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Comment interdisciplinary software/hardware bug amalgam (Score 1) 1

for fans of venerable antique software (Unix) and machines (the PDP 11/45-70):

memorable bugs certainly include the comma gone wrong in a FORTRAN program
which sent a satellite mistakenly out of orbit into the sun, or a medical X-ray machine
disaster here or there, but I'd like to point out an early Unix hardware/software combo bug,
whereby the "cognizant personnel" (Tom Ferrin of UCSF, take a bow!) solved a rather
abstract software difficulty via a razor blade cut to a CPU circuit board foil trace.


Comment Re:interesting, but vaguely in line with estimates (Score 1) 69

Link desired? I'm not a physicist, but I remember "Schwartzchild radius"
from high school, and, as per usual, Wikipedia fills in the blanks coming
up with closed-form solutions for stellar black holes near 3 solar masses,
to wit:


Comment Reminiscence of a Jello Biafra-for-mayor slogan (Score 2) 209

When the Dead Kennedy's Jello-of-"California Uber Alles"-and-"Holiday in Cambodia"-fame
(amongst other faves) was running for mayor of San Francisco,
one of his heartfelt pleas was that he'd be the first politician to spearhead the idea of
"landing a man on the sun".

Comment Re:Considered a solved problem? (Score 1) 742

Writing as a old fart, Unix (not the warmed-over clone called Linux)
was *itself* declared dead by Rob Pike in 1991, infamously with
the flip "Unix is not only dead, but it's starting to smell really bad".
Yet young whippersnapper Torvalds didn't listen, nor did
Sun Microsystems listen to Bill Joy and kept hacking on the
kernel (yes Solaris was already a solved problem called BSD).

All while the likes of Apple took the best extant Unix and built
something interesting upon it. Although already retired from
Unix/Linux world, trading all my shares in the likes of
SUNW / RHAT and their ilk for AAPL was "technically sweet",
(old term from J. Robert Oppenheimer).

Ideas that survive are ones which stand on the shoulders of
giants, in this case Ritchie and Thompson, not a bunch of
mere acolytes.

New York... when civilization falls apart, remember, we were way ahead of you. - David Letterman