[ExI] standard form for creating a test, was: RE: humanities plus schmooze

spike spike66 at att.net
Sun Dec 9 18:48:38 UTC 2012

>... On Behalf Of Mike Dougherty
Subject: Re: [ExI] standard form for creating a test, was: RE: humanities
plus schmooze

On Sun, Dec 9, 2012 at 12:13 PM, spike <spike66 at att.net> wrote:

>>... Agreed that I am the poster child for Excel abuse...

>...You really should learn SQL.  This "set of all permutations of letters"
transformed with "set of all scrabble titles" is exactly how/why SQL works.
Most people need to be taught to think in sets, you're doing it natively and
forcing Excel to keep up with you...  Mike

Ja, but actually Excel and modern computing hardware is advancing at least
as fast as I am.  I remember when I wrote my first iterative aerodynamic
rocket ascent profile calculator right when macros first came along in 1994.
My little M65000 Mac took 24 minutes to do a single run.  I would set it,
hit go, run downstairs to the cafeteria, scarf a sandwich and guzzle a cola,
run back up and it would be finishing right when I arrived.  I still have
that code, and the same routine now runs in way less than a minute.

We had a Fortran code which ran on the mainframe in just a few seconds, but
it required the person who owned that code to stop what he was doing, set up
my job, run it, print out the results and hand it back, which seldom took
less than half an hour end to end.  I am astonished that we were this
primitive as recently as 18 yrs ago.

Mike the problem I have with the computer science industry in general is
that it is too faddish.  Every other year there is a new latest and
greatest, and sure I could run like hell just to stay in place, learning
each new protocol, but mathematics doesn't do that.  You learn new skills in
math, but you don't need to learn a new protocol every time.  It is
standardized and it stays that way.  You computer gurus need to figure out
some language or programming protocol, get together and standardize it, then
arrange for first and second graders to learn it, then leave it alone
forever.  Add cool new stuff, such as we do in math, the matrix algebras and
so forth, but leave the basic protocols alone, learn it once and be done
with that phase of learning, so we can move on.


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