Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Programming Languages

No programming language is perfect. There is not even a single best language; there are only languages well suited or perhaps poorly suited for particular purposes.

--Herbert Mayer

Friday, November 20, 2009


"The only way in which a human being can make some approach to knowing the whole of a subject is by hearing what can be said about it by persons of every variety of opinion and studying all modes in which it can be looked at by every character of mind. No wise man ever acquired his wisdom in any mode but this."

John Stuart Mill

Monday, August 24, 2009

I Beat My Record

I beat my previous record for gas mileage in the same car with less gas this time. I know this may be a bit silly, but I think it's cool that I can get several MPG more than what the specs on the car read. My record this time was 494.2 miles on 13 gallons of gas witch comes out to be 38 MPG.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Windows Vista

Everyone by now should have at least heard of the new creation from Redmond; the latest and, said to be, greatest version of Windows to date. It is very flashy and comes packed with standard features that go beyond Calculator and Pant including: Windows Calendar, Windows Mail, a new photo management and editing tool, parental controls, a fancy new interface, Direct X 10 and much more. Vista also starts programs much faster than XP using a technology called Superfetch witch will predict when you will use an application and pre-load part of the program.

This all sounds fine and dandy, until you look at the cost of running something this fancy. I have had to install Vista at work for testing purposes and this is what I found:

1. The default installation consumes 13.5GB of disk space.

2. Logging into the desktop and having no programs running uses over 400MB of RAM. (I have had an XP system run usable with under 128MB of RAM.

3. The average memory usage throughout the day running standard apps, such as Firefox, Thunderbird etc., is over 1GB. Whereas in XP, these tasks would average around 200MB.

4. A modern video card is required to take advantage of the new desktop eye candy and to make it usable.

5. After only a couple weeks of usage and only installing about 200MB worth of software, my disk usage exceeded 25GB. I had not copied any of my personal or work files to the system. This extra disk usage is all hidden and nowhere to be found. (This could however be caused by the automatic backup that Vista does with all your files. It makes shadow copies of files whenever their is a change.)

6. High cost to purchase such an operating system, unless you get it with a new PC.

7. A lot of popular software programs have compatibility problems running on Vista.

8. Lack of printer drivers.

And so on.

Their are in fact enough issues with Vista that most businesses wont even touch it with a ten foot pole. This is an operating system that would cost, even a small business, thousands of dolors to adapt. If you think about what it would cost for a small shop with ten computers to upgrade to Vista, it's no wonder the business world is sticking with what they have, or are seeking alternatives. The cost to upgrade ten computers is much more than running down to your local Staples or Office Max and picking up a handful of Vista DVDs (at $200 - $400 a piece, the cost of the OS itself is enough to scare you). No, all or most of those computers will need to be replaced or upgraded with modern hardware, so lets add the cost of hardware to our budget. We now have ten new computers running Vista, and then come to find that a lot of your software isn't Vista compatible. Lets blow a few thousand more dolors to purchase upgrades to all of our existing applications. Do some math with these thoughts and find out for yourself if it would be worth it to upgrade.

Their has been a lot of talk about how Microsoft ripped off several features from Mac OS X. Here is a couple videos that speak for them selfs.

Did Microsoft rip-off Apple Mac OS X in Windows Vista?

The Real Windows Vista

My recommendations:
-Windows XP - If you currently use Windows XP and are not looking to upgrade or try anything different, it would be best to say with what you have. Windows XP is the most widely used operating system and therefore, the most supported. Almost any piece of software that is written--including hardware drivers--will run on Windows XP.

-GNU/Linux - The first commercial Linux distribution appeared in 1993, and others were soon to follow. During this time, Linux was rumored to be "just for geeks" because the system was mostly operated from the command line, and for it's difficult installation process. The Linux operating system has come a long way during it's short life with us in the computer world. In my opinion, Linux has made the leap from Windows 95 to Windows Vista in a matter of four years--whereas, Microsoft took ruffly ten years. This being said, I believe Linux is a perfect candidate for an alternative operating system. If you are looking for something new, or if you want to resurrect an old computer with a decent and usable system, Linux might be the answer for you.

Their are literally hundreds of different Linux ditros, all having a specific purpose. Distrowatch provides a top 10 list of distributions that will help in making the decision of which one will work best for you.

-Mac - If your looking to buy a new system that will do everything, looks pretty and is easy to use, Macs provides a beautiful user interface with all the standard features, software and tools that you need to do just about anything right out of the box. The best way to see what a Mac has to offer, is to see it for yourself. If you have a local Mac store to play and drool in, I would highly recommend it. Macs are one of the easiest systems to use and they are very fast, stable and secure. Here is a link on their web site that covers all the standard features that ships with every Mac that leaves the store. This is one of the most impressive feature packed and deliciously beautiful operating systems you will find.

I hope you have been convinced that Windows Vista is not ready for the real world. I also hope I was able to open your eyes to realize that Microsoft isn't the only "big boy" in town with an operating system. Their are in fact several hundred operating systems available for everyone to choose from, free and commercial alike. We have the freedom of choice in this world of computers and I hope you have the courage to get your feet wet and try something new.

A New Record

I have hit a new record in my car for gas mileage. I drive a 2000 Mazda Protege. My gas tank will normally hold about 14 gallons of gasoline and travel a distance of 350 - 420 miles per tank. I was able to accomplish 491.5 miles one one tank of gas. That calculates to being roughly 35mpg.

I love to brag about this stuff because everyone is always complaining about how much money they spend on gas and I have the most fuel efficient car of anyone in my family.

Happy driving


Tuesday, January 23, 2007


One of the biggest problems I find in society is that people lack patience. When you have no patience you tend to be easily irritable and angry -- or some say you would have a short fuse. You can see this activity on the road every day while driving to work or to the store. Yes, I'm talking about the idiots you see that don't let you change lanes when you have had your turn signal on for a half a mile or, the people that will tail gate your car because you aren't going "their" speed and they want you to get our of their way. And don't forget the people that must cut every one off and will ride anyones bumper just to get one more car length of distance -- then in turn be sitting next to you at the stop light down the street. These people are so dangerous because they are risking their own lives as well as everyone around them just so they can save two seconds time. This is what I mean about being impatient, people end up being in such a rush that they don't care about anything and they let their emotions control their decisions with absolutely no logic in their actions.

I heard a quote from the movie Cars that has stuck with me and I believe it to be an effective cure for impatient driving. Its when they are looking at the highway and how it used to go through the town and the beautiful scenery, and now it's just a strait road for people to speed on by without even noticing Gods great creations or the friendly little town. They say, "back then, people used to drive to have a good time, not to make good time." If you sit and think about that for a moment and ask yourself when the last time you slowed down while you were driving to look around you and appreciate what God and Man have put together. We live in a beautiful world and I think most people don't even know that.

Next time your on the road, think about having a good time instead of trying to get to wherever it is your going as quickly as possible. When you see the idiots on the road who have no patience or thought process in their brain, just try to avoid them and don't let them get under your skin.

Gold comes to those who have gold in their purse. Don't spend your gold foolishly and you will have more gold.

$ clear && exit
goodbye Squall


Saturday, September 02, 2006

Letter To The Editor

The following came to me in an email a few weeks ago and I think every American should read it and understand what our country is going through. If you are for or against what is currently happening with our immigration, please read this email.


Newspapers simply won't publish letters to the editor which they either deem politically incorrect (read below) or which don't agree with the philosophy they're "pushing" on the public. This woman wrote a great letter to the editor that should have been published but with your help it will get "published" via cyberspace! My wife, Rosemary, wrote a wonderful letter to the editor of the OC Register which, of course, was not printed. So, I decided to "print" it
myself by sending it out on the Internet. Pass it along if you feel so inclined.
Dave LaBonte (signed)

Written in response to a series of letters to the editor in the Orange
County Register:

Dear Editor:

So many letter writers have based their arguments on how this land is made up of immigrants. Ernie Lujan for one, suggests we should tear down the Statue of Liberty because the people now in question aren't being treated the same as those who passed through Ellis Island and other ports of entry.

Maybe we should turn to our history books and point out to people like Mr. Lujan why today's American is not willing to accept this new kind of immigrant any longer. Back in 1900 when there was a rush from all areas of Europe to come to the United States, people had to get off a ship and stand in a long line in New York and be documented. Some would even get down on their hands and knees and kiss the ground. They made a pledge to uphold the laws and support their new country in good and bad times. They made learning English a primary rule in their new American households and some even changed their names to blend in with their new home.

They had waved good-bye to their birthplace to give their children a newlife and did everything in their power to help their children assimilate into one culture.

Nothing was handed to them; No free lunches, no welfare, no labor laws to protect them. All they had were the skills and craftsman-ship they had brought with them to trade for a future of prosperity. Most of their children came of age when World War II broke out. My father fought along side, men whose parents had come straight over from Germany, Italy, France, and Japan. None of these 1st generation Americans ever gave any thought about what country their parents had come from. They were Americans fighting Hitler, Mussolini and the Emperor of Japan. They were defending the United States of America as one people. When we liberated France, no one in those villages were looking for the French-American or the German American or the Irish American. The people of France saw only Americans. And we carried one flag that represented one country. Not one of those immigrant sons would have thought about picking up another country's flag and waving it to represent who they were. It would have been a disgrace to their parents who had sacrificed so much to be here. These immigrants truly knew what it meant to be an American. They stirred the melting pot into one red, white and blue bowl.

And here we are in 2006 with a new kind of immigrant who wants the same rights and privileges. Only they want to achieve it by playing with a different set of rules, one that includes the entitlement card and a guarantee of being faithful to their mother country. I'm sorry, that's not what being an American is all about. I believe that the immigrants who landed on Ellis Island in the early 1900's deserve better than that for all the toil, hard work and sacrifice in raising future generations to create a land that has become a beacon for those legally searching for a better life. I think they would be appalled that they are being used as an example by those waving foreign country flags.

And for that suggestion about taking down the Statue of Liberty, it happens to mean a lot to the citizens who are voting on the immigration bill. I wouldn't start talking about dismantling the United States just yet.
(signed) Rosemary LaBonte

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

I see # code

Over the past few weeks I have finally been able to start a project using the .NET framework and the C# programming language. I have to say, I think Micro$lop did a very nice job with creating the .NET platform and I hope that one day the Mono project will become stable enough that everyone can enjoy this technology on any operating system.

The reason for the title is that I have written close to 10,000 lines of C# code in less then two weeks time and needless to say, I have been thinking about this project non stop and it has been a big part of my dreams. Last week I was working so hard that my CPU(brain) actually was overheating and had to just stop, close my eyes and meditate for a while.

Since computers are such a big part of everyones every day life, I believe that everyone should have at least some basic knowledge of computer programming and how a computer works. I know that most people don't have the mind or brain power to write code but everyone should be familiar with basic concepts. Most programming languages/environments can be freely downloaded and provide documentation for newbies up to experienced programmers. No matter what language you decide to pick up, its the concepts that you must learn and understand because they will follow you with any programming language. Remember that their will always be a learning curve for each language because they all have their own ways of doing things but in the end its all the same.

Here are some links to the main page of my favorite programming languages: