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Comment: Re:Now are these people trainable? (Score 1) 268

by Psychofreak (#46425641) Attached to: It's True: Some People Just Don't Like Music

Wow. I feel relieved that this is a real thing.

I too have played trumpet and baritone in school band. I never achieved a high level of mastery, but I did try and apply myself to learning. I also sang choir for years throughout grade school and middle school.

The only type of music I find fulfilling
* has words
* the words can be understood
* the words tell a story that makes sense even separated from the music (such as Rush, Red Barchetta)

Phil

Comment: Re:Live off the land forever (Score 1) 398

by Psychofreak (#43792905) Attached to: I am fairly prepared for a storm outage of ...

I stock 15 gallons of gasoline for lawn equipment and my generator. I can store another 10 gallons with the containers and storage I have for fuel. Seeing that my generator consumes about 1/2 gallon per hour when I am powering the sump pump, fridge, freezer. It consumes a more when I add in air conditioning and fully load the generator.. So I have a typical day of fuel on hand for the generator, maybe 2.

How many people consider the fuel consumption? Thankfully I have not needed the generator for more than a few hours.

My UPS powers the cable modem, which is also the phone line, and the wireless. I get about 8 hours with this light duty setup on a 1300VA unit. This means when the power cuts out for 15 minutes (a nearly weekly experience) I don't loose the phone and I can stay on my laptop. A UPS is NOT going to provide satisfactory power for very long!

My emergency box has rather basic supplies and a sterno stove so I can boil water from local sources if I loose transportation. My intention is to have transportation to get out, which could be problematic in a tornado situation that may destroy the vehicles.

Phil

Comment: Air drum? (Score 1) 189

Gonna take a couple minor hacks, but the technology is already present.

Use an air drum stick (or similar, say, wimote?) for the baton. This needs to output to a device that can communicate to other devices.

Built an app for android cell phones (everybody has one now, Iphone is another option of course) so the output from the baton is translated to vibration at the phone via wifi.

While certain aspects are going to be lost, timing and emphasis can be retained.

Phil

Comment: Re:Doesn't mean they aren't a concern. (Score 2) 344

by Psychofreak (#43277573) Attached to: The ATF Not Concerned About 3D Printed Guns... Yet

Why ceramic? Plastic and rubber bullets are deadly at close range. There are youtube videos of people making hot-glue bullets for primer fired target practice. Put some powder behind it and it becomes pretty serious. Why not make a plastic shotgun type shell? Very little metal actually needed...primer...not much else. You can even buy shotgun shells that are plastic except for the primer (although I have never seen them other than target load)

Springs can be plastic (or even air pressure enhanced) if they only need to function a couple rounds, same with a plastic firing pin... The more plastic the less life though. A determined well equipped individual, the person that the ATF is worried about, will make it work.

The reason the ATF is not very concerned is the weapon is disposable. Disposable weapons exist. Making a pipe gun from some plumbing parts is not very difficult. I've seen one demonstrated.

Making a plastic weapon that can pass detection is disturbingly easy. Toothbrush? Stick? Point the end. Pen or pencil? No modification required with a pen or pencil. Pretty single use though.

Lastly the evidence is easily destroyed, unlike a metal weapon. The ATF is not very concerned because it would be chasing their tail to try to track these items.

Phil

Comment: Throw the junk away (Score 2) 210

by Psychofreak (#43049749) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Projects For a Heap of Tech Junk?

If you don't mind some light, but hard work, bordering on drudgery:

an old CRT has over a pound of copper in it. Older ones have quite a bit more.

When you get down to old processors and other circuitry there are some people who are able to salvage the gold out of them, but the parts need separated first. When I was in high school I helped sort and strip and salvage a couple hundred 286, 386 and 486 computers that were being disposed of by some large local businesses as a "donation" to the school my mom worked for. There was a jeweler who took the processors and gold plated connectors for cash. I know a large coffee can of parts was worth over $100, and we generated quite a few can fulls.

Circuit boards can be recycled and have value once separated and in the pounds of materials.

Parted out there is a good possibility of a few hundred dollars worth of salvage in that pile. Even sheet steel has significant salvage value once you get to 100 pounds of material.

There is a reason junk collectors, people who take all the salvageable trash off the curb on trash day, can do this instead of having a "real" job.

Phil

Comment: Smaller format keyboard + minor retraining (Score 1) 165

A smaller format keyboard that you can allow your pinky finger to do less since the other fingers can reach easily, as well as some minor retraining will allow you to type at nearly the same rate without a large learning curve. You can also look at some of the different brands and ergonomic keyboard types and see if the computer function (return, command, alt, etc) are in more suitable locations for your hands.

With my old EEE I only used 2 fingers for typing since the keyboard was so small.

Phil

Comment: Re:My upgrade experience (Score 1) 159

by Psychofreak (#42843747) Attached to: Can Legacy Dual-Core CPUs Drive Modern Graphics Cards?

My upgrade experience on an old dell last year was less than peachy. I took my Dell XPS with the core2 duo, running XP, dropped in a moderate video card (EHA5450 silent) and 2 gig of ram bringing it up to 3 gig of ram. The performance improvement was dramatic, but not nearly as much as I hoped for. I also soon learned that upgrading to 4 GB of ram would be useless because XP can't address more than 3GB!

The on board NIC failed about 2 months later. I dropped in a pulled intel etherexpress 10/100, a few weeks later the on board sound failed (I tried reloading drivers, etc, finally turned sound off). At this point I specked out a new kit and started buying parts as I could afford, with Christmas money and a small windfall I built a new system in January, but made the mistake of putting Win8 on it.

I ended up with a
Asus Sabertooth x79
Radeon 7950 3GB
I7 3820
8 GB Crucial Ballistix ram
WD black 1TB
Antech earthwatts EA750
in a
Cooler Master HAF 912

The problem with Win8 is it won't recognize all the onboard devices, won't allow the manufacturer drivers to load, and is a general pain in the ass.

Phil

Comment: Re:Let Me Explain (Score 1) 550

by Psychofreak (#42641095) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Do I Get My Spouse To Start Gaming With Me?

Heh. Wait till you bring the newborn home. The first few months may be impossible. I know I had it bad with my daughter having a few severe allergies that have proven to be life changing for myself and my diet, let alone my wife's diet and routines. However the first few months are all about the new one. (and god forbid if you have family and friends who expect you to entertain! Tip: send them to the store, or other errand before they come over, be sure to pay them back, cash, for what they spend that you ask for)

Then responsibility mounts, laundry, dishes, house cleaning, yard chores, vehicles, other hobbies...games get a close second to quite a many things for me. Christmas pageants, spring concerts, and extra-curricular activities for the child also take a huge chunk of time in just transportation needs, let alone showing for the big show!

I only get to game while my wife is working on "homework" from her office after our daughter is in bed. This ends up a couple times a week in a 2+ hour block.

We do "game" some together but it is limited to the multi-player WII offerings, or physical board games and cards, most of those offerings geared towards a younger child playing as well.

About the only game we play together online is "words with friends" (I am currently kicking her butt, though I lost by over 200 points last game)

Phil

Comment: Re:Would love to do this (Score 1) 201

by Psychofreak (#42468917) Attached to: Google Engineer Shows How To Forge Swords and Knives

While I generally recommend using known steels, particularly for sale, coil and leaf spring from automobile and truck suspensions are typically 5160, oil hardening, and very suitable for learning. Selecting scrap stream steel that is likely know is good to help with learning since there is some odd stuff out there.

If you are going to stick with the hobby for any length of time or start producing items for sale then using new known steels makes sense, helps produce a better product with fewer failures, and is general good business sense, even if your hobby business is only doing a couple thousand dollars of annual business.

Producing and selling 1 premium quality knife per month, sold at $100 per blade (quite cheap if you look at custom blades) translates to $1200 annual sales, will require a business license and the filing of taxes, at least in the US. I state this for perspective, and as a sound reason to agree with you in buying new steel.

Phil

As of next Thursday, UNIX will be flushed in favor of TOPS-10. Please update your programs.

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