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Comment: killed by bad decisions (Score 3, Insightful) 129

by wmeyer (#39957949) Attached to: Heathkit Educational Systems Closes Shop For Good

As stated in another post: "At the time Heathkit stopped producing kits their kit business WAS profitable. Their executives just didn't want to be in that business anymore. They wanted to solely be an education company."

Problem is, Heath's educational stuff was always pretty lame. In audio and amateur gear, they really shone. And they made some really nice test gear, too. I still have my Heath Audio Oscillator, and the Distortion Analyzer. Neither was quite as good as an HP, but they were way less money, and were good candidates for hobbyist upgrades.

Their educational stuff was not only lame, but overpriced. The rest of their offerings were solid value. Even their PC-clone (808x, 1983 or so) was well done and good value.

I built Heathkits, so did my dad. I'd say they will be missed, but I have missed them since they bailed on the business that made them.

Comment: Re:bad design proliferates (Score 1) 743

by wmeyer (#39725665) Attached to: $60 Light Bulb Debuts On Earth Day

Well, then I reiterate: bad design. That's a very warm color, almost orange. NOT what I would expect to pay such a high price to own. 5000K would have been much preferable. I also wonder, since they don't actually claim anything on that "data sheet", whether it actually has a color temp (meaning it is on the black line in the CIE chart), or whether it has a "correlated color temperature" (off the black line.) Of course, the 2700K is at the low end of the range in which incandescent lamps are normally found, so they can claim it was a design choice made for market acceptance. However, it is at the warmest end of the incandescent range, so think equivalent in color to a 15W incandescent, perhaps.

Comment: bad design proliferates (Score 1) 743

by wmeyer (#39713507) Attached to: $60 Light Bulb Debuts On Earth Day

One reason for CFL failures is that they are not well protected against input power problems. In particular, screwing one into a socket which is turned on is a recipe for failure. So I guess we need to make sure we have an incandescent handy to check for the lamp being on? LOL!

I have looked at the Philips lamp datasheet. Pretty thin. I saw nothing on color temperature, for one thing. Probably because adding control over color temp to the mix will further increase costs. But for those who prefer a warm (incandescent-type) light, color temp is important. And frankly, if I am going to pay $60 for a 60W equivalent lamp (I won't, but that's not the point) I expect high quality, reliability, and well documented operating parameters. Less than that makes it just another rip-off engineered in response to green initiatives.

Get government out of the market, and costs of most things will reduce.

Comment: silly reportage (Score 1) 420

by wmeyer (#38067598) Attached to: Skilled Readers Recognize Words By Shape

Some idiocy here: it's not a rebuttal, but recognition that the brain uses multiple strategies. While I may surely recognize tokens (I'll pass on the issue of how that works), it is equally true that when I encounter a new symbol, having been trained early on in phonics, I do decompose the token into its elements, and resolve it in that fashion.

We've seen in so many areas how versatile the brain is, why on earth would we accept a story which posits a single mechanism? That smacks of a belief in the "whole word" teaching theory which has produced millions of functional illiterates.

Comment: Hmmm... I predict one part of the outcome (Score 1) 225

by wmeyer (#38037622) Attached to: Chevy Volt Fire Prompts Safety Investigation For EV Batteries

Well, as the nanny state has turned our world upside down in the effort to promote this not-ready-for-prime-time "solution", I predict that whatever else they determine, it will be emphasized that these cars are essential to the future of the nation.

God forbid they ever let the market work.

Comment: stunning ignorance (Score 1) 480

by wmeyer (#35814292) Attached to: Berners-Lee: Web Access Is a 'Human Right'

What is most impressive is Berners-Lee's utter ignorance of economics. Everything costs money. No one has a "right" to any service, much less to one that costs as much as the Internet to build and maintain. The nearest thing to a right is the right to work, which yields a wage with which services can be purchased. Really, Tim, socialism is idiocy.

"I'm not afraid of dying, I just don't want to be there when it happens." -- Woody Allen

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