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Comment: Re:GNU HURD (Score 1) 163

by Ashtead (#46215661) Attached to: GNU Hurd Gets Improvements: User-Space Driver Support and More

From what I remember, NT 4 didn't support USB very well, if at all. Windows 2000 however, did work reasonably well with USB. So unless they had upgraded to Windows 2000 or XP, they would still be stuck with the PS/2 -connected devices.

Interestingly enough, the summary indicates that Hurd still doesn't support USB ... that does limit the selection of useful hardware.

User Journal

Journal: My how time flies... last JE was nearly 5 years ago? 2

Journal by Ashtead

I'm still here though. But this "new-and-improved" thing, now, I haven't seen much of it yet, but the place is getting rather boring if all posts on all topics are just about how this "beta" thing sucks so bad -- like the worst thing since anyone can remember. Still, interesting to see the old posts about the terabucks and the Gjønnes station that now is a useful metro station again.

Comment: Re:Somewhat connected to that (Score 1) 810

by Ashtead (#45500761) Attached to: Electric Cars: Drivers Love 'Em, So Why Are Sales Still Low?
Norway's large sales of electric cars is mostly driven by positive incentives: electric cars may use the lanes reserved for busses and taxis, they go free of charge on the toll roads, they are not taxed with VAT when sold, and the yearly vehicle tax is only on the order of 400 kr as opposed to the approximately 3000 kr for cars with gasoline or diesel engines.

Comment: Re:24h clock (Score 1) 309

by Ashtead (#45099113) Attached to: My productivity peaks between...
But that includes the expectation that the change from AM to PM is somewhere between 11.59 and 12.00 -- not between 12.00 and 12.01. Seeing how messy the rest of this system is, with 12.59 giving way to 01.00, while still remaining AM or PM, I would not want to make any a priori assumptions about which of these are right, and hence whether 12 AM is supposed to mean 12 noon or 12 midnight.

It's either use the 24-hour system or at least use expressions "12 noon" and "12 midnight".

Comment: Re:No Key!? No E-Brake? NO SHIFTER!??? (Score 1) 1176

by Ashtead (#42910109) Attached to: Driver Trapped In Speeding Car At 125 Mph

That car model, the Renault Laguna, is especially made to be modded for disabled people. I don't know what kind of disability the driver has (the article doesn't say, although he did have two epileptic seizures because of and during the hectic drive).

Epileptic seizures, and going 60 MPH (or 100 km/h as this is in Europe) or more. Twice. And still stayed on the road? Makes one wonder if there isn't any other modifications like lane-keeping there as well. Depending on the degree of epilepsy, but at that speed, say 30 m/s, one cannot be out cold for much more than a second before leaving the road.

Comment: Re:What's the point? (Score 1) 909

by Ashtead (#42448763) Attached to: USMA: Going the Extra Kilometer For Metrication

Having once learned the so-called Imperial, US, system, here are some answers and translations:

The Ampere and Second are the same in SI and in the US systems of measurements, so the Coulomb would be as well. Sometimes the electron charge was more useful.

The force unit is pounds, abbreviated lb. The gravitational acceleration is 32 feet/second^2, and the mass unit is called the slug. Just like there is occasionally talk about the kgf (kilogram-force) in the metric system, there is also talk about the "pound-mass" in the US system, at the risk of confusion.

The electronic and electrical units were all SI- so the units were F/m and H/m (as well as Ohm*m for resistivity) -- no inches there. However, when specifying the sizes and shapes of microstriplines, inches were sometimes seen for lengths, widths, and thicknesses, in addition to millimeters calculated from the wavelengths of the RF signals. Wavelengths were calculated in millimeters using c=3*10^8 m/s, then converted to feet or inches as needed for antenna construction.

The US unit of work is foot-pound-force per second. (lb*ft/s) One of these would correspond to 1.3558 W. Horsepowers and BTU/s are other units that could be encountered.

Comment: Re:What's the point? (Score 1) 909

by Ashtead (#42448681) Attached to: USMA: Going the Extra Kilometer For Metrication

Our Norwegian equivalent of the 2x4 is still called "to-tom-fire", which refers to wood with cross-section 48 mm by 96 mm after adjustment. I'd think it is similar elsewhere in Europe; that size of lumber is specified in millimeters.

Even though we've been using metric for more than a century, a few inch-measurements mostly in building materials remain, names for lumber sizes and pipe threads.

Comment: Re:What's the point? (Score 1) 909

by Ashtead (#42448645) Attached to: USMA: Going the Extra Kilometer For Metrication

gallon, quart, pint, cup, ounce, tablespoon... all different names for what is really just volume -- why not stick with one of them and use multipliers for the larger and smaller sizes? There's also the advantage of the metric system that the cubic centimeter corresponds to 1 mL, so there is no real need for a separate volume unit (the Liter, originally the equivalent volume of a kilogram of water, being a cubic decimeter, is a secondary unit).

I'll agree however, that the inch can be somewhat convenient in metric and powers of 2: 1 inch is very close to 2^8 / 100 mm, which makes 5/8 inch very close to 16 mm. Provided the need for precision isn't too strict. Which also applies to binary representation of the decimal fractions, where the inaccuracy should be small enough so it doesn't matter for the job at hand. Most measured or calculated values won't have a nice exact representation in any numbering system anyways.

Comment: Re:Made in China ? (Score 4, Interesting) 176

by Ashtead (#40728991) Attached to: The DARPA-Funded Power Strip That Will Hack Your Network

Hopefully this strip is not made in China I'm crossing my fingers

According to the link from cryptome than an AC has provided further down here, the hardware is indeed mostly made in China. What makes this US made to the satisfaction of the government is that the software that makes this thing what it is, is made in the US, replacing all the original code.

This document goes on at length about how that can be. As an EE, not a lawyer, I found the information that the "brain" is a SheevaPlug to be more interesting.

Comment: Re:So much for definitions... (Score 1) 241

by Ashtead (#40292639) Attached to: Adopt the Cloud, Kill Your IT Career

Actually, the main difference between fog and clouds is a matter of location: If you're looking at it from the outside it is a cloud; if you are inside it is fog.

As a buzzword this seems very similar to the nebulous definition that .NET had about 10 years ago -- it was supposed to do everything but no-one could explain exactly what it was or how it was supposed to do it.

Comment: Repurposing (Score 1) 309

by Ashtead (#39985243) Attached to: What do you usually do with old hardware?

Re-puposing sounds better than hoarding, though there are elements of that too. Machines and devices that still work are kept, even if they are obsolete. Things that don't work and there is no point in repairing them have power supplies, memory chips, sometimes power transistors, relays, or connectors, removed and the remainder goes in the recycling pile. Dead hard disks are taken apart and the motors, bearings, and platters are used for some other project. Even if this just stays a bunch of related parts in a box for a couple years...

I don't usually throw out things that work, or are sufficiently valuablet that I one day will get around to fixing them.

Of course, eventually all the old machines running various server jobs around the house and yard fail and have to be replaced, so there is a gradual attrition of the oldest machines, typically 486s or early Pentiums capable of running at least some Linux 2.2 or 2.4 variant. Old Slackware or Red Hat systems typically, are nice and light-weight. Of course, in these days of Picotux, Gumstix, and Raspberry Pi, these dinosaurs have only the fact that they aren't broke and thus need no fixing going for them.

And new old machinery always arrive when family members discard machines that still have some good life left in them, or there is something nice available at the junk-auctions of the radio-amateurs club.


Nothing is easier than to denounce the evildoer; nothing is more difficult than to understand him. - Fyodor Dostoevski