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Comment: Games (Doom) helped me into an IT career (Score 3, Informative) 169

by t0qer (#49753467) Attached to: Video Games: Gateway To a Programming Career?

So it was 1993. My friends and I all loved video games, consoles, etc. In '92 we had all gotten hooked on Wolfenstien, and most of us already had computers cobbled together from things begged, borrowed and stolen. We spent days tweaking our config.sys and autoexec.bats to get the most of what little ram we had. (himem.sys, load TSR high) Then Doom came out.

We started doing dial up games almost immediately. Then one day one of our friends tells us about LANNING a game. We all bought into it, getting 3c509c's? Ahh those days, magelink for transferring maps, loading ipxodi, lots of fun. "WHO UNPLUGGED THE TERMINATOR?"

From there a lot of us went to tech support for the then blossoming ISP industry, and from that we went on to desktop support, and bigger and greater things. I owe my career to video games.

Comment: Re:Make sure your project is ready for the real wo (Score 1) 107

by NormalVisual (#49712331) Attached to: Turning an Arduino Project Into a Prototype
I've seen boards where all the decoupling caps are bunched together in a corner of the board, far away from the action.

Yeah, kinda defeats the purpose. I've seen something dumber though - many years back, a friend of a friend tried to get rid of the ignition noise coming over the radio in his car by installing a filter cap across the battery terminals and then wondered why it didn't make any difference. Guy was an electronics tech in the Navy, for crying out loud.

Comment: Re:speed isn't everything (Score 1) 241

by NormalVisual (#49711407) Attached to: How Windows 10 Performs On a 12-inch MacBook
I've never experienced that, ever, in my 35 years of computing on various platforms and various text/document editors.

It happens to me occasionally on my Win7 box at work, and sometimes requires firing up Process Explorer to find out who still has a lock on the file if the file had been closed a while back. Getting out of the editor is the only thing that releases the lock in those cases. It's happened in Word, Notepad++, and UltraEdit.

Comment: Transitional work as "co-pilots"... (Score 1) 615

by patniemeyer (#49707097) Attached to: The Economic Consequences of Self-Driving Trucks

What if we solve two problems at the same time by legislating that for some number of years self driving rigs have to have human co-pilots aboard (bear with me)... We'd still get most of the benefits of improved safety and 24 hour schedules and the humans could even do other work while on-board but they'd ostensibly be there to monitor the rig and take over in crazy situations (e.g. flat tire, fire, unexpected weather).

The flip side is that the public gets a (somewhat irrational but real) feeling of safety knowing that humans are on board... in the same way that I feel better about flying in a mostly auto-piloted aircraft because I know two people fully trained in the systems are trusting their lives to it.

So truck drivers turn into truck co-pilots for a few years, get an easier / safer job, and some of them retire during that time while we all get used to self-driving trucks on the road.

Comment: Re:I, for one... (Score 1) 615

by NormalVisual (#49706869) Attached to: The Economic Consequences of Self-Driving Trucks
I think more of the problem is so much stuff gets sent by truck when rail would be cheaper and faster. Unfortunately the U.S. doesn't have anywhere near the rail infrastructure that Europe does. I live about a mile from the Florida East Coast railway tracks. The next closest set of tracks belongs to CSX, and is about 100 miles away.

Comment: Re:Won't save most of the 4000 lives (Score 1) 615

by NormalVisual (#49706799) Attached to: The Economic Consequences of Self-Driving Trucks
In the U.S. at least, it's very unusual to see a 60-ton truck on the highway - most are limited to 40 tons, with special permitting needed for heavier loads. Australia's a whole different story, but their road trains have many more brakes to distribute the energy across.

And that means it's going to take a while as that heat dissipates - the brakes will literally melt if you try to brute-force a shorter braking distance, for example by increasing braking system pressure.

Increasing the pressure will lock the wheels up (not taking ABS into account), at which point the rotors/drums aren't absorbing any more heat and stopping distance is determined by the friction of the sliding tires. That said, truck brakes are *big*, and are quite capable of handling a 50 mph panic stop without damage to the brakes.

"Well I don't see why I have to make one man miserable when I can make so many men happy." -- Ellyn Mustard, about marriage