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Comment: Re:Having a private pilots license (Score 1) 269

The article says, "Airpooler’s legal counsel is a former Assistant Chief Counsel for Regulation at the FAA", so I suspect they have a reasonable idea of what's legal and what's not. On the other hand, as they saying goes, "We're the FAA. We're not happy until you're not happy", so, yeah, anything's possible.

That being said, having been a flight instructor myself, I've seen a lot of amazingly scary aviation being committed. You are truly taking your life in your hands when you jump into an unfamiliar plane with an unfamiliar pilot. And I'm not sure if the mechanical condition of the average GA plane or the skill of the average GA pilot frightens me more.

Comment: Re:Surcharge (Score 2) 338

by minkie (#43812685) Attached to: AT&T Quietly Adds Charges To All Contract Cell Plans

A good way to get the attention of somebody like a phone company is to file a complaint with your state's Public Service Commission. The PSC will forward the complaint to the company, who will have to respond officially to the PSC. If they're going to jerk you around, that's the best way to jerk them right back.


Roku Finally Gets a 2D Menu System 80

Posted by samzenpus
from the new-look dept.
DeviceGuru writes "Many of us have griped for years about Roku's retro one-dimensional user interface. Finally, in conjunction with the release of the new Roku 3 model, the Linux-based media streaming player is getting a two-dimensional facelift, making it quicker and easier to access favorite channels and find new ones. Current Roku users, who will now begin suffering from UI-envy, will be glad to learn that Roku plans to push out a firmware update next month to many earlier models, including the Roku LT, Roku HD (model 2500R), Roku 2 HD, Roku 2 XD, Roku 2 XS, and Roku Streaming Stick. A short demo of the new 2D Roku menu system is available in this YouTube video."

Comment: Re:27" FTW (Score 1) 375

by minkie (#42905097) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Is Your Favorite Monitor For Programming?

I've tried 30" monitors and they were just too big, but for me 2x27" is perfect.

I've got 2 x 27" now, and I keep thinking if I were to do it all again, I'd go with a single 30. The problem with 2 monitors is you can't really have a window spanning the break in the middle. The OS supports it, of course, but it's annoying since the two halves never line up perfectly, and even if they did, there's a gap. Plus, of course, twice as many cables.

Or, maybe it's just a case of the grass is always greener on the other desktop.

Comment: There's some bad physics going on here (Score 1) 103

by minkie (#41672933) Attached to: From a NAND Gate To Tetris

I looked at the "Getting Started With Digital Logic - Logic Gates" part. Anybody who has actually built something with TTL on a breadboard should know that 7400 series gates can sink a lot more current than they can source. Connecting a logic output to ground through a LED may not draw enough current to turn the LED on fully. The right way to do it is to connect the LED between the logic output and the Vcc rail in a pull-down configuration (with a current limiting resistor). Of course, that gives you inverted logic (LED on means logic 0, LED off means logic 1), but you get used to that. If it bothers you, use an inverter.

Comment: Mid-70's (Score 2) 632

by minkie (#41579421) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Were You Taught About Computers In High School?

I graduated from a pretty typical suburban NJ high school in 1977. We had an HP 9810 (, and also a ARS-33 connected to a time-shared BASIC system a few towns away. I got to play with them my junior and senior years. That was my first introduction to any sort of computer. It was, or course, also my first introduction to computer games (hunt the wumpus, lunar landrer, and some kind of Star Trek thing where you got to explore the galaxy and blow up klingons with photon torpedos.

I was also lucky to spend the summer between my last two years of high school at a program run by Stevens Tech, where I was exposed to FORTRAN and PDP-10 assembler (both via punch cards).

Comment: OSX desktop / linux backend, best of both worlds (Score 1) 933

by minkie (#41165233) Attached to: How Apple Killed the Linux Desktop

This, he says, led developers to use OS X as a desktop for server programming.

I've made several attempts over the years to use Linux on the desktop. Every time, I end up running back to OSX. What I've got now is the best of both words. All of our servers are linux. I have a linux box locally I use for development. I also have a Mac Mini on my desk and use that for my desktop (and a MBP I use from home or when on the road). With a trivial amount of work, you can configure profiles in so you just click on an icon and you've got an ssh window open to whatever host you need to work on. I can export my linux file system and mount it on my Mac using NFS. It's all completely seamless.

The extra hardware cost is hardly worth mentioning (you can get a Mini for $4-600, depending on how you configure it). For the one or two times a year I need to get to the real linux desktop, I just hit the "input select" button on my monitor, and swap where my USB keyboard is plugged into. In theory, I can fire up X11 on my Mac to run linux X11 apps, but I can't remember the last time I bothered. At one point, I experimented with desktop sharing (Chicken of the VNC, gotta love that name), but that's far more pain than it's worth.

Comment: Linux: great server, crappy desktop (Score 1) 1091

by minkie (#39426413) Attached to: Why Linux Can't 'Sell' On the Desktop

I've made several attempts over the years to run Linux as my desktop. I inevitably give up. Most recently, for about a year, running some relatively recent Ubuntu release. As a server, it's an excellent platform, but the desktop tools just suck. Every X11 app is just a little bit different in how it handles basic things like window management and copy-paste. It drives me nuts. I think I've found the sweet spot. I run a OSX on a Mac Mini for my desktop and do all my work on a Linux box. I get the best of both worlds.

What hath Bob wrought?