61 posts • joined Friday 27th January 2012 11:01 GMT
Re: Nw for a spanner in the works..
"In reality, I'm not sure that it matters much. After all, its generally fairly blindingly obvious what the physical differences between men and women are anyway, and cognitive skills tend to be learned at least as much as they're inherent. So, while it would be jolly nice to have a laydeebrain and all that, its not likely to make much difference on a day to day basis."
It's something I often wonder about. If it turns out it is the case, I'll think "yeah, that's nice. But whatevs", whereas if it's not, I may get quite distraught, such is my way of finding negative things much more appealing, apparently.
"Fyi - I cant park for toffee. On the other hand, I'm an accomplished engine builder and if you want a blueprinted V8 putting together, I'm your gal ....."
I sometimes wonder if my formerly accrued skills and interests are perhaps a bit unladylike in some regards, because, y'know, they don't all conform to the correct stereotype; but they've become a part of who I am, and I'm the same person, whichever bunch of hormones I have washing around in me. But I'll always suck at parking.
Re: Mary Tamm (RIP)
I never realised: how terribly sad. :( I was fond of Romana Mk 1.
Curious looking thing
I remember being quite excited by its specifications at the time, but its looks: ew. That, in spite of its creators being quite scathing about the boring beige boxes that proliferated elsewhere and that they weren't going down the same road. Were they trying too hard?
But that was the teenage me. Looking back, nearly 30 years older, I have to consider it to be one of the most awesome-looking computers ever. I wish more designers had that sort of inventiveness... And I still get more excited reading about 128K of memory and 600-and-odd-by-some-other-strange-number of pixels than the latest fancy VGAesque graphics card.
Re: I wondered if I was alone in the world and it looks like I am in a way
"Welcome to office politics, the most effective means of reducing an organisation's efficiency."
I feel quite depressed having to agree, but... yeah, I agree with everything you wrote. :(
Banned from his shed...?
Isn't there an ECHU ruling about a chap's inalienable right to use his shed? If not, why not?
Re: They tell lies
Funnily enough, I had exactly the same experience with them. It didn't exactly encourage me to go back: as it was, the only reason I went in the first place was convenience, but it's not very convenient if they lie about the capabilities of the stuff they're selling.
They did at least give me a refund, astonishingly.
How terribly sad. I have fond memories of VMS, both as a DECcie and before: it was my first "real" computer system back when I was at college in the '80s. Unix was more fun to hack around on, but VMS had a nice reassuring solidity to it.
Sounds like DEC's classic old marketing strategy is still living on at HP, at least: "we don't know how to sell this thing, so we'll get rid of it."
"If people like her keep painting a negative picture for women then why does she think women would be attracted to those roles?"
Quite. I have noticed that over the years, I've noticed the percentage of women in IT gradually decreasing. I can't say there's a direct link between the dwindling numbers and this sort of publicity, but it's unlikely to help; personally, I think IT has become such a toxic place to work that I'm hesitant to recommend it to anyone (don't get me wrong, I love my job, but the working conditions, not so much.)
I'm surprised it's taken Teco this long to get a mention given its former infamy! I seem to recall it was noteworthy in that a Teco editing command was apparently indistinguishable from line noise, though I've never personally had the pleasure.
Re: Physical security of server room ?
> "Where I work, I manage several servers (as part of my job). I can get physical access to the servers, but only if I ask very nicely, and only if accompanied by a senior system admin."
That sounds familiar. Even though a major part of my job was providing second-line support to our ops staff, gaining access was often not easy:
Ops: "We need your help with one of the minis."
Me: "I'll need access to it, then."
Ops: "You can't come in."
Me: "Then I can't assist you."
Ops: "But we need your help with one of the minis."
Don't get me wrong, they were actually a really good bunch, but sometimes things could be a bit frustrating. The flip side is that we had excellent systems availability and nobody pouring cleaning fluid into the computers.
Re: Fond memories
I also remember wandering round unsupervised in Princes Street in those days, at about the same age, even though I lived near to Newcastle! The slew of home computer departments with interestingly incompatible stuff that had sprung up everywhere made it an exciting time to live.
"It seems to be missing the commodore +4 and it's baby brother the commodore 16"
Didn't they appear a bit later? I remember reading a magazine review of a couple of new Commodore models in the autumn of 1984, which I assume is when they were launched (in the UK, at least); if I recall (my memory is hazy) the review was of those two machines. I don't think they ever sold in large numbers though, the home computer market seemed to be increasingly dominated by the usual suspects like the Spectrum and C64 by that point.
Re: Its is amazing
It's also amazing how few seem to credit the original transcriber. Though in cases such as these, that's probably a blessing.
A wonderful, inspirational man and a top eccentric. Goodbye, Patrick, you'll be missed.
Back when smoking was still allowed in offices...
... I'd see some incredibly grubby keyboards. Not everyone was like that, I think what made the difference was smoking whilst actually using the keyboard: the chap next to me chain-smoked pretty much all day long and all his key-tops were covered in a not-so-thin layer of brown smeg. He was no Pigpen-type character, he just had this perpetual fog around him (even as a smoker myself it was a bit much!) Then again, I shouldn't judge since my keyboard would end up full of crumbs due to me working while I was eating. I dread to think that the collective detritus eventually grew into, especially after being periodically watered with spilt coffee.
Smeary screens are a bit of a mystery, though. Do people really jab at them with snotty/greasy/unmentionable fingers? Maybe they try to taste the icons and lick them.
Re: Comics aren't for kids as most kids can't be arsed to look past their X-box these days.
> "currently 35-45 years old I would guess"
44 here: my cousins got me hooked with their cast-off issue 4 back in the day. I remember spending years trying to track down issue 1: I eventually found it in some bonfire kindling! I still have it somewhere though it's in poor condition given the somewhat questionable paper quality of early issues. Well, that and being rolled up and stuffed into a bonfire.
Re: Four words
I remember that one with a lot of fondness. I think I've finally given up hope that I might see the rest of the story, but what they did complete was legendary.
> "Not just MOS 6502... I would also include Zilog Z80 for the home computer for the ZX81, ZX Spectrum and Amstrad CPC."
I'd also like to throw in my tuppence as a former 6809 owner! Er ... quietly slinks away ...
Re: @TeeCee Back to the 70's?
"If they want to reduce energy usage across the country, they need to look more at what causes us to use so much."
They could do something about unnecessary commuting for a start: not much point trying to tax people off the roads when it's not their choice and they don't want to be there anyway; seems weird that it's almost 20 years since I did a highly successful pilot of a working from home programme but since then nobody is interested.
Seems the current lot are more interested in giving the sick and disabled a good kicking instead of doing anything useful though (not that the previous lot were any better.)
Motorcycle sounds for inducing stress?
Well that's helpful for me since I live close to a very noisy and aggressive mid-life-crisis type who faffs about all day on his two-wheeled willy extension. I think there's a fair chance I'm going to sound stressed.
I guess it depends on your local office. I've had DPD repeatedly claim to have tried to deliver stuff when they've done no such thing; when they do turn up their line of questioning ("what is your relationship to the recipient?") gets a little intrusive. The local Yodel chaps tend to be very reliable, though.
Re: I must of missed
"Where I am I would say that the number of women working in technical roles in IT has dramatically reduced in the last twenty years."
I've noticed the same thing: I think we need to look at what's happened over the past 20 years to cause this. I think part of the problem are the "women in IT" programmes, which I personally think succeed in making it look a much more forbidding place than it really is.
Re: Name claiming, but... Here comes da' spam!
I've sent a few test messages to my new @outlook.com address, every one of which was incorrectly flagged as spam. Not a promising start...
Re: Was the UK that far ahead of US?
I remember my days at school in 1983/84, pretty much all the kids had either a computer or games console (or both), seems it was very much a minority who didn't. But the situation with CD players was rather different: as Mr Hill points out, it seems that was a myth. They made serious inroads over the next few years, but it was a long while before they became as ubiquitous.
I prefer to think of the eponymous hero of Hector's House.
"India? I don't think I've *ever* had a spam from India"
I get an endless stream of spam attempts from India, seemingly all of them to addresses that have never existed: it appears someone out there is still buying those lists of "double opt-in and verified" addresses, astonishingly. It's pretty much consistently at the top of the list of countries trying to spam me, but very few of them if any are actually successful.
Re: @Aaron Em: Cheaply-Made Keyboards
You can still get "kinda" Model Ms from Unicomp's outlet. Perhaps not quite as sturdy as the originals, but they're still really very good, and they have the extra keys. And a non-beige colour scheme!
There does seem to be something distastefully unethical about making cost savings by outsourcing labour to countries where the sort of working conditions they endure were rightly outlawed in the West long ago.
Re: And what about Bing?
"Guess we'll need to dig up Alta Vista. DEC was headed by Ken Olson, a devout Christian."
Christian or not, I don't recall anything about Ken being a homophobe: he was just an all-round good guy, really.
Re: Single sourced
"What exactly is the point?"
The illusion of security: banks seem to be very keen on it. Cheaper than actual security, I suppose.
Re: Where does the fine go?
Where does the fine get paid from, for that matter? If it comes out of the management budget, fair enough, but you know it'll be patient services that end up having to go without.
Re: Am I the only one..
"...or, for somewhat more money - Sennheiser HD-25 - apparently indestructible, comfortable, fabulous sound, and most definitely head-fi approved...."
They are pretty hard to destroy. Mine are HD25SPs that I paid £90 for back in 1998 and they're still going strong; by that time I'd managed to get through numerous pairs of headphones which typically lasted all of six months apiece, whereas these just keep on going and sound fantastic. I have managed to damage the cable a couple of times over the years thanks to rank carelessness, but they're easily and cheaply replaced. Not bad considering they've seen extended daily use over that time.
Re: Sexist joke alert
"When I used to often work out in the Bay area 20 years back, I would have thought that the average proportion of female frontline developers was slightly less than 50% (women don't quite make up 50% of the working population, some choose not too) but wasn't way under. But more recent trips there have shown a big shift away from women in technical positions."
Interesting, I've noticed exactly the same thing; the male/female split was almost 50:50 when I started working in IT in the late '80s but in each successive job I saw fewer and fewer women working there. Some employers seemed to be very keen to fast-track women into management in a desperate bid to be seen to be doing the right thing, but I'd hazard a guess that a big part of the problem are the various "women in IT" programmes which seem to actually have the opposite effect to what was intended. I can't speak for anyone else but I personally find them rather patronising and they seem to have a habit of highlighting problems where previously there were none, for the most part. It doesn't make a compelling argument for the next generation to get into IT when people just want to get on with it.
As a random observation, the ratio of men and women in IT seemed far more even back when I started out in the late '80s, but the profession has seen a gradually decreasing number of women entering the field since that time. I suspect two factors at work: one is that a lot of companies seem to fast-track women into management which either succeeds or puts us off, but it's a policy that removes women from the pool of staff either way; the other is the way it's taught in schools: back in the 1980s, computer science gave a reasonable idea of what it was about and would get the attention of people who might gravitate towards the subject, whereas its replacement of ICT (in other words teaching people how to use Office) is entirely tedious and uninspiring, so perhaps it's only those who are really determined to have a career in computing who go ahead anyway. The only problem with my theory is that there's not an obvious male/female divide in either case, but where one exists, they may be enough to tip the balance.
Convince the games developers to use OpenGL instead of DirectX and I and plenty of others like me will happily migrate away from Windows, but until that happens...
"Don't government ministers at least get security advice from the security services?"
Most likely, and they probably take that advice just as seriously as that offered by their other advisers.
"Vodafone is rolling in cash thanks to a healthy year in the US and stability in the UK"
Maybe it can start paying that overdue tax now, then.
"And FWIW IBM says density was 100 bits per linear inch http://www-03.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/701/701_1415bx26.html. A 1200 foot tape therefore had 1,440,000 bits, or about 175k by my reckoning."
That's probably per track, I imagine: there were seven of them...
Lots of people do; but my point was that the option should be made available where it's appropriate. I often like working in an office, it's the typically two to four hours a day I can spend commuting that I'm not quite so keen on...
Instead of banging on about integrated transport to reduce emissions and such, how about concentrating on teleworking? That it keeps on getting glossed over is a long-standing source of frustration: many commuters neither want nor need to be travelling into the office every day, but there's still an ingrained resistance to home-working which seems counterproductive and rather inexplicable (well, except for the propensity of halfwit PHBs to shoulder-surf lest their minions spend all day skiving, at least as they see it.) Surely the best way of dealing with transport and emissions problems is to actually obviate it as a requirement wherever possible.