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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.

Oct
4
comment Why has C prevailed over Pascal?
@SK-logic, PASCAL was first defined in 1970, and the first compilers were available then. Turbo Pascal showed up ca. 1984, after Jim Tyson went bankrupt when demand for JRT Pascal FAR outstripped his ability to deliver product. Turbo Pascal was initially viewed with considerable suspicion because everyone remembered JRT Pascal, and a LOT of people had gotten burned by it.
Oct
1
comment Evaluating mean and std as simulations are added
@LucaCerone, the Wikipedia article also shows an online mean algorithm that works by storing the mean to date, and updates it.
Sep
28
awarded  Yearling
Sep
27
comment Work experience before masters
Rather than choosing one of the limited options you list, I'm going to throw out a third point. Have you considered whether you want to go for a doctoral degree? The Computer Science Department at The University of Texas at Austin (full disclosure: my alma mater) suggests that prospective Ph.D. students should go that way from the beginning. I know one guy who started as a doctoral candidate, and wound up taking a Masters when he realized that Ph.D. research wasn't his cup of tea.
Sep
24
comment Data Flow Diagrams - Difference between Lines and Arrows
This is not quite correct. A single line indicates a data store. Two lines in parallel is just a convenience, allowing arrows to come in from two directions without one of them going over the text describing the data store. See "Structured Analysis and System Specification", by DeMarco, which is THE defining document for Data Flow Diagrams.
Sep
21
answered How do tight timelines and scheduling pressure affect TCO and delivery time?
Sep
21
comment Where to find a good mobile robot simulator?
I used Player Stage in an undergrad mobile robotics course some years ago, during a period of refresher work while unemployed. It works. I don't remember any quirks or weirdnesses.
Sep
20
answered How to write a very basic compiler
Sep
20
comment What norms/standards should I follow when writing a functional spec?
Phil Crosby is the one who came up with the "Quality is free" idea. He wrote a book about it. The point of the mantra is that you can spend some money up-front, to do it right the first time, or you can spend MORE money down the road correcting the mistakes. It is CHEAPER to do it right the first time, hence "Quality is free", because it costs LESS to do it RIGHT than you spend doing it wrong and doing it over. Phil wrote a book and the book is worth reading. (Full Disclosure: It was required reading for all engineers at Texas Instruments Defense ca. 1990.)
Sep
20
answered Is it okay to rollback code if your client refuses to pay you?
Sep
19
comment A good interpreted language for a small embedded project
Leo Brodie's classic "Starting FORTH" is by far the best introduction to FORTH I have ever found, even if it does describe a very old version of the language and environment (16-bit polyFORTH, from FORTH Inc.). If you can find a copy, Loeliger's "Threaded Interpretive Languages" does a very good job of explaining how to implement FORTH on a Zilog Z80 microprocessor.
Sep
18
answered A good interpreted language for a small embedded project
Sep
8
comment Does *every* project benefit from written specifications?
@ChrisTravers, are you telling me that all of your programmers are required to be qualified accountants, fully familiar with the GAAPPs, fully briefed on all of the Sarbanes-Oxley rules, AND fully knowledgeable and current on all the FASB reports? I shudder at the thought of your annual training costs.
Sep
8
comment Does *every* project benefit from written specifications?
@LordTydus, the original question seemed to imply that the "spec" he was talking about was a requirements specification, and that's what I was talking about.
Sep
8
answered Does *every* project benefit from written specifications?
Aug
31
comment Is my DFD accurate?
Have you read DeMarco's book? It will clarify some of your questions.
Aug
29
comment Is my DFD accurate?
You are showing an Item File database and an Available Item database. Non-member orders apparently hit the Available Item database, while member orders hit the Item File database. Why are they distinct?
Aug
29
comment Is my DFD accurate?
I think you may have misinterpreted the phrase "clerk returns the order". Verification of item data would appear to be required for an order that is going to be filled, and that step apparently is not performed for a non-member order. You might want to ask your customer (or your TA, if this is a homework assignment) for clarification on this one.
Aug
29
comment Is my DFD accurate?
By any chance, is this a homework assignment?
Aug
29
answered Is my DFD accurate?