31 posts • joined Monday 12th September 2011 11:46 GMT
El Reg in a Time Warp?
"NASA's Cassini spacecraft will take a picture of Earthlings' home planet from the viewpoint of aliens on Saturn today, snapping the image from hundreds of millions of miles away."
BBC is reporting that the image will be taken on Friday 19 July.
Not just custom connectors, they also used standard connectors - wired in a completely non-standard way. Their copper version of FDDI used RJ45 connectors but was incompatible with UTP Ethernet cabling. Happy memories of raiding the local Maplin's for parts on a Saturday afternoon to make up new cables...
Re: Won't or actually can't, port?
Not the OP but IIRC the problem was some atomic bit-twiddling instructions which VMS heavily relies upon. Also VMS uses four CPU privilege 'rings'; 0 = user, 1 = Supervisor (the DCL command interpreter), 2 = Executive (basically the file system), 3 = Kernel. X86 processors in theory have four rings but as most OSs only use two there are bugs in the implementation- see the Virtualbox docs for details.
Re: SAD Weekend
"Still kudos to Dave Cutler for an OS that lasted 35 years."
The underpinnings live on. The Windows driver model is very closely based on the VMS one, the data structures have different names but function in the same way. When NT was released it was said that the best tutorial guide for writing a device driver was the VAX/VMS Device Driver manual.
Re: the rustling of small leaves.
The noise output of the drive is 2.3 BELS according to the Seagate website (another case of disk drive specmanship?). 23dBA is rather more believable.
The point I am (maybe not perfectly) making is that the process of asking Spamhaus about the spamicity of an IP happens to use the DNS protocol, which unfortunately leaves it open to DOS tactics created to attack 'real' DNS servers. See for example http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DNSBL
"Standard DNS has done us well but its time to move on and get rid of some of the known issues."
Spamhaus (and other RBL providers) are vulnerable to DNS attacks because they use a version of the DNS protocol. If I receive an smtp connection from 220.127.116.11 and want to know if this host is spamacious, I send a reverse-lookup request for that IP address to the Spamhaus servers; a positive response means that the address has been seen spreading spam so I can drop the connection without having to handle the message. Unfortunately because the protocol and ports are the same as DNS, the same attacks also work.
Re: Pretty nice machine
Ah the memories. I spent weeks tracing out the circuit diagram of my Lynx using a multimeter - it was all standard TTL except for the CPU and graphics controller - and eventually got CP/M running with a home-made disk controller and BIOS.
My memory of the bank-switching logic is rather hazy, but I think you could separately control read and write access to memory. So to switch banks, first enable write access into the new bank, copy the code you are currently executing from the old bank to the same address on the new, then switch read access.
Annoyingly my Lynx went for recycling in the last loft clear-out.
Re: The vaporised electrolyte was jettisoned overboard, so never posed a risk to passengers or crew
Except that in the Boston incident, the failure of the battery caused the APU to stop (because the APU control unit is directly powered from the battery bus). This removed power from the fans intended to ventilate the equipment bay and keep fumes out of the cabin.
Shouldn't a "programmer's editor" be called a "bugger"?
Re: Oh god
Using some rather optimistic numbers for a vinyl record player, a bandwidth of 25kHz and S/N ratio of 60dB, Shannon's Law gives a maximum theoretical data rate of 500 kbit/sec. A 20-minute LP side would have a raw capacity of 75 Mbytes.
Rolling upgrade or versioned?
Another decision to add; do you prefer a distribution which releases discrete versions, or would you prefer a rolling release? The former is better for stability but means that you have the pain of upgrading every year or so to keep current. A rolling release trades the upgrade hassle for the slightly greater risk of instability.
The best rolling release distro for newbies is probably PCLinuxOS.
Still some niggles
I've been using Release Candidates of LO4 for a while courtesy of Mageia and it's pretty good. Annoyingly they haven't fixed my pet peeve which dates back to the days of StarOffice; the 'recently used files' list is global across all applications rather than having a separate list for each. So if I go browsing through documents looking for something, my frequently-used spreadsheets disappear off the bottom of the list and I have to look for them manually.
When evaluating bids for a contract, HMG should look at the *net* cost of the bid, taking into account the tax that will be returned (income tax from employees, VAT on equipment, as well as corporation tax from the bidder and his sub-contractors). That would probably favour companies doing the work in the UK as well as those with less 'creative' accountants.
The Zeppelins got round the problem of burning-off fuel by powering the engines using Blau Gas, a hydrocarbon mixture with neutral boyancy.
Still a chance?
It was mentioned on the IRC channel that there was a dredger in the area of the splashdown, which seemed to make a detour from its previous route to investigate. Is there any hope that the Plucky Playmonaut was plucked to safety?
Re: Sound quality?
AIUI the analogue audio output from the Pi (ab)uses the PWM capability in the ARM chip, and only provides the equivalent of a 13-bit D/A converter. Probably best to save the oxygen-free directional-crystal Audiophool cables for another project.
Re: The one advantage that physical retail has..immediate availability
That's how Comet started in the late 1960s. They traded out of an old textile warehouse in Leeds which was packed floor-to-ceiling with boxes. There was nothing on display, make your choice elsewhere then just collect the box. Their prices were *way* lower than the high street, plus they sold real hi-fi (Quad, Armstrong, Leak et al) at a discount which was unheard of at the time.
Shame to see how things turned out.
Obligatory xkcd link
Not quite the dog's 'nads...
... especially in a write-mostly environment, due to the interesting way it keeps old versions of updated rows. Trying to update the same row in a table one million times was an interesting experience.
Why does the photo of the IBM's System zEC12 mainframe remind me of a certain heavily-sponsored London-based event?
Re: So, what next after windows 9 ?
If they're following the ASCII character set then after windows 9 comes windows colon. In EBCDIC 9 is 0xF9 so the next would be 0xFA, which appropriately is undefined.
LCN (Logical Channel Number) is pretty much unique to the UK; the international standards for DTV don't include it so it has to be carried as a 'user defined' field.
Getting rid of LCN would remove the politicking which channels undertake to get as high up the channel list as possible. Of course if the channels were ordered alphabetically then there would probably be lots of 'AAA1 TeleShopping' channels instead.
Re: As a Slackware user since 1995ish ...
Be careful what you wish for.
If competitors could legally see each other's hardware architecture and driver software we could get a repeat of the Mutually Assured Destruction currently being fought out in the courts over smartphone patents. Looking the other way may be the least-worst option.
Re: Launch song?
Use the same Rolling Stones song but start at the second line - "You make a grown man cry".
Self - limiting
Just make the drillers legally liable for all damage reasonably likely to have been caused by them (with a ban on the use of lawyers to argue the toss either way - pay up within 30 days).
Re: If RS really do them at the promised $25 I'll use WP7 for a week
UKP 21.60 for the model B according to their website (ex-VAT of course). That's $34.40 at commercial exchange rates - just inside their $35 target..
A simple keyboard for an electronic organ would look very much like that.
Breaks != Adverts
A one-hour programme on commercial TV generally has three 4-minute breaks, not including the break between programmes. I presume that trailers and 'watch us' stuff don't count in the nine minutes, though surely advertising yourself is still advertising?
My PVR has a 'jump forward 4 minutes' button so I never see the breaks.