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Comments

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Satellite Images Show Russians Shelling Ukraine

solidraven Re:Great... (520 comments)

Sure, so not a single European country has satellites either?

yesterday
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Man Booted From Southwest Flight and Threatened With Arrest After Critical Tweet

solidraven Re:Customer service? (872 comments)

Yeah, he got it all wrong. You need to sell old rusty/broken aeroplane fixtures with sharp edges that otherwise get trashed. Saves you money on disposal of those, and you can make an extra buck out of the cage fight. Maybe provide a live video feed of the fight to the passengers in business class?

2 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: Correlation Between Text Editor and Programming Language?

solidraven Re: Uh, sure.. (359 comments)

Yes, but at least you have useful easy to access documentation with VC++. So when it messes up (as all compiler tool chains invariably do) , you have something to check before you switch to mailing lists, forums, and IRC.

about three weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Correlation Between Text Editor and Programming Language?

solidraven Re: Uh, sure.. (359 comments)

MSVC is the compiler, not the GUI (that would be MSVS?).

about a month ago
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Ask Slashdot: Correlation Between Text Editor and Programming Language?

solidraven Re: Uh, sure.. (359 comments)

Standard library != Library that follows standards!

You should mostly be looking in the direction of windows.h when working on Windows.

about a month ago
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Ask Slashdot: Correlation Between Text Editor and Programming Language?

solidraven Re: Uh, sure.. (359 comments)

I was expecting this one about assembly. There are a few things about this one though, the gcc one is a hassle to get working exactly right. (Configuration) The msvc one works easily and is predictable. You need the inline assembly to activate/configure the device. After that you usually switch to full asm functions to fetch and write data and c++ functions for everything else. The register blocking and overwriting issues most people mention usually results from incompetence with assembly more so than from compiler behaviour. But that's an educational flaw in the current generation of programmers. Building up an OS from the bare metal ought to be a graduation requirement. To get around it in the x64 versions you need to get a bit creative with linking though. But I'm so not getting into explaining that one. Lets say very few x64 device drivers need more than the standard x86 instruction set. Weirdly enough it still takes less time than switching to GCC, WDK and GCC really do NOT like each other. We tried it once and lost a lot of time and returned to msvc. The macros don't work, GCC also has very peculiar behaviour that you need to control with switches. (A colleague started calling it GNU Switch Roulette. ) Ideally we'd just scrape both compilers and start from scratch, but then we'd end up with windows compatible LLVM I guess. Or I should stop getting involved with these coding projects and stick with hardware.

about a month ago
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Ask Slashdot: Correlation Between Text Editor and Programming Language?

solidraven Re: Uh, sure.. (359 comments)

A lot of opensource projects go through the extra effort of compiling with MSVC on windows. 7zip, blackbox, gtk+, SDL, and XChat come to mind right now.

about a month ago
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Ask Slashdot: Correlation Between Text Editor and Programming Language?

solidraven Re: Uh, sure.. (359 comments)

May I be as bold as stating that you fail to consider everybody's requirements, or at least that we are looking at this from a very different perspective?

The main OS on the market at this point is Windows, both for professional and personal use. In light of this fact you can scrap GCC and LLVM from the list already, GCC creates large cumbersome executables on windows. Sure MinGW isn't bad for meddling around and some small executables. But I wouldn't want to use it to compile things where performance matters, I've tried on several occasions. I must say I find GCC's capability to deal with the Windows Platform SDK quite remarkable at this point. But the end-performance is icky at the best of times. LLVM simply does not have any real windows port that's stable and performant enough for production software.

Before I continue I should probably also mention the code I write is mostly meant for hardware interfacing (I guess you could say drivers to some degree), simulation, and data visualization. All these things require high-end performance which I simply cannot find in the GCC or LLVM ports to Windows. And before you go off making bold statements about Windows not being fit for these sort of jobs, I disagree heavily. If the program that needs the simulation code runs on windows it doesn't make sense to run it on anything else than windows for small to medium scale simulations. Interfacing to remote systems is a hassle and generates a large overhead. For the very heavy lifting using C++ is pointless, Fortran still takes the gold trophy home in that area for me.

And while to the untrained eye the machine code generated by GCC and MSVC might look very similar, MSVC simply generates better code for hardware interfacing, especially its more predictable what happens when you use in-line assembly. The windows port of GDB also fails miserably for these sort of applications, while the MSVC tool chain does a decent job. For simulation it really starts to show though, MSVC simply generates more efficient code than GCC for Windows. Do note that this requires configuring the compiler correctly, something that's trivial to do for MSVC but requires digging through documentation for GCC. Other alternatives like the compilers produced by WATCOM, Digital Mars, Mentor Graphics, and a few others simply don't cut it most of the time. They're either unable to produce code that's capable of using all the resources efficiently, or behave horribly when things like CUDA are invoked. Then there is also the entire issue of data visualization, one of the most important aspects of software development in my opinion. On Windows its either use DirectX or die trying. I agree this is mostly due to Microsoft's doing but we're stuck with it. And no matter what you do, nothing quite beats MSVC when dealing with DirectX.

This also brings me to the point of more common desktop applications, the MSVC standard library works. If you try to use it like the one produced by the GNU project you'll indeed end up in trouble. Not to mention that GTK is a horrible badly documented excuse for a UI library. Qt is better but has licensing issues all over the place. Wx is lacking features in a few important areas. If you use MSVC it knowing its strengths and weaknesses you have a great *little* tool chian at your disposal. Tie it in with the full Windows platform SDK and you have something you can quickly produce a large application with. Frankly I don't care about the C++ standards, I'm very pragmatic about these sort of things and I'm happy if things work well. If I don't have to dig under the hood too much I'm happy. I don't care about the compilation speed, incremental building works very well and my desktop is more than quick enough for 99% of the cases.

about a month ago
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Ask Slashdot: Correlation Between Text Editor and Programming Language?

solidraven Re: Uh, sure.. (359 comments)

I think my first statement is quite obvious, but we don't talk about that. ;)

Why should we care that the source of a compiler is open? In the end of the day we care about these things:
1) If it goes wrong do we have somebody to help us that we can call?
2) Is there a quick development cycle possible? (Not having to read through hundreds of pages of manual)
3) Does it work on Windows?
4) Does it integrate well with existing toolchains?
5) Are there any ridiculous limitations?
6) Can we use it without causing a licensing nightmare?
7) If it does go terribly terribly wrong, do we have somebody to shout at?

Please note how access to the source code isn't part of that list. We're so heavily occupied that even if we had the source code we don't have time to look at it unless we plan it in our agenda several months ahead of time or do it on our own time. But lets get back to opensource compiler toolchains! GCC is hardly user-friendly, huge dependency chains for all the related tools, and don't get me started on GNU autoconf. I'll agree LLVM isn't a bad compiler, but it doesn't work well on windows which kills any use we have for it. (Because lets face it, the majority of the population uses Microsoft Windows.)

about a month ago
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Ask Slashdot: Correlation Between Text Editor and Programming Language?

solidraven Re: Uh, sure.. (359 comments)

I could share my experience of working with programmers, but we don't talk about that. Half the time the opensource toolchains require hours of reconfiguration for specific tasks. Not to mention the bloated MSYS ports, which frankly are a far worse issue. (Most people use windows. ) Saying things are good because they are opensource is foolish. The end result is what matters.

about a month ago
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Ask Slashdot: Correlation Between Text Editor and Programming Language?

solidraven Re: Uh, sure.. (359 comments)

Funny you should say that. MSVC is one of the best compilers in existence for C++. Extremely good optimizer, brilliant debugger, extensive standard library, very forgiving for small mistakes, clean output well suited for pipelined execution and much more. It beats the GCC toolchain easily in every way. Only intel composer does slightly better, and maybe a few very specific ones on very specific code.

about 1 month ago
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Ask Slashdot: Correlation Between Text Editor and Programming Language?

solidraven Re: Uh, sure.. (359 comments)

Lets take a look at commercial software...

about 1 month ago
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Teaching College Is No Longer a Middle Class Job

solidraven Re:Administrators (538 comments)

I heavily disagree, to find the cutting edge you often need to look at where industry works together with academia. Then again, such projects rarely get advertised due to the amount of IP involved. Another thing I've seen is that some companies "outsource" their R&D department in the sense that they hire the staff but place them at a university, or at least on a university campus, and use the equipment there or at least buy time on it. But it really depends on the industry and the size of the company obviously.

about a month ago
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A Bike Taillight that Goes Beyond Mere Taillighting (Video)

solidraven So what... (86 comments)

And this is supposed to be impressive how?

about 2 months ago
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Are Bankers Paid Too Much? Are Technology CEOs?

solidraven Contributions... (712 comments)

What has the financial industry REALLY contributed to the planet? Other than a whole bunch of misery due to an artificial broken system.

about 5 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: What's the Most Often-Run Piece of Code -- Ever?

solidraven Re:Bios code? (533 comments)

Each time it comes out of hibernation those routines are executed in a lot of cases. Plus during critical procedures you must always disable interrupts, hence it's a very common procedure. And you forget that your computer also contains several microcontrollers, like the 8051 is often used as USB host.

about 6 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: What's the Most Often-Run Piece of Code -- Ever?

solidraven Re:Bios code? (533 comments)

Microcontrollers are present in huge numbers, the most executed code is probably somewhere in a 4-bit microcontroller in your washing machine or microwave oven. As such my entry for this one is the start-up sequence of a microcontroller: disable interrupts, configuration code, enable interrupts. Another likely candidate is the 8051 series microcontroller, that one has been around for decades and it's still being made and improved. So to be precise, configuring the timers and interrupts of the 8051 family.

You must realise most graphics cards actually don't execute that many instructions. A graphics card can process a lot of data at once, sure. But it's a case of SIMD more often than not. So the actual number of instructions executed is quite limited versus the amount of data.

about 6 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: How Many (Electronics) Gates Is That Software Algorithm?

solidraven Re:Cadence C to Silicon redux (365 comments)

Well, it really depends on the algorithm I'd say, simple things are easy enough to estimate depending on if you wish to run it in parallel or not. But if they come to you to ask for it that's usually not the case I figure.

about 7 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: How Many (Electronics) Gates Is That Software Algorithm?

solidraven Cadence C to Silicon (365 comments)

Haven't tried it, but Cadence's C to Silicon might be up for the job. Also keep in mind that in hardware you have very different requirements than in software, and parallellisation has interesting effects on the number of gates. The best option is to get an EE, preferably with experience in digital design, to take a look at it. Other options are SystemC compilers, but they're not really up to production use yet as far as I know. And it is also very technology dependant, sometimes complicated logical functions that are common are implemented directly. This isn't something you can just wing!

about 7 months ago
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Helicopter Rescue For All Passengers Aboard Antarctic Research Ship

solidraven Re:The Antarctic successfully defends itself (168 comments)

Yeah, you know what would have been really funny considering the sort of PR they were aiming for. If they would have been saved by a Russian nuclear powered ice breaker.

about 7 months ago

Submissions

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Ask Slashdot: Master's Thesis Subject for EE Student

solidraven solidraven writes  |  more than 2 years ago

solidraven (1633185) writes "I'm an electronic engineering student with a big problem. Due to an unfortunate case of sickness my master's thesis subject got cancelled. The only professor familiar with the subject at hand (NMR coil design) will most likely be out for months. As a result I need to pick a new subject and I need to submit it as soon as possible. The only other options I got were simply unacceptable because they were either too boring or too easy. I simply refuse to do anything related to the IT field as many of my fellow students are doing. Additionally I must mention we lack the facilities for integrated design or multi-layer PCB manufacturing at our college. So in my hour of despair I turn to you, the Slashdot crowd for ideas and suggestions."

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