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Comment: Re:It's paid for. (Score 1) 189

by Fished (#48780171) Attached to: UK Government Department Still Runs VME Operating System Installed In 1974

Nope, that's not what killed it. Ethernet was just as bad before hubs and then switching came along -- even with hubs, one bad ethernet card could take down the whole broadcast domain, and did with some frequency. And with thinnet wiring (coax to the younglings) all it took was one marginal connector, anywhere in the loop, to kill the whole network. Don't even get me started on thicknet.

What killed it was money. Ethernet became very cheap to implement. Once everything moved to a star topology (hubs, then switches) the advantages of Token Ring were not worth the additional cost. Ethernet benefitted from being able to advertise higher bandwidths (10mbps, then 100mbps, vs. TR's 4/16 then, too late, 100) -- the perception was, "why would I want 16mbps token ring when I could have 100Mbps ethernet for less money?" Ethernet wasn't really any faster, and was often slower due to collisions, but everybody just looked at the total bandwidth. Once switch ports got cheap, collisions were no longer an issue and Token Rings fate was sealed.

Of course, Arcnet had a star topology long before Ethernet or Token Ring. But it too suffered from low nominal bandwidth.

Comment: Re:You are looking for a PLC (Score 1) 189

by xtal (#48776533) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Options For Cheap Home Automation?

It's cheaper to get a modbus PLC by the time you add a case. As a bonus, the PLC has CSA and UL certifications, so when your house burns down, your insurance is still valid.

China solved this problem. A few minutes of research will get you a USB adapter, and you can easily program whatever you want with python or direct commands from a shell prompt and a cron job to schedule if you want to be all oldschool about it.

Comment: Re:It's paid for. (Score 2) 189

by Fished (#48766489) Attached to: UK Government Department Still Runs VME Operating System Installed In 1974

Listen up, Junior ...

In some ways, Token Ring was very much superior to Ethernet. A hospital I worked for in the late 90's had a huge (1000 nodes) 4Mbps TR, all as one big subnet, built long before switches came along. If you tried to do that with Ethernet, it would have crashed and burned in a week. This was, on the whole, pretty reliable (if slow). The downside was that if one card in the ring failed, the whole thing would generally die. So it was great until the 10 year old TR cards started failing regularly due to capacitors failing. We ended up replacing the whole thing with 100Mbps switched ethernet, which wasn't really noticeably faster despite a 25-fold increase in nominal bandwidth, and failed more often. :)

Comment: Re:Hot Glue Guns (Score 1) 175

by Pharmboy (#48615937) Attached to: 3D Printer?

And they can't afford $500 for a phone or $800 on a game console but they still do. $1000 is within reach of enough people to be called "consumer grade". That doesn't mean everyone can afford it. Not everyone can even afford a computer, but we still consider them consumer goods.

Comment: Video cards? (Score 1) 179

by xtal (#48580549) Attached to: LG To Show Off New 55-Inch 8K Display at CES

Maybe this will drive some faster video cards.. I run 3 30" monitors (7680x1600); and while 2D and work productivity is no problem.. and, believe me, if you have the means I highly recommend picking them up - 3D surround gaming, even with SLI current-generation cards is a challenge.

What's even more impressive is how fast the 4K panels are dropping in price. Manufacturing FTW.

Comment: Re:Password protect your phone (Score 1) 105

by xtal (#48576333) Attached to: Canadian Supreme Court Rules In Favor of Warrantless Cellphone Searches

Actually, no.

If you have a proper password, the magic cables will not work on iOS. It doesn't take long to brute force a numeric 4 digit. It takes a lot longer if that gets complicated; of course, that's harder to use, too.

"I do not consent to any search of my vehicle or my person"

"Am I free to go or am I being detained?"

"I want to speak with an attorney"

Magic words. If police have probable cause they don't need to ask; use the magic words and it'll stay that way.

"Anyone attempting to generate random numbers by deterministic means is, of course, living in a state of sin." -- John Von Neumann

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