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Comment: AT&T DSL mystery tied to faulty CFL ballast (Score 4, Interesting) 227

by whyde (#49633133) Attached to: 17-Year-Old Radio Astronomy Mystery Traced Back To Kitchen Microwave

I had a friend who was bemoaning how his "crappy" AT&T DSL service would flake out every evening at about the same time, and he'd had techs out to replace his DSL modem twice, re-do the wiring to his house, everything! He asked me whether I was happy with TWC (I wasn't), because he was fed up and was going to switch.

We got talking in general. I asked him whether he'd also done any renovating around his house, no matter what type. He admitted that he'd recently replaced all of his exterior house lights with CFL equivalents, and I asked him whether any were on timers, sensors, etc. He admitted that there was an exterior flood light on a light sensor.

I asked him if that sensor turned on that lamp about the same time of day his DSL service flaked out. His expression dropped. He replaced that one light with an incandescent, and the problem went away.

Comment: Pretty clever use of available I/O options (Score 4, Interesting) 25

by whyde (#47206463) Attached to: Security DVR + iNet + X10 = Easy Home Automation (Video)

I have to hand it to this individual for definitely thinking outside-the-box and hooking up three types of systems using interfaces you'd not expect to be used in this manner, and coming up with something which is (at least in his case) useful.

This was very gratifying to watch.

Comment: SCSI drive in a musical instrument (Score 1) 272

by whyde (#38343706) Attached to: The oldest hard drive I'm still using is ...

The oldest hard drive I'm still actively using holds patches and sample data in a keyboard--a little 200MB SCSI drive. I think it may eventually outlive the keyboard itself. At one point in time, the keyboard itself also had the largest RAM of any computer I owned, at a whopping 64MB. When I was driving it back and forth from college, the keyboard was insured for more than the car it was in.

Comment: Jeff Atwood had a good take on this (Score 1) 149

by whyde (#36924024) Attached to: Analyzing Long-Term SSD Failure Rates

Any thread on SSD failures should include a link to Jeff Atwood's blog entry on the topic:

I feel ethically and morally obligated to let you in on a dirty little secret I've discovered in the last two years of full time SSD ownership. Solid state hard drives fail. A lot. And not just any fail. I'm talking about catastrophic, oh-my-God-what-just-happened-to-all-my-data instant gigafail. It's not pretty.

Full post here:

Comment: When did we become afraid of everything? (Score 2) 225

by whyde (#34422724) Attached to: Denver Bomb Squad Takes Out Toy Robot

I'm waiting for the day when some nutjob fashions a piece of doggie-poo looking substance out of brown-painted C4 with an embedded motion-sensitive detonator.

There, I've said it. Let everyone be scared of any stray pile of poop laying on a city sidewalk. Perhaps then, when we try to ban dogs completely, people may wake up and see that it's just not worth going through life terrified of everything.


Comment: Re:Whole movie shot in single shot (Score 1) 295

by whyde (#34261102) Attached to: Long Takes In the Movies, Antidote To CGI?

While I found Russian Ark technically fascinating, it was otherwise very difficult to sit through because the viewer becomes aware early on that they are watching a visual gimmick unfold. Instead of paying attention to the plot, I was distracted by the single-shot nature of it, and how they were going to pull it off.

I'd liken this to experiments like Timecode which use similar gimmicks and long shots, but are otherwise slightly awkward to view.

"Be *excellent* to each other." -- Bill, or Ted, in Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure