981 posts • joined Thursday 22nd March 2007 15:34 GMT
Re: Model M
I'm typing on one right now, plus 11 of them over in the closet... Plus some sort of I-think-its-84-keys mini keyboard with buckling springs and 3 tiny LEDs.
I don't have room for things, so I've tossed all my junk. The most satisfying was an HP printer that kept falling off the USB bus, until one day it fell off the back of my bike in front of an SUV that was tailgating me in the right lane.
I'm sure a drone could drop a "delivery" note on the ground and fly off.
Switched from VMware to VirtualBox because it was more stable
I use Debian Linux as my desktop without any Windows install at all, so I used to use VMware for whatever I needed for work that absolutely required Windows, such as testing with various flavors of IE or using work's install of Cisco VoIP.
Well every time Debian released a new kernel, VMware died until I found a patch somewhere by some bloke on the net, NOT from VMware support itself. After a while I got tired of that, and tried VirtualBox on a friend's suggestion.
It turns out that not only does Oracle have a perfectly working Debian repository, but they integrated with DKMS (Dynamic Kernel Modules Support) so that it compiles what's needed to work with your current kernel.
So upgrading to a new version is as easy as running "apt-get install virtualbox" which fetches it, installs it, compiles the kernel modules for each of your installed kernels, installs those, and inserts them in the running kernel. And this works too. I haven't had it fail ever.
Now that's pretty goddamned slick, and takes a load off my system admin duties.
Second is "cloning" - with VirtualBox you can make a "linked clone" of a VM, sharing a snapshot of the disk image. The advantage of this over a "full clone" is this only takes a couple seconds as opposed to the however long it takes to copy 20-50gb on your system. Then you can install a new version of IE or whatever you want to test, and when you're done, deleting the image is almost as fast.
(VMware can probably do this too, I just never got that far with it)
The advantage to being able to create/delete images quickly is fewer images needing security updates. You keep a "base" image around and do the "oh I want to try this software" on linked clones.
Third is sharing the host disk. VirtualBox has host shared folders, which are directories on the host you can define to appear as mapped network drives on the guest OS. You don't need samba installed on the host or anything. I know VMware had this, but I also know I could rarely get it working, and I had to fall back to samba to transfer files. The advantage is you can do things like keep the IE9/10 upgrade executables on your host and run them from new VMs to install whatever version of IE for testing. This means you don't have to flop around with the Microsoft download page saying "you don't really want IE 7, here's IE 10" or whatever fucked up shit it does these days.
OF COURSE I still have my TRS-80! Are you mental??
My mother surprised me with that on Christmas 1979 when I was 14. It was probably because she had an ancient degree in computers herself. I got her old IBM flowchart template and "I could program!" so when I got an actual computer, I wasn't afraid of it.
I remember having a long discussion about why we needed to pop the $200+ or so to upgrade from 4K to 16K.
Heck, I still have the landscape "User's Manual For Level 1" with the whimsical sketches in the margin, as well as the much stuffier "Level II BASIC Reference Manual"
Sadly, it no longer gives the "MEMORY SIZE?" prompt or any other sign of life, despite still having the factory seal on it.
I do miss my Atari 400 & 800, and my various Amigas, especially the Amiga. I gave those away in a college move.
Edit: do people remember those thermal printers that were everywhere? The ones that printed on the silver rolls of paper and faded just about instantly in the sunlight?
2 interesting things
1. I discussed the launch with a friend that's ex-NASA. His first comment was "great! I hope they start hiring lots of people again!" - and he was shocked to hear that one of the advantages of Falcon is they don't need a standing army to launch so SpaceX won't be hiring anyone.
A lot of NASA folks don't understand the Apollo & Shuttle days of blank checks are over, and needing an army of thousands to fly one rocket is why launch costs are four digits a pound.
2. NASA TV had no mention of the launch, much less any coverage. The NASA KSC Visitor's Center had no launch viewing set up despite the fact I was willing to drive over and pay $50 a ticket. As far as they were concerned, it wasn't happening and SpaceX didn't exist.
The lights at work are controlled through some sort of building control system instead of being wired directly to the bulbs, and they're pushbuttons instead of switches. This is because we're an insanely modern computer technology company!
You've got to hold them sometimes for up to a minute for them to change state.
Why? Because being Oracle, we bought a cheap-ass system that can't poll that many devices that often, so it takes a long time for it to go "oh you want the lights on, yeah?"
Plus there was the instant lights-out at 5pm. "Oh it's not supposed to do that, it's got a motion sensor"
"A motion sensor that can see me in my cube?"
So the lights go out, you get up to turn them on, and you get *almost* to the switch before it finally notices the sensor, and they go on. Nice work, guys!
"unique sound of your farts"
THAT'S why they always know it's me! I never knew!
This is how the USAF "Space Fence" worked for 50 years
It emitted radio signals and then other receiving stations across the country picked up the reflections to detect satellites. It could spot stuff down to 4" and it could identify several hundred separate objects a second.
NASA has had to upgrade ISS to dodge space junk because the useless wankers in Congress shut the thing down.
Re: Only a few lucky winners
Yup, but if you fly Rolls-Royce engines in those dash-eights as BA does, you're not subject to icing.
Glad I'm not married!
I just plunked down $300 for a 3D mouse to play Kerbal Space Program, and the game isn't even going to support it until the next release. I can imagine I'd hear the noise about that, but it's my one xmas gift for myself, dammit! No justification necessary!
we dont *need* any of it
To be brutally honest, I don't need this PC to play Kerbal Space Program, nor do I even need this website. It's not job-related or anything.
It's simply a lot more convenient for my computer to control my garage door and my thermostat.
Wireless thermostat & garage door
I bought a 3M wireless thermostat, which actually has a published API and an internal HTTP server & DHCP client. It comes with a cloudy app that requires a connection to the manufacturer, so I wrote an Android app that communicates directly. It's on the Market if you look for my name.
The actual front-panel UI is so crap, I don't know how to use it other than bumping the current temperature up or down a degree or so. I have to use the app to set up the temperature schedule and the current time.
It's really quite nice to be able to wake up out of a snooze, grab the phone, and bump the temp as you need without even taking off your covers. It's also nice to be able to set the schedule to actually reflect your usage. Most scheduling thermostats are such a PITA they don't get used.
I also set up my garage door so it opens when I get home. The phone sees my home network as I pull up, sends a command to my PC (which is on 24x7 anyway) and the PC sends a command to toggle a relay. The opener itself is 1978-vintage. I have the reverse when I leave. When the PC has been primed and the phone drops off the network, it closes the door. I do have a photocell so that it SMSes me if it doesn't actually close in a set period.
It's geeky but quite handy.
Other than a internet-accessable garage security cam (which a friend has, but I don't) I really can't think of anything else that needs automating in my house.
Creates one for Youtube
They created a G+ account for my gmail account which I've had long before G+.
I believe they'll create a G+ account if you buy an Android phone and create a Google Play account. They have done this for my friends.
They created one for my youtube account, then started insisting I not use my youtube account and start using my gmail account name on youtube.
So finally I quit and insisted it delete the extra G+ account. It was not easy.
Now I see why the G+ user numbers are so inflated.
Re: RE: The lack of ads on the Beeb is still remarkably compelling
> When 'hour long' US programmes on Sky are 40 to 45 minutes long on the BBC, you know just how much
> of a bargain the licence fee is.
Or vice-versa, when Top Gear on BBC America is an hour and a half...
I'll skip the crappy tasting American chocolate!
I've set up my Nexus 4 to not accept OTA updates. I'm much happier with the non-cloudy stuff in Jelly Bean and the SMS app that hasn't been crapped on.
Problems with the strongback
They also had problems with the strongback that lifts the rocket vertical and acts as sort of a gantry. First, it ripped a cooling umbilical out of the payload fairing when it retracted, and second, it wouldn't lift back into place after the scrub.
Second, to be totally selfish, this is better for me because there should be no clouds on Thanksgiving, so I actually have a chance of seeing the launch.
And last, Molly McCormick can integrate my avionics any time! A hot brainy babe that's into computers, space & rockets? I'm in LOVE! I mean it this time!
So this is illegal while all the homeopathy and natural supplement crap is still legal? What?
Sigh... stupid clouds
I might get to see the launch, but it's looking pretty crappy & cloudy out there.
I prefer Chinese made...
I'd much rather spend $10 on a tool from Harbor Freight that lasts 6 months, than a $25 one from Sears that breaks after a month. Been there, got the t-shirt (and both pieces) and done that.
Owls fly really slow
Is that because they're high-drag? Does this mean that the quieting features are high-drag?
Flying cars don't really have the excess power if so.
While I'm against personal data sharing, this is actually not a bad idea. It's a hell of a lot better to stop it early.
Then we have the United States doing the exact opposite by having 10yo children arrested for pointing a finger at someone and saying "bang" - I hate this country.
I'll use it for gaming at least
It'd be awesome for Kerbal Space Program EVAs! As well as first-person shooters and the rest of the usual suspects.
Edit: right now you can look around the cockpit as you fly, but the UI is clunky and not much use. This would be a natural fit.
I'm a complete uncoordinated gimp and I suck at FPS, so in HALO there would be a lot of swearing when I'd get hung up on things behind me. Now I'll be able to actually look around a lot easier just by moving my head.
That presupposes however that they get it to WORK, and that it's fairly seamless and user-friendly.
Heck, I'm going to be buying a $300 3D mouse from 3D-Connexion solely because KSP announced they'll be supporting it and it's a perfect tool for a lot of the 3D manipulation in that game. For example, building rockets in the VAB is not far from CAD, and manipulating maneuver nodes, camera angle and Kerbals on EVA are also good uses.
So it's an open modular phone system that only one company has exclusive rights to make parts for...
Isn't that like open source where Microsoft is the only company and you don't get to see the source?
Re: Classic stage set
Er, PSE? Pretty Shitty Equipment???
Re: computing the value of computing
Sure it's a false analogy, but you're dealing with retard congressmen here. You can't use words over two syllables with them.
This is not new
When I was a CS student in the mid-80s we joked about the NSA trawler, being pretty sure there was one, as it wouldn't make sense to NOT have one. Didn't stop us from viewing naked kitten pron though.
Man, if I ever saw encrypted info leaving my network from one of my appliances, it would be hammer time for certain. And not just on the TV, if I ever found any of the devs...
"Christopher Columbus: Couldn't figure out where he was going, no clue where he was, and he did it on borrowed money. Now THERE'S an American hero!"
REALLY really good book about this
I just finished "Packing for Mars" by Mary Roach... this was kind of an eye opener, and it wasn't the usual "space is so WUNDERFULZZ!" nor was it another "do you know how people POOP in SPACE?" book either. She talked to a lot of astronauts, cosmonauts, and the sort of people that organize things like Mars 500.
She talked about what it's like to sit in a Gemini capsule for two weeks right next to another guy who can't go anywhere either, and what happens to your skin, and the smell and all the joys of not being able to change clothes or shower. She talks about space sickness and why it's apparently different from sea sickness. She talks about how the Skylab shower was an exercise in not drowning and why it was only used a couple times. She talks about 8Gs for nearly 5 minutes in a Soyuz ballistic re-entry after 6 months of weightlessness. She talks about some of the unexpected things, like how a folded sheet of plastic can become a cup for drinking tea in space by utilizing surface tension. She also talks about how one of the MIR commanders didn't hesitate to settle an argument with a punch in the snoot.
It's pretty damn good. I'm going to have to get her other books. I think the sort of folks that would like this article would like that book.
Basically a large tablet on wheels? It should run Android!
Re: They said it; it must be true
UN-altered REPRODUCTION and DISSEMINATION of this IMPORTANT Information is ENCOURAGED, ESPECIALLY to COMPUTER BULLETIN BOARDS.
Re: Why not use an FPGA?
Why use an FPGA when you've got your own spare foundry capacity?
It's just interesting that "memory specialist Micron ... uses a DDR3-like memory interface" - when all you've got is a hammer...
Yup, America is the land of "a lawsuit/insurance will fix everything and It's NEVER my responsibility"
With very few exceptions, people here don't understand why I say "stop and let me the **** out, I'll get a taxi" when they whip out the cellphone and start chatting away behind the wheel. One is so bad about talking to me LOOKING AT ME ALL THE TIME while she's driving, that I don't get in the car with her any more.
Once I had a pickup drop an engine block out of the back, when he pulled out of a side road and cut me off. It wiped the oil pan right off my engine. A woman in a BMW hit it going about 60 and never even slowed down.
That is a shock
I wonder if Google rolling out the Nexus 4 without LTE expressly to poke a finger in Verizon's eye actually had an effect on their attitude? I think that was the first time a manufacturer had the gall to stand up to them.
OTOH I will be blocking the update on my Nexus 4. I don't want the screwed up SMS app and all the cloudy garbage. Google stepping on my balls asking every 10 minutes if I want to switch my Youtube account to my G+ account has got me nostalgic about the Microsoft good-ol-days.
At least they were out-and-out unapologetic bastards out to make a quick buck from day one and didn't bullshit about "do no evil" and other hippy whalesongs.
Re: Biased reporting...
"Thrift pays for extra science by NASA's MAVEN mission"
"Managers say the MAVEN is on track to come in under its $671 million budget"
Suck it, buck wheat.
Re: $671 million?
The citizenry is fighting decent healthcare literally as hard as it possibly can. You can't *GIVE* them free health care! Trevor is right on the mark.
Americans are totally completely clueless about how their insurance (if they have it) and healthcare system "works"
Back on the space topic:
I went to KSC visitor's center where they had an Orion capsule display with a bunch of info posters.
Did they have technical data on the design of the capsule and how it was going to be used?
No, they displayed the map of where the Orion capsule money & jobs had been farmed out, and how much. I think that tells it all right there.
Edit: and of course 5 minutes before launch, a solid cloud deck rolled in. Nice.
The recent nasty Florida weather has cleared up, and I may get to see the launch!
One of the problems with standardization and reusing a design is the 'tards in Congress then go "we already did that" and cancel the project. Plus you have the uncertainty engendered by the constant Congressional funding waffling, so everybody goes "better pack my experiment into this next mission, while we have one".
Hence "battlestar" class probes like Curiosity.
Edit: I'm wondering if the Indians snuck the project in under the political radar, or it's simply the novelty of the project that got it funded/supported.
Re: greenhouse heater
I dream about *needing* a heater as I wrench away in 105F temps in the Florida summertime! As I write this, it has yet to drop to 60F at night. OTOH it makes for great motorcycle riding, which is why I put up with it.
Seriously though, that fridge/monitor/DVD would not survive the abuse my Craftsman rolling box has taken for the past 15 years. There's not a square corner left on it, but it still holds tools, the drawers still work on steel bearings, and it still rolls where I need it to go.
Re: No Off Switches?
Even for the ones that aren't built-in to a laptop, like the ones I use for phone conferencing, don't have power switches. You unplug them from the USB port.
Not only that, they all have the big red flashing LEDs, as well as a disable option for them in the software.
FCC Speed Test app
I'm concerned that the providers will game this. I know the cable ISPs game the more popular bandwidth test sites.
Is this his Jerry Yang moment?
Re: Budget Design
The SpaceX Falcon Heavy will do it. They call it "propellant cross-feeding" though
Re: Apple Newton also comes to mind
No, a PDA was a smartphone w/o the portable Internet connection. Huge difference.
"One of the sites spreading the exploit"
Why don't they name the sites so they can be avoided?
They did get lucky
Their unusual mission design lets them recover from this, instead of a risk-it-all one-big-burn.
You say that as if it's a bad thing...
Google have finally done it.
I've had a gmail account since it was invite-only, and they've pissed me off enough with scrapping Reader, screwing my Youtube account over, and pissing on the Android Maps GUI that I'm actually looking for a paid alternative email & calendar so I can drop all my Google accounts.
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