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Comment Re:One word (Score 4, Informative) 504

One word: Yes.

Longer version: But it may be more difficult to do nowadays; I don't know. About 7 years ago a family member had a computer with a lot of photos that were, sadly, not backed up. The Maxtor drive had suddenly quit. I was able to eBay another drive with the same model number and swap the boards, and voila! We had a working drive with all of the photos (and other data) intact.

Again, I have no idea how easy that would be to do nowadays... It was hard enough to change boards with my clumsy fingers on a 3.5" drive, let alone a mobile drive.

Comment Re:Agreed...mostly... (Score 3, Interesting) 149

As someone else posted, an engine cut-off just before launch happened several times during the Shuttle program. There was even a case where a main engine shut down during flight, forcing an abort to orbit (ATO) - do a Youtube search for the launch of Challenger mission STS-51F.

One of my favourite space-related quotes came from STS-41D (Discovery), which had a main engine cut off at T-6s. Apparently the situation was rather...tense, with a fire starting after the engines shut down. One of the crewmen broke the tension: "Gee, I thought we'd be a lot higher at MECO!" (Main Engine Cut-Off).

Comment Book (Score 2) 238

Thanks so much for your reflections, everyone. I've been coming here since 1998 (and, like many, registered far too late to get a cool, low UID). What's amazed me is the nature of the community and the discussion that happens here. Certainly, there are the usual trolls but more often than not I see really good, even deep discussion on here. This is a testament to the people who come here and - especially - to the great moderation and meta-mod system that's encourages that type of discussion. When I compare the discourse here to that on most news sites, /. is consistently far ahead of what exists elsewhere.

So thanks for that, Rob! We'll miss you. And I saw that you were musing about writing a book. Please do so! I, for one, would be very interested to read about your time in /. from your own perspective.

Comment Re:OMG (Score 4, Interesting) 69

That rocked! I can't believe I'm the first to say that.

I have to agree. I know I took a while to reply... about 45 minutes, actually... after I had watched the video, spellbound by what I was seeing.


Even as a Youtube video, the views and detail was amazing. If the people who put this video together happen to read this thread, thank you for creating this. If you could upload it as a high quality version and/or make a DVD available, that would be even better! But as it is, I'm simply amazed at what I saw and loved the explanations along the way.

Comment Re:Darklands, Commander Keen, Hunter Hunted, etc. (Score 3, Interesting) 325

Agree with Commander Keen! Smooth scrolling on an 8088/CGA machine? That was incredible back in the day.

The other game that took many, many, many hours from me was the original Wing Commander. That game was incredible for it's time, from the graphics, music, and storyline. It put my old Adlib card to good use. Many, many fun times!

Comment Re:120fps vs 60fps is like night and day (Score 1) 521

I'd really like to try a double-blind test to see if I can tell 120Hz vs moreHz.

I'd be interested in finding out how to do a double-blind, visual test. ;-)

FWIW, I fully agree with you and the GP about higher frame rates. I remember back in the day when I had the latest Need for Speed game (I think it was NFS III, which ran at 640x480x256 colours), and the original, EGA graphics IndyCar game from Papyrus (320x200x16 colours). The graphics quality was much lower in IndyCar, but my computer ran it at a much higher frame rate than NFS III. As a result I found IndyCar much more playable.

Comment Re:This explains (Score 2, Interesting) 503

Hehe... that's good. I like this as well:

Felis catus, is your taxonomic nomenclature,
An endothermic quadruped, carnivorous by nature;
Your visual, olfactory, and auditory senses
Contribute to your hunting skills and natural defenses.

I find myself intrigued by your subvocal oscillations,
A singular development of cat communications
That obviates your basic hedonistic predilection
For a rhythmic stroking of your fur to demonstrate affection.

A tail is quite essential for your acrobatic talents;
You would not be so agile if you lacked its counterbalance.
And when not being utilized to aid in locomotion,
It often serves to illustrate the state of your emotion.

O Spot, the complex levels of behavior you display
Connote a fairly well-developed cognitive array.
And though you are not sentient, Spot, and do not comprehend,
I nonetheless consider you a true and valued friend.

Comment Re:Question is ... (Score 1) 860

Is it the doctor, or their tech that you lovers of future doctors like?

If I am dying of something mysterious today, I want a puppeteer autodoc to diagnose and fix me (plus boosterspice) but if I am in a battlefield triage unit, send me Hawkeye.

In the case of the Voyager EMH, I'd definitely say the character, though your point is interesting because he is really written as a piece of technology. Yet, as a character he grew the most of anyone on the series (ok, that's not saying much... but stay with me :-)), and he was freaking hilarious and well played by Robert Picardo.

So I guess he's possibly one of the sci-fi doctors who is closest to the "autodoc" you described?

The two most common things in the Universe are hydrogen and stupidity. -- Harlan Ellison