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Comment: Re:I know that slide... (Score 1) 233

by wcbsd (#32000590) Attached to: PowerPoint of Afghan War Strategy

I use slides like this every once in a while, and they are, when used correctly, very effective. The point of a "spaghetti diagram" is to illustrate the complexity of a situation, not to explain it.

Participants should see a slide like this and think "Good Lord, that's complicated!" when a speaker wants
to drive home a point like "with better standards, we can simplify this a bit," or "this is far more complex than a simple slide can possibly convey, please be aware that I'm deliberately simplifying."

It helps the audience appreciate the depth of a situation without requiring that they understand every nuance - something I find useful when dealing with executives or nontechnical folks, and something I'd guess that the military often needs to do with the media - or us, for that matter.

Comment: Re:I have a very similar machine from 1983 (Score 1) 217

by wcbsd (#31079236) Attached to: XCore's EduBook, a Netbook That Runs on AA Batteries


I learned to program on a Sinclair ZX81 (, which weighed about a pound and could run on 9VDC (though the only battery-powered versions were homebrew). It's amazing that we've come this far...

Did anyone else love that the icon for discontinued products on XCore's site is a rotary phone?

Comment: Not just software (Score 1) 749

by wcbsd (#30996060) Attached to: Woz Cites "Scary" Prius Acceleration Software Problem

I think that Woz's point about software glitches is a good one, but it may be just a red herring in this case. Toyota's got quality problems up the wazoo, both software and hardware (defective wazoos to be recalled later this quarter). IMHO (and the NSHO of many pundits lately) is that a focus on speed and growth, rather than planning and quality, is at the root of the problem. Sounds very much like the state of many corporate IT shops.

Check these out:

Some of my readers ask me what a "Serial Port" is. The answer is: I don't know. Is it some kind of wine you have with breakfast?