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Comment: How not to ask Linus Torvalds a question (Score 5, Interesting) 382 382

I don't have a question for Linus Torvalds, but I do have a story about asking Linus Torvalds a question. Back when I first started using Linux in 1995, I couldn't get the 'top' utility to run after a kernel update. I was only a kid at the time, and for whatever reason I figured the best approach was to just email Linus Torvalds himself to ask how to fix it. Little did I realize that would have been like emailing Bill Gates for help because a driver didn't install correctly on Windows. Surprisingly, Linus wrote back and explained that I needed to update my version of procps (or whatever it was called at the time). Linus, if you are reading this comment, I'd like to say thanks again for the tech support. ;^)

Comment: Technologic Systems (Score 1) 183 183

The embedded ARM boards from Technologic Systems are worth looking at also. I used a TS-7260 with a large enough SD card to install Debian with gcc and it worked great. It booted nearly instantly and consumed something like 100mA of current at 3.3V IIRC. It was quite a robust little box. There are newer and faster models than the TS-7260 at the link I provided above.

Comment: Re:I remember watching the disaster on television (Score 1) 207 207

I watched the final Challenger launch in person in Kindergarten from Orlando, FL. The teachers and aides let all the kids outside to watch the launch and then brought us all back inside without explaining what happened. At the time I thought that the SRBs were just taking a different path than normal. It wasn't until that evening that I found out from my parents and TV what had happened. To this day I have disdain for situations where misinformation or lack of information is happening.

Comment: A good target for mobile platforms? (Score 1) 160 160

From the Ars Technica article it looks like they are targeting PCs, Macs and console platforms for the new release of Star Control. To me it seems like mobile platforms would also be well suited for this game, as it shouldn't need the latest and greatest graphics capabilities. When SC2 was released, it could actually run on an underpowered 286, even though 486s were popular at the time. At the time that seemed to help its popularity, as pretty much anyone with a PC could play it.

Comment: Re:Is camping necessary? (Score 1) 173 173

Why not just open the blinds before bedtime and turn off the lights progressively at night... or whatever the magic is... that does this?

It may not be as simple as staying indoors and opening blinds or reducing lighting at night. The article I read yesterday (here) said the test subjects were exposed to 400% more sunlight when camping outside compared to their usual indoor environment... so sun exposure may also play a role. Considering that Vitamin D (which the body synthesizes in the form of cholecalciferol from sun exposure) acts contrary to melatonin levels (which spike during sleep), perhaps sun exposure provides a strong natural cue for the body's melatonin level to surge at sunset.

Comment: Re: nature and consumers (Score 1) 358 358

Artificial banana flavoring is synthetic isoamyl acetate, amyl acetate and other compounds, whereas actual bananas likely contain hundreds of distinct flavor compounds. Isoamyl acetate by itself is often described as tasting like banana and pear, or Juicy Fruit. My guess is that artificial banana flavoring just isn't as complex as what bananas produce (no pun intended).

"Love is a snowmobile racing across the tundra and then suddenly it flips over, pinning you underneath. At night, the ice weasels come." --Matt Groening

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