much sleep do you need? I do ok with 6.5 to 7.5.

If you're really really concerned about it, after they've made you the offer you could tell them that you are super excited and interested, but that you have this one concern and want to know what their expectations are, and what common understanding you might be able to work out.


about 4 months ago

AMI Firmware Source Code, Private Key Leaked

mrand Re:Custom Firmware? (148 comments)

Possible? Yes. Likely? That's somewhat less clear.

Did it include the build environment also, or just the raw source? Does the source match up with your chipset VERY closely (if not, do you have long road ahead)?

When compiling a Jasper Forest BIOS for example, there is:
1. Source for the Jasper Forest family of CPUs (which is different than the source for all other familes)
2. Source for any BIOS-supported ICs on the system which differ from Intel's reference design (perhaps you have a different super I/O, for example?)
3. A configurator which sets a ton of build options #define's. It has an integrated compiler as well
4. An Intel BIOS packaging tool which adds a few Intel proprietary things

The only one that I would guarantee to be universal is is #1: Different BIOS source for the different families of CPU's.


about a year and a half ago

Bruce Schneier: A Cyber Cold War Could Destabilize the Internet

mrand Re:That might have been their plan all along... (124 comments)

For decades, the American economy has suffered while China's has boomed, and the American people are entitled to know who is responsible for the tremendous economic victory in Asia and the dismal American defeat-the greatest defeat any nation has suffered in war or peace.

Whatever it is you are babbling about, I strongly suspect the majority of the citizens of the United States are as responsible as anyone. But just to be clear, what EXACTLY are you trying to find a responsible party for on this witch hunt of yours? "the american economy has suffered"... that's a pretty broad stroke, as is "economic victory in Asia." Do you think there is someone to blame for Japan not participating in this "victory"? Same or different villan than is to blame for the US woes?


about a year and a half ago

How To Build a Supercomputer In 24 Hours

mrand Re:Antistatic (161 comments)

You're not missing anything - and I had the same thought about the Swiss ball. It is really too bad that they didn't take basic anti-static precautions - it really isn't hard at all. It's like wearing your seat belt...

about 2 years ago

For Much of the World, Demand For Water Outstrips Supply

mrand Watering the foundation of our houses! (318 comments)

Talk about a waste of water: parts of north Texas (and many other areas obviously), have clay soil which moves in crazy ways if allowed to dry out too much. This moves you house in crazy ways, causing cracks inside and out. The solution? We're encouraged to water our foundations. Huge amounts of water go to this, which results in our lake levels getting low, which puts us into water restrictions where we can't water the lawn.

Better solutions would be (1) build the foundations to withstand the soil moving, (2) and/or use a different method to keep the soil stable. I'm skipping (3) move elsewhere because DFW is not going to sprout legs and go take over Oklahoma. Unfortunately (2) likely suffers the same problem as the current solution of watering the foundation with soaker hoses: it's basically impossible to do it evenly... so you end up with overmoist areas, and other areas that still move some.


more than 2 years ago

Torvalds Bemoans Size of RC7 For Linux Kernel 3.5

mrand Re:Time to dump PowerPC support? (158 comments)

the embedded space has used lots of PPC for years. Notice it stated SoC?

Exactly right. We're designing a high-end router right now with 40 Gbps ports and the management CPUs are PPC based - just like all the other equipment we've designed (and all the other vendors too) for the past 15 years. In this case, one of the CPU's even runs Linux.


more than 2 years ago

Science and Engineering Workforce Has Stalled In the US

mrand Funny responses (433 comments)

It's funny reading all the responses saying "It's obvious"... and then each response gives a different cause.

If I knew then what I know now, I would probably not have gone into electrical engineering out of fear of offshoring. Thus far it hasn't completed killed engineering in the USA, but it has certainly made a big dent. But I don't know that the majority of young engineers know to even fear that...


more than 2 years ago

Does Telecommuting Make You Invisible?

mrand Re:My .02 (275 comments)

1) Sometimes telecommuting it isn't a choice

2) A remote office with a small number of employees pretty much falls into the same category as telecommuting from home. That's the situation I'm in.


more than 2 years ago

Feds Investigating Water Utility Pump Failure As Possible Cyberattack

mrand Re:SCADA vulns (136 comments)

Or you could just use Ethernet with autoneg disabled. That is certainly possibly with optical Ethernet, and maybe even electrical at 100 Base-TX (not 1G or 10G though).

more than 2 years ago

Asus Unveils Quad-Core Transformer Prime Tablet

mrand Re:Intruiged (274 comments)

We never undock our Transformer that we've had since mid-summer - so we use it more like a netbook. But it really opens your eyes to how certain use cases are really improved used touch screen. Yes, you can get by with a mouse, but there are many things which are really much more efficient with touch. After extended use, my wife and I bought try to touch the screen on non-touch laptops - it is so much more natural than a mouse.


more than 2 years ago

Broadcom To Buy NetLogic For $3.7 Billion

mrand MOD parent up (35 comments)

Parent is exactly right - there is nothing fishy about law firms immediately putting out press releases about pending "investigations" when a public company gets an offer to be bought. Just go research any notable purchase over the past few years. It's really sad.

about 3 years ago

London Could Soon Get Free Wi-Fi Everywhere

mrand and London Heathrow? (190 comments)

What are the chances that Boingo (and Heathrow, which surely gets revenue from Boingo) is not going to fight this, after spending the money they have adding wifi to London Heathrow? Anyone know the terms of their agreement (surely it isn't forever)?


more than 3 years ago

Bitcoin Mining Tests On 16 NVIDIA and AMD GPUs

mrand Re:FPGA compatibility? (403 comments)

I think that if there's any likelihood of Bitcoin becoming significant, there's also going to be an increasing likelihood of someone dividing the problem space in such a way that it's addressable with appropriately-designed FPGAs and thereby killing that likelihood of significance. Right now it's unlikely to be worth anyone's time & money (unless it's being examined in classes), but if there are significant $ there someone's going to be pursuing them.

There is no way to know without doing the FPGA design, at least at a high level. What you might make up for in one area, you might lose in another. The fact that the AMD's run at such a high clock rate with so many ALU's makes me doubt it would be worth it - but again, there is no way to know for sure without doing considerable work. Just going on number of ALU's (which is not really a proper way to compare, but is the only thing we for this discussion), only the latest HUGE and really expensive Virtex 7 parts have more DSP's.


Ref: vs.

more than 3 years ago

GPL'd Driver and Linux Support For New H.264 Capture Card

mrand Re:Cable Card (119 comments)

An effective Linux DVR is possible. I know it is not ideal, but you can use an HD-PVR in Linux to capture (in 1080i) the output of any device that provides component output. That's what many MythTV users do... rent the cable company box and just capture the output. Like I said, not ideal, but it is possible, and many are doing it.


more than 3 years ago

Ask Slashdot: How Prepared Are You For a Major Emergency?

mrand Re:talking about data how safe are the data center (562 comments)

I never understood why management isn't in the basement and IT infrastructure on the top floor. It makes a hell of a lot more sense.

Because management gets to decide what goes in the basement. Why would they waste a perfectly good view by giving it to the servers and routers?


more than 2 years ago

Scientist Says NASA Must Study Space Sex

mrand MOD parent up (389 comments)

This guy and his fake "Journal of Cosmology" is a lune. The joke is on slashdot for even putting this in the science category.

more than 3 years ago

Intel Launches Atom CPU With Integrated FPGA

mrand Re:more jobs for me (188 comments)

FPGA programming (or rather desiging for an FPGA, implementing algorithms) is not so much about EE as it is about CS.

Wrong. It has little to do with CS - and in fact, if you approach it that way, you'll make code that the synthesis tools can't handle efficiently. You'll end up with many levels of logic and won't meet your timing requirements. FPGA "programming" is about describing digital circuits in an HDL.


more than 3 years ago

Intel Launches Atom CPU With Integrated FPGA

mrand Re:double rainbows (188 comments)

s/some vendors/most vendors/

Telecom and datacomm equipment have long used FPGAs at key points in their systems for one or more of the following reasons:

* off-the-shelf silicon sometimes costs to much

* off-the-shelf silicon is missing something that is important to you (maybe an interface type, or a key feature)

* off-the-shelf silicon doesn't have the density

* ASIC's cost a lot to develop, and prices have been going up (while each year, FPGA prices go down). If you don't have pretty high volume, each year it has gotten harder and harder to justify.

A number of HDTV's had Xilinx Spartan FPGA's in them... I'm guessing that some still do.


more than 3 years ago

Torrent-Only Movie Denied IMDb Listing

mrand Re:fork it! (207 comments)

IMDb is a community-built site, which Amazon is monetizing on.
And now, it is hindring its users apparently.
So, I guess it is time to fork IMDb, and make something like wikipedia out of it.

TMDb is what you seek...

more than 3 years ago



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