31 posts • joined 7 Jun 2011
Scratch-built COSMAC ELF
Ah, the memories. When I was buying it the company called it a kit, but what I got gave me a lot of practice soldering sockets onto a circuit board so I could stick in CMOS chips. I also learned a LOT of troubleshooting with essentially no tools, which were way too expensive. Substitution are us and finding the chips to substitute involved a lot of looking.
The BOFH had a relevant observation
THE CLOUD: You want to keep data which is local, only ever going to be local, only needed locally, never accessed remotely, not WANTED to be made available outside our building, which can only WEAKEN our security by being off site, hosted offsite.
BOFH: Simon Travaglia
There are some data situations which definitely ought to remain within the walls of the company (plus secure offsite backups), accessible only by the company.
And the NSA.
Be careful of how WalMart does it
Let's lower prices every year! Let's push out the competition! Let's sell the cheapest stuff at the lowest prices, even if it means the stuff has to change its character, not just its price. Like the price point for a popular food item? Reduce the quantity in the box but don't change the box. Those dumb customers who buy by price alone won't know the difference. John Ruskin talked about this over a hundred years ago.
Go back to the 2006 articles about how Snapper stopped selling to WalMart, then look at the articles from the last year or so saying they're back. That is, lawn mowers painted Snapper red and with the Snapper name on the side are now being sold at WalMart. Check the labels--they don't come out of the Snapper factory in McDonough, Georgia, USA. Those are still at the authorized Snapper dealers.
Yes, it's possible the traditional suppliers are pricing their items higher than they need to. It's also possible the "commodity" suppliers are providing products that do the job well and for just as long at a lower price. But when anyone tells you, "You get what you pay for," remind them that's not a sure thing and sometimes you undeniably do NOT get what you pay for. But you're probably going to have to pay for what you get.
Anybody had the other situation?
Early on in a new position in education I was on the server, looking at the student files they had turned in for a class. I did something fairly ordinary without thinking (possibly created a subfolder--whatever it was, it wasn't destructive or disruptive) and then it hit me I shouldn't have been able to do that. I went to the network boss and asked if I had mistakenly made an administrator. He said that because the dozen or so of us MIGHT need to do certain things, for convenience we had all been made administrators way in the past. That way, we wouldn't have to go to the real administrator and ask to have it done.
From that point on, I was VERY careful what I did on that server. Over the years, I don't recall hearing that anything ever got messed up, so I guess all of us were careful.
Re: Don't use it
>>but I have fond memories of the simplicity of non wysiwyg wordperfect 5.0 & 5.1.
As one who still thinks that WordPerfect 5.1 for DOS was as close to perfection as I'm going to see in this life, that all but brought tears to my eyes.
Re: I tire of all this (woe is middle-class, first-world me, apparently)
>>The Munich migration has been going since 2003 (IIRC) and still hasn't finished,
>>with a saving of next to nill. It's probably not a good example of a Linux migration,
>>I would look elsewhere. Were I a CTO of a company looking to migrate from MS
>>to Linux, I'd look very dimly upon someone saying "look how well it went for these guys".
Interesting comment, since there was no claim at the outset they were doing it to save money. As I recall, they wanted to get away from vendor lock-in, which they have done for most purposes. Certainly there were some training and changeover expenses they wouldn't have had with Microsoft products, uh, maybe...
Wonder how much they paid for upgrades to Office 2007, 2010, and 2013, plus upgrades to Windows 7, 8, 8.1, etc. And Microsoft the training those required was included in the purchase price, of course.
This sounds like the time...
...for the folks in (or formerly in, my case) the education business to mention "merit pay." Merit pay is claimed to be a system for rewarding teachers for doing excellent work. As with many people-evaluating schemes, it has invariably concentrated on process, rather than results. It's as if you reward the cow for eating grass for more hours per day than her peers, rather than for producing milk. On top of concentrating on the wrong measures, merit pay then attempts to be "objective" or "scientific," rather than "a popularity contest." So the way to be rewarded is to do things the evaluator can count--presentations in meetings, articles published (with such further evaluated on whether the meeting was local or international, the status of the publication in the eyes of "the profession) and so on.
Then, of course, there is the evaluation conference where the results are explained, with the infamous words, "just one more." You could have gotten a raise, been promoted, or whatever, if you had done "just one more." Doing things like helping a depressed and despondent student survive an impossible home situation for fifteen hours over the course of a month doesn't lend itself to "counting" using such criteria.
Oh, no! Somebody told us w're not looking at the outcomes! Let's give the students some kind of test and reward the teachers whose graduates score higher on a paper and pencil (nowadays computer administered) exam! This saves the teachers all sorts of time trying to figure out what material is important and how to present it effectively--just teach the stuff that's on the test.
<... A regular Garden of Eadon. >
AAAAAAAHHHHHHH!!!! My head!! My head!!!
Re: Mashing the screen makes me want to kill...
@Yet Another Commentard
>What a computer really needs is some form of pointer device (like an on screen arrow) that
>could be used by the observer to accurately indicate what they were talking about. It could
>be moved around by some form of physical control, maybe kept near the keyboard.
A few years ago I was a faculty member in a university Computer Science department. The department head from MIS wanted to give a demo, needed to point, and excused himself to go get his red dot laser pointer. Before he ran, I suggested using this arrow thing you mention--but he didn't understand how it would work for just pointing.
Fortunately, he's beyond the point of breeding.
Re: Unlimited may be a word..
"But so is Class and Action and Lawsuit."
No, class and action are no longer with us as of their new contract. Arbitration and/or taking it to court as an individual are the words now.
@Tinker Tailor Soldier
Speaking of getting your facts straight, the verdict was not remanded to a lower court and still stands. The penalty phase was remanded to a lower court. The penalty is what was settled with the DoJ lawyers and I'm sure it's only coincidence, of course, that the DoJ seemed to soften their position dramatically after the occupant of the White House changed.
The first time I've heard of Twitter's possibly being useful.
Re: 2 birds with one stone
By coincidence--probably not!--my university's CS department began looking at other languages because of concerns that Oracle might not be including our students' use of Java in their plan. In fact, it seemed to be quite uncertain what direction they have in mind.
Re: Patent Law Dicktionary
"Its difficult being a sane person in this world..."
The way things are going, if this was true when you wrote it, it won't be long.
I want him hung with a knife after that!
Best Higgs Boson comment I've seen
"So at least boffins will understand the universe, even if they're not quite able to explain it to anyone else... "
My thought exactly.
Re: Because no facebook thread would be complete without a post like this...
Your friend is mistaken. I have an account using a pseudonym that's even less believable (to me) than the one I use here, and all fake information. I did, however, go to the trouble of picking a town that exists and using its zip code for the street that doesn't exist and its area code for the fake phone number, so if their bot does a check, it might seem plausible.
The Queen's English
Beg pardon, "morally ambiguous" doesn't seem to describe the individuals being talked about. I'm thinking "ambivalent" is a little closer, but "naughty" would do even better.
Even being merkin, I like whoever thought up "errant pedantry, up with which I shall not put" and its variations. Apocrypha, indeed.
Somewhere I read that in a glamor pic the model should be pointing her toes--that is, making her ankle joint as straight as possible. I think she's doing that and it turns out that looking at it from the toe end in an opaque stocking isn't as appealing as in profile and bare.
"...does not lie about who he is being paid by."
I suppose he hadn't literally lied, but it seems like he waited a LONG time and made a LOT of comments before mentioning Oracle and Microsoft are a part of his financial life.
Missing the obvious new threat
WHERE OH WHERE are the people studying fingertip cancer! With so many people using smart phones, but not talking on them, that's where the current hazard is. I know there have been a few articles warning of the risks of repetitive motion damage to thumbs and a few other joints related to phone use (from the distant past--anybody remember mouse shoulder?), but it's CANCER! that will kill us.
We need a study!
@Christoph - The Group W Bench ?
You must be VERY old and with an impressive memory. Well done!
Anybody remember the User Port?
The user port was a part of one of the two 6526 "Complex Interface Adapter" used on the C64, an upgrade from the occasionally buggy 6522 "Versatile Interface Adapter" used on the PET and the Vic-20. The 24-pin edgecard connector had quite a number of functions available, but I was interested in the six TTL-compatible lines that were otherwise not used for anything most of the time. I created two or three interfaces over a few years and ran a CNC milling machine from it. 1 MHz sounds slow today, but I calculated that the program I had written (in 6502/6510 machine language) was in wait loops more than 98% of the time.
Later on, the PaperClip word processor included software to control a Centronics printer from the interface. A few days waiting for the connectors via mail order and an afternoon of soldering and my father's Epson MX-80 was printing his notes.
Consumer Reports report
As I recall, the Consumer Reports folks gave the iPhone 4 very high marks for its features and how well they worked, but then verified the antenna issue and gave it a reluctant Not Acceptable.
@James Micallef Re: destroying the climate change doubters
Yes, the change being discussed is only a half a percent of the temperature above absolute zero, but that isn't the starting point of the change. The quantity of the change from the present mean temperature that is anticipated to cause the phenomenon has been cut in half. If I now pay 30p for something that cost 60p before (dream of that), that is cutting the price in half, regardless whether I have 60p in my pocket or I'm weighed down with currency of the realm.
If we assume the existence of a "present rate of warming," this means that at this "present rate," we have half as long for the melting to occur. The existence of warming and a "present rate of warming" is one of the questions being debated, of course, but the point that it's half as much change as previously believed is the relevant point.
One wonders whether the heat of the debate is a factor in global warming.
Re: This is good
There is basically no argument that kiddie porn, incitement to violence, encouraging acts of terror, etc. on the Internet are bad and should be avoided. The problem some people miss is that it isn't an either/or argument. Having insects crawling on a glass of fine wine or a child's glass of milk is also bad and should be avoided, but we don't dispatch the bugs with a sledge hammer or a grenade. We use a tool that deals with the problem and doesn't cause a lot of damage to people and valuable property. The same thing with the Internet--use tools that protect people but preserve rights and liberties.
If there are any terrorists listening, I'll give you a recipe for causing maximum disruption to the people of the free countries of the world: get yourselves elected to the parliament/congress/legislature of a country and argue for laws that eradicate the freedoms the countries fought wars to preserve--just a little at a time. You're patient--you've been fighting some wars for years and years and years. Run as a conservative: I'm here to protect our values. Use whatever emotional and irrational means you find effective and do anything you can to avoid a reasonable discussion of the issues. Ad hominem attacks are great: tell the people that if they're against your law, they're helping the pornographers, terrorists, and nasty people of the world! Find any way you can to claim the new legislation will protect the people. When you are successful, you will have accomplished your objectives without shedding any blood or destroying any buildings. No mess to clean up. And you've won!
Now start collecting money for your campaigns.
Re: Re: Solar winds
Yep, thinking outside the box, getting out of our comfort zone...and numerous other expressions read by people who saw them on a page but generally didn't read the rest of the page.
Then, of course, there are those of us whose relatives were displaced by recent snowstorms and went to hotels for shelter. To fill the time, they posted their problems on their FB pages.
Makes you proud to have technically adept relatives.
You beat me to the Darwin Awards line...
...unless you think GIMP really is the equivalent of Photoshop
@JC_ Specious argument. It doesn't matter whether it is the "equivalent." It doesn't matter whether Open Office/Libre Office is only as good as Office 2003 or 2000, or 1997. What matters is whether the software does what you need to have done.
Frankly, I think Office 97 got it right--does what I want and the help system pops right up, rather than waiting to see whether it has a network connection and finally bringing up a window. I would probably still be using it, if I hadn't had to teach a couple classes of "ribbon." Yuck.
Not quite as good as it could be
Increasing the density of trees improves the CO2 absorption, and that's good. However, it gives other things--animals and other plants--less area to live and probably decreases biodiversity.
- Bugger the jetpack, where's my 21st-century Psion?
- Windows 8.1 Update 1 spewed online a MONTH early – by Microsoft
- Something for the Weekend, Sir? Why can’t I walk past Maplin without buying stuff I don’t need?
- Review 'Mommy got me an UltraVibe Pleasure 2000 for Xmas!' South Park: Stick of Truth
- The land of Milk and Sammy: Free music app touted by Samsung