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Should I work on proprietary software? 17 January 2007

Posted by Matthew Fulmer in intel, software.
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Yesterday was my first day on the internship at Intel. It was a lot of fun, and the cafeteria is amazing. But I found out what I had been dreading to hear: I am to develop proprietary software for Intel to use in-house.

I was considering dropping the internship for that reason, but I talked to my father about it first. We talked about the values of free software (for the first time), and I decided that the cost of developing the proprietary software in-house is not very high, as opposed to distributed proprietary software, and that I will only work on proprietary software if it is not distributed.

Here is how I weighed the cost:

Proprietary software costs everyone who uses it a certain amount of freedom. It costs everyone who does not use it the ability to use it, which is not too bad. The software I will be making is a Python program to string together and record the results of proprietary Intel testing and measuring equipment, and so has very little use outside of Intel. That is why I say that denying everyone outside of Intel the right to use it is not too bad: they will not want or use it anyway.

Now consider the cost to the user: the freedom to share it. First, all users are being paid by Intel,  and second, nobody wants it anyway. Thus the users are compensated, and the non-users have a negligible interest in the software, so I think it is OK to work on this proprietary program.  None of this would be true if the program was distributed; thus I will never work on distributed proprietary software.

New Mexico Christian Children’s Home 15 January 2007

Posted by Matthew Fulmer in Church.
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At church tonight, there was a presentation regarding the New Mexico Christian Children’s Home. My church has donated food, laundry detergent, and money to that place for as long as I have been there, but this was the first time I ever saw anything about it. I am very impressed; it is definitely a place worth investing in. They raise about 50 kids at a time, and train them all to be excellent people.

The families have times for Bible Study, times for homework, and times for play. The children are taught economics through assigned chores, and raising crops and animals. Each year, they attend the local fair, and they present and auction the animals, and sell the vegetables.  It seemed to be very effective.

I think I believe that a farm is the only place to raise children, and I got a confirming glimpse of that during this presentation. When I become a parent, I will need to keep in mind three things:

– Always set a Godly example for the others. The best way to know how to be Godly is to see others do it.

– Teach the value of work, time, and money. Do not waste much of them, because they are quite valuable, especially work and time.

– Put the children in a community of parents and peers. The more friends anyone has, the better.  I think the same could be said of parents. The more adults a child knows and trusts, the more wisdom and knowledge they can gain.

And I should definitely put this place in my will.

AME Learning Project initial meeting 8 January 2007

Posted by Matthew Fulmer in AME Education.
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I met with my adviser today for my research project, and got an assignment to get a basic motion model working by next week. For now, we need the computer to understand the difference between “normal” and “articulated” motion, where articulated means more perfect. The motion model will just see X motion, Y motion, or Z motion. It will also distinguish “articulated” versions of these motions, where the motion must be nearly (perhaps even inhumanly) perfect. This will be our line between “amateur” and “mastered” motion in SMALLab. This will hopefully allow us to develop models to detect learning through the motion of the SMALLab students.

Website Discussion on squeak-dev 7 January 2007

Posted by Matthew Fulmer in Squeak Doc.
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There was an interesting discussion on squeak-dev about new ideas for the squeak.org website. Karl had an excelent description of the intended difference between squeak.org and the Swiki. Also, I may soon have editing priviledges on squeak.org. That will be useful; the Documentation page is very disorganized.

A blog for the New Year 6 January 2007

Posted by Matthew Fulmer in Uncategorized.
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I am starting this blog primarily as a geek journal. I found last semester that I had a hard time remembering what I had done, and this blog is my solution to that problem. Maybe it will also make it easier for me to have a better home page than my old lame one.