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Comment: My first Windows machine (Score 1) 386

by hackertourist (#49757231) Attached to: 25 Years Today - Windows 3.0

I did an internship at a telecom research facility around that time. They provided me with a 286 outfitted to run electronics simulations software. It had 2 MB RAM installed on an ISA card (or a predecessor thereof, it's a long time ago). It ran Windows 3.0, sort of. 2 MB was too little, and the thing crashed constantly. Combine that with the clumsy UI (File Manager and Program Manager, for instance) and the mess of applications that hadn't standardized yet (every program used different shortcuts), and the experience was less than stellar.
The contrast with my own Macintosh was huge. If you think us Maccies are smug now, you should have seen us then.

Comment: Re:Tolls? (Score 1) 826

by hackertourist (#49742005) Attached to: Oregon Testing Pay-Per-Mile Driving Fee To Replace Gas Tax

I was in favor of replacing the current Dutch car taxing scheme with a PAYG scheme. At the moment I'm paying a tax ("ownership tax") with rates based on vehicle weight and fuel type. This is a fixed cost; I have to pay this even when my vehicle isn't driven for weeks at a time. This removes some of the financial incentive of not using the car.
A PAYG scheme more closely couples my cost to the actual cost society incurs by my road usage, esp. when you include congestion charging.
Congestion charging also gives me leverage. If my employer requires me to be at $congestion_prone_location at $congestion_peak_time I can hand him a bill. Employers don't care how much time their employees spend in traffic jams, maybe the financial consequences of those traffic jams will get their attention.

Comment: Re:Tolls? (Score 5, Interesting) 826

by hackertourist (#49736261) Attached to: Oregon Testing Pay-Per-Mile Driving Fee To Replace Gas Tax

Depends on how you implement it. A PAYG tax scheme was discussed in the Netherlands a few years ago, tariffs would have depended on the environmental rating of your vehicle, i.e. an old diesel would be taxed more than a new Euro-5 compliant one.

Over here the big advantages of PAYG were seen as:
- congestion pricing becomes possible
- it'd replace taxes on ownership and car purchase with usage-related pricing, incentivizing people to drive less.

The big disadvantage was the privacy concerns.

Comment: Re:satellites (Score 1) 403

Most of the US Navy's nuclear ships are setup to be refueled at least once in the expected lifetime

Yes, that's why I specifically referred to CVN 78 which no longer has that requirement. The latest nuclear submarines have also been designed to do away with the midlife refueling, since that's a horrendously expensive 2-year-long drydock job.

Comment: Re:satellites (Score 3, Informative) 403

The Voyager RTGs are decaying, NASA expects output power to drop below the point where it can keep a single instrument going around 2025.
The Pioneers are already long past the point where they can't send a strong enough signal to be detected.
The latest nuclear power plants for the US Navy have been designed to run without refueling for the life of the ship. That's 50 years for aircraft carriers, so the USS Gerald R Ford (CVN 78) is capable of functioning until 2065. Now I don't know how stable a nuclear power plant is when left on its own, but potentially this'll live much longer than the Voyagers.

Comment: Not stuck in orbit! (Score 5, Informative) 105

by hackertourist (#49675359) Attached to: ISS Crew Stuck In Orbit While Russia Assesses Rocket

They have a Soyuz attached to the station and can use that to return to Earth if they need to.
They're just postponing a scheduled crew change, which is possible because despite the Progress failure, they still have enough supplies to last them until the next scheduled supply run.

Comment: Re:hey, y'all, watch this! (Score 1) 49

The LR weighed 210 kg on Earth, 35 kg on the Moon.

I don't think he's putting so much force on it he'd lift one wheel though: he's standing downhill from the vehicle and he's holding on to it above its CoG. He'd have to be pulling the vehicle to lift that wheel, but he should be pushing it to prevent it sliding down the hillside.
More likely the rover is sitting on uneven ground and the right front suspension has bottomed out.

Comment: Re:Windows X (Score 1) 199

Exactly. From now on, no more version numbers greater than 10.
So they'll have Windows 10.1 - 10.10, then they'll continue numbering at 10.10.1 - 10.10.10, then it's etc.
Until the Windows version string gets to be more than 256 bytes long and the version checking code breaks.

A good supervisor can step on your toes without messing up your shine.