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Comment: old school visualization (Score 5, Interesting) 68 68

Back in the day, working at an instrumentation company as a mechanical guy, I stopped to watch the senior electronic design engineer who was doing something that looked interesting. He had an old persistence-type storage oscilloscope hooked up to the rack-mount computer for a new instrument system and was watching the scope display, which was producing some fascinating patterns. Knowing f'all about this stuff but intrigued, I asked him to explain what was happening. He explained (and I'll butcher the explanation with layman's terms) that he was using d/a converters on the high and low bytes of the program address? to drive the x and y axes of the scope, and watching to see where, in the software, that the processor was spending much of it's time. He pointed to a hot spot on the scope display and said that this was where he would concentrate on optimizing his code. Fwiw, I thought that was pretty cool.
The Internet

Think-Tank Warns of Internet "Brownouts" Starting Next Year 445 445

JacobSteelsmith writes "A respected American think-tank, Nemertes Research, reports the Web has reached a critical point. For many reasons, Internet usage continues to rise (imagine that), and bandwidth usage is increasing due to traffic heavy sites such as YouTube. The article goes on to describe the perils Internet users will face including 'brownouts that will freeze their computers as capacity runs out in cyberspace,' and constant network 'traffic jams,' similar to 'how home computers slow down when the kids get back from school and start playing games.' ... 'Monthly traffic across the internet is running at about eight exabytes. A recent study by the University of Minnesota estimated that traffic was growing by at least 60 per cent a year, although that did not take into account plans for greater internet access in China and India. ... While the net itself will ultimately survive, Ritter said that waves of disruption would begin to emerge next year, when computers would jitter and freeze. This would be followed by brownouts — a combination of temporary freezing and computers being reduced to a slow speed.'"

Comment: Hubble Reentry skid ?! (Score 2, Insightful) 66 66

Check out this photo of parts for a Hubble Telescope Reentry Skid at http://cstcomposites.com/images/NASA.JPG . No doubt a brainchild of those greedy scheming curators at the Smithsonian. Sending it into the sun would be cool too, but pushing it into the ocean would be cheapest.

Gosh that takes me back... or is it forward? That's the trouble with time travel, you never can tell." -- Doctor Who, "Androids of Tara"

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