108 posts • joined 14 Jul 2007
You can have it all!
Drive trays. My desktop runs Windows 7. If I remove that HD and put another in the tray, it can run XP. If neither 7 nor XP are in, a third HD lets it run Ubuntu. Dead simple, and hard drives are not that expensive these days. Similar feats are possible on laptops, though they usually involve screwdrivers.
If I want to run older software that 7 doesn't like, it's on the XP drive, and vice versa for the newer software. Since there's only one drive in at a time, anything that happens to one is unlikely to affect the others. By and large, I simply change HDs and keep on going. Backups involve external drives that are usually turned off. If I suspect a Windows bug, I can connect the Windows HD externally, then use the Linux system (which probably isn't vulnerable to the same bug) to scan for problems.
Re: Nothing new here
I've worked for museums. Sounds like the way they operate.
If the US government ever offers amnesty to Snowden, they will be lying. He'll get home, and be disappeared into a deep hole, and whether he's dead or alive, nobody will ever see him again -- except perhaps for Attorney General Holder, who'll drop by occasionally to threaten him.
Shadowman for the Hero win, the hamster accelerator for the villain.
The hamsters could put out even more power if there were a cat behind as well as Hamster Treats (TM) before. For an even greater power boost, strap a piece of buttered toast (butter side up) to the back of the cat.
There is a Schroedinger's cat option, but it isn't worth the price. It only works half the time.
Re: Duration of copyright protection is too long
Amen! Really good writing (movies, etcetera) will still be around when the copyright expires -- but everything else will have gone out of print and been forgotten. There are a lot of books that deserve better, but reprint is impossible because the copyright-holder is either unknown or unavailable.
Now imagine that happening to an algorithm.
Re: Nice article
I *had* a Commodore 64. What I *wanted* was one of those portable SX-64 Commodores. I eventually ended up with a Kaypro portable CP/M machine instead, but that wasn't fun -- it was just useful.
How come all the outrage is directed at the Koch brothers? George Soros is at least as interfering a rich busybody, and funds just as many lunatics.
The offer is only good for some Kindle and Kindle Fire units -- not for Kindle Paperwhite. I'd buy if a Paperwhite was on offer ...
I went to Disney World once, and got in line for "Pirates of the Caribbean". "The line isn't too long," I thought. I went around a corner, and there was an even longer line. Then I went around another corner. More line. Lather, rinse, repeat. It took for bloody *ever* to get to the actual ride. I have been told the Disney folks are the world's absolute best at making you think the wait is shorter than it actually *will* be.
Perhaps Disney and Microsoft are having a technology exchange.
The Piranha brothers strike again
Nice operating system you got there. Be a shame if anything happened to it.
Microsoft is trying to control *us*, not our computers. Let them try. They will get more pushback over this than they already have -- and they've already gotten quite a bit. But when the computers I have are already doing the jobs I want, why should I buy (and learn) their "improved experience", let alone buy new programs to replace the ones the improved experience won't run?
I want what I'm used to! It still does the job!
I know a writer who insists on using Word 97. That's how she writes, and it doesn't get in her way. I tried getting her to move to Open Office -- she tried and tried, and hated it. So I'm gradually accumulating systems that run Windows XP, because Windows 7 doesn't play nicely with Word 97. She shouldn't be stranded in a world where she can only get Windows 8+. It would ruin her livelihood.
This is where the market for refurbished computers shines.
If it's anything like the Large Hadron Collider, it'll be colliding heavy nuclei. Perhaps call it a nucleus nobbler instead of a proton punisher?
Art! Art! (Cue the Great Gonzo)
I looked at the NSA slide, and knew what it was talking about. I looked at the redesigned slide, and had to think. This is not an improvement.
The Sky is Warming!
There's really little doubt Earth has warmed somewhat -- as it did during the Medieval Warm Period, the Roman Warm Period, the Cretan warm period ...
There's even a possibility humans may have a hand in it.
But whence the tooth-gritting, neck-tensing insistence that this will be a catastrophe? The Middle Ages were a happier place before the Little Ice Age settled in, and the Holocene Climatic Optimum was even better -- and warmer. The Sahara was green. We're a lot cooler now, and I see no reason a bit warmer world would be a bad thing.
Re: The American government has said it has no plans to charge Assange
"The American government has said it has no plans to charge Australian-born Assange nor has it made attempts to extradite him."
Complete and utter bullshit. If somebody nabs Assange outside the embassy, plans and attempts will be "devised and made" five minutes after the US hears about it.
Kinda, sorta ...
I *still* use HP iPAQs, which run Windows Mobile. Keep four of them around so if one dies, I'm not stuck trying to find an increasingly-rare replacement. I'd be the first to admit they're not tablets -- but they're small, and they can handle most of my files. (I also have an Android tablet, a tower, and two laptops. One of the laptops has two hard drives set up to swap, so the machine can do either Windows XP or Windows 7 with purity.
I have an MP3 player, a dumbphone, and a plain ol' digital camera. The biggest problem with the mobile do-it-all devices is that if they break or are lost, you lose *everything*. So call me a troglodyte, but I'm perfectly happy with what Microsoft did before Apple created the iWhatevers.
Does not compute full time
It'll get all bunged up when we have a leap second.
Some people say 'different is better'. If they annoy you, just point to Windows 8.
Patented -- or worse?
It could be worse -- patents have a limited life, but copyrights are forever.
"In one model, the explosion is caused by two white dwarf stars merging and in another, one white dwarf feeds off its partner, a normal star, until it greedily accretes too much mass and explodes."
I had thought the common *nova* was caused by a white dwarf accreting mass from a normal companion. Obviously more than one thing can happen -- but what determines the likelihood of going nova, or supernova?
Nine-tenths of the stuff you're saving could easily be thrown away -- if only you were sure *which* nine-tenths. There have been occasions I've found something I stuck away decades ago, and been very glad I've found it.
If you thought the fuss over powerline cancer and cellphone cancer was bad ....
More Money for Amazon
I've read numerous posts where it's claimed Amazon just breaks even on selling e-readers. They make their money by selling e-BOOKS. While it's true the Kindle ties you to Amazon, and the iPad ties you to Apple, you'll probably keep on buying your books in the same old place even if you're using a tablet.
Business as is becoming usual ...
It doesn't matter what you did. It doesn't even matter if you did it. The only thing that truly matters is when a prosecutor (or his/her boss) decides you need to be Gotten. Even if you finally make it to court and prevail, you will have wasted years, spent all your money, and probably become somebody your friends no longer recognize.
There's data I *want* to keep, and there's data I *need* to keep. The former is on a RAID5 array. The latter has copies on three independent hard drives, plus a thumbdrive which I keep in my purse. None of it is on the cloud. If such a catastrophe strikes that I can't even take my purse with me as I escape, I have bigger problems than data loss.
The only thing dumber than trusting a Chinese manufacturer is trusting a Chinese court or a Chinese arbitrator. At least Foxconn is paying *something*.
So what about my computerized hearing aids?
Governments shouldn't make laws that breed contempt. It only makes it easier to ignore the laws that really MEAN something. If an airplane is made electrically-invulnerable enough to live through a lightning strike, I doubt my MP3 player is going to cause problems. Devices with transmitters or speakers, now that is a different matter. With speakers, most of the other passengers will help enforce the rule!
My Firefox has NoScript and Ad Block Plus -- but I'm using Do Not Track Plus to fend off the trackers also. This seems to work, though since I don't see the ads, 'they' may well be sending targeted ads in my direction.
Re: Re: Language, language!
"Earth" is a word indicating a substance, as well as a planet. It's reasonable to say "trundle across the substance". But in that case, the word would be earth, not Earth. There is no substance-word for Martian soil as of yet.
"...having now trundled across the Mars for six days..."
THE Mars? I've been seeing this linguistic abomination for some time now, everywhere I go. Stop doing it.
This troglodyte says NO!
So they propose making computers that won't even BOOT unless they're connected to the Internet? That won't even let you at the BIOS? Meaning you're shafted if you're in a no-signal area?
I don't think I want one of those.
Reminds me of cartoons by Munro Leaf from the days when I was a child. The key phrase, repeated over and over, was "This is a watchbird, watching you."
I do my own backup, on an external HDD. I have enough problems with my *own* mistakes -- why should I let the rest of the world help make mistakes for me? No cloud, not for me.
I'm getting together a desktop computer with a swappable HD tray for the OS. It'll be able to run anything I want. Right now, it's running XP, because some old, familiar applications do not play nicely with 7. My Windows 7 laptop runs Firefox, Thunderbird, and Open Office. 7 broke many of my applications, and I'll not give Microsoft a second drink from my wallet for new ones. The laptop's virtual XP powers are there, and are used. Fortunately, there's only one of me -- even as I sit in a room with six computers.
The argument here is over *which* court decides.
Tracking - not
NoScript, AdBlock Plus, and Do Not Track Plus, with the 'do not track' flag set in firefox. Plus I use DuckDuckGo as my search engine, which promises it does not collect or share personal information. I don't see very many ads of any sort.
Of course the advertising industry will move on. Offense and defense have played leapfrog throughout history, in just about every venue.
Belt and suspenders
I keep old stuff. Old media, old programs, old computers. I don't necessarily use the old stuff every day -- but I have a USB floppy drive and a USB DVD drive. (I gave up on the 5 1/4 inch drives some while ago, and have never messed with 8 inch drives.) So I can get away with a netbook, and still install programs from CD or DVD, or even read old floppies -- but I don't have to carry the drives around with me. For *that* I can use SD cards and thumbdrives.
I am starting to collect old hardware and software -- so old that none of the makers are bothering to update it anymore. And I'm keeping one computer off the net so they can't even sneak in and try.
There's another reason to use fax: security. As another elReg article of this day notes, "the internet never forgets". But the telephone isn't the internet. (Your telephone may vary.) I write the message, I fax the message, you get the message. Our faxen hang up. There are two paper copies, but unless our phone has been tapped, there is no electronic copy to be found twenty years later by some geek halfway around the world.
Of course sooner or later assorted governments will tap and record everything, and that security will be gone. But at least the person you're looking to get a date with, or a job, won't have it.
As long as the telco controls what will run on their network -- and it *is* their network -- they will insist on control over what runs on the device in your hand that *connects* to their network. And hey-presto, an open-source OS is forked.
People have been talking about machine intelligence for at least half a century. This usually includes statements to the order of "If a machine can do (such-and-so), then it's intelligent. And quite a few times, machines have done (such-and-so) competently, and the judges have simply moved the goalposts.
The question is not whether machines may become intelligent. The question is whether humans will admit it when they do.
Re: Seeing green
Silly wabbit! Monochrome monitors came with a number of phosphors. I remember green, orange, and a kind of bluish-grey.
TRS-80 Model III
I first programmed on an IBM 704. It had vacuum tubes. But the first computer I took home was a TRS-80 Model III. It was either that, or an Apple II. And the TRS already had a monitor, and didn't need a silly add-on for capital letters. The cassette tape storage was miserable, but it worked, and eventually bought a Model IV and switched over to floppies. Novels were written on those computers. They're still with me, having been ported to CP-M and then MS-DOS.
The most miserable part about the Model III was that you could not trust it to save your files if you had more than 32k of memory. Radio Shack wouldn't believe us. We eventually cut the memory from 48k to 32k, and it behaved just fine after that.
I like Windows XP. I like Windows 7. But 7 breaks a lot of programs I'm fond of. Worse, the current versions are expensive. So I keep two machines, one for each, and intend to continue that. Why go to the fuss of upgrading the XP box, or the fuss of recycling it, when I have the room and the power strip for it?
The Violet Ray machines popular since the 1920s did exactly this.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Violet_ray. They provided a mixture of ultraviolet light, ionization, and ozone on the surface of the skin.
This machine may be a new implementation, but it's hardly a new idea.
Re: @Bill Neal re: Climatology and Scientology
Meh. I'm seventy now, and white, and for all my life have been told by assorted Black Spokesmen (Al Sharpton is the current pinnacle of the bunch) that I, like all whites, am racist. I don't think I agree, but so many authority figures tell me so ...
So now Professor Kari Norgaard comes along and calls me a denier. I'll live with it. It'll probably go neatly alongside the Scientologists' opinion of me.
Long ago, when vinyl was king, I'd buy vinyl -- then transfer the music to a cassette tape, and store the vinyl in a safe place. If something happened to the tape, I'd just make another. These days it's a CD and a computer or MP3 player (or both).
In no case can the seller reach down my ISP and take away the music. Which, if I'd bought the soundtrack to "1984: The Musical" from Amazon, might turn out to be important.
The reproduction of music just keeps getting better. Who but an extremist needs anything better than a CD? My ears aren't that good.
Forget the password and the encryption. Where did [he] get a laptop with five hard drives?
"...the suspect allegedly refused to supply the passphrases for five of his laptop hard drives and five external hard drives."
Data vs. Truth
I don't care where or how it happens -- I've seen it in politics, religion, advertising, creationism, and AGW. Anybody who knowingly and deliberately ignores, fakes, or contradicts data in the process of spreading a Higher Truth is an enemy to all thinking humanity. We don't need our paths encumbered with the bones of Piltdown Man.
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