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Comment: Good enough for Knuth and TeX (Score 2) 452

by WillAdams (#48903353) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Is Pascal Underrated?

The only software tools which I have found as reliable and pleasant to use as TeX (which is said to be so full of cutting edge techinique to have revealedbugs in every Pascal compiler used to compile it) were WriteNow (~100,000 lines of assembly) and Altsys Virtuoso (Objective-C w/ NeXTstep frameworks).

Comment: Re:Why can't I buy an aftermarket chassis? (Score 1) 227

by WillAdams (#48864225) Attached to: Librem: a Laptop Custom-Made For Free/Libre Software

I was very sad when NeXT went under and I couldn't get a third (second upgrade) motherboard for my Cube.

Have you considered designing / machining the parts? There are replacement laptop hinges which are pretty affordable --- if you picked one from a recent model it'd probably still be available if you needed a replacement.

Comment: We're supposed to be the good guys (Score 1) 181

by WillAdams (#48850295) Attached to: NSA Hack of N. Korea Convinced Obama NK Was Behind Sony Hack

We need to limit our actions to those which:

  - increase security
  - improve communications and transparency
  - improve access

Monitoring communications has to come after that --- the whole point to a society is to maintain and increase human dignity --- any action by a government which doesn't do this is an absolute travesty and should be prosecuted as a criminal act.

Comment: Daylight viewable display? (Score 1) 66

by WillAdams (#48803963) Attached to: South Africa Begins Ambitious Tablets In Schools Pilot Project

Or are the kids only going to be using these indoors?

Is anyone doing a true daylight viewable display, like the transflective LCDs which were used on Fujitsu tablets?

I need to replace my Fujitsu Stylistic ST-4121, and there simply don't seem to be any real options (need a Wacom stylus as well).

Comment: It will empower the people who own/direct it (Score 1) 417

by WillAdams (#48569437) Attached to: AI Expert: AI Won't Exterminate Us -- It Will Empower Us

the people who are paying for the development and paying the power bills. Everyone else will be viewed as just a resource to be exploited.

Fictional take on this --- Marshall Brain's novella _Manna_ --- available free on-line: http://marshallbrain.com/manna...

The first half seems all-too-likely, the second, likely impossible.

Comment: I'd like to buy one (Score 1) 101

by WillAdams (#48496605) Attached to: Forbes Revisits the Surface Pro 3, Which May Face LG Competition

I've been a big believer in pen computing since reading Niven & Pournelle's _The Mote in God's Eye_ and using a Koala Pad graphics tablet attached to a Commodore 64 in high school.

Reasons I prefer tablets w/ a stylus:

  - drawing
  - note-taking
  - annotation
  - more efficient usage of some programs, esp. those which can be configured w/ pie menus or menu structures which can become gestural (Punch in Altsys Virtuoso was a gesture for me on my Wacom ArtZ graphics tablet attached to my NeXT Cube)
  - lighter weight / smaller --- currently trying to ``upgrade'' to a ThinkPad x61 Tablet (convertible) from a Fujitsu Stylistic ST-4121 slate and the former won't fit in my old laptop bag.

Almost bought an Asus Vivotab Note 8, and would've bought the Microsoft Surface 2 from sales this past weekend, but didn't. Concerns I had:

  - poor build quality for the Asus --- there's a DIY fix posted for the digitizer ceasing to work
  - standard LCD, not daylight viewable
  - the Surface 2 which was on sale was the RT model, so can't run Macromedia Freehand --- the Pro 2 was out-of-stock

I'd be sleeping on the couch tonight if someone would make a pen slate which:

  - ran either Mac OS X or Windows --- or if there was a drawing program for Android as nice as Macromedia Freehand
  - was a pen slate w/ a Wacom digitizer
  - had a daylight-viewable display (transflective LCD or better) --- I use my machine as a map reader when traveling and to control my CNC mill on the back porch
  - had a resolution higher than 1024 x 768 and was not much larger than a letter-sized notepad

Comment: Re:PDF? PDF??? (Score 1) 62

by WillAdams (#48419311) Attached to: Crowdfunded Linux Voice Magazine Releases First Issue CC-BY-SA

PDF was open enough from the beginning to have its specification available in print from the days of Acrobat 1.0: http://www.adobe.com/devnet/pd...

Here: http://www.adobe.com/devnet/pd...

http://wwwimages.adobe.com/con... --- for some reason they don't have the first edition available (not that it's all that useful these days).

Comment: Re:Memory mapping? (Score 3, Funny) 200

by WillAdams (#48401249) Attached to: A Worm's Mind In a Lego Body

More importantly, the Bible tells those who believe in it that nothing is unknowable: Genesis 11:6

>The Lord said, “If as one people speaking the same language
>they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do
>will be impossible for them.

So it's blasphemous for Christians (or Jews or Muslims) to say that humanity can't understand such things (or anything).

Everyone can be taught to sculpt: Michelangelo would have had to be taught how not to. So it is with the great programmers.