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jelco
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Postby jelco » Tue Jan 31, 2012 10:13 pm

bert_the_turtle wrote:Dunno about you, but I spend most of the time using applications, not launching them. My screen space is therefore mostly used up by various application windows. Where Metro could shine is switching between applications and views or using them concurrently. Use an editor fullscreen, press one button to split the screen in the middle, bring up browser in other half, copy information you want, close/hide browser, editor goes back to fullscreen. I essentially already use a four tile layout when coding, but it's cumbersome.

I hate to give the Mac credit, but it has this nice built-in feature that you can easily flick all your windows to the edges of your screen to view your desktop, use an icon and then switch them back. I keep forgetting the name mainly because I don't use it (I use Macs at the office but I only use a browser and lots of terminals over there, so not really relevant for me).

I personally love the taskbar system that you can just use with Win-key + number (or of course the mouse). My desktop is filled with files, not icons, since I never use desktop icons (I always have apps on top of it anyway) - the Start Menu and taskbar are always visible and therefore perfectly usable.

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Postby Xocrates » Wed Feb 01, 2012 8:20 pm

Statistics can be rather interesting.

I've been looking at the full (though not yet final) results for one of the courses I took this semester, and at the bottom of the table the teacher added a few stats of the overall results, including the global approval rate: 59%

This wouldn't be a bad value, except for the fact that it only takes into account people who completed the evaluation. Given that the course has 3 evaluation components, two of which you require a positive grade, it means there is a lot of people that having flunked to one of those won't even try for the other, meaning that those 59% don't take into account all of those. In effect, that number is based on 157 people out of 292. Meaning that the ratio between those who signed up and those who were approved is actually around 30% (or about 40% if you only count the ones that even tried) and this is after they artificially inflated the results of one of the tests.

Now, you may be thinking that I'm saying all this because the course is actually stupid hard and they're trying to hide it.
Actually, I'm not. Well, not specifically.

The course in question is the first programming course in a Software Engineering degree, and while it's true I had learned to code before, and I disagree with the way several components of the evaluation were handled, this was actually not that hard a course. In fact the teachers proved to be surprisingly lenient on a lot of stuff.

As such I'm left to wonder if the jump between high-school and college is really so big that people just fall off the one course they were supposed to be really trying to get a good understanding of, and/or if people actually care so little about the degree they choose.
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Postby jelco » Wed Feb 01, 2012 8:51 pm

As a Computer Science major I can tell you from experience that there's ridiculous amounts of people who sign up for it simply because "they're good with computers", i.e. they know how MS Word works and/or like to game. Programming isn't technically that hard, but it is relatively abstract and if you purely joined in for the 'clicky-clicky stuff' it's vastly different from what you were expecting. If you're not good at exact sciences the odds are definitely stacked against you when try your luck on something abstract and rooted in maths like object-oriented programming. From my year, about 30% dropped out within the first six months. Currently in my third year, less than half of the original group remains. Some have moved to other majors, some to professional colleges (i.e. a level lower than university).

While we have different levels of secondary education over here of which only the highest level (VWO) allows a direct step into university, there's still quite a variety within that highest level. From what I can see there's many people who just don't know what they want to do but do want to follow up on high school, and end up making uninspired choices which they quickly come to regret, either changing to something else or dropping out altogether. There's also a significant number of people though who just barely managed high school at the VWO level (and often would have done much better at the lower HAVO level which still provides for a direct connection to a professional college) and finally run into a wall at university.

I have to say though, I'm still not entirely sure whether the misinterpretation of majors has to do with people not caring enough, or just not being smart enough to understand what it could possibly be. Not that I can tell you the exact ins and outs of something radically different from my own interests (say...Business Administration or Economics) but I at least can make an educated guess (wink wink). That differs from people who think CS is nothing more than binary/hex maths, the misconception that Electrical Engineering is about fixing light bulbs or even the crazy myth that language majors don't do anything other than simply read books and have conversations. I wish I was making this stuff up.

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Postby MrBunsy » Wed Feb 01, 2012 10:28 pm

shinygerbil wrote:
MrBunsy wrote:
shinygerbil wrote:The only thing stopping WP7 from being great is the fact that phone salesmen get more commission for their iPhone and Android sales.


And that developing for it is even more of a pain than the hoops you have to jump through for Apple's iPhone?


Is it? I've no idea. Last time I checked you needed a Mac to program for iPhone, which is a hell of a hoop for me to jump through :p WP7 seems pretty simple to program for, to be honest. Anyone who's ever worked with XNA should be right at home too.


Last time I checked (don't think it's changed though) you have to pay MS money to do most things and you get barely any access to stuff on the phone, unlike android which is free to dev/emulate and where you get access to most features of the phone.
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Postby GreenRock » Thu Feb 02, 2012 8:50 am

jelco wrote:As a Computer Science major I can tell you from experience that there's ridiculous amounts of people who sign up for it simply because "they're good with computers", i.e. they know how MS Word works and/or like to game. Programming isn't technically that hard, but it is relatively abstract and if you purely joined in for the 'clicky-clicky stuff' it's vastly different from what you were expecting. If you're not good at exact sciences the odds are definitely stacked against you when try your luck on something abstract and rooted in maths like object-oriented programming. From my year, about 30% dropped out within the first six months. Currently in my third year, less than half of the original group remains. Some have moved to other majors, some to professional colleges (i.e. a level lower than university).


This 'clickity-click' deal.

I became interested in computer science because of video games. Because of the 'clickity-click stuff'. People obviously took the course because they were interested in computers, not because they think they were good at it. I suppose it's arguable; whether or not one should invest time in something they're: a) good at. b) interested in. BUT, their interest obviously got themselves into that class, and their knowledge on the material obviously got them out. My interest grew, and that lead me to actually learn the material. Of course, I knew nothing about abstraction or programming when I wanted to develop games. I was just a silly boy back then.

Mind you, coding games is cool and all, but that's not the only reason I'm learning how to program. What pisses me off are all the modern warfare fanatics who were sitting in my computer science II class, regretting such.

I truly feel sorry for the people who dropped that class because they obviously don't know what to do. Maybe if they had explored their interest earlier, they could've gotten a handle on a language. It's too late in college, when there's money involved.

EDIT: An apology for all the "obviously"'s and the this'. I'm becoming quite fond of repetition and italicizing to mirror my actual voice.
In other news, MIT application successfully submitted :D
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Postby ynbniar » Thu Feb 02, 2012 9:08 am

Computer Science dropout here (1989).

Problem was there was no structured approach to teaching programming skills at High School back then, and it was a time where you could "hit the metal" and program hardware directly (Amiga)...I was a 68000 assembly bedroom programmer!

Structured, reliable, high level code was a nightmare for me.
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Postby Xocrates » Sat Feb 04, 2012 7:14 pm

Question:

I'm starting to consider getting a new laptop, however there are two requisites I kind of wanted: A USB entry in the back (to plug in a mouse) and a fairly high resolution (for reference, my four year old laptop had a 1680x1050 resolution), is there any mid-high range that fits this descrition that does not cost upwards of 2000€ and is about the size of a desktop?

Because otherwise, I start to suspect I would be better served getting a second desktop and nicking my mother's laptop (or otherwise just get a cheap one) for when I do need the mobility.
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Postby xyzyxx » Sun Feb 05, 2012 4:17 am

Most laptops nowadays don't have anything in the back, all the ports are on the sides and rarely the front. This is because they use a larger (more durable?) hinge that takes up all the room.
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Postby zach » Sun Feb 05, 2012 5:33 am

Why do you want a USB entry in the back, specifically?

Xocrates wrote:is about the size of a desktop?

What do you mean "size"?

If you're talking about display size then meh; large laptops ruin the point of a laptop imho, so I don't know any decent ones of the sort :P

If you're fine with (or especially if you're specifically looking for) mobility, I think the ASUS Zenbook 13.3" series seems like a decent choice. As far as I can tell, they all have a 1600x900 resolution (which is absolutely amazing for a 13.3").

Specifically, the UX31E RY012V model should cost about €1,000, give or take, and it has a 1.8 GHz Core i7 CPU.

Cheaper models with a 1.7 GHz Core i5 CPU are available, as well.
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Postby Xocrates » Sun Feb 05, 2012 12:27 pm

zach wrote:Why do you want a USB entry in the back, specifically?

Xocrates wrote:A USB entry in the back (to plug in a mouse)

Thing is that I really don't like having stuff plugged on the right hand side, and I find having the mouse cord go all around the laptop to be a bit awkward.

That said, I'm aware the odds of getting one that does have an entry in the back to be pretty slim.

zach wrote:What do you mean "size"?

I was hyperbolizing, I just meant that laptops that usually allow for that are kind of big.

zach wrote:If you're fine with (or especially if you're specifically looking for) mobility, I think the ASUS Zenbook 13.3" series seems like a decent choice.


I'll look into it, thanks.

EDIT: Good lord, 1300€ for a laptop with an integrated graphics card? I might consider paying that for a gaming laptop, but for that price I would probably be better served buying a 900€ desktop and a 400€ laptop.
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Postby Xocrates » Mon Feb 06, 2012 12:09 am

Right, studying plan B: Building a new desktop PC

What graphics card would you guys recommend? I want to be able to run pretty much everything in high settings (something which my 4 year old Radeon 4870 card mostly does, btw) but given that the next console generation should be about 2-3 years away, I'm not sure it would be justified to go to the highest end cards until that time comes and a graphic upgrade is actually justified.

So what would guys say has the best bang for buck?
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Postby Shwart!! » Mon Feb 06, 2012 12:37 am

I haven't studied much for a price comparison, but I recently got a GeForce GT 440. It was about a hundred dollars, and I'm quite satisfied with its performance. It has entirely current tech, nice specs, and I've noticed no problems in any scenario.
It's not /top/-end, but I think it would hold you over for that time easily enough. And 100$ isn't /terrible/, by any means.
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Postby tabasco boy » Mon Feb 06, 2012 2:00 am

Well my zotac 9800gt 1gb will run around your gt 440 for pretty much the same price range considering mine could be classed as ancient in the gaming world and still can run battlefield 3 on medium settings.

also i'm in the process of building a new desktop and planning on getting a EVGA GeForce GTX 560 TI which has positive reviews and used evga in the past and been sticking with nvidia as i can remember.

here's my To Buy List:

computer specs:
Last edited by tabasco boy on Mon Feb 06, 2012 4:50 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby trickser » Mon Feb 06, 2012 4:38 am

Xocrates wrote:As such I'm left to wonder if the jump between high-school and college is really so big that people just fall off the one course they were supposed to be really trying to get a good understanding of, and/or if people actually care so little about the degree they choose.

You left the choice of students don't get it or students don't care.
There is a principle difference between school and college. In school the student is the subject and should learn as much as his possibilities allow him to. In college science is the subject and students are meant to be the future hardware to run it. In reality this antagonism might be more subtle and gradual, but ... hm ... wonder if it's actually true, maybe it's just my cultural pessimism.

Wanted to say, school alumni can't know about that subtle difference before experiencing it. And its entirely up to the collage how to deal with it, which probably boils down to an economic question: Do we need more scholars of that kind or not, either looking more for interest or for ability.
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Postby Cooper42 » Mon Feb 06, 2012 5:49 am

Xocrates wrote:Right, studying plan B: Building a new desktop PC

What graphics card would you guys recommend? I want to be able to run pretty much everything in high settings (something which my 4 year old Radeon 4870 card mostly does, btw) but given that the next console generation should be about 2-3 years away, I'm not sure it would be justified to go to the highest end cards until that time comes and a graphic upgrade is actually justified.

So what would guys say has the best bang for buck?
Keep the 4870.

I recently upgraded to a 6970.

Unless you are at 1080p or 1900x1200 and have something that you need all the pixels on, the 4870 is fine.

I'm really happy with the 6970, and got a good price on it. But I honestly am not seeing vast amounts of imporvement.
The upgrade to the 4870 meant I could play games I previously couldn't. This last upgrade hasn't meant that. Things just look a little shinier...

So, yeah, you're right. Nothing is really pushing PC graphics now, so go mid-range and get the cheapest you can find. Or stick with the 4870 and wait for the DX11 cards to be really cheap.
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