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Comment: Late 1989, on a VAXstation II/GPX (Score 1) 204

by lophophore (#47274299) Attached to: X Window System Turns 30 Years Old

Late 1989, on a VAXstation II/GPX running VMS 5.0. Not exactly a desktop workstation, it was a desk-side box as big as a 2-drawer file cabinet. That newfangled DECWindows came out and killed off the old VMS GUI "VWS". Right about that same time the VAXstation 3100 came out, a true desktop VAX workstation...

The early versions ran a "desktop" called "XUI", which was replaced with Motif in 1991.

Another commenter wrote that the performance has not improved that much since the early 90s. My current desktop Linux box has the equivalent CPU horsepower of 10,000 VAXstation 3100s, but it boots to the login window only about twice as fast. Progress?

Comment: what utter bullshit! (Score 2) 231

Michael Jackson, and Hitler?

What utter bullshit!

This is like mining Facebook to decide who the best rock band ever was! Think there's any bias?

My vote goes to Gutenberg. You want to talk about inflection points in human knowledge? Gutenberg, and then Tim Berners-Lee.


Comment: Re:rot in pieces (Score 1) 166

by lophophore (#47150929) Attached to: After the Sun (Microsystems) Sets, the Real Stories Come Out

Sun stood on the shoulders of giants.

That 68000 processor that Sun used? Modeled after DEC microprocessors. That ethernet wire they connected to? They don't call it Digital-Intel-Xerox Ethernet for no reason. That "new thing" unix Sun used? And the C language? Built on DEC PDPs. Your terminal emulator? Emulates a DEC terminal. USB? A consortium, including DEC. That X-Window System sun used after NeWS tanked? Yep. Came from Project Athena, sponsored by DEC. MIT & IBM.

One of the many reasons that DEC died was that many people in the company were blinded by the brilliance of VMS and the layered products, and could not understand why anyone would want to settle for less. Digital had stuff in the 80s and 90s that the rest of the industry caught up with 10 or more years later, and in some cases, have still not caught up. The problem was that DEC's stuff was very, very expensive, and very proprietary, and DEC was out-marketed by other vendors selling supposedly "open", and certainly cheaper unix based solutions (See "snake oil".)

Comment: rot in pieces (Score 3, Insightful) 166

by lophophore (#47138441) Attached to: After the Sun (Microsystems) Sets, the Real Stories Come Out

There were a lot of Sun people who celebrated the demise of Digital Equipment Corporation.

Well, what goes around comes around eventually. Sun got theirs, let them rot in pieces. They never made the impact that Digital did.

(and no, I'm not bitter about Sun. I'm waiting for HP's turn. It's coming...)

Comment: ultra low latency over microwave and laser link (Score 2) 137

by lophophore (#47033425) Attached to: Grace Hopper, UNIVAC, and the First Programming Language

not fiber. point to point laser and microwave links.

I believe you are referring to ultra-low-latency trading.

They prefer microwave links to fiber because the microwave signals propagate faster through air than light does through a glass fiber. Light travels through glass fiber at about 65% of c, which is also pretty comparable to the velocity of a electric signal in a transmission line (.65 to .75 c) (which is where Admiral Hopper ties in)

Microwave signals propagate though air at damned close to the speed of light, and the microwave signal paths are direct by necessity. That means the path can be significantly less than half the distance a cable (electric or optic) and the speed about 50% faster.

Optical paths are also used, they are by laser through the air. This has the same direct path, near c speed advantages as microwave.

Comment: use hearing protection now (Score 4, Informative) 34

by lophophore (#46828397) Attached to: Implant Injects DNA Into Ear, Improves Hearing

This is an article about "hearing loss." Much hearing loss is preventable.

Use hearing protection now.

Use hearing protection when running your leaf blower, weed whacker, power sander, lawn mower, and especially when making like a war-mongering imperialist at the shooting range. Use hi-fi hearing protection at rock concerts and loud clubs.

Once your hearing is damaged, it is not recoverable, unless you become The Bionic Woman -- and for about 50% of us, that is pretty much completely impossible.

Hearing protection is cheap. I like the Etymotic ER20 for rock concerts. Maybe I look silly wearing them. But... I can still hear after the show. I really don't care if people think I look silly. I've been to some literally deafening rock concerts, and my ears have suffered for it... Now I always bring (and wear!) my ear plugs to shows, And I use hearing protection when running noisy power equipment.

Comment: Slightly more user friendly than Windows 8 (Score 5, Informative) 134

by lophophore (#46588841) Attached to: GNOME 3.12 Released

Gnome 3.12: **slighltly** more user friendly than Windows 8, which is like saying it is slightly more user friendly than a rabid zombie wolverine in a kindergarten playground.

I watched the video. Gnome 3.12 still sucks. It is an embarrassment to Linux; it is one of the reasons why after 10 years we still don't have "the year of the Linux Desktop". This is a continuing example of the developers deciding how the users should work, not thinning about how the users are used to doing things. Yecch.

Thank goodness for XFCE. XFCE's developers seem to actually have the user experience in mind.

Comment: not Age discrimination, it is Wage discrimination (Score 2) 379

My boss can hire two fresh-outs for what he pays me. He knows this. A short sighted person might think two fresh-outs are more effective than me. My boss knows better. I regularly deliver way more than two fresh-outs, and I show up on time every day, not hung over. No drama.

Not every boss is like mine. Many think that more cheap labor can get the job done. Good luck with that. You get what you pay for.

I owe the public nothing. -- J.P. Morgan