Subject: Re: Comp. Sci. Majors? (WAS: ...duction to GNU AS? (books on binut...)
To: Brian A. Seklecki <>
From: Ian Thomas <>
List: netbsd-users
Date: 01/30/2002 05:37:12
--- "Brian A. Seklecki"
<> wrote:
> 	A big thanks to all who replied to my inquiry.  The
> recommended
> resources provide quite a few useful directions to
> move in.  A former
> co-worker said he'd let me borrow another text which
> uses NASM style
> macros in the examples.  I must say, I was surprised
> by the lack of
> available subject matter on the topic, but I assume
> that has to with the
> nature of my exploration (purely's not
> every day
> light-reading), which leads me to my next topic,
> which is actually OT, so
> feel free to contact me personally/off-list.
> 	I am currently investigating my 4-year college
> options, and
> although I previously never gave it serious
> consideration, I think it
> would be of benefit to accent my present major
> (Business/Administration)
> with a Comp.  Science minor.  I'm assuming most of
> the current kernel
> hackers of a computer/microelectronic engineering or
> computer science
> background (or have just been at it so long by
> profession that it's second
> nature ;-} ... ).
> 	I'm going to be investigating the programs of study
> at all of the
> local sweat-shops, but for the most part, all of the
> curriculums exhibit
> some sort of external similarities, including
> basically 3 years of
> discrete mathematics classes of zero retainable
> value, followed by a
> semester or two of actual hacking data structures
> (in something crazy like
> Java), maybe an elective or two on Operating System
> Theory/Design, and a
> senior project to prove that you didn't sleep
> through the last 5 years of
> your life!  Such is the corrupt nature of American
> higher education, I'm
> therefore looking for some personal insight/advice
> from those who've
> experienced the pilgrimage.
> 	For those of you who have been there, are looking
> to be there, or
> who are sending offspring, you know that you
> literally cannot afford to
> make poor decisions, and the reality is, sometimes
> the advice of 'Academic
> Advisors' can be somewhat misleading.  In addition,
> I'm learly /
> untrusting of any curriculum in place at present in
> the field.  By the
> time it takes an academic organizational body and
> faculty to approve a
> curriculum, it's mostly likely dated, which Is why
> I'm investigating a
> program at a smaller university wither a more
> competitive program.
> Once again, thanks in advance for all the replys and
> advice!
> -Brian
	I'm currently in my second semester as a Junior with
my major being Comp. Sci., and my minor being
Accounting.  I to had to take the early nonsense,
liberal arts classes, and the intro CS classes in
which we were supposed to learn Object-Oriented
programming using Java.  My advice to you is take all
of your electives at a community college and MAKE SURE
THEY TRANSFER to the 4-year institution you decide on.
 If you have to take classes you're not interested in,
you don't want to pay a lot of money for them.
  The math, discrete that is, is actually very useful.
 I've needed it many times when analyzing an algorithm
or constructing a new or hybrid data structure.  On
the other hand, I've found that I've never used any of
the knowledge I gained in Calculus I or II.  That's
not to say I'll never need it, I just haven't yet.  
	The curriculum, like almost any book you buy, is
outdated once it is printed; but a good book or
curriculum teaches you a foundation of knowledge that
is applicable to any area in CS years down the road,
not specifics that change yearly.
	I've also found this list to be a wealth of
information on many different topics.  I can honestly
say that I learned more CS-centric knowledge on this
list during my first year undergrad then I did at

Ian P. Thomas

Of course it runs NetBSD

p.s. If you want to do assembly, learn MIPS assembly. 
It's what is taught in most four year schools.  Check
out the spim and xspim packages in pkgsrc.  We used
the same programs to do a project for a class I took.

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