44 posts • joined 4 Aug 2007
Hard & Soft
My Top 20 Scifi (not in order):
2. 2001 A Space Odyssey
3. Planet of The Apes (1968)
4. The Time Machine (1960)
5. War of the Worlds (1953)
6. Forbidden Planet
7. Quatermass and the Pit
9. Terminator 2
10. Star Trek VI: the Undiscovered Country
11. Total Recall
12. Twelve Monkeys
13. The Omega Man
14. Independence Day
17. Galaxy Quest
19. Flight of the Navigator
20. The Incredible Shrinking Man
Invasion of the Body-snatchers
Return of the Jedi
Sadly, it appears that many Reg readers are too busy concentrating on their work to cast an eye at the calendar - or do they need to see flying penguins to be reminded of the date? And to some of the less courteous among them, I would like to issue a cordial invitation to bestow an osculatory salutation upon my Hibernian fundament.
I read Professor Bell's article (cited above) until he started to rhapsodise about "forgotten treasures tucked amid the pages". University staff have to justify their comfortable positions. Reading a PDF is not so very different from reading a book, in my experience. Books have survived the onslaught of television and they will continue alongside the various types of ireader. Maybe this is not always a good thing: I'm not sure that time wasted on CSI New York (or Silent Witness) is better spent on the works, for example, of Stieg Larsson. (I once visited Reading Reading Centre.)
@ David Webb
"There is also not perpetual copyright, the images that the NPG display have their own copyright shelf life, life of author +70 years, so eventually the images will become public domain and then anyone can host them without question of copyright."
Yippee - can't wait to get my hands on those thousands of portraits of all those famous dead people. Not long now - unless they take some more snaps...
Excellent scrap - thanks. We could play a game deciding what words one could/could not substitute for "welsh" in the comment. Personally, were I a Taff (some of my best friends are Welsh), I would strongly object to the lower-case "w". Apart from the you-will-fry-in-hell N- and P- words, you would not get away with "Jewish" or "dyke" or "Paddy" but "Christian", "British/Brit" and "French/Frog" would (probably) pass unnoticed. Words are weird.
And he probably doesn't mean it about the toys.
Error while looking up definition
No definitions found for 'wooley'
22 Moby Thesaurus words for "woolly":
bristly, bushy, cirrose, downy, feathery, fleecy, flocculent,
flossy, fluffy, furry, fuzzy, hairy, hirsute, hispid, lanate,
matted, pilose, pubescent, shagged, shaggy, unshorn, whiskered
Error while looking up definition
No definitions found for 'infalable'
79 Moby Thesaurus words for "infallible":
absolute, acceptable, agreeable, beyond all praise, certain,
chaste, close, constant, correct, defectless, delicate, dependable,
direct, effective, efficacious, efficient, even, exact, express,
faithful, faultless, fine, flawless, foolproof, handy, helpful,
ideal, immaculate, impeccable, indefectible, indefective,
inerrable, inerrant, irreproachable, just right, mathematical,
micrometrically precise, microscopic, nice, oracular, peerless,
perfect, pinpoint, precise, pure, refined, reliable, religious,
religiously exact, rigid, rigorous, satisfactory, satisfying,
scientific, scientifically exact, secure, severe, sinless,
spotless, square, stainless, strict, subtle, sure, surefire,
taintless, unadulterated, unblemished, uncontaminated,
undeceivable, undeviating, unerring, unfailing, unfaultable,
unmistaken, unmixed, unspotted, untainted, useful
Thanks, Bload. As an agnostic, I admit I have occasionally wondered where all this stuff came from - and why. So that was it! It came from two fundamentalist fermions having a split-up. Whew, that's that then. Still, can't help wondering why they bothered. I guess they couldn't have stayed together for the sake of the kids. Just thinking of the whole affair drains me of all my dark energy.
@A W Rateliff
I agree that Cobol has its attractions: close to natural language, no recursion etc. (thank you, Jim Inglis, Birkbeck '91) but I really want to add part of your comment to my collection of English "howlers": "It is a robust and sturdy language, point obvious by the shear (sic) number of applications which still run today". Thanks.
I remember RM
The Inner London Education Authority (RIP) supported RM when most educational authorities used Acorn (BBC and, later, Archimedes). Macs were for those who had money to burn. I had a C64. The Nimbus used the Intel 80186 chip, which was, I heard, intended as a maths co-processor. The Nimbus had superior graphics to most (all?) fully IBM-compatible PCs at the time. Using an emulator, it could run many DOS and (early) Windows programs like Turbo Pascal, Quattro and Aldus Pagemaker.
Some schools stopped buying from RM because their prices were high (£40 for a mouse) but the firm survived despite competition from dozens of cheaper suppliers. This was probably because they provided schools with systems that were easy to administer, though expensive. Meanwhile, it has not been a pretty sight to watch Commodore, Acorn, Evesham, Escom, etc. go to the wall.
More recently, they had the contract for the aborted Government plan to test all Year 9 pupils online in IT (or ICT, as they call it). This was scheduled to happen this year but proved an expensive shot-in-the-foot.
@ Steve Rochford: I have a feeling you remember all this better than I.
"We knew the world would not be the same. A few people laughed... A few people cried... Most people were silent. I remembered the line from the Hindu scripture the Bhagavad Gita; Vishnu is trying to persuade the prince that he should do his duty, and to impress him takes on his multi-armed form, and says, "Now I am become death, the destroyer of worlds." I suppose we all thought that, one way or another."
(July 16, 1945)
M$ Office Rules!
When I was an IT teacher (recently retired) I found that M$ Office was required by A-level exam. boards. For example, students might be asked to customise Word menus, create macros or use VBA in Excel, or use related tables, forms and menus in Access. I don't think Open Office would have been up to it. Also, Media Studies (and perhaps IT) need to edit video using some fairly user-friendly software like Pinnacle Studio (some prefer to go Apple). Those requirements would make an open-source solution unfeasible, I think, in such situations.
TOS retains its power; Voyager tried to emulate it - and it had Seven of Nine! Picard and Data could not save NG from it's verbosity and touchy-feeliness.
After TOS, I'd rate the original Outer Limits, Lexx and Red Dwarf.
Shatner inhabits Mt Olympus. His enemies will be crushed and put to flight like the cattle they are.
Re Copyright for dummies
In the paragraph re Leo and Mike: would it not be stupid to pay a large sum for a work of art and not obtain the right to make copies? The analogy with a film would be where you buy the actual film and all rights to it.
I think nearly everyone knows that when you buy a DVD, you are just getting some kind of licence to view it - and even that is restricted to private viewing (in one part of the world!). Despite this, I have noticed some advertisements telling us: "Own it now on DVD".
Use of the words "steal" and "theft" is inappropriate here because they normally describe an action that deprives an owner of his property, not just a copy of it.
US law appears to favour money-makers: the length of time after which copyright for books expires was lenghtened in the US - so you can find works in Australa's Project Gutenberg that would be "theft" in the US.