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location Seattle, WA
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visits member for 3 years, 9 months
seen 18 mins ago

Apr
12
revised Is programming tourism a realistic possibility?
added 1 characters in body
Apr
12
awarded  Nice Answer
Apr
10
answered Is programming tourism a realistic possibility?
Apr
9
answered Recomendation for Math books related to computer science
Apr
7
comment How can I find out what a job title means at a company?
I have to disagree. You might feel it >should< be that way, but with > 25 years in the industry, my experience is that titles are entirely idiosyncratic to individual organizations, and not comparable between organizations.
Apr
5
comment Must strong developers carry the weight of the world on their shoulders?
+1 to @JB King. Keep your perspective. Feel like you have the weight of the world on your shoulders as a programmer? Imagine being a physician or a nurse in a remote region of a poor country: trying to save people with limited materials while feeding and housing your own family.
Apr
5
comment What are some tips for avoiding 'Death by PowerPoint' during a technical presentation?
Tufte's point is that Powerpoint is far more suited to sales pitches rather than technical presentations. I think he is absolutely correct. Unfortunately human nature being what it is, most folks will not engage with technical material unless they've first been given a sales pitch, so it's back to Powerpoint.
Apr
2
awarded  Nice Answer
Apr
2
comment How do you feel about browsers getting into the low level intricacies?
@mhen23, just to underline @MarkJ's point: that article on the Old New Thing is talking about the use of undocumented data structures causing applications crashes, not kernel exceptions/panics. There is a huge difference between a kernel exception and your garden variety application crash. An application can crash because of a bug in the application, the OS, or a driver. A kernel exception can only be caused by a bug in the OS, a bug in the driver, or a hardware fault.
Apr
2
comment How do you feel about browsers getting into the low level intricacies?
@apoorv020, @Mystere has it right. No application should be able to crash the system by making a bad driver call. This is the whole point of kernel mode/protected memory operating systems. What you are suggesting used to be true in the bad old days of Windows, MS-DOS and CPM. A driver is always supposed to detect when an applications makes an incorrect call for services, and signal the operating system to shut down the application. On a multi-user operating system you just can't let a rogue application bring down the whole system.
Apr
2
comment How do you feel about being asked to code during an interview?
@Mystere, you will never know when or if you've hired the best candidate. I'm not even convinced a "best" candidate necessarily exists. People aren't whole numbers that you can assign a strict ordering to. Every interview technique you can imagine will have false positives and false negatives. The people trying to get hired will worry about the false negatives, and the people doing the hiring will worry about the false positives. In my experience, being able to write code during an interview is positively correlated with folks who have ended up doing a good job.
Apr
2
comment How do you feel about being asked to code during an interview?
You are setting up a false choice. I really don't have to choose between a mediocre developer who can code during the interview, and a highly skilled developer who can't. I can assure you that there are plenty of highly skilled developers who are also whizzes at coding during interviews, and some are even charming to boot! Some people have to work harder than others to pick it up, but I assure you, interviewing is an acquired skill.
Apr
2
answered How do you feel about being asked to code during an interview?
Mar
30
comment Why does every installer on Windows have to be run with elevated privileges?
@GrandmasterB, but who says all programs have to go in Program Files or Windows? You certainly shouldn't be writing to Windows unless you are installing some sort of system extension/dll, and most applications aren't doing that. Program Files is certainly the right place to put applications that are shared by all users on a system, but if you are the only person using an application why shouldn't it go in your directory tree? The OP's question was "Why (does) every installer have to be run with elevated priveleges?". My answer is programmer carelessness and lack of flexibility.
Mar
30
comment Why does every installer on Windows have to be run with elevated privileges?
@GrandMasterB, good point. I've gone far afield from the original question and your comment.
Mar
30
comment Why does every installer on Windows have to be run with elevated privileges?
@GrandmasterB, but look at other OS that don't use a central registry, OS X and Linux for example. It may seem annoying to have a thousand little configuration files scattered over your file system, but you avoid the single point of failure, so at least the fan club app won't kill the database.
Mar
30
comment Why does every installer on Windows have to be run with elevated privileges?
The trouble is that far too many Windows programmers use elevated privileges entirely gratuitously. The put icons on the shared desktop when they could just put them on the user's desktop. They write settings in HKLM when there is no reason they couldn't go in HKCU. They could put the executables in the user's directory tree, but they insist on putting them in the system directories. Even worse they hard code stuff to "C:\Program Files" even though there has been an API to find where programs should be installed since Winodws 3.1. As far as I can tell it's all just laziness.
Mar
30
comment Why does every installer on Windows have to be run with elevated privileges?
@GrandmasterB, the tragedy of the registry is that Microsoft has provided a nuanced and sophisticated infrastructure, but far too many programers use it as a garbage can. Need a persistent setting? Bang, into HKLM it goes, far too much trouble to look in HKCU. It also creates a bizarre coupling between all your applications: the install of your Justin Bieber fan club app corrupts the registry, and the next thing you know, your SQL Server won't boot.
Mar
28
comment Does anyone work in / know much about programming jobs for scientific / medical research?
BioTech companies certainly hire web programmers to fill the same needs as at other companies: human resources, payroll, client communications, marketing, etc. If you want to get in at the more 'sciency' end of things, I think it's tricky. I've never worked in BigPharama or medical engineering, but from my own job searches I have the impression that you simply MUST have experience in the field, and with the regulatory frameworks before they'll even look at you. I have no idea how people break into the field for their first job.
Mar
28
answered Does anyone work in / know much about programming jobs for scientific / medical research?