Sunday, January 15, 2006

An Engineering or a Science?

I drove back to Austin today and it's good to be back, but I am going to miss the comforts of home and I'm already dreading some of the work that I have to get done this week. Other than not seeing my brother much, I think I had a pretty good and fruitful break. I could've stood to relax a little more toward the end, but I'm almost done with my Latin program now and should have a beta before this week's end, which brings me to today's topic. If you never knew the difference between computer science, programming, and engineering, you should read this article (or at least skim the first few sections). My major is computer science, of course, (I don't even think any four-year university has a computer programming degree) and many students complain about all the theory we learn. I don't get it; if your major says "science" right in its title, do you not think you're going to study it in great depth? I personally enjoy learning this stuff since learning languages is fairly straightforward. Yet, it's ironic that what I learned last semester doesn't help me one bit in finding an internship for this summer. CS majors really do usually take up the jobs associated with "computer engineers," which means that rather than test hypotheses we are used to apply well-known ideas to practical problems. In my mind though, knowing the science of it gives you an innate understanding that I'm sure causes non-graduates in the field much grief, such as understanding a linker error or translating disassembly to debug an error. I hope that I haven't confused you too much at this point and that you learned something new, because I know I did.

Last week, I reported that Apple was holding out on an even bigger announcement at MacWorld due to the legal battle with Burst.com and/or Intel being unready. From listening to an episode of MacCast from just before the expo featuring predictions, one from a listener who was fairly confident about his struck me: what if they were going to announce an instant-on computer? That's a computer that uses flash memory as a cache to start a computer almost as soon as you hit the "on" button. Just thought I'd share it in case that listener was right. Speaking of podcasts, if you find yourself without time to read for pleasure, you should check out podiobooks, which are podcasts of whole books for free! Back to Apple though, the MacBook Pro came with only a 4x single-layer SuperDrive, much to the dismay of Mac geeks, and ZDNet found out that it was because they couldn't fit an 8x in it just yet. Maybe it'll be part of a 17" model? Microsoft has decided to keep providing versions of Office to Macs for another five years, presumably in that universal binary format. I wonder if that new format makes it easier for them to port it? Lastly, Popular Mechanics put up a great feature on 15 new tech concepts you'll need to know for this year, quite a few of which I had never heard of before. What I found to be the coolest thing was a technology from Raytheon that would warn you of cars in your blind spot when you try to turn.

Click to enlargeSome people are still skeptical about Brandon Routh and Kate Bosworth being in Superman Returns, but I personally think that they look pretty good together. You can see more new pictures from the movie at Calendar Live. Unofficial figures are in for the box office, and it looks like Glory Road reigned supreme with over $13 million despite mediocre reviews and whitewashing the racism card. I have no clue how Last Holiday managed to get second, but this is historically a slow month in movies anyway. Many of you will remember that Christopher Nolan is currently working on The Prestige, and a spy is now claiming that Andy Serkis (from Lord of the Rings and King Kong) will be in the movie playing an assistant of sorts. I think that Serkis is better than the movies he's been in so hopefully he'll shine here. Lastly, Twitch has an interview with Eli Roth on Hostel, and it sounds like Mr. Roth is really into his creation (as he should be since it was #1 last weekend).

Now for some Unconscious Mutterings:

I say ... and you think ... ?

  1. Paralyzed::Disability
  2. Bossy::Moody
  3. Worth::, A Woman's (Alicia Keys)
  4. Breathing::Deep
  5. Uneventful::Boring
  6. Return::Advent
  7. Splint::er Cell
  8. Notice::Eviction
  9. Hero::Jet Li
  10. Vulnerable::Invincible


I just noticed that UT Athletics put up some slick wallpapers for the Rose Bowl. I personally chose the first one.

1 comment:

[Mat] said...

1. Paralyzed:: Windows.
2. Bossy::shit
3. Worth::shit
4. Breathing::unconscious
5. Uneventful::day
6. Return::to innocence
7. Splint::wood
8. Notice::past due
9. Hero::good movie
10. Vulnerable:: good.

I read all. but my finger's hurt. No long comment this time :)