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. U
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I needed an inexpensive lcd for an aging PC. My next computer might have a built-in display (a notebook or an iMac) so price was a major consideration. For $220 at Costco (in-store purchase only), the Princeton VL1919 got my attention. Physically, it's a slim attractive monitor. It has both analog and digital ports, and includes cables for both. I have an analog graphics card and the picture quality is quite good for watching dvds, home photo editing, and playing games. The VL1919 is not, however, a display for graphics pros who understand white point and need to adjust their gammas. The viewing angle is too small for a 19" display and the shift in color would be unacceptable to them. As a software developer, I work mostly with text, and the VL1919's 0.294mm dot pitch made words appear a tad grainy. I could, however, compensate and "soften" the characters using the phase control on the OSD. The OSD itself was awkward to use. Contrary to the documenta