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Why Can't We Put a BASIC On the Phone?

zr-rifle Re:Why BASIC? What for? (783 comments)

Python programmers are the only ones not complaining about indentation in Python.

about 3 years ago

Ask Slashdot: Transitioning From Developer To Executive?

zr-rifle Give correct estimations (229 comments)

First of all, read "The Mythical Man Month" by Fred Brooks, if you haven't already.
Be realistic and conservative on your delivery dates. Defend them to the death.
Avoid micromanaging people, if possible, and insist on clear communication and concise documentation.
My personal suggestion: don't give up completely on being a developer. Keep a small, but important task to yourself. You will gain an even better view on how your team is working.

more than 3 years ago

Learning Programming In a Post-BASIC World

zr-rifle Today is better than 30 years ago (510 comments)

Backstory: I learned to program at age six on a Commore Vic-20. I decided to learn because games on the Vic sucked and programming was the only thing interesting one could do on it (even for a small child). Commodore BASIC was limited and quirky, but provided me with hundreds of hours of fine entertainment. One could pick it up quickly thanks to the programming manual that was bundled with every computer (take note).

When somebody asks me who had the most influence on me on my career choices and inspired me, I don't tell them it was Bill Gates or Steve Jobs, but Jack Tramiel. "Jack WHO?" "Never mind..."

If I had a kid and she told me she was interested in learning to program, I would pick Python. It is easy to learn and very deep, which good support for imperative and functional programming, other than OO. First thing, I would buy her a book. There are plenty around that start from the basics and work their way up to a simple but rewarding game using PyGame or Pyglet.

Back on the Vic I could only choose between BASIC (mediocre and slow) and Assembly (obscure and arcane). Today beginners can choose from so many options. The important thing is not knowing "where" to start, but "how". Buy a good book, and if you love what you learn, you'll never stop as long as you live.

more than 3 years ago

Who Killed the Netbook?

zr-rifle Is it dead? (398 comments)

As a commuter, I see plenty of netbooks. I never had the impression that they were going away. Heck, even Apple makes netbooks now. Even seen the "new" MacBook Air? It comes in 11 and 13 inch models.

more than 3 years ago

Leaked Activision Memos Compare CoD, Guitar Hero

zr-rifle Intentional leak? (101 comments)

Seriously, it sounds like PR material.

more than 3 years ago

Google Loses Autocomplete Defamation Case

zr-rifle Re:Poor cop-out (258 comments)

I wish I had mod points, so I'll reply...

As you said, this has absolutely nothing to do with free speech. I ask those who are criticizing the verdict: what if YOU woke up one morning and found out that Google is suggesting you are a paedophile or a crook, just because a group of determined individuals have been intentionally searching your name with those keywords? From the proceedings, it seems that this guy hasn't even been on trial for the crime of fraud and probably is the victim of his own competitors; he asked Google to remove these keywords and Google didn't comply, so he hired a laywer.

more than 3 years ago

Case Closed On Jerusalem UFO Video

zr-rifle Reverse April Fool's? (336 comments)

In Soviet Russia, UFOs hoax you?

more than 3 years ago

Why Debian Matters More Than Ever

zr-rifle Re:Since when? (345 comments)

What has this to do with the desktop? He is talking about CentOS (a distro commonly used on servers) and Django (a Web framework).

more than 3 years ago

The Rise and Fall of Graphic Adventure Games

zr-rifle Primitive graphics an advantage (134 comments)

I loved adventure games when I was a child and have fond memories of Deja Vu, Leisure Suit Larry and Zak McKraken. My young age and the new technology made those virtual environments so fascinating. The primitive graphics added to the charm of those games, as you had to use your imagination to believe that the wobbly mass of pixels was actually Indiana Jones (The Last Crusade, Amiga).

With no Internet and solutions being published only in some computer magazines, those games could last months, which you would spend on analyzing every single pixel for clues, trying every possible item/action combination and pestering your friends about hints.

Good times.

more than 3 years ago

Sony Adopts Objective-C and GNUstep Frameworks

zr-rifle Summary is incorrect (345 comments)

GNUstep's objective is to create a free and open source implementation of the Cocoa libraries, with some additional libraries. It does not target the OpenStep spec, which is antique and obsolete.

Please read the definition

more than 4 years ago

Was There Only One Big Bang?

zr-rifle Re:Old hat (295 comments)

Proven with what? Our grasp of physics can only let us understand what probably happened minutes after the Big Bang occured. According to this model, complete removal of information occurs at the end of the cycle, or aeon, when black holes evaporate and the universe returns into a pristine state, just like a blank slate.

I think it's easier to understand what we are talking about if you imagine the universe as a white blanket.

Before the big bang occurs, the blanket perfectly smooth, just like it was well ironed. Then, a massive jolt causes it to fold, crease and wrinkle: this is information, i.e. matter. Entropy could probably act as a gradual, unstoppable force that gradually puts the blanket under tension again.
The end of universe, therefore, is the return to a pristine state completely devoid of information. Suppose you spill a cup of coffee over the blanked: it is now tainted, but this doesn't necessary interfere with the distension process of prohibit the blanket from returning to a perfectly smooth state. However, if you take a look at the tainted blanket, it obviously isn't perfectly white as before.

Therefore, the Big Bang acts as a creator of new information, not as a destructor of previous information.

more than 4 years ago

The Software That Failed To Compete With Windows

zr-rifle AmigaOS (347 comments)

AmigaOS had true multitasking, a windowing UI called Intuition, multiple screen of varying resolution on top of each other and a hardware mouse cursor (via custom graphics chips such as Denise). It also had scripting languages such as Amiga Basic (by MS) and an ARexx interpreter.

In 1986.

more than 4 years ago

Alternative To the 200-Line Linux Kernel Patch

zr-rifle Re:What's the catch? (402 comments)

Seems a Major Major bug to me.

more than 4 years ago

Gaikai Ramping Up Open Beta

zr-rifle Re:two articles in a row? (44 comments)

Since it's David Perry, I'd say it's Pepsi-flavoured Cool Spot

more than 4 years ago

Google Testing Instant Search Feature

zr-rifle Keyboardr clone? (101 comments)

It surprises me that no-one has mentioned Keyboardr, which offers this kind of live search functionality.

more than 4 years ago

Oracle Sues Google For Infringing Java Patents

zr-rifle Re:Serious questions raised by Oracle patent attac (510 comments)

A sincere question: why not fully embrace Python? It's not as popular as Java, i.e. one of the main of the main reasons to make it the primary platform, but it's still widespread, especially within Google itself. Maybe performance issues; even when the interpreter is reimplemented with a subset of libraries? I'm curious...

more than 4 years ago


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