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Comment: Re:White board is and will always be the best way (Score 1) 160

by wierd_w (#49157173) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Whiteboard Substitutes For Distributed Teams?

There's also the potential to use a wii with a VGA projector.

Put the wiimote on the podium facing the screen, so the wiimote's sensor can detect your laser pointer. Then point at the screen where you want to draw.

It's a wiii homebrew, so you need a hacked wii--- but otherwise, this looks pretty damned low cost.

Comment: Re:He's dead Jim (Score 1) 402

by wierd_w (#49148911) Attached to: Leonard Nimoy Dies At 83


Nichelle Nichols (Comm officer Uhura) got there before he did.

Maybe the bridge crew can reverse the temporal polarity and send a tightbeam subspace transmission back to starfleet now that Spock is there! Afterall, they have the doctor, AND the chief engineer there too!

(This almost begs for a cameo fan episode.)

Comment: Re:Oh God No... (Score 5, Funny) 219

by wierd_w (#49147533) Attached to: Harrison Ford To Return In Blade Runner Sequel

$ sh ./

Welcome to the horrid movie plot generator!
Is this a sequel? [y/n] y
To which classic movie or series? [list for options] Bladerunner
What is the path for the entropy source? /dev/urandom
Quality level? [list for options] list
Passable Ok Meh Bad Terrible Hollywood
Quality level? [list for options] Hollywood
You have selected "Hollywood"-- This will skip the rest of the configuration section, and set Hollywood defaults!
Are you sure? [y/n] y

Getting Bladerunner script from repository ......Done
Training Markov chain engines ......Done
Loading Hollywood_Sequel rules and preset defaults
Confabulating plot synopsis ............Done

Review generated plot blurb before full scriipt generation? [y/n] y
After escaping from Tyrell towers with Rachel, Deckard attempts to flee the Earth with her to live on one of the remote colonies, fearing that another Blade Runner would submit Rachel to a "Voight-Kampff" test, and positively identify her as a replicant at some point if the pair remained on Earth. Rachel, now pregnant with Deckard's love child, must help Deckard fight their way off world as nosy officials and investigators attempt to detain them for their involvement in the events in Blade Runner leading to Tyrell's death, and the possibility that the replicants may have been successful in appropriating a means of circumventing their expiration dates and clandestinely transmitted the information offworld. Fearing the worst if Rachel is discovered, She and Deckard secretly depart earth aboard a cargo freighter headed for the Vega colony. There, he and Rachel welcome the birth of their half-replicant son, David, who is born with enhanced physical speed and strength. Many years later, Rachel begins to show signs of unanticipated complications of her replicant physiology due to being alive for so long. The three return to earth seeking answers from the archives of the financial remains of the once mighty Tyrell corporation, which has since fallen under the control of one of Earth's other mega-corporations; One specializing in military hardware and wetware. While on Earth, David makes hip, edgy teenage friends on the rough streets of LA, who help him and his father after the two help them resolve a long-standing gang turf war.
Continue with script generation? [y/n] n
Delete all temporary files and evidence?[y/n] y

Comment: Re: file transfer (Score 1) 455

by wierd_w (#49147051) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Old PC File Transfer Problem

You wont find MFM inside a portable, unless it was a custom job. MFM drives had to be "married" to a controller with a low-level format, which meant that if you changed out the drive, you had some work ahead of you. (easy if you know what to do, but i digress.) They also tended to be clunky, bulky, and power hungry.

IDE drives were smaller, sleeker, integrated the drive controller right onto the drive (So you never had to low-level format ever again), and used a tiny fraction of the power.

This whole tangent is making me feel old.

Comment: Re: file transfer (Score 1) 455

by wierd_w (#49147009) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Old PC File Transfer Problem

Mid to late 80s you mean.

When I say "Early 90s", I mean 1990 - 1992. (Mid 90s is 1993-1996, and late 90s is 1997-1999.)

Remember, computer equipment was fabulously expensive back then. People would buy a computer and try to keep it chugging for awhile. Seeing HDD-less portables was a common occurrence in the early 90s, which is why there were peripheral makers who made drive enclosures to sit on the LPT port for them.

I even have an example of such an early laptop.
NEC Ultralte SX/20

It debuted in 1991, and had a 40mb internal HDD. The PREVIOUS model released, The NEC Ultralite, was released just a few years earlier in 1988. That's late 80s, but was still commonly found in the early 90s. It did NOT feature an internal HDD, but was the first "Notebook" sized portable.

The comaq LTE came out a year later in 1989, with a 20mb drive.

But again, remember-- those were brand new machines with big honking price tags. Only people with serious bankroll were cruising around with them. The older equipment stuck around awhile.

Comment: Re:Stem cells are their answer (Score 1) 209

by wierd_w (#49146471) Attached to: Surgeon: First Human Head Transplant May Be Just Two Years Away

No. The human brain is not made to last.


Even with VERY mature stem cell based regenerative medicine, there is going to be problems with the buildup of neurotoxic metabolites within the brain over time, This is essentially what alzheimer's disease is (but the jury is still out on weather the creation of amyloid beta plaques and/or tau tangles is causal or symptomatic.)

The brain does not seem to have a very good elimination system for the purging of toxic metabolic biproducts, which causes slow, cumulative damage over time.

You are going to have to do some rather invasive interventions with genetically engineered glial cells and other neural progenitor cells to prop up human brains if you intend to have biological immortality.

Comment: Re: file transfer (Score 1) 455

by wierd_w (#49144629) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Old PC File Transfer Problem

Though I suppose the operative word here is "Laptop". You would be lucky to have a hard drive at all in early 90s portable equipment. Mid 90s equipment would be IDE.

I have NEVER seen an MFM drive smaller than 3.5 inch form factor. However, I HAVE seen MFM to LPT enclosures for the 3.5 inch form factor intended for use with early 90s portables. It really was the dark ages back then. (They were REALLY RARE though.)

Comment: Re: file transfer (Score 5, Informative) 455

by wierd_w (#49144599) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Old PC File Transfer Problem

I dont know if you are serious or not--

No. No ancient aliens. ESDI was in use in server equipment from that era. 200mb ESDI interface drives were pretty common inside IBM PS/2 series towers of that era.

Specifically, found inside IBM PS/2 model 60 systems.

These featured an MCA ESDI hard disk interface in the later models. (Early models had MFM controllers.)

If you suspect aliens, please inform the person selling this 680mb ESDI drive on Ebay.

MFM and ESDI technology didn't get much beyond the 600-700mb before it was completely eliminated, but you CAN find drives that large with that interface type.

No aliens involved.

Comment: Re:Sounds good (Score 1) 593

by wierd_w (#49135073) Attached to: Republicans Back Down, FCC To Enforce Net Neutrality Rules

You seem to be confused here AC.

The issue with renting the telephone, (and this being the reason why modems were all accoustically coupled, and hobbled at 300 baud!) was because BELL TELEPHONE, a PRIVATE COMPANY, held a NATIONAL MONOPOLY. This was a Bell Telephone corporate policy, not a government mandated requirement. Bell telephone refused to service any device that did not have their brand on it. This is similar to the approach nintendo took with the NES, with the NES10 chip, and the Nintendo Seal of Quality--- the major difference being that Nintendo had competition. Bell Telephone had NO competition. It was untouchable. It could shit on customers with impunity-- They had nowhere else to go. This was entirely the reason for the comedy skit for the fictional telephone operator played by Lilly Tomlin, "Ernestine."

Obligatory Youtube
(Note how "Ernestine" quips about not being subject to city, state, or federal regulations. Approximately 2:00 in.)

It was *NOT*, I repeat, *NOT*, because of government regulation!

Obligatory wikipedia.

Once Bell Telephone's monopoly was busted, the new "baby bells", had to compete with each other, and in addition to this, Title II regulation forced those baby bells to allow any tom, dick, and harry telephone service to operate on their wires.

Title II was a stock part of the US telecommunications act of 1934, and WAS NOT REPEALED, and TELEPHONE COMPANIES WERE NOT EXCEMPTED FROM IT AFTER BELL's DIVESTMENT.

The boom in competition was BECAUSE of regulation, NOT deregulation. The regulation in particular, was antitrust regulation.

While there was a major push for deregulation during the reagan administration, such deregulation was predominantly geared toward industrial and manufacturing companies, along with oil compnies, especially in regard to environmental protection policy and import policy.

If they can make penicillin out of moldy bread, they can sure make something out of you. -- Muhammad Ali