Re: The Meaning of Stob
And Dollis Hill was where one of the GPO's research facilities was located Before Adastra Park....
85 posts • joined 4 Jan 2007
Is not part of the problem here that we, as humans, regard intelligence and sentience as one? Computers are already extremely 'intelligent' in that they can process data and take decisions - nominally based on previous experience - but they are not 'sentient' in that they are not yet capable of extrapolating from that to awareness of their surroundings (the baby 'learning' its parents from the various physical stimuli it has at its disposal) or to belief in larger constructs (faith /philosophies) that have little or basis in data, maths or statistics.
AI has been here for some time - Deep Blue and Watson are supremely 'intelligent' machines - but sentient computers are a long way off. Even HAL was really 'just following orders'.
Upvote for the Communicator - had every one from the 9000 "brick" onwards to its demise as the e90. Some of the keyboards were better than others, and towards the end the software lagged behind the smartphones, but as a business phone brilliant. Fax, data and voice - ideal for setting up multifunction printers 'on site'.
They don't make them like that anymore .....
And somewhere I've got the HP calculator thingy that it plugs into.
I think it's with the HP 100 hand held which had a stylus and keyboard, ran graffiti and came out at the same time as the Newton. And all the nokia communicators are still boxed (9000 - 9500)
No garage anymoreso it's all in the back of the car ....
Had every Communicator from 9000 to 9500, still have them, and their boxes (I'm that kind of geek) loved them all. Missed out on the e series - no fax, how do you install mfp's without testing the fax - until the E7-00 belle. Usable, good looking, great screen but no a Communicator.
Ps once got pulled by the police with a 9000 in my jacket pocket- they classed it as an offensive weapon!
How about a 1 inch audio jack plug and socket? Have used this technique to power a dress made of fairylights (before leds) on stage. 2 x 12volt lead acids desguised as a 'dougal' dog on wheels, cable up the lead to jack / socket which pushed together to turn on the dress, pull apart for off. Inbetween lots of prancing around so connction had to be impervious to shaking etc but easily separated with a straight pull.
Only thing to remember is the socket should be conected to the batteries - doing it the other way round can cause at least a one octave shiftt higher in your local panto dame's voice....
But, has anyone every wondered why ancient man would have bothered to make a Summer solstice based Sun powered calender / computer /observatory / temple /abbatoir in the UK? With our weather, the chances are they never got to see if it worked.
Now if they'd invented a rain powered version .....
Late seventies Aldermaston replaced their PDP4/7. They couldn't sell it, for obvious reasons, so they gave it to a school outside Reading - but all the manuals were 'unavailable' under the official secrets act (they let us have lead boxes with 1/2 inch tapes in that had 'Danger - exposed in irradiated area' on the box but didn't give us the pin out for connecting the D-Type connectors from teletype to CPU).
It arrived on a flat bed in two CPU / core memory towers, a teletype, light pen & screen, a startup unit with flipper switches similar to the PDP11 and a 1inch bootstrap reel to reel, with two 1/2 inch tape drives all at 110 volts (with the most dangerous 110/120 - 230/240 transformer I have ever seen). Luckily, the PDP team at Digital in Reading wanted a look at the machine - they'd been denied access whilst it was in a British military establishment. - and we got it fired up as a bunch of 15 -18 year olds running Fortran 77.
May not have got it to do as much as our PDP11 (argghhh moon landing sim on papertape) or Apple II (god knows how we got hold of that) but learnt a lot about computers from one that needed a whole room to work in.... Best time in my computer life, and that core memory - fix it with a wire wrap tool!
Mind you, typing up a lighting plot on a telex machine - some other bugger had nicked the Lisa - was another highlight of necessity over technology....
And they don't know how good they've got it now!
Couple of things ....
Was once in the Coach & Horses (if you don't know where this is ...) with Dr Who (Tom Baker) when Romana (Lalla Ward) phoned Norman (Landlord) to send him home for tea ...
And the second thing, RTD and SM have tried to put an 'overarching' story (very American series) into Dr Who - nothing wrong with that - and upped the production values to those of the new US series. But 'The Twilight Zone' (original) had the same tacky sets and puns as the first Dr. Whos so they learnt from us, and later, we them. I enjoyed the early 70's Dr Who / Blake's Seven / etc as it and I were of that time, and I like the new ones since Ecclestone as they are 'of this time', as is the new Gallactica and the revamped Star Treks.
But the spinoffs - That prequel to Gallactica, and Torchwood on this side of the Pond, don't really measure up - liked the idea of Miracle Day but there really was only 5 episodes of material there.
Sorry, where were we .....?
Hope you're speaking of the Toshiba Libretto - brilliant little machine with everything you need (admittedly small full colour screen, nearly full size keyboard, hard drive, proper 'hibernate' mode that actually worked) in a case just bigger than the original Nokia Communicator. Had it as my main machine for years until some b******d nicked it. Could use it as a full laptop (used to configure routers/switches/muxes with it) or as a note taker / word processor. Wouldn't mind another now.
Oh, and then Nokia got it right with the next 2 Communicators - 9000, 9100 - which, once you got into the keyboards, could be very quick for typing (and had a fax machine built in! - amazing how many times you need to send a test fax when installing these Multi purpose printers! Got a new E7 now but it's not quite the same ......
No offence, but the people who read El Reg know what a CA is - the targets for any SSL/CA fraudulent attack don't - for example they just want to go shopping on the internet and think it's as safe as your local mall - they wouldn't expect to have their CC cloned in a shop, so they don't think it will happen on line.
It is up to those of us that have the way withal to make electronic 'life' as secure as we can - we should have a fair grasp of what can be sublimated and we need to protect the general user as much as we can.
Can I defend the developer please? All they do is take the specification from users / PM's / bloke in the pub*, ask the pertinent question 'Is that EXACTLY what you want ? There's no other way you will use this programme?' get the reply 'Yes, that's all we want' and build what's been asked for. Along the way they supply mock ups and test beds for the users to test, and await feedback as to whether they have grasped the essence of what is required.
Finally they hand over the finished product to the project sponsor, who at last gives it to the users that will actually use it only to find that they don't actually work the way that has been described to the developer. Nobody in control asked the right people about what they wanted! Developer now demoralised and bald, due to all the hair pulling.
Sysadmin arrives to try and wedge square programme into round hole - blaming developer, who is now completely bolshy as it is a fixed price contract. No surprises the sparks fly.
Meanwhile, some beancounter with o-level VBA has created a workround in Excel that does what the users want but the internal logic is known only to them and users some form of self modifying macro linked to multiple other worksheets. Works fine till he/she leaves and collapses in heap 2 days later. Now its both the Sysadmin's and Developer's problem.
By the way, I'm on both sides here - and I've done the func spec stuff as well. In the end, never trust anything you are told in a meeting called to thrash out a spec - find the person who is actually going to use the software and take them to the pub ......
* = The bloke in the pub probably has a better grasp of what he wants than the others - once (in a former life) had a designer draw a plan for a stage set on a packet of Gaulois in a pub for us to build and we got it out on time and under budget. He won a prize for it as well!
The imminent demise of M$ has been touted before and it is still here - look at all those tech titans that aren't :- DEC, Data General, Novell, Compaq, Systime, Amdahl, SCO, etc They may be in less than optimum shape at the moment, but so were Apple and IBM not so long ago and they have pulled through rather well.
Never write M$ off - its unlikely as many of us wouldn't be in a job now if it wasn't for them & IBM.
I remember when Oracle used to ship you everything it had. We ordered a simple Oracle NT server installation and along came 5 NT CD's in a big box with lots of the fat bubble wrap, all Oracle documentation (for all products - spatial, OLAP, Textserver,etc) on CD, all the same documentation on paper (3 boxes of god knows how many books), another box of CD's for Solaris - install and documentation (in defence of Oracle, we had a Solaris server as well on our ONS account) and finally another box of Developer CD's and documentation for Solaris & NT which we hadn't asked for at all - but had a lot of fun with as they added it to our ONS account for a year before they realised we weren't paying for it. This all came as one delivery.
In all, 7 (big) boxes for the 2 disks that we needed .....
On the other hand, we had a Sun Ultra 5 with a Nokia 19 inch delivered without keyboard or mouse ( or those nice shiny metal optical mouse mats) and cables. They all came later in different deliveries across a week, with the last delivery being the Sun branded microphone on its own, shipped by DHL from the States - it's still in it's jiffy bag.
By the way, where have the Jobs / Gates icons gone? Who has been applying pressure behind the scenes ... we should be told! If I'm missing something, sorry - my wife has finally managed to 'recycle' my BOFH tee shirt ....
Dear Mr Lewis,
We have 500 tonnes of gold which has been turned purple for the opportunity of exporting it from our country. We require a partner to help us unload the gold and wash it in the special chemical only available in the western isles of europe.
If you are acceptable, we will transfer the gold by UPS to your location in return for 10% of the value once cleaned. However, we are unable to purchase the appropriate chemicals directly in the west and must ask you to do this for us.
Please order and pay for 500 litres of special gold cleaning fluid from our specialist supplier - contact details below - They will ship this direct to you at 250euro per litre plus shipping.
Abo Mac Salient
Supplier details -
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