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  >> people really loved to hate on Tarsnap
On the contrary, Colin is highly regarded on HN both for his technical ability, and his success in business (despite breaking from conventional wisdom in how to be successful in business).


Here is a (hardware engineering) example of how a group of volunteers are helping make the world a better place:

(developed lights with solar-powered storage for students without access to electricity).


  >> Use counters, avoid modulo, 
That is also my solution (although I would use only two counters).

Having a background in hardware engineering and hardware optimization, using a modulo operation unnecessarily seems completely foreign to me.


  >> use home-made charcoal 
How do you make your charcoal?

The only method I am familiar with is the method used at Plimouth Plantation - a giant pile of wood buried under earth, tended round the clock for two days.



Universally good advice:

  >> Ask yourself frequently, “Am I having fun?”

  >> The answer needn’t always be yes. 
  >> But if it’s always no, it’s time for a new project or a new career.


It is very feasible to learn enough of a foreign language from CDs to interact with people that don't speak any English.

For romance languages (French, Spanish, Italian), the Michel Thomas CDs are the best that I have seen. For other languages, Pimsleur tapes are usually the best option.


  >> 99% gcc and 1% some startup code 
Modifying and selling gcc to compile code optimized for lots of different underpowered processors sounds like an unattractive business model to me, given (I assume) a relatively small number of customers for any given microprocessor type and (again I assume) a significant amount of work for each microprocessor type supported.


Sort of. There are folks who have C compilers optimized for smaller processors, my personal favorite are the folks at ImageCraft. That isn't what I'm talking about.

I'm talking about people who take the community developed gcc (which they haven't "optimized" at all) and Eclipse config, and some of their own startup code crt0.a + linkerscript. And then put that together as their tool for $3,000. I'm sure its a wonderful business for them.

RMS was railing that clang wasn't embodying the spirit of "free software" because it parts could be proprietary, but he doesn't rail against those people like IAR who keep their parts proprietary but are riding on the shoulders of the community doing the heavy lifting.

I find that notable because I like what the folks are trying to achieve with clang and do not like what IAR has done with gcc. Granted it is entirely my own personal pain point.


Not such a simple calculation, as paying higher salaries drives up the cost of living.


Here is Spolsky's take on what Bill Gates was like to work for:


Certainly feared to some extent.


Bill Gates does not come across as an asshole at all in that article.


  >> simply getting credentialed (i.e. getting your Ph.D.) 
  >> does not mean you can count on a tenure track 
  >> academic faculty position.
This has never been the case. In order to avoid exponential growth, the average professor that trains Ph.D.s can only produce in his/her career about one student who goes on to become a professor that trains Ph.D.s. (ignoring some growth in a particular field). Some schools produce a much larger number of future professors. As a result many smaller schools produce very few.



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