7 posts • joined 12 May 2010
Valuable life lessons wringing it's neck.
T'was as good as I could afford on paper-round money. No Mode 7, but that was no biggy. Solid enough to play tennis with. Really.
It provided a very useful lesson in life. I was writing some code and I'd wrung the neck out the Electron and I'd tried everything I could think of, loads of in-line assembler, turning off the screen updates during processing etc.
I wrote a letter detailing the things I'd tried to "Your Computer" magazine to the agony uncle page; Tim Hartnell I think it was. My letter was subsequently published with my bullet points stripped out of the question and placed as the answer.
If I was to write a letter to my young self it would express the sentiment that "The World is full of bullshitters and people wanting undeserved credit. You'd better get used to dealing with them."*
* I hasten to add that in my experience pretty much everyone is quite nice really.
Keep a 10 year old handy
I had a look and they weren't released. As I stood up and moved away from the kitchen computer, my youngest slipped into the seat and was watching the page and refreshing. He nearly exploded with excitement when it changed within seconds (and nearly went hypo but that's another story). Managed to bag a 16GB as a surprise for wifey - his excitement blew the surprise out of the water though.
After what seemed like an eternity waiting for ICS, I received my Jelly Bean update OTA last night on my Nexus S.
I was already used to it as my Nexus 7 came pre installed with it - at least - it probably did. SWMBO swiped it and I've barely seen it since, and as I haven't been bombarded with "How" and "it's rubbish because" and "stupid thing" and "why doesn't it" etc, I can only assume that Jelly Bean functions well.
My son's pump has got a limiter that prevents large boluses of insulin. We've set the level quite low deliberately.
The comms to upload the data through the USB connector needs to be ruddy close (within a few inches) to make a connection, and the connection needs to be initiated from the pump itself. (Don't get me started on the Java applet that "requires Microsoft Windows (TM) and Internet Explorer"). VirtualBox, you were sent by Jupiter Himself.
When his blood glucose goes very low, the pump shuts down to prevent background insulin from going in.
Having met with the manufacturers and had conference calls with their development department and having harangued them at length about my need for a Bluetooth interface, I have a few degrees of scepticism about this article being aimed at their devices.
I hate to be pedantic, but the whole "Romans sowing salt on the land" after the defeat of the Cartheginians is widely perceived to be untrue, so to make assertions that the Romans actually did so is pushing it a bit.
Still, it made me read a story about cloud computing though - so who's the sucker?
I taught it
In a secondary school.
I went straight from Industry, mainly databases, C++, C# etc.
What I learned, was the the whole of the syllabus can be summarised as "How to teach Microsoft Office".
Other teachers were well-meaning, but mostly clueless. Virtually all types of system/programs were referred to as their MS name (Excel etc.), there was no knowledge of anything else, and to be fair, it just felt pointless learning. You are constrained by the system and the syllabus, and the system says that MS Office is the world.
There was one part of the GCSE course where the kids had to do programming. MS Office to the rescue! Record a macro and watch it create your code for you. We even had videos on loop showing them how to do tasks. They could watch and imitate the clicks. No thought required.
We were preparing students for the monotony of dreary desk jobs.
Summarise the GCSE - open MS Office, press F1 - it's all there.
"The extent of airbrushing meant that when we subsequently encountered real women we were surprised to find they had nipples and pubic hair"
Wow! They must've had Photoshop Clockwork Edition.
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