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Very senior embedded real-time systems programmer (Texas law is very picky about the use of the term "engineer"), unsuccessful candidate for U.S. Congress, and unreconstructed Cold Warrior.

Aug
28
comment Why do development devices give you more resources than a typical device?
Some years back, I was involved with a project that had to develop two completely different CPU boards. The hardware engineer who did the board I was heavily involved with put a bunch of test connectors on his board, taking out insurance for debug phase, to make certain we could probe anything. He took a lot of static for wasting real estate and money. The other guy didn't waste any such money and real estate. Funny thing: We never needed the connectors on our board. Integrating the other board was reportedly an absolute nightmare, because NOTHING COULD BE PROBED. Think "insurance".
Aug
26
comment Idea for a physics–computer science joint curriculum and textbook
With a couple of years to mull this one over, there's something that needs mentioning. Quoting various people, "Physics is an empirical science." There's no substitute for SEEING something real, in the real world, measuring it yourself, and realizing that the mathematical models are matching the real phenomena. (In my personal case, it was seeing a penny and a feather falling at the exact same speed inside an evacuated transparent tube. Blew my mind COMPLETELY! Doing least squares to calculate acceleration due to gravity was right up there with it.)
Aug
24
comment How to write a syntax checker
@JörgWMittag, the problem I have with EVERY "modern" IDE I have encountered is that NOT ONE of them contains an editor that even BEGINS to approach being competitive with GNU Emacs. There's a REASON I've been using GNU Emacs almost exclusively since 1988. Actually, there are a lot of reasons. (I occasionally have to deal with clue-impaired managers who do not understand that quality tools are just as important for software guys as they are for hardware guys.)
Aug
23
answered How to write a syntax checker
Aug
21
comment GPS accuracy with software
See answer below about "carrier phase tracking".
Aug
20
comment What did programmers do before variable scope, where everything is global?
@KevinRubin, don't remind me. Ah feel yore pain, as Bill Clinton used to say...
Aug
17
answered What software is used to write functional and non-functional requirements?
Aug
16
answered How would my custom language be categorized?
Aug
14
comment I've had 7 jobs in 16 years. Is that OK?
Disclaimer: I am not a physician, or a mental health professional, just an educated layman who has been not far from where it sounds like you are. Having said all that: Your comment "The problem is, I don't enjoy anything" is damned near DIAGNOSTIC of clinical depression, ALL BY ITSELF.
Aug
13
answered Is it possible to build software that interprets video in real time?
Aug
13
comment Why do some software packages have an “amd64” suffix for 64-bit systems?
@TMN: Actually, moving instruction scheduling into the compiler IS a good idea. It simplifies the frack out of the silicon if you can throw away the gadgets needed to stall instruction until the operands are available. It also removes the need for the silicon to have all the smarts necessary to do the reordering in the first place.
Aug
13
revised What do other languages offer when it comes to infrastructure technology that could indicate its advantage over C in the future?
Change "ADA" to "Ada". Ada is a programming language, named for Ada Augusta, Countess Lovelace. It is not an acronym.
Aug
13
comment Sort an array in a specific order - not ascending/descending
That'll work. The key is that the current tree node defines one endpoint of a fully-closed interval, and either the left or right child defines the other endpoint of the interval. The closest value will be found somewhere in that interval. Actually, it will either be the current node, the child, or somewhere in subtree "between" the node and child. (I.e., in the subsequence between the node value and the child node value, in an inorder traverse.)
Aug
8
answered Source code “prints” at release
Aug
7
answered Lead Developer responsibilities
Aug
7
revised What does 'between' and 'in range' mean in the world of numeric types?
clarification of "open" and "closed"
Aug
7
answered What does 'between' and 'in range' mean in the world of numeric types?
Aug
3
comment Does modular programming affect computation time?
@detly: Yes and no. Modern compilers can IN GENERAL do a better job WITHIN THE LIMITS IMPOSED BY THE LANGUAGE. The human programmer knows whether the limits imposed by the language are applicable in the particular case at hand. For example, Cn and C++ compilers are required by the language standards to allow the programmer to do certain very pathological thing, and generate code that works anyway. The programmer may know he isn't crazy or stupid or adventurous enough to do those things, and make optimizations that would otherwise be unsafe, because he knows they are safe in this case.
Aug
1
comment Find pattern in a string
It is an interesting comment on the state of education in this field that, out of the first five answers posted, NOBODY mentioned the Boyer-Moore string search algorithm.
Jul
31
comment When is the register keyword actually useful in C?
It is not always possible to "just get a faster chip and get the product out the door". Consider real-time image processing. 640x480 pixels/frame x 60 frames/second x N instructions per pixel adds quickly. (The lesson from real-time image processing is that you sweat blood over your pixel kernels and you just about ignore everything else, because it runs once per line or once per patch or once per frame, as opposed to hundreds of times per line or patch or tens or hundreds of thousands of times per frame.)