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Comment Re:Hole Punch - Double Sided Floppy (Score 1) 249

I once fixed a floppy that someone gave to me because it had bad sectors by sticking it under a CRT & degaussing it. Once formatted it worked great thereafter.

Speaking of CRTs, I had a magnet on a stick that looked sort of like a pen (although it was retractable & meant for retrieving things)...color Magna Doodle, degauss to erase.

Comment Color on a B&W screen (Score 1) 249

I made a TI-86 (& later a TI-92+) display multiple colors despite having a black & white LCD (picture here of the TI-86). I was sitting in an airport in Alaska trying to program it to do grayscale (by switching between black & white fast enough...many have done that before), but since I did not know how to program interrupts on the Z80 at that point, I just used a delay loop. I found that, for certain values of delay (depends on the remaining battery charge), it produced flashing red & green instead of black & white. More fiddling later showed that it is apparently caused by writing to the framebuffer at 100 Hz (whereas the screen refresh rate is quoted as 50 Hz), & that it was possible to get it to stop switching red & green around between flashes, but apparently not to remove the flashing effect entirely. This is probably because it has to build up stress (like when you poke a bare LCD & it makes that rainbow effect), & then it bleeds out & must be replenished periodically (although I might just have the timing slightly off, even though I switched to interrupt-based timing).

Comment Re:This reminds me... (Score 1) 82

So I was not the only one to do that repeated-string-mapping method of compilation (although I did mine in high school (using C for bootstrapping, rather than QBASIC, IIRC)...earlier I was too busy playing with Visual Basic, which had its own compiler)...interesting.

I never tried to make my compiler optimizing, despite having a plan in my head to do so, because the binary for the compiler itself already fit in 64KB that a .COM file required, & I never did anything interesting enough with it for time to be an issue...& then other projects called.

Comment Re: I wonder (Score 1) 206

Suppose someone wants to take some blob of data from one location to another without having to upload & later download it (say, the connection at one or both ends is significantly slower than the flash storage on their phone, or the data is sensitive (but no so sensitive that it warrants a dedicated storage device...perhaps this case is rather unlikely)). They are not going to use it on the phone, so no need for a viewer, but they still want a way to transfer it (without having to find & keep track of a memory card, since they are already carrying their phone).

Well, I suppose one answer is to convince the device it is some supported file type & then fix that at the other end. But that seems silly.

Comment Re:Hardware Access (Score 1) 170

I tried to do it with that configuration (I note that CM12.1 apparently does not allow tap-to-paste in the password field over a certain length, or perhaps the presence of the keyboard switcher at the right end of the box breaks it (the video shows repeatedly going to the right end & pasting)...but at any rate, I used Hacker's Keyboard to keep pasting), & when it crashed the lock screen, the home screen flashed briefly (potentially leaking sensitive data were there any there, so not ideal), but then the lock screen reappeared.

Comment When I was a kid (Score 1) 956

When I was a kid, I took electronic stuff to school...even a bare circuit board with flashing lights on it, although that was only a few inches square. I did once hook up an NES to a portable TV & 6 D-cell batteries via alligator clip leads to make a portable video game machine, though...& nobody thought it was suspicious. (I once got accused of Apple IIe...without even being present. Those do not even have any permanent storage, so I am guessing something just randomly happened to break after someone used one of my disks (that the teacher forced me to let them use while I was doing homework) in it. But even so, nothing came of it except a teacher telling me not to break the school's computers. (I did, however, once get a boot sector virus from the school's PCs.))

Comment Re:Destructive scanning (Score 1) 87

You cannot experience not existing. So if there is a unique continuation of your mental state, it seems you would experience it. Suppose you are taken into a hospital room with no windows, anesthetized, destructively scanned, reconstructed, & then woken up later. How is that different (from your perspective, not the medical team's) from just being anesthetized & then waking up later? How do you expect your experience to differ in the 2 cases?

As for uploading: Why should it matter if the form is different, so long as the logical & causal relations of the parts are the same? But if the form really does matter, we just run a simulation of the underlying biology, or even chemistry or physics, rather than just a functional-level brain simulation. Even if quantum effects matter, then use a quantum computer. (Not saying this is practical—just as a thought experiment.)

Comment Re:Quantum Encryption (Score 1) 113

Instead of imagining loading an explicit data set (which would indeed be pretty pointless), imagine an algorithm (suitable for quantum execution) outputting the data set. E.g. using it to speed up AES cracking (hence the need for 256-bit AES to get just ~128-bit security) or chess-playing algorithms (at least, if suitable quantum-compatible chess heuristics can be found).

"Lead us in a few words of silent prayer." -- Bill Peterson, former Houston Oiler football coach