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Comment Re:So basically 1-track MOD tracker (Score 4, Interesting) 54

I remember writing down the frequencies of every note so that we could encode a song into an HP48.

You certainly did it the hard way. A=440 hz. The ratio between any two adjacent half steps is 2^-12 so one can calculate any pitch given a note name and octave. A friend wrote a program for our 48SX's that would take a file of the format {t=60 {notename octavenumber duration}...} (the first term is the tempo, duration is 1 for whole note, 2 for half note, 4 for quarter, etc.) and convert it to the format "freq dur BEEP" so we could input songs directly from sheet music. I still have the program on my HP48SX twenty years later and still have the interpreted William Tell Overture and Imperial March.

Comment Re:Tesla not on that list? (Score 1) 535

Pontiac was 'just a brand,' there was really not much difference between Pontiacs and other GM cars

This is mostly true. The Pontiac G8 may be one of the best cars ever sold under the Pontiac name and in the stick shift GXP version it is unlike any car made by any other manufacturer, even if it was a rebadged Holden Commodore from GM's Australia division.

Comment Re:That's what Nokia, Moto, and Microsoft said (Score 1) 535

It's just that Apple could afford to BUY any expertise it needed to make it work if it chooses to.

The question is how does one define "work." Stock prices are based on the present value of estimated future earnings. Apple stockholders are used to stellar valuations based on the fact that Apple sells a premium, high margin line of products that are part of a bigger ecosystem.

For the CY ending 12/31/14, AAPL's Net Profit Margin was 21.6% and Return on Assets was 17%. For the same period GM's were 2.61% and 2.2% respectively. If I was an AAPL shareholder I would be furious that management was doing this.

Just because AAPL does something does not mean it has to turn out like other things it has done.

Comment Re:Good. (Score 4, Interesting) 226

I have psoriatic arthritis, an auto-immune condition that is effectively the opposite of HIV. Instead of a weak immune system, mine is so jacked up it causes harm to my own body (it does mean I never get the flu and rarely ever have colds.) I have to use Humira to keep it at bay, and if I don't I will be crippled sooner, at a cost of nearly $3K a month. No conspiracy to it and I am sure it is profitable for the company. I am probably in the same boat as a person protected from AIDS by this drug; taking it is the difference between life and an early, miserable death.

Comment Re:book was boring (Score 1) 60

Reaching way, way back (with help from the Interwebs)...

Hydrazine (H2NNH2 or N2H4) has a molecular weight of 32.05 g/mol and a density of 1.02g/cm^3

1L of Hydrazine = 31.83 mol

1 mol Hydrazine => 2 mol N + 4 mol H

4 mol H + 2 mol O => 2 mol H2O

31.83 mol Hydrazine => 63.66 mol H2O

63.66 mol H2O has a mass of 1146g or 1.146L at STP

I think I got that right.

While his mental calculations weren't accurate to four decimal places, from a Fermi calculation standpoint he was close enough to the actual value to act on his estimate. He took a bunch of shortcuts but his logic "each hydrazine molecule yields two hydrogen molecules" is sound which means that two liters of liquid hydrogen combined with sufficient oxygen to make water should yield roughly two liters of water, which it actually does within about 10%.

There are certainly other examples of deviation from factual science but this one doesn't seem that bad.

Real Programmers think better when playing Adventure or Rogue.