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Comment: Nintendo and TV quality (Score 1) 167

When I used to have a Nintendo (NES), I would hook it up to my cheap TV and the picture was fuzzy, edges were clipped, etc. Then I connected it to an Amiga 1080 (?) NTSC video monitor. The improvement was dramatic. Same (theoretical) resolution, but much sharper and better color.

Comment: Re:Legally questionable, doomed to fail! (Score 1) 427

by pjwhite (#46951049) Attached to: In SF: an App For Auctioning Off Your Public Parking Spot

This sounds like a bad idea, and not just the reasons others have already posted.
In order to make use of this system, drivers looking for a spot, by definition, are not parked safely off the street, they are driving. And they are looking at their phone/tablet/whatever, not at the road.
San Francisco is notorious for the high number of pedestrians injured by cars.
How many will die thanks to this new app?

Comment: Re:Don't expect it to be Cable (Score 1) 219

by pjwhite (#46633377) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Experiences With Free To Air Satellite TV?

I had a FTA receiver connected to a small dish that was mounted on the roof of the house when I bought it a few years ago. After some fiddling with the receiver settings, I was able to detect several dozen channels, only a few of which were unencrypted. The best one was the NASA TV channel, which I watched quite a lot until one day it went encrypted like the others. I tried re-aiming the dish a few times, to see if I could pick up other satellites, with no luck. Without proper equipment, aiming is very difficult if not impossible. For a casual TV watcher like me, it wasn't worth the time and effort.

Comment: My high school was cool (Score 1) 623

by pjwhite (#43852797) Attached to: How Did You Learn How To Program?

My high school (ca 1972-1975) had a computer lab with 3 or 4 desktop programmable calculators. I think they were CalComp or Monroe. They had a system where you could write a program on one to three punch cards that the calculator would read in and execute. The punch cards were standard IBM size, but they had pre-perforated holes that you would push out with a stylus on a special card holder. You could fix a mis-punched hole by gluing the chad back in place.
I spent a lot of time learning all about those machines and exploring their limits. I wrote many programs that used the maximum number of instructions possible, and learned a lot about program optimization that way. I discovered some undocumented op codes that allowed some interesting printer operations and wrote a program to print sideways banners on the tape printer.

Comment: Re:Keyboards no, $750 RAID cards yes (Score 4, Interesting) 338

by pjwhite (#42208095) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Old Technology Coexisting With New?

I have been using the same keyboard layout since 1989, when I first got a Northgate keyboard, and I refuse to switch. The function keys are in two vertical columns to the left of the main keyboard and on the left-hand side of the main keyboard I have, from bottom to top, "Alt", "Shift", "Ctrl" "Tab" and "Esc". (Caps Lock is safely out of reach just to the left of the space bar). There is a full numeric pad on the right as well as a cursor control group just to the left of the numeric pad.
I find this layout much more efficient ergonomically than more modern keyboard layouts, which sacrificed good layout for compactness.

One of my main computers that I use almost every day is a Pentium 3 Win98 machine, with four different parallel port devices (attached through a switch to the single parallel port on the computer) -- an HP LaserJet Series II printer (still making clean prints), an EPROM programmer, a security dongle and a JTAG adapter. I also have (and use regularly) a Houston Instruments plotter connected to this computer via RS-232.

Maybe Computer Science should be in the College of Theology. -- R. S. Barton

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