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Comment Re:A spreadsheet for an RSVP list? (Score 1) 118

I was at one of the early Office launches, 1997 or so (not for fun, I was an MS conference tech). One of the things that lodged in my head was the presentation from the Excel project lead and the implied competition between the Office apps. He said he had heard about all the great advances Word had made for text formatting and presentation for this release, and he exclaimed that "we have Word's functionality inside each and every cell!"

So no, even from the earliest, and as far as MS was concerned, spreadsheets were not primarily calculators but a way to present tabulated data.

Comment Re:Amiga 2000 in East German nuclear research (Score 1) 192

The Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC) also extensively used the Amiga for data visualization (Hippograph), capture, and documention (TeX) in the late 80s and just into the early 90s. A few great (mythical?) Amiga applications are hosted there, still:



Comment Microsoft "At Home" lab is a bust (Score 3, Interesting) 161

In the late nineties and into the last decade Microsoft just dumped too much time and money on their vision of a hyper-connected home. They dumped so much research money into building out test spaces and building out test devices, they failed to realize that people don't want an intelligent dryer and an intelligent toaster and an intelligent melon baller. The reality is whatever fancy device you own that has any kind of transistor in it, much less a CPU-- a phone, a tablet, a TV-- you're having to fuss with it. Constantly. And the same is/was always true for their "Microsoft At Home" vision. And yes, these things were connected-- but only to each other.

That, and the fact that Microsoft has always misread the Internet, from coming to TCP/IP late, to ignoring the vital interoperability that cloud services demand. It's always been about the toys with them. Toys that run Windows. Ugh.

Gratefully, only a few of these monstrous things ever saw the light of day beyond the lab.

Comment Sounds like a good companion book to this one: (Score 2) 18


Take the two of them together for an unbroken history of RPGs up to about a few years ago. I'm nearly finished with Dungeons and Desktops, and despite a slight bias against Amigas (or ports in general) and an unfamiliarity with certain D&D rules, it's a great tour of CRPGs from the past. Use the author's Gamasutra articles for the full-color screenshots, though.

Comment Oh, SO going into my Alpha Personal Workstation... (Score 3, Interesting) 199

I'm hoping it's got a bog-standard PCI interface specification, so that the old PWS console firmware works with it. The PWS 600au works great with an ATI Radeon 9000, NetBSD + X11. Not so sure about the xorg support for the GT520 though. We'll see.

Comment Re:Good idea, how will the implementation be ? (Score 1) 189

I very strongly disagree; I went from a Caviar Black to a Momentus XT (same size) in my Macbook Pro, and I see improvements everywhere. I dual-boot this with Windows 7, so I don't see the full improvement that I would if it were a single-OS-system, but even after I run an extended Windows session, restarting into OS X largely comes off the SSD. My "bouncemarks" (dock bounces are often used as a bench) are very low or nonexistent for frequently-used apps (like Mail, or Outlook), where before with the Caviar they could take a dozen seconds or more to start up.

There are likely differences for each system as to how effective it is (and possible ROM version differences, this one is SD26), but I see real improvements with the Seagate hybrid drive.

Comment Xen is alive and well (Score 1) 105

Don't believe the FUD in these party-line comments. I run a NetBSD Dom0 with now 7 Red Hat DomU's in an LDAP/messaging cluster on a single server, scoped to 10 concurrent VMs hitting iSCSI cluster targets.

It's not a desktop product. It's designed for high-availability and dense clustering, has a mature codebase and tools, and it works well. And yes, Red Hat 6 runs just fine as a DomU out of the box, and can be a Dom0 as well, if you like (although not "supported" by Red Hat, still quite functional).

Comment Re:I forget... (Score 4, Informative) 536

No. NeXTSTEP pre-dated NetBSD and FreeBSD. NeXTSTEP was based on BSD Tahoe 4.3, and OS X took code from all three codebases (OS X was NetBSD-heavy in the early days until Jordan Hubbard joined Apple and influenced further conversion to FreeBSD code).

To this day you can find BSD code from all BSD codebases, but not quite as much from OpenBSD. Run 'strings' on the libraries to get the skinny.

Comment BillG hated the concept! (Score 3, Interesting) 404

I worked at Microsoft for the Windows 95 launch, where I provided Tier-1 support for BOOP (Bill and the Office of the President, i.e. CEO tradeshow tech support). I do recall that Bill specifically called out the 'shutdown' function on Windows 95 as an error. He didn't like it, he hated the idea of waiting for the OS to shutdown, and wanted simply to be able to push the power button to immediately turn the system off, like a DOS PC.

He may or may not have understood the concept of in-memory caches and unsaved user work, but it didn't much matter to him.

Comment So the field emulates binocular depth? Bullcrap. (Score 1) 269

I'm not a neurologist, so school me. But look, we all know when we are having ocular hallucinations. Press on your closed eyes for a while and open them. There's no perception of depth to it; no sense of "oh, that hallucination looks like it's hovering over that hill 30 meters away." Now, these are allegedly affecting the visual cortex directly, but still...

How would a magnetic field hallucination within the visual cortex create a sense of binocular depth, and consistently track to a static location in space, within each input to the cortex? It's _obvious_, isn't it, when we hallucinate? Just flick your eyes a bit and move your focus, and watch the hallucination follow.

Consultants are mystical people who ask a company for a number and then give it back to them.