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Comment: Laser printers from the mid-late 90s (Score 1) 694

by phillymjs (#46791589) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Tech Products Were Built To Last?

I had an Apple LaserWriter Select 360 (built around a Canon engine, IIRC) that I bought new in 1994 last me until mid 2011. HP was putting out some damned good printers back then, too, before Carly Fiorina came in and turned HP into peddlers of second-rate shit.

Honorable mention to the TV in my basement, an RCA F35751MB-- the biggest CRT TV I could find in 1994. I don't yet own a flatscreen, because I'm just letting them get better and cheaper until the RCA finally gives up the ghost.

Comment: Yup. (Score 1) 308

by phillymjs (#45751829) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Do You Run a Copy-Cat Installation At Home?

I've been doing it for years. I found that the best learning technique for me is to build something, blow it up, and then build it again, until the moving parts are second nature to me-- so it's handy to have a server/network I can blow up without getting fired.

A lot of the techniques and scripts I've developed on my network at home have ended up in use at client sites, and vice versa.

Sci-Fi

It Takes 2.99 Gigajoules To Vaporize a Human Body 272

Posted by Soulskill
from the just-so-you-know dept.
Have you ever wondered how much energy is needed to power a phaser set to kill? A trio of researchers at the University of Leicester did, so they ran some tests and found out it would take roughly 2.99 GJ to vaporize an average-sized adult human body. Quoting: "First, consider the true vaporization – the complete separation of all atoms within a molecule – of water. With a simple molecular structure containing an oxygen atom bonded to two hydrogen atoms, it takes serious energy to break these bonds. In fact, it takes 460 kilojoules of energy to break just one mole of oxygen-hydrogen bonds — around the same energy that a 2,000-pound car going 70 miles per hour on the highway has in potential. And that's just 18 grams of water! So as you can see, it would take a gargantuan amount of energy to separate all the atoms in even a small glass of water — especially if that glass of water is your analog for a person. The human body is a bit more complicated than a glass of water, but it still vaporizes like one. And thanks to our spies spread across scientific organizations, we now have the energy required to turn a human into an atomic soup, to break all the atomic bonds in a body. According to the captured study, it takes around three gigajoules of death-ray to entirely vaporize a person — enough to completely melt 5,000 pounds of steel or simulate a lightning bolt."

Comment: Re:Yeah, so? (Score 1) 371

by phillymjs (#42773727) Attached to: Apple To Discontinue Mac Pro In EU Over Safety Regulations

>The number of people who still "specifically need" the Mac Pro aren't very different since Apple hasn't upgraded the expansion capacity of their other headless Macs.

Yes, I know. I thought that in the context of my statement, "the abilities of a Mac Pro" pretty clearly referred to its greater expandability.

Comment: Yeah, so? (Score 3, Informative) 371

by phillymjs (#42771087) Attached to: Apple To Discontinue Mac Pro In EU Over Safety Regulations

IIRC, Tim Cook already publicly stated a redesigned Mac Pro would be released in 2013.

The other Macs in the lineup have grown more powerful over the years, so the number of people who still specifically need the abilities of a Mac Pro is relatively small. It would make no financial sense for Apple to address these regulations by changing the current Mac Pro design. The best move was what they did-- simply giving those people some warning so anyone who was planning future Mac Pro purchases could decide if they needed to buy the existing model or could afford to wait for the redesigned model to be announced.

Comment: He's right. (Score 1) 740

by phillymjs (#42212649) Attached to: Windows 8: a 'Christmas Gift For Someone You Hate'

On Black Friday, one of my coworkers bought a new laptop that came preloaded with Windows 8. Last week she brought it in and asked me to look at it because she couldn't get anything with Flash to work in IE.

I know Flash in the "metro" IE is supposed to be severely limited in what it can do, but even the desktop mode IE refused to run Flash. This despite the add-on being present and showing as enabled. After googling around and fucking with it for about 45 minutes, trying to get something to work that should have just worked right out of the box, I gave up and just installed Chrome for her so she'd have something that could run Flash stuff.

She later managed to find a Windows 7 laptop somewhere, bought it, and returned the Windows 8 laptop. When she returned it, the clerk asked her why, and she told him it was because Windows 8 was awful. He told her that Windows 8 machines were being returned to that store in droves, and every person he asked gave him the same reason.

Messing with her laptop was my first experience with Windows 8, and if I can help it, it will be my last. I found it to be a jumbled mishmash of confusing crap, and I've been doing IT for 20 years-- I can only imagine how hard non-techies are going to reject it. I am going to cling to Windows 7 for as long as I can.

Space

Vega Older Than Thought: Mature Enough To Nurture Life 130

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the goa'uld-staging-center dept.
sciencehabit writes about new estimates of Vega's age giving hope that any planets it might have are old enough to harbor life. From the article: "Shining just 25 light-years from Earth in the constellation Lyra, Vega is the fifth brightest star in the night sky. In 1983, astronomers discovered dust orbiting the star, suggesting it had a solar system, and Carl Sagan chose to make Vega the source of a SETI signal in his 1985 novel Contact. At the time, Vega was thought to be only about a couple hundred million years old, probably too young for any planets to have spawned life. Since then, however, estimates of Vega's age have increased to between 625 million and 850 million years old. So suitable planets have probably had sufficient time to develop primitive life." With improvements in telescopes allowing detection of the rough atmospheric composition of exoplanets on the way, this could be pretty exciting.

Comment: Re:The reason why is obvious! (Score 0) 738

by phillymjs (#40968115) Attached to: Why Apple Is Suing Every Android Manufacturer In Sight
Apple doesn't have a problem with competition, where other companies make original stuff and pit it against Apple's products. They have a problem with "copytition," where other companies just stamp out slavish knockoffs of Apple products and ride on their coattails.

I suggest you look at the 130+ page Samsung-produced document comparing features and appearance of elements of the iPhone to what Samsung was working on at the time. On pretty much every page, the suggestion is made to change the Samsung phone to make it more like the iPhone.

I'd say it's pretty damning evidence.

Comment: Re:Ok.. (Score 3, Insightful) 738

by phillymjs (#40968083) Attached to: Why Apple Is Suing Every Android Manufacturer In Sight

Here's the thing. Appearance designs are not copyrightable or patentable in ANY other industry.

Oh yeah? Form a soft drink company and sell your product in a bottle shaped like this, and see how long it takes a cease and desist letter to arrive.

Trade dress is applicable in more than just the computer industry.

Comment: Re:Apple has seen this scenario play out before.. (Score 1) 738

by phillymjs (#40968053) Attached to: Why Apple Is Suing Every Android Manufacturer In Sight

A software platform vendor enableing a rich ecosystem of hardware vendors eating the lunch of Apple's combined OS+Hardware approach. Apple knows how it ended last time

Yeah-- last time, the company that copied Apple's stuff got away with it.

Which is why this time, they patented everything about the iPhone that they could, and why they are suing the shit out of the companies who still attempt to copy it.

Hardware

Radio Shack's TRS-80 Turns 35 231

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the rat-shack dept.
harrymcc writes "On August 3, 1977, Radio Shack announced its TRS-80 microcomputer at an event in New York City. For the next several years, it was the world's most popular PC — but it never got the respect it deserved. (I still wince when I hear 'Trash-80.') Over at TIME.com, I'm celebrating the anniversary with some reflections on the machine and why it was so underappreciated."

Comment: Re:Apple is the white looter (Score 1) 257

by phillymjs (#40813249) Attached to: The Surprises In the Latest Apple V. Samsung Court Documents
> Is there any evidence that anyone has *ever* bought a Galaxy Tab when they meant to buy an iPad? Any?

Just this article. Excerpt:

"Samsung was forced to release a bunch of documents it had been keeping under seal that show the likeness between its products and Apple's. Examples outlined in the documents include comments from Samsung workers discussing similarities with Apple's products, and reports Samsung got from retailer Best Buy that Samsung tablets were being returned because customers thought they were getting iPads."

~Philly

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