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Comment: It is also still what computer music uses (Score 1) 82

by Sycraft-fu (#49794281) Attached to: Android M To Embrace USB Type-C and MIDI

If you compose music on a computer, you almost certainly still do it with MIDI. All the new highly advanced synths and samplers still use MIDI as their input for data. Everything from big dollar stuff like Native Instruments Komplete down to freeware. MIDI goes in, sound comes out.

In some ways it surprises me since you'd think they would get around to improving it (there are some things MIDI leaves to be desired) but on the other hand it does work well for nearly everything and there's something to be said about keeping things standard. You can literally take one of those old General MIDI songs and feed the data in to a modern sampler. I do just that all the time to remake old game soundtracks because I enjoy it.

Comment: All the time (Score 3, Insightful) 742

by Sycraft-fu (#49767733) Attached to: Greece Is Running Out of Money, Cannot Make June IMF Repayment

The US always pays its debts when they are due. I think perhaps the problem is you don't understand how US debt works, and why it is a bit special:

So the most important thing to understand is the US doesn't go and beg people to give it money, rather it auctions debt. People come and purchase the debt. You can do it yourself on their Treasury Direct site. The US sells debt instruments to interested buyers. They are bid on, and whoever bids the lowest interest rate wins. The upshot is the US sets the terms of the debt instruments sold. They have a variety, some are as short as 4 weeks, some as long as 30 years. When you buy something, the terms of repayment are stated up front: What it'll pay, and when. There is no provision to cash out early, and you don't get to dictate any terms, you just choose what note you want to buy (if they are available).

This is how public debt works in a lot of countries, but it isn't how things go when you are getting loans from the IMF.

The other important thing is that all US debt is denominated in US dollars. A US debt instrument specifies how many dollars it'll pay out and that number is NOT inflation adjusted, except in a few very special cases. Well the US government also controls the US mint, which makes US dollars. So the US government can literally print money, and inflate its way in to payments. There are negatives to that, of course, but it is perfectly doable. The US controls its fiscal and monetary policy regarding its debt. Since all its debts are in US dollars, and since US dollars are the world's reserve currency, the US cannot face a crisis where it can't pay, unless such a crisis is internally generated (via the debt limit).

Not the case with Greek debt, it is in Euros and Greece doesn't control the Euro.

Finally, there's the fact that the US has great credit. Doesn't matter if you disagree that it should, fact is it does. Investors are willing to loan the US money for extremely low interest rates because they see it as a very safe investment. 4 week T-Bills have been going for between 0%-0.015%. 30-year bonds have been going for 2.5%-3.75%. Investors bid the interest rates very low because they desire it as a safe investment.

Comment: Re:OS/2 better then windows at running windows app (Score 1) 386

by drsmithy (#49759731) Attached to: 25 Years Today - Windows 3.0

My understanding is that NT had quite a bit of OS/2 in it.

It doesn't. They are completely different architecturally. NT was a 32-bit, multiuser, heavily multithreaded, built-for-SMP, portable, mostly-microkernel OS.

OS/2 was... Not.

Seeing that MS had rights to OS/2 and wanted a new OS in a hurry following the breakdown of their partnership with IBM, it would be suprising if they had not used parts of OS/2.

In a hurry ? It was five years between the start of NT's development ('88) and its first release ('93).

Comment: Re:Memorable (Score 1) 386

by drsmithy (#49758479) Attached to: 25 Years Today - Windows 3.0

Seriously, the 8088/80286 and their addressing space limitations set back the DOS-based world by years, until Intel finally accepted that people wanted to use individual chunks of memory larger than 64K, and that they wanted to run their old real-mode DOS programs, too.

Intel wasn't the problem. The 386 was released in 1985.

Comment: Re:OS/2 better then windows at running windows app (Score 1) 386

by drsmithy (#49758339) Attached to: 25 Years Today - Windows 3.0

One major reason for the split was that IBM insisted on programming OS/2 in assembler - over Gates' objections - locking them onto the 386 platform.
At least that is the way I remember it.

I think you are remembering IBM's insistence that OS/2 ran on their shiny new "AT", with it's 286 processor when the 386 was already out on the market.

Comment: Re:OS/2 better then windows at running windows app (Score 1) 386

by drsmithy (#49758325) Attached to: 25 Years Today - Windows 3.0

It was already working on the next version of OS/2, but split from IBM's path and re-branded the new product as Windows NT. IBM then started their own separate development path and produced OS/2 2.0.

Minor correction. Microsoft - Dave Cutler's team - were working on the OS that was going to replace OS/2 (OS/2 "New Technology") that was then turned into Windows NT 3.1 and successors after the (surprising) Windows 3.0 success.

IBM took the "old" OS/2 code (that both they and Microsoft had worked on) and tarted it up into OS/2 2.x and successors.

Windows NT and OS/2 have no common ancestor. They are completely different OSes from bottom to top.

Comment: Re:*shrug* (Score 1) 386

by drsmithy (#49758293) Attached to: 25 Years Today - Windows 3.0

That explains why in the mid '80s to mid 90's IBM was busy in a joint venture with Microsoft first and alone afterwards... to produce a PC system with networking, multi-tasking and file permissions and even 32 bits (OS/2).

OS/2 (at least in that timeframe) was not multiuser. Neither was it 32-bit (IBM insisted it run on their brand-spanking new AT with its 16-bit 286 CPU).

And the Microsoft/IBM "divorce" was around 1990.

With that said I don't agree with GP. I don't think IBM had that much strategy.

Comment: "Developer complete" (Score 1) 386

by malxau (#49756721) Attached to: 25 Years Today - Windows 3.0
Notwithstanding its clear bugs and usability flaws, Windows 3.0 was the first version to allow developers to fully use the PC's memory and processor. It was the first version I developed for, and I continued to target it for many years after users had moved on to the more stable, polished and complete 3.1 and 3.11 versions. Although, it was a pain to exit to DOS, compile something, launch Windows, execute it, and repeat.

Comment: Incorrect (Score 5, Interesting) 171

It is easier with something simpler, not something smaller. When you start doing extreme optimization for size, as in this case, you are going to do it at the expense of many things, checks being one of them. If you want to have good security, particularly for something that can be hit with completely arbitrary and hostile input like something on the network, you want to do good data checking and sanitization. Well guess what? That takes code, takes memory, takes cycles. You start stripping everything down to basics, stuff like that may go away.

What's more, with really tiny code sizes, particularly for complex items like an OS, what you are often doing is using assembly, or at best C, which means that you'd better be really careful, but there is a lot of room to fuck up. You mess up one pointer and you can have a major vulnerability. Now you go and use a managed language or the like and the size goes up drastically... but of course that management framework can deal with a lot of issues.

Comment: Well, perhaps you should look at features (Score 1) 171

And also other tradeoffs. It is fashionable for some geeks to cry about the amount of disk space that stuff takes, but it always seems devoid of context and consideration, as though you could have the exact same performance/setup in a tiny amount of space if only programmers "tried harder" or something. However you do some research, and it turns out to all be tradeoffs, and often times the tradeoff to use more system resources is a good one. Never mind just capabilities/features, but there can be reasons to have abstractions, managed environments, and so on.

Comment: Re:I weep for my country (Score 1) 206

by drsmithy (#49739561) Attached to: Australian Law Could Criminalize the Teaching of Encryption

Every non-aboriginal inhabitant of Australia is an immigrant.

Complete bullshit, as it seems you well understand:

Even the aboriginals are fairly recent arrivals if your perspective is wide enough.

I don't understand the racist hate.

No racist hate here, simply someone who thinks immigration should be controlled and targeted in the best interests of the country.

However, successive Australian Governments for a decade or more have been running record immigration rates - mostly under the guise of "skilled immigration" and associated hangers-on - with the twin primary objectives of suppressing wages and maintaining the property bubble. Simultaneously, they have been demonising the weakest and most helpless fleeing for their lives, who account for a rounding error in our immigrant intake.

Unsurprisingly, this systemic view of people as cogs in the machine to be used and discarded on demand has led to a similar culture amongst employers, most recently exposed by the exploitation and abuse of short-term holiday visa holders (usually "backpackers") by the farming industry.

As usual, the Greens have the right idea. Knock down the skilled immigrant intake substantially and increase the humanitarian intake. The footsoldiers of economic immigration can go somewhere else, we should only be importing the best and brightest through our skilled immigration plans, maximising the national interest, and using the rest of our "quota" to help as many people threatened by starvation, torture and death as possible.

When even the dodgy headline unemployment rates are running at 5%+ (real unemployment into the teens), the idea we need to be importing even more people to fight for fewer jobs is just flat out insulting - but the political right seem to believe they've reached the endgame and they're not even trying for a facade of propriety or governance in the national interest any more.

Wherever you go...There you are. - Buckaroo Banzai

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