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Comment: Re:Rotary Phone (Score 1) 535

by TWX (#47788291) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Old Technology Can't You Give Up?
You know, you an upgrade from that Western Electric model 500 (the ubiquitous rotary) to a Model 1500, or if you want * and # the Model 2500, for basically free...

All but two landline phones in the house are from Western Electric. The 900MHz cordless Uniden with the overized buttons and red LED blinking call indicator and the alarmclock phone in the bedroom are the only outliers.

Back when they expected to lease the phone to you for 50 years, they built a phone that would last for 50 years.

Comment: Re:The VCR (Score 1) 535

by TWX (#47788213) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Old Technology Can't You Give Up?
We're there too, with 800 titles on tape. Unfortunately the new projector doesn't display analog sources very well compared to the old one, so tapes and laserdiscs look like crap compared to DVDs and Blu-Ray players.

since both projectors can shine off-center and make the image look right I'm tempted to hang the old projector too, and to use it for LD and VHS.

Comment: Re:slashdot (Score 1) 535

by TWX (#47788155) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Old Technology Can't You Give Up?

When classic goes away, so do I. Copy this if you want them to get the idea.

I was thinking about that today, and yeah, I agree. When Classic is gone then I don't expect to continue using Slashdot anymore. When they just become every other discussion forum site then why would I need to limit myself to this one?

Comment: Re:Simple (Score 5, Informative) 535

by TWX (#47788117) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Old Technology Can't You Give Up?
If it's any consolation, I didn't use vi for close to 20 years, using pico/nano instead. It wasn't until I started working with huge flatfiles that needed hundreds of lines of regular expression parsing that I learned how to use vi effectively.

I'd say that if you really need those advanced features that vi is the way to go, but admittedly pico/nano is a lot easier to use otherwise.

As for what I use that's old, I have a Dolby-AC3-capable laserdisc player and more than 500 titles and an S-VHS VCR with about 850 titles on tape, I'm hesitant to buy a laptop lacking an optical drive (though my pickings are quite slim these days), I'm still using a Gateway 2000 "Anykey" PS/2 124-key macro-programmable keyboard manufactured by Maxiswitch, the vast majority of my computer monitors are 4:3 ratio, I still have my SCSI Jaz2 drive, my SCSI Zip drive, a couple of 3.5" floppy drive, and one 5.25" floppy drive laying around, and my daily-use TV is a widescreen, high-definition tube . It works great! Cost me only $40! And at 126lb, no one is going to steal it. In fairness, it fits the built-in TV cabinet perfectly and at the time a similarly-sized LCD model was close to $600, so it made sense to go with the tube.

I don't necessarily equate old with obsolete. Obsolete is when it doesn't do the job that you need done satisfactorily. In that sense my 20 year old beater $700 pickup truck with no straight sheet metal and worn-out steering is fine, as I generally only drive it when either I need a truck specifically, or when one of the cars is out of commission and I need basic transportation in the interim. I'm typing this on a five-year-old netbook with an Atom processor, and I only recently replaced my Xeon-Gallatin-based dual processor workstation from a decade ago because the thing croaked after a power outage and doesn't want to come back up. It was a great box for a long time, even with only two cores. It's been replaced with a newer-used dual-quad Xeon workstation that I expect to use for another decade as my workstation and the whole-house server.

Comment: Re:Jail them for contempt (Score 1) 240

by HiThere (#47786673) Attached to: US Government Fights To Not Explain No-Fly List Selection Process

Your mistake is assuming monolithic intent. Even a single judge has intentions that vary from minute to minute...just as yours do. When you factor in a large number of judges you get a large variation in intent. Sometimes they are even worse than you are currently imagining. Sometimes they are focused on the rule of law. Sometimes they are of some idealistic bent or other.

So the kind of result that you are expecting is possible, but not inevitable, even with a judge that usually bends to the wind. And some judges rarely do that.

Even so, I figure that the trend toward centralized authoritarianism is designed into they sysstem, given the greatly improved speed of communication and transportation. And, of course, the closing of the frontier. There's now nowhere to go to escape them. This makes designs that were only a bit authoritarian at the start ("I smell a rat. It squints towards monarchy."--Patrick Henry on the US Constitution) much more authoritarian now. The British system, with all its faults, is a lot better, but then it *evolved* under tyranny. (Unfortunately, they've been disabling their safeguards over the recent decades. Now Lords can be members of the House of Commons, IIUC, and that's totally insecure. The change they *should* have made would be to continue the separation, but so automatically promote into the aristocracy anyone who is sufficiently rich and powerful. Possibly also a provision to demote from the aristocracy the heirs of anyone who loses their wealth and power...but with a time lag to allow them to recover without loss of "status".)

Comment: Re:THIS (Score 1) 240

by HiThere (#47786551) Attached to: US Government Fights To Not Explain No-Fly List Selection Process

There really *is* a difference. It rarely translates into action, but it infuses the rhetoric used. The Democrats want more people to like them, and the Republicans want more powerful people to like them. So they say the things they think will cause that to happe, while acting as self-serving greedy immoral power-seeking proto-despots (who are trying to lose the "proto-").

Comment: Re:It'd be nice... (Score 1) 240

by HiThere (#47786507) Attached to: US Government Fights To Not Explain No-Fly List Selection Process

I take it you haven't known many. I'll agree that many of them believe that "all rights belong to the proprietor", and many of them don't stop to think that the title to the property is given by the state.

Or maybe the people I knew were just anarchists who called themselves libertarians.

"Now here's something you're really going to like!" -- Rocket J. Squirrel