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Comment: 199x bicyle (Score 2) 635

by twms2h (#47790059) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Old Technology Can't You Give Up?

Or at least I wish I could still use it.

It had a steel frame, simple 21 gears derailleur gearshift, none of this fancy suspension fork crap and over all it simply was robust. I could repair and replace everything on it myself (but seldom needed to). The only parts I replaced with something more modern was the brakes and lighting.
I used to cycle to work on it until It was stolen out of my backyard half a year ago and I still miss it.

Comment: Microsoft Natural Keyboard, before they fschked it (Score 3, Interesting) 635

by twms2h (#47790039) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Old Technology Can't You Give Up?

I recently bought (used) a few of the old Microsoft Natural Keyboard Pro from before the 4000 series. Those that still included a USB hub and the lettering on the keys did not disappear after only a few months of normal usage.
Before that I had several of the 4000 Keyboards and all of them started to lose their lettering within a few months. They are just really bad quality.

I will probably be using them until they fall apart.

Comment: Re:China will work to destroy this. again. (Score 2) 282

by twms2h (#45377473) Attached to: Germany Finances Major Push Into Home Battery Storage For Solar

There are several goals in this:
1. develop the technology
2. build the storage systems
3. generate jobs in the process
4. make the technology cheap

China will assist in 4. and destroy some of the jobs generated in 3 in the process, but only some of them.
That's fine with me (I am from Germany)

Comment: use BitTorrent Sync on your own server (Score 1) 200

by twms2h (#45323369) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Which Encrypted Cloud Storage Provider?

Get BitTorrent Sync from and set up your own server, either locally or "in the cloud" (which you control). There are clients for all major platforms, including Android, and it works well. Traffic is encrypted and storage is only on computers you control yourself.
There is one drawback, though: It's not open source so you have to trust BitTorrent Inc.

Comment: Stop concentrating on life like graphics and sound (Score 1) 337

by twms2h (#42418577) Attached to: How To Make PC Gaming Better

but instead invest into gameplay.
Example: Civilization I was a great game, not because it had such nice graphics or sound effects but because of the complexity of the game play. But the interface was easy to use, the different types of terrain and units easy to recognize and it was easy to pick up the strategy. Also, it worked on rather minimalistic hardware. (And, I have to admit, I originally got it as a pirated copy, but I bought it later. But since the bought version came with copy protection I continued to use the pirated one.) Now look at the latest installments of that series. The graphics and sound are improved but that also results in units and terrain being much harder to recognize. The gameplay is basically unchanged. But it requires so much computing power that the later stages of the game become basically unplayable if you don't run it on a top of the notch machine.
I have switched back to playing Civilization I when I am in the mood.

Comment: Der Steppenwolf (Score 1) 700

by twms2h (#41641097) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Books Have Had a Significant Impact On Your Life?

"Der Steppenwolf" from Hermann Hesse was required literature at school and despite that I read it and it possibly saved my life.
At that time I was thinking seriously about suicide and when I read the following quote from the main character, something along the lines "you can always commit suicide later if it gets too hard, so just keep going for now"
(I don't remember the exact words and it is in German anyway, so it wouldn't be of any use here)
That absolutely made sense to me. As long as you are alive, things can improve, once you are dead, you are dead and that's it.

There have been other important books later but I think the above is quite fundamental so no other became as significant as that one book.

Comment: "The Star" by Arthur C. Clarke (Score 1) 1365

by twms2h (#41045383) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What's the Most Depressing Sci-fi You've Ever Read?
The Star, by Arthur C. Clarke ( ) At least, if you believe in Christian mythology you will find it rather depressing that god chose to let the star of such a great civilization go nova just to generate the star of Bthlehem.

Comment: What about a "phablet" (Score 1) 415

Yes, I know, "phablet" is a stupid name, but the Samsung Galaxy Note (the smartphone, not the tablet) with the Kindle software makes an excellent e-book reader. You have to get used to the size, though. It is huge for a phone and maybe a little bit too small for a tablet, but in my view exactly right for an e-book.

Comment: The size is not the problem (Score 1) 660

by twms2h (#40722539) Attached to: Don't Super-Size My Smartphone!
I own a Samsung Galaxy Note and I knew beforehand how large it is. But I didn't buy a mobile phone, I bought a small tablet with mobile Internet connection and that's exactly what I got. Yes, I can also make phone calls with it, but I rarely do. As for carrying it: There are nice belt pouches for it. The solution is simple: If you don't like it, don't buy it. Of course, if somebody can come up with a smartphone that has a >=5" display but is much smaller, that would be nice. Maybe with glasses? That would still leave the problem on how to interact with it (no, speech recognition is not a solution). We'll see.

Comment: I already wear eyeglasses ... (Score 1) 196

by twms2h (#40511261) Attached to: 'Wearable Computing Will Be the Norm,' Says Google Glass Team
... so will there be "Glass" in the strength I need for my eyes? (I am still looking for sun glasses that are worth that name, preferably mirror sunglasses, in the strength I need. All they try to sell me are slightly darkened glasses and these are not even worth considering.)

A committee is a group that keeps the minutes and loses hours. -- Milton Berle