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To: narby
"Science has nothing to do with it. Learning obscure rules and following them does."

You may think that science has nothing to do with being a programmer, but you speak for yourself. My work is detailed, but it's anything but "obscure". I write code that can measure and process the difference between events that can change in nanoseconds. That's 0.000 000 001 seconds. How "obscure" can that be? I can assure you that in my line of work fudging numbers by dropping a half a dozen decimal places would most surly motivate my boss to put me on the street.

And random assembly of random "organic" molecules into random life into more and more random and complex life is anything but science.

95 posted on 02/17/2006 5:58:38 PM PST by manwiththehands (Repeal the 17th Amendment. NOW.)
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To: manwiththehands; Ichneumon
I write code that can measure and process the difference between events that can change in nanoseconds.

Will no details, sounds like you're dealing with post processing of hardware measurements. So what. Nothing different than processing a checking account balance.

That's 0.000 000 001 seconds.

Yeah. I knew that. So what.

I can assure you that in my line of work fudging numbers...

Almost every programmer is in that boat. The first job I had as a cub programmer was to write a stereotype spread sheet, back before SuperCalc existed, to reconcile the final numbers for a fortune 100 company on the NYSE. Yeah, they'd have fired me if I screwed it up, and have put me in jail if I did anything untoward.

As for timing, a recent program I did measures, and actively controls, things with a precision of around 2 microseconds.

That's 0.000 002 seconds.

The only hardware in the loop is a fast interrupt, no PALs or ASICs or custom hardware involved. Just software and an interrupt, and my software in a highly deterministic processor with known execution times for specific machine instructions. Oh yeah, the control time can vary too, so we're not talking about adding NOPs until the scope says the code is right.

The bottom line is science still has nothing to do with it. I merely learned obscure rules and followed them. Science is conceiving of a new substrate substance on a chip. Science is developing a new etching process to make smaller transistors so you can put more on a chip. Science is changing the doping and deposition on a chip to reduce the voltage required so as to reduce power consumption and heat.

What you and I do is technology that we've learned from the genuine scientists that developed it many years ago. We don't do science, and an understanding of what real science is, such as Ichneumon's description above, is not required for our work.

97 posted on 02/19/2006 8:20:48 AM PST by narby (Hillary! The Wicked Witch of the Left)
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