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Comment: Re:Yes it is (Score 1) 160

Getting 240p to display properly on HDTVs is a huge pain for retro gaming enthusiasts.

It largely comes down to the quality of the scaling hardware within the display and the assumptions it makes about the signal. I knocked together an RGB-to-component converter for the Apple IIGS recently and tried it out with the LCD displays I had on hand: three TVs (two name-brand and one not-so-name-brand) and a monitor that also has component input (and S-video and composite, in addition to the usual VGA and DVI). The monitor kinda worked, but it chopped off the first line of text IIRC. The not-so-name-brand TV didn't work at all. The other two TVs worked: the entire screen area was visible. Color quality and 40-column text were pretty good. 80-column text was usable, if a bit fuzzy. I had hoped to use it with the monitor in the computer room, but the missing line of text would be a bit of a problem (it's like it's not syncing up until it's too late). None of them are as clear as the ancient NEC MultiSync 3D I normally use with it, but who knows how long that will continue to work? It already takes several minutes to settle down and run right after a cold start. I suspect a CRT TV with component input would be better than the LCDs, but I haven't had one of those for several years.

(While the adapter is intended to plug straight into the IIGS's RGB output, you could lash up an adapter to use it with other devices. In addition to red, green, blue, and composite sync, it also needs +12V and -5V. It only cost me about $50 to build, and maybe $20 of that was two extra boards from OSH Park, which ships in multiples of 3.)

Comment: I feel your pain (Score 1) 4

by MonTemplar (#47647725) Attached to: iMess with your messages

I've been fortunate so far - I don't have any fellow iPhone users that I regularly communicate with via said device. I've now turned off iMessage, so hopefully all texts should go out as SMS.

My personal bugbear with my iPhone is the number of steps required to block a number from Messages. As I use my mobile number as a contact for business, my number is public, and as a result I've started getting SMS spam and telemarketer calls. You would think that Apple, of all people, would make it easier to tell the iPhone "block this number from calling me again."

Comment: Re:how dark can it be on the ISS? (Score 1) 106

by ncc74656 (#47639119) Attached to: Study Finds That Astronauts Are Severely Sleep Deprived

Oh, I hate blue LEDs. When they first came out I thought they were so awesome, then I mistakenly bought an alarmclock that had a blue display. Two layers of automotive window tint later and I still couldn't stand it, had to switch back to red. The blue one now lives out in the tool shed so that its radio can be used while doing yard work.

I have an access point in the bedroom with some obnoxiously bright blue LEDs. They're bright enough that you can almost read by the light it throws off. To make things even more obnoxious, the WiFi indicator blinks constantly once it's fully up and running.

Fortunately, all of that is fixed with a strip of electrician's tape. It doesn't even look too out-of-place. Tape wouldn't work too well for a clock (my Moto X is my alarm clock), but it'll tame blue LEDs in most other devices.

Comment: Re:DD-WRT's information (Score 1) 427

by ncc74656 (#47639069) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Life Beyond the WRT54G Series?

WRT54G is well known for its stability and reliability.

I keep hearing that, but I've owned four of them and I kept having overheating problems or similar. I'd have to power cycle them once a week or more. The last one would shit itself when my lady fired up her Fujitsu T900 for no known reason.

What firmware were you using? I've been using a WRT54GL for somewhere around 10 years. I had OpenWRT on it for the first few years, and it mostly worked...had to power-cycle it every once in a while. I think it only started acting consistently weird when I started hammering it with BitTorrent traffic. I switched over to Tomato because I wanted easier-to-configure QoS, and it's been pretty smooth sailing ever since. It's currently using a Shibby build. The last time it was rebooted was when I was troubleshooting what turned out to be an outage in Cox's network.

All that said, I suspect my 25/5 connection might be approaching the limit of what it can handle. I've augmented my network with a D-Link DAP-1522 to add 802.11a/n, but that's all it does. One box that could replace both and have enough processing grunt to keep up with a faster connection would be nice, and I'm inclined to stick with something that runs Tomato. I'm leaning toward the Asus RT-N66U, as that's gotten favorable comments here and elsewhere, but I've not yet pulled the trigger on one.

Comment: Re:FUD filled.... (Score 1) 212

It sounds like this transformer had its center tap grounded and was the path to ground on one side of a ground loop as the geomagnetic field moved under pressure from a CME, inducing a common-mode current in the long-distance power line. A gas pipeline in an area of poor ground conductivity in Russia was also destroyed, it is said, resulting in 500 deaths.

One can protect against this phenomenon by use of common-mode breakers and perhaps even overheat breakers. The system will not stay up but nor will it be destroyed. This is a high-current rather than high-voltage phenomenon and thus the various methods used to dissipate lightning currents might not be effective.

If all the world's economists were laid end to end, we wouldn't reach a conclusion. -- William Baumol

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