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General Discussion / Re: Shopping!
« Last post by Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on May 15, 2019, 03:17:20 AM »
 :thumbsup:
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General Discussion / Re: Shopping!
« Last post by random axe on May 13, 2019, 10:12:18 AM »
We got a Winix air purifier, I think it's this model, although they have a proliferation of similar devices in each range.  We'd looked at the 5200 / 5300 / etc models, but it was impossible to get one in white, and we wanted white, and we didn't want to repaint the thing.  I considered building a cabinet for it, but then we saw them discounted sharply at Costco, in white, and so we bought one.

Seems to be good.  It's got four fan settings, and the lowest two are almost silent.  We've left it on continuously, so we haven't tried the Auto setting that increases the fan speed when the air seems dirty.

There's some fancy tech involved, but basically this is a very quiet, efficient fan that pulls air through a custom furnace filter.  If the filters ever become expensive or discontinued, it's just a rectangle, and you can cut a regular furnace filter to size.  The pre-filter is washable.  It has a charcoal filter, which is nice but not crucial.

Our house is only 660 sq ft, but you'd need two of these for anything larger, I think, or to run it at high speed.  Overall, I approve of this product, to date.
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Science & Technology / Re: Geek Talk
« Last post by Sidious on May 12, 2019, 10:41:37 AM »
I always tell my students: first, learn a structured programming language (BASIC, C, Pascal, R, MATLAB, bash, etc), then learn object-oriented programming (C++, Java, etc) *then* the fancy stuff like Python or Scheme. So unless he's already into structured programming (understanding conditionals and loops and functions is all that is, basically), then he's going to have a tougher time with a non-dumbed down version of C++ because it can be a snake pit. Java is supposed to be a dumbed down version of C++, and JavaScript is a dumbed down version of Java, but, eh, it's not really like that. I'm sure he'll be fine, but he'll be more frustrated if he cuts corners to begin with and will get stuck more.

This.  Once you learn a structured programming set of logic, really anything else is just syntax, and more forgiving scripting languages will be simple.  The toolset you get from learning it that way will stay with you pretty much forever.
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General Discussion / Re: Weather ... or not
« Last post by random axe on May 10, 2019, 03:38:42 PM »
We didn't get that late snow, amazingly -- it would've been amazing (and appalling) to get it, but they were so damn sure . . . .

Tonight we have a frost warning.  :nonplused:
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Science & Technology / Re: Geek Talk
« Last post by Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on May 09, 2019, 06:15:06 AM »
I always tell my students: first, learn a structured programming language (BASIC, C, Pascal, R, MATLAB, bash, etc), then learn object-oriented programming (C++, Java, etc) *then* the fancy stuff like Python or Scheme. So unless he's already into structured programming (understanding conditionals and loops and functions is all that is, basically), then he's going to have a tougher time with a non-dumbed down version of C++ because it can be a snake pit. Java is supposed to be a dumbed down version of C++, and JavaScript is a dumbed down version of Java, but, eh, it's not really like that. I'm sure he'll be fine, but he'll be more frustrated if he cuts corners to begin with and will get stuck more.
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Science & Technology / Re: Geek Talk
« Last post by random axe on May 07, 2019, 03:46:08 PM »
:thumbsup:
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Science & Technology / Re: Geek Talk
« Last post by flipper on May 07, 2019, 02:26:26 PM »
:detta: 
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Science & Technology / Re: Geek Talk
« Last post by stormneedle on May 06, 2019, 10:40:24 PM »
Not quite yet. He'll need to be able to program Java at the bytecode level first.  ( :nuts: is me)

Seriously, it's great to do it now. I know programming and natural languages aren't the same, but being his age makes both easier.
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Science & Technology / Re: Geek Talk
« Last post by vox8 on May 06, 2019, 06:25:27 PM »
Very enlightening conv at dinner with Elliott (for point of reference, he is now 12). He was/is on the VEX robotics team this year (6th grade) and did well enough that next year he is slated to be on the #1 team in the class. This past year they did VEX IQ which has a dedicated programming language that he had to learn (he was the programmer), he wasn't a huge fan.

Next year he will be on VEX VRC which is bigger, faster, stronger, yadda, yadda. He was talking with a couple of graduating 8th graders today who are giving him pointers. Apparently there is a VEX version of C++ but the robots also understand regular C++. He's decided to skip learning the dumbed down VEX version and just go with C++.

I pretended to understand what the conversation was about. I am pretty darned impressed. I don't know how hard C++ is to learn but the only thing I was programming at 12 was ASCII art LOL.

What do y'all think? C++ robot programming at 12, is he prepping to take over the world?
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Science & Technology / Re: Endless Complaining
« Last post by flipper on May 06, 2019, 01:40:26 PM »
No way I'm going to switch everything to a phone.  I need a real keyboard.  My son has a keyboard case for his iPad, which could be a possibility, but doing spreadsheets and databases doesn't really work well on a phone or tablet.  I could at least do most of that on a chromebook.  Surprisingly google sheets has improved a lot and works nicely with Excel now.
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