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Comment Somehow I can already imagine the threads ... (Score 1) 341 341

... that pile up below this post:


Sytem-DDDDD AAAAArrrrgh! Adolf Hitler designed it, with Heinrich Himmler and Ossama Bin Laden helping! We're all gonna die!

A brain-disease has infected all distro makers! Armageddon is upon us!


Comment Windows 2000 was the last I installed. (Score 1) 259 259

Windows 2000 was the last I installed.

This was around about the times of Photoshop 5.5 and SuSe Linux 5.x and Steve Jobs was upping the Mac with the OS X Unix variant.

How anyone besides Gamers and professionals who need specialised Windows-only software would use Windows today is totally beyond me. Windows IMHO combines the downsides of OS X (vendor lock-in) with the downsides of Linux (flaky hw support) and has nothing to offer that OS X, Linux/Ubuntu or Chrome OS can't offer faster, cheaper, freeer, more relyable and/or better.

How MS remains to be relevant is quite amazing. Although I do have the lastest Xbox 360 and all those dirt cheap top-notch games that you can get out of the bargain bin for it. It is pretty near, I have to admit. Anyhow ... MS Office as a subscription? WTF? I don't get it. Seriously.

Comment Re:Tipping? (Score 1) 875 875

Or drive by's.

A few years ago the U.S. military were evaluating a new hybrid vehicle to replace the Hummer. Their main interest was logistics, since Hummers aren't the most economical vehicles to operate. They couldn't help but notice that in electric mode their new vehicle was quiet.

Around here the Toyotas are positively noisy. The Teslas, on the other hand, only make a faint whirr from their tires.


Comment Debian on an Ultra 5 (Score 1) 152 152

The standard desktop at the company I work for used to be a Sun Ultra 5, and when the company imploded I picked an Ultra 5 with a fast processor (400 MHz), put some more memory in it, took it home and put Debian on it. It worked fine. Entirely decent interactive performance, like a fast Pentium 2. Not a box for video editing or other high-CPU/bandwidth activities, but fine otherwise.

I was amused to note that it wasn't a Windows box, so it was immune to Windows attacks. It wasn't an x86 box, so it was immune to x86 attacks. I guess I amuse easily. :-)

We had a pile of 32 bit SparcStations. We (literally) couldn't give them away.


Comment Re:Pre-cambrian computing (Score 1) 191 191

And I am guessing that spaceyhackerlady does, in fact, know she is surrounded by linux machines.

My employers pay me to do cool shit, and we use Linux to do it. Company standard is CentOS, but my personal research/playpen box is Slackware.

FWIW, I've run Linux on x86, 68k, ARM and UltraSPARC. My home computer, the one I actually spend my own money on, is a Mac. It shares desk space with an x86 Linux box and a Raspberry Pi.


Comment Pre-cambrian computing (Score 4, Informative) 191 191

Prior to the IBM PC there was enormous diversity in computing. I have some early issues of Byte and the hardware in the ads is all over the place. Most of the names are long forgotten now.

The BBC did Micro Men, a cute (and mostly historically accurate) program about the rise and fall of Acorn, which happened in the same time period. They too got broadsided by IBM, but managed to develop the ARM processor before they imploded.


Comment 40 year old spectrometer (Score 4, Interesting) 618 618

I work on the 12 meter radio telescope on Kitt Peak. It was built in the mid sixties, refitted with a new dish in 1982, and replaced last year with an ALMA prototype antenna. We still use the old filter bank spectrometers. They were built in 1973-4. This item.

Comment Re:What about Data in Star Trek TNG (Score 1) 236 236

Yup. There are some examples of good AI in tv shows. Data and the hubots in Real Humans stand out in my mind.

I remember the scene in The Offspring where Data's daughter Lal was complaining about not being able to feel emotions. While doing an awfully good imitation of anger and frustration...


Comment Re:And when she is questioned by CBP... (Score 1) 334 334

1. I am an American citizen, and I have the right to enter my country.

You do. Just as I, a Canadian citizen, have the right to enter Canada. I do not have the legal right to enter the United States, but can do so with official permission. Which usually amounts to the Customs agent at the border or airport telling me to have a nice day.

If the government want to be difficult, your citizenship must be verified. Then Customs can give you the once over: yes, you can enter the country, but they want to know what you're bringing with you.


Comment That's what you get for being pissy ... (Score 2) 674 674

That's what you get for being pissy with the police.

"Oh, I'm sorry sir/ma'am, I wasn't aware that this is strictly prohibited. No,it won't happen again. Thank you sir/ma'am." .... and continue your day like nothing happened. Not that hard, is it? But I guess this guy had to cause trouble. I bet he got what he deserved.

Comment I ride the bus (Vancouver, Canada) (Score 1) 654 654

I ride the bus to work. It's a non-issue. It's the right thing to do. No parking required, let somebody else deal with the traffic. I have a car that I drive on weekends. One day a week I drive to work to remind myself why I take the bus the other four days. The bus takes a little longer than driving, but not enough that I worry about it much. I save up mid-week errands for the day I drive my car.

If I'm going to downtown Vancouver I take the bus. Parking is scarce and expensive. The traffic is impossible. UGH!


Comment Why hasn't anybody started breeding rhinos? (Score 2) 202 202

What I don't get is this: If Rhino Horn powder is such a big deal with so many idiots - why hasn't anybody started breeding them? Sounds like a license to print money to me. Clearly some african nation must've thought of that, no? ... And you can take a Rhinos horn *without* killing it.

Comment Back in the 80ies they were trying a better thing (Score 1) 202 202

Back in the 80ies they were trying a better thing: Tranquilizing Rinos and replacing their horns with artificial ones made of red plastic. The Rinos don't care - they're colorblind and probably like a new horn thats bigger and sturdier than the original. But the poachers won't kill a rino for plastic. Neat idea - why didn't that pan out .- apparently?

"Mach was the greatest intellectual fraud in the last ten years." "What about X?" "I said `intellectual'." ;login, 9/1990