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Programmer III (part deaux)

ericmedleyericmedley Senior Member - 4000+ postsPosts: 4,177
Getting stoked for next week's Prog III class. I think the room will be full of forum members. Should be fun.

I'm going to be staying at the Hawthorn(e??) Suites. So, I won't get into any of the high-falutin main hotel action. (who am I kidding... a bunch of programmers on a night out??? Doesn't sound like anything too wild and crazy to me.)

My bed time is 10PM Eastern.

It'll be fun putting faces to names. (apologies ahead of time for my face...)
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Comments

  • jjamesjjames Just another dude Posts: 2,905
    ericmedley wrote: »
    Getting stoked for next week's Prog III class. I think the room will be full of forum members. Should be fun.

    I'm going to be staying at the Hawthorn(e??) Suites. So, I won't get into any of the high-falutin main hotel action. (who am I kidding... a bunch of programmers on a night out??? Doesn't sound like anything too wild and crazy to me.)

    My bed time is 10PM Eastern.

    It'll be fun putting faces to names. (apologies ahead of time for my face...)
    What?!? Are you saying computer-programming-nerds don't know how to party? Haven't you heard of the Buffalo Theory? ;)

    I can't wait either, been dying to learn some new techniques & whatnot. I haven't booked a hotel yet, I should probably do that today or tomorrow or something. I'll be leaving Sunday around 11:00AM (Central), so that will put me there between 7-8PM. Enough time to find a decent place to eat (hopefully.)

    And if I don't get a hair cut this weekend, I'll have to apologize in advance to anyone sitting behind me for the 'fro that may block their view. :D
  • mpullinmpullin Obvious Troll Account, Marked for Deletion Posts: 949
    jjames wrote: »
    What?!? Are you saying computer-programming-nerds don't know how to party? Haven't you heard of the Buffalo Theory? ;)
    Sorry I won't be there... this time.

    http://www.cs.ndsu.nodak.edu/~alpratt/buffalo.html This is the definitive explanation of the Buffalo Theory jj is talking about (I had to look it up).

    Don't go to buffalotheory dot com under any circumstances >_< *washes eyes*
  • John GonzalesJohn Gonzales Junior Member Posts: 609
    mpullin wrote: »
    Don't go to buffalotheory dot com under any circumstances >_< *washes eyes*

    You had to do it Matt... you had to post a site and say "don't go there."

    >_< *washes eyes too*

    Hope the rest of you enjoy your Prog III class.


    --John
  • jjamesjjames Just another dude Posts: 2,905
    Exactly! What do you expect? You tell someone not to do something, they're bound to do it anyway. We're obstinate creatures!

    This happened to my wife once, I told her not to play with the A/C vent in our Jeep because it was loose. What does she do? She touches it and it falls down the tubing. Grrrrr!

    So do we have an exact headcount as to who from the forums will be there?
  • mpullinmpullin Obvious Troll Account, Marked for Deletion Posts: 949
    In my defense, I at least broke it up so it wasn't a link, you would have had to type it in manually...

    Was it someone on this forum who had in their sig:
    "Why is it someone tells you there are a hundred billion stars you believe them, but someone tells you there is wet paint, and you have to touch it?" lol, human nature I guess.
  • jjamesjjames Just another dude Posts: 2,905
    I think I may have had that in my sig for a few days. If not, I should have!
  • mpullinmpullin Obvious Troll Account, Marked for Deletion Posts: 949
    http://www.amxforums.com/group.php Here is a relatively secret feature of the AMX forums. Why doesn't someone make a group of people going to AMX P3 next week? Then we could get a head count by just having people joining the group if they are going. And you guys could all trade private emails, pager numbers, food allergies, etc.

    Since I'm not going I will not do this. Just wanted to submit the idea.
  • jjamesjjames Just another dude Posts: 2,905
    Good idea!!
    Edit . . .
    Nevermind, the "owner" of the group can delete it. I set one up. Great idea Matt, thanks! Didn't know this feature existed.

    http://www.amxforums.com/group.php?groupid=2
  • knicholsknichols Junior Member Posts: 14
    The Hawthorne Suites

    I wouldn't recommend the Hawthorne... I stayed there for Programmer 1 back in May... not a very nice place. Someone's car was broken into in the parking lot the second night I was there. Broke out the driver side window.

    If you are taking the shuttle... plan on waiting for 30 minutes or more in the evening after class. It never did get there on time.

    Some days the free Breakfast and dinner were edible - some nights not so much.

    Just my observations... take it for what it's worth.
  • jjamesjjames Just another dude Posts: 2,905
    Oh great . . . a day late and a dollar short on that advice! (j/k)

    It's all good though. I'm not too worried. Someone can break into a car anywhere, even in the nice neighborhoods that we work in - yes, it's happened twice!

    Compared to the hotels we stay in when I'm out of town, I'm sure this will be nice. :D
  • ericmedleyericmedley Senior Member - 4000+ posts Posts: 4,177
    Update:

    We're in the class right now. having fun.
    e
  • yuriyuri Junior Member Posts: 861
    and you are not paying attention? Shame on you!
  • ericmedleyericmedley Senior Member - 4000+ posts Posts: 4,177
    yuri wrote: »
    and you are not paying attention? Shame on you!
    Is it wrong to be browsing the AMX forum while in AMX classes???
    :D
  • Greetings
    ericmedley wrote: »
    Is it wrong to be browsing the AMX forum while in AMX classes???
    :D

    Say hi to Nick for me.
  • ericmedleyericmedley Senior Member - 4000+ posts Posts: 4,177
    B_Clements wrote: »
    Say hi to Nick for me.

    He says 'hey' back atcha
  • AvophileAvophile Junior Member Posts: 70
    So, what are some of the class topic highlights this week?

    Anyone else going to New York for Programmer III next week?
  • viningvining X Member Posts: 4,368
    Anyone else going to New York for Programmer III next week?
    You're joking right! I'm going to check the website after this post but if this is true it would really be nice if they would let us know this $hit. Last info I got was PIII was only going to be held in Dallas and there definitely was nothing on the calender for NY or anywhere else with the exception of one at Costa Mesa, CA I believe.

    If this is true AMX really neads to learn how to disseminate information and the fact that they have this forum which is the perfect venue really shows the level of administrative incompetence we're dealing with.

    If nothing else they could notify the regional REPS and say hey, we added PIII to the NY roster, please put a call out to your dealers in the area and see who's interested. Like I'm supposed to frequent the training site, yeah right! Now if I want to go I have to turn my schedule upside down and make the necassary arrangements. Can't they make anything easy for us.

    I figured I'd verify before sending this ranting and raving post and sure enough it'ds being offered and there's not a repeat any wherre in the foreseeable future. Just great!
  • AvophileAvophile Junior Member Posts: 70
    I'm not being intentionally funny.

    I searched for all classes when the Dalllas class was mentioned on this board.

    I enrolled but was wait-listed for a NYC class on the schedule.

    They sent me an enrollment message last week which I am guessing means I am now in.

    I would predict similar or different confusion moving forward.

    Edit: Word is there are five of us at present scheduled for NYC next week. Might be room for some late adds.

    Does anyone know if there are any good restaurants in Manhattan?

    Okay, that was supposed to a little funny.
  • glr-ftiglr-fti Junior Member Posts: 286
    I am in complete agreement with the lousy communication. I just spent the last 4 days in Dallas for P3 and while there the instructor tells me that Visitec in Chicago is having it next month. I could have saved a lot of time and money going to Chicago instead of Dallas. Of all times to go to Dallas...August...temperatures average 105, missing a hurricane on the way home. Good thing this wasn't in Houston.

    With that said Nick was enjoyable entertainment for a few days and I did pick up some good information, met some great fellow forum members, some AMXers and a peek at Duet. I had never been to HQ so that was a pleasure as well.
  • jjamesjjames Just another dude Posts: 2,905
    Does anyone know how quick (or slow) they are to add the credits to your profile? Just checked this morning and it's at 1 . . . I sure hope I didn't earn just ONE credit for the class. LOL!

    Anyway, I'm still here in Dallas and will be getting ready to leave within the next few hours. Like Gary, I had a great time, learned quite a bit, enjoyed meeting members from the forum, and enjoyed the class. I do wish it was a 5 day course (since there is SO much to go over), but 3 days is good. :D
  • viningvining X Member Posts: 4,368
    I just registered for the NY P3 but I'm not sure if I want them to have an available seat. If they do, that will leave me 3 days to figure out how to pull a monkey out of my a$$ and I'm not even sure what that means!
  • mpullinmpullin Obvious Troll Account, Marked for Deletion Posts: 949
    glr-fti wrote: »
    I am in complete agreement with the lousy communication. I just spent the last 4 days in Dallas for P3 and while there the instructor tells me that Visitec in Chicago is having it next month.

    Wait, it is? Hmmmm. Time to make another group I think!
  • AvophileAvophile Junior Member Posts: 70
    jjames wrote: »
    I do wish it was a 5 day course (since there is SO much to go over), but 3 days is good.

    What were some of the highlight topics?
  • mpullinmpullin Obvious Troll Account, Marked for Deletion Posts: 949
    Visitec Chicago P3 group
    mpullin wrote: »
    Time to make another group I think!
    http://www.amxforums.com/group.php?groupid=4 This is the Programmer 3 Chicago group. Join if you're going. The first course was already full so I know SOME people are going!
  • jjamesjjames Just another dude Posts: 2,905
    Just curious . . . who's teaching P3 in Chicago?
  • jjamesjjames Just another dude Posts: 2,905
    Avophile wrote: »
    What were some of the highlight topics?
    Ummm . . . I guess the highlights (for us) were as followed:
    Memory allocation
    - Stack_Var vs Local_Var
    - Volatile, non-volatile, persistent memory, etc.

    Coding efficiency of the processor

    IP Communications / Web scraping

    Introduction to Duet

    Was still a good class though the majority seemed to know a bit of it already. I would have much rather have gotten into the "how" of making systems flexible and curving your time in programming rather than the minor details behind the scene. But that's just me.

    On a scale of 1-10, I'd rate it an 8.

    To me it was less of a round table discussion, which I thought it was going to be. Not that I feel one way or the other about that. :D
  • ericmedleyericmedley Senior Member - 4000+ posts Posts: 4,177
    Avophile wrote: »
    What were some of the highlight topics?

    We covered a few tidbits in NetLinx land. (XML_TO_VARIABLE and its cohorts, Web Page scraping) I already had figured most these things out already. So, for me it was mostly review. It was a good review.

    We talked a little about how the processor threading works (or doesn't) That was interesting in that I found that some of the ways I was doing things, while seemingly very elegant coding, were actually pretty spend-y as far as processing goes. I also, to my delight, found that some of my old-skool programming methods were actually not spendy and were perfectly acceptable ways of getting from point A to B.

    We took a brief journey into Cafe Duet. I kinda pestered Nick (the instructor) about which way AMX programming was headed. Were we all eventually going to be programming in JAVA? Was there a new NS3 coming out with built-in JAVA development? etc...

    There was no official word per se. What he did say was that he did not feel that they would ever (soon) abandon NetLinx as a language. Their perspective is that there is a great inertia when it comes to the language. In fact, they were actually slow to fix some kinds of bugs because they worry that fixing them will break programmer's code designed to work around the problem. I feel this was truthful. The proof of that is just how many keywords are in NetLinx that should have died a long time ago when we left Axcess.

    According to Nick, Cafe Duet was basically designed to help equipment manufacturers migrate into the AMX world better. The basic thought was that most companies probably had JAVA programmers. However, they might not have the resources to hire a full-time AMX programmer.

    So, they could use thier JAVA programmers (with a little assistance from an AMX programmer) to create modules for thier products.

    We did a couple execises in programming in JAVA. One was the basic "control a DVD player's On and OFF. " The 2nd was an example of writing some code entirely in JAVA with no NetLinx involved.

    The DVD example was designed to show us how to work within the SNAPI interface. the latter was more ignoring the SNAPI and just writing like we NetLinx programmers would probalby do things.

    In both cases, for the vast majority of the kinds of stuff we do, we found JAVA to be extremely bloated and unwieldy. For any of you who do JAVA, you know that you seem to spend an inordinatnt amount of time scheming and plotting and reading. Then you end up writing a very small amount of code to get it done.

    Ironically, the 2nd example would have ended up looking a lot like NetLinx in that you'd have a ton of code on one page. I'm sure most died-in-the-wool JAVA prgrammers would cringe.

    Nick seemed to feel that what made the most sense for AMX in the immediate futre was a co-compiler that would slowly eliminate the need for the master's running co-emmulators (NetLinx and JAVA) So, in other words, when you write AMX code, it is compiled through JAVA and the master runs it thus.

    What I took away from the whole experience was, for the most part, our jobs are safe for the medium-run. Taking a peek into the JAVA side of AMX left me longing to have Cafe Duet. While I don't think I'd actually spend much time working there for the majority of what I'm asked to do, I would love to get at some of the stuff JAVA offers that NetLinx can never supply. There is no denying that you can do a whole lot more on the JAVA side. It also opens up a whole world of open-source/non-AMX stuff that just cannot be had in NetLinx land.

    I felt that we kinda made Nick nervous at times. I think he expected us to march into the room with flaming torches and pitchforks. There were brief apperances of AMX U people but no official exhanges. (pretty much just sticking their heads through the door waving hello) I don't know what to make of that.

    Now, we move into an area of pure opinion...

    It was my distinct impression that the 'teacher' part of AMX U was not actively involved with the whole credentials thing. Our class consisted of 6 people. 5 were people like myself who were there for continuing our ACE certs and worked for an AMX dealer. One was an AMX employee who was there for the same reasons of continuing their ACE.

    I know that AMX people do read these forums and try to keep tabs on the scuttle-butt. I think it would have gone a long way if AMX U people whould have shown up and made face-to-face contact with us. No one there (at least as far as I could tell) was really overly upset with AMX U. I also don't beleive that I've seen any major issue with the whole idea of continuing education. We even had a little side discussion about how, AMX U was surprised how little some non-required courses were actually attended.

    I know for my part, while I'm interested in such things, my schedule and the distnace/time/expense of coming to these things fosters what they might see as laziness on my part. I mentioned to them that while I enjoyed the experience of the class, it was a burden on my work schedule. So, I suppose there's a balance to be struck somewhere.

    Also, I would also personally suggest that AMX U rethink the way they're disseminating information. It comes across as a bit cavalier. I'm tired of being told to 'just go to the website. It's there..." I took the time to call you or email. I did go to the website.

    Another suggestion might be to allow for 'testing out' of subjects. For example, I'm an AES member and regional officer in good standing for over 20 years. Do I really have to take the audio basics course? stuff like that...

    welp, that's the report
  • ericmedley wrote:
    welp, that's the report
    Thanks Eric...good honest comments.
    jjames wrote:
    Just curious . . . who's teaching P3 in Chicago?
    Same P3 instructor is scheduled for Visitec.
  • jjamesjjames Just another dude Posts: 2,905
    B_Clements wrote: »
    Same P3 instructor is scheduled for Visitec.
    Thanks!

    BTW, nice new avatar! :D
  • viningvining X Member Posts: 4,368
    After attending the NYC P3 last week I guess I should first start by applauding AMX for listening to the reccommedations made on this forum to have P3 available regionally and not just in Dallas. Of course my ealier ranting and raving is still valid and could have been avoided if they would have let us know that our requests were heard and implemented. Communications still need some work but again thanks for listening!

    As far as the course goes pretty much everything Eric says goes for me as well. I had a different instructor who was pleasant and knowledgeable and the NY facility is pretty nice and a very easy commute if you take the train back and forth as I did. Their 24th floor Suite is roughly 2-1/2 blocks from Grand Central Station on 42nd Street so for me it was a 80 minute train ride making it a mere 2 hours transit each way for my daily commute back and forth.

    I also enjoyed playing with Duet and while one side of me would like to play with it more the other side says I should try and master Netlinx first before taking on a completely new programming mind set.

    For me though, I would have prefferred less coding exercises for the web scrapping, the XML_TO_VAR stuff and File Read/Write stuff since I do this stuff all the time and then spend more time just talking about various topics like we do here on the forum. I think most folks ready to take P3 don't need exercise after exercise and would benefit more from the discussion and just watching the instructor step through his examples. Trying to code from scratch on a foreign PC with all default preferences when I already have functions written for all this stuff was sort of frustrating. A slide out keyboard and 19" 4x3 screen was also painful when you're use to working on twin 22" widescreen monitors.

    In closing I would recommend that most folks you can go, should as they would definitely benefit from it but there are a few members here that probably wouldn't be missing anything. Overall I feel I benefitted and enjoyed the 3 days.
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