Sunday, June 12, 2005

Ravings of a Cyber loony

Seems anybody can put their stupidity online for the cyber world to see, read and discuss.

Can't see any good reason not to join in. After all, I too have thoughts and opinions that you are entitled to have access to even if you don't want them. You can just not visit.

Since there will probably only be the two of us reading this stuff I can feel free to write whatever I want and if you get offended, you can leave me to read what I have written until I can't stand the ravings anymore either.

I guess at that stage I will be writing the ravings and not reading them myself or perhaps just flaming myself in the comments section... Fair chance that would be a bit pointless.

So, here we all are, a blank (well nearly) page and nothing to write about... or is there?

Lets begin by attacking the Idiot Technologists who 'control' our computer systems at work. The biggest problem I have always had with any IT staff is that, in general, they have been University trained and have learned very little. The shame of it is that they are almost all pretty bright people but they have been trained to not think.

I began with computers by spending about 4 hours one Sunday afternoon back in July 1984 trying to get a home built computer to write a sentence of my choosing on the screen. Not just direct input from the keyboard but to ask a question, accept input and rewrite it to the screen.

And it all had to be in machine language because there was no Assembler, or any higher level language to use. I had to read a cryptic manual about what codes activated which pins on the CPU. The feeling of 'Yes!', that all programmers know, first came when I got the machine to put the letter 'a' on the screen. Of course, I had no idea of how to save the program to make it reusable so everytime I wanted to use it I had to write it back in again. That computer ended up controlling a full lighting system in a large theatre and the program which did that used every single available input or output pin it had. It still had spare capacity in ram and processing time but there was nothing that could be done to utilise that.

These days programmers and IT folk only want to work through a GUI and an IDE with a nice high level language like C++, Delphi, Java, VisualBasic and the like. They almost never get any where near the command line and never get close to the silicon. Of course this means that they really don't get close enough to the real guts of the computer to understand how they work, their strengths and limitations.

All they really get close to is the limitations of their programming language. The other really interesting thing is that, even with these limitations, I doubt that anyone has really written a program which used the full capabilities of even a 80286. Anytime they want more speed for their programs, they upgrade the computer rather than optimise their programs or algorithms.

Now this doesn't mean that I think all programmers and IT folk are like this, just the bulk of them. There are a few who I have found/read about who operate on a different level. I wouldn't know or know of any where near all of them but they will know who they are and probably would agree with me about what I call 'appliance programmers'. The shame of it is that most of the really good programmers don't have the best paid jobs or work in the most critical areas. They frighten their potential bosses who feel threatened by the massive skill levels.

I will add to this rave later... to be continued...