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Comment: Re:TI 99/4A to 8GB PC (Score 1) 587

by fruity_pebbles (#44329885) Attached to: Compared to my 1st computer's memory ...
My recollection is that the base model TI 99/4A had 16KB built in, but it was actually video memory. The CPU had none, or only a small amount (256 bytes sounds about right). To run software stored in the video memory the CPU had to continually make requests to the video chip to transfer data from the video memory.

The memory expansion modules that plugged into the side of the console connected to the CPU's memory bus. I heard that BASIC programs and other software ran a lot faster if you had a memory expansion module, because obviously the CPU could directly access that memory. I never had a memory expansion module so I don't know if that was true, but I do remember that BASIC programs ran noticeably slower on my TI 99/4A than on other computers I used at that time (TRS-80, Apple II, C-64).

Comment: Remember Google Reader (Score 1) 172

by fruity_pebbles (#44101487) Attached to: Is Google Voice Doomed To Be 2nd-Class Messaging System?
Google killed off Google Reader because it "only" had about a million users. (Although based on the number of new Feedly users it's likely that the number was a lot higher than that.) Google Voice has about 3.5 million users, and while it has a lot of great features it also has a lot of limitations and quirks that have been there a while and there's no sign of Google addressing them. Now Google says that Hangouts is the future, but I suspect the transition is going to be akin to pulling the rug out from under Google Voice users, similar to the way that Google Reader users were "transitioned".

Full disclosure: I'm not a Google Voice user. I used to be a very satisfied Google Reader user.

Comment: Re:There are technical solutions... (Score 3, Insightful) 1388

by fruity_pebbles (#42536791) Attached to: Smart Guns To Stop Mass Killings

Important to note: ammo has a shelf life of a few years. Within a decade, culpability for gun crimes could be much more transparent.

Good quality ammo has a shelf life of a few decades, or more. I've personally fired commercial 9mm ammo that was 25+ years old; it worked just like brand new ammo.

Comment: Re:Missed Opportunity (Score 1) 359

by fruity_pebbles (#41820999) Attached to: Google's Nexus 4, 7, 10 Strategy: Openness At All Costs

I believe they missed a big opportunity by not delivering a Verizon LTE capable phone in the $350-$450 range. There is a significant portion of users who are still grandfathered on to "unlimited" data that are approaching upgrade time (e.g., early adopters who bought VZW's first LTE phone, the HTC Thunderbolt back in Dec 2010). There's a large market of people that would choose an unsubsidized LTE Nexus 4 which lets them keep unlimited data for that price. The competitive subsidized phones (i.e. GS3 or Note 2) would only be about $200 or so less but would cost the user their unlimited data plan which a lot of people value more than $200.

The HTC Thunderbolt was released in March, 2011. However, your comment is still valid - a lot of people who bought a Thunderbolt then will become eligible for a phone upgrade in November, 2012. A Nexus 4 that runs on Verizon's LTE network would be an attractive alternative.

Comment: Too much sacrifice for openness (Score 2) 359

by fruity_pebbles (#41820453) Attached to: Google's Nexus 4, 7, 10 Strategy: Openness At All Costs
I'm all for openness, but I'm not going to buy an "open" phone that's starkly lacking in features. The Nexus One had the best hardware of any smartphone on the market when it was introduced. The Nexus S? Nice, but not spectacular. Galaxy Nexus? Nice, not spectacular, crappy camera. Nexus 4? No LTE - that's a deal breaker for a lot of people. Was the Nexus One a fluke, or has Google given up on trying to deliver a Nexus phone with great hardware?

Comment: Got me out of jury duty (Score 5, Interesting) 391

I was #8 in the jury pool for a DUI case. They were empaneling 12 jurors so I was going to be on the jury unless the prosecution or the defense chose to strike me. During voire dire the prosecutor asked a general question along the lines of "how do you feel about DUI cases?" I raised my hand, explained that I was a computer programmer, and said that I was skeptical of the reliability of breathalyzers because of articles I had read in trade journals concerning buggy breathalyzer software. I was not picked to be on the jury.

Comment: Re:strangely, without my intervention (Score 1) 344

by fruity_pebbles (#37977936) Attached to: Setting the various household clocks ...
I have about half a dozen "atomic" (actually WWVB) clocks. Most of them change correctly for DST. One or two of them change the hour correctly, but for some reason also adjust the minutes ahead by one. And they're ahead by exactly 60 seconds. In a day or two they figure it out and set themselves to the correct time.

Comment: Watch (Score 1) 334

by fruity_pebbles (#35280080) Attached to: How Many Solar Powered Devices Do You Own?
My Casio G-Shock Waveceptor is low maintenance: Solar powered; no batteries to wear out. Set time by WWVB; no manual adjustments needed for DST, and no worries about the watch running fast or slow.

I answered 0-1, but I do have a second solar powered device: a Casio scientific calculator. The calculator still works great, but I haven't used it in at least 15 years.

"I have more information in one place than anybody in the world." -- Jerry Pournelle, an absurd notion, apparently about the BIX BBS

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