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Showing posts from August, 2018

Bookshelf Classic: The C Programming Language

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My first job had me programming in Microsoft BASIC for the IBM PC (DOS).  BASIC worked well enough, but its limitations were clear.  The language was interpreted and therefore slow.  More importantly, it wasn't a modern structured language, and instead, relied on line numbers and the GOTO statement.  Anyone who has read Dijkstra knew GOTO was a bad thing.

Having learned a structured language in college (PL/I), using BASIC felt unnatural.  When a C compiler became available for the PC, I saw a chance to improve and modernize our software.  The problem was selling the idea -- a problem made harder because I wasn't fluent in C.

"It would be a staffing problem.  Not many people know C, but we can find a lot of programmers who know BASIC," noted one manager.

The argument was strong as my knowledge of C was weak.  But I knew that C, by design, was a small language and thus easy to learn.  "It has about 30 keywords," I proffered to another manager.

Unimpressed, h…

Hiding from Facebook 🙈📕

Months leading to up to Facebook's IPO in 2012, I received an invitation to join from an old neighbor and acquaintance.  I ignored it.  Upon receiving a second invitation, I replied stating that I'm not the Facebook type and prefer not to join.  My former neighbor, surprised, replied that he had never sent me an invitation.  He wasn't even a member.

And the Facebook shenanigans have ramped up ever since.

One trick I learned to block my desktop from accidentally accessing facebook is to update the computer's host file.  The technique works for Linux, Mac, and Windows, and you will need elevated permissions to do so... and maybe a techie friend.

MacOS and Linux
sudo vi /etc/hosts

Windows
notepad C:\Windows\System32\Drivers\etc\hosts

Add the following entries:
127.0.0.1    facebook.com
127.0.0.1    www.facebook.com

The address 127.0.0.1 maps specifically to your local PC, and is sometimes referred to as "home."  Consequently, any application, social plugin, or invisibl…