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Comment: Re:A possum playing possum (Score 1) 270

by vandamme (#46734327) Attached to: The New 'One Microsoft' Is Finally Poised For the Future

"If a Linux distribution somehow got a large foothold in the market, they will find a way to keep their dominance. Having a particular fork of the kernel, a distribution system that is a bit different, rename some folders around. Add a closed source install tool... "

You mean if Android had the predominant part of the market?

Comment: Obituary (Score 1) 650

by vandamme (#46703783) Attached to: Should Microsoft Be Required To Extend Support For Windows XP?

Windows XP Professional x86
August 24, 2001 - April 8, 2014

Windows XP Professional x86 died April 8th 2014. Proceeded in death by Parents DOS, windows 3.11 and younger brother XP Home and lesser known sister XP X64. and cousins windows CE, ME, NT and 98.

XP Pro, as he was called by his friends, leaves behind younger nephews and nieces, sextuplets Windows 7-Starter, Home-Basic, Home-Premium , Professional, Enterprise and Ultimate; also grandnephews and nieces Windows 8 , 8-Pro , 8-Enterprise, and RT. Windows 8 had some personality issues so will not attend any of the memorials.

A memorial will be held on or about April 20 on the internet with smoke rising high. Also on the first day after the first Zero day attack money will flow from the 2,470,000 ATMs which have XP on life support.

In lieu of flowers, send donations to

Comment: Re:DC transmission lines? (Score 1) 183

by vandamme (#46484927) Attached to: Power Cables' UV Flashes Apparently Frighten Animals

I was a high power radar transmitter engineer, and I've had to look for these coronal discharges in 40-50 KV power supplies, where the clearances were tight and corona starts a breakdown process. I had to sit in the total dark for several minutes until I could see it, guided by the sound and possibly smell.

The discharge from a big tesla coil is the same kind of thing, but high frequency AC. Faintly noticeable, unless you get a low resistance path to discharge it, like static discharge when you walk across the rug and touch a light switch. Or lightning.

If you walk next to a big power line you may hear the discharge. If it freaks out the deer, too bad. They can cross under the line away from a discharge point.

Comment: Re: What about radar? (Score 1) 382

No. The beacon signal has nothing to do with the primary radar, except that the antenna is usually located on top of the radar antenna, and uses the same azimuth pointing information. The interrogator is transmitted in a short pulse, and when the plane receives it, it generates its own fixed amplitude response pulse which has its squawk coded into it. It is received back at the ground radar antenna and decoded and displayed, next to the primary radar return. The code gives the 4 digit squawk, plane altitude (which the radar can't detect), and other info like whether they've been hijacked or their radios are dead.

Behind every great computer sits a skinny little geek.