142 posts • joined Wednesday 13th February 2008 20:40 GMT
Double bollocks. On buying a couple of Raspberry Pis I needed a keyboard for each as all mine were PS2. The Logitech K120 was less than $15, bought over the counter in Staples and is perhaps the nicest keyboard I've used in years, action-wise. The wireless Logitech mouse I got for use with my laptop was so good at around $15 I bought two more of them. My early adopter Logitech PC wireless mouse is still going strong ten years and more down the road, and did not break the bank (though it was a sight more than 20 bux and the receiver is the size of a small ash tray).
If what you want is a solid piece of kit that gets the job done, my experience is that Logitech can provide it at a reasonable price. If you want all the bolt-on cruft and want it wireless, then you can start paying a lot.
And while I am willing to believe the UK sees a ferocious markup on these things, if you are telling me that you can get the same build quality at 30 quid that you'll pay 120 for for Logitech kit, well, I have trouble accepting that without seeing a teardown report supporting that claim.
A Use Case
For all the people looking for a use for this technology that proves it is a Force To Be Reckoned With, I offer the credit on the Aardman "Pirate" movie of last year, which quietly mentioned "rapid prototyping".
That's what non-hobbyists call 3D printing though sometimes the term involves CA Milling.
Did you know you can make a machine to do that from a 3D printer chassis and a Dremel rotary tool? You need to add some bits to make it clever and experience tells me the rotary tool doesn't have the bearings for ultra-fine work, but for gouging wood into submission with a router bit you are in like Flynn. There's even a company that sells the chassis you need.
This lash-up will separate the men from the boys though, since a DRT runs at such high speed there is a real danger of setting fire to the workpiece if you don't gauge the feed rate properly. But, as I always say, where's the fun in making things if there's no chance they will burst into flames in the process?
My experience has been that using a DRT to drill anything is inviting trouble since in most materials the bits will cook-off at even the slowest speeds. Found that out the expensive way. Dunno why they even sell the bits.
Re: Extremely Loud BAH!
"Actually, I can find a rather good analogy: open source software."
I was shooting for the Personal Computer.
3D printing is at the Acorn Atom/Sinclair Spectrum stage right now, and in about half the time. Imagine where we will be by the time Windows 95 hits the shelves.
Re: One thing we're ignoring...
So much not correct here.
3D printing is still, in the "inexpensive" printer arena, an art rather than a science. I'm not going to go into why, the build blogs are out there and all you have to do is look.
If you don't want to be left "finishing" a piece post-print you need to spend upwards of $2K. Below that the vertical resolution on all commercial machines (yes, including RepRap) is so poor you get striations on the finished part.
For about $1.6K Sears will sell you a ready-to-cut wood milling machine, about the size of an ink jet printer. Good for making signs, decorative boxes or whatever else you can think up. Plug and play.
NC milling machines can be gotten for around $2-3k that are worth owning. There's a bloke sitting not ten feet from me who won one in a raffle last November when he attended a seminar run by the manufacturer. Turns out, not just computer firms give away stuff at jamborees. Who knew?
A Unimat lathe can be bought for under $2k. I see them on eBay all the time. Then it's a matter of acquiring the skills by lathing materials and reading books. You'll need other tools, micrometers and so forth, but those you can acquire as you develop a need for them.
It takes a few seconds to drill a hole using my floor-standing 15-speed drill press, which cost me about $350 - less than the price of a cheap laptop. If it took an hour to drill a hole, the bit was blunt. The hint would be the small of hot metal and (optionally) melting plastic or burning wood.
I know people who own laser-cutting machines for cutting wood. Never looked into those myself, but given the people concerned that means they can't be ruinously expensive. Laser-cutting can be used in all sorts of fab projects - the case for the makerbot was laser cut the last time I looked at them.
Perhaps one of the real advantages of moving to the USA was is there is ready access to inexpensive machine tools of all shapes and sizes. Makes up for all those guns blasting away in every direction night and day, and having to run from one piece of cover to the next just to go anywhere.
As for your computer geek who can't drill a hole - perhaps one can only truly claim to be an engineer if once one has written some code one can solder a few components to a board on which to run it and knock up a case to put it all in.
Extremely Loud BAH!
Yeah, this is the way to report on a technology still in its infancy.
Use comments from academics and fellow journalists (who like to coin three-dollar words to make ordinary concepts sound more clixby) and politicians (and their catspaws, government agencies) who don't know the difference between star trek and real life.
This is my view. Imagine a time when this technology has moved out of the garage and into the home. Can we find an analogy...sorry I can't. Imagine you drive a classic car, say a Thunderbird or a TR3, and you break a tail light filter. Imagine being able to order the pattern off the web and buy a kit of the raw materials which your handy-dandy universal fabricator (rather optimistically named by some large corporation) will, before your very eyes, work up a replacement for you.
Not as exciting or controversial as "me build gun in garage!" but that is where the future will bring us, in good time.
All the rubbishing of hyperbole cooked up by fellow journalists is, to be honest, a bit masturbatory. Of course the hobbyists are keen. Did you ever try talking to someone who makes and flies model aircraft? That doesn't mean the technology won't live up to the hype given enough time.
I'll finish up by saying that I started my working life in a machine tool manufacturing plant in the UK where we made hydraulic, multi-spindle machines of great quality. What management refused to believe was that the new Japanese machines would steal our market from under our noses. After all, theirs were single spindle, made of plastic rather than iron and steel and were controlled by these new-fangled "microprocessors", which were not durable in those days. Do I have to spell out how that ended? The road where the factory used to stand is still named for the company. I doubt anyone who lives nearby knows that, though. The factory was history before most of them started school.
He should have used the time-honoured "Asperger's" defense.
I've funded through Kickstarter - specifically I kicked in enough to get an advance copy of the Schlock Mercenary board game because I wanted the product and the kick-in got me a couple of extras I wouldn't see if I bought after the thing was printed up. I was happy with the results and don't feel I was ripped off.
I refused to fund a for-pay event an acquaintance was planning as I thought it was a bloody cheek and contrary to the entire Kickstarter ethos, though I couldn't say exactly why other than he could sell advance tickets and there were people waiting in line to loan him money at very reasonable rates of return.
I almost kicked in for a Delta Robot 3D Printer, but concerns over the life-expectancy of the product when compared to a "traditional" 3D printer made me keep my 1.3K in my pocket.
Like many I feel Kickstarter is "intended" to help the struggling entrepreneur, not the multi-millionaire who surely has resources above and beyond reaching into his own pockets, and people already on retainer to make the most of what money he can find.
Of course that isn't what these people see though. They see a source of cash with people just waiting to hurl it into the ring. More power to everyone concerned, but I don't agree with it and won't support it.
Re: multimillionaire seeks funding?
Isn't that what "advance sales", "investors" and "venture capitalists" are for?
I rather thought Kickstarter was a device to get marginal projects with limited appeal to market, not for them with enough dosh to attract their own backers to get gifts of money from the masses to fund another installment of a popular franchise with minimal effort or need to wine and dine anyone.
Who does he think he is, an Investment Banker?
Re: Hint, kids (of any gender) ...
" That's how we did it in the olden days"
What "olden days"? I'm older than Nitrogen and in my youth lads would bonk anything that would lie still long enough. That is what youth is for and why it is so stupid. There is nothing left to think with if you are bonking your brains out as per the design spec.
The aberrant part of this sorry tale is the bit about the slug who spends all day on the XBox instead of in the saddle.
Are these the same scientists who once tried to claim that ferns could remember who treated them nicely and who was mean to them? I have an innate tendency to ignore scientists when they talk about sixth senses and electric fields because, you know, the whole crop circle thing.
"The grain shows signs of having an extreme electrical field applied to it, some sort of vortex effect."
"Electric field" as in "wooden plank", "vortex effect" as in "drunk yoof, walking in circles".
The bees probably just jot down where they get their pollen or use Google Maps like the rest of us.
If this contraption is capable of planoforming it will need to be big enough to hold a couple of pinlighters and a snoozing of cats in addition to the Playmonaut or "Go Captain" to use the correct term. This will in turn require a much bigger launch truss and volume of whatever lift gas is deemed best.
I look forward to the acrimony of the cost-overrun committee meetings.
Well, a PC I got in 1996 came loaded with Lotus Office Suite and I rather liked it, though it was obvious that it needed to be brought up to the state of the art as far as a scripting language was concerned. Unfortunately, I seem to remember IBM acquired the Lotus name around then and killed off everything but Notes and Domino.
So my guess is that Samsung now owes everyone a new motherboard? Dear me. Perhaps it's time to consider socketing the eprom, NVRAM style, lest a class action suit bring down the manufacturer.
My sympathies to all those affected, even though I don't have an evangelical stance on any particular O/S*. No-one should be subjected to this level of incompetence.
* except the pile of steaming crap that is OS9, the most mendaciously oversold OS in the history of OSes.
So as it stands today, when you say "booze" you mean "counter-top laminate".
Re: I forget
Perhaps they were caught because they broke the law?
Finally, Microsoft gets on board the Linux community message:
"Ours is better; people don't use it because they are dumber than a bag of hammers so it's all their fault.
My guess is that we will be seeing more "system on a chip" computers sold into the market of the trad desktop as people become more at ease with Linux (and when the Linux distro community get that people don't do computers for fun and don't want to learn about them any more than they want to learn how to build an airframe before flying somewhere or change a crankshaft bearing before they go for a drive).
I can't wait for that day. It will make my life easier if I can find such a machine for my elderly mother-in-law who really struggles with basic computer concepts ("My e-mail doesn't work" means the preview window is no longer visible) and cannot grasp certain safety issues like not opening stuff from Africa or Belarus written by people she has never met.
I'm not a fan of Apple kit myself, but I don't want to see them hounded out of the business either.
The real problem for the writer of this article is that he wants the stock market to work as it did before, well, Apple led the wave of computerized transactions.
People used to buy a product that impressed them, or see one in action, or use one, or ride in one, and they would buy the stock, get real stock certificates which they would hang onto for life because their money would be safe in a company that made such obviously better goods.
That isn't what happens today by a long chalk.
People buy stock electronically. there is no point to having a certificate because the stock was bought as a quick return money-earner, and the value of the stock under those conditions is decided by how panicky people are in any given moment.
You'd think in a world where transactions of this sort move faster than they can be traced, short-selling would be more tightly controlled than it is, but the mentality is that short-selling "worked" in the trad shout-and-paper trade world, so it just works, 'kay? (Ollie White's MRP classes had a great take on what happens when you computerize a 'working" paper system. If you can find them, they are worth a look.)
It isn't about how shiny or better the product is, it is about how much money the board was told would be piling up set against what is actually being shoveled out of the way when the sums are done.
Shocking. But, you know, life. I honestly wonder sometimes why some companies go public, given that the abrupt (and necessary) shift in company goals must pose a serious risk of whiplash injury and the predators who can break a company just for the hell of it without serious investment or oversight.
Re: Personally I am happy with
*My* car uses the ABS to implement TCS. Turn off the one, you lose t'other. Works really well, too. I sailed past stranded SUVs in the last blizzard (though I got stuck when the snow piled up higher than my bumper in a car park, which took me an hour to get free of on account of not having a shovel and having to kick a path out with my feet.).
I can disable the TCS using a good old always-in-the-same-place button on the dash, but I never do.
GUIs in a car == more stupid than anything else I can think of.
"teethed" isn't a real word.
It doesn't matter how much you spend if some dimwit Whitehaller leaves his lappy on the 7:15 to Reading.
A great concept
Most of this article leaves me with a "stating the bleeding obvious" aftertaste, but one casual throw-away phrase struck a chord: "Future Proofing", and coupling that with "laptop" crystallized a desire I have.
I'm tired of having to migrate every bloody archived document I have from my old machine to my new machine for fear (realized, sadly) that the long-term storage device(s) will fail and will not be replaceable due to the mad dash into the future. I can get spares for a vintage foreign car easier than I can get a domestic computer component spec'ed 15 years ago.
How pleasant it would be if the major devices that go to make up my laptop had interfaces that were themselves guaranteed to provide connectivity despite the details of the device itself. Switch from backlit LCD to PBP (Psychotronic Brainwave Projection)? No problem because the intefaces will cope. Hard Drive to SSD to Atomic Differentiaion Matrix? Ditto.
Yeah, I know it would be damn near impossible, but I would really like a portable Marshall Tucker Band device, where changing the individual parts due to the realities of time does not mandate a brand new system. Something like Lego, where new stuff works with the old because the peg/socket interface was sorted out at the start.
If you are referring to the business in Antigua, no it didn't already happen. In that case a US citizen formerly resident of California upped stakes for Antigua in a specific effort to evade certain laws (the tax statutes being one subset of them) and he was indeed prosecuted, but not for the offense the alleged criminal in the case at hand is accused of.
Gambling is a hot button issue in the States and the laws surrounding it are Knee-Jerk from the perspective of one who grew up able to legally bet on anything from horse racing to the date of the first snowfall. It took me years to understand it, and yes you break US law if you use US-based wires to conduct a gambling transaction (it is a variety of wire fraud in effect). Good luck finding a way to avoid doing that. Even the switching at the end office counts, so using your iSlab will still get you in hot water.
But what we have here is someone who broke into a military computer. Is it really reasonable to believe that he didn't think anyone would be very upset indeed about that, or that the people who were going to get upset would be insanely powerful with a long reach? The pentagon? When have they ever evinced a touchy-feely understanding manner when it comes to trespassers?
Perhaps I'm wrong, but I don't buy it. I didn't buy Reiser's car-cleaning with a hosepipe excuse either and got downvoted for saying so, so I sorta expected to get red-arrowed this time too, but I stand by my assessment of the situation as I see it based on the information I have now.
The lesson is clear; If you don't want the threat of being hauled summarily off to answer charges in the US don't f*** with computers that are the property of the US government.
Jeeze. Whatever happened to "if you don't own it, don't touch it?" No wonder we have stupid "attractive menace" laws that make it the owner's fault if a teenager crushes himself by effing about with a parked and properly secured motorcycle or drowns himself trying to gain access to a secured, private swimming pool.
Not a tablet? By what yardstick?
Actually I'm not arguing that it ain't an iPad, but as far as what people actually use 7" tablets for, I gotta disagree. I use mine as a reader mostly, but I've watched TV on it and surfed Da Webs (though it isn't how I'd do it by choice, nether is a smart phone which I see put to the purpose by others every day). It plays games and I can take notes on it if I absolutely must.
The only change I'd like to see apart from a systemic one on the DRM front (like that will ever happen) is I'd really like an electronic dictionary interface arranged so that the dictionary can be searched properly like a dictionary and not like a bunch of document pages. How f-tarded it it that searching the Kindle default dictionary for "Zebra" takes forever as every mention of "zebra" is found *before* the actual dictionary definition? All the dictionaries I've tried for the fire are functionally useless outside of the (nifty) in-book lookup because of this oversight. The reader should understand that a dictionary is fundamentally different from just another book.
pantpantpant. Rant over. What was the question?
The inference is clear: Kebabs cause traffic accidents. Best stick to fish'n'chips after a skinful.
Re: Smashed a wingtip
My thought , as I watched the unspace nonshuttle's wing being smashed was "blimey - all that fuss and they couldn't run to TWO barges lashed gunwale-to-gunwale to properly protect this historic treasure from teh stoopids"?
Wings poking over the sides of the barge. There's no way that could have been foreseen to be a potential f*ckup in the making.
Never mind. Once fixed the wing will just be that much more phoney. Or maybe they could call Grumman for a new one - the plant where they were made is only a few miles away. After all, it's not like any part of this machine ever went anywhere near space.
It's marvelous that the place where they made the only part of the shuttle that wasn't judged to be flawed in some way after the Challenger incident can't get an actual, been-there-and-back space shuttle.
Yes I'm grumpy about it all. If I'm gonna pay for the bloody thing to be shifted about the Hudson river I want it done properly and I want a real shuttle with scorch marks on it and a real rocket engine in the back when they charge me a couple of limbs to look up close at it.
I wonder if those who have been harassed by the MPAA and successfully sued can now get their money back on account of that fact that since the master recording media weren't relocated no law was broken.
Or am I reading what the FBI is saying wrongly?
I finally understand why so many Republicans wish America was more like China.
What a wonderland it will be when the pesky working classes can be threatened with mandatory organ reassignment and summary thrashing for leaving their dormitories or breathing out without permission after 10pm.
Just gotta love that silver-lining trawl "It is worth noting that even those people who by some fantastic chance didn't get reamed by our lack of attention to detail will benefit from our finally getting a clue".
I paraphrase, of course.
You'll have to give your real name if you want to do that...
Java is ubiquitous in the world these days for anything as it "makes the developer's life easy".
IBM use it in their product lines, Symantec use it, hell, every bugger uses it. To think of it as something for internet use is to understate the problem by several orders of magnitude.
And before people start wittering about Norton anti-virus, I'm referring to the enterprise level product lines there, stuff like Veritas.
The tendency here seems to be more Java as time goes on, not less, and it's everywhere.
Because everyone will remember to use blahblah.pepsi rather than pepsi.com
We've spent 15 years training people that the right of the dot is always ".com", irrespective of whether that is suitable for the site or not.
We should throw away the phisher-infested trojan-packed spam-canal that is the intarweb and build something better instead of retrofitting it with new formica counter tops.
We could start by defining a distributed-structure capable protocol that knows about session state.
This just in: drivers of cars with petrol engines to be sued by Perkins Engines Company Limited for predatory driving habits that restrict trade.
Bah!An electric drill won't spin the strimmer (US "weed whacker") cord fast enough to be of any use. Have any of your "technologists" actually ever *mown* a lawn? I would have thought that such experience would be a quick way to eradicate idiotic options like spinning weed whacker cord with a Ryobi 18v electric drill and expecting a result. Tsk. Must try harder.
The worth of the artifact is all in the possession of it.
PDF? Of no value whatsoever. This is an issue of antiquarianism, not librarianism.
It's the difference between owning a Jaguar D type and owning a kit-car replica of one.
I'm conflicted on this one.
On the one hand no move was made to preserve the technology surrounding the Apollo project, much of which has been lost due to arcane rules on how to treat classified documents when you are a vendor to a compartmentalized government project - the next time someone says "we can put a man on the moon but..." gently point out that we can't any more - the design documentation is mostly shredded. Indeed, it looks to me like no sooner was the project cancelled than everyone wanted to forget it.
On the other hand this book is indisputably government property, possibly gifted on to a genuine hero who showed the right stuff in buckets and should get more than a handshake for that. Had it happened in this day and age he would have sought damages from the manufacturer of that lox tank stirrer.
Why not let him sell it and come to an arrangement with the buyer? That would be honourable and classy.
Another question springs to mind: is there a plinth somewhere waiting for this artifact or are we talking sticking it in a box somewhere until a place can be found at the back of the museum at Kennedy Space Center?
Interesting that the article mentions Bob Dylan, a man who for years moaned and dripped about compression ruining his music (and this complaining went way back before CDs) but who led the stampede to get his catalog into MPsquash format where compression is orders of magnitude worse than in the old vinyl days. Mr Z doesn't let his aesthetics get in the way of his dollar fountain any more than the next man.
That said The Marching Moron Syndrome is always with us. I happen to agree that modern recordings sound crappy, but it wasn't until I saw this article that I understood why.
Don't mind me. I'm still recovering from two attempts to find an acceptable digital conversion of 10cc's Sheet Music. Buggered master (by the sound of it) and a remaster that did little to fix the problems and introduced some of its own. Bah, and double bah. Thank Azathoth I have the original vinyl version. Maybe I'll convert it myself, crackles and all.
Whereas I ...
... always wondered why more people didn't grasp the enormity of throwing a handful of people into Earth orbit using technology.
I guess it's down to the usual thing - a failure of imagination.
That and a lack of education as to what you get for your nickle-a-year investment in Space Tech.
And in a world with Google and Wikipedia there's no un-lame excuse for that.
By the time you're done the weight will give you a glide path better described as the "vertical plummet".
You're over-thinking the problem.
Instead of gluing in strut after strut, consider that the paper skin itself will do much of the work of holding the spars in the proper place. Add temporary spacers and alignment blocks, add glue tabs to the aerofoil ribs and glue them to the bottom surface paper. Then carefully draw the paper over the nose of the wing and glue. Finally, remove the temporary spacers etc and glue the top surface down.
Hey Pasta! Instant (well, nearly) monocoque wing.
I dunno what they're teaching in schools today, no hope for nation, dropping standards, ASBO youth culture etc etc etc
Major Stevie (Mrs)
I welcome RTFM messages, invite them in fact, provided the "helpful" respondent goes the extra angstrom and gives me a manual title or reference number and the page number at which I may usefully begin what they might equally usefully assume is the umpteenth attempt to FIND what I'm asking about in TFM.
Alternately, they could point me to any prior RTFM that does so. Simply writing RTFM is AMUAAHSAAJW (as much use as a ham sandwich at a Jewish wedding).
I'm currently attempting to debug a server with a baffling timezone problem and another with a sendmail issue. After forcing a couple of "helpful" "expert" sysadmin colleagues - who had RTFM'ed me - to give me a hands-on demo of their superior skillz they ruefully admitted that the (still unsolved) problems' solution(s) was not *in* TFM and STFU.
WTF is an "exomoon" FFS?
Azathoth on a bike! If as much effort was put into getting *into* space as thinking up new names for perfectly ordinary objects seen in a telescope, we would be talking about these bloody moons in terms of decent names like Jinx, Wemadeit or Wunderland instead of carrot-9b or whatever stupid nonsense the so-called "scientists" responsible called it.
Where's the Tylenol?
I thought this was going to be fusion-in-a-shoebox, and on the strength of that ordered my gas and electricity disconnected pending clean, cheap, home-generated power. Now all my pipes have burst and there's nothing hot for tea.
*When* will The Register begin presenting the important information *clearly* in its articles?
Meat content in UK Sausage? Don't make me larf! I get my Cumberland sausage from Myers of Keswick (in Manhattan) and he readily admits he can't call 'em sausage in the US as legally they don't have enough meat in 'em. Delicious, though.
Wasn't the general lack of meat in bangers the plot of a "Yes Prime Minister" episode in the '80s? As I remember it, the E(E)C was going to reclassify them as "Meat By-Product High-Fat Offal Tubes". Of course, that was only make believe, but still, when Hacker read the list of ingredients it put your average hot dog to shame in the "almost edible tat" stakes.
4 Ed Blackshaw
But we wouldn't see that for about 430 years or so. If it wasn't for the pesky vacuum of deep space we might have heard it rattling around in the drum during the rinse cycle.
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