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Max The Magnificent
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Re: Anyone remember this publisher?
Max The Magnificent   8/8/2013 11:26:04 AM
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@JeffL_2: It would be really interesting to see how many programmers are using C versus other languages, and how these numbers are changing over time...

Of course this is non-trivial because different languages are of use for different applications ... and there are many ways of looking at things ...

I know I could look a lot of this stuff up on the Internet ... but I'm really pushed for time at the moment... maybe one day...

Max The Magnificent
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Re: Retro hobby
Max The Magnificent   8/8/2013 11:22:05 AM
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@Rick: Look at this manual from one of the kits...

Wow -- this is GREAT (I'll get my assistants started on diffusing the boron into the silicon right away :-)

JeffL_2
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Re: Anyone remember this publisher?
JeffL_2   8/8/2013 11:21:10 AM
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I don't remember wherer I saw the article, but I guess I understand why they wrote it since there are lots of supposedly "savvy" people asking the question:

http://programmers.stackexchange.com/questions/103897/is-the-c-programming-language-still-used

http://www.infoq.com/news/2013/01/C-Language

http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20090809021215AAlSuXI

Of course it could be this is just exposing how poorly folks are getting educated these days, but I still marvel that the question gets asked anyway.

Rcurl
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Re: Retro hobby
Rcurl   8/8/2013 11:18:07 AM
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When I was in Elementary school (back when dinosaurs roamed the earth), Bell Telephone had a wonderful series of free "Adventures in Science Kits" that helped me get my start in electronics.  Look at this manual from one of the kits: http://wedophones.com/TheBellSystem/pdf/kit2.pdf

Beginning on page 45 it explains how to make your own solar cell using materials provided in the kit. Take a look at page 46, where the instructions include steps such as "Diffuse the boron into the silicon by high-temperature heating" and "Deposit nickel on the unmasked surfaces by electroless plating".  I think it is unlikely that you would find instructions like these in kits intended for Elementary school students today.

Max The Magnificent
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Re: Anyone remember this publisher?
Max The Magnificent   8/8/2013 10:42:53 AM
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@JeffL_2: When I see articles with titles like "what the C language is actually useful for" I have to shake my head in amazement, I could see that happening maybe in 2113 but not in 2013!

Of course, that title may have been selected to make someone like you shake your head and then open it up to see just how silly it is... at which point the author of the article just got one point (LOL).

 

Max The Magnificent
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Re: Usefulness of long division
Max The Magnificent   8/8/2013 10:38:34 AM
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@bbaudis021: This gets really scary as one considers the compilers' bugs...

You are right, it does get scary!!!

Take something like floating-point that software developers use in their programs all the time ... without any clue as to how it actually gets performed inside the computer and where any errors might come from...

Max The Magnificent
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Re: Retro hobby
Max The Magnificent   8/8/2013 10:35:52 AM
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@Duane: My kids can't even write in cursive. They happen to have some basic survival skills like map & compass & such from scouting, but many people I know likely couldn't survive more than a night or two in the wilderness.

I'm not sure that I care about cursive ... but I do worry that my 18-year old son has no idea how to read a map -- he relays on GPS directions -- goodness knows I've tried to teach him, but he has zero interest (sad face)

Max The Magnificent
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Re: Retro hobby
Max The Magnificent   8/8/2013 10:33:52 AM
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@Duane: I've run across an article or two lately about hobbyists building their own vacuum tubes. I also recall reading about someone home etching primitive ICs...


I love the idea of building something with hand-constructed vacuum tubes.

I once saw someone make a transistor by hand in a small furnace -- very interesting.

I have thought about making my own relays and then building a digital computer out of them ... but then I think of all the time it would take ... plus I also like the idea of using antique relays of th etype I talked about in my Mock Relays column

Max The Magnificent
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Re: Lost Secrets
Max The Magnificent   8/8/2013 10:28:55 AM
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@David: "The Dog Stars" by Peter Heller" - thanks Max - I will try and find it and let you know what I think.

It's received rave reviews, but I would love to hear from someone I know like you about your thoughts on it. I personally found it to be a bit scary -- a bit haunting -- and strangely uplifting...

Max The Magnificent
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Re: Let's see, what does pi equal?
Max The Magnificent   8/8/2013 10:26:48 AM
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@seaEE: I suppose it is possible that the wheel may actually have to be reinvented at some point.

I think the basic shape is sound enough, but we may need to work on picking the right color :-)

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