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Comment: Re:Got 'em at work - I hate 'em. (Score 1) 200 200

Believe me, I cannot, will not stand in one place any more. I've done it, but never willingly. Today, if I had to stand at a work bench or something all day, I would quit. I can't do it.

That's just age though. A little over a year ago, the wife quit her job on an assembly line. They changed up the line, and she was going to have to run a screw gun again. She did it for years, but that metatarsal thing wore her down. She simply WAS NOT going to run a screw gun again!

Comment: Re:Got 'em at work - I hate 'em. (Score 1) 200 200

"It doesn't take a rocket scientist"

No, but it might take a rocket scientist to figure out that BOTH OPTIONS should be available. Hmmmm - how would that work? How 'bout a sturdy work surface, attached to some kind of sturdy arm, anchored to either the floor or the wall, adjustable to any height between about two feet off the floor to about five feet? A short, small person can probably sit cross legged on the floor, and work, and the tallest guy I've ever met could work comfortabley standing up. Throw a chair and/or a stool into the mix, and everyone can find his own posture.

Comment: Re:'Faceglory' (Score 1) 211 211


I am, and I almost facepalm every time I hear someone come out with that line. Likewise, when various activities are talked of as 'sinful', or talked about in a way so as to imply that they are wrong, as if they are self-evidently wrong.

Some Christians take simplistic lines, but some do not.

The trouble is the drift in meaning caused by tradition and human nature. That the Gospel accounts illustrate precisely this problem, and yet too many churchgoers seem blissfully unaware of it takes a little effort to get your head around.

Comment: Last three their own horse (Score 1) 235 235

NetworkManager, PulseAudio and systemd were internal Red Hat projects run by a guy called Lennart who will tell you that they are all far better than linux itself, which he would apparently have done himself only far better if he was only a little bit older. Red Hat didn't pick them from a list, they did them and were stuck with them.
The others were surrounded by the most noise.

Comment: Re:Did you even read my post? (Score 1) 70 70

you keep mistaking my popping your pie in the sky bubbles for ranting

Considering that I don't give a shit either way about rocket labs and have barely heard of them there is clearly no mistake. Are you going to keep on attempting pathetic bullying or are you going to back up or abandon your words above? Let's hear something that actually justifies your rubbishing of my mostly forgotten classes in orbital mechanics. Are you going to answer or do I just file you under clueless windbag who knows fuckall about the topic and just likes to verbally attack strangers?

Comment: You brought up Argentina not me (Score 1) 70 70

So your mention of Argentina was a setup for your current avoidance tactic, so little trap in some game or something? How weird.
As should be obvious by now I'm only on this thread to get some clarification of this statement:

The claimed advantages of launching "deep in the Southern Hemisphere" are bunk.

You've given me nothing to support that. I didn't mention the RL's Electron - you did as an avoidance tactic.

Are you someone who is prepared to back up their statements or are you just a fool shouting into the darkness attacking anyone who asks the meaning of what you are shouting about?

"the only bit of the question that actually matters"

Since I'm the one that asked the question what is wrong with that? I'm not dragging you away from some sort of prepared script, I'm asking you what you meant by the quoted words above.

Comment: Apart from in very rare cases, yes it does (Score 1) 385 385

Well that is the very rare ideal situation of enough memory for the system in all cases and turning the machine off before it has cached much so I really don't get why you are mentioning it. What is your point exactly? That you've completely forgotten that cached stuff sometimes ends up in swap unless you take steps to make sure it does not?
If the system knows it has swap it will eventually use it unless you tell it not to.

Comment: Re:Evangelicals in a very Christian country (Score 1) 211 211

The really sad thing is that is both cases, more so with the one that robbed it's flock blind than the other, there was plenty of community opposition but they had friends in high places until the end.
After the fact one was called a "cult". The other still has some sort of functioning assembly of people now the monster than founded it is dead so not yet.

Comment: Re: Good for greece (Score 1) 1126 1126

Slovenia was not the center of a province called "Rome" for hundreds of years. Northern Mexico was not part of a province called "America" for hundreds of years. The appropriate analogy would be if the US later collapsed, and the southewestern border states were overrun by Mexicans (and then later other peoples), and then much later said people insisted on being called Americans, even though they had interbred with their conquerors.

Note that the people in Greek Macedonia are no more "direct descendants" of the ancient Macedonians than the people of modern Macedonia. Probably less, due to the huge refugee influx that was settled there.

Comment: Re: Good for greece (Score 1) 1126 1126

As described here:

Due to the fragmentary attestation of this language or dialect, various interpretations are possible.[8] Suggested phylogenetic classifications of Macedonian include:[9]

An Indo-European language that is a close cousin to Greek and also related to Thracian and Phrygian languages, suggested by A. Meillet (1913) and I. I. Russu (1938),[10] or part of a Sprachbund encompassing Thracian, Illyrian and Greek (Kretschmer 1896, E. Schwyzer 1959).
An Illyrian dialect mixed with Greek, suggested by K. O. Müller (1825) and by G. Bonfante (1987).
A Greek dialect, part of the North-Western (Locrian, Aetolian, Phocidian, Epirote) variants of Doric Greek, suggested amongst others by N.G.L. Hammond (1989) Olivier Masson (1996), Michael Meier-Brügger (2003) and Johannes Engels (2010).[11][12][13][14]
A northern Greek dialect, related to Aeolic Greek and Thessalian, suggested among others by A.Fick (1874) and O.Hoffmann (1906).[11][15]
A Greek dialect with a non-Indo-European substratal influence, suggested by M. Sakellariou (1983).
A sibling language of Greek within Indo-European, Macedonian and Greek forming two subbranches of a Greco-Macedonian subgroup within Indo-European (sometimes called "Hellenic"),[8] suggested by Joseph (2001), Georgiev (1966),[16] Hamp & Adams (2013),[17]

There's no question that ancient Macedonian was related to Greek (most likely to a northern dialect such as Aetolian) - the question is how and to what degree vs. that of the Illyrians and Thracians. As mentioned, by the 3rd century BC it had become nearly fully absorbed, but not without first contributing words and grammar of its own. An example of the Greek view toward the Macedonians was that Macedonians were initially banned from competing in the Olympic Games (which was only for Greek Men); the first Macedonian to be allowed to compete was Alexander 1, who was made to first prove that he was of sufficient Greek ancestry (note: if that incident ever even happened - there's some suggestion that Alexander's competition in the Olympics may have been a later addition to try to prove their Greek credentials). But even if we take the story at face value, the fact that they demanded proof that he was sufficiently Greek (something not asked of any other competitors) should be a more than sufficient indicator of their views of Macedonians at the time.

Comment: Re:Throw it all out (Score 2) 385 385

One thing I love about xfce (I tend to use UbuntuStudio on most of my machines) is the ability to assign arbitrary keystrokes to commands in the desktop preferences. I thus use the Windows key (call it Meta if you like, but I am too used to calling it Windows, especially since it has a Windows logo on) so that Win-W launches my default word processor, and then if necessary modifiers like shift and ctrl will launch an alternative word processor. Win-T launches the terminal, Win-G does gimp, Win-Shift-G does krita, Win-E does the file manager (having got used to this one on Windows), Win-K does kodi, and so on.
Rather than rely on some dodgy AI to figure out what I want, give the user an easy way to teach it what you want, so that one can easily teach the user how to train the computer to respond. The idea that a few software engineers in a country a few thousand miles away can anticipate how I would want to use the computer is just silly, but that is what Apple, M$, and many desktop environments effectively do.

This hotkey arrangement means that I can go from off to word processor in three touches (power button, which boots to desktop*, Win-W) and about ten seconds. With windows 8, already booted and logged in, it usually takes me longer than that, and many more touches, to get a working word processor. Likewise for other common apps (Win-B does Firefox, Win-Shift-B does Chromium)..

One thing I dislike about how things are on my Linux boxes at present is a kind of 'fragmentation' in the sense that only certain bits of my environment can be directly controlled from the command line, and the command line is limited compared to a language such as Python. I would personally take the idea of sending messages in a command language that would, in practice, resemble a simplistic Lisp, as a core of all applications. UI events like changing font in a word processor or changing colour in a paint program would resolve to commands sent to a mailbox in the app somewhere. This would make the MVC paradigm much more explicit, and I would have the ability to 'log in' to a command processor built into every program (essentially stick such things into the runtime -- look at F-Script anywhere on Mac Os X for an idea about what I am describing).

In particular, if I can conceive of a simple task for, say, my word processor, I would like there to be an easy method to tell it to do this. I am a big fan of the idea of pervasive scriptability, But that does require more thought about the nature of the scripting languages: you want something data-structure based (like Lisp) that is easy to compose programmatically (so that any old scripting language can compose a script for this pervasive scripting language) and easy to pass between processes, whether local or remote (so that a script can throw a complex request to a process somewhere else to handle).

*and I take care to use encrypted containers for anything that I don't want someone with physical access to my machine to get at.

Comment: Re:Please insert Multics subthread here. (Score 2) 385 385

It has occurred to me before that a 64bit memory space is adequate for most purposes (except really big computers), and then a hierarchical arrangement of 64bit address spaces (essentially give each 64bit memory space its own index, with 0 meaning local-default or something like that). Similarly, I started thinking through the idea of a really minimal Forth for 64bit chips where, rather than strings naming words, we just limit things to strings of 8 1-byte characters, possibly using a different character set than ASCII, and ordering it so that lexicographic ordering is identical to the native integer ordering of the processor (then you can remove all need for string processing from the Forth, and move it, if needed, into a frontend).

Chuck Moore (of Forth fame) once commented about the database. Casual users forget that their filesystem is a database, and quite possibly one that is far from optimal for what they are doing with it. Viewing memory and storage as a database of 4K pages, and working up is something that to a certain extent already happens, but making it explicit in system architecture makes a lot of sense to me.

Ideally I would have a system where a minimal Forth like this sits at the bottom level, then there is a minimal Lisp for higher level stuff, with access to a sufficient compiler infrastructure to do basic assembly and writing of components. As for system architecture, I would strip away many of the abstraction layers we currently have. View both storage and memory as a database of 4K pages, each of which is natively viewed as a vector of 512 64bit integers, and viewing smaller cells as fractions of a 64bit integer, and larger cells as vectors of 64bit integers.

As one goes up, implement systems for the various programming paradigms, borrowing from languages such as the various oo languages, the various functional languages, and things like erlang, and the bright ideas that turn up in webserver systems such as nginx and node.js (that is, lightweight 'threads').

The difficulty with any dream like the above, however, is to avoid the 'design by committee' problem of ramming in every pretty idea you see, and of trying to arrange things so that the complexity of the end result system does not blow up massively as things grow towards what we would expect of a modern operating system.

Murphy's Law, that brash proletarian restatement of Godel's Theorem. -- Thomas Pynchon, "Gravity's Rainbow"