* Posts by Charles Manning

3492 posts • joined 26 Jun 2007

Computer Science grads still finding it hard to get a job

Charles Manning
Silver badge

maths... bah!

I've been in this game for over 30 years. Hardly ever used maths.

I've done some trig etc (as part of doing GPS guidance etc), but I've never some anything that has needed calculus or set theory etc.

At best maths is a filter. It is a traditional subject that requires some abstract reasoning. If you can do maths then you might be able to be a programmer.

1
0
Charles Manning
Silver badge

It aint the skills stupid...

Anyone who hires grads on skills is shooting themselves in the foot. Many of those skills will be worthless in 5 years, so you really need people who can commit to a career of lifetime learning. Can't learn - go pick another industry, you don't belong here.

I don't even think universities should try to teach people how to think or learn. Kids are natural thinkers and learners until they get it drummed out of them at school/uni. Those that do well at uni are those that soak up the subject matter and regurgitate on demand. That is not real learning.

At best university serves as a filter to weed out some. It's still a large-hole mesh though and making it through the uni filter is no guarantee of competence.

2
2
Charles Manning
Silver badge

Degrees these days....

... or in the past for that matter are no guarantee of competence. It takes way more than a degree to be any use as a programmer.

That's why employers have always looked for a proven track record.

I'm now a consultant, but when I was employed I was part of the company interviewing team for about 7 years, hiring grads through to experienced people.

I never really looked at grades. I really didn't care what the person felt they had learned in university either. University is contrived and is a very poor indicator of your effectiveness as an employee - nobody really works like that. Exams are pretty pointless too for the same reason.

What I tried to judge was whether the person was a self motivated learner and whether they had the humility to be able to be directed effectively. Those mattered more than anything else.

So biggies for me:

1) Did you do any internships? What did you learn there? If you just went on vacation for your summers you're useless to me.

2) Did you contribute to any open source projects? Got a github account? Show me.

3) Does the candidate show that they are learning by themselves beyond what they are spoon fed at university.

I also listen to the words people use. Passive talk is a bad sign. It shows defeatist attitudes. More active words show someone with the tenacity to figure out a problem, debug stuff and take responsibility for their code and their lives:

"I'm hoping somebody will give me a job." - passive loser talk.

"I'm looking for a job." - active talk.

"Something happened and my code stopped working." - err no buddy your code broke because you put a bug in there. Loser.

"I screwed something up and we tried three different ways to fix it" - taking responsibility and tenacity.

"They didn't teach us xxx". Loser talk.

"I used university as a learning opportunity but I also taught myself LISP because it looked interesting". You're hired even though I hate LISP.

I even once had a bloke bring in some code that was hassling him and we debugged it in the interview. The interviewers fixed the interviewee's bug! We hired him - damn good.

6
3

Microsoft quits giving us the silent treatment on Windows 10 updates

Charles Manning
Silver badge

Maybe we should start charging them rent

Dear Microsoft

I bought a computer. I also bought a licence to use your software.

However you are now forcing extra files into my computer under the guise of upgrades. These are not files that I was expecting to have to store for you and they are cluttering up my hard disk.

Surely Microsoft has many servers on which you could store your surplus files.

If, however, you persist in storing your files on my computer, I shall have to charge you a nominal storage fee of $10 per file and $10 per megabyte.

Yours sincerely

P. C. Owner

11
0

Ballmer schools SatNad on Microsoft's mobile strategy: You need one

Charles Manning
Silver badge

Ballmer's mobile strategies.

1) Take a well known albeit struggling company with a good brand (Nokia).

2) Infect it.

3) Buy it.

4) Break it.

5) Get bored throw the junk on the floor.

6) Cash out and bail.

I suppose that was better than their Zune strategy:

1) Brown

2) Squirt

Microsoft started in the phone game in 2000/2001. They've been in this game twice as long as Apple or Google. Remeber Ballmer laughing about iphone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eywi0h_Y5_U

And they still haven't got a strategy.

4
0

Verizon!–Yahoo! takeover! inches! ahead!

Charles Manning
Silver badge

NO CARRIER

Verizon AOL and Yahoo all together under one umbrella is just too much to comprehend. Just needs geocities to round it out completely.

My brain started making 1200 baud dial-up noises.

10
0

Layoffs! Lawsuits! Losses! ... Yahoo! is! in! an! L! of! a! mess!

Charles Manning
Silver badge

""Mayer was the Vice President of Google Product Search until the end of 2010, when she was demoted..."

Coincidentally.... having been the girlfriend of Google's Larry Page - a fact recently sanitised off her Wikipedia page.

2
0

Microsoft sinks to new depths with underwater data centre experiment

Charles Manning
Silver badge

It doesn't have to last long.

It just has to last long enough to cause buzz/hype at the next shareholders' meeting. After that nobody cares...

0
0
Charles Manning
Silver badge

You couldn't make this shit up!

Someone watched Gold Member a few too many times.

5
2

US government's $6bn super firewall doesn't even monitor web traffic

Charles Manning
Silver badge

Dear Sir/Madam

We are fascinated by this curious concept called "cheaper".

Can we get you and your consulting team at the standard rate of $500/person/hour + expenses to explain it to us? How many years do you think it will need to describe this idea adequately?

Yours sincerely

Congressional Procurement Office

9
0
Charles Manning
Silver badge

Re: governments and ANY projects

FTFY....

I've just been looking at the F22 and F35 tragedies. 10% of the national debt pissed against the wall making two useless generations of planes. The only thing achieved was spending vast amounts of money, with each state making sure they get a good slosh of the gravy.

8
3

App for homeless says walking on water is the way to reach services

Charles Manning
Silver badge

Re: It is just me?

That's the sort of shit you get when you make taking care of people a government program.

After many years and 1.2-odd trillion dollars, the F35 flies worse than the F16 which was designed in the age of the slide rule.

No surprises then that a government program that is supposed to help people gives drowns them instead.

No doubt the suicide prevention app sends people to the Sydney Harbour bridge.

6
8

State Department finds 22 classified emails in Hillary’s server, denies wrongdoing

Charles Manning
Silver badge

Re: "wasn't at the time".

To say that the emails contained info that wasn't classified at the time is surely disingenuous for at least the following reasons:

1) Deals that the State Secretary is making are often inherently not-yet-classified because the deal is the info itself. Expecting that yet-to-be generated info should have been classified is ridiculous. That is the whole point of controlled email services: you don't always know what is classified/sensitive at the time it is generated so you apply the precautionary principle: treat it all as sensitive classified info until you have reason to declassify it.

I couldn't get away with the same rationality releasing buggy code: "oh well, I didn't know it had a bug at the time.". No, I have to treat all code as buggy until I test the hell out of it, including getting it tested by others, and "prove" that it is solid before I ship it.

2) So 22 out of 1000 emails were eventually classified and ended up on an unsecure server. She still leaked the classified info onto an insecure server whether she did it before or after it was classified.

3) Apart from the lack of security, the other thing that is being questioned is her lack of judgement. After all this time in high-flying politics, she determined that those 22 documents were not sensitive enough to be treated with caution. Clearly they were sensitive enough if the info was later classified. She clearly lacks the "nose" for what is sensitive and what is not. Do you really want a Prez like that?

10
1

Cloud growth? Take a number, Microsoft. Two engines have stalled

Charles Manning
Silver badge

Two engines have stalled....

out of how many?

From what I understand, Microsoft really only has two engines and they are mutually linked:

Office and Windows

People only use Windows because that's what Office runs on and people continue to use Office because that is what runs on Windows.

Microsoft seriously pissed off the customers when they did the ribbon thing to Office. It was only the dual momentum of Office & Windows that kept them through that.

Now they're doing the same, just worse, with Windows 10 and the only reason they keep going is because of Office.

It can't last forever. Eventually enough people will use Linux in their private lives to become confident and Windows will eventually die in corporate environments.

Unfortunately that won't be this year. Likely not even this decade.

8
3

Land Rover Defender dies: Production finally halted by EU rules

Charles Manning
Silver badge

Cmon... a Discovry is not a LandRover

The last LandRover was a Series 2a... Series 3 at a stretch.

If it has power steering it isn't a Landie

If it has coil springs it is not a Landie

If you can still feel your kidneys after 50 miles it yoe weren't in a Landie.

If it holds its oil after 500 miles it isn't a Landie.

If it has air conditioning it isn't a Landie.

5
1

You've seen things people wouldn't believe – so tell us your programming horrors

Charles Manning
Silver badge

Re: Nothing really nasty, but..

A university gf of mine was mad about mickey mouse.... well maybe just mad.

She wrote a fortran program using the variables mickey, minney, goofie, etc.

0
0

AI pioneer Marvin Minsky dies at 88

Charles Manning
Silver badge

Re: A great thinker... RIP

AI was real soon now in the 1950s. There was a huge focus on making mechanical robotic dogs etc because the brain will soon be ready and we need a body to put it in.

The books on computers I read in the 1960s showed machines that would learn by being told they'd made mistakes. Complete with illustrations of men in white coats pushing the "goof" button when the computer made an error.

Ai was still real soon now when I did post grad AI courses in the early 1980s.... Just a tiny bit more computing power and we'll be there.

Thirty years later and the AI is still in the glovebox of my flying car.

3
0
Charles Manning
Silver badge

Re: Nietzche

"given they tell us there are more people alive currently than have existed throughout all of history"

This is a bullshit "fact" spread by the OMG!!!!! Overpoulation!!! people that is quite easy to disprove.

Any citation that quotes "they" is immediately suspect.

3
0

Five technologies you shouldn't bother looking out for in 2016

Charles Manning
Silver badge

re: I got bored...

depressed more like.....

I grew up in the 60s and 70s when people had a very up-beat view of the future. Flying cars before 2000 and all that.

And here we are 16 years AFTER 2000 and we're supposed to get excited because our toaster will tweet the washing machine via IoT.

This failure to deliver makes the F35 programme look like a huge success.

1
0

Airbus, Boeing aero parts maker loses $54m in cyber-stick-up

Charles Manning
Silver badge

Inside job != inside job

There are inside jobs and inside jobs.... they are not the same and require different levels of authorisation and different levels of "hacking" to make it happen.

Nicking the petty cash out of the secretaries top drawer is vastly different to falsified accounts which is again different to directly manipulating bank transfers.

Your average engineer in most organisations can have responsibility for the design of a multi-million dollar project but can't authorise the purchase of a 50c pencil.

2
0

Flock of sheep ends NZ high-speed car chase

Charles Manning
Silver badge

Re: NZ Rally

I too am from NZ You don't go rallying in a Daihatsu or your average family car which, indeed can be totalled by hitting a possum.

Most of those rally cars have re-enforced front ends and underside to help strengthen them as well as make them less prone to rocks being flicked up etc. That's why people can often roll the damn things, tip them back on their wheels and keep going.

4
0

Someone please rid me of this turbulent Windows 10 Store

Charles Manning
Silver badge

Re: Wondering where the time went...

Well they have been yelling: "get of my goddamn lawn for a long time"....

and the Skype logo does look a bit like a Viagra pill....

Yup, makes sense.

4
0
Charles Manning
Silver badge

What went wrong?

Well it's damn easy to see.

Microsoft got into this game in 2000. Well before Apple (2007) or Google (2008ish). Then they screwed around until 2010 or so. Putting in effort after the horse has bolted/dam has burst/metaphor of your choice/ does not work well.

Occasionally waking up, make wild and uncoordinated moves and statements, then collapse in a pile again is not a strategy. It is what homeless drunks do.

There were a few people who bought into the bullshit that Microsoft was late to the party and would start flashing rhinestones. Many thought it looked worth going Microsoft when they grabbed Nokia and looked like they were getting serious. Those people now realised they were wrong - it was just another wine-spilling lurch.

It is probably too late for anyone to take MS seriously any more. To get taken seriously they would have to make a long haul commitment and persist for long enough to win back any customer confidence that had, then work even harder to gain more customers.

61
1

Boffins: There's a ninth planet out there – now we just need to find it

Charles Manning
Silver badge

Re: If Pluto is taken.

You could always GOSUB.

2
0

Forget infrasound, now it's ultrasound that's making you ill (allegedly)

Charles Manning
Silver badge

I saw three rabbits die of lead poisoning last night.

I watched it all happen through a telescopic sight.

5
0

Prez Obama sends Iranian defense hacker home in prisoner swap

Charles Manning
Silver badge

Hack the Casino

Not a bad idea....

That could identify people worth manipulating either because they have a huge need for money for gambling and can readily be bought or can be blackmailed.

0
0

NASA books space shuttle delivery truck

Charles Manning
Silver badge

Re: Awful

"Why is NASA wasting money on this frivolity?" To be seen to be doing the "right thing".

To go back to Apollo-syle kit looks like a huge step backwards to the 1960s (even if it isn't). They'll struggle to get hundreds of billions of gravy for that.

Going with wings is at least seen (and can be pitched as) an evolutionary tweak on the space shuttle formula. We did the right thing with the shuttle, now we're doing it better.... To step away from that formula risks lots of egg on face.

0
0
Charles Manning
Silver badge

Re: And the problem was that

"the Shuttle was huge"

That was not a problem in itself.

The problem was the decree that they have one type of vehicle and they use it for everything.

Hence you get something akin to a petrol tanker truck being used for going to church on Sundays, taking the kids to soccer and driving through the McDonalds drive through on the way home.... as well as once in a while actually delivering a load of petrol.

2
0

What do Angolan rebels, ISIS widows, Metallica and a photographer have in common?

Charles Manning
Silver badge

Re: Jonas Savimbi

"The US (and in this case South Africa) are not renowned for supporting democracy when it gives the "wrong" (ie not right) result."

Democracy is a cute Western idea for the affluent. You can't eat it. You can't burn it. It does not keep the rain off your head..... But, hey you can vote and if someone finds out - or thinks - you voted for the wrong party you and your family will be hacked by machete.

Angolans were a lot better off when the Portugese were running the show. After 55 years of guerilla and civil warfare they might have the vote, but they're only now getting on their feet.

1
0
Charles Manning
Silver badge

Re: Jonas Savimbi

" Dr Savimbi's rebels and the S.A. army.".... and the CIA.

Ultimately it was the CIA playing puppetmaster behind the scenes. The time I spent in brown for the South African army I was really just working a CIA mission.

Arms (like Stingers) going to Savimbi were being shared with South Africa and no doubt partially used for "inspiration" when South Africa started making its own. Yet at the same time we (South African Army) could not get Polaroid film for making Id cards.

Crazy: We don't like you so you can't have some film. But here are some Stingers."

The Russians/Cubans were doing exactly the same. They really did not give a shit about the local populace. They just wanted their proxy war.

3
0

Stop, look, listen: Don't be 2016's DevOps roadkill – here's how to survive

Charles Manning
Silver badge

Re: Dev Ops Week?

This is a conspiracy to make you feel inadequate and go to some damn expensive DevOps seminar.

Hears: "Buzz, buzz... DevOps... mumble DevOps...."

Reads: "Sweden is doing DevOps. Why aren't you?"

Thinks: "WFT is this DevOps stuff? I better find out more before the boss asks me and I don't know.... Hmm that seminar at $LOCATION looks good. Nice pool they have!"

It's early in the year, still lots of training budget left.

Devops seminar giver: $PROFIT; Sucker's employer: $POORER

1
1

Swivel on this: German boffins build nanoscale screwing engine for sluggish sperm

Charles Manning
Silver badge

Bad Bad Bad

After millions of years of evolution selecting the best we're now giving the weakest most pathetic sperm a leg up.

This will not end well.

34
4

World Bank: What do the poor need – clean water, or email ... take a guess

Charles Manning
Silver badge

Clean water: reduce disease

Condom factory: reduce disease and over population.

500 other things....

Internet

11
1

Nest thermostat owners out in the cold after software update cockup

Charles Manning
Silver badge

re:A solution in search of a problem has found one, apparently.

Not quite:

A solution in search of a problem couldn't find once, so caused one.

5
0
Charles Manning
Silver badge

This should be considered safety critical software

Considering that old and infirm can literally die of cold (let's face it just about anyone can die in a Canadian winter), something like a thermostat should really be treated like, and designed as well as, medical equipment.

But it's not. It's designed by the sort of twats that focus on "oooh shiny".

Most of this Internet of Tat is built using crap vendor software that was originally designed just to prove theiir chips work. Most of the software "designers" just take a basic example and tweak it to perform the new function. They don't audit the code or anything like that.

Result: crap code that hangs, crashes, gets into freaky power modes.... and potentially causes fires, water damage,kills people etc.

It will all end in tears I say....

8
0

Stephen Hawking reckons he's cracked the black hole paradox

Charles Manning
Silver badge

Re: Would you like another dimension with that, sir!

Well that would be another way to solve the problem.

The string theory people that the universe is already 11 dimensional. Why not just dimensions++ to hide the information there?

If you look at quantum theory from the outside it looks like a huge conspiracy to take the piss out of the rest of us mere mortals.

Something is in two places at the same time. Yes they really are. But if you look, then the mere act of looking makes it only in one place. Ok, got that?

Now look at the 3D world around you looks like it made out of different stuff. Well it's really made out of the same stuff, just bent in different ways. But you can't see the bends because they are in other dimensions.

etc etc

By now Startrek is sounding more than believable.

5
1

Australia considers mass herpes release for population control

Charles Manning
Silver badge

Re: Close your eyes and make a wish

Eradication has been successful on small islands in NZ, but only on very small islands up to a few square km.

There certainly are unintended consequences when eliminating various species because they've often become part of the new modified ecosystem. Removing them does not always mean the ecosystem reverts to what it was; it might get worse.

2
0

Intel admits Skylakes can ... ... ... freeze in the middle of work

Charles Manning
Silver badge

Re: Okay, so...

If it is a private computer and you live in a country with good consumer guarantees, you might be able to send it back.

1
0
Charles Manning
Silver badge

VAX microcode

VAX even changed its microcode with one or more of the OS upgrades. The new OS came on some tapes with a wee box containing the new microcode in EPROM.

IIRC one of the Burroughs machines flipped microcode on the fly depending on the process executing. That allowed it to use different microcode (eg. different instruction sets), for, say COBOL vs FORTRAN programs. Pretty neat trick.

1
0
Charles Manning
Silver badge
Boffin

Re: Re : BIOS issue?

"Your BIOS basically uploads a microcode update to the cpu and by updating"

Picky, but....

I'm pretty sure the microcode is not so much upgraded as patched and that patch needs to be applied on every boot.

The hassle with microcode patching is that it likely runs far slower than the native (hardwired) microcode it replaces (as a bit of a stretched metaphore, think software floating pt emulation rather than hw floating pt) . That's likely going to make these processors suck for number crunching of the form that revealed the bug.

1
0

Switzerland, Spain and France are beating UK at DevOps – survey

Charles Manning
Silver badge

Mainstream buzzwords and Gartner

Once Gartner starts talking about it, the PHBs will start asking for some of this DevOps stuff.

Serious money to be made if you lack scruples.....

1
0

David Bowie: Musician, actor... tech admirer

Charles Manning
Silver badge

Techie???

C'mon that's a stretch.

We always want to say nice things about dead people and will often over egg the pudding: "He was an up and coming football player" for a mediocre player etc.

Bowie was accomplished enough without having to stretch the truth.

3
7

Confirmed: How to stop Windows 10 forcing itself onto PCs – your essential guide

Charles Manning
Silver badge

FTC

FTC do not act on their own bat.

They only act when enough people complain to them.

If people send 250-odd complaints to FTC rather than posting 250-odd comments here, then something might happen.... in 2025 or so. Since FTC is a .gov and not motivated by free market forces, they don't have to act promptly. They can spend a year or three investigating the issue.

0
0
Charles Manning
Silver badge

Give MS feedback

Bitching to the choir doesn't help anything.

If everyone sent their regional MS sales office a little rant (channelling the Fuck You Microsoft post of a few weeks back), they'd get the message.

0
0

Boozing is unsafe at ‘any level’, thunders chief UK.gov quack

Charles Manning
Silver badge

Just more white male guilt

Ok, we can all agree that an absolute puke-every-night consumption of alcohol is not good for you, so this report saying all alcohol is bad is really directed at shaming/guilting the once in a while/beer-o'clock drinker that are the white male storm troopers of the patriarchy.

Whte, male: whatever you do, the Nanny State will say you're wrong. Certainly if you're enjoying yourself in any way. You should be reflecting on your Original Sin because of the colour of your skin and the thing in your pants.

6
3

Bloke sues dad who shot down his drone – and why it may decide who owns the skies

Charles Manning
Silver badge

What is the sky?

Where do you draw the limit for where the sky is?

Clearly flying one inch over a person's head is not really considered in the sky.

Clearly 1km or so up is in the sky.

I don't know what shot was in this thing, but if it came within shotgun range, it is in someone's close vicinity and I would argue it isn't in the sky. #6 bird shot only has an effective range of 100m or so fired upwards. 00 buck (9-ball) - a typical home defence load - has longer range, but you'd be damn lucky to hit a drone with that.

22
1

Activist investors want tepid Yahoo! to reboot crashed Marissa Mayer

Charles Manning
Silver badge

So the 9 degree ! tilt didn't work....

Hey Marissa, show some more of your leadership genius. Maybe 11 degrees will work better.

Seriously, any investor that got dicknapped by Marissa deserves all they get. Any differences she made were short term and investors should have grabbed the money and run.

When she cut the sort of employee benefits that good employees like, it was obvious all the good employees would leave. That leaves you with the dregs that can't get a job elsewhere. Yup, sure there would have been some who rode it out for stock options, but they've have cashed those in as soon as they could.

2
0

Foetuses offered vaginal music streaming service

Charles Manning
Silver badge

Evolution

After hundreds of thousands of years of evolution you'd expect the growing tykes would already be well designed for their environment.

They're designed to be hearing the world around them through a watery layer and thereby develop their brain. They're not designed to hear the sound all crystal clear and close up.

Looks to me just like more consumer shit to sell to already pressurised parents who already believe that if you don't play Mozart For Babies then the kid won't be developed enough on birth to use their iPad properly then won't be ready for kindergarten which will leave them unprepared for school then university... AND ITS ALL YOUR FAULT.

6
0

HPE's London boozer dubbed the 'Hewlett You Inn?'

Charles Manning
Silver badge

Re: Oversized Packaging

Yup

... and a pop-up window says you have to buy another one before it is even empty

... and you can't refill it

2
0

Curiosity Rover eyes Mars' creeping dunes

Charles Manning
Silver badge

Re: Curious

"I'd have thought the much lower gravity would have allowed much steeper gradients to form"

Nope. It is the gravity that creates the forces that lock the particles together. More gravity means the particles lock together more strongly and thus less prone to landslides.

To an extent you can observe this by looking at sand in water where the buoyancy created by the water reduces the weight of the sand and allows it to flow more easily. Of course the water itself has lubricating properties too, so it's not an apples-to-apples comparison.

4
0

Forums