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Comment Re:Quite useless article (Score 1) 172

Meh. Back in my day, I had a 64Kb computer which had 65,536 addressable bytes in memory, with 49152 usable outside of the ROM. I never once saw a spurious "i" being inserted into the documentation, and in terms of memory storage there doesn't seem to be any real need for one. Also, we measured storage in minutes. Gerroff my lawn!

Submission OpenPandora design files released

janvlug writes: Today, the OpenPandora case and hardware design files have been released for non-commercial use. The OpenPandora is a hand held Linux computer with gaming controls, but essentially it is an all-purpose computer. The OpenPandorra offers the greatest possible degree of software freedom to a vibrant community of users and developers.

Comment Re:I had a N900 too... (Score 2) 303

Well, I can certainly agree that it's under-spec at this point in time. Problem is that there's still no competition out there that matches what it can do even with the low-power. Full keyboard, game controls and a desktop linux installation? There aren't any cell-phones that to my knowledge can do all that and still fit in your pocket without external peripherals.

Comment Re:I had a N900 too... (Score 2) 303

Agreed. A rooted Android phone with a decent mod on it is as close as you can get to a Unix box in your pocket. The lack of a physical keyboard is a drag, but with a decent stock keyboard replacement like SwiftKey, it is not the end of the world.

What about the OpenPandora? That's an actual linux box in your pocket, keyboard included.

Comment Re:Sounds familiar (Score 1) 124

it's been common knowledge for a few years now

So making 10 attempts to get the needle into a vein just satisfies your sadistic tendencies? :)

Well, we have a rule in our trust that ensures we only have three stabs at a patient before we call an anaesthetist to do the job. I can't speak for my colleagues, but I've only ever needed two attempts... But then, some patients I refer straight on to the anesthetics chap without even bothering :)

This is very handy in emergency situations where it's literally the patient's life on the line if you don't get a needle in.

Comment Re:Sounds familiar (Score 1) 124

Yes, you have. I'm a nurse in the UK and it's been common knowledge for a few years now that a blank photo negative (ie, no picture, just black) stuck over a mobile phone camera lens coupled with an IR torch allows you to see the veins through the camera viewfinder. It's neat to mess around with a really useful with a difficult cannulation.

Comment Re: logic (Score 1) 299

One solution would be to give them an 8-bit emulator so they can the basics such as direct memory mapped I/O (graphics, keyboard, sound), dont have to worry about breaking anything, can learn the fundamentals of hex, of pointers, etc.

From experience with kids, that won't help. When I started learning to code at age 7 on a z80-based computer they were few and far between. Everything was new, and new techniques were being developed all the time. The reason I wanted to code all sorts of algorithms and programs was because there was nothing like them available to me - I enjoyed problem solving because the solution enabled me to achieve a particular goal.

Now there are no goals left of that sort of simplicity - you have to tell the kids that yes, this is important and yes you need to learn it before you can code your own FPS or spreadsheet or whatever, but the software is already out there to scratch that sort of itch. So now you have the majority of kids not wanting to bother with programming because they don't need to. An 8-bit emulator is restricted in terms of both speed, graphical ability and storage whereas they know that the larger PCs are not restricted in those ways and so won't enjoy learning to code on an 8bit emulator.

And a kid that isn't enjoying him or herself won't learn very well at all. That said, I've seen plenty of adults learn to code on an emulator but they learn differently.

Comment Re:Player 2 (Score 1) 880

Player 2 would take a turn after player 1 had died/lost a life. Simultaneous co-op or multiplayer was quite rare, with only a couple. Often in those cases one player would take one side of the keyboard, and the other player would take the other. Unless you happened to have one or two joysticks, but they were quite clumsy in my experience compared to the keyboard :)

Comment Re:Windows 8 is not a catastrophe.... (Score 1) 880

In the 20 years prior to the K&M control method I used a joystick rarely - it was almost exclusively the keyboard (QAOPM) on the 8bit machines I owned. Moving from those machines, I had a brief play with 16bits (Amiga, Megadrive) but then moved on to the PC where keyboard control (with mouse) was the norm.

Comment Re:Where's the ZX Spectrum museum? (Score 1) 196 Shedloads of documents, scanned books, pretty much all the magazines scanned in, vast library of games to play (with permission to host more acquired regularly), links to emulators *and ROM images* legally thanks to Amstrad (the current owners of the Sinclair Computers IP) allowing free distribution. A fantastic site.

Comment Re:NOT what I wanted (Score 1) 137

Or indeed, Disclaimer: I'm the author of that interpreter. It's based on the old 8bit BASIC style, where you get a "command line" where you enter your code and execute statements. It's line-based, and has sprites and graphics and stuff like mod music and such. It's a little pet project which a small number of people enjoy messing around in. It's not a serious programming language.

Comment Should have started with BASIC (Score 1) 1

I started in 1980 with BASIC on a z80-based CPU, then migrated from there to z80 assembly, which stood me in good stead for later years coding in x86 assembly. I currently code in x86, with the occasional foray into Delphi or FPC for rapid prototyping. I've never needed any other languages.

Nonsense. Space is blue and birds fly through it. -- Heisenberg