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Comment: Re:Incredible! (Score 1) 200

by PhotoJim (#48923363) Attached to: Computer Chess Created In 487 Bytes, Breaks 32-Year-Old Record

Atari 2600 cartridges are 4 kB maximum. It's certainly possible the game only used a fraction of that, but highly unlikely.

The 2600 did only have 128 bytes of RAM, but none of this would be needed for the program itself, which would be accessed directly from cartridge ROM by the CPU. On the ZX, the code would have to fit within the 1kB and the remaining RAM would be available for its execution.

Comment: It all depends on your eyes. (Score 1) 464

by PhotoJim (#48722565) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Are Progressive Glasses a Mistake For Computer Users?

I've got one near-sighted eye and one far-sighted eye, and both are astigmatic. Wearing glasses really wasn't a choice for me. If I want to see clearly, I have to wear them.

I got progressive lenses when I got diagnosed with presbyopia at age 35 (seriously), and I got used to them, surprisingly, right away. Yes, they're slightly less convenient because the near focus area is toward the bottom of the lens, so you'll want your displays to be a little lower than you might be able to tolerate them if you don't have presbyopia.

One other option, if you need correction for nearer focus, is to get a pair of single-vision reading glasses (i.e. glasses that lack the progressive lens/bifocal feature and are geared to your near vision, sacrificing your distance vision). I got a pair, quite sure I'd need them for my computer work, and the reality is that I really don't. I do, however, find them to be indispensible in certain situations, most notably trying to watch televisions in economy class of aircraft - I no longer have to crane my neck!

Comment: Re:Oh yeah, he was a orthodontist (Score 1) 156

by PhotoJim (#48635917) Attached to: Dr. Dobb's 38-Year Run Comes To an End

Also, Commodore BASIC lacked IF-THEN-ELSE, having only IF-THEN so sometimes GOTOs were necessary to do what you'd do using ELSE if you had it.

Also, on the stock VIC-20 especially, with only 3,583 bytes of RAM free for BASIC programming (unless you bought a RAM expander), you were coding for efficiency first, not readability or understandability. It had to fit in 3.5kB or else it wouldn't run. Nothing else mattered unless you had spare space.

Incidentally, decking out a VIC-20 to 32 or even 40 kB RAM is a lot of fun. It might still be awfully modest by today's standards but it sure makes for a fun programming environment.

The Internet

FCC Confirms Delay of New Net Neutrality Rules Until 2015 127

Posted by Soulskill
from the for-extra-lame-duckiness dept.
blottsie writes: The Federal Communications Commission will abandon its earlier promise to make a decision on new net neutrality rules this year. Instead, FCC Press Secretary Kim Hart said, "there will not be a vote on open internet rules on the December meeting agenda. That would mean rules would now be finalized in 2015." The FCC's confirmation of the delay came just as President Barack Obama launched a campaign to persuade the agency to reclassify broadband Internet service as a public utility. Opensource.com is also running an interview with a legal advisor at the FCC. He says, "There will be a burden on providers. The question is, 'Is that burden justified?' And I think our answer is 'Yes.'"

Comment: Re:It's stupid - switch to GMT (Score 1) 613

by Nos. (#48290725) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Where Do You Stand on Daylight Saving Time?

This is exactly what the world should do.
When I schedule a meeting, I just pick the time and date and everyone knows instantly when that is, it doesn't matter what time of year it is, and when [Country X] has arbitrarily decided to change times this year.

I moved from Saskatchewan (who doesn't change times) to BC and I'm not looking forward to it. Sure I'll get an extra hours of sleep this weekend, but I lose it a few months later.

The sad thing is, the number of people in SK who want to change times, or worse yet, think that province should switch to MST. For those who don't know, Saskatchewan falls completely within CST. It generally becomes an argument about this time every year.

Comment: Re:Beyond the law? (Score 1, Flamebait) 354

by Nos. (#47998659) Attached to: FBI Chief: Apple, Google Phone Encryption Perilous

He's saying that if you're accused of a crime, and a judge issues a court order to allow authorities to look at your phone (or other device), they have the legal right to. However, if that device is encrypted and the vendor has no way of decrypting it, it's up to you, the accused to provide the decryption key. By "forgetting" the key, you're placing yourself beyond the law.

Comment: Re:Can't live with/without them... (Score 1) 353

by PhotoJim (#47416551) Attached to: Here Comes the Panopticon: Insurance Companies

Of course our plan is imperfect. It's just less imperfect than yours is.

Choice is great, and normally I'm a big fan of choice, but when Canadians live about 2-3 years longer than Americans, on average, and spend a little more than 50% of what Americans spend on health care, I view our compromises as being acceptable. I like the economic freedom that detaching health insurance from employment provides. The two times in my life I have had pressing issues, I received immediate care. And frankly, it would be best if the US remained a private health care nation because, if I prefer care faster than my province's system provides it, I can hop across the border for it. I don't expect to have that need, but I still have that choice.

No one is uninsured here, and that means no one consumes health care and free rides on those that can afford to pay (or choose to pay), and even those of modest means will get quality care. Preexisting conditions are a non-issue. To me, those advantages outweigh the loss of choice. (And to be truthful, I do have choice - Canada has 13 systems here, one for every province and territory, so if I don't like the health care where I live, I can hop to another province. That's adequate for me.)

Garbage In -- Gospel Out.

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