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Comment: Re:Automotive-grade? (Score 1) 88

by Pentium100 (#47365811) Attached to: Automotive Grade Linux Released For Open Source Cars

1982 Mercedes W123. It has a carburetor and does not have an ECU. Ignition is electronic, but not a computer, other circuits are analog (I have seen two versions of the turning signal relay - one uses two transistors and a bunch of passives and the other uses a 555 chip).

The tape deck (much newer than the car, but still plays tapes) has a couple of MCUs, so it is more complicated than the car.

Comment: Re:Automotive-grade? (Score 3, Interesting) 88

by Pentium100 (#47363395) Attached to: Automotive Grade Linux Released For Open Source Cars

Every time I read news like his, I start liking my car that does not have computers even more. Everything's simple, no software to mess up and I can change a headlamp lightbulb in it in 5 minutes or less. The carb needs new seals though, but rebuilding a carburetor is easier than understanding modern cars.

Comment: Re:The poster is showing his prejudice. (Score 1) 240

by Pentium100 (#47149527) Attached to: The Coming IT Nightmare of Unpatchable Systems

For some reason companies try to put computers and networks into everything. Take cars for example, not only they are full of computers running very complex software (most of which is not really needed), now there is even internet connection for cars. Why? My 1982 car does not have internet connection and I really don't see a reason why it should.

I started preferring simpler devices, usually ones that I can repair myself if they break. Sure, computers are an exception and I have an older smartphone (Nokia E90 - it has a proper keyboard, I hate touchscreens), but my other phone is a Nokia 1100 - a simple feature phone - because I only use it for calls and SMS. I also can understand how my car works without having to disassemble hundreds of megabytes of software and the electrical diagram takes up a single A3 page and most electrical problems usually are a result of a poor connection.

And no, I don't see a reason to connect my car, refrigerator or light bulb to the internet. I can use an IPTV set top box or connect a PC to a TV, but there is not reason for me to connect the TV itself to the internet.

Comment: Re:Errors (Score 1) 230

by Pentium100 (#47099455) Attached to: The Flaw Lurking In Every Deep Neural Net

The thing is, usually the mistakes made by a computer appear obvious, as in "even an idiot wouldn't make that mistake". For example, a human would have to have really big problems with hearing or language to hear "make a payment" as "cancel my account". If the sound quality is bad the human would ask me to repeat what I said, I would say it slower or say the same thing in other words.

Same thing with cars, people can understand the limits of other people (well, I guess I probably wouldn't be able to avoid the dog too, it probably ran out too fast), and when a software bug causes a self-driving car to crash, it will be something like "the dog was crossing the road from the other side, the car started turning towards the dog and hit another car while attempting to deliberately run over a dog).

Also, to err is human (or so the saying goes), but a machine should operate without mistakes or it is broken (the engine of my car runs badly when it is cold - but that's not because the car doesn't "want" to go or doesn't "like" cold, it's just that some part in it is defective (most likely the carburetor needs cleaning and new seals)).

Comment: Re:The actual technical fault. (Score 1) 865

by Pentium100 (#46927437) Attached to: Did the Ignition Key Just Die?

Because fuel injection usually comes with electronics (there were some mechanical types, but those are not common) and worse than that, electronics with software (closed source of course). A carburetor is simpler, well at least the constant depression ones are. So, carbs are easier to repair. Also, an engine with a carburetor does not need the fuel at high pressure, so it has a lower electrical load (useful if you are trying to push start the car with an almost dead battery - hopefully it has enough power left for the spark).

Comment: Re:The actual technical fault. (Score 1) 865

by Pentium100 (#46925519) Attached to: Did the Ignition Key Just Die?

I too dislike modern cars. I would rather have an old car that's easier to understand (there either is no software running on it or the software is very simple) than the new ones full of closed source software (that is so complex that I most likely would not understand it even if I had the source).

I have an old car, a 1982 Mercedes W123. If for whatever reason I had or wanted to buy another car, I would buy a car older than 1985 with an engine that has a carburetor.

Comment: Re:Help! Help! (Score 1) 865

by Pentium100 (#46922457) Attached to: Did the Ignition Key Just Die?

The steering in my car does not lock until I remove the key from the ignition. Just turning off the ignition does not lock the steering. However, this was probably improved in the 32 years since my car was made so modern cars probably lock the steering if the engine is turned off (or dies on its own).

Power brakes would still work with the engine off and car in gear, since the engine is being turned by the wheels and is producing vacuum.

Comment: Re:Tapes are better (Score 2) 201

by Pentium100 (#46912715) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Which VHS Player To Buy?

Yes, and unlike more modern tapes it is made of paper, the brand name is "Soundmirror". The paper tape can snap in some tape decks (like the Revox A77), but in a tape deck with servo tension or on that has one motor (the tension is lower on these) it plays OK. It was recorded full track, but it looks like only in the center - if played on a 4 track tape deck, only the right channel plays.

Comment: Re:Tapes are better (Score 2) 201

by Pentium100 (#46911531) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Which VHS Player To Buy?

This is because the data density is so low. However, modern media (recordable CDs, DVDs, hard drives, flash memory) do not hold onto their data for very long. Hard drives might retain the magnetization, but their mechanical parts can wear out (if it's on all the time) or just fail (if it's off all the time, heads can stick or lubrication can harden and it's not like you can oil the hard drive like a floppy or tape drive).

OTOH, analog tape (video or audio) retains the data for very long time (I have a tape recorded in 1951 and it still plays OK) and the machines that play it can be maintained and repaired and are still quite available (used).

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