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Ask Slashdot: Is Pascal Underrated?

putaro Re:Early fragmentation (484 comments)

I did most of my work on Unix before I started at Apple in '95. All of the new OS development was being done in C by then. I suspect that before most of the OS development had been done in 68K assembler, not Pascal. When the switch to PPC started, Apple needed a cross-platform systems programming language and Pascal was not it.

This article from '93 references how the industry mindset had switched to C/C++ and that pushed Apple.

https://www.schneier.com/essay...

One thing to remember is that at that time, both Macs and PCs were not very powerful machines and large applications were being developed for Unix workstations.

2 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: Is Pascal Underrated?

putaro Re:Java is Pascal++ (484 comments)

UCSD P-system was a virtual machine. introduced back in '78. I think it was most popular on the Apple II, though it ran on PC's and even the PDP-11. I went to UCSD in the mid 80's and we learned Pascal on PC's but the PDP-11's (these were small graphics workstations, not minis) were running RT-11, if I remember correctly and we used them for the assembly language class.

3 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: Is Pascal Underrated?

putaro Re:Early fragmentation (484 comments)

I'd say that the reason C eclipsed Pascal was the popularity of Unix. There was an explosion of Unix systems in the mid 80's (including Sun workstations but many, many others) that were fairly inexpensive but with a lot of power and they were all programmed in C. Pascal had a lot of popularity on PC's with Turbo Pascal and a lot of stuff written of the Macintosh was Pascal back then (if you look at the old Mac API's you'll see an abundance of "pstrings" or Pascal strings) but C was "cooler" because it was coming out of the Unix world.

3 days ago
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The Importance of Deleting Old Stuff

putaro Re:Air-gap. (177 comments)

This is very true. Another issue is not that there's anything embarrassing or bad, but the sheer work of producing documents for a lawsuit can be be very expensive. If you do keep emails or other records beyond the legal retention limits they can still be subpoenaed, but if you destroy them on a regular schedule, well, can't produce what you don't have.

about two weeks ago
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The Coming Decline of 'Made In China'

putaro Re:Pop Ctrl can't happen in an entitlement society (327 comments)

Developed countries don't need to promote population control - it happens by itself. Every developed nation except for the United States (which has large amounts of immigration) has a declining birth rate. And, yes, it is a problem for retirement schemes.

about a month ago
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An Automated Cat Litter Box With DRM

putaro Re:Wait a second (190 comments)

As far as I can tell the "washing" of the granules is part of the automatic cycle.

about a month ago
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The Joker Behind the Signetics 25120 Write-Only Memory Chip Hoax

putaro That's not a joke! (100 comments)

How do you think /dev/null is implemented?

about a month and a half ago
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Apple DRM Lawsuit Loses Last Plaintiff, but Judge Rules Against Dismissal

putaro Re:Only in America... (71 comments)

Real didn't remove the Apple DRM, though, they added it. That's not DRM circumvention. Real had the rights to distribute the music. If there was some legal issue with creating the FairPlay (gotta love them names) compatible files, Apple would have sued Real rather than just adding code to reject their files.

about a month and a half ago
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UK Announces 'Google Tax'

putaro Re:Why tax profits, why not income? (602 comments)

I think there may be some merit to this.

First, it makes the tax structure for companies a lot simpler. The amount of paperwork for tracking all of your expenses is silly (I _hate_ saving and tracking receipts) and you don't know how much your tax will be until you know how much your profit is. If it's a percentage of revenues you can just figure it in to your costs and be done.

Second, the tax on income penalized businesses saving. So, if you need to make a big investment that you can't finance out of revenues in a single tax year it makes more sense to borrow for it than it does to save profits for a few years. When times are good, borrowing is fairly easy. However, as soon as a recession hits, banks start to trim credit lines and refuse to make new loans. This decreases investment and makes the recession worse. If more businesses were financing themselves out saved profits the business cycle would probably not be as much of a boom/bust as it.

about 2 months ago
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UK Announces 'Google Tax'

putaro Re:Why tax profits, why not income? (602 comments)

The difference is that for a corporation almost everything is a business expense whereas for an individual you can't deduct things like food, clothing and other things not directly related to the business.

about 2 months ago
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Consortium Roadmap Shows 100TB Hard Drives Possible By 2025

putaro Re:Doubt it (215 comments)

I remember hearing that back in the mid-80's. May I introduce you to bubble memory?

about 2 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Why Is the Power Grid So Crummy In So Many Places?

putaro Re:Hide your cables (516 comments)

Hmmm...here in Tokyo a lot of the power is coming in through overhead lines. Our building gets fed off a pole and we haven't had an outage in years. That includes during the multiple typhoons that come through every year. They tend to insulate the wires and wrap them with steel cable here, though, so maybe that's a big difference.

about 2 months ago
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Alva Noe: Don't Worry About the Singularity, We Can't Even Copy an Amoeba

putaro Re:writer doesn't get jeopardy, or much of anythin (455 comments)

Skynet begins to learn at a geometric rate. At 1:35 A.M. Eastern time it runs out of disk space and crashes horribly

about 2 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Best Practices For Starting and Running a Software Shop?

putaro It depends (176 comments)

Most of the answers to your questions are "it depends" I don't understand what you mean by a "software shop" - is this a consulting company, a company that produces a large scale product, a company that produces a small product, an online service or what?

Your ratio of junior to senior developers depends on the kind of product you're producing. If you have an application that has a big, overarching architecture and then lots of relatively simple modules for specific cases, you want many junior developers to pound out those simple modules (e.g. different types of data entry screens).

Coding standards and standardization are always good. For a small shop you're best off looking around for one that you like and adopting it rather than trying to make your own from scratch because it is not a revenue producer and you can burn endless hours in meetings arguing about spacing, comment style, etc. Make an executive decision and move forward.

Tools and languages, again, it depends. Use the right tool for the job.

Since you don't know any of these things or how to make the tradeoffs, what you need is to hire a director of engineering who does because if you try to hire some developers and apply the vast depth of wisdom that you've acquired from this thread on Slashdot you're probably going to fail miserably.

about 2 months ago
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Russia May Be Planning National Space Station To Replace ISS

putaro Re:What's it good for? (236 comments)

And there's nothing in North America except trees and savages. What a short-sighted view you have.

about 2 months ago
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Russia May Be Planning National Space Station To Replace ISS

putaro Re:What's it good for? (236 comments)

There's a lot of value in having humans along. Currently, launch costs are so high that the costs of bringing along the life support for humans is prohibitive, but if it got cheaper many things would work better.

Consider Philae - if it had landed a few meters in another direction it would still be working. If it had been a manned expedition, that wouldn't have been an issue.

Or look at the Mars rovers. Great stuff, but there's little ability to improvise. Think up a different experiment you want done? Well, it'll have to wait for the next rover because that one can't do it.

about 2 months ago
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A Worm's Mind In a Lego Body

putaro Re:Memory mapping? (200 comments)

That's such bullshit. We didn't understand the atom until a little over a century ago. Quantum mechanics even later. Just because it's been thousands of years and we haven't figured something out doesn't mean that it's unknowable.

about 2 months ago
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Duke: No Mercy For CS 201 Cheaters Who Don't Turn Selves In By Wednesday

putaro Re:Or just practicing for an actual job (320 comments)

The difference being that you could have coded it from scratch - and you don't learn how to do that just by copy/pasting code.

about 3 months ago
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Denmark Faces a Tricky Transition To 100 Percent Renewable Energy

putaro Re:Home storage (488 comments)

Because nobody is making that many batteries yet and they're quite expensive? The whole Tesla "gigafactory" is so they can produce 500,000 cars per year. That's a drop in the bucket for supplying homes with batteries.

about 3 months ago
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German Spy Agency Seeks Millions To Monitor Social Networks

putaro So much for Angela Merkel's commitment to privacy (59 comments)

Yeah, Angela Merkel was upset the NSA was spying on her (and she's actually a legitimate target as a head of state and has her own security forces who are supposed to be securing her communications) but wants to return the favor to the rest of the world. They're all the same.

about 3 months ago

Submissions

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Journals

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"not even worth mentioning"

putaro putaro writes  |  more than 11 years ago

Bastards. Idiots with spreadsheets pretending to be engineers. Who would need a repair kit for a shuttle? No, that foam strike is no problem at all. Nosiree. Trust me

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putaro putaro writes  |  more than 11 years ago

OK, who was the retard who decided to map entire PARTITIONS into memory and that therefore PARTITIONS (not files, file systems!) could only be a max of 2GB under HURD? Oy vey. Yah, you betcha GNU's not Unix. Maybe some SCO code would help.

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putaro putaro writes  |  more than 11 years ago

So I thought I'd try installing GNU Hurd and messing with it. "Try the Debian CD image" beckons the GNU Hurd page. My, that's nice I thought. Who needs to read the instructions page - that's what the installer is for, right? Why bother making an installer if it's not going to at least install the boot loader? And then I'm supposed to type this at the GRUB prompt:

grub> module (hd0,0)/hurd/ext2fs.static \ --multiboot-command-line=${kernel-command-line} \ --host-priv-port=${host-port} \ --device-master-port=${device-port} \ --exec-server-task=${exec-task} -T typed ${root} \ $(task-create) $(task-resume)

Ya know, I don't mind doing the extra work since it's a development system - but why go to the effort of making a CD image and an installer and not do the last two fricking steps? A kernel comment comes to mind: This was hard to write, it should be hard to understand.

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