GDT::Computing::Bits::Archive::Year 2003

Computing::Bits
The MCCCD May Loose Some Computing Freedoms
Steve Gallardo (Arizona State House of Representative - District 13) wants to pass a bill that will "prevent professors from using college computers to spread comments considered offensive or inflammatory toward minorities." This guy must think non-minorities cannot be offended. Regardless, Gallardo provides another example of how politicians should butt-out when it comes to computing and how computers should be used. GDT::Computing::Bit:: MCCCD May Loose Some Computing Freedoms

[26 December 2003, top]

The Accidental Shareholder
I thought I was getting ready to sell some Red Hat stock, but instead, by accident, I added to my already existing holdings. GDT::Computing::Bits:: The Accidental Shareholder.

[19 December 2003, top]

Ohio State Will Win the 2003-04 Fiesta Bowl
I have correctly predicted the last two collegiate basketball Final Fours basing my decisions on the Computer Science programs at the participating schools. I've decided to the same to predict the winner of this year's Fiesta Bowl. GDT::Computing::Bits:: Ohio State Pounds Kansas State.

[12 December 2003, top]

Learning About Large Numbers and Their Names
I have been interested in learning the names that have been given to large numbers. Most of us are use to numbers in the millions, billions and trillions, but I'm not sure about numbers such as tredecillion, vigintillion, and duottriintillion. GDT::Computing::Bit:: Learning About Large Numbers and Their Names.

[05 December 2003, top]

GDT::DreamTeam and GDT::DeadTeam Additions for Fall 2003
This semester (Fall 2003) I have decided to add two members to the GDT::DreamTeam and they are Mitch Kapor and Ray Kurzweil. In addition, Homer Dudley and George Boole have been added to the GDT::DeadTeam. More...

[28 November 2003, top]

SC2003 Supercomputing Event in Phoenix, Arizona
I roamed the exhibit hall at the SC2003 event hosted by the Phoenix Civic Center. The event was huge and it exceeded my expectations. GDT::Computing::Bit:: SC2003 Supercomputing Event in Phoenix, Arizona.

[21 November 2003, top]

Business 2.0 Says "Tech Bubble Is About to Blow"
The November 2003 issue of Business 2.0 says the high-tech stock market is in for some difficult times and they recommend selling Amazon.com and Yahoo! GDT::Computing::Bit:: Business 2.0 Says "Tech Bubble Is About to Blow"

[14 November 2003, top]

Learning About AWK and PERL
I am getting ready to cover AWK in the Intermediate Unix class. AWK is an old programming language and sometimes I wonder if we should allocate time learning about it when PERL is available. This wondering resulted in GDT::Computing::Bit:: Learning About AWK and PERL

[07 November 2003, top]

Nanotechnology Allows Us to Approach Infinity
From the CPSR to Mitch Kapor to the ASU Arizona Biodesign Institute to K-Infinity from the University of Wisconsin to the Long Now Foundation. GDT::Computing::Bit:: Nanotechnology Allows Us to Approach Infinity

[31 October 2003, top]

High-Tech Job Market Improving?
Generally, the last couple months of a year are not the best with respect to finding new jobs (especially jobs that are full-time with good pay). As we enter into the last two months of 2003, the high-tech job market is showing small signs of life. GDT::Computing::Bit::Tech Job Market Potentially Improving.

[24 October 2003, top]

Will I This or Will I That
Computer programmers may be placed in a position where they are asked to compromise computing ethics in order to stay employed. In order words, the programmer must ask themselves numerous will I questions. GDT::Computing::Bit::Will I This or Will I That.

[17 October 2003, top]

Yahoo! has a Strong 3rd-Quarter
Yahoo! reported strong 3rd-quarter results on Wednesday, 08 October 2003, leading me to believe they are a dot-com survivor. GDT::Computing::Bit::Yahoo! is Really a Yahoo (or is it?)

[10 October 2003, top]

Evil Really Does Exist in Chatrooms
Microsoft recently announced they are restricting access to their Internet-based "chatrooms" because of the danger they present to young people. I've never been a promoter of chatrooms and that is because of something I experienced back in the early days of 1996. GDT::Computing::Bit::Evil Really Does Exist in Chatrooms.

[03 October 2003, top]

Working at Google Would Be Fun
Google continues to get better and better and better. This is not a surprise given Rob Pike is a Commander at Google. Google is putting on a programming contest in the hopes of finding good programmers to work for them. GDT::Computing::Bit::Working at Google Would Be Fun

[26 September 2003, top]

KevinM Does Linux World 2003
I did a fun road trip around Silicon Valley during Summer Break 2003 . It turns out KevinM went to the Linux World 2003 conference during the Summer of 2003 and during his visit he met computing gurus Bruce Perens and John 'Maddog' Hall. GDT::Computing::Bit::KevinM Does Linux World 2003

[19 September 2003, top]

Computing and Kids (continued)
Last week I wrote a GDT::Computing::Bit about Computing and Kids. This week's Newsweek magazine contained an article about Computing and Kids. The Newsweek article prompted me to write a bit more about Computing and Kids. GDT::Computing::Bit::Computing and Kids (continued)

[12 September 2003, top]

Computing and Kids
When I think about "computing and kids" two issues come immediately to mind: literacy and ethics. GDT::Computing::Bit::Computing and Kids

[05 September 2003, top]

If I Were a Foo...
I am tired of politicians not being computer literate. Computer illiterate politicians are passing laws that make many of us computer users criminals. Yes, these politicians have computer consultants to help them make decisions, but more often than not these computer consultants are not computing gurus. More...

[29 August 2003, top]

Python Creator Moving to Silicon Valley
Guido van Rossum -- creator of the Python programming language -- is moving to Silicon Valley to work for a new software company named Elemental Security. [More...]

[22 August 2003, top]

The Internet Enables Flash Mobs
This week's Computing::Bit doubles as this week's Internet Observer posting. Flash Mobs are becoming popular thanks to the Internet. GDT::Computing::Bit::Flash Mobs [Note: A flash mob occurred downtown Tempe on Mill Avenue at 7:00pm on Thursday, 14 August 2003. I was not a participating mobster.]

[15 August 2003, top]

Los Arcos Mall Would Make a Great High-Tech Campus
The vacant Los Arcos mall in Scottsdale would have made a good emerging technology campus. Sadly, the City of Scottsdale is content with YAWM (Yet-Another-Wal-Mart). More...

[08 August 2003, top]

Hormel Foods Goes After SpamArrest
Hormel Foods is tryping to save the good name of SPAM by going after entities that use the word spam in their names. GDT::Computing::A spam About Hormel

[01 August 2003, top]

About Tux the Linux Penguin
SCC's mascot is Artie Artichoke. The Linux operating system mascot is Tux the Penguin. I received a copy of an Oracle Magazine that had Tux on the cover. At about the same time, a discussion about why Tux is a penguin spawned on the PLUG mailing-list (PLUG is the Phoenix Linux Users Group). These two events caused me to write GDT::Computing::Bit:: About Tux the Linux Penguin.

[25 July 2003, top]

Is Outsourcing a Growth Industry?
On 14 July 2003, the Arizona Republic had an article on the front-page of the Business Section having the headline: More Tech Jobs Going Overseas. Outsourcing is a serious issue for the computing industry and it prompted me to ask the question Is Outsourcing a Growth Industry?

[18 July 2003, top]

What is a real programmer?
A CSZero posting results in a GDT::Computing::Bit.

If a person says they are a real programmer, then what does that mean?

There is a WWW of answers because it all depends on how you define the word real. Since there is no single correct answer, I offer my definition of real programmer.

[11 July 2003, top]

Thurman Does Silicon Valley
During late June of 2003 I spent 4 days/3 nights in Silicon Valley, California. Silicon Valley is not just a single city; instead, it is a collection of cities located in the southern part of the San Francisco Bay. AzFoo.net::Places::Thurman Does Silicon Valley

[04 July 2003, top]

All Arizona Schools Connecting to the Internet
Back in December 2002 I wrote a Computing::Bit about how the state of Arizona was connecting all of its schools to the Internet. This was a great action by our state; however, it raises the following question: How are students going to gain Internet literacy? Arizona Continues to Internet Enable Schools

[27 June 2003, top]

Power of the Internet: GDT to Cambridge
I could spend all day writing Power of the Hyperlink stories. The GDT website hyperlinks to Slashdot that hyperlinks to Bob Dowling's homepage that hyperlinks to the University of Cambridge. From GDT to Cambridge we see the Power of the Hyperlink .

[20 June 2003, top]

Thurman Goes To Silicon Valley
First I wanted to attend the Cluster World Conference and Expo in San Jose, then I wanted to attend Opsware's annual meeting in Sunnyvale, then I wanted to visit Google in Mountain View, then next thing I know I have plans for a Silicon Valley Road Trip.

[13 June 2003, top]

A WWW of Blogs
There is a world wide web (WWW) of blogs forming. The Internet is an enabler of groups and blogs are a form of group. Here is a bit about blogs.

[07 June 2003, top]

Computer Science at Yale University
Yale University has been in the news and that prompted me to checkout Yale's CS Department. GDT::Edu::Computer Science @ Yale University

[23 May 2003, top]

Avoid Using Magic Numbers In Code
Using hard-code values in source code is typically not a good thing to do. These hard-coded values are called magic numbers and they should be made into manifest constants (i.e. they should be given a name). Here is a GDT::Computing::Bit::About Magic Numbers.

[16 May 2003, top]

Bits from the May 2003 Communications of the ACM
The May 2003 issue of the Communications of the ACM contained numerous tidbits that have been encapsulated in this GDT::ACM::Bit::Communcations of the ACM, May 2003.

[07 May 2003, top]

How-To Document Source Code
During the Spring 2003 semester I conducted a programming class where we started learning about PERL, PHP and Python. Although good code can be self-documenting, there is still a need to for additional documentation into source code files. Sadly, PERL and PHP and Python do it differently and that prompted me to write How-To Document PERL, PHP and Python.

[05 May 2003, top]

We Are Losing Our Computing Freedoms
Thanks to stuff like email spam, kiddie porn, auction fraud, identity theft, computer cracking, copyright abuse, etc.; we are slowly losing many of our computing Freedoms. These days spam is making headline news. I have been spamming about spam for a few years and here is more spam on spam (and SPAM).

[01 May 2003, top]

The RIAA Takes a Stand on Downloading Music
The Record Industry Association of America is wanting to teach us about the ugliness of downloading copyrighted material (particularly when it is downloaded for free [and this is free as in free beer]). Some schools are disabling file-sharing services because of student abuse. Laws are being passed to help the RIAA with its concerns and these laws can erode our computing freedoms. More...

[30 April 2003, top]

Biotech and Venture Capital; Defective Software
Recent articles published in the Arizona Republic prompted me to write a Computing::Bit commenting on two topics: Biotech and Venture Capital; and, Defective Software.

[30 April 2003, top]

If Only The Code Was Documented...
I want to cover some awk code during lecture, but I can't remember why I wrote the code. If Only I Had Documented My Code

[19 April 2003, top]

The Best Text Editor
There is no 'best' text editor because not everybody uses the same text editor. If foo is the best text editor for you, then foo is the best editor. GDT::Computing::Bit::The Best Text Editor

[17 April 2003, top]

Why Learn PHP and Python When We Have Perl
It is impossible to claim that one programming language is better than another. One programming language may be more popular than another, but that doesn't imply it is better. Here is a bit about programming languages.

[16 April 2003, top]

University of Warsaw Wins Programming Contest
The University of Warsaw, Poland won a computer programming competition sponsered by the ACM and IBM. [More...]

[21 March 2003, top]

Bjarne Stroustrup Joins Texas A&M University
Bjarne Stroustrup, the creator of C++, is now a Professor at Texas A&M University. [More...]

[21 March 2003, top]

CIS Seeks Advice From Computer Professionals
The CIS Department at SCC held a meeting in which Computer Professionals provided feedback on the CIS curriculum. I found the 90 minute meeting informative and productive. Here are some meeting notes.

[16 March 2003, top]

IT Outsourcing is a Hot Topic
Many in the IT profession feel they are being forced to seek other lines of work because of the increasing use of outsourcing. Outsourcing is a sensitive subject, but that that doesn't keep me from documenting my opinions.

[15 March 2003, top]

The Practice of Programming::Chapter 9::Notation
The Practice of Programming is a recommended GDT::Book. I am particularly interested in Chapter 9 which is about Notation.

[13 January 2003, top]

Bugs are Defects
I want to call computer bugs defects.

[08 January 2003, top]

If I were a spammer...
I have students send me an email address. I could collect these email addresses and use them to generate spam. If I were a spammer...

[17 December 2002, top]

Total Information Awareness Program
I attended a meeting for international students that was given to help them learn about civil rights in America these days. Those of us in attendance were alerted about the Total Information Awareness Program.

[05 December 2002, top]

Computer Literacy Must Be a Priority
The state of Arizona is in the process of making sure all schools are connected to the Internet. Given this, what are Arizona schools doing about increasing the computer literacy of its teachers? Computer Users Need Training and Edification

[03 December 2002, top]

Learning About Regular Expressions Using egrep
The Unix egrep command prints lines from files that match a pattern. The egrep command provides a good platform for Learning About Regular Expressions because patterns can be expressed a regular expression (RE) language. REs are a powerful computing tool that is supported by many other computing tools. [Learn Once, Use Many.] Learning About Regular Expressions Using egrep.

[14 November 2002, top]

Autonomic Computing Systems
21st Century computing will be driven by systems that are secure, reliable, usable and self repairing. Autonomic Computing Systems.

[10 November 2002, top]

The Evolution of a Command
Many commands start out as a small tool that is used for a specific task. Over time, however, some commands evolve into useful tools that are added to a programmer's computing toolbox. The Evolution of a Command

[08 November 2002, top]

Microsoft News for October, 2002
Microsoft continues to be the most dominate company in computing. During October of 2002 there was lots of Microsoft news. Microsoft News for October, 2002.

[25 October 2002, top]

Learning About Number Systems
A computing student needs to learn about number systems at some point and time. A basic understanding of base 2 (binary), base 8 (octal), base 10 (decimal) and base 16 (hexadecimal) is usually sufficient. Introduction to Number Systems

[17 October 2002, top]

Reuse is a Valuable Tool
The ability to reuse existing computing tools is a powerful computing technique. It is important that we remember that copy/paste operations does not constitute reuse. The Power of Reuse

[03 September 2002, top]

Politicians Think Cybersquatting is Okay To Do
Most politicians are illiterate when it comes to computing. When political ethics are applied to computing, then computing ethics are violated. Cybersquatting Politicians

[13 August 2002, top]

Revolution OS (The Movie)
I've never liked referring to Open Source as a revolution. I think it is a strong movement, but it is not a revolution. About Revolution OS (the movie)

[11 May 2002, top]

Coding Standards are Important
Many programmers don't like coding standards because they feel standards restrict their programming freedoms. This is true to an extent, but coding standards are required anytime you program a real-world application. Coding Standards.

[21 February 2002, top]

The Infamous GOTO Statement
Using goto statements is generally considered a poor programming practice. The goto can cause a program to become defective and difficult to modify. The Infamous GOTO Statement.

[07 November 2001, top]

I am Proud to be in Computing
[item] Microsoft, AOL Time Warner, and Cisco Systems have created an Internet-based system to raise money for the terror-attack relief effort. The American Liberty Partnership has raised $73 million in online donations as of Thursday, 20 September 2001. The six founding partners of the online donation drive which also include Amazon.com, Yahoo!, and eBay are contributing more than $20 million in money and technical support among them. I am proud to be a Yahoo! shareholder. Do I Yahoo? Yes, I do.

[item] I want to say Thank You to Inter-Tel. Inter-Tel has been a valley company for quite a while. They have pledged up to $4 million in financial relief.

[21 September 2001, top]

Coming Soon
This resource is in the process of being started. Each week at least one computer related item (i.e. bit) will be posted.

[14 September 2001, top]


Author: Gerald D. Thurman [deru@deru.com]
Last Modified: Saturday, 05-Jan-2013 11:18:30 MST

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