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Comment: attacked by a pillow (Score 4, Insightful) 31

by confused one (#46777141) Attached to: The Squishy Future of Robotics

Sure.... attacked by a 500 lb Kevlar reinforced pillow that can wrap around a body and sqeeze it until it pops like a zit.

OK, some of the search and rescue applications using the soft robots are a great idea; and, robots, in general, are useful tools. But a robot is a machine. Machines break. Computers malfunction. A small S&R robot has a small but measurable risk profile. If it's in a med-surgical application then it has the ability to do damage to the body of either the patient or the attending medical staff, should it malfunction. If it can perform industrial tasks, like lifting a car, then it can equally as well crush a person. One cannot say, "Look, it's soft and squishy" and ignore safety factors.

Comment: Re:old tech (Score 1) 165

by confused one (#46762731) Attached to: Reviving a Commodore 64 Computer Using a Raspberry Pi
Yeah, I'm aware of the isobutane and isopropane blends. Problem is that the Chevy's from the '60's and early '70's use a POA valve to regulate the system. Rather than cycle the compressor, the compressor runs 100% of the time and the system is regulated by a pressure control valve (the POA). The valve is pre-set for a pressure set point based on an R-12 curve. You have to adjust the valve to match the curve of the refrigerant. Said valve is not externally adjustable. Once you're in there, it's just as easy to convert the system to R-143. For what it's worth, I've already pulled the entire front of the truck apart. Everything forward of the firewall is currently off the truck; Doing a full overhaul of brakes, suspension, steering, drivetrain and body rust remediation. So, I'm at a point of converting it anyway.

Comment: Re:old tech (Score 2) 165

by confused one (#46752105) Attached to: Reviving a Commodore 64 Computer Using a Raspberry Pi

See, this is where it goes all sideways.

I have a 44 year old truck. I get the collecting cars thing. I understand the collecting old guns thing. I get the being creative and building your own furniture thing. But he's not collecting old computers and keeping them alive. He's making a copy of the old machine using a new one, that acts somewhat like (but will never behave exactly like) the old one. The guy's creating yet another emulator using an ARM processor board.

Car analogy again: my truck has the original engine castings. It's basically an 1970 LT1 engine, tuned for truck use, which makes it doubly cool; but, it's still the original castings. It's still carbureted. It still has the mechanical voltage regulator. It's as original as I can make it, reasonably speaking (the A/C may need to be upgraded because R-12 is damned hard to find and expensive). If he wanted to do it right, he'd start with an actual C64 or at least with a 6510 processor, which might require he make one...

Comment: why (Score 1) 165

by confused one (#46751909) Attached to: Reviving a Commodore 64 Computer Using a Raspberry Pi
OK, I learned on the Apple ][, PET, VIC-20 (all 6502's) and a C64 (6510) as well... I also owned a Tandy CoCo (6809). And I remember how things were back then... But what's the point of all this nostalgic development effort to recreate the old machine, again? Hell, there are emulators that run on Linux that would work fine on the Raspberry Pi. Unless you're trying to recover some fundamentally necessary data or program, I just don't see the point. Move on man... Move on.

Comment: Re:most useful (Score 1) 725

by confused one (#46737341) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Are You Apocalypse-Useful?
I missed something that others have mentioned... People need water, food, shelter, warm clothing... Meeting those basic needs will be the first and foremost in importance. I missed clothing. Anyone with knitting, weaving and sewing skills will be important to post apocalyptic survival. the scientists and engineers will only be important initially in support of meeting those needs; the rest follows later (building and fixing things).

Comment: most useful (Score 1) 725

by confused one (#46737305) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Are You Apocalypse-Useful?
post apocalypse, the most important profession is going to be farmer. People got to eat. Skilled trades will be in demand, post apocalypse as before: carpenters, bricklayers and blacksmiths, for example. People need shelter and safety. After that, scientists or engineers who can make things happen, build things, fix things...

Comment: Re:changing part without changing number is common (Score 5, Informative) 236

Since I work for an automotive OEM.... When this is done, there is an Engineering Change Order documenting the change and why it was implemented. We don't change anything without first getting the approval of the customer; and, invariably they will want all the relevant DV and PV testing redone. Huge effort and pain. All of this is well documented and nothing ships until we have final approval from the customer.

The part number may not change; but, the part revision level will. PN 123456 RevA will become PN 123456 RevB. We treat it as the "same" part number but will only ship the latest revision once we have customer approval. As for tracking, I don't know how our customers tracks the change internally; but, I can tell you which batch, serial number, and date code the new revision started shipping.

When all else fails, read the instructions.