Shawn Driscoll's Tech Blog


Stuff That Happened in the Past

Monday, July 17, 2017

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

There Are Better Programming Languages Than C



I just read an article, called Are All Programming Languages Based On C?, that says basically what I been saying about C since 1984 (maybe even earlier). That C is a programming language one uses to make much better programming languages with. People used C, back in the day, to avoid programming in Assembly code (aka ASM languages, or HEX code). So, C was a welcome programming language at the time.

ANSI C was kind of a big deal. For it allowed C code to run on any computer that had a C compiler. C programs ran much faster on computers that were usually programmed using BASIC or Pascal. And since C was so closely tied to the Assembly code it could produce, many programmers wrote hardware drivers using C. Even Operating Systems could be written in C.

Anyway. Thirty-plus years later, I still see people learning how to program a computer using C. Today, it's C++ or C# programming. But it is still the same thing. Basically, it's people writing typo-filled code and trying to compile and debug it. The code is clumsy to type, hard to look at, and is harder for others to follow through one's logic. This is what the schools are teaching though. It's like they want to keep computer programming as complicated as possible so that students think they are getting their money's worth out of a class.

As I said earlier, C is used to write much better programming languages. And there are a lot of much better programming languages available. And since nearly all programming languages are free now, it is much easier to access them for trying out.

Monday, August 8, 2016

I Couldn't Sleep

My first Django-powered page.

In my feverish state, I've been following a video on YouTube that shows how to get started using Django 1.4.22 with Python. I'm surprised it works with Python 2.5.4.

The video is using the usual newer versions of everything. But that is ok by me. I even got virtualenv 1.9.1 installed and working. Another program oldie.

This is what happens when I can't sleep. I do historical programming. Actually, I prefer Python 2.5 over later versions because it's closest to being the spirit of what Python was created for.

I'm curious what happens in the next video.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Cosmology: Andromeda's Rotational Velocities Can Be Explained By POND


I wasn't really sure which of my blogs to post this topic on. It sounded tech enough though to enter it here. My dad wrote an article explaining how the Andromeda galaxy's rotational velocities can be explained by POND.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Types of Interstellar Travel


I was pointed to the GURPS:Uplift book for descriptions of various forms of interstellar travel. Interesting stuff.


Saturday, January 9, 2016

Curiosity Rover Beside 'Namib Dune' on Mars

I used GoCubic to create a 360 QTVR movie from a cube render done in Vue Infinite of a Malin hi-res camera shot. Watch the video on YouTube to get the idea.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

"DD" Damage

Today I decided to add "Damages" to my Skill Check app. This is an app I wrote that performs die rolls for Mongoose Traveller 2nd Edition game sessions. I don't use it much because I have dice right here on my mousepad (within reach). But some people own zero dice. So maybe this app comes in handy for them?

Technically, I'm not sure if I can even release this app. So it may just be me using it for awhile.

So anyway, version 2.0.0 (beta) now has a Damages section. I had to shrink the bar graph to make room for that new area, rather than increase the footprint of the app. I haven't decided though if I should rename the app to something else, now that is does more than just task checking for Traveller. But, we'll see.

I still need to design what the Damages section looks like, as far as what die roll buttons to place in it. By the way, damages are the dice one rolls to determine how much damage a Traveller does on something or someone (or both). For now, I'm testing the new DD die rule from 2nd Edition for scaled-up damage against vehicles and ships. So far, so good.


Virtual Dice

I was debating if I should post this here, or on my CG Blog.

Recently, I made some virtual D6 dice. And since I am a DiceStream user, I was curious if there was any way I could use my dice with the G+ Hangout plugin.

So I contacted Mike Hasko, the programmer, and was told that the dice are actually stored on an active web server to prevent cheating. I thought that was interesting, since I don't have a criminal mind.

Mike told me that if the dice were stored locally on a user's drive, the user could easily copy a 20 over a 1 for the D20 die. That would mean when they rolled a 1, for example, a 20 could be displayed instead. And since his plugin shows no die roll total, and has no way of checking what numbers are on the actual die images...

Long story short, I showed him what my virtual dice look like (see example). I've not heard back.


Monday, August 31, 2015

Windows Techs Need Our Credit Card Numbers (as if)

Everyday for a little over a week now, I've been getting a call from a "Windows" tech company regarding my Windows computer. Today it was some guy named Alex, with a hindi accent, who wanted my credit card number, etc. I just tell them I don't have a Windows computer and they hang right up.

This has been a thing now all summer I'm finding out. And my name is coming up on their "to-call" lists now it seems. It's weird that they call me everyday at 10:30am. I guess I'll be expecting another call tomorrow from them.