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Comment: Second hand? (Score 1) 381 381

I picked up an HP Laserjet 5550DTN for £400 recently off ebay. Only had 14000 pages on the clock.

It's huuuuge but it's A3 colour, duplex, built like a tank and really fast. 3rd party toners are dead cheap and I have no issues with them.

Worth looking at used models if they are from a good seller and low mileage.

Comment: Pixar killed BMRT (Score 1) 85 85

The article explains most of it. BMRT was a freely available Renderman-compatible renderer. It was available for years until Larry Gritz decided to produce an upgraded commercial version.

It was quite a fun toy to play with, and also probably stopped quite a few aspiring 3D artists from learning RM.

Comment: Re:How much is your time worth (Score 5, Informative) 837 837

I can't agree with this - if the termination of a transmission line is correct at each end, then the length has no matter at all for any frequency (in theory, not accounting for increasing losses with frequency, but then there's a reason for length restrictions in the CatX/Ethernet standards).

If you're talking about a *tuned* line (eg a stub or a tuned antenna feeder), then length is important. But we're not. If you've got problems with harmonics or matching and reflections then your ethernet cards are probably bottom-shelf knock-offs.

The problem with premade-lenght cables is you're going to run into tangles if many changes are made, and are going to end up coiling. Make that coil too tight and you're going to cause crosstalk. A custom job with all cables neatly following defined routes with no coils, twists or kinks is going to make life easier in the long term.

Comment: Re:Sometimes we forget. (Score 1) 453 453

Big companies? Small ones too. If a machine is having problems that can't be quickly diagnosed and fixed, then we re-image from a central repository (which stores one standard image for each type of PC we have purchased) - no interaction is needed so the IT staff can get on with something more productive than clicking dialog boxes and installing drivers.

Although having everybody running a thin client to a Terminal Services cluster would be so much easier...



An Optimized GUI Based On Users' Abilities 114 114

Ostracus writes "Researchers at the University of Washington have recently developed a system, which, for the first time, offers an instantly customizable approach to user interfaces. Each participant in the program is placed through a brief skills test, and then a mathematically-based version of the user interface optimized for his or her vision and motor abilities is generated. The current off-the-shelf designs are especially discouraging for the disabled, the elderly and others who have trouble controlling a mouse, because most computer programs have standardized button sizes, fonts, and layouts, which are designed for typical users."

Take care of the luxuries and the necessities will take care of themselves. -- Lazarus Long