The Washington Post reports that the Babylonians did use Astrophysical Geometry earlier than the European Medieval Age. The news indicates surprise at the findings, but what if there is another story. Not traced in any way, but what if earlier western scholars recognized as the principal forerunners of empirical process came about their inspiration by another route not known? Travel across geographic regions was possible. The opportunity existed for some of the most revered scholars of antiquity to gain exposure to ideas they then translated into their normal cultural context. Attribution to what would be seen as a remote culture may have seemed either irrelevant or counter-productive to the goals of the moment.
When you got a lot of code, forget a laptop. You need a serious desktop to be truly productive. David Levin makes the case for a big desktop. The following would be my choices:
HP Workstation – The Z series what’s currently offered. I used an older version of this type of machine 10+ years ago. The one I used was very loud but fast.
DELL Precision Workstation – The T series is what is out now. I got to use an older version of this for almost a full year. Really nice. With twin Quad-Core Intel Xeons and about 64GB of memory, the machine handled well. Maybe today you can get an 18-core upgrade. Twin 18-cores … with a terabyte of ECC RAM. Useful.
Lenovo ThinkStation – The descendant of the old IBM IntelliStation. Never ran either. I did upgrade a Lenovo ThinkStation. Technically, I did run it for a few days, but just to test an upgrade I was doing for someone else. It wasn’t my machine though.
Apple Mac Pro – I don’t care how small it is, it is a workstation class computer. You can get real stuff done with it. I do like the old PowerMac design better.
IBM Power System – Actually, this machine beats them all, but has special setup requirements (energy needs for example). I am listing it here just to be complete. Go for twin 8-core processors and 1TB of memory (yes, memory, not hard drive).
So no, laptops are not the tools for people writing code for a large code base or who truly need to speed through many code iterations. Desktops and workstations are the true tool of the software developer dealing with high-capacity.
Professor Cormen has good insights about ridding yourself of performance anxiety when you have bugs in your code.
Is it a good idea to use C++ as part of normal IT software development? Should you use C++ for a business where you would normally use something like Java, C#, or VBScript? The C++ language has picked up momentum in the last few years but I do not think that justifies C++ as a software development language for business environments. While I do advocate the C++ language for several types of software applications, I want to take a minute to offer an alternative point of view based in business reality.
The Rise and Fall of Gamgee
At a C++ conference in 2014, a software solution was introduced that greatly improved genome sequencing. At least according to the presentation surrounding Gamgee. When you read through the presentation, you see a great case made for C++ versus Java. It was truly an insightful presentation. When the sponsors of the Gamgee solution switched from Java to C++, they saw a huge improvement in genome sequencing in support of pharmaceutical research. At least in this one organization, C++ was on the rise as the virtues of Java were deemed insufficient for the task. Continue reading