* Posts by Bruce Woolman

7 posts • joined 5 Jan 2008

The hoarder's dilemma: 'Why can't I throw anything away?'

Bruce Woolman

I long for a proper place to hoard electronics

Since we move around the world a lot for work I have to curtail my electronics hoarding impulse somewhat. I think it is green to save old kit from the landfill. And it is satisfying to come up with a USB mini when the cheapo manufacturers these days ship printers etc without cabling. However this green glow is counterbalanced by the Brobdingnagian carbon foot print laid down by bunging it around the world. Also the older equipment does have great big sooty feet. This does not stop me from saving working gear, mind you. But I do get rid of some of it. I sort cables into plastic totes. One for analog cables RCA , speaker and antenna wire (icluding coaxial). Another tote for data and periferal; usb, hdmi, ethernet patch cables, parallel, rs232 (you never know) , Another for internal computer data. PATA, SATA etc. Another tote for DC power supplies and dc power cables. And finally another for mains including international adapters and extension cords all with various plugs: US, British (safest in the world) and European. Had some Aussie plugs and binned 'em. No chance of an assignment there again.

My favorite save involved an old box built for me by the Armenian Institute of computer Science. Top flight ASUS components for 1999. It just refused to break. It was used as a file server until I gave it to a center for disabled children in Tajikistan in 2011. It ran Ubuntu Linux and would not get infected like the hopeless unmaintained XP machines. This proved very useful to the project director as she could visit the site and not get her thumb drives polluted. I hooked it to an old printer. The kids could even play games on it. Things like this are what make it hard to cure myself of e-hoarding.

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Meet the man building an AI that mimics our neocortex – and could kill off neural networks

Bruce Woolman

Companies should pay an earning tax for every robot. This tax should go into a fund to retrain people in jobs that only people can do. Mainly the arts and athletics. So in the future the robots will do all the work and the people will eat delicious robot-made tucker and put on plays for each other and write poetry to each other. We will all be good at sports and belong to many leagues. Everyone will know the Karma Sutra forwards and backwards... especially backwards. We will paint and declaim and write art reviews. Indeed the leaders of society will be the reviewers. It will be a world of poetry and abstract art and street theater. In short. The future will be an artsy fartsy LIVING HELL. Except for the Karma Sutra part, of course.

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Comcast expands public Wi-Fi net using customers' modems

Bruce Woolman
Devil

Hey. Come on everybody. This is Comcast.

And it is going to be really really cool to share our bandwidth. Think of all the awesome people passing by your house who you will empower enable and facilitate with a part of your network. It is pure Comcast synergy! What, I ask you, could possibly go wrong?

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Adobe's Creative Cloud fails at being a cloud

Bruce Woolman
Linux

Adobe's New Coke moment

Adobe can join MS in a huge software debacle. This play is not going to work. My guess is that they will roll back their nebulous ambition -- at least for a while. Adobe claim they won't add features to their boxed sets from now on. It's the cloud or nuttin'. I think a lot of creative people will start looking elsewhere. And especially after this confidence-crushing FAIL during the roll out of an already risky play.

Wark my mords....Reds will hole.

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Ten ancestors of the netbook

Bruce Woolman
Linux

My EEEPC 900 lives in the kitchen

There, hooked to a pair of ten-dollar speakers, it serves as a wi fi appliance to stream radio. It is also the only computer I take on holiday these days. This because it has solid state storage. I can, and do, sometimes bung it into the checked baggage to simplify security checks. I upgraded the ssd, which was dead slow, and it dual boots XP and Linux mint. Both run with enough speed for a normal experience. Not true with the original ssd hardware, which was almost unusable. I tried traveling a few times with the old Samsung Slab, but found it to be inadequate. So the cheap little Asus joined me again. It fits into an important niche a tablet or a smartphone just does not fill comfortably. IMHO there will always be a market for a relatively small, inexpensive sturdy notebook. The history outlined in this well-researched article demonstrated that fairly clearly.

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Remembering the Cray-1

Bruce Woolman
Linux

It took a human generation to get a Cray-1 to the desktop

In about 1992 I had a 486 with similar specs to the Cray 1. Albeit with only 32 bits. But fifteen years after that my desktop PC's frequency is over thirty times faster with 200 times more memory.

Still no love seat, however. And the office chair just doesn't cut it.

PS I had a friend who made a killing buying Cray stock. I unfortunately....didn't.

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