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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.

Jan
30
reviewed Leave Open Another way of expressing 'Dirty' coding
Jan
30
comment Why most “well-known” imperative/OO languages allow unchecked access to types that can represent a 'nothing' value?
Actually not quite correct. ALGOL 68 and PL/I had pointers before C existed. PASCAL had pointers in 1970 or so. Also, linked data structures, with pointers and NIL values, were being used in assembly language well before C was invented. LISP, of course, had pointers long before any of these guys (LISP 1, 1960; LISP 1.5, 1962).
Jan
29
answered “Open Source” licenses that do not allow source redistribution
Jan
26
awarded  Excavator
Jan
26
revised is Ada really gone?
Update link to case study
Jan
26
comment What is the advantage of little endian format?
@Stewart: ANSI/MIL-STD-1815A, for the Ada programming language, called out a facility for numbering bits, but left the ordering convention up to the implementor. This had the highly undesirable side-effect of rendering code non-portable, if one Ada compiler numbered from the left, and the other numbered from the right. The rationale was that there was AT THAT TIME no industry consensus on bit numbering, and Ada was going to be used on processors that did it both ways.
Jan
26
comment What is the advantage of little endian format?
@SF: On the Tracor SuperSIMP (a proprietary processor used by Tracor for teleprinters and Omega radionavigation systems in the late 1970s and into the 1980s), the Program Counter ran backwards. (It was a quirk of the way branch addresses for jump tables were calculated. If you viewed the PC as running forward, branch table offset calculations were "interesting".) During a certain period, a lot of the programmers in Austin spent some time hacking SuperSIMP code. You got used to it.
Jan
26
comment What is the advantage of little endian format?
@BlueRaja-DannyPflughoeft: Bits are not stored in big- or little-Endian format. The computing industry has MORE OR LESS settled on right-to-left bit numbering, where bit 0 is the least significant bit (LSB) and bit n-1 (in an n-bit object) is the most significant bit (MSB). IT WAS NOT ALWAYS THUS. The Data General Nova series numbered bits from the left: bit 0 was the MSB, bit 15 the LSB. MIL-STD-1553B and F-16 ICD sheets (pretty much a de facto standard in defense) still number bits that way.
Jan
24
reviewed Leave Open The Joel Test's equivalent for measuring a programmer
Jan
22
reviewed Leave Open Difference between the two enums
Jan
22
reviewed Leave Open What are the proper terms for desk/user testing?
Jan
22
comment Why does DirectX use a left-handed coordinate system?
@ChristianRau, the idea I was trying to get across is that newbies should be taught to revere right-handed coordinate systems, and do unspeakable things to anyone who proposes left-handed systems. The critical part of this training is teaching them WHY life is simpler when the left hand knows what the right hand is doing.
Jan
22
comment Why does DirectX use a left-handed coordinate system?
@ChristianRau, which hand you use depends on what kind of coordinate system you are trying to describe, right- or left-handed.
Jan
22
awarded  Citizen Patrol
Jan
22
comment Can I use machine learning for screening experimental data?
This sounds like a target tracking problem to me. If your sensor gives you time information on your voxels (volume pixels) (it lit up at time T, died at time T + deltaT), then what you have is a straightforward radar data association/multiple target tracking problem.
Jan
21
awarded  Custodian
Jan
21
comment Question about moving to embedded systems
@Ankou: If your former college has an electrical engineering department, there's likely at least one professor who is interested in microprocessor and microcontroller applications. Ask him for pointers to interested groups. Physics departments are notorious worldwide for having to do custom electronics, which nowadays frequently means embedded software, some very fancy, some very quick-and-dirty. Locate the local ham radio club(s) and visit them. TALK TO PEOPLE.
Jan
21
answered Question about moving to embedded systems
Jan
21
awarded  Good Answer
Jan
20
reviewed Leave Open What are developer's problems with helpful error messages?