[rescue] Small servers (was Re: WTT: 1.5G of PC2700 for 1G of PC100)

Mark md.benson at gmail.com
Mon May 5 13:49:13 CDT 2008

On 5 May 2008, at 15:05, Shannon Hendrix wrote:
> On May 5, 2008, at 00:50 , Geoffrey S. Mendelson wrote:
>> On Sun, May 04, 2008 at 08:41:19PM -0400, Sridhar Ayengar wrote:
>>> We are still around, but many of us have moved onto other things.
>>> Lately I've been writing custom financial applications in Java.
>> Honestly, how much does knowing how the "bare metal" works help you
>> in writing code that runs in a virtual machine, on a different  
>> computer?
> A tremendous amount.

I'm a newcomer to coding (I writing PHP which is about as far detached  
from a real computer as you could want to be) and self taught but even  
I find knowing the underlying programming principles don't vary. Still  
even at high levels the core understanding of variables, functions,  
loops, arrays, test cases and the like all form an essential part. In  
effect most languages are formed around the same rules, but the higher  
you go the more abstract they are and the more wordy they become.

Knowing how a computer thinks is often invaluable. Especially when you  
assume how clever something in a high level language is, forgetting  
that underlying it is still the same old thinking and decision making  
engine that you use at assembler level.

For those who get uppity about Comp Sci degrees all being based around  
high level language, I think you have the picture a little skewed,  
even if you are correct. I majored in Geology, but my flat mates all  
did Comp Sci (and a good bit of it did rub off on me thankfully)  
Although the majority of programming exercises were high level  
language, usually in C or Java, they did teach a great deal about the  
basic workings of the machine itself and the principles of every layer  
of operations. The idea is Java is quick to learn and easy to grasp,  
an objet oriented (which like it or not is becoming very important).  
It also teaches general principles adequately that students can then  
extend their knowledge as the course goes on by looking into other  
systems if they feel the need.

Of course, I went to a good University (I'm not just saying that off- 
hand, Southampton (UK) is a very high grade University according to  
the level of teaching and the quality of the graduates) and they are  
one of the UK's (if not the world's) premier Computer Science  
education and research establishments. Other Comp Sci degrees may  
vary :)

I don't profess to be an expert on anything, let alone Comp Sci, but  
comparing what I saw there to what you guys are talking about I can  
see they seem like they do a good job. Just my 2-peneth.

Mark Benson

My Blog:
Visit my Homepage: <http://homepage.mac.com/markbenson>

"Never send a human to do a machine's job..."

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