Profile

Scrapbook photo 1
Cay Horstmann
Works at San Jose State University
Attended University of Michigan
Lived in San Francisco
1,489 followers
AboutPosts

Stream

Cay Horstmann

Shared publicly  - 
 
It used to be that book publishers were picky about fonts and such, but one of my publishers has outsourced all expertise to an offshore contractor, who delivers a typeset draft that is utter garbage, and reluctantly fixes mistakes until everyone is exhausted and gives up. Since the remaining state-side publishing people are completely clueless, this works out, except possibly for the readers.

Here, someone did notice that there was something funny about the word "final" in computer code, but they couldn't figure out why

I, the long-suffering author, did what publishers used to do and drafted a set of rules for typesetting computer code, such as "fi should not be combined to a ligature".

The person coordinating the typesetting came back with "I for example have no idea what Cay means by that." Apparently, the ability to use Wikipedia is not a job requirement: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Typographic_ligature
11
Add a comment...

Cay Horstmann

Shared publicly  - 
 
When you write a textbook, adopting professors expect slides. In the past, my publisher hired someone to produce PowerPoint slides. I always hated that part. PowerPoint seemed to me this bloated, ill-defined format where you never know whether the next version would convert the slides into mush.

What's wrong with HTML slides, I kept asking--we aren't doing fancy effects or transitions, and HTML Slidy works great for just-the-facts presentations. I was told that not all professors were "web-savvy", and they wanted PowerPoint.

Turns out, nowadays many adopters ask for Keynote and a few for LibreOffice. PowerPoint doesn't turn too many slides to mush, but Keynote and LibreOffice sure do. You can't blame them. There is no official documentation for .ppt, and the .pptx documentation is a joke.

So, it's sayonara Office formats. The next set of slides is in XHTML. For now, it's still Slidy, but it is an easy matter to transcode them to the next big thing. Maybe even to .pptx.
1
Wolfgang Granon's profile photoJohn Langley's profile photoCay Horstmann's profile photoDavid Gillooly's profile photo
5 comments
 
You mentioned "...my publisher hired someone to produce PowerPoint slides...."

Could you share who a contact might be at your publisher for this type of work?
Add a comment...

Cay Horstmann

Shared publicly  - 
 
And another cheery update from the wonderful world of Windows. I set up a script to run about 50,000 computations that I expected to take a couple of days to complete, and left for a weekend getaway to Milan. Did I get my results when I came back? No sir. Only about 7,500 got done. But on the bright side, I was informed that Windows rebooted itself to complete installing important upgrades.

Okay...I realize that I am not really important in the grand scheme of things, and that it is far more important that Windows installs important updates than that I get my work done.

But what if I actually had something important to do?

Well, ideally, then I wouldn't be using Windows, except for this consulting job. So, is there a way to turn off this feature? Google found me several descriptions of a registry hack. Will it work? Is that really the easiest way? If anyone else knows, I'd be very grateful for tips.
Sometimes, Windows downloads important updates and decides it's going to restart your computer whether you like it or not. Here's how to disable that behavior.
4
Christian von Kietzell's profile photoCay Horstmann's profile photo
2 comments
 
+Christian von Kietzell Thanks, I found that setting in the control panel. That should definitely help. 
Add a comment...

Cay Horstmann

Shared publicly  - 
 
Another update in my trip to Tile World. When I took on a consulting job that required Windows, I figured, how hard could it be? I'd just run Windows in a VM and I'd do my thing. After a couple of preliminary tool installs, that VM consumed all of my laptop's disk space. (I have one of those skinny laptops with a flash drive.)

Back home, I would have a pile of unloved laptops for installing ephemeral stuff, but I am on sabbatical in Switzerland where everything is super-expensive. Except, as it happens, an Acer Aspire E3-111 at InterDiscount which is on sale for CHF 200--just about two hundred bucks. With a 500GB hard disk. Surely that will do. And it does, except it comes with .... 2GB of RAM. Hello, Acer, hasn't the news gotten to you that in 2015 Windows will barely boot with 2GB? It's amazing just how sucky Windows can be on a machine with 2GB that is also loaded with the usual share of crapware that you get on a consumer laptop. It is the dog-slowest thing you can imagine. Removing the crapware helps to a degree, but it's not enough. No problem, right? Just add more gigs of RAM.

Now fortunately this device isn't made by some outfit from Cupertino, CA that should remain nameless, so it is actually possible to open it up with no more than the IKEA screwdriver that I have in my sabbatical apartment. The link below tells you just how to do it. It's a bit odd that you have to remove the battery, wifi card, and motherboard, just to add memory, but it all worked out, and with 8 GB (for 50 bucks, shipped from Amazon Germany), it's not bad at all.

Thanks to David at MyFixitGuide. I owe you a beer.
4
1
Chong Luo's profile photo
Add a comment...

Cay Horstmann

Shared publicly  - 
 
I foolishly accepted a consulting job that involves using Windows. (Note to self: Never do this again...) All day long, I've stared at Windows rebooting and updating itself and  losing the wireless connection, like Linux used to do years ago. And switching to the German keyboard when I had an English keyboard plugged into the USB port, and the English keyboard when I didn't. (The laptop has a Swiss German keyboard.)

Finally, I am ready to install that all-important piece of software, and what do I get? A crash with the exciting message: ZeroGu2: Windows DLL failed to load. Am I the only one? No sir--the internet is full of people who share my pain. The general advice is to use compatibility mode, but it often doesn't work. In my case, with Vista mode, I get the installer to crash silently, or with XP mode, to crash with a window that has rounded corners and garish colors.

It's pretty crazy to have programs wrapped in buggy installers by long-gone vendors, so that they can't be installed anymore after a few years. This has never happened to me in Linux. With perhaps some grief, I was always able to recompile whatever program was important to me if it was no longer in the repos.

As I noticed when updating my bill, there is a cost in a poor choice of OS that greatly exceeds the price of the license.
Original title: While installing Hypermesh 11 on my machine i got the following error!, could any one help me how to overcome this. I am not much into s/w installation:-) ZeroGu3: Windows DLL failed
9
1
Cay Horstmann's profile photoMargaret Leber's profile photoChong Luo's profile photo
3 comments
 
Your point about "installers" is well taken, though.
Add a comment...

Cay Horstmann

Shared publicly  - 
 
I am just a Python amateur, but as I contribute sections to Rance Necaise's and my "Python for Everyone" revision, I can really see the charm. I just finished a section on SymPy, a symbolic math package. I would have killed for it when I learned calculus.

As for installing those packages, not so good. My head spins as I alternate between apt-get/easy_install/pip3. Where does any of this stuff go?  I just discovered anaconda, and I like what they do--install everything into one directory, so all the mess is contained.

Anaconda comes with an IDE, or what goes for an IDE in the Python world, called spyder. I tried the debugger and found it barely functional. Hello, when you step through an input statement, wouldn't it be nice if the user saw the prompt before pausing for the input?

So, I looked around what other IDEs there are. There is PyCharm from the JetBrains folks. It seems fine, but I wonder if it is hard to install for students--it requires Java. And I looked at IDLE. Boy, time has really passed this one by. I did get the debugger to work, but I am not proud of it.

If you use Python and have a recommendation for an IDE with a respectable debugger, please let me know.
Continuum Analytics provides software, training, and consulting for high performance computing and data visualization using Python.
7
Guillaume Binet's profile photoRodney Hoffman's profile photoPiyush Mishra's profile photoCay Horstmann's profile photo
5 comments
 
Thanks, that looks interesting, but the free version doesn't have a debugger.
Add a comment...
Have him in circles
1,489 people
Daniel Mai's profile photo
Javed Shaikh's profile photo
Rozafat Radogoshi's profile photo
Ndayishimiye Vedaste's profile photo
Chenzhi Wu's profile photo
Mauro Ymgch's profile photo
sai ram Sd's profile photo
ezequiel wells's profile photo
amrinder singh's profile photo

Cay Horstmann

Shared publicly  - 
 
I am in Europe this year, and it's not easy being a frugal cell phone user.  It's tough enough to find a decent plan in any given country. (Tip: If there is an Aldi, go with theirs.) When you cross the border, you can either pay astronomical roaming charges or get another SIM card and another phone number for a week. I have a small pile of SIM cards in my office.

Really, all I want is data--mostly for maps and train schedules. I can use Google Voice or Skype for the few calls I need to make when I am in another country for a week.

So, when I heard of the Google Fi plan, I perked up when they said that they include data in 120 countries for $10/GB.

It's not all golden. You have to get the Nexus 6 phone, at least for now, so I had one shipped to Switzerland. And I got socked with a huge customs charge that will wipe out any savings. But never mind that--it's the principle that matters.

I had an issue with keeping my Google Voice number--somehow the service was confused when activating the phone outside the U.S. Then something strange happened. Google, which otherwise totally and unequivocally sucks when it comes to customer support, has a working 24/7 help service with actual helpful people who solve your problem and don't ask if they have provided you with excellent service today.
Google must be serious about this.

Now I am impressed. I turn on the phone, tether it to my laptop, and get a reasonably priced data plan. Anywhere in Europe. And I can make US calls for free and European calls for 2¢ per minute.

Clearly they'll have to make this work for other phones, but once they do, it seems like a good deal. Except for the Swiss, who love paying astronomical rates for their phone plans. Check out this fellow who is resigned to paying about $1300 per year. https://www.salt.ch/fr/pass/?icid=residential_ma_car_payer-une-fois-par-an
Salt Pass: Payer une fois (prépayé) et téléphoner et envoyer des sms pendant tout une année sur tous les réseaux. Surf illimité inclus.
6
1
Jeremy K (Kap)'s profile photoMark Bridge's profile photo
 
+Cay Horstmann​ awesome you are having good luck with Project Fi. I have been using it for a while in the states and it is amazing. They are definitely serious about support. If you have not done so yet, join the Project Fi community on G+. It's a very active community and you can get tips and hints there that you might not otherwise. When you do join share your story there! 
Add a comment...

Cay Horstmann

Shared publicly  - 
 
I am on sabbatical in Switzerland right now, where buses and trams are clean, punctual and ubiquitous. In San Francisco, at least they are ubiquitous.

Apparently, 22 years ago, the voters told city officials to ride public transportation at least twice per week. It doesn't seem to have happened, or they would have done something about the buses that are often late and sometimes filthy.

This June, most of the supervisors promised to take Muni daily for 22 days, and they are not happy customers. Let's hope their unhappiness translates into action. Preferably before I come back :-)
Supervisor Jane Kim waited 21 minutes for a 19-Polk Muni bus to show up and take her three stops — a distance she usually walks in 15 minutes. The challenge dares the city’s top elected officials to ride the much-maligned public transportation system daily for the first 22 days in June. The challenge began Monday, and was accepted by the mayor and supervisors Kim, Avalos, London Breed, David Campos, Julie Christensen, Mark Farrell, Eric Mar and...
5
Add a comment...

Cay Horstmann

Shared publicly  - 
 
It can't last, of course, in a world where everyone is a critic, but for now I have a perfect 5 star rating at Amazon for my "Core Java 8 for the Impatient" book.

http://www.amazon.com/Core-Java-Impatient-Cay-Horstmann/product-reviews/0321996321

That makes me happy since the project was a total shot in the dark. I felt that Java 8 was really worthy of a fresh start. If you came from C# or JavaScript or C++ or whatever and you wanted to learn modern Java, there is no point retracing the evolutionary history and the errors from the past. Instead, one should just embrace Java 8 as it exists today, and it's pretty darn good. I am glad that the readers agree.
12
Harry Smith's profile photo
 
I'm sure that the "for the impatient" books are excellent, but I would suggest that when it comes to the Core Java books impatience is the surest way to cheat yourself.  I would advise all Java programmers to have the latest edition of Core Java on their bookshelves and to read them.  You will get much more out of them than syntax references.
Add a comment...

Cay Horstmann

Shared publicly  - 
 
In my ongoing saga as involuntary Windows user, I have finally found something to make me smile. These folks prepackage a sane Cygwin installation. Download, unzip, run the install script, and presto, Zsh (or bash, but Zsh really pays off for Windows because you can tab-complete things like /c/P/j/jdk/b/java). And there is a package manager that actually works--hooray!
The core of Babun consists of a pre-configured Cygwin. Cygwin is a great tool, but there's a lot of quirks and tricks that makes you lose a lot of time to make it actually 'usable'. Not only does babun solve most of these problems, but also contains a lot of vital packages, so that you can be ...
7
2
george oloo's profile photoDarlene Wallach's profile photo
Add a comment...

Cay Horstmann

Shared publicly  - 
 
I just adapted this extremely cool tutorial for my Scala course. It's Scala all the way, on the server with Play and on the client with Scala.js and the JQuery façade. It's not yet as seamless as it should be, but definitely worth watching.
var x = 0.0 type Graph = (String, Double => Double) val graphs = Seq[Graph]( ("red", sin), ("green", x => abs(x % 4 - 2) - 1), ("blue", x => sin(x/12) * sin(x)) ).zipWithIndex dom.setInterval(() => { x = (x + 1) % w; if (x == 0) clear() for (((color, f), i) <- graphs) { val offset = h / 3 * (i + ...
6
3
David Bauer (ourdatguy)'s profile photoGayatri Deo's profile photo
Add a comment...

Cay Horstmann

Shared publicly  - 
 
I am revising a Python book, adding examples with "real world" data. Here is a data set that surprised me. Apparently, police and firefighters aren't putting their life on the line as much as other employees. Truck drivers are twice as likely to die on the job as policemen, and garbage collectors three times as much. Maybe they too should get to retire with a full pension at 50?
Recent labor legislation, such as measures to curb collective bargaining and change pensions and health coverage, often exempts public safety workers.
6
Margaret Leber's profile photoFranc Schiphorst's profile photoCay Horstmann's profile photo
3 comments
 
Franc, I am not disagreeing with your point, but I can also see the point of the person who wrote that article--if truck drivers take their jobs more seriously than their lives, why don't the surviving ones get to retire earlier with more benefits? 

But whatever--I simply didn't know these risk statistics and found them fascinating.
Add a comment...
People
Have him in circles
1,489 people
Daniel Mai's profile photo
Javed Shaikh's profile photo
Rozafat Radogoshi's profile photo
Ndayishimiye Vedaste's profile photo
Chenzhi Wu's profile photo
Mauro Ymgch's profile photo
sai ram Sd's profile photo
ezequiel wells's profile photo
amrinder singh's profile photo
Work
Occupation
Professor
Employment
  • San Jose State University
    Professor, present
Places
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Previously
San Francisco - San Jose - Ann Arbor - Syracuse - Ho Chi Minh City - Kiel - Aachen - Eutin
Links
Story
Tagline
In my copious spare time, I write about programming languages and computer science education.
Education
  • University of Michigan
    Mathematics, 1981 - 1987
  • Christian Albrechts Universität Kiel
    Mathematik und Informatik, 1977 - 1981
  • Syracuse University
    Computer Science, 1979 - 1980
Basic Information
Gender
Male