Re: The Artemis program aims to put the first woman and second man
And the Russkies would have blown the lid off of it had it been faked.
82 posts • joined 16 May 2007
I would definitely prefer the 98 style. Even better would be if the buttons made a nice "thunk" sound when pushed...
Seriously, when I took my user interface class, one of the key elements was easily discoverable (what are the elements that do things), feedback (Yes! YOU PUSHED THE BUTTON), etc... TIFKAM GUIs have completely lost those elements.
My first network was named after Greek heroes. We got in a MicroVAX that the original admin named Ulysses. So we later added Ajax (a 486/33, no bloody DX or SX) , and a couple of others with names I can't remember. When we got a Pentium II/200 box, I named it "Helen" because Helen of Troy was "fast".
We were over at a friend's house for dinner.... Their (Windows Me!) computer was acting up and they asked if I could have a look at it. The obvious happened. My (late) wife had a lovely dinner with friends, while I was stuck at the computer for THREE HOURS. That was the day I swore, "Never again".
Now when I'm asked what I do for a living, I say, "I'm a software developer -- and no, I won't fix your computer."
The only person I perform free IT work for now is my girlfriend.
Been there, done that, as the underling.
The situation was procedural, thank heavens, not anything to do with a major foul-up. We needed some software (InstallShield -- this was around 1992 or 1993), and we needed it YESTERDAY. Going through normal channels would have taken about two weeks, so my manager authorized me to use petty cash to pay for it. So I did, as did two co-workers in similar situations.
Unbeknownst to us, a new VP had decided to make his mark by reducing the use of petty cash -- I'm sure you can see where this is going. The VP already had our names, as they were on the vouchers. The manager did his best to shield us from whatever consequences this tin-pot dictator VP was going to rain down upon us. He pointed out that what we had done was under his express orders and approval.
I think we still got some flak, but nowhere near as much as VP wanted, And he wound up getting some of the flak, too.
I was very lucky, this was the first manager I ever had. I wound up working for the gentleman for 17 years.
Pete's motto was "If you can't be good, be colorful". The 12 crew managed to do both, and have fun at the same time.
Pete's "Whoopee" statement was partly to win a bet with Oriana Fallaci, because she believed that the first words on the moon were scripted and approved. She allegedly never paid the $500.
The crew were good friends, to the point that the three of them got identically colored Corvettes, and would often race them around Houston. They remained close friends until their passing.
It is actually true that Gordon made Conrad and Bean strip starkers before he would let them come back into the command module!
Just an awesome crew.
Even better... My first boss told me a story about when he was working on an army system... He was writing a routine to confirm that a fire unit (aka gun) was firing on a given target... Fire Unit Check.... Yes, it wound up being called everyone's favorite four-letter euphemism for intercourse.
Needless to say, during a code review he was instructed to change it.
I had written a test system that wound up becoming productized. I had put a small easter egg that ran an animated splash screen (on an ASCII terminal -- this WAS the 80s, after all...).
Management actually was amused at it when they found out, but I was told to take it out, just in case the customer accidentally ran across it...
Was in the lab, prepping for a trip, when an old-style lithium battery decided to vent on me (this must have been around 1991).
Had to evacuate the lab, call security, the whole shebang. Meanwhile, I'm supposed to get on a plane the next morning, and I was only half done. I don't remember how I finished the prep, but somehow managed it. But it wasn't fun.
The 3.5 inchers were more robust, though. Once I got my hands on a rare earth magnet (forget the specific type), and decided to test the urban legends.
It turns out that I couldn't wipe a 3.5 by sticking it on the file cabinet with a magnet. And I let it sit for a full hour before testing.
This was back in the day when PCs were configured by them. Our program used the COM ports to send and receive data. The customer was having an issue where it would write data, but not read.
So I packed up my briefcase full of everything I could think of -- breakout box, adapters, wire, dykes, screwdrivers (yes, this was WAAAAAY before the 9/11-you-can't-bring-anything-useful-on-board days). I fly from Los Angeles to Monterey (just south of San Francisco, for you UK'ers), and get to where the client is I look at his machine, and he has both his COM ports configured as COM1. I flip a DIP switch so that the second port is now COM2 and everything works. This occurred within the first 15 minutes. Now I have six hours to kill before my return flight....
Been there, done that. Back in the days of unloved, unlamented Windows Me.
We were invited to a friend's house for dinner (or supper, if you prefer). I was asked to take a quick look at their PC. I wound up spending 4 hours slaving over the thing, while everyone else enjoyed a lovely meal. And I do mean lovely. Said friend's wife was an excellent cook.
It was at that point I vowed, "Never again!". My stock response when asked what I do for a living is now, "I'm a software developer, and no... I WON'T fix your computer."
I loved the Z8000. We were doing embedded development for a Z8000 based system, and used the ZEUS System 8000 (essentially a port of Unix System III) for development. It was a great chip for its time.
They came out with the Z80000 as their 32-bit chip, which was backward compatible with the Z8000, but it was too late. :(
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