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Comment: Why the hell has no one suggested Lua? (Score 1) 215

by WarlockD (#49207543) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Strategies For Teaching Kids CS Skills With Basic?
I mean seriously. One of the strongest arguments for basic is that you don't need to teach someone functions to start a program. With the goto statement in Lua, you got that. At the very least, once the student knows lua and goes on to other things, it will be useful if he ever needs to use it as a scripting language.

Comment: I just don't know what Nokia is doing anymore. (Score 5, Interesting) 109

by WarlockD (#48415795) Attached to: Nokia's N1 Android Tablet Is Actually a Foxconn Tablet
You have this tablet, by pure specs doesn't look that much better than the newer atom tables coming out and the glorified auto app sorter for your android (Z Launcher)? When I worked for US Nokia as a lowly support, developers and managers were just screaming at Finland about trying something to innovate. If you didn't speak Finish, your opinion didn't matter.

To make matters worst, they thought they "won" when they released the N97 and just planned to make reversions off that thing. Sure it was good, but they just never paid attention to Google. Got laid off about 6 months after that.

So now that the non-compete clause is almost over they are trying again? I still think Stephen Elop was a Trojan horse. It doesn't help maters how he and his cronies got a sweet deal after the merger.

I know Nokia isn't "just a phone company". They have multiple divisions and a large part of Finland economy. But to just come out with an Android tablet, branded launcher all relying on Foxcom's support and build quality? I am not saying I know much about Foxcom, but it still feels kind of a big gamble right after you get burned badly from a market you dominated. What the hell are they thinking?

Comment: Re:It doesn't make sense (Score 2) 334

by WarlockD (#47934689) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Remote Support For Disconnected, Computer-Illiterate Relatives
Here is another food for thought. Allot of people are talking about fancy "chrome books" or "iPads". Hell, someone even dug up UUCP from the grave as a remote communication solution, baring ssh connections might be scrubbed from the state. The big problem is that, while I can make an educated guess where your family is, I can honestly say it doesn't matter. Whatever solution your going to implement:


Oh they won't say it to your face, they will just ask if they can keep the old computer "as a backup" and just use that once your gone. I know this. I know this from 10 years of experience of helping my grandma, her friends, her friends friends, and working at Unisys as a drive around tech for both enterprise and consumers. My american born Korean friend knows this as well and has tried hard to find similar solutions. At the end of the day, all people want to surf the web, go to links friends and family talk about, and emal/text. Computer literacy ONLY helps the safety of said activity's. When my grandma discovered her grand-kids were all on Facebook, she didn't care that she set up 3 accounts with different passwords, but I was able to strengthen that out by having chrome force sign her in one. My friends mom would constantly complain about the linux install because it wouldn't play flash properly, so he had to switch her back to XP. These are just a few examples I can mention, and you WILL get these calls.

Just remember, any "teaching" you do must be "with" them. Not "to" them. From their perspective, everything is working on their end. Their computer might be selling their information to the highest bidder and telling everyone how their penis can grow larger with one payment to the Nigerian, but they can still get pictures from family, they can still get messages. They can still see the latest football game scores.

Do the wifi idea. Hell do one better. Set up a small embedded system with a built in modem. They sell embedded boxes, but an old p4 with a modem should work. PFSense is something I would suggest. I forgot the package but there is a way to set it up to act as an email proxy. Have it drop all attachments that aren't images. It can even unpack zip files and check if its just images in those. Have it dial in daily keeping the email box clear. Just say it just checks your mail every day at 1am or such. Its like 4 am and I am half out of fuel and I am sure you have looked at some of these products. They will still get viruses as I don't think it will have the bandwidth to keep the updates up, but at-least you can have it track their surfing habitats and can block country's they have no reason to go to. Talking to you Russia and most of Africa:P

I hate to say it, but this is the best way for someone who is computer illiterate and doesn't use the computer much to care. You come in saying "just plug this between the computer and the modem to make the internet faster/safer" They don't feel alienated on the limited computer knowledge they learned and you can, they keep the computer/interface they are used too, and at the very least, have some control over the data going in and out.

Whatever you decide just ask yourself, "Does this improve their experience? If not, what would happen if they just chunk it and not tell you?"

As a side note, if it wasn't to much of an extreme luxury for the country its going to, I would recommend also an iPad for the interface. That single thing has introduced text messages, Facebook and god help me gaming to my grandma. If it wasn't for the large constant patches it needs and the very high chance it would get stolen, I would recommend it too.

Comment: Re:I'm a WFTX resident (Score 1) 242

by WarlockD (#47445179) Attached to: Texas Town Turns To Treated Sewage For Drinking Water

My grandpa lives on the other side of Dallas, around Tulsa. The whole reason he spent more than 30k on getting a few wells down was because he couldn't trust the water from the lake. "I don't know about you, but I spent 40 years dumping my trash (before it illegal dumping was enforced) , no way in hell I am drinking out of it!" I know we are constantly out of water, but I still think we need to dredge the lakes more than once every 20 years.

Ugh I meant Tyler. Don't know why I said Tulsa:P

Comment: Re:I'm a WFTX resident (Score 1) 242

by WarlockD (#47445167) Attached to: Texas Town Turns To Treated Sewage For Drinking Water
My grandpa lives on the other side of Dallas, around Tulsa. The whole reason he spent more than 30k on getting a few wells down was because he couldn't trust the water from the lake.

"I don't know about you, but I spent 40 years dumping my trash (before it illegal dumping was enforced) , no way in hell I am drinking out of it!"

I know we are constantly out of water, but I still think we need to dredge the lakes more than once every 20 years.

Comment: Solution Unsatisfactory by Heinlein (Score 1) 436

by WarlockD (#46496221) Attached to: Malaysian Flight Disappearance 'Deliberate'

One of the first story's that got me reading his fiction. Why go though all the trouble of building a complex bomb when you can just fill the belly of that airplane with as much radioactive dust and you can and spread it over New York or Washington like a crop duster over a corn field?

At most they just need to make some panels blow off at low altitude to spread as much as they can. The result would be worst than any bomb. You wipe out a city the size of New York (Washington, etc) and you also make it uninhabitable for 40 to 100 years. Much stronger physiological impact as there is no way you can clean that stuff up for that time. Heinlein talked about using low half life radiation (5 years) so you could just walk back in. I doubt terrorists would be so considerate.

As a side note, he wrote this thing in the mid 40's. How scare is that shit:P

Comment: If you are 100% you have everything off of it. (Score 1) 122

by WarlockD (#44365475) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Keeping Digital Media After Imaging?

I was recently did the same thing. I had about 2 old OnStream 30 GiG tapes and a hand full of old QIC-80's. Not even mention the CD-R pile in my room.

During the years I never had the space to just extract everything and sort though it all. Not to mention I would move backup data from tape, to CD, back to tape so I have copy's of the same things all over the spectrum. I have recently started consolidating it all, finding an old OnStream tape drive and old QIC floppy drives to restore everything to a single drive, get rid of all the duplicates and save the important stuff on archived DVD media and/or "the cloud" It was a nightmare but now I don't have to worry about trying to get hold of a bankrupt tape drive company's hardware in another 10 years.

I will then delete the tapes and burn them.

If it was hand labeled by a professor he liked or someone famous like Bill Gates I could see that. But there is no other reason to keep it around once it's contents have been properly indexed and stored. The only exception is when you need the obsolete media to be used in another obsolete computer. AKA making a disk for a cC64.

Let me put it this way. What do you think will happen in 10 years, when someone else finds that box of media. Even if he was told that it was all indexed and stored, he might question it and do it all over again "just to be sure" :P

Comment: Re:People want cheaper tablets (Score 4, Insightful) 657

by WarlockD (#40862603) Attached to: Why the Tablet Market is Really the iPad Market

Thats not the point of the article. Its because Google and Amazon are subsidizing the cost of their tablets so much that the consumers are expecting other manufactures to do so. Apple can get away with it because of their market presence and the idea that they are a quality product.

Your right, the Nexus 7 will explode the tablet market but who OTHER than google/Amazon can subsidize the price point to 200 bucks? This is why Dell and other manufacture companies jumped ship. The OEM's sell hardware for a profit, they cannot compete with companies that don't care about the hardware cost when they make up for it on content distribution.

Hell, this is why Microsoft is giving the finger to all the OEM's when it comes to their tablet. They will either have to subsidize the tablet to make it a "cheaper" alternative OR spend the time (years) to keep it on the market and compete with Apple directly on features and not on price.

If you want a real example of this, look at the US Cell Phone market. People EXPECT free phones with a contract or pay just a little more for a higher quality phone. However, if you look at Japan or Europe, those same phones are bought at full price for cheaper service.

Comment: Re:Oracle surrenders? (Score 1) 478

by WarlockD (#40020907) Attached to: Judge to Oracle: A High Schooler Could Write rangeCheck

Humm. It might seem that Oracle's laywers are pulling at straws, but I think they had this argument as a backup. Right now they are trying to save face so they threw this in because they don't think the jury is going to rule in their favor on the first, so maybe throwing in a less technical argument and more "Goggle is evil" will work.

The argument is not about the 9 lines of code, the lawyer isn't a coder, the idea is that Google copied the original java to get an idea on how the VM worked. Like how a programmer reads other peoples code to improve his own skills. By doing so, while not specifically infringing, it spread up Android's development, making Google getting to the market faster. Essentially, their argument is, without the decompiled java code Google would not of released sooner, thus, not made "as much" money.

Its all a fishing expedition though. They are hoping the CEO will make some stupid comment. Even if he does, they have to prove a nexus. That is
1. Decompile Java code to get Android out faster
2. Nexus?
3 .Profit!

Otherwise, all that effort is in vain as even if they say it did speed up the Android to market, it doesn't matter if it didn't help Google any.


Comment: Re:Somewhat impressive (Score 1) 160

I suspect he is doing some trickery with the display. That is, its not a true dot-matix display. Also this thing is using a sift BCD adder, I doubt he has more than 16 bytes in the entire thing. See the propagation delay in the final result? I don't even think he latches the registers. Also on 1:24 you see his decoder, He only has a single 5 row encoder (32 charters max). I suspect he has a shift register at the back of the display, the symble comes in, gets decoded and shifts onto the display. Remember, the atari 2600 could only draw one line at a time, this thing can only shift one digit at a time. The answer display looks attached to the adder directly however.

Got more on my response here: , but the jist is that its perfectly reasonable to say this guy did it. It just has NO CPU logic. At best, its like one of those cheap solar calculators you buy at walmart.

Comment: Re:Did it without RedPower2 addon (Score 3, Interesting) 160

I've built some ALU's and prototypes of CPU's, here is some grandstanding of my TMS1000 clone: The thing is though, while I am an older guy, I went from zero knowledge to this in under 6 months in minecraft. Binary logic is just not that hard. Its just really really repetitive.

After the hundreds of test projects I built, I have a good judge on the amount of logic you need and I have to say, the kid knows his shit. He is basically using 3 shift registers and a shift ALU. That is, he is only calculating one digit at a time with bits hold carry/overflow flags. Notice how he said it was a 6 bit BCD adder? That is JUST enough bits to calculate 9x9 with one bit over for carry. This is why those cheap 99 cent solar calculators are so cheap, it has about the same kind of logic in them. If you build your logic around needing to shift, everything is smaller and easier. It might be slower, but it properly takes longer to cycle the display than to multiply a number. Also, its so small is because he doesn't have a big ass ram bank. 9/10 cpu projects usually are big because of even a bank of 20 registers.

On the mine craft side of things, he uses pressure plates as they look a bit nicer and generally its an easier interface to wire. There is this is/was a big design stuff in the forms about dot matrix displays so I figure he put in his own display stuff there. The only thing I am not impressed with is the "graphing" part of his calculator. Lets face it, the entire core of the thing is a 6 BCD adder with shift logic. This thing is WAY to small and far to limited memory for it to have nothing but static formulas. Also, why didn't he put in a simple clock to just "draw" the grid instead of pressing a button?

But to be honest this is WAY better than that stupid HACK alu. I AM impressed with the original guy who made it, just not all the 100's of clones people have made of it. Very few people have made a 100% working cpu. Anyone can build an ALU, no one builds the state/decoding logic:P

Look at his older caculator, you can see how small the basic logic is there and how much you need for the display:P

Comment: Re:I'll give you my Neopets... (Score 1) 171

by WarlockD (#39228465) Attached to: Sony To Delete Virtual Goods
You laugh but I know people that are proud of their 500+ days /played. How about all those pets they grinned up and collected? the more than 12k achievement points that "don't mean anything"? Even baring the pets you can buy, alto of people sunk their kids and marriages into this game. They won't just scream, they will take to the streets.

Comment: Re:Pretty simple (Score 1) 200

by WarlockD (#39185917) Attached to: Reasons Behind the Demise of Kodak

As Tharsman said earlyer it wasn't that they couldn't, its that they couldn't admit that they lost. What do you tell investers, workers and even the world: "Thanks for hanging around and investing in us these 80 odd years but we are going to have to axe half of you."?

I am sure once the digital camera tech got high enough people in the board room were looking like zombies but there wasn't much they could do. Take a chance with a bunch of upstarts in California? Sell their silver mine for a foxcom like company in china? Anything they do sounds like they are losing badly or at worst, if any of these ideas fail, like their blatantly incompetent. I bet that's why we get these fancy CEO's in charge to take the fall when things go south.

Toy's R Us is still around because they did the hard decision to kill allot of the non profitable stores, But it took being bought out by hedge fund company and having THEM make the hard decisions rather than the board to get where they are today. Hopefully that will happen to Kodak and we might see them again.

As a dying printer company:P

Is it possible that software is not like anything else, that it is meant to be discarded: that the whole point is to always see it as a soap bubble?