660 posts • joined Friday 8th June 2007 09:01 GMT
Re: "most of us get over this around the age of 14 when we discover girls."
"Goes like a train"?
I usually avoid such people. In my experience, a 1950s attitude to the opposite sex is a sure-fire indicator that the conversation is heading for a rocky patch.
Intel MDS-80 version
Blimey, this brought back memories.
In my first real job after graduating, I remember playing this on Intel MDS-80 development systems. I'm not sure if anyone remembers these, but they were hideously expensive (but rather useful) workstations, targeted for embedded development on Intel 8080 family chips.
I can still hear the "chunka-chunka" sound of the enormous 8-inch floppy drive loading up the game.
Amstrad Faux Hi-Fi
I had to laugh at the bit about the speaker cabinets with three holes (ostensibly for bass, midrange and tweeter) but just one speaker inside.
My friend had one of those Amstrad towers which looked like the classic separates system of the day - with amplifier, tape deck and tuner stacked on each other in a chipboard and veneer cabinet and topped off with a turntable.
All very fine until one day it went wrong, and being a budding engineer I volunteered to fix it. Imagine our surprise to find that the "separates" were in fact just a single sheet of aluminium-faced plywood, with components stuck to the back, divided into three sections to look like discrete units and screwed to a largely empty wooden box.
Re: Before anyone moans about her...
No later government (under anyone) could have reversed the Tories' privatisations because they couldn't afford to. It always amazes me when Thatcher is held up as some kind of economic miracle worker, when in reality she was bolstered by masses of North Sea oil coming on stream and sitting on nationalised industries that had been built up over generations. All she did was take stuff that we owned collectively (like council houses) and sell it back to us for quick cash.
It was just like burning the furniture to stay warm.
And whilst it's true to say that the unions had got out of hand by the late 70s (and many people voted Conservative to try to change that situation), the cure ended up being worse than the disease. You don't fix things by destroying them.
I'm guessing you mean "The Home Counties and the City of London".
Does it have a wizard? In the style of early MS Word, it could have a cheery little animated AK-47 saying "It looks like you are creating a death warrant. Would you like some help with that?"
Or possibly a whanker.
I think you'll find we are "whiners".
At least meet us half way
I don't mind helping people out occasionally, but it gets tiresome when they won't do anything to help themselves.
How many times have you encountered:
- Windows with no service packs applied and needing 274 updates (involving 3 reboots) before you can even start.
- The McNortonSpersky anti-virus trial version expired 9 months ago, but no replacement was ever installed.
- Everyone in the house uses the same account, no password, with full admin rights.
- IE6, unpatched.
- Original system install discs lost (if it ever had any).
- "A mate in work installed it".
- No-one can remember the password for the wireless network, the ADSL connection or the email account (of which there is also just one).
- The mission-critical photos and videos of the kids have never been backed up.
- System tray rammed with 38 brightly coloured crapware icons, all fighting for CPU time.
- Keyboard / fan clogged with pet hair, biscuit crumbs and stuff you probably don't want to think about.
- 3 fake spyware removal tools installed.
And last, but by no means least - nobody has ever been on any kind of training course to use any of this.
Re: Problem is not Fry
"If I had my way the BBC would be forced to rely on subscription for funding, it would then lose out."
Right, because as we all know, Rupert Murdoch's commitment to original science and technology programming is world class.
Fry on Tech
Stephen Fry talking about technology always reminds me of the archetypal drunken uncle dancing at a wedding. He's seen it done, it looks pretty easy, and he if he struts his stuff with enough confidence then everyone seems to quite enjoy it. I don't have a big problem with it really.
"When was the last time your saw a right wing pressure group trying to prevent a guest speaker at a university from speaking?"
That's a good point. Right wing pressure groups are generally no bother at all. Like those lovely gentlemen from the EDL, just protesting all peaceful like.
Give it a name
Well we started out with the Big Bang, and previous theories said it would all end in a Big Crunch.
So what's this one going to be? The Big Fart?
In the playlist? Is that really necessary?
Re: @ NomNomNom
Well presumably they can only put one hand up though...
It's not all good though
Unfortunately whilst a smooth pubis is good for keeping down lice infestations, some researchers have suggested that it may have the opposite effect for other types of STD. The problem is thought to be related to the small cuts and abrasions that one inevitably makes during the process of shaving, which facilitate the spread of infection by contact.
I would post a link to this research, but I'm at work and there's no way I'm putting that in the search box.
I was outraged by the Amazon tax thing
So I went to Starbucks and used their wifi to Google for a better online retailer.
Re: Comprehension problems?
Well, that would be a great idea, except that Bjarne didn't get round to publishing it until 2008. I was learning C++ in the early 1990s so it wasn't really an option was it?
Clearly you *can* learn C++ from that book. I and many others did, because that was all there was. The book just made learning harder than it could have been.
Mr Stroustrup is undoubtedly a brilliant computer scientist, but that doesn't make him a great writer. You can't simply excuse a disjointed, turgid and dense writing style by saying it's the reader's fault for not understanding the material. That's just lazy criticism.
I taught myself C from the Kernighan and Ritchie book, which was a delightful jewel of simplicity (both the book and the language).
Later, I learnt C++ from the Stroustrup book, which by comparison seemed to comprise a large collection of complex ideas dumped from author's brain to paper with very little organisation in between.
The best thing I could say about Stroustrup's book is that it spawned a lucrative C++ publishing industry. Many authors must have made a good living selling us more books to explain what the hell Bjarne was on about.
Re: Google worries me
Their motto is "Don't Be Evil".
So there is absolutely nothing to worry about.
Re: All hail...
I must be missing something
Sharp wants to get rid of 11,000 people.
About 3,000 people actually want to leave but for some reason that's too many.
So now they have to stop people who want to leave from leaving so that they can get rid of another 8,000 people, most of whom probably don't want to leave.
I don't think I'm smart enough to work in HR.
Probably can't visit that one though...
You're looking at what it was like a squillion years ago. The neighbourhood may have been remodelled a bit by now.
More outlets than Starbucks eh?
As a bonus, maybe they'll even pay some tax.
"Is the US Patent Office ran by people who decide simply by rolling one of those yes no balls?"
It looks like they might have a yes / yes ball.
Ooh - I think I'll patent that.
"Pretty sure that would be my clue to get the hell out of such a dysfunctional place."
Yes, I would have agreed with you at the time but I stuck it out and, believe it or not, things actually got better. Here I am some years later, sitting on a Herman Miller Aeron chair. Very lovely it is too.
As some other commentators have mentioned, all companies have their issues. Sometimes you have to just look at the big picture.
The chair thing made me laugh.
A colleague and I once found a pair of old leather chairs languishing in a store cupboard. As they were considerably nicer and more comfortable than the ones we had, we dusted them off and put them to good use - supporting our tired arses.
That lasted about a week, until the HR lady came round and informed us in rather embarrassed tones that we weren't allowed to use them because they were "director's chairs".
As there weren't actually any directors that needed to sit on these lovely chairs, they were just stashed back in the cupboard again. There they quietly rotted away until they were eventually thrown out in an office refurbishment program.
Re: @J.G Harston
I think the thing about long hours is that it's easy to measure. So if you are a clueless fuckwit manager who doesn't really understand what your team is doing, it's about the only metric you have.
I am a manager nowadays. I never believed the "long-hours" thing when I worked on code and nothing I have seen since has led me to change my mind. There's just no correlation between working hours and productivity in my experience.
Re: I'm sure I saw him recently...
Thanks for that.
Having not watched the Harry Potter films, I thought it was Norman Tebbit.
Re: Too true
It's not just IT. Back in the days when I did hardware design, I used to fix all sorts of stuff for people. TVs, VCRs, toasters, you name it.
When I moaned about it, my boss at the time said he used to tell people he was a mathematician, on account of the fact that no one at a party ever had any tricky differential equations that needed solving. Worked a treat for him.
Re: I want superconductors
Not good enough, because they'll have aged. I require that my system will store the DNA of Coldplay/Rolling Stones/Whatever and regenerate them on demand at exactly the correct age they were when they made the original recording.
I want superconductors
For that money I want it all to be superconducting. I want the turntable levitating over a superconductor, suspended indefinitely in a vacuum so that it spins for a billion years without even losing the 1/3 off the 33 1/3 rpm spin speed.
I think the Lurkers will still be knocking out albums then, so best be prepared.
Re: VP Of Hardware Engineering?
You really should read the article. He used to work for the laptop biz and was called in to fix the wonky antenna design which originated from the phone biz.
George Harrison and the Cartoon Beatles
There's an interview with George where he described the time when the Beatles were granted an audience with Elvis Presley at his house. They were quite stoned by the time they arrived and all fell out of the limo "like a Beatles cartoon".
Not sure which cartoon he was on about, but it might have been the TV one.
Living on IPR income?
Nokia might survive in some truncated form on income from IPR, but it's not a long term plan. Without being big and innovative they won't generate any new IPR and eventually one of the large players will get fed up of paying the fees and just buy them out. It already happened to Motorola's hardware biz.
Re: Can we at least be a little bit smug?
To be fair to RMS, some of the many things he did included the GCC compiler and the GPL - both of which were pretty essential to getting Linux going. On the shoulders of giants and all that...
Re: Whats the fuss?
You remind me of some pensioners I once overheard after finishing a ride on the London Eye:
Pensioner 1: "What did your think of it then?"
Pensioner 2: "Ah, it was rubbish. Just a load of roofs really."
Goodnight Sweetheart All Over Again
I suspect some sort of time-travel based shenanigans where our intrepid reader's car has taken a wrong turn and emerged in 1941. Cue some no doubt hilarious sitcom fun involving a flirty barmaid and rationed luxury items. Stretched out over 36 episodes.
How ironic the car was an Audi.
Re: John Noakes was the dogs bollocks
The other good thing about John Noakes and the other presenters of the time was that they didn't pretend to be kids themselves. Kids like stuff that doesn't patronise them. I remember because I was one.
Re: Social convention:
There's always one. I was on a training course a couple of weeks ago where one smartarse said "I can't believe you are telling us this stuff, surely everyone in the room knows it already".
Fair play to the lecturer, it put him off a bit but he recovered well enough. Still annoying though.
What about commercial TV?
This article does raise some really good points, but what about the way that commercial TV is funded? This is possibly an even more insidious levy because there's an advertising cost built into many of the goods and services we buy.
ITV for example is approximately a £2bn per year business and we are all funding it. No-one gets dragged through the courts because you can't avoid paying - even if you don't have a TV.
Re: Re: Really?!?!?
Actually if Facebook is like every other software company, what they have is sparse documentation that vaguely says how it was intended to hang together before they started coding it.