I had a couple of FF books, and to my shame I didn't use dice and cheated with my fingers as Jackson described. This must have been a couple of years after reading an Usbourne book, "Write your own Adventure Game for your Microcomputer", the end of which were pages of Basic to serve as an example and template.
4589 posts • joined 21 Jul 2010
Re: USB... 2?
>How interesting that voice recognition seems to have made more progress recently while this has not.
English speaking people can usually understand my speech very easily. My handwriting is near illegible!
Okay, other theory:
Speech and handwriting recognition benefit from being done on a remote server where they can be refined by the input of many, many users. in recent years there have been far more people using voice-recognition - on their phones - than have been using handwriting recognition.
Re: No thanks Microsoft, We dont need another Vista!
>Dont be fooled. A mouse and a control pad beats touch screens for gaming any day
Depends on the game, no? I'd like to see a variant of Cannon Fodder or Bullfrog's Syndicate on a tablet, if the multi-touch allows several cyborgs to be controlled at once.
Re: No signs of competition yet
>Faster than current Atoms, but no comparison with current ARMs. Less power than current Atoms, but no comparison with current ARMs.
Links to benchmarks please!
Re: Am I the only one...
> downloading all languages/commentary tracks, subtitles, camera angles, whether they will be used or not strikes me as not particularly clever, really.
I would imagine that it would only download what it required, on the fly. This would bring some latency to to the user interaction, but no more than skipping through an iPlayer programme.
Re: Once again Technology over Content...
"Technically, HD video and sound is all well and good but it does NOTHING to the diet of food-orientated, the shambling housing-orientated and the hard-hammered auction-orientated rubbish, much of which is badly upscaled SD, repeated Ad Nauseam."
You're channelling Patrick Moore. And I agree with you. It was a pity that Patrick choose to blame it on feminism, and thus cause his valid points to lost amongst the inevitable noise.
Re: Socalist broadcasting is now OO
>All the better to get the commie propaganda out there to the TV-watching sheeple.
The alternative model gives us Fox News, News International and James Murdoch.
Adult readers here may care to watch Armando Ianucci's riposte to Murdoch Jr's claim that "only the guarantee of quality is profit" here in his BAFTA lecture:
One advantage to this proposed system: viewers can mute background music in a programme so as to make dialogue clearer. Complaints to the BBC about background music in programmes are very common, and not just from the hearing impaired.
Re: Touchscreens suck on laptops
>I'd like to see keys on the keyboard with built-in vibrant, colour OLEDs, so they can be contextual to the application, not just QWETY.
You can have it, but at a high, high cost: (roughly $1000 USD)
There maybe some games controllers that might suit your needs, though.
>Maybe a trackpad cum touchscreen would be good, and the image could display things such as jog and shuttle wheel or sliders as summoned by the application.
All iDevices have had wireless MIDI baked in from the beginning, so what you describe is already well supported amongst desktop digital audio applications.
However, I would like to be able to offload Photoshop (for example) tool palettes to a secondary touch-screen! I was tempted by a 7" USB-powered and driven monitor, but they seem pricey compared to either cheap 7" tablets or 21" monitors.
My mate has just bought a Korg Kaosillator... whilst it can function as a stand-alone noise making thingy, it can also place it's real hardware controls (X Y rear-illuminated touch-pad, sliders, nice heavy jog dials, colour-changing trigger pads) at the disposal of a connected computer. It's pricey, though!
Make up your mind whether you're talking about the resale value of iMacs or iPhones.
Several studies, made in different ways (ie event monitoring software, returns to manufacturer, customer surveys) suggest that Apple computers are fairly reliable.
Re: EVOLUTION of IT
>Reread my post where I make the most important point: Apple "makes it desirable". And, believe me, I don't like Apple's locked down ways one bit.
On that, Eadon, I completely agree with you- though it wasn't highlighted in your post as being the bit you thought most important; it was lost amongst a list that appeared to be a tad forced. (iOS stuff is locked down, OSX stuff isn't)
Windows can annoy the hell out of me, but has got a lot better over the years. I use it because like many people, from CAD users to small business accountants, it is the only OS that runs the software I need. "Windows is rubbish, just a toy for those who don't know better" isn't an attitude that helps us, whereas "MS should do it like this" is constructive.
If OSS meets all your needs, fair play, but bear in mind that there are people with different requirements.
So, more nitpicking:
>Clunky laptops -> MacBook Air -> Ultrabook (Wintel copy)
The Macbook Air is an Intel machine- Intel choose to give Apple first dibs on the CPU, probably because suppliers like customers who have a good idea in advance of how many units they will require. I'm not sure of MS's involvement in marketing the 'Ultrabook' brand, either - MS got paid the same regardless of whether Windows 7 Home Premium was bundled on a cheap laptop, an 'Ultrabook', or an AMD-based machine. For sure, an 'Ultrabook TM' follows the form of a Macbook Air, but high-end laptops have been getting progressively slimmer, lighter and more frugal of power since the year dot.
Re: EVOLUTION of IT
OSX was based on NextStep, which pre-dates Linux by several years.
Microsoft had a watch years ago.
MS had phone OSs for years before the launch of the iPhone.
Still, don't let facts ruin your simplistic world view.
>Can't see why anyone would bother versus Windows 8 touchscreen ultrabooks like the new Asus S7....
Adobe (and many other) productivity applications don't scale well on Win 7/8 laptops with very high dpi displays, according to reviews of the few Win laptops that boast 'retina'-like screens. (See Toshiba Kirabook)
Re: A strange little secret
>Now if only Adobe or Autodesk would pull their finger stylus out.
> two weapon limit, regenerating health,
I used to play a lot of PC first-person shooters before Halo, and cycling through a dozen weapons trying to find one that has some ammunition left wasn't my idea of fun. Neither was creeping around a level in Doom on 9% health trying to find a health pack. Each to their own, though.
Halo isn't done by Bungie any more, and Bungie's next effort is a cross-platform release.
Re: handwriting without a stylus are also horrible
> I've got a friend who wants to take quick site pictures, and then sketch dimensions on them, so he can do his drawings and designs better.
And you can get Leica surveying kit that interfaces with Android devices... I'd like to see more stuff that bridges the gap between the office/studio and the workshop/site... a bluetooth 'smart' tape measure, for example. I know it is a little niche, but it wouldn't take much to enable it.
Curious that MS's Courier was designed for content creation, yet was killed (allegedly) by B. Gates.
At least you can turn a tablet through 90º... I've only used a netbook for internet browsing once, and kept wishing I could do the same. It wasn't so much the poor resolution that made browsing a chore, but rather the letterbox screen ratio compounded by the presence of Address and Toolbars.
Re: Almost correct......
>How true, my daughter had a Sony CD player 'system'. The only way it could play Sony CDs was to copy them on a PC and play the copy. Totally stupid is not the half of the 'mu-sick' business.
Curious. I have seen a Sony CD player refuse to play all tracks on a brand-new from HMV CD, Jurrassic 5's Power in Numbers. This must have been a different Sony scheme to the one that deliberately placed errors on a CD's TOC, errors that upset PC CD drives (and those car stereos that used the same drives), but not normal CD players. The idea was to prevent easy ripping. I seem to recall that such CDs didn't sport the traditional 'Compact Disc' badge on the cover, since they didn't conform to the Red Book standard.
Re: "ARM's TrustZone" - abuse of ENGLISH!
>The marketers are taking a beneficent word - Trust - and turning it into a euphemism for something that removes the freedom of the user to use a computer or other possession how he wishes.
I pay for it. I get to watch it- where is the betrayal of trust, Eadon? It sounds like a straight deal to me, one I can choose to take up or not.
TrustZone can demand exclusive access to the hardware, of which this DRM scheme is just one application. Other applications include preventing memory-resident malware from sniffing PINs or passwords.
Some people might wish to use their device to access a movie streaming service, and pay for the convenience.
In any case, this doesn't nothing to prevent you from watching content from which you have previously stripped the DRM (or torrented), so I don't know what you're getting upset about. Many people can't be arsed with that sort of faffing about, and have the money to pay for convenience. To earn this money, they generally make themselves useful, by taking out your trash, tending to your illnesses, or generating the electricity that powers your Linux box.
Re: Desktops will never disappear
>Take CAD as an example. Would you rather fly in an aeroplane designed on a large screen where the designer can see the big picture and has precise control over what components go where, or one designed on a tablet with components shuffled by someone's fingers and thumbs?
That 'precise control over what components go where' of which you speak is not achieved by fine cursor control, but by 'snaps' and 'relations' between 2D entities, mathematically defined, and by the use of 'mates' for parts. The idea is that you 'sketch' a form, and then add constraints until it is fully defined. In short, you shouldn't be relying on pixel-perfect cursor accuracy.
Re: I'm not sure Microsoft *has* won.
>Windows 8 is a toy.
but some of the applications that run it are not.
Orion- last I heard, an Orion launch was still estimated to lead to around ten deaths amongst people on Earth, through exposure to fall-out.
Re: Caps Lock?
>Not to mention all the extra effort that would be involved in holding down the shift key while participating in a flame war...
>The jury is out on the cause, you're right, but it's not like Toshiba, Samsung et al are falling over themselves to try much other than punting out Ultrabook style machines running W8.
Agreed, most of the manufacturers are content to stick Win 8 on it with maybe some included software to restore a Start Menu. Toshiba do have an ultra-high res laptop available, but at Macbook Retina prices (and Adobe Creative Suite doesn't play nicely with very high DPI displays under Windows).
Lenovo have some interesting machines though, from their 'Yoga', to their dual-screened Wacom-digitisered beast of a mobile workstation.
All of which are reasons to 'wait and see' for the time being.
>Given the glacial uptake I can't help but think the major laptop makers are missing a trick in not offering a pre installed viable alternative to Windows 8
Well, the jury is out on the cause for this slow uptake of new laptops...
Many people don't like the look of Windows 8
Other folk are in no rush, and are so happy to wait to see how their friends get on with Win 8 over a longer period of time, or if Microsoft release a 'service pack' that makes it more to their liking. They might even be waiting to see how Chromebooks develop before recommending one to a family member.
At the the same time, many people already own a computer that serves their purposes perfectly well.
Some people are finding that for their purposes, a tablet is good enough.
Some other people are feeling skint.
Re: Caps Lock?
I was almost tempted to cannibalise an external USB keyboard to create a 'Caps-Lock Indicator USB Dongle', but I didn't bother in the end!
Re: Caps Lock?
My mother had a Toshiba laptop that had no Caps-Lock indicator, and its absence annoyed the hell out of her. I really don't know what the designers were thinking. There is some software available that will place a Caps Lock indicator in your Windows Taskbar, but in the end she just bought a new laptop.
On a more general note, the Caps-Lock key is overly large given how infrequently it is used... all the other larger keys on my keyboard, such as Space, Return, Enter, Shift, Backspace etc are used very often indeed. I really wouldn't mind if Caps-Lock was relegated to a small key above Esc.
(In a mail room in which I used to work, there was a PC with one function- using a DOS-based piece of software to generate and print courier labels... it was a very fast, keyboard-only interface - unless I accidentally hit the 'Insert' key. Eventually I prised the offending key out of the keyboard and Sellotaped it to the keyboard. It is not only software that can be tailored to suit the user!)
What Michael said.
Re: Looking in the right places?@A J Stiles
AC, he said it will 'probably work' - meaning that he wasn't trying to convince you of anything.
Re: Does it need Linux drivers?
Agreed - does Gigabyte need to be hosting the drivers?
I have a Dell laptop with shipped with faulty Windows drivers causing a BSOD, despite their website claiming they were up to date. So I sought out drivers from the Original Component Supplier's website. My uber-geek mate said that Dell weren't great at supplying the latest drivers, so it was always best to go straight to source- and even recommended a piece of 3rd party software that aided this exercise.
In fairness to Dell, I should mention that the laptop came from their 'Refurb' site, so a saving of a few hundred pounds was, for me, worth the bother of a few hours TLC.
Re: The battery is only one part of the problem
>The REAL problem is charging the things in the time scale of a petrol/diesel tank re-charge. And that's never going to happen.
That's an issue for longer trips, but many people's commutes are shorter than the current range. For longer journeys, a small diesel car is suitable - and diesels are more efficient on long journeys anyway.
I enjoyed "The Demolished Man", but I must have been sleepy when I got to the last chapter - I felt like I missed something in the ending. I should give it another go.
Again, it is set in a near-future in which society has adjusted to many people having psychic powers.
Curiously for Sci-Fi that concerns itself with 'the next step in human/sentient entity evolution', The Stars My Destination is set in a world where everybody has developed the ability to teleport themselves, and society has adjusted to this. In the book, everybody can 'jaunt', within a certain distance (so spaceships are still required) and that they know where there are going. As a consequence, terrestrial vehicles are toys not necessities, and rich people use labyrinths to protect their privacy.
Alfred Bester's short stories also explore consequences of people possessing powers they don't understand, in a serious way... I can't help but think his experience as a sports writer (young people gifted with 'special' physical abilities, etc) influenced his subject matter.
The following link is for a big buttoned flip phone, with fairly large spaces between the keys. I am not recommending it purely because I haven't owned or used it - but the dummy unit I picked up in a shop suggests that it might be worthy of further consideration for people who claim to have 'sausage fingers':
My first thoughts were of that Vertu service, too.... specifically, how does Mr Rockwell deal with 'mission creep'? Once could imagine people ringing up to have text messages sent to relatives, but also to have tickets booked on their behalf, the weather forecast read to them, or £20 put on a horse...
I would imagine that to begin with, he'll want to avoid the headache of keeping payment details secure, and avoid the negative publicity that might come from 'offering exclusive deals to our clients".
Good point - I'm in my thirties and I find microUSB connectors a bit of a faff. I know that they are D shaped, but still I need to look closely to work out which way I need to plug them in.
MicroUSB requires both good eyesight and digital (as in fingers) dexterity. I haven't used the iPhone 'Lightening' connector, but it would appear to be a better design than microUSB - unidirectional, and rounded edges (unlike the sharp edges of stamped metal found on USB)
Purely for charging, an old 'Nokia charger' plug is nice and easy to insert. I haven't used any wireless charging solution, but assume that it would be a good feature for this market.
>What a dumb idea. Seriously dumb, not to mention insulting to your target market.
By definition, his target market don't read The Register. A significant percentage of our older population have never been on-line- something that has implications for government services and ultility companies that only offer their best rates to on-line customers.
>Being a senior citizen doesn't mean you suddenly become dumb as a brick, what it is likely to mean is impared eye-sight and/or hearing.
Ageing affects people differently. Most people will suffer poorer eyesight at some point - and for those, a conventional flip-phone with large buttons will be the good solution, or perhaps one of the phones designed for the elderly market
However, some of us might develop chronic arthritis, or perhaps one of the many forms of Alzheimer's, to one degree or another. Many studies suggest that if people with Alzheimer's are surrounded by the trappings of their youth - interior decor, music etc* - they are happier and less likely to be confused, so replicating the familiar 'Hello operator, please connect me to...' experience of their youth is a good idea.
*There is a elderly care home /community in Holland, I believe, with an entire street set out as it might have been several decades ago. The shops are real, but with products and layouts reminiscent of the 1950s, and is used by members of the public and not just residents. Should a resident have a funny five minues and wander out of a shop without paying it is no problem, the shop keeper just makes a friendly phone call to a carer.
Re: Now let's see
Speaking of the Imperial Forces, RIP to the actor Darth Vader choked:
Re: Surely there's some armature?
@Mongo - good point
@Don Jefe - Thanks for the info
Though the following article is about compressive strength, so doesn't apply to cantilevered structures, it is still a quick fun read:
Re: Wait for the first "hacked" printable gun
>The same as we shouldn't trust open source software?
My understanding that, is with sufficient knowledge and time, you can examine open-source software and determine that it does what it is says it will do. (though I remember a commentard once saying malicious code can be hidden - whatever, its a bit beyond me)
To test whether plans for a physical object will perform as planned is very very hard to do virtually. It would require simulation of the explosion -high pressures and temperatures, fluid dynamics- and FMEA of the printed parts, all at the same time (mechanical properties of the parts change with temperature)... complex doesn't begin to describe it. Ultimately, you would have to 'print' a large batch and test them in the real world.
All the simulation software I've seen come with the disclaimer - "This software is designed to reduce testing, not replace it" - ie, its aim is to rule out the more unlikely designs, so one can prototype and test the more promising designs in the real world.
Re: Not a hivemind
>from this admittedly small sample has shown that the chances of such a gun not working as intended is one in two,
Hopefully that at least might deter some would-be killers from trying to use one... until someone releases 3D printing blueprints for a really good prosthetic hand!
Re: "The point is it has now been shown these things deliver a bullet with lethal speed. "
I get the impression people are too taken by the 'just Ctrl-P to print a gun', when it isn't the most suitable process for the job. This goes for quite a few other '3D printing' applications, too.
Just watching the way this printed 'gun' disintegrates in the video illustrates the inherent weakness in having a round hole in a series of strata... that much at least will be familiar to anyone who has worked with wood, which is also has a 'grain'.
There are some ways of achieving a concentric 'grain' structure around the chamber and barrel (I'm thinking more of stopping someone from losing their fingers, rather than helping them shoot somebody) of this 'gun' without any special tools... it's just that deposition-based additive manufacturing isn't the way to do it.
Re: A US Patent?
I've always liked this one:
Canada: Shitty Music and Bears
USA: Freedom and Jesus
Central America: Tequila and Porn (the bad kind)
South America: Drugs and Supermodels
.... you get the idea : D
Re: Poor man's Radio 4 solution
Or... spend £20 on a shortwave radio receiver, and use line-in to your car stereo to listen to BBC World Service... has many of the same current affairs and documentary output of Radio 4, but without the R4 cruft.
Just a thought!
If you want spoken-word content, and don't mind 'loading up' before you set off on your travels, you could do worse than download MP3s (at around 25MB/hour) from http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/ (the 'Australian Radio4' but not as smug - 'The Science Show' and 'Late Night Live' being particularly good. ) Or maybe you haven't exhausted the In Our Time with Melvyn Bragg yet? : D
Thank you for bringing these stream-compression services to our attention!
Re: Why when Radio is already free?
>What's so bad about DAB?
- Batteries in portable DAB radios don't last very long
-The codec used in DAB doesn't sound very nice
-In areas of poorer reception, the sound of DAB breaks up in a way that is more unpleasant than poor FM
- It is fragmented across countries
- The price of DAB receivers has never come anywhere close to that of FM radios.
Since current DAB adoption is currently poor, we may as well skip it and adopt streaming of radio content: The sound quality can be better, and it offers thousands of stations, not just dozens. We are not all at that stage yet, but we might be close in a few years.
Re: Micro USB charging
>I had a 200m G-Shock crap out on me in the shower, once, for exactly that reason.
I've had a 200m Gshock repaired under warranty following a high fall onto concrete - when I got it back the strap was mouldy because they had pressure-tested the waterproofing after making the repairs, but not dried it out afterwards. I'm not sure that the watch battery shop on the high street does that! (Casio did replace the strap, too)
Re: "closing-time-at-a-dive-pub type ramblings got on national stages "
>What's politically correct about using materials that weren't produced using slave/forced labour (which is what I understand "conflict free" to mean)?
Not so much about slave labour, its more about the arms which are bought with the proceeds of tantalum.
Re: For people who knew no better
When I was still in primary school, the classroom a single Archimedes, a few of the lads had Amigas for games, my mate's dad, a hippy musical technology lecturer, had an Atari ST (and a MIDI guitar), and another friend's dad, a graphic designer, had a Mac. There was of course still a smattering of Spectrums, Vic 20s, C64s, Acorns, and a few 8 bit consoles.
Me? I had an 8086 Olivetti with no sound or game port! Still, over the next ten years I learnt quite a bit just getting it and its successors to play games... and eventually the games (X-Wing, Doom, System Shock, many more) came.
Re: Mattrick demonstrated starting up the console by saying "Xbox on,"...
Hehe! Alas, I believe the new Kinnect features fairly bog-standard noise cancellation techniques to discriminate between sound from the television, and sound coming from humans in the room... It wasn't implemented to avoid the situation you outline, but so that voice commands can be heard over the virtual explosions.
>>#1. "The shared graphic memory is exactly what people like Carmack have been waiting for."
>Can you expand on that please...?
I can't speak for Zot, but he may have been thinking of this interview with John Carmack (iD software - lead programmer of Commander Keen, Wolfenstein 3D, Doom, Quake) discussing graphics architecture, memory, PCs vs Consoles and of course, his then-upcoming game Rage: