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Comment Re:Z80 was in TRS-80 (Score 1) 124 124

I don't miss it. My desktop has 6 cores, 2 TB of mirrored local storage, 12Gb of RAM, an internet connection faster than the first couple of iterations of *ethernet*, and a GPU that would have caused wars back in the 80s. My *phone* has 8 cores, accelerometers, an inbuilt compass, GPS, always-on data, a less powerful but in context still silly GPU, 2GB RAM, 80GB of local storage in flash, and software that looks like science fiction. My *router* would stand in for a credible mainframe back in the day.

If I had the space, I would love to collect older computer hardware - I had an original Pizza-box Sun 4C when I lived in a large house, and I also had a ZX Spectrum. It doesn't blind me to the realities, though.

I do look back at the 80s with nostalgia, but I remember how frustratingly limited everything seemed. I feel a sense of awe pretty much all the time, now, tinged with hope and a little fear, when I think of how this freakishly powerful technology can be used to accelerate the acquisition of new knowledge.

Interesting times.

Comment Re:Somewhere in the middle... (Score 1) 341 341

> Whenever a young life is saved, that is one person who would have been culled from the pack that now grows up and likely will procreate. Nobody can deny that.

You do realise that proximity and exposure is the biggest factor in determining who develops antigens to any given disease?

ie, chance?

You're a proud member of that breed of social darwinist which personifies the saying 'A turkey voting for Christmas'.

Congratulations.

Comment Re: Then again, maybe it _is_ good news. (Score 1) 172 172

This is cultural evolution, rather than genetic evolution. It's as different entropy in thermodynamics, contrasted with entropy in information theory. One of these things is not like the other. Yes, there are similarities, just as there are similarities between a Volkswagen Beetle, and a picture of a Volkswagen Beetle.

Comment Re:The diode voltage drop would cause power loss. (Score 1) 395 395

The voltage drop across an ideal diode isn't resistive, and doesn't cause a power drain. The *resistive* voltage drop across a real-world diode is tiny. Diodes are actually very efficient devices. Don't take my word for this, you have access to this wonderful research tool called 'The Internet'. Alternatively, buy a diode, a resistor for comparison, a power supply, and do the calorimetry.

Comment Re: No mention on capacity though (Score 1) 395 395

With respect, you don't understand enough about the possibilities. If you look up a circuit called a Cockcroft-Walton Voltage Multiplier, you'll find that it represents a capacitor/diode array where the diodes are arranged such that the capacitors are charged in parallel, but discharged in series. Same principle.

Comment Re:Me, old enough to BE your dad (Score 1) 153 153

Whenever I've read any of your posts, I've always been impressed and please to see the intelligence behind them. This post made me smile. For what it's worth, I'm typing this under Archlinux and Gnome 3, but I see the truth in your criticisms; I view the world in much the same way, but with different emotional loadings. Enjoy your semi-retirement.

Comment Re:Episode V! (Score 1) 457 457

It still doesn't explain why the good guys just didn't find a series of large rocks, paint them very black and fire them from a railgun at some stupendous velocity whilst simultaneously deploying chaff, radar jamming and any of the billion other things they might have done to defeat the Death Star's sensory facilities.

Comment Re:Episode V! (Score 2) 457 457

The whole space battle thing is deeply broken, in general. True space battles would probably involve stealth ships dispatching oodles of drones, lots of incoming, light-speed-lagged statistics, followed by death. But then again, in sci-fi terms we're mostly still at the Heavily Muscled Guy With Fashionable Facial Hair Sitting At The Front Window Driving The Spaceship, uh, stage.

Often statistics are used as a drunken man uses lampposts -- for support rather than illumination.

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