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Comment: Re:/. is not kickstarter (Score 4, Insightful) 287

by inflex (#49248289) Attached to: NTP's Fate Hinges On "Father Time"

I really don't see the internet collapsing from him walking away. If it was a legitimate issue it'd be quickly picked up by another party, commercial or otherwise. I'd suggest he does just walk away from it. Even if a lot of money was pushed his way, I'm willing to speculate that he's burned out from all those hours (100/wk?) over the years and now wants to just set things up for a new person, step out, and close the door; been there, done that.

If we ceased having any NTP servers, then there's a more likely internet collapse scenario. The current NTP software seems to have been doing pretty good over the last couple of decades; or is there something that's progressively changing?

I appreciate that the guy has put a lot of work in to it, a lot of us (OSS developers) have and it's a passion more than anything else; if you get money out of it, it's a bonus, but one should never engage in it thinking there'll be any rewards other than seeing that the software itself grows and maybe a little bit of acknowledgement of what you've done. The OSS community can't get all up in arms with disgust when large corps use our software to help them progress, while not all corps give back to all projects, there's still a lot of stuff that is given back, or donated, even when not legally required.

The ethics of earning money off the back of OSS could be debated, but that's a whole different sphere. A lot of us already donate a lot of money already to various OSS projects as a nice feel-good gesture as well as a way to encourage further developments.

Comment: Nothing unusual really (Score 4, Informative) 192

by inflex (#49010293) Attached to: Xenon Flashes Can Make New Raspberry Pi 2 Freeze and Reboot

There's plenty of cases of electronics misbehaving due to exposure to strong light. Glass enveloped diodes (such as signal diodes) can be notorious for it, as can the black plastic encased units if the light is strong enough.

Small bare CoG (Chip on Glass) LCD panels will crash / hang when you use the flash on the camera taking photos of them in operation ( same reason, the controller die is exposed ).

It's not EM-pulse or xrays causing the problem, just good ole silicon junctions being exposed to intense light :)

Comment: Re:Then buy a used PC (Score 4, Insightful) 355

by inflex (#48956315) Attached to: New Multi-Core Raspberry Pi 2 Launches

Ignoring the actual Pi debate -
Darn those people who still use 68HC11 and 6502 controllers. You seem experienced enough to likely know yourself that if you've got a chip that's cheap enough not to ruin your BOM, that is available/in-production, does the job, has a solid toolchain, and coupled with years of development experience globally and in-house, then you don't just throw that all in the trash because something newer/faster/smaller/cheaper comes out.

Half the time I think a lot of people jump to the newest stuff because they don't like having their exclusivity eroded. Using older stuff makes sense when your product doesn't need cutting edge and you want to have a wealth of experience / dependability to draw from.

As for me, I'm still enjoying the AVR Tiny4/5/9/10 series, it's like the modern 555 ;)

Comment: Re:the problem with Twitter (Score 4, Interesting) 114

by inflex (#48896859) Attached to: Twitter Moves To Curb Instagram Links

+1 to this.

I appreciate the terseness of Twitter's 140char limit, but it's a little *too* restrictive. I agree it makes people creative, but after a while the shine goes off that when you're just trying to get something important out there which could be better said with a few more characters rather than making people jump via a URL to somewhere else.

Maybe they should just abolish the limit entirely. Not like we're confined to the restrictions of SMS as the data carrier any more.

Comment: Hope they don't eat food from that oven again... (Score 1) 304

by inflex (#48703043) Attached to: Putting a MacBook Pro In the Oven To Fix It

Considering how paranoid everyone is about cancer causing substances it's not great advice really. Reflowing any electronics in an oven will cause a degree of gas-off and splatter of goodness knows what ( even RoHS compliant ), particularly if you're using flux to assist in the reflow. You should never do this sort of thing with items that'll be used for food later.

On the other hand, if you buy a pizza oven for $19.95 and use it for the reflow, and never use it again for food, then no worries ( still a cheap reflow ).

Comment: Book on it... C of Peril... yarrrr! (Score 2) 641

by inflex (#48553853) Attached to: How Relevant is C in 2014?

Lots of old traps in there, I stopped about 5 years ago with this book, needs a lot more work, but covers the basic "ooops" events. Thankfully at least with things like Valgrind / CLANG|gcc a lot of the older dramatic mistakes can be picked out quickly.

"C of Peril" - the book (pdf, free) at

Comment: Re:How badly coded are Windows applications? (Score 1) 349

by inflex (#48061403) Attached to: Possible Reason Behind Version Hop to Windows 10: Compatibility

Not as long-beardered here ('88) but the 1M5, 2u2 and similar numbering system has been around for quite some time over here in Australia. Very useful for avoiding those "Is that a bit of dust or a decimal-point" ambigious situations, particularly when photocopiers and/or leaky screen-printing was used for generating the output.

Comment: Re: What for? (Score 3, Interesting) 191

by inflex (#47661765) Attached to: Reversible Type-C USB Connector Ready For Production

Pretty much every data connector has its pins exposed to the air and subsequently ingress of dust and liquid when not mated. Having a big metal enclosures/ground planes/shields around the connector is about electrical noise control and sometimes to a limited degree about preventing mechanical damage.

The old apple connector was awful, prone to breakages and pin-lifting due to "real humans" using the devices, it also was a significant pain to replace in the iPod Touch due to its wide body and numerous pins ( at least the phones had a replacable flex lead containing the dock connector ), it was also exceptionally good at picking up crap (lint, paper, body gunk, drinks ... everything that you'd think people wouldn't in their right mind have near it ). I like that it's been changed around to the lightning connector, yes the pins are exposed on it, but it would seem that for a portable device that's floating around in a lot of random environments, the lightning cable is the one that gets the least exposure ( compared to the device ) as it just sits at home waiting till the user returns to charge up their device again. The most common problem we've been encountering is just the socket on the phones filling up with lint over time causing the connection to fail due to the inability to fully insert the plug - thankfully easy to fix of course.

The MicroUSB connector on phones usually are mashed due to people deciding "No, it really MUST fit this way". The SONY Xperia with the Micro-A was a wonderful disaster in that respect ( yes, I know the key is offset to prevent incorrect insertion, but it's useless against determined humans ), or due to looser tolerances the tongue gets partially sheared away when the phone is dropped on the connector while plugged in.

Who knows how people manage to break things in strange ways, but they do, "we" might not, but "they" certainly do.

Comment: Re: What for? (Score 4, Insightful) 191

by inflex (#47659419) Attached to: Reversible Type-C USB Connector Ready For Production

It likely won't, and its failure will be expensive on the device.

As a non-apple-fanboy, I do have to say that the lightning connector used on iPhones is a smarter connector. If it's going to break due to external force, it'll break the tongue off the plug, rather than damaging the socket, subsequently a lot cheaper and easier to fix. Replacing broken microUSB ( and soon Type-C ) sockets on phones, tablets and similar devices is rarely cheap and frequently has additional complications ( such as lifting tracks, broken PCBs or just nearly impossible to find a suitable replacement connector ).

It's a lot simpler extracting a broken off tongue from a lightning socket and getting a new cable.

Comment: Re:Original iPads Work Well ... (Score 1) 386

by inflex (#46832303) Attached to: iPad Fever Is Officially Cooling

iPhone 4's ( not 4S ) being updated to iOS 7 generally don't seem to perform quite as well as they did on iOS 6. Clients get annoyed with the lag and jump to the iP4S or 5. Still, that's not exclusive to Apple, but the inability to roll back for normal consumer situations is a significant pain.

Battery replacement isn't so bad in the iP4, 4S and 5.

Comment: Certainly as a fork... good luck (Score 4, Interesting) 248

by inflex (#46550987) Attached to: Neovim: Rebuilding Vim For the 21st Century

I admit to being curious to see how this one goes as a fork off the existing vim codebase, but I'm not sure I'd be putting any bets on its long term viability. I suspect an overdose of optimism and insufficient compelling reasons for users to shift from vim will starve this project out.

Good luck to the developer - it's going to be one hell of a learning experience.

Sigmund Freud is alleged to have said that in the last analysis the entire field of psychology may reduce to biological electrochemistry.