My friends and I play a variation of this where all players bid at the same time - close your hand, pump twice and on three then show the number of fingers that is your bid. If the total matches the exact number of tricks, the dealer must change their bid up or down by one. This method stops players from reconsidering their bid based on other players. It also leads to some occasions where we are overbid or underbid by several tricks.
...But IMO this is one of the best aspects of trick-based card games, and part of the overall strategy. By rotating the dealer every hand everybody gets the chance to be the first and last bidder.
2. We had borrowed a different acquisition system to acquire some data for a research project in an underground coal mine in NSW, Australia. We had some of the data in the supplied format we'd taken that day, I gave it to my boss and he then started to convert it into the format he could use for analysis. However, it was taking a minute to process each file using the supplied dos-based utility to convert the data, but each conversion needed a user to type the input file name, output file name, file type etc. Then wait for the conversion to run. Note that we had in the hundreds of files, so it would have taken hours to convert the data manually. I wrote a bash script to generate a keystroke-input file which I fed into a keyboard simulator running under dosbox to convert the files in one process. It worked first time, so instead of sitting there feeding the conversion program with input, my boss was able to go out to dinner instead...
3&4. Probably not so unusual, but the above was a strange combination: writing a bash script under linux to write a program to run under a keyboard-emulator in dosbox.
If a car (or worse airplane) suddenly died because it was 5 years old, the manufacturer would be out of business in a week.
Well, technically out of business in a week plus five years, but I get your point.
alternative medicine for medicine etc.
Reminds me of the Tim Minchin line: "You know what they call alternative medicine that's been proven to work? Medicine."
Remove the bleepin' WiFi radio switch. You'd cut user-error service calls ("It was working fine yesterday but today I can't get to Facebook!") in 1/2.
...Except that you need the wifi switch to be able to use the laptop on most flights.