* Posts by stu_san

10 posts • joined 3 Jan 2012

2013 World Solar Challenge racers start the big reveal

stu_san
Go

BRG?

I understand why it's white - too danged hot in Oz. That said, it just doesn't seem right if the car's not in British Racing Green...

Just sayin.

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Nuke plants to rely on PDP-11 code UNTIL 2050!

stu_san
Mushroom

The problem with "If it ain't broke"...

...is finding parts for that old tech when it *is* broke.

HMMmmm... Has someone come up with a PDP-11 core that can be dropped in a SoC?

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The ten SEXIEST computers of ALL TIME

stu_san

Connection Machine 5

With only the Cray-2 as a salute to high-end computing, I would like to add the Thinking Machines' CM-5. Corny dialog and dopey Jurassic Park graphics aside, the CM-5 *looked* like a supercomputer: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Connection_Machine

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Ten badass brainy computers from science fiction

stu_san
Mushroom

Robbie? Close, but...

You missed the Super Computer in Robbie's second movie, "The Invisible Boy" (1957 - http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0050546/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1)

Movie computer? Check

Wants to take over the world? Check

Evil, manipulating POS? Check

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Save hefty Dr Who and Bond girl 'Flossie', pleads vintage computer man

stu_san
Facepalm

Re: Move it to the cloud!

Maybe just the fact that it is physically saved is enough. Simulation is being done for other processors (see Altair), but these older machines, like the Bombe and Colossus at Bletchley, are unique unto themselves.

Personal note: As a high-school student I tried to save a decommissioned Univac SS80 ("Solid State 80") but was rejected by the IT dept director. I then tried to get the manuals and the compilers (FORTRAN II!), but was refused; "proprietary info" the director said. Two weeks later the machine was junked out back of the high school shop, having been ravaged for parts, lights, and wires. That machine was the last one Seymour Cray had "worked on" at Univac before moving on to CDC. The design was implemented in both transistors and "magnetic amplifiers" (whatever those were) as a side-by-side study; I am not sure but I think the production units used the mag amps. It used magnetic drum rather than cores. In its own way, a unique machine.

I have toyed with the idea of writing a simulator, but without the compiler or other code from the Masters (instruction placement on the drum to improve speed was an art), it would be a mostly useless exercise.

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stu_san
Facepalm

Why save it?!?

Why save this computer? Why would we save anything? Why save paintings, old potsherds from archeological sites, trophies from old games played decades ago, pictures from the 1900s, 78 RPM records (or old cylinder records for that matter), antique cars, boomerangs, spears, arrows, swords, cannons, baskets, houses in the Swiss Alps, the Spirit Of St Louis, the Spruce Goose, the Glamorous Glennis, the Enola Gay, the Queen Mary, the Eiffel Tower, Tower of London, the Great Wall of China, they Pyramids on Giza plateau, the Forbidden City in Beijing, Roman breastplates, amphorae, the Antikylera Mechanism, a bit of melted glass-like ground from the Trinity site, the stuffed pelt of the MGM Lion (saved in an attic in McPherson, Kansas), the Vasa from Sweden's seas, old sardine tins from a century ago, covered wagons from two centuries ago, steam locomotives, silent movies, signs from roads and inns and gas (petrol) stations that no longer exist, memorials on ancient battlefields and grave sites, books (and stone tablets and dried clay tablets) from people who died anywhere from decades to thousands of years ago and millions of other artifacts from humans around the globe? Why save any of that?!?

Because, you moron, without knowing where we came from we cannot know where we are going. Because reflections from the past illuminate our present and, in so doing, our future. Because we can easily forget that, even though some ideas are old, it does not make them any less ingenious or, in fact, *relevant*.

Do we need to save the eggshells from this morning's breakfast? Probably not. A computer from the 60's? *DEFINITELY*!

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Why James Bond's Aston Martin Top Trumps the rest

stu_san
Devil

About the Italian Job...

You missed the Lamborghini Miura that is run into a bulldozer in the title sequence. Bond would have looked good in a Miura, even if it is Italian.

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Bot imitates bat for better flight

stu_san
Devil

Re: Missing Footnote?

* Rabies

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Pirates not to blame for Big Media's sales plunge

stu_san
Devil

Market change

Maybe "the new open" projects like Openstack or the Raspberry Pi are the beginning of a successful "indie tech" movement. Maybe not; market changes like that take decades, and it is far too early to call it.

Well, maybe, but we have seen markets (and titans) sink faster than that. In the mid 80s, DEC was the company that could do no wrong. By the early 90's it was dead (along with the "minicomputer" market). IBM skated dangerously close to the end of the "big iron" market. (I'm not sure how "big iron" lived through that period, and with the "cloud" we may be heading for another "big iron" test).

Markets can and have changed radically just about overnight. It only takes a few innovations to break to the old market model.

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Boffins unimpressed by LOHAN's sizzling thruster

stu_san
Facepalm

Thrust for 3 engines...

Doesn't look right. Why would the thrust curve for 3 engines look identical to that for the single engine case? Plotting fubar is my guess (the times 3 is taken account of in the other curves?).

Also, while weight goes up, drag seems overly pessimistic (50% increase?) since that is controlled by the design around the engine fairings.

I dunno, though - I'm a simple software engineer, not a rocket surgeon.

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