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Topics - pxsant

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Its pretty clear to me that once you're considered old, you're done when it comes to the computer profession.

Hate to disagree but I definitely do.    If you want to work into your 50's, 60' or 70's you can.   It requires a couple of things.

*  Forget programming.   Get into a skill set the 20 somethings generally ignore like project management or business analysis.
*  Persistence - NEVER give up regardless of how many times you have been put down by the young turks.    It is a numbers game.   The more things you apply for, the more likely you are to get a job.
*  Absolute confidence during an interview.   You are better than them and you can do the job like none of the young turks can.
*  Concentrate on some specific industry.   Once you have experience in that industry, it will get easier and easier to get a job.

I happen to have concentrated in banking and financial services when I go for jobs or contracts.  In my own private consulting with SMB's I generally do legal and other systems like that.

But it can be anything.   Pharmaceuticals, insurance etc.   Pick your poison.   It might take you a couple of years to get the first gig but keep plugging and you will eventually get the first one.

After that, you will be scanned and picked for similar gigs by the headhunters.

Here is a very specific suggestion.   Linux admins -These jobs are out there and quite a few are remote where you can work from home.   Most corporate Linux systems are Red Hat.   But work with CentOS on your own system which is actually Red Hat Enterprise.   There are plenty of courses on Udemy for Linux Admin at 10 bucks on sale that would qualify you for it and get certifications.   Salaries range from 85K for a beginner to 150k  for a well qualified Linux admin.   Gorn, check this out if you can stand the thought of working for a big corporation.  You have shell scripting chops and lots of other skills which would apply. 

When you are working from home, they have no idea how old you are and couldn't give a crap anyway as long as you can do the work especially if you are on a contract.

I am working right now on a 2 year gig at a major bank.    And I am older than anyone working at the entire bank.   Don't want to say how old I am ( or I would have to send Louie from South Philly after you to pay you a visit) but I was working at Cape Canaveral in the space program as a radar and telemetry engineer during the Mercury program.

So get off your butts and forget your age!!

Discussions - Public / Try to unsee this!
« on: August 11, 2017, 05:22:01 am »
Hair flip between NK leader and Pres Trump.

All Technology & Tech Help / 78rpm Records Digitized
« on: August 09, 2017, 03:58:27 am »
This was posted on Hacker News.   Many old and interesting recordings at the link.   Most are scratchy but you could run them through a cleanup program if downloaded.

Noise can be removed using Audacity.   Here are the directions.

Discussions - Public / Password Insanity
« on: March 10, 2017, 04:07:47 am »
Jeff Atwood posted this on his blog about passwords.

I feel the same way as he does.  I have many sites (banking, credit cards, and so on) which all require totally different password patterns that are impossible to remember.  I use Evernote with encryption so that my passwords will be available to me on any device including my cell phone.   Also the encryption key is not stored or transmitted to Evernote so nobody but you can access the encrypted file even if they hack Evernote.  I can't use most other password storage tools simply because they are not available across all devices. 

This password craziness is a real PITA.

Discussions - Public / SpaceX
« on: May 06, 2016, 01:36:20 pm »
I really have to comment on the accomplishments of SpaceX.

Let me give you some background on my experience in this area so you will understand that I know something about this subject.

I worked at Cape Canaveral for 6 years as a radar and telemetry engineer.  I participated in many live launches for both military and "civilian" projects.   I can't comment on the military projects but i can say something about the "civilian" projects.   The accomplishments at that time were nothing short of amazing.  The technology was truly primitive compared to today yet we landed people on the moon and brought them back.  And then the Shuttle project.   That thing was a flying miracle.  Think about it.  Ceramic tiles cemented to the underside of the body and wings to absorb the re-entry heat.   I saw demonstrations of the tiles where they applied blow torches to the tiles and the opposite side did not even get warm.  Amazing stuff.

Yet the accomplishments of SpaceX exceed what NASA and the US government did then.  SpaceX has a 1.5 million pound thrust booster rocket to launch various items into space.  This booster has 9 engines which work together to get the payload into orbit.   And this is the SMALL guy.  they also have something called a Falcon Heavy which has 27 engines which produce 5 million pounds of thrust.  The only booster to ever exceed that thrust is the Saturn V from Wernher von Braun.

And look at their recent launches.  The last two launches were landed on a floating ship in the Atlantic bobbing around in whitecaps.  The most recent launch was to put a geosynchronous satellite in orbit.  That requires the booster to burn for a very long time and get to high speeds before the second stage takes over.  At separation  the booster was traveling at 6500 KPH.

Then they brought the booster back and landed it on a small (believe me a couple of football fields are small) ship platform bobing around in whitecaps in the Atlantic ocean.  Believe me when  I tell you that there is not a single government in the world or space agency anywhere that could accomplish this feat today.  SpaceX has done what many billions of dollars government money could not do.

The next objective of Elon Musk and crew is to land a human group on Mars and to occupy the planet.  Based on what I know, he will accomplish this within the next 5 years.

For a video of his latest see.

Discussions - Public / Amazon Office Supplies
« on: May 04, 2016, 12:57:03 pm »
Amazon is pretty amazing with how they dominate sales without any retail locations.

One of their relatively new businesses is intended to sell office supplies and such to direct business accounts in competition with stores like Staples and Office Depot.  For their first year, they did over 1 billion dollars in sales in that division.  This has to be driving the retail organizations crazy.

Their business model is pretty hard to argue with.  Order supplies online and get delivery free (over $50 on an order) the same day or next day depending on where you are.

Amazon has a larger book value now than Walmart.

I don't know whether Jeff Bezos is a PITA but he sure is business savvy.

Link to an article on the office supplies sales business.

Here is one interesting item in his catalog.  I might buy one of these.

Discussions - Public / Anyone Interested In 3D Printing?
« on: February 02, 2015, 04:56:14 am »
Design News is having an online class for one hour a day for three days beginning tomorrow 2/3.   You have to register for Design News first to get an ID and password.  Go to the following link for registration and information on what will be presented.

Additional clarification info on an email I received from the organization.

 Tomorrow when you’re on that day’s classroom page and logged in, the live audio stream will automatically appear at the top of the classroom page at exactly 2 PM Eastern time. The course is taught via live audio (not video) and you follow along with the lecturer’s PPT. Please download the PPT by clicking on the “Today’s Slide Deck” link under the “Special Educational Materials” heading before each day’s class.

Here are some other trouble-shooting notes:

If the audio doesn’t start automatically at 2 PM Eastern, click on the play button to start it. If when the show starts, the audio bar doesn’t appear or you don't hear any audio, try refreshing your browser. If that doesn’t work, try using Firefox or Google Chrome as your browser. Some people experience audio interruptions when using IW.  Also, make sure your flash player is updated with the current version. If that doesn't work, your company is likely blocking the live stream. Try attending the course via your personal computer or smart phone. If that’s not possible, the class will be archived immediately following our live taping and you will be able to listen to it then. You shouldn’t experience any problems with the audio when listening on-demand via your company’s network.

Day 1 classroom page:

Day 2 classroom page:

Day 3 classroom page:


Discussions - Public / A Christmas Present For The Special Someone
« on: November 21, 2014, 05:07:25 am »
Hey get this for a special friend (or enemy!).

Discussions - Public / Visa Types and Definitions
« on: March 04, 2014, 07:26:51 am »
Ever wonder what all the different work visa's  are and how they apply under different circumstances?   Well here is an interesting blog written by someone who was/is on a visa.  There are quite a few variants that I was not aware of.

There is an interesting programming language/environment just re-released that might be of interest to some board members.  This is the old RealBasic which was just released and renamed as Xojo.  For anyone not familiar with the language, it is a sort of take off on the old Visual Basic but with many enhancements and additional features.  Some interesting aspects of the new version are:

1.  The programming language/IDE/environment are totally free.  The version I have used to cost $700 just to develope apps.
2.  You can develop, test, debug and run any app you develop with the free product.  If you want to distribute the app, you then need to buy a distribution license which is good for unlimited distribution for the version you currently have.  You only need to subscribe to updates if you want to get future versions, otherwise you are good to go.
3.  You can develop either desktop, Web or console (no visual interface used in colsole apps) applications with the same product.  Code compiles to machine code so Web apps in particular are about as secure as you can get.  You usually launch the Web app with CGI but the app itself is machine code so nobody can tamper with your Web pages.
4.  You can develop in Windows, MAC OS, or all flavors of Linux.  Using any of the versions, you can create a distributable for any of the OS's.

Given the free situation, this might be worth a serious look.

One caveat - this is suitable for things you might want to develop for your customers or yourself.  It IS NOT a path to getting a job as a developer in the industry using RealBasic or Xojo.  Jobs for this product are about as rare as hen's teeth.

The link to the free download (which includes pretty good docs)is:

Discussions - Public / 3D Printing
« on: April 24, 2013, 03:40:08 pm »
3D printing is pretty amazing stuff.  Look at the devices and items they can make.  Well now they are talking about making food by 3d printing.

Increase the speed of today's 3D printing by a factor of 1,000 and what do you have?  - How about a star Trek style replicator!!

FTE, Job and Career Discussion / Ask The Headhunter
« on: January 22, 2013, 01:51:53 pm »
If anyone here is not subscribing (free)to the blog  "Ask The Headhunter" by Nick Corcodilos you  should consider it.  He is a headhunter but expresses very honest opinions about the state of job markets etc and is often very critical of HR departments, headhunters etc.    Worth the read.  Following is a link to one of his blog posts.

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