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Comment Convoluted Learning - a little bit of everything. (Score 1) 515

As a kid felt alone and isolated - not into sports, family issues (divorce/remarry). Computers were an escape, a way to feel "special" and a way of exerting control.

Dad was into computers through his work, brought home Vic 20 then C64, learned some programming by typing in code. Later assembly to do cool stuff like switch out character sets etc. Had a small job programming menus for touch screens on an Apple ][.

High School had computers TRS-80s but teacher did not know how to use them which gave us free reign to do what we wanted. Learned some assembly there as well (Block Moves ROCK!).

Very good community college professor who was "in the industry" and taught (for the time) formal computer coding and design methodologies. I learned fortan & pascal there.

Picked up more bits of programming (particularly database apps) while working on side projects for various jobs and friends - Lotus symphony! Clipper Summer 87!. First real programming job learned the hard way about business app development - just get it done!! No time no spec no testing! You are a good programmer but not our kind of programmer! You're fired!

Finally started working at a proper but very small computer firm had a great older mentor who taught me about integrating what I learned in college with the "real world" stuff. The job forced me to work with clients directly, larger scale projects and learn more about "cost" and the "business way" of doing things.

As others have said - having a personal interest in these things helps keep driving you forward with learning and adapting to new stuff. It's not a job it's a hobby/lifestyle etc. Never stop learning!

Comment Re:The real question (Score 1) 341

Local Governments with no budgets have to make their custom software last for an insane amount of time before they can get a replacement. I know of one still running Dos & a Novell 3.1 server. Web apps seem a good way to keep things standard across a variety of aging and ancient computer systems. I do not necessarily mean that NodeJS is the answer here just that using the web (internally) seems to be a longer lasting solution then a platform dependant one (say windows app). With Node at least the govt IT people who may know javascript have a chance of parsing the backend server stuff to make changes etc long after the developer is gone. Of course the same could be said for PHP etc..

Comment CastleOS Maybe? (Score 1) 183

Another big issue is responsiveness of rules/triggering/devices.

I have a smartthings hub and sometimes simple motion triggers or routines fail and usually it's due to some sort of network issue. If I lose internet connectivity then a lot of my smart things become dumb things. To be fair things seem to be improving albeit slowly but I am still tied to Samsung and whatever they want to do with their services - it looks like they are more focused on TVs and Refrigerator hubs at the moment. I have no confidence that they or any provider will keep things going through the lifetime of a particular product - Revolv anyone? At least the IOT devices themselves are relatively transferrable.

Have been looking at CastleOS as a possible alternative. Not sure where they stand with Zigbee integration - my devices are a mixture of Z-wave/Wifi/Zigbee

Also they are windows ?10? based so there is the whole potential spying thing there too but at least the operation is not cloud reliant.


Comment Re:Pseudo-meat? (Score 1) 274

So I think the current knock on margarine is the potential for more trans-fats. Also some people have issues with the way it's processed using hexane or some such - I dunno I tend to tune out the whole holistic/naturalistic/organic fud anyway. Also not sure if it's really the same as butter after my brief and lazy googling - there's that whole hydrogenation thing. I grew up with margarine but made the switch to butter a while ago. I think I like the taste of butter better (esp in cooking) but could probably get used to marg again. I also heard that lard is making a comeback too... wonder if they could grow that in a vat.

Comment Re:F/OSS reality (Score 1) 167

I dunno - Windows 8.xx doesn't support some of my working older devices all that well - which is understandable as manufacturers can't or won't opensource their code and/or do not want to rewrite drivers for products they are no longer selling. I am running both Windows 8.1 & Manjaro (Arch) Linux and am fairly satisfied with both. I agree that newer stuff always seems to be an issue in Linux at least initially but things usually sort themselves out over time - usually it seems to take longer when there are large changes in pc tech - like displays etc. Overall I think there is actually a greater amount of compatible device drivers for the latest Linux versus the latest Windows.. but ymmv.

Comment Mmm dost protest too much maybe? (Score 1) 182

I was under the impression that at least early on Microsoft kinda sorta turned a blind eye to pirating - that way they could spread their stuff far and wide. Only after everyone was "hooked" did they start tightening the screws.

I remember how easy it was to install ms office (and other sw) throughout a business with a single set of installation CDs/diskettes + add extra bogus seats/connections/licenses to your server etc.

Just sayin'

Comment Re:many engineers are religious (Score 1) 1258

Yayy for logic... I like that argument!

I guess maybe you could argue that based on our "new" ideas you could say God could ?exist? in a quantum state - being able to create a rock heavier than he could lift or not AND being able to lift said rock or not. So he could be omnipotent and powerless depending on your observation.

Comment There are a lot of answers.. (Score 2) 319

I think it depends on exactly what you want to teach your general public. If you want to go down and dirty with installation & good documentation then maybe something like "gentoo" (or it's derivatives).

Otherwise if you just want to familiarize them with a basic gui interface similar to what they're used to and also simple maybe try something like Lubuntu or Xubuntu? Ubuntu's Unity may be too radical a departure for this (yet).

Mint is cool but stability might be a concern depending on the flavor especially if you want the old-school gnome paradigm.

Just my 2 cents..

Comment Re:Eclipse? (Score 1) 300

Thanks for the heads up!!

Will investigate this further - don't want to make a mess of a project even messier. For us wysiwyg is not all that critical. Eclipse seems to have some nice team oriented features and is (possibly) a standardized tool that can be used for django (python), straight python & postgresql dev.

There does appear to be a commercial plugin "MyEclipse" or something but that's not what was asked about I guess.

Otherwise I've used the non-wysiwyg bluefish.. I notice there's also the "Aloha Editor" -

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