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Comment Starting with Model railroads. (Score 3, Interesting) 149

First tip:

In your area, look for model train shows. You can get lots of ideas, see what is available, and usually pick up old stuff at low prices.

Second tip:

Look up your chapter of the NMRA. They will have meetings, contacts, and activities where you can 'talk tains'. And fine new buddies.

Third tip:

Find a local train club. They can help you get started or show you what not to do.

Fourth tip:

Model railroading has something for everyone, but one person has trouble doing it all well. From automated train control and Loco management with computers (JMRI) to painting buildings to show soot and grime, there is something you can enjoy.

On the finance side, clubs unfortunately have experiences handling estates of former members. My Club has 3 estates for sale at this time. (Lots of old farts like me!)

Good luck and have fun.

Thomas Stephens, Superintendent, Texas Northern Model Railroad Club.

BTW, the local NMRA group is having an Arduino Clinic next month, showing how Arduinos can automate things on a layout, like Signals, crossing gates, etc. THAT is very /.

Comment 6 key left or right (Score 1) 240

Lots of times I type with the right hand. Left hand on the mouse. Just typing, sometimes left, sometimes right.

I did do touch typing in high school, but I have regressed long ago to looking while I type, so I hit y,b,h,g,6,7,5 keys with both hands.

Oh, and I popped the caps lock key off. Cuts down on errors.

Comment non alergenic materials for printing (Score 3) 54

With all the allergies to various materials, such as nickle and latex, what materials can be 3d-printed that are medically inert? Surgical instruments are stainless steel, implants are titanium, how do you print these? It seems another whole line of questions to find proper materials that can be printed.

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Personal source control options?

McLae writes: I am looking for personal source control options. Here are the constraints:

Must run on Windows PC. Not server, just regular PC. Win 7 or win 8+.

Low cost or free. ( less than $100) (Rules out VSS)

Easy to install. No need to configure ports or firewall settings.

Self contained. No server or network access required.

Must include database. (Like Darby?) No separate database install.

I had an application like this 20 years ago that ran on DOS. What are the current options?

Comment Re:Look closely at your requirements. (Score 1) 257

We did that on Postal contracts. The release package had the OS, compiler, any tools used to compile/run, and step by step instructions on how to install the OS, install the IDE/libraries, and build the release CD after compiling. Documentation written to 3rd grade level. ("Push OK button", with image highlighting button) The USPS program officer would only test software created using the documentation and release package.

Comment I wound up with three (Score 2) 464

I currently use 3 glasses:

1. driving and long distance, like TV across the room.

2. Near distance, like Computer monitor, stuff on the table I am eating.

3. Reading, 1-2 feet. I use this for reading or working in detailed model assembly.

The long distance makes a big difference when driving at night. Otherwise, change is not required all the time, I can adjust close enough for a bit with any set.

I never could get used to head bob, and pointing my nose at the ceiling to read text on a monitor was crap for dignity.

Try a few options, and look for cheap prescription glasses from China. (You can get 3 pairs vs one at the local Dr's office)


The goal of science is to build better mousetraps. The goal of nature is to build better mice.