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Comment Random stuff (Score 2) 251

- A hardware boot selector knob wired to joystick port (the four buttons input pins) with a diode mesh to encode the 12 knob positions into binary combinations of grounded pins. Along with view bytes of assembly in MBR to boot the right partition and a .com file for DOS to chose wither to start the GUI (Win95/ W3.11) and a shell script under linux reading /dev/port to choose wither start X11 or not. That was a nice hack that allowed me to position the knob to the configuration I wanted at startup and reboot the box without the need to wait for the boot manager menu to popup so I could do something else.

- Rewiring a pin on an ISA modem card to use the IRQ6 (floppy) instead of IRQ3 or 4, this allowed me to serve one more line with my fax server

- The most epic one: I was handing around with older folks who were trying to debug a DOS program protected by a sentinel dongle connected to a parallel port the problem was that the software was using interrupt vector bytes to store the variable so as soon as it started, it was overwriting the adders of the IRQ handler used by the debugger. What I suggested was to to take a pin from the parallel port and connect it to an IRQ pin of the ISA bus. Thus when the software tried to communicate with the dongle (well, actually a couple of hundreds of cycles later), they could trigger a memory dump and analyze the code that was encrypted in memory the rest of the time.

Comment Re:No (Score 1) 291

Sorry for the infamous car metaphor but I think, for once it is appropriate.

By Your logic, in the beginning of automotive era (let's say around 1900) one could have said "most people aren't fit to drive a car". And in fact this sentence was most certainly true then given what the experience of driving one was.

But now in some countries lack of driving license is a sentence to a miserable live (compared to other representatives of the same society).

Could it be that today programming tools just aren't mature enough?

OTOH one could argue that if we need to improve coding experience as much as the driving experience has improved in a century then it would not be coding anymore.

Well, maybe, but then, in order to make it happen a critical mass of users is required and that will be achieved by rising more coders.

Comment Re:Integrated this, integrated that (Score 4, Insightful) 840

I second that and would also emphase that many gadgets are made unfixable on purpose: glued in such a way that they would break if You try to open them, outside screws with non conventional head types. These are not cost reduction measures but rather anti-tamper protections.

Comment Re:Original ethnics groups ... (Score 1) 522

Then You might be interested in investigating the history of this region : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R...

My point is: Russian speaking people of east Ukraine have graves of their grand-parents on this land.
Abolishing their language and telling them to leave if they are not happy about that seem a tad excessive so there is no surprise that they decided to fight for their independence from Kiev.

Pound for pound, the amoeba is the most vicious animal on earth.