2,380 reputation
11137
bio website darenscotwilson.com
location Southern California
age 54
visits member for 4 years, 1 month
seen 4 hours ago

Physicist/Artist who fools around with electrons, photons, pixels and bits. Currently in San Diego, formerly of Socorro NM, Orlando FL, Boulder CO, Ann Arbor and other places in Michigan.

Mainly, I've been making 2D and 3D illustrations and animations, writing explanations for things in physics, astronomy and electronics, writing software for image processing and science number-crunching, and teaching the cats to do my work for me. Regrettably, the latter endeavor has been a total failure.


Nov
30
comment What to bring to a programming interview?
In several interviews over the last few years, I have never brought copies of my resume. They already have it printed out, enough for everyone I meet. Same is true when I'm on the interviewing side.
Nov
17
comment What is the history of why bytes are eight bits?
Re 12 bits: Back when I first learned digital electronics, in the days of 7400 series TTL, logic gates usually came 4 or 3 to a chip, or 6 inverters on a chip. Handling a 12-bit word would have been doable different ways. As for addressing and powers-of-two wordsizes, did those early pioneers use addresses to individual bits?
Nov
11
comment Why am I seeing so many for(;;) constructs?
While this isn't the original reason, it is a secondary reason why the preference stuck long after the original reason became obsolete. It's very hard to trot out any evidence to support this, though, other than to ask long-experienced programmers.
Oct
31
comment Increasing confidence in personal knowledge about coding
Many are not imposters, but fake imposters :D
Oct
10
comment When to use C over C++, and C++ over C?
This is true, but only for cases of one person working on their own little project. In real life almost everyone spends maybe half their time working on other people's code. Unfortunately most other people "think wrong" regarding those utterly irrational reasons.
Sep
4
comment How do you tackle really bizarre errors that keep you puzzled for more than 10 hours?
The "someone else" need not be human. Sometimes I explain things to the cat, and aha! I find the problem.
Jul
16
comment Tools to support learning a new business domain
+1 especially for connecting with others in other roles, other departments, including the suits.
Jul
13
comment What is involved in learning Eclipse-RCP, from zero Java background?
I am ordering that book...
Jul
11
comment What is involved in learning Eclipse-RCP, from zero Java background?
Though it might be useless to compare durations, about how long did it take you?
Jul
10
comment What is involved in learning Eclipse-RCP, from zero Java background?
I barely understand anything on that EMF page at eclipse.org I have a ways to go...
Jul
10
comment What is involved in learning Eclipse-RCP, from zero Java background?
EMF? As a physicist, that looks like Electro-Magnetic Field :P
May
25
comment Why is every programming language “powerful”?
Regarding "market their programming languaeg as "weak"... well, there is one product out there called Fawlty Language. It's a freeware clone of ITT-VIS's IDL.
May
5
comment How to become an excellent applications programmer, coming from low-level background?
What's a "code camp"? User groups are good, 'cept I don't like being in rooms full of geeky types, and currently I live in a small town far from where any such groups would be.
Apr
27
comment How to explain to non-programmers that programming is not a repetitive task?
Being an artist myself, I like this comparison. It will make sense to most artists, of all types, and those who can relate to art activities. (I'm not sure about non-artists.)
Apr
27
comment How to become an excellent applications programmer, coming from low-level background?
We could trade brains!
Mar
28
comment Why does DirectX use a left-handed coordinate system?
Several 2D and 3D systems all derived their conventions from a common history.
Mar
25
comment Reinventing the Wheel, why should I?
Not fully understanding things is common in all professions. Doctors prescribe aspirin even though no one knows how it works (last time I checked anyway). We install lightning rods though physicists still don't fully understand lightning (a lightning expert told me that a few days ago). The challenge for intelligent people is not to understand, but to make things work despite not understanding the inner details.
Mar
16
comment What is programming like in the Japanese language?
@FrustratedWithFormsDesigner: Yes, there are. I've used Greek letters for variable names in Go. As a physicist, I like lambda for wavelength, rho for density etc. Go should be able to handle letters like the German ö, Japanese characters, etc. But I don't know about keywords like "for" and "if". These might be stuck in English for now.
Mar
6
comment Is there a programming language with not a tree but tags idea behind OOP?
Two answers should be two posts. But +1 anyway; I like the 2nd answer.
Feb
24
comment What is your favourite/ideal development environment?
Wow! You for president. Or dictator.