fighting the lack of good ideas

screen… but for x

I’m sure most Linux sys admins are familair with screen – it’s a virtual terminal multiplexer that allows single logins to be ‘detached’, then resumed later. This is fantastic because it means what you’re doing can survive connection failures, you can share it with other users, etc.

Windows has a similar tool called ‘Remote Desktop’, which runs on the RDP standard.

I would *LOVE* to have the same functionality available in Linux: be able to remote into an X session, picking up its last state (presuming that user had already been logged-in), or to be able to launch a new session, then disconnect later, and pick it up again whenever I want to in the future.

I have no idea how hard that may be to implement, but it would rock.

computers were made for americans

Or at least, they were built for people who speak English.

Evidence for my claim: the first electronic computers were built during WWII by the British and Americans for code breaking; the first programming languages were designed, written, and implemented by Americans and British; the transistor, which led to the IC, was developed by Americans; the integrated circuit was designed by Americans; the Internet project was funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA); Tim Berners-Lee was born and raised in England, and invented the World Wide Web.

Most programming languages are written from left-to-right. Interfaces are designed to be read and processed from left-to-right.

I wonder how different computers and interfaces would appear if they had been originated in a non-English-speaking country, or non-Western culture?

Would they seem more intuitive to us, or less? Would they be easier to use, or less? Would countries like China be leading the world in technology, with the US being some kind of feeder economy if computers had been invented elsewhere?

What do you think might be different if computers hadn’t been invented for Americans?

that’s right – we’re not falling behind

There was an article recently on Business Week (here) on how the US is not falling behind in math, science, and technology. In fact, we seem to be turning-out more technologists and engineers than we can use. I disagree.

The problem seems to be that those technically-minded people that US schools are churning-out won’t work for “starting” wages. There’s a glut of tech jobs. And, ironically, there’s a glut of tech people. But there are few tech jobs that are willing to pay what qualified people want.

Imported tech workers, such as from China and India, are willing to work for less money than their American counterparts. They aren’t necessarily any better or worse at the job, but they’ll work for less money.

Guess what? That means that American graduates end up not getting jobs in-field, or get underpaid.