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Comment: Re:Keep digging you own hole (Score 1) 166

by jonadab (#49423455) Attached to: The Arrival of Man-Made Earthquakes
I live in Ohio. We have 3.x and even 4.x quakes, I'm told, "all the time" (albeit, not nearly as often as California).

I've never felt an earthquake, nor do I know anyone who has ever felt one of these 3.x or 4.x quakes. Back in the eighties (I want to say '86 maybe) we had a 5.x, which of course was all over the news for weeks. I knew several people who claimed to have felt that one, including my father. Invariably, they were sitting at the time, and not on a padded surface like a couch or recliner, either. People who were outdoors walking around at the time -- including me -- felt nothing. We could only hear about it later and envy our friends who had actually experienced this amazing once-in-a-lifetime phenomenon.

I don't doubt that it's /theoretically/ possible to feel a 3.0, under perfect laboratory conditions. But under normal real-world conditions, there's no way you're ever going to notice it. It's way too subtle.

+ - New NetHack Variant: NetHack Fourk->

Submitted by jonadab
jonadab writes: A new NetHack variant has been brought into existence. This variant is called NetHack Fourk, and it is based on the NetHack 4 codebase. The focus of the variant is on balance refinements and on differentiating existing content (roles, monsters, levels, etc.)
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Unfortunately, it's still on piano (Score 1) 59

> And the German word for "piano" is "Klavier".

I don't know about modern German, but in Bach's time any keyboard instrument would be called a Klavier.

However, you are certainly correct about the Well-Tempered Clavier being by design particularly suited, more than any of Bach's other music, to newer instruments that were more closely approaching the modern piano than anything that had come before. That's the whole point of the piece, in fact.

Comment: Re:Unfortunately, it's still on piano (Score 1) 59

> I went to Bach's childhood home and they have a number of his harpsichords

Yes, but those harpsichords were probably all justly intoned for a particular key (not necessarily all for the /same/ particular key, mind you). Well tempered instruments were a relatively new thing in Bach's time, and the instrument most widely associated with well temperament (and later perfectly equal temperament) is the pianoforte.

Most of Bach's works would be better performed on some other instrument -- violin, harpsichord, or in a few cases the pipe organ. The Well-Tempered Clavier is the exception. More than anything else Bach wrote, it really does belong on the piano.

Comment: Re:Unfortunately, it's still on piano (Score 1) 59

The more you study Bach's work, the more you get the impression that he didn't really prefer one instrument over another. The man routinely took pieces that had been originally written for one instrument and reworked them for another. He made violin pieces work on the harpsichord, harpsichord pieces on the pipe organ, organ pieces on the violin, whatever. He really seems to have been more interested in the music itself than in the specific acoustic properties of any particular instrument.

Besides that, of all the works Bach wrote, the WTC specifically is probably the best suited for pianoforte. Virtually every other keyboard instrument available in Bach's time was tuned to a just intonation in almost every case, making them unsuitable to play this particular piece. A justly intoned harpsichord (or a set of justly intoned violins for that matter) would be fine for BWV1079 or 1080, but it clearly wouldn't work at all for WTC.

Comment: Re:It depends (Score 1) 307

Yeah, it depends.

I think I've had five power supplies go bad for every one other component that has failed. So if you count by the number of incidents, definitely PSUs.

But, when a power supply goes bad, you replace it, and *usually* the computer then works just fine.

If you count by the number of hours of my time that have been spent as a result of hardware failures, then obviously hard drives have caused me the most trouble. They're the second most common thing to go bad after the PSU, and you typically have to _at least_ do a full OS reinstall after you replace one, then install updates and applications. That's if the system in question didn't have any data on it that you have to restore from backup, or any significant customization...

Comment: Re:Bugs in Win 7 UI (Score 1) 516

by jonadab (#49156083) Attached to: Users Decry New Icon Look In Windows 10
At least they've improved the performance of using .zip files in Windows Explorer. Back when they first introduced that, it was *awful*. If the zipfile contained more than a couple of dozen files, copying them out took an amazingly long time. (It's still not as fast as some other software that works with .zip files, e.g. info-zip; but it's way more reasonable now than it used to be. It's no longer bad enough to drive me to put the .zip file on a USB 2.0 flash drive and hand-carry it to a Linux box to unzip it and hand-carry the contents back and copy them from the USB 2.0 flash drive to the Windows computer -- at one time, this was actually significantly faster than using Explorer's zipfile support, if the zipfile had a lot of small files in it.)

Comment: You mean like in Ohio? (Score 1) 421

by jonadab (#49153525) Attached to: What If We Lost the Sky?
> You'd get whiter skies. People wouldn't have blue skies anymore.

I grew up in northeastern Ohio. I always assumed the notion of the sky being "blue" was a cultural symbolic thing, like how they teach you to draw yellow lines radiating from the sun to represent the sunlight coming from it, or the black lines you draw behind a moving object to show the motion.

When I was in seventh grade we moved to western Michigan. The first day, I got out my camera and took photographs of the sky being *actually* blue (well, sky blue), because I didn't think anyone would believe me, or understand that I was being literal, if I just told them about it.

Comment: Re:Perhaps it's about translations? (Score 1) 165

by jonadab (#48808379) Attached to: NetHack Development Team Polls Community For Advice On Unicode
Actually, there are German and Japanese variants. (The German one is a translation of UnNetHack, done I think by the same guy who did the English version of that variant. The Japanese one, somewhat older, is called NetHack Brass and seems to be mainly a flavor variant, i.e., it changes much more than just language.)

Comment: Re:UTF-8 (Score 1) 165

by jonadab (#48808127) Attached to: NetHack Development Team Polls Community For Advice On Unicode
For practical purposes, you can think of libuncursed as the display layer of NetHack 4, replacing an older curses library that NitroHack used, which in turn replaced the extensive and rather complicated set of platform-specific user interfaces NetHack 3.4.3 used, which were never entirely consistent with one another, due to being separately maintained.

libnethack is distributed with the game, as part of it, and I think it is even linked in statically by default. Yes, it was written as a highly-generalized support library, so that it *could* be used by other projects if desired and could probably even be made a dynamic library. But if all you want to do is build and run NetHack 4, that doesn't matter.

But in any case the original question from the Dev Team is about what to do in the vanilla codebase that may eventually lead to a new vanilla release (with a number yet to be announced, but 3.6 is probable; the number 3.5 will not be used for reasons explained on The vanilla codebase does not use libuncursed and in a number of additional ways is far more similar to 3.4.3 than it is to NetHack 4.

Although, the NetHack 4 devs are probably following this thread as well and may also implement Unicode in a larger way. (Unicode graphics for map display are already supported there, but things like player names, fruit names, object names, and level annotations are still treated as ASCII, I think, the same as in 3.4.3.)

Another thing not mentioned in the post is that the Dev Team is known to have already implemented some Unicode support, using wchar_t, which you can find in the leaked code (a tarball made from the tip of the dev team's internal repository from a few months ago now), if you hunt down a copy of that. But apparently they have not entirely settled on that implementation as the final solution.

Harrison's Postulate: For every action, there is an equal and opposite criticism.