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Computers and Computer Software Development

I have been interested in computers and software development ever since I was in high school. The computer industry changes very fast but I try to keep my knowledge and skills current.

The programming language that I am probably the best at is C++ simply because I use it so much in my work. I've been using Microsoft Visual Studio for many years and currently I am using Visual Studio 2012. In earlier years I used Borland C++ a lot but I switched to Visual Studio when Borland pretty much cratered.

For this web site I'm using PHP which is pretty easy for me compared to C++. PHP is a server side scripting language that allows me to do more than I can with just plain HTML, though I am pretty good with HTML as well. Most of the time when I do web site work I just type in the code using a programmer's editor as for me that seems easier than using one of the WYSIWYG web site development tools out there.

There was a time years ago when I had my own web servers at home, my own email servers, my own DNS server at home. For that I used RedHat Linux which seems to be the variant of Linux that I use the most (it's Fedora nowadays). Anyway, the web hosting providers nowadays offer all that sort of thing so cheaply that I don't bother with all that infrastructure anymore, though I do still have my server computers in the closet somewhere.

I think it is fair to say that I live in a computer intensive home and I've got a lot of them. Mostly they are PCs of various types and sizes but I also have a MacbookPro, both big and small iPads, and various other computer type items here. I also have a Kindle and a Kindle Fire to add onto that pile of stuff.

I'm also a user of virtualization and the one I used the most is VMWare. On a toy computer like a netbook you won't get much out of that but on a real computer with lots of memory and especially disk space virtualization can be quite valuable. For me it lets me run multiple operating systems with a single computer instead of a bunch of them.

Another thing that I find interesting is booting a computer from a USB pen drive because it allows you to run a computer with a different operating system without touching what is on the internal hard drive. And with the cost of a 16 GB USB pen drive at around $20 it's looking like a practical way to experiment and use new and exotic operating systems. I've got to try this concept with an external USB hard drive and see if that is practical.

When I am out and about away from home I often use this device which is a portable WIFI hotspot. While I can also do the same thing with my iPhone this one has unlimited data service so I don't have to worry about how much I am downloading.

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