Ask Slashdot: Replacing a TI-84 With Software On a Linux Box?
You can Google "alternatives to Matlab" and find a nice write-up about several open source alternatives ...Octave gets very good reports. Or you can get the Student version of Matlab for a hundred bucks if you want the whole thing. Amazingly good.
There are some subjects, and some students, for which the MOOC is fine. A highly-motivated student may not need the guidance of a face-to-face teacher. I have taught freshman classes where many of the students took the class only because they had to have a science course; it is possible that they learned something, and they probably would not have taken the time to dig it out on their own. I am convinced, however, that being "in residence" is extremely valuable for graduate work. Attending seminars regularly, having a good major professor, and interacting with people who are interested in learning the same material is a powerful teaching method.
From a NAND Gate To Tetris
Sometimes we need to step back a few paces to ask exactly what it is that we're trying to accomplish. When a teen-ager is ready to learn to drive, it is not essential for him/her to be able to rebuild the engine or put in new piston rings. After a person has an introductory-level understanding of what an automobile does, then he/she may want to explore the details in greater depth. Some people may actually turn out to be more interested in painting the car in different colors, or using it to transport sick people to the hospital. We need to be careful, I suspect, not to overwhelm the new computer student with a lot more than the student has to know _at that stage in his development_ ... there needs to be a few (well supervised) joy rides in there to keep up interest. To be sure, the new student does not know enough to know " what he needs to know." But the level of study should be an outgrowth of the person's real interests.
Tycho Deep Space: a DIY, Open Source, Manned Spacecraft
May not be the worst ... but it is _way_ up there, past the guy with the jet pack. Be sure to check the O rings. Perhaps might make an entry in the Darwin Awards. If you want the view, send a video camera up there.
Ask Slashdot: Science Sights To See?
Two comments: first, you will probably not see any " Science." You may see the results of engineering feats ... but check out places well before you go too far out of your way; some " science sites" that I am aware of actually consist of two parts: the places where science is done and where they really wish you would go away and leave them alone, and the other parts -- where the "outreach" people have set up demos. The Air and Space Museum in D.C. is a fantastic place to visit, and I'd recommend that, but (for example) you should not expect to see the science or engineering behind the Blackbird. If you saw any genuine supercomputers, you'd see a large room full of cabinets, but no science behind the calculations being done (mostly by people in other locations :-)
Lots to see, and fun, but be thoughtful about what you are looking for.
LinuxCon 2011 Keynotes Streamed Free
I've tried to watch several times -- when they were presumably "live" and the video screen always says " Off Air." bummer
How Can an Old-School Coder Regain His Chops?
Many people here refer to the Bosses and/or PR folks as complete a$$holes. If you go to an interview with that in mind, it will probably turn out to be true. If you go with the attitude that they just might want the best for their company, and you are trying to find ways to help the company as well, your success rate will go up. If you draw a bozo, just be polite and go somewhere else. They may know some programmers who are somewhat challenged socially as well. So try to convince them that you are a decent human being who happens to be a very good programmer. imho.
What To Do With an Old G5 Tower?
Many people have noted that the G5 machines are power hungry. However, in most cases it will take roughly ten times as much electricity to pump the heat out of your office (or house). This makes the pay-back time much shorter for buying a new, more efficient machine unless you live in a cold region.
How To Teach a 12-Year-Old To Program?
I remember once asking the best programmer I knew about which language he thought would be the best one for a particular problem I was working on. He said that he thought the best language to use would be the one that I knew best.
20 Years of MS Word and Why It Should Die a Swift Death
I think your last comment contradicts your basic statement. People don't upgrade because they do not need to and because the new program is expensive. Why upgrade? If all you need is operability with something new that M/S has done, they should supply that. All Open Source programs would do that. A cash cow is designed to make money.
Laboring Longer a Growing Trend For Americans
You are right, of course. I was actually thinking about the whole notion that we as a nation comply more or less willingly with the whole tax system. slightly off topic; sorry.
There is an analogy today, where we can work from home, full or part time, and "work" never goes away .... with the old days of family farming; the work was at home, and the idea of retirement just didn't come up until you were too old to do it.