136 posts • joined Saturday 25th August 2012 15:55 GMT
The BBC regularly repeat the Rank Organisation's cinema 1960s documentaries "Britain on Film". One episode - possibly "The Joy of Tech" - included the newly finished rotating restaurant and its views. They also showed the window cleaners standing in the cradle at a fixed spot - and the windows came to them.
4/- (£3.28) feels right - we went up the Tower not long after it opened. As a schoolboy on our radio club's annual coach visit to London for the RSGB Exhibition - that would have felt affordable for a special treat. My weekly pocket money then was 1/- (5p). The Tube fares were still only old coppers to shuttle between the war surplus junk shops in Tottenham Court Road, Praed Street, and Edgware Road. In Proops I bought a short length of that new magic material - fibre optic cable.
When walking along Greek Street and Lisle Street the older members of the club formed an outrider escort to shield the teenagers from the strip club touts and the ladies standing in doorways .
Re: a bigger bang
I did that inadvertently once as a teenager. Power supply for an 807 PA on my HF transmitter. Forgot to allow the 1.4 multiplier for the big electrolytic's voltage rating. Wondered what the sizzling noise was - and why the DC voltage was steadily dropping. Luckily the capacitor's metal container channelled the steam powered paper and aluminium foil vertically. Smeared the wall a few inches in front of my head.
Factor in the energy costs?
My own budgeting has realised there can be a false economy in buying something cheap which then needs a lot of cooking with gas or electricity. I try to make efficient use of the energy by cooking a batch of a stew - or filling the oven with things to roast. The excess is then frozen as individual portions. When needed a portion can be thawed in the fridge and then reheated in the microwave.
Haven't tried the wartime economy method of using a hay box for slow cooking.
Fog, snow, hail
As the system is camera based - how resilient is it to conditions of poor visibility?
Re: If only the Dailymail were to follow suit.
"Will the Sun have special options ..."
Wasn't that supposed to be an "advantage" of online content for a consumer? Your news and music feeds would be filtered to only the narrow spectrum of things you say you like. Choosing a single newspaper already sets an effective filter for style, viewpoint, and content. No doubt many regular readers then regard a large percentage of that as irrelevant to their tastes, needs, or desires.
Re: In defence of text books
"no-one nicks a textbook to play games"
Our VIth Form common room used to play table tennis with everyone in a circle round a large study table. Each player played the current ball in flight - then the circle moved on one place. Text books were used for bats - and were chosen for size and heft. After two years' daily use certain favoured text books were decidedly worse for wear.
Multiple optimised systems
My PCs are built with IcyDock SATA replaceable drive carriers. That means changing a disk is a matter of seconds without opening the case. The alternative disks contain different systems - so a clone used solely for high performance isn't slowed down by an accretion of everyday rubbish.
I have a link giving 12mbps - but iPlayer is still noticeably blocky - and does little "catch-ups" every so often. Terrestial TV stopped being accessible when the analogue service was switched off. The terrestial digital signal is poor due to local high rise buildings even though we are served by two major transmitters. DAB is equally poor - only FM radio is reliable.
Flexowiters and Teletypes
I started on papertape Flexowriters and Teletypes in the 1960s. The latter were particularly clunky - and the 100bps (75bps?) ones punished any fast typing with a jarring locked key. I probably still hit some keys harder than I should. Does Control-G ring a bell?
Re: Mechanical it is
"To be able to type at a reasonable speed you have to be able to touch the keys, feel their position relative to each other, and your finger's position relative to the middle of the key."
There has been research into flat surfaces which fool the fingertips with the "feeling" of touching a moving solid key. They use various methods eg jets of air; vibrating surfaces. Not sure if any of them are reaching a viable mass production stage.
Re: variable capacity
" vinyl: 33.3, 45 RPM. "
There was also 16 RPM for audio recordings like Linguaphone courses.
Before 78 RPM became a standard the records could differ in speed. The ancient wind-up gramophones, with thorn or steel needles, had a lever to control the speed. As kids we would play my grandfather's "Messiah" set of 78 records - and annoy him with a dying HAL "Haaaaaaallllleeellllluuuujjjjjjaaaaah" followed by a Pinky & Perky "hliljah - hliljah" repeated several times as we slid the speed control to its extremes. The record set came in a bound album about 3 inches thick.
"nd people wonder why there are factions in europe that would very much like the UK gov to grow a set and really secede from the EU."
"and people wonder why there are factions in europe that would very much like the UK gov to grow a set and really secede from the US."
There fixed it for you.
Re: Religions and non-religions
"I cannot for the life of me think of the last time (or even the fist time) I have seen a TV advert for Christianity, Buddhism, Islam, Shintoism, Zoroastrianism or any other ism."
The BBC radio/tv gives space to religions to advertise their particular faith. BBC Radio 4 starts with "Prayer for the Day" - then "Thought for the Day" - both trying to sell religion as the only panacea for the human condition.
There are the Church services every day on Radio 3 and 4. Then Sunday morning is almost continuous religious programming from 05:43 to 09:00 with " Bells on Sunday", "Lent Talks", "Something Understood" (repeated in the evening), "Sunday", and "Sunday Worship".
At least TV no longer closes down for an hour on Sunday evening so people can go to church - nor is there a worthy bishop delivering an epilogue at the end of the day. However the BBC still has two religious programmes on Sunday morning and evening - with people being encouraged to proclaim the everyday miracles achieved by their religion.
"Type in name and keycode binds it to that PC and cancels the software on old PC."
Uninstalling Norton Internet Security for 3 PCs automatically updates the associated online account to credit the licence. This was a pleasant surprise when a user changed their mind about which laptop model they wanted. It is the sort of intelligent business behaviour one hopes for - even though traumas with MS Office had suggested it might be otherwise.
Re: They'll get way off track..
English composition also gave me a style of writing that tries to avoid ambiguity. At the same time the full richness of the English vocabulary helps to leaven potentially dense text.
Re: They'll get way off track..
When I started in the IT industry there was a small demand for maths graduates with good degrees from Oxbridge. The bulk of the innovation in software development and support came from people who had found themselves in the industry by accident. Many were bright people who had not bothered with university, or had dropped out, for a variety of reasons.
Many university graduates were found to be unsuitable - a memorable one (History and politics) could never grasp that after "9" came "A" for base16 enumeration.
One senior technical manager maintained that Computer Science graduates took longer to become useful as they first had to realise they had so much to "unlearn". That is similar to the thinking behind the pre-war Junior Technical Schools. Their curriculum tried to avoid imposing any particular workshop practice that might be very different to that used by a subsequent industry employer.
In 45 years I never needed any of my "A" level maths - and very little of my "O" level maths either. However hands-on Physics and Chemistry - plus a teenage hobby in electronics - gave me a logical approach to problems. It also gave a practical understanding of how diverse systems interact - and that nothing in the real world is guaranteed to work as expected.
Re: I have one plug that works *every* time..
Assuming that the 3.5mm socket and plug are appropriately matched as mono/stereo - if they are not innocently carrying an embedded optical link.
The old DB25 connectors were used for so many interfaces - you were bound to blow up something at some time.
Re: this is a manufacturing fault: Dell
The Dell Latitude D400 laptop has a USB external DVD drive. It contains a typical laptop self-powered thin mechanism. However it appears they needed more power than the laptop's USB socket would provide. So they made the cable plug a combined USB A and a polarised power connector stacked one above the other.
That reminds me of an external USB 2.5" hard disk unit. It had two USB A connectors daisy-chained on the PC end of the cable. It didn't differentiate which was the real USB connector - and which was the dummy fhat just supplied extra power from some laptops.
My laptops are vintage 2003 or so. A Dell Inspiron 5150 - 15" screen 3ghz P4 - and a smaller Latitude D400 - 12" screen 1.8ghz Pentium M. They have proved easy to take apart for repairs so far. Enough cheap spares in the garage to keep them running for a few more years on XP. Motherboards are the critical component.
Re: IBM RS/6000 Marketing Meet
"and the AUI-to-cat5 transceiver was constantly being fought for"
In recent years I kept a stock of discarded AUI 10base-T "fag packets" in my drawer. Every so often someone would move an essential old machine off its old AUI cable - and find they couldn't connect it to the new network. I even kept some short AUI cables - as sometimes even a small "fag packet" proved too bulky to attach directly.
Re: bark of Saint Peter
"Not bark, 'B' ark."
That's what I call a really good pun.
Re: bark of Saint Peter
Hmm - ark or barque.
Re: It's just a penis.
"That's the best design they could come up with!?"
There's a nice spoof on project management about God creating the world. He was running short of time. So he just stuck the genitalia on - and would get round to fixing it properly later.
Re: How to improve the world.
It's called the Christian "Heaven" - as no-one else will be allowed there. I seem to remember Terry Pratchett made a neat word sketch of the nature of all the variants of Heaven.
Re: wrong number?
"however when translated from Latin to Hebrew it enumerates as 616"
Reminds me of a guide in Israel explaining that his name "David" looks like TIT in Hebrew letters. In Hebrew spelling you have mostly to guess at the vowel sounds - unless it is a dictionary which then includes lots of scattered dots to indicate what the vowel sound should be.
Not there yet - add another ten years?
Integrated management was the focus of many development ambitions in the late 1980s. Seems it is still as elusive as the late Donald Michie's hopes for AI - the two areas of research are probably related.
Re: operating system
I was going to buy a brand new laptop last week. Then I found that the models I wanted came with Windows 8. So I've decided to stay with my ancient 2ghz Pentium Mobile - until it either runs out of spares or won't suffice my daily lightweight processing needs. Then I'll buy a nice secondhand Windows 7 laptop at a reasonable price - or go to Linux.
Re: Self signed certs are the way forward
"is a manipulated HS towing the MI5 line."
This spelling seems to be becoming a common misunderstanding of the phrase. It is "toeing the line". Lining up against a mark that someone in authority has established.
Re: Not Mac
"Lots of people bought an Apple ][ and the 80 column card addon just to run VisiCalc."
Indeed. My memory says that the term "killer app" was first used for the way Visicalc had given Apple a big boost over the many other microcomputers available at the time. From then on any new system was judged by whether it could be differentiated by a "killer app" that would make it something people preferred over the competition.
The story of mercury
Wikipedia has a good page on the history and uses of mercury. Liquid mirrors for astronomical telescopes was an unexpected use.
"I know its Monday AM but what aspect of light switches use mercury????"
Interesting question. Certainly mercury-wetted contacts were used in some applications. My doorbell is a chime that doesn't do a simple ding-dong - but keeps repeating about twice a second. This is achieved by an internal interrupter using mercury in a mechanically linked tube as the switch.
Re: As a young 'un
In the 2nd Form our physics teacher produced a beaker of mercury to demonstrate a liquid metal that was deceptively heavy and had an upward domed meniscus. He also demonstrated air pressure supporting a column from an open trough. A few stray globules were enthusiastically pursued round the bench top until they could be captured and returned to the bottle. Glass blowing was a technique we learned about the same time. Not sure what we put in our capillary tube thermometers before calibrating them with boiling water and melting ice.
Doing a survey of the house: most lights are now CFL or fluorescent tubes; the outside max/min thermometer is mercury; the doorbell has a mercury switch to make the actuator oscillate.
The lights are easy to dispose of in the reserved section at the Council recycling plant. Doubt if they have special handling for other mercury products - so presumably they end up trashed in the plastics recycling.
It is one thing for networks to move to IPv6. However users' routers, clients, and servers also need to support IPv6.
On top of those compatible platforms there are then applications which might be IPv4 address aware - and now need to handle IPv6 format.
Driving to Luxembourg in 1980 there was an urban road in Belgium (Bastogne?) with houses on the right and lots of petrol stations on the left. Apparently the left side was in Luxembourg where petrol was cheaper.
Since 1997 I used to have to do a substantial tech refresh for my many godchildren every couple of years. Nowadays they are content with the power of the ones they have had for several years. The same is true of my home PC and laptops. The important thing for us all is being able to run existing devices, games, or specialised applications.
XP works ok for most of us - although a few users were migrated successfully to W7 64bit (with an XP boot also available).
The more I hear of Windows 8 - the less I like the idea of TIFKAM, hardware restrictions, and no apparent gain for much inconvenience and trouble. There was too much aggravation when MS Office 2002/3 licences were invalidated by new hardware - and the users then hated the "ribbon" on Office 2007/2010.
Re: Not again!
"Time measurement may not have changed but the turn over of cheap young developers who have not seen this bug before is quite frequent."
Alternatively a new programmer has said "That calculation is overly complicated - it's easier than that. There - fixed it!. It's so obvious it doesn't even need regression testing".
In my experience the common mode failure of current LED light strings is usually mechanical. The wires tend to be thin gauge and have little strain relief at joints. The average user treats them with no care - especially when untangling them or taking them down.
After complaining about the bland content of my video library my young godson gave me a list of his top 20 DVDs - mostly of action movies.
That "Team America: World Police" was obviously a homage to Thunderbirds surprised me. The pr0n scene caused much mirth. It reminded me of that 1970s homage to the 1930s "Flash Gordon" - replete with smoking firework spaceships and incongruous settings. The title "Flesh Gordon" neatly conveyed the plausibility of it being the director's cut rescuing scenes previously left on the cutting room floor.
Of their time
Lady Penelope and Parker always remind me of Peter O'Donnell's Modesty Blaise and Willie Garvin. They are contemporary creations - a consequence of the 1960s' zeitgeist?
Re: Charities waste money
"The RSPCA spent money in order to prosecute someone over fox hunting? "
According to the RSPCA interviewee on the Today programme they had gathered enough evidence for a watertight case. The hunting of foxes is illegal in English Law. However the RSPCA decided not to leave the State to bring the case - but decided to do it themselves.
The judge was rather outspoken when he pointed out that they had spent a considerable amount of donated money to achieve a conviction with fines totalling only a few thousand pounds.
Re: Charities waste money
The RSPCA lost my donations when they fought a long legal battle to deprive a daughter of a rightful share of her family's farm. Nowadays my donations go to local charities and groups who do not ask me for anything.
Here is a short clip from the GP site.
Must admit Google Translate was only used to cut&paste individual paragraphs that were of interest but not fully understood. Quicker than digging out the paper dictionary. Don't know when my browser "right-click translate this page" facility disappeared.
According to the Aftonbladet newspaper there are messages circulating for more disturbances on Wednesday. The 17 year old girl rumoured to have made the picture postings says she is innocent. The police have received forty libel complaints about the pictures.
Google Translate still amazes me.