* Posts by jpb421

20 publicly visible posts • joined 4 Dec 2012

Influential scribe Charles Petzold: How I figured out the Windows API


Re: Borland's OWL was a much sensible approach than MFC

The one thing I remember about OWL is Borland changed everything between a particular pair of versions (was it 1.0 to 2.0?) They basically told developers to rewrite all their code and provided tools that did a rather bad job of automatically converting it.

In my book, if you're providing API you should keep the interface to it backwardly compatible - we felt betrayed by Borland and our small company shifted to plain Windows with MFC after that since we were going to have to rewrite our code anyway. Prior to that we'd used Borland from the days of Turbo C.

A nation of CODERS? Yes, says UK.gov, and have some cash to do it


Re: Just maybe.... (Ageism)

As someone over 50 who is currently job hunting I think that there is ageism but it is perhaps not conscious but more subtle. With software/technology generally the general process is that people move over into management as they get older. If you stay in technical roles then you start to look out-of-place. Additionally you gain a lot of irrelevant experience which employers don't want to pay for but feel that you will expect to be paid for - it is much simpler to employ a new graduate.

Also the corporate culture of a lot of software houses is aimed at the young (single) worker - an older family person won't feel the same degree of excitement at the sort of corporate outings that new graduates enjoy. Chilling out on bean bags becomes less attractive when you have dodgy knees and probably won't be able to get back up off them! :)


Re: is it not easier

The starting salary for a new graduate is not too bad. The job itself, given the excessive paperwork and so on is not very attractive even to those who enjoy teaching - most teachers I know are ex-teachers.

The problem comes in the area of attracting career changers. They want to encourage people to come into teaching from industry but the salary is still the same and the pension is worth less as you have a lot less years to build it up. So you're probably being asked to go down to £23k from £40+k.

The other strange thing is that they are all out to encourage people with 1sts to apply but the main criteria for teacher training is still enthusiasm rather than subject knowledge. For a typical teaching job in a secondary school the level of maths is very basic up to GCSE which will cover the vast majority of the teaching being done. A brilliant mathematician is likely to just get frustrated and won't necessarily be a very good communicator when it comes to teaching say how to do percentages.

When androids dream of baseball fields


baseball/base ball vs rounders

I'd always thought of baseball as being American and rounders British (albeit with different rules) but then I noticed that "base ball" is listed as one of Catherine Morland's sporting interests in Jane Austen's Northanger Abbey which, though it wasn't published until 1818, was one of the first novels she wrote so the game must have been in common use in the 18th century in England.

Nothing to do with robots of course, though given Pride and Prejudice has been given the zombie treatment perhaps it is time that Northanger Abbey was given a Terminator variant!

The last PC replacement cycle is about to start turning


Mass market and specialist use diverging

I am one of those dinosaurs that use workstations, don't have a smart phone and only have an ancient laptop that I barely use. I find a full size keyboard comfortable to type on. I like the space provided by large monitors. I need to do some serious number crunching from time to time (machine learning related) and I'm much happier leaving a robust, well cooled workstation running for two weeks than a tightly packed laptop.

I actually also like the fact that my work doesn't follow me around and stays where it is put, either in the office/lab or in my home study.

But I agree that the mass market is moving to using smart phones/tablets and I find this slightly depressing because it means that the sort of computers I like/need to buy are going to develop much more slowly and cost relatively a lot more.

I don't game myself but I'm very glad others do as at least some market remains for things other than mobile phones.

SKYPE has the HOTS for my NAKED WIFE


Re: Eyes drawn to movement

Thanks for the link. I'm listening to it now - very good.


Eyes drawn to movement

The problem is we're biologically programmed to watch movement and even when nothing is happening there is generally some movement.

Many years ago when I was a student, the local Pizza restaurant installed TVs (without sound) all over the restaurant. It was terrible - however witty and attractive your date was it was almost impossible not to stare at the screen which invariably seemed to be located in a spot behind the lady who would be deeply insulted that I apparently found soundless rubbish tv more interesting than her!

Apple and GT: Sapphire glass is cracked, but still not broken


Re: Me Confused

I was slightly confused as well. I think the answer is that when the iphone6 was released the shares dropped from $17 to $14 and then when they filed for chapter 11 they plunged more than 90% from $14 to 80c.

Mathematica hits the Web



Things started well with Reduce and I think Maple was initially a free package (though I may be wrong on that) but I agree that there has not been much progress in the last 20 years.

Bonking with Apple has POUNDED mobe operators' wallets


Re: Apple NFC

According to MacRumors NFC will only be for Apple Pay initially:


though it may change in future.

MtGox finds 200,000 Bitcoin in old wallets


Re: Turn them upside down and shake them

If you're looking for apt Biblical quotes surely the parable of the lost coin is most apt?

Luke 15 vs 8 and 9:

Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Doesn’t she light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? 9 And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbours together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.’


Apple Mac Pro: It's a death star, not a nappy bin, OK?


Re: Oooo, the shiny!

It is very hard to compare the new Mac Pro to Windows Workstations because the "FirePro" cards supplied with it are unique to it and under Windows are closer to being consumer cards in terms of drivers and lacking ECC. They are good for compute but then so are the AMD high end consumer cards. But they also have more memory and perhaps are more robust.

There has been a lot of discussion, and benchmarking, on macrumors.com.

Apple-aligned firm opens sapphire glass factory. iPhone 6 rumours, DEPLOY


Re: If it's made of sapphire, it ain't a glass

glass is a state not a material. Having said that, Sapphire generally forms a crystal so isn't a glass - but most watch manufacturers describe it as sapphire crystal glass!


I read elsewhere (Macrumors.com I think) that the sapphire glass will be used for the camera and perhaps for the iwatch but it is unlikely that it will be used for the front face of the 'phone.

Sapphire glass works well on watch faces which are small and the glass can be curved. On a 'phone front it needs to be thin and flat (for the touch screen to work) and comparatively large which means it is more likely to shatter.

Brits won't have to pay for thieves' enormous mobe bills any more


Re: so everyone will get to pay then

They don't make it clear where the liability lies prior to the 'phone being reported stolen, that is how far back you can claim calls were made by the thief rather than the owner.

With credit cards the cc companies, because they are liable, are hyper-sensitive. Quite a few times I've had my card bounce because the banks anti-fraud software considers a purchase to be unusual. I then have to ring them up, get it cleared and then do the purchase all over again.

If the mobile 'phone operators take the same approach they'll randomly block "unusual" calls until the caller can convince them that it is not a stolen 'phone!

The simplest way to limit liability on mobile 'phones is to use pay-as-you-go. If someone nicks my 'phone (unlikely as it is about 12 years old so no self-respecting thief would want it) then they'll only be able to have £20 to £30 worth of calls.

Want to know what CIA spooks really think of spy movies and books?


Monty Python's view

On the general subject of getting experts to review fiction, it reminded me of the Monty Python sketch where a bunch of Yorkshire cricketeers review a French directors somewhat dodgy film of a cricket match! They ignore the nudity and somewhat strange symbolism but instead complain about the inaccurate stroke play and the umpiring decisions.

The ten SEXIEST computers of ALL TIME


I always thought that the Sun Sparc workstations were the most aesthetically pleasing of the computers that I've worked with. Very slim but solid they seemed to match the philosophy of the RISC chips they contained.

US lawmaker blames bicycle breath for global warming gas


Need to account for non-travelling CO2

Though cyclists have a raised CO2 production while cycling, they are probably fitter as a result so produce less CO2 during other activities during the day because they are more efficient. The net effect is probably negative net emissions relative to doing nothing.

Adobe demands 7,000 years a day from humankind


Re: Once upon a time

Borland used to have those licence conditions for Turbo C (and their other products such as Turbo Pascal) - that is going back to 1988 or earlier!