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Comment: Re:Low-tech for a reason (Score 1) 83 83

No, I don't have to learn any of the skills, at all, and I don't want to. I don't want to spend days or hours or even minutes learning the finer points of pit BBQ, and that's the entire point of buying this robot. I don't have to learn when to turn up the heat or turn it down, I don't have to know how much wood to put in or when. I don't have to check on the condition of the product. I simply give my charge card to Williams-Sonoma, haul the BBQbot home and plug it in, add meat and wood, and get delicious brisket out the other end. Every. Single. Time. I wasted zero of my time learning how to barbeque brisket - I just enjoy the results of other people's learnings. If the robot fails, I drag it back to Williams-Sonoma and ask them to service it. It would be no different than any other tool that I own that I don't fix myself.

I don't understand your preoccupation with fear of breakdowns of systems. I know that some days, despite scheduled maintenance, my truck will breakdown in some way I can't fix and that I'll have to have to deal with a problem. Fear of the inevitable breakdown doesn't mean I sell my truck today and walk to work. It means that I understand the truck can break, and that some days I'll have to call for a tow. Similarly if the BBQbot fails in my restaurant, I tell the servers to 86 the brisket, and we sell grilled chicken until the replacement robot arrives.

As a business owner, why would I buy a BBQbot instead of hiring a pit master? Because the robot costs me $20,000, and it stays in the kitchen 24x7x365. A pit master has weekends, takes vacations, calls in sick (or doesn't call in at all), and costs me $60,000 every year. I'd be far more worried about hiring a temperamental person that could quit and cripple the menu on a busy night. And if I discovered I was that utterly dependent on the robot, I'd simply buy two of them.

Every business risks breakdowns of all kinds of complex systems every day: plumbing, fires, melted freezers, employees quitting, roof collapses, electrical problems, labor problems, yet most manage to stay in business even through disasters. Why? Because they know how to adapt to problems, and because taking the risks yields far more reward than doing nothing; instead of sitting there paralyzed by the fear that something might go wrong.

Comment: Re:Wat? (Score 2) 35 35

Stores information and processes it in the same place? You mean like every other computer ever?

Well, no. I didn't RTFA because I'm not new here, but ordinary computers have to copy the data from memory into a register before they can process it. They don't process it in-place. And most data is not kept in memory all the time, either, but I figured they meant the first sense.

Comment: Re:PID FTW (Score 1) 83 83

I don't see how a PID controller will help much.

It helped him win.

You are cooking with very low temperature air (around 200 F).

Yes, temperature control is what PID is used for in this context.

You have this massive ceramic cooker with large heat capacity.

No, I'm not talking about TFA, I'm talking about every other BBQ. Anyway you can buy a PID fan controller as a complete unit and stick it up your Weber's arse.

The most important thing for good BBQ is picking a good cut of meat. Do that right and you can throw it in your oven and it will be delicious.

That's not even BBQ.

Comment: Re:Future prediction... (Score 1) 126 126

(And during the few moments that we have left
We want to talk right down to earth in a language
That everybody here can easily understand)

Look in my eyes, what do you see?
The Cult of Personality
I know your anger
I know your dreams
I've been everything you want to be
I'm the Cult of Personality
Like Mussolini and Kennedy
I'm the Cult of Personality
The Cult of Personality
The Cult of Personality

Neon lights, a Nobel Prize
When a mirror speaks, the reflection lies
You won't have to follow me
Only you can set me free

I sell the things you need to be
I'm the smiling face on your TV
I'm the Cult of Personality
I exploit you
Still you love me
I tell you one and one makes three
I'm the Cult of Personality

Like Joseph Stalin and Gandhi
I'm the Cult of Personality
The Cult of Personality
The Cult of Personality

Neon lights, a Nobel Prize
When a leader speaks, that leader dies
You won't have to follow me
Only you can set you free

You gave me fortune
You gave me fame
You gave me power in your God's name
I'm every person you need to be
I'm the cult of personality!

I'm the Cult of
I'm the Cult of
I'm the Cult of
I'm the Cult of
I'm the Cult of
I'm the Cult of
I'm the Cult of
I'm the Cult of
Personality!

Comment: Re:That's still exactly what it was (Score 1) 126 126

Water falls out of the sky in most of the world.

Sadly, in more and more parts of it, it's becoming illegal to collect it. And mind you, I'm not talking about diverting seasonal drainage, I'm talking about collecting rainfall from your roof, let alone from a structure purpose-built for collecting water like you commonly see in areas with high rainfall and low government interference.

Comment: Re:Well... (Score 1) 281 281

Is that a quote from somewhere? Who said that?

I'm pretty sure the last part is something I read someplace, if not verbatim then next door, and attached to a similar sentiment. There Will Be Idiots is my motto these days, so it crept in there. I can't find anything, either. Whatever it originally was, I probably read it here.

Comment: Re:Low-tech for a reason (Score 2) 83 83

Through lifelong dedication, a craftsman can align a car with a string, or smoke BBQ in a trash can, or whatever it is he or she does. But their activity doesn't scale beyond what they can personally produce. And if they end up smoking 100 pounds of meat per day to run their restaurant, that's it. There's little time left in the day to innovate. Craftsmen don't scale well, unless they industrialize their processes, (and then you risk ending up with a product with all the qualities of Budweiser.).

The rest of us are dedicated to other things: jobs, families, other hobbies. Does our inexperience mean we can't enjoy products of similar quality as the craftsmen produce? What's wrong with distilling the essence of their wisdom into a PID controller and an Atmel chip? If my BBQ-bot fails, I'm certainly not going to fix it with string - but that's not the point. The point is I could occasionally enjoy a high quality smoked brisket, thanks to a machine that knows more than I do about the process.

Comment: PID FTW (Score 1) 83 83

I remember watching some BBQ competition TV series (figures, right?) and the winner was an asian dude who built his own PID BBQ fan controllers and used them with cheap grills. It's not impossible for a human to get that kind of consistency, but it's not expensive to let a computer do it any more.

Now, why aren't all the things PID? People regularly retrofit even digital appliances to be PID because they aren't already, how insane is that?

Computer Science is the only discipline in which we view adding a new wing to a building as being maintenance -- Jim Horning

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