EppsNet Archive: Computers

This is Where Your PDF Resume Will Take You

Received the following advice today: When applying for jobs, never send your resume in .docx format. Fonts don’t always get embedded and hiring managers cannot always open these files. Use PDF. Do we really want to work for managers who can’t open a Word doc? Imagine the world-class mentoring and career development you’re going to get from such a person.… Read more →

Teaching Computer Science: The Phones Aren’t Helping You

I’m volunteering a couple mornings a week at a local high school, helping out with computer science classes. The way the classes are taught, via an online curriculum, provides a great temptation to kids to get off-task, which they do, usually by entertaining themselves with their phones. They get off-task in other ways too — web surfing, doing homework for… Read more →

Two Reasons For the Low Number of Women in Computer Jobs

I saw this chart on LinkedIn with the heading “Chart: Women in tech continue to face uphill battle” and the hashtag #STEMSexism. The first reason for the low number of women in computer jobs is that we rarely hear about women in computing except in the context of pay gaps, harassment, discrimination, “uphill battles” and #STEMSexism. It’s self-perpetuating. “Computing is… Read more →

Teaching Computer Science: Asking for Help

I’m volunteering a couple mornings a week at a local high school, helping out with computer science classes. This morning, in AP Computer Science Principles, the teacher went through an explanation of the hexadecimal number system, then gave an in-class assignment for students to convert their cell phone number to hexadecimal. Not in two parts, 3 digits and 4 digits,… Read more →

Is A.I. a Threat to Humankind?

Not with a bang but a whimper, as T.S. Eliot used to say. In some countries, the people are kept in a state of submission by violence and/or threats of violence, but here in America, the same effect is achieved via mindless entertainments and gadgetry. Read more →

More Words and Phrases I’m Sick Unto Death Of

Although I can’t claim never to have said these things myself, if I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard someone say either a) “It was working fine 10 minutes ago,” or b) “It works okay on my machine,” I would be comfortably retired by now. Thus spoke The Programmer. Read more →

What Does a Programmer Do?

I was asked to give a talk last week to a high school computer science class on “What Does a Programmer Do?” (I’m indebted to Jim McCarthy for the “lords and ladies of logic” section.)   Programming is problem solving. At the highest level, the problem that programmers solve is that people want to be able to do things with… Read more →

What Would We Do Without Consultants?

Digital technology? You mean, like — computers? Read more →

Proofread Your Own Work

FYI, if you meant to type “invest in education” but actually typed “incest in education,” which you might do because the ‘c’ and ‘v’ keys are right next to each other, a spell checker will not catch that as a mistake . . . Read more →

You’re Now the Local Computer Expert

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Teaching Computer Science

Tomorrow is my first day as an AP Computer Science teacher at Corona del Mar High School. It’s a volunteer gig through the TEALS organization. Only about 10 percent of U.S. high schools offer computer science classes and at most of those schools, it counts as an elective, like Home Ec or Wood Shop, not as a class that can… Read more →

People Who Don’t Want Me to Know Things

What I want to know is why there are so many people who don’t want me to know things . . . What the 1% Don’t Want Us to Know Natural Cures “They” Don’t Want You to Know About 20 Terrifying Facts Food Companies Don’t Want You to Know 11 things the Koch brothers don’t want you to know What… Read more →

Raising Our Kids

Let's just hope these tablets are better at raising our kids than cable. — Paul Danke (@pauldanke) June 24, 2014 Read more →

The Cure for Missing Attachments

I wrote an email in Outlook 2013, concluded by saying “Details are in the attached doc,” then clicked Send without attaching the aforesaid document. I must not be the only person who does this, because when I clicked Send, this dialog box appeared: Obviously, Outlook is looking for words like “attached” or “attachment” in emails that don’t contain an actual… Read more →

It Would Be Important to Get There and There is Probably a Way

I often say, “Well, it’s just over on the other side of that canyon. So all we have to do is go.” It is always surprising to me that other people would expect me to tell them how we’re going to get there directly. That it is not enough to say, “Well, it would be important to get there and… Read more →

Pictures of Food

Years ago, if you wanted to show your friends a picture of your food, you’d have to break out the palette and the easel and paint one. Time-consuming! Nowadays, with the likes of Facebook and Instagram, it’s just point and click! Another way life gets better and better thanks to computers . . . Read more →

Do You Want to Take the Human Race to the Next Plateau?

In 1986, Steve Jobs famously challenged John Sculley, asking him if he wanted to keep on making sugar water or help Apple change the world. While that did not quite work out the way either of them intended, the challenge itself still holds. Do you want to spend your next decade developing more digital distractions to amuse people while they… Read more →

From Science Fiction to Everyday Life in Just a Few Years

This is the world we live in now. It’s one where computers improve so quickly that their capabilities pass from the realm of science fiction into the everyday world not over the course of a human lifetime, or even within the span of a professional’s career, but instead in just a few years. — Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee, Race… Read more →

Intelligence in the Cloud

IBM Watson, the Jeopardy champion, runs on 90 IBM Power 750 servers, with eight 3.5 GHz cores per server. Currently on Amazon EC2, eight extra large compute instances will cost you $2.40/hour. If you want to run 90 of them, you’re looking at a shade over $200/hour. This brings up a couple of questions: For what tasks could artificial intelligence be… Read more →

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