The sheep were there...
...but these were *smart* sheep. They stayed well away from drunken sailors, knowing the possible consequences.
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774 posts • joined 18 May 2016
When at University, an assembly language course was required. The standard option was PDP-11, but we EEs were second to the CS students, whose department owned the PDP-11s. In practical terms, this meant third shift (12M - 8A) time slots...not an appealing option. However, due to the fact that the U had just purchased a CDC Cyber-74, which came with a 1 year deployment of an Applications Engineer, there was a second option: two sections of CDC Cyber assembly language, and I jumped at the chance.
Nominally, input/output was via punched cards. I did this once to say I'd done it, then used my personal Teletype for the rest of the assignments. Hardware floating point, 60 bit words, and someone who knew all the tricks to guide us. It was a wonderful experience.
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"This was a time before health and safety laws." Heh.
Arc lamps have another property: they generate scads of UV. Which is not particularly good for eyes and skin.
However, props to Armstrong for being an "Early Adopter", and for knowing how to live the good life. You just can't get good help anymore, and perhaps, overall, that's a good thing. But it's fun to pretend, just for a while. And good to preserve some relics of the old way of life.
Americans don't think electronic voting machines are a good idea, electronic voting machine companies, the politicians they've bought and people who want to control elections think they're a good idea.
The sane states are using paper ballots, counted electronically. Still room for hanky-panky, but the paper trail of original, voter-marked ballots makes it harder (see NC-09)
My brother has a Linux machine. He asked me for a computer, I gave him one. Initially had XP or something, he managed to pick up something on it. I told him he was getting Linux.
I love my brother, but I don't want the only time I spend with him to be fixing his computer. Since I got him on a Linux machine, no more problems.
My daughter, too. Undergraduate thesis, though. Open Office Writer let me down.
She has a habit of leaving things like this until the last minute. Still does. My wife and I joke about her and her always needing to use someone else's printer because her's isn't working and she needs to print something due today.
The company, of course, has no assets. None at all, as they exist only to connect the clients with the phone lines. Any income is quickly shuffled to an offshore account or company.
Fine and/or imprison the directors, by all means, and add their names to "The List". Because they'll pop up elsewhere, doing something else dodgy. (e.g.: William "Rick" Singer, of Edge College & Career Network LLC)
Skippy thought he was a wedge-tailed eagle:
They display considerable adaptability, and have been known to team up to hunt large red kangaroos, to cause goats to fall off steep hillsides and injure themselves, or to drive flocks of sheep or kangaroos to isolate a weaker animal.
When hunting, the wedge-tailed eagle bears down on its prey in a long, slanting swoop.
Happened that a coworker of mine had borrowed an older logic analyzer (Tek 1240 IIRC) to use at home (this was allowed at the discretion of his manager), and handed in his notice. He was asked if he had any company property at home, said yes, but he had misplaced it, and how much should he reimburse the company (with a nod and a wink to his manager) for it?
An amount was proposed, which was duly deducted from his last pay stub, and everyone was happy.
They tried that where I ran the engineering coffee concession. Was told the coffee pot was a "fire hazard".
These are electrical engineers. We told them that was BS, and we were not buying coffee at the cafeteria when we could have our own far cheaper. Our management was part of the coffee concession and backed us up.
Were I in that situation, I would have pushed it, so as to get fired for bringing in my lunch. Then had a conversation with the press.
Carpet in a work area is a smart move. It kills noise, and makes walking around both quieter and more comfortable. Unfortunately, my company has decided that bare concrete is far "edgier" than carpet, and thats what we have to deal with.
The engineers are NOT happy. Open office plans are bearable if done right and counter productive, literally, if done wrong.
Having run the coffee concession at a previous employer, I can tell you that a buck a week from a dozen engineers is enough to keep us all swimming in coffee, including the periodic purchase of a new coffeemaker.
So that argument that it clsts too much is total hogwash. The cost of toilet paper and cleaning services far exceeds the cost of coffee.
The ability to block your caller ID for one call was an upgrade that cost USD $30,000 for each switch in the network...
...and now, thanks to The Internet, we have caller ID spoofing and video conferencing (not necessarily at the same time or by the same people) for FREE!
Isn't Technology wonderful?
...local IT staff where now no longer available and most of the IT heavy lifting was outsourced...
It would be interesting, I think, to compare the amount saved in salary to the value of the time spent "futzing around" while the outsourced staff get their act together, over the years.
Our local IT staff, a manager and two specialists, support an office of 100+ at a level which I find amazing. And they do it always with a smile on their faces and with excellent response times. Mostly, because they know how things are set up (because they set them up) and they talk to each other and to us. I would argue strongly that they are worth a good deal more than they cost and replacing them with an off-site "support team" would be a huge mistake.
Many thanks to Heather, Kyp and Greg for all the good work they do for us.
There was a video circulating, I'm too lazy to look for it, made by some component manufacturers' industry group, which showed hidden camera footage of a Chinese recycling operation.
EDIT: JeffyPoooh has one version, below
From e-waste computers being stripped of their PCBs, to people with blowtorches removing active and passive components from said PCBs, to tables of people cleaning them up, to automated re-reeling of said components and their sale in electronics street markets. All very professionally done, you couldn't tell the re-reeled 0.1uF 0603 caps from new.
Now, even considering the self-interested source of the video, I find it entirely plausible that this goes on, knowing how the Chinese value industry, entrepreneurship and money. I'm not faulting them, they and their families and employees have to eat, too, and this is as good a way as any.
But those really cheap components, or those hard-to-find parts that you buy at a hair-raising price from the reseller of that sort of thing, are highly suspect. Huge profit margin, no reputation to protect and Internet sales to customers so desperate as not to ask too many questions, make it a very attractive play.
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