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Grosse Pointe Quickies 157

Nostradumbass told us about HandHeldCrime. This is cool for people that like to read on their Palm. jleader shared a link to a revolutionary new airplane design being built at the Van Nuys airport in Los Angeles. As if you couldn't tell from his name, linuxsucks_dot_com thinks that Linux Sucks! Use it as a tool, not as flamebait. SEWilco told us about a little cyber kid-leashing, and while you?re making sure the kids are where they need to be, kawlyn told us about the x86 Still. Beinoni shared a link to some interesting nonlinear emergent phenomena. An Anonymous Coward sent in a link to an interesting Scientific American story about anti-aging. dolanh sent in a cool question: What was your first computer? Okay, you caught me. My first real computer of note was an Apple //c. Still have the monitor. Zeitgeist gave us a link to a tool for the paranoid, Mindguard.
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Quickies n'stuff.

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  • Using a PDP-11 running RSTS/E when I was thirteen. Programming in BASIC on it. Got a moon lander game and adapted it with lots of ASCII graphics ...

    First machine of my very own was a Dick Smith System-80, a TRS-80 clone.

  • > As if you couldn?t tell from his name,
    > and while you?re making sure

    Is Slashdot being attacked by the killer Micros~1 ? == ' feature too?
  • > Is Slashdot being attacked by the killer
    > Micros~1 ? == ' feature too?

    You know, I've never figured out excatly WHY that happens. Why does it?

    -- Fester
  • Can you possibly guess without looking at my alias? An Atari 400 with 16k RAM, BASIC cartridge, and an Atari 410 "program recorder" which loaded programs at an outrageous 600 baud. I've been addicted ever since. Can I sue Atari for the carpal tunnel caused by a membrane keyboard?
  • We got an ATARI Pong game sometime in 1979-1980. That was cool.

    My first computer was a Timex Sinclair with 2KB RAM. We had the damn crash-prone 16KB expansion pack and the (I believe) 300 baud cassette recorder to save our shit.

    We got this during the winter of 1981. I was only 9. I was king of computing, with all that BASIC programming I did. Back then (remember?) we ad to program a freekin game out of a magazine in order to play. After punching in HEX Assembly language for hours on end (I had nothing else to do), yo get to appreciate applications, games and programming a lot more.

    But I realize today how important that computer was, as today I earn $76,000/year working in IT. Most kids today only consider computers as expensive video game machines and/or pr0n fetchers. Such a shame.
  • PC Junior! 128k memory, a floppy drive, a CGA display, and a cartridge port! (I still think they should include the latter on PCs today)
  • why after I turned my monitor upside down the web page look just like any other Linux web page ....
  • I think this is similar to an earlier story on Slashdot - about studies at Los Alamos that used phase-change stuff from physics to model traffic flow.

    Here is the Slashdot story link, but the original article link seems to be dead.

    http://slashdot.org/articles/99/08/05/1656256.sh tml

    PS: And would someone add the site referred to in the quickies to the list of sites which disable the "back" button" ...
  • by toofast ( 20646 )
    Did it have that stupid Chicklet Infrared keyboard? Man did that puppy ever suck!
  • My first thought is that the Traffic Waves site has been posted to Slashdot before. After an initial search, I couldn't find it. Anyone else want to try?

    My second thought is this: My first computer was an IBM PS/2. Wow did that thing kick ass - 386 SX @ 25 MHz, 2 MB RAM (I upgraded to 10 YEAH!), 130 Meg HD, and a 12" monitor that you'd swear was frying your brain.

    One of the first things I learned how to do was start the example BASIC games that came with that thing - SNAKE being one of them. Ahh, snake. It ruled yesterday's computers, and it rules today's cell phones.

    Another thing, that computer came with the most documentation I've seen for any personal system. It came with the ENTIRE IBM DOS manual! It had every utility's switch, option, and description right there! If only modern computers came with such things. But then again, not much you could do in the way of a manual for a GUI driven system.

    Ah well, rant mode off..
  • I first saw the x86 still as a link from badtech.com, but then I saw a link to it from somewhere else, and I was pretty sure it was Slashdot. However, I can't find it by searching Slashdot's archives, so maybe it's not a repeat post?


  • Great... Another excuse for parents to not watch their screaming fucking kids when I go to a theme park, so that I have to deal with them instead. It will tell you where they are, but not what their doing, after all.

    Just what we need in America. One more excuse for lazy fucking mothers to let their children run wild and be disrespectful.

    Dusty Hodges
  • You are right - something related to the traffic thing was on Slashdot earlier.

    http://slashdot.org/articles/99/08/05/1656256.sh tml

  • It wasn't THAT bad. Well maybe it was.
  • Atari 2600, baby! Oh, man, Asteroids ruled - I was so pissed when some bastard stole my cartridge in college; thank God for flea markets. Just not the same on an emulator. Fortunately, my 2600 still works.

    Learned BASIC at school on an Apple //+. Still can't shake my addiction to "Super Artillery." Does anyone know where I can find a PC/java/emulator/whatever version?


  • Didja check out the way that Rubber Bandit page kept going back and reloading banners every few seconds? Weird. Must suck on a modem connection.

    "I will gladly pay you today, sir, and eat up

  • A wristband company called Vertex RSI... that is just NOT RIGHT in the slightest.

    That's like calling a cruise ship the Titanic; you can if you want, but it's something you just DON'T DO...

  • My first computer was a super-charges XT clone. Featuring the 8088 proccessor, 640k of ram(hey thats all well ever need, right Gates?), a whopping 10 meg hard drive, an external 2400bps modem, and of course double density 3.5 and 5.25 floppies.The 3.5 was the B: drive and was attached to a 5.25" slot adapter which was secured to the top of the modem via electric tape. One of the expansion slot covers was removed to allow for the floppy ribon cable and power cord to connect to the 3.5' floppy/
  • by FascDot Killed My Pr ( 24021 ) on Monday July 10, 2000 @03:26PM (#944430)
    Interesting site. I haven't thought about it to the depth he obviously has, but I do something similar when I'm driving (even short distances). Try to keep a constant pace and put on your brakes only if you MUST (and do it as late as possible). One effect he left out was the psychological one of seeing brake lights ahead of you. When people see brake lights, they put on their brakes (often causing the stop waves). So if you don't use your brakes unless you absolutely must, the people behind you are less likely to, leading to fewer traffic waves.

    As soon as he mentioned his hypothetical friends helping him out, I thought of the state trooper idea that he mentions two paragraphs later. But I may have a twist on that: Don't get a "rolling barrier" of cops, just put one or two a few miles out from the slowdown/jam. Have them drive 5 miles below the speed limit. Everyone else will slow down to keep from passing the cop and the effect will be achieved. Experiments will be necessary to determine real distances and speeds for specific cases, of course.

    Another idea is to have continuously updated speed limit signs. When there is a jam ahead, the previous 5 miles of signs can say "65 MPH" instead of "70 MPH".
  • The first computer that I programmed was a PDP-8e.
    paper tape bootstrap, 8 inch floppies that clicked and clacked REALLY LOUD.
    It ran the console CRT and three teletypes using only 4K of RAM.

    The first computer that I purchased was a TRS-80 Color Computer in late 1981, I believe. It had 4K of memory that I later upgraded to 16K by replacing the chips, then finally 64K by piggybacking four chips together per socket.
    I went for the TRS-80 CoCo over the other home machines available at the time because of the 6809 processor. A buddy (thanks, Rocky) gave me an assembler/disassembler toolset and then things got really interesting!
    Interested in the Colorado Lottery?
  • From the a href="http://www.scientificamerican.com/2000/0700i ssue/0700scicit2.html">SA article:

    Perhaps more exciting is [Anthony] Cerami's recent discovery of a molecular "breaker"--a drug that may actually reverse the aging process by cracking sugar-protein links once they form. "Instead of looking for prevention, we can now administer a compound to reduce the stiffness we see in diabetes and aging," Cerami reported at a recent Novartis Foundation symposium in London. The breaker, dimethyl-3-phenacylthiazolium chloride, or ALT-711, can tear tough AGE bonds apart. Diabetic animals, old dogs and elderly rhesus monkeys given the compound daily for three weeks yielded spectacular results. "The heart and major arteries, which were quite stiff, became more pliable and elastic. So the heart could pump more blood--similar to what you'd see in a young animal," Cerami stated.

    This is pretty exciting stuff. Anyone with access to Medline should check out the ALT-711 research being done. Here are the abstracts from the latest two studies:

    An advanced glycation endproduct cross-link breaker can reverse age-related increases in myocardial stiffness. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A (PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA) 2000 Mar 14; 97 (6): 2809-13

    Decreased elasticity of the cardiovascular system is one of the hallmarks of the normal aging process of mammals. A potential explanation for this decreased elasticity is that glucose can react nonenzymatically with long-lived proteins, such as collagen and lens crystallin, and link them together, producing advanced glycation endproducts (AGEs). Previous studies have shown that aminoguanidine, an AGE inhibitor, can prevent glucose cross-linking of proteins and the loss of elasticity associated with aging and diabetes. Recently, an AGE cross-link breaker (ALT-711) has been described, which we have evaluated in aged dogs. After 1 month of administration of ALT-711, a significant reduction ( approximately 40%) in age-related left ventricular stiffness was observed [(57.1 +/- 6.8 mmHg x m(2)/ml pretreatment and 33.1 +/- 4.6 mmHg x m(2)/ml posttreatment (1 mmHg = 133 Pa)]. This decrease was accompanied by improvement in cardiac function.

    Improvement by aminoguanidine of insulin secretion from pancreatic islets grafted to syngeneic diabetic rats. Biochem Pharmacol (BIOCHEMICAL PHARMACOLOGY) 2000 Jul 15; 60 (2): 263-8

    Prolonged hyperglycemia inhibits B-cell function by mechanisms that are largely unclarified. We investigated the involvement of advanced glycation end products (AGEs), using aminoguanidine as well as the AGE-breaking compound ALT-711 in a transplantation model. Islets from Wistar-Furth rats were transplanted under the kidney capsule of syngeneic streptozocin-diabetic recipients. Aminoguanidine was administered as 1 g/L in the drinking water. Graft-bearing kidneys were isolated and perfused to investigate insulin secretion, and grafts were excised to measure preproinsulin mRNA contents. In all transplants to diabetic rats, insulin responses to 27.8 mM glucose were abolished and aminoguanidine failed to correct this abnormality. However, aminoguanidine treatment for 8 weeks following transplantation increased preproinsulin mRNA contents of the grafts (P less than 0.05). In addition, treatment with aminoguanidine enhanced the insulin secretory response to arginine (P less than 0.05). Arginine-induced insulin secretion was also enhanced when aminoguanidine treatment was started after an initial 2-week implantation period rather than immediately after transplantation. On the other hand, treatment with ALT-711 (0.1 mg/kg by gavage) for 8 weeks completely failed to affect B-cell function of grafts, and ALT-711 was also ineffective under in vitro conditions. Our findings indicate that aminoguanidine effects in vivo are to a major extent not coupled to AGEs or nitric oxide synthetase inhibition, but possibly to oxidative modifications accomplished by the guanidine compound.
  • by truelight ( 173440 ) on Monday July 10, 2000 @03:30PM (#944433) Homepage
    Hey, about that anti aging article... I recently e-mailed the about.com biology guide on this, and she responded with this extremely interesting response:

    "Hello Mattias,

    Death is a part of life. In fact one of the characteristics of living things is that all living things die. Sleep would not prevent death from occurring.

    As scientists find out more and more about the body, they have discovered that our cells are genetically programmed to die. Cells have structures called telomeres that shorten as the cell ages.

    Studies have been performed to see if researchers can prevent the telomeres from shortening and thus prolong the cell's life. See:

    The Real Fountain of Youth http://biology.about.com/library/weekly/aa012298.h tm

    -- Regina" /Mattias
  • The first computer I used (that I remember) was a DEC 10.

    The first computer I had at home was a Kaypro II

    The first computer I owned was a 19MHz XT with 1MB of EMS that I used as a drive cache so I could run Windows 3.0 on it. Only took 2 minutes to start windows from a DOS prompt.

  • Who needs to flame the linuxsucks.com people? They're in for a far more vile fate, a good ole slashdot effect.
  • An Apple IIGS, GS for graphics and sound. Big plus was the hi-res graphics mode. had one of the first 3.5" disk drives which you could load the "system disk and system tools" which was a GUI interface that really didn't do much. Mine did not have a hard drive, that came out shortly afterwards. I remember the time it took to load the appleworks disk.
  • About that LinuxSucks.com....If that's not twisted reasonging, then maybe I'll have to go read up on what twisted actually means.

    Just a few things before I lose it:

    How is freebsd.org a site which tries to convince you that linux sucks?

    How does that fact that linux can run under windows using vmware make it suck?

    My TV doesn't crash. My microwave doesn't crash. - nuff said

    Allows older hardware to be useful again - this makes it suck?

    Why can't those people speak proper (or even close to proper) English?

    I think I'll stop now
  • any takers? There is a flash from the past or is that .gov | .mil /fbi /cia /echelon meta-analyzing my psychographic tendecies. Does the real Echelon have a domain. Mindwatch should link to it. My first system was the Apple //c with 13 inch composite moniter (thats 65000 colors in 1985) for BASIC. I plugged it into an rf switch so I could play nintendo on it too. I was ten years old. I rocked! P.S. whatever happened to the drudge report. too bad.
  • by pnevares ( 96029 ) on Monday July 10, 2000 @03:35PM (#944439) Homepage
    The quickies seem the best place for something like this. =)

    SMARTY MAN GAEM DESIGNEAR "SURVIROR" [somethingawful.com]
    (be sure not to miss John Carmack's profile!)

    Pablo Nevares, "the freshmaker".
  • things look very ugly when emotions run high.

    they get even worse when people start to mix sarcasm, anger, and misinformation into multi-page rants.

    but i suppose that is what the net is about.

  • Actually, just briefly reviewing the site, I would recommend that EVERY SINGLE linux developer spend some time there.

    Many of the complaints listed are the same complaints I have, and the same complaints of anyone that I've exposed to linux. It would be nice if the list of "why linux sucks" was done in a more easily followed manner, but the raw language of it tends to help get the point across.

    Oh, and my first computer was a Tandy TRS-80 with the analog tape system...I still have it, although I haven't had it out of it's box in nearly 2 years.

  • it's showing as "http://slashdot.org/www.handheldcrime.com".

  • I remember spending hours copying the code out of back issues of Byte! magazine (i think that was it) to get a silly chain reaction game up on my computer. It was pretty neat when it was done, but I couldn't tell you how it worked.....
  • by Anonymous Coward
    demoroniser [fourmilab.ch]: DEMORONISER Correct Moronic Microsoft HTML

    This page describes, in Unix manual page style, a Perl [perl.org] program available for downloading [slashdot.org] from this site which corrects numerous errors and incompatibilities in HTML generated by, or edited with, Microsoft applications. The demoroniser keeps you from looking dumber than a bag of dirt when your Web page is viewed by a user on a non-Microsoft platform. NAME demoroniser - correct moronic and gratuitously incompatible HTML generated by Microsoft applications SYNOPSIS demoroniser [ -u ] [ -w cols ] [ infile ] [ outfile ] DESCRIPTION Many slick, high profile corporate Web sites I visit seemed to exhibit terrible grammar completely inconsistent with the obvious investment in graphics and design. Apostrophes and quote marks were frequently omitted, and every couple of paragraphs words were run together which should have been separated by a punctuation mark of some kind.

    This remained a mystery to me until I wanted to convert a presentation I'd developed in 1996 using Microsoft PowerPoint into a set of Web pages. A friend was kind enough to run the presentation through PowerPoint's "Save as HTML" feature (I have abandoned all use [slashdot.org] of Microsoft products, so I did not have a current version of PowerPoint which includes this feature). When I got the PowerPoint-generated HTML back and viewed it in my browser, I discovered that it contained precisely the same grammatical errors I'd noted on so many Web sites, and which certainly were not present in my original presentation.

    A little detective work revealed that, as is usually the case when you encounter something shoddy in the vicinity of a computer, Microsoft incompetence and gratuitous incompatibility were to blame. Western language HTML documents are written in the ISO 8859-1 Latin-1 character set, with a specified set of escapes for special characters. Blithely ignoring this prescription, as usual, Microsoft use their own "extension" to Latin-1, in which a variety of characters which do not appear in Latin-1 are inserted in the range 0x82 through 0x95--this having the merit of being incompatible with both Latin-1 and Unicode [unicode.org], which reserve this region for additional control characters.

    These characters include open and close single and double quotes, em and en dashes, an ellipsis and a variety of other things you've been dying for, such as a capital Y umlaut and a florin symbol. Well, okay, you say, if Microsoft want to have their own little incompatible character set, why not? Because it doesn't stop there--in their inimitable fashion (who would want to?)--they aggressively pollute the Web pages of unknowing and innocent victims worldwide with these characters, with the result that the owners of these pages look like semi-literate morons when their pages are viewed on non-Microsoft platforms (or on Microsoft platforms, for that matter, if the user has selected as the browser's font one of the many TrueType fonts which do not include the incompatible Microsoft characters).

    You see, "state of the art" Microsoft Office applications sport a nifty feature called "smart quotes." (Rule of thumb--every time Microsoft use the word "smart," be on the lookout for something dumb). This feature is on by default in both Word and PowerPoint, and can be disabled only by finding the little box buried among the dozens of bewildering option panels these products contain. If enabled, and you type the string,

    "Halt," he cried, "this is the police!"

    "smart quotes" transforms the ASCII quote characters automatically into the incompatible Microsoft opening and closing quotes. ASCII single and double quotes are similarly transformed (even though ASCII already contains apostrophe and single open quote characters), and double hyphens are replaced by the incompatible em dash symbol. What other horrors occur, I know not. If the user notices this happening at all, their reaction might be "Thank you Billy-boy--that looks ever so much nicer," not knowing they've been set up to look like a moron to folks all over the world.

    You see, when you export a document as text for hand-editing into HTML, or avail yourself of the "Save as HTML" features in newer versions of Office applications, these incompatible, Microsoft-specific characters remain in place. When viewed by a user on a non-Microsoft platform, they will not be displayed properly--most browsers seem to just drop them, as opposed to including a symbol indicating an undisplayable character. Hence, the apparently ungrammatical text, which the author of the page, editing on a Microsoft platform, will never be aware of.

    Having no desire to hand-edit the HTML for a long presentation to correct a raft of Microsoft-induced incompatibilities, I wrote a Perl program, the demoroniser, to transform Microsoft's "junk HTML" into at least a starting point for something I'd consider presentable on my site. In addition to replacing the incompatible characters with HTML-compliant equivalents wherever possible (a few rarely-encountered characters which can't be translated result in warning messages if encountered), the following sloppy or downright wrong HTML is corrected.

    • The missing semicolon at the end of numeric character escapes (=) is supplied.
    • Numeric renderings of special characters (< > &) are replaced with readable equivalents.
    • Unquoted <table> tags containing non-alphanumeric characters are quoted.
    • PowerPoint's mis-nesting of <font> and <strong> tags is corrected.
    • PowerPoint's boneheaded use of <ul> and </ul> tags to accomplish paragraph breaks is corrected and the proper <p> tags inserted.
    • Missing <tr> tags in text-only slides are inserted.
    • Nugatory </p> tags are removed.
    • Unmatched <li> tags in headings are removed.
    • Idiot "paragraph-long lines" are broken into something suitable for editing with a normal text editor.
    OPTIONS -u Print how-to-call information and a summary of options.

    -w cols Wrap output lines at column cols. By default, lines are wrapped at column 72. A cols specification of 0 disables line wrapping. demoroniser attempts to wrap lines so as to preserve their meaning. Lines are broken at white space whenever possible. If this cannot be done, a line longer than the cols specification will remain in the output HTML. BUGS demoroniser is a Perl script. In order to use it, you must have Perl installed on your system. demoroniser was developed using Perl 4.0, patch level 36. FILES If no outfile is specified, output is written to standard output. If no infile is specified, input is read from standard input. SEE ALSO perl(1) [slashdot.org] Download demoroniser.zip [slashdot.org] AUTHOR John Walker [slashdot.org]
    http://www.fourmilab.ch/ [slashdot.org]

    This software is in the public domain. Permission to use, copy, modify, and distribute this software and its documentation for any purpose and without fee is hereby granted, without any conditions or restrictions. This software is provided "as is" without express or implied warranty.

    by John Walker [slashdot.org]
    January 16th, 1998

  • I also remember when you could buy a special handheld scanner to scan the program in, if you were to lazy to type it.
  • Most religions allow sorts of unnatural things, like antibiotics, contraceptives, etc.

    But anyway, I'd just like to point out that in the rich countries where anti-aging treatments are most likely to occur, the birth rate is at, or below, replacement value and falling.

    (Even if we could stop aging and all disease, your life expectency would still be in the ~250 range, because of accidents, etc.)
  • Well, having read through the comments (both of them!) on the linux sucks site, it seems to boil down to 2 things.

    1) We can't run office
    2) Its too difficult

    Personally I'm glad that linux takes some level of knowledge to be able to operate. Its not really designed to fuction as a desktop OS for Joe Public - just for Jim Geek (like me).

    The fact that you can turn linux into a OS which can do pretty much everything you need (lets not talk about DVD's etc though!) means that it is powerful. If you don't know how to use it - maybe you shouldn't be. I know that this is most likely going against the standard - "Lets make linux take over the world" - but I think its true.

    There are correct tools for the job, for me that is linux - but for my parents to send email..... Windows wins.

    I have flame proof underwear and a level 12 necromancer ready to defend me! Do your worst!
  • Wow, such luxury hehehe
  • The M25 (Motorway around London) has a variable speedlimit in the worst spots. It works quite well apparently.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    www.linuxsucks.com www.linuxsucks.com is running Apache/1.3.6 (Unix) on BSD/OS
  • Because people are lazy and careless and use Microsoft's nonstandard high ASCII characters instead of the proper character entities [w3.org] (the &foo; stuff), or just forget to turn off the accursed "auto-correction", that's why.

  • Unixux [catalog.com]
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Another idea is to have continuously updated speed limit signs. When there is a jam ahead, the previous 5 miles of signs can say "65 MPH" instead of "70 MPH".

    That's a fine idea, but what is really needed is a intelligent sign that flashes SPEED THE FUCK UP LOSERS! to the sluglike columns of traffic rubbernecking at the fatal accident in the opposite lanes.

  • Man did that thing ever rock! Two, count em, two floppy disk drives, a whopping 64k of ram, and a great big red power button on the keyboard. Sure it had sucky games, but then again it helped me learn assembly language programming (Z-80) in 6th grade. I didn't own an assembler (couldn't talk the parents into springing for one) so I hand-assembled everything with a hex calculator and entered it directly into memory with the debugger.... Ah, the good old days. I loved the thing--a throwback to when computers cost about as much as an automobile and weighed about the same too.

    Btw., whatever happened to Scripsit, the greatest word processor of all time?
  • It works quite well apparently.

    Apparently, you haven't been stuck on the M25.

    Theory has it the variable speed limits are more for regulating the flow heading towards the main spoke roads like the M1 and M4. Practice has it the rapidly changing speed limits are for revenue generation. When you see the limit change, you will see a dozen cops sitting on the side of the road after the next exit. Worse than those damnable cameras.

    the AC
  • was an Amiga 1000 (ok im pretty young, so what?) with 256k ram, later upgraded to 512k, I don't really remember too much about it. I guess I'll have to go dig it up.
  • Damn it, I'm tired, and I'm at work. Allow me a typo every now and again. Dick.
  • I want a VAG T-Shirt!

  • No flames please...

    But I kind of like the linuxsucks site.

    The guy has a sense of humor. I dropped in and had a good laugh at myself and many other Linux advocates.

    We need to laugh more at ourselves. Kudos to the linuxsucks webmaster.

  • You are right - something related to the traffic thing was on Slashdot earlier.

    And if you search in it for "waves" about the forth one has a link to the same page the quickies article talks about. I knew I had seen it on slashdot before :-)

  • Actually, I find the first computer stories to be entertaining; brings back some fond memories of all the old computers from the 80's that have gone by the wayside...
  • My father works for Prudential, and they naturally were all over Big Blue. I donno how close it was to being the first laptop, it had a blue tinted monochrome screen, and must have weighed 15 lbs. To expand it, one added 4inch/3inch/15 inch units to the back; I think this is how it got extra comm ports. You could keep adding units until the thing was aboutthe size of a surfboard (there was a printer module).

    My first real computer was a PS/2 model 80, which was a 386 with I think 4 mb ram standard, but I had that sonuvabitch rocking with a Kingston 486 upgrade and a Kingston memory MCA board, fully populated with 16mb of ram. It was on this I ran WFW 3.11 and used Prodigy, so I was on the net relatively early, when I was 16 or so (5.5 yrs ago). True geekdom didn't come until I had worked for Pru a couple summer, and got interested in networking.

    I still have a *^%#load of various MCA NICs in my basement, the Model 80 is still down there. I should really put Linux on it, or something, just for the memories. I have had Model 77, 56, 57, 60, etc all flow thru, but just that one original PS/2 remains.

  • Yeah but did you check the 'Music' link (the first one)? The site links to AMAZON for Christ's sake.

    I agree on everything else in your post though.
  • More information right here: here [hispeed.com].

    Now, if I could just get game ROMs for the emulators :(.

  • by orpheus ( 14534 ) on Monday July 10, 2000 @04:02PM (#944465)
    [BTW, Driver Psychology [aloha.net] is a useful link for those who are interested in the other major component of traffic -- or simply have a friend they want to keep from killing themselves on the highway]

    I used to take my friends to a cabin in Laconia, NH for Thanksgiving each year. One year, (early 80's) we brought several (Apple II) computers with us and attacked this problem, coding and discussing it as we conducted our usual festivities. The joke was that we'd win a Nobel Prize (The Peace Prize, we decided) and the undying gratitude of the Billions in the Next Millenium.

    Alas, coding/modifying the digital automata took most of our time , and none of us had more than a couple of years driving experience. (Yikes, I can't believe it even ran in something like real time on a 64K machine with 191K floppies (this was before hard drives for personal computers) running on a 8/16 bit CPU at a true speed of 1/2 MHz) We never made our breakthrough -- and the hangovers on the last day of that trip made several of us repress the memory of the entire weekend.

    Well, here we are, hard upon the next millenium, and I was wondering what software is out there that could implement a digital automata traffic simulator. We had notebooks full of elaborate scenarios - traffic light synchronization, types of accidents, ambulances, cars going in/out os various types of commercial parking lot entryways, etc. It was a low-res SimCity of traffic. -- much more fascinating than it sounds. (And hey, if a million late night hackers can't solve traffic, then we should go back to the single wheel and start over)

    Can anyone suggest a program - perhaps Object Oriented - that would let me repeat and expand on my original experiments? I *still* drive differently because of what I learned (At last! Driver's Ed that means something!)

  • That's particularly ironic, because pretty much EVERY complaint that guy has about Linux applies equally to BSD!

    So whaddya think... start a betting pool...

    Is he:

    An "anti GPL RMS is a dirty hippie commie BSD license is "more free"" type?

    A Berkeley student/alum who is disgruntled that Linux gets so much mindshare?

    A hipocrite, plain and simple?

    Resistance is NOT futile!!!

    I am not a drone.
    Remove the collective if

  • Just read some of the stories about peoples 1st computers and noted that many C64 users mentioned using Logo. Just wondering what ever happened to Logo? Is it being maintained, has it developed? Just curious.
  • There was a link to ihatewindows98.com from that linux sucks page. It strikes me as funny that they made the ihatewindows98.com page using Frontpage. They must not hate other microsoft products as much as the OS. Maybe they'll like one of the companies to come out of the split.
  • An IBM OS/360 mainframe when I was twelve. It had BASIC and PL/I in interactive mode, IIRC, and FORTRAN and COBOL for batch use.

    The first one I owned was a COSMAC ELF [inetnebr.com] built from the plans in the August 1976 in Popular Electronics (yeah, I'm an old bastard. Sue me.) It ate up the money saved from a whole summer's worth of part-time employment. At that, I couldn't afford the two digit hex display, and had to make do with 8 LEDs tied directly to the data bus. The 1802 was actually quite a nice chip for the time.... 16 bit registers (vs. 8 bit for competitors such as the 6502 and 8080), CMOS technology, and it came in a nice rad-hardened ceramic package. I understand that RCA sold a buttload of these to the military for satellite applications, but it never really caught on in the PC world. A cursory examination of parts suppliers indicates that most of the parts from the above schematic are still available. Might make a nice retrocomputing project....hmmm.
    WordSocket Voice BBS Software

  • Um, why?

    You should never, never doubt what nobody is sure about.
  • I soooo agree with you. My mother had my 3 older bother^H^H^H^H^H^Hbrothers... ages 4,3, and 2.. She had LEASHES so that they could only SO far but no more..

    Nowadays, the civil rights twits would be screaming "abuse".. Hell no.. They are trying to prevent abuse (basically keeping the kids where they belong so you don't have to beat them).. I mean.. come on.. Have any of you seen how scool is taught now ? With the touchey feely was to make kids feel better (so they no longer grade A, B, C, etc. ).. No wonder kids can't spell..

    And what's to keep "lil johnny" from tying his bracelet to a dog and letting the dog run wild ? If anyone can figure out ways to get around their parents, the kids can..

    The parents are no longer parents, they are the kids "friends"... Screw That ! Kids need parents who will TEACH them right from wrong. If the lazy parents don't pay attention to their kids and TEACH THEM and LISTEN TO THEM, we will have worse indicdents than Columbine...

  • He could actually be simply someone like me; someone who uses Linux/BSD but still sees that there is a great deal that is NOT good about it and a great deal that Windows/MacOS still have over linux (ouch, that's going to hurt my Karma). He might just be using a humorous "linux sucks" forum to get his point across.

    With all that having been said, I still vote for "hypocrite" with my $5 of pay-pal cash :P
  • I still have my extended basic cartridge and cable s for the tape drive.
  • ...so I'll rant to a more receptive audience. Warning, partially coherent frothing follows, just skip to the next if yer easily offinded.

    Read linuxsucks. the top reasons [linuxsucks.com] especially; specifically, the last comment on the page (as I write this, "Luke from [IP address]).

    OK. The PhD in AI. I've done x86 assembler, bare metal stuff, and I've done and read quite a bit of AI... informal but I have some knowledge. I've done and am doing some AI-ish stuff. The two DO NOT mix. There's brains in AI work, there's brains in OS work; I don't think the two can co-exist. If you think they can, please tell me your brand, I could use a shot. In short, I laugh. VMS bigot anyway.

    Next up, Chris 2/17. Damn. Anybody know a "chris" at microsloth? Perhaps a high-up in marketing? The editor's note helps confirm my suspicion that I wants a shot of his brand.

    The screed above that, well, that's sorta suspiciosly like my (semi-illiterate) 14yr old nephew would write after an evening of stoking up on, say, Ziff Davis publications. Really, the shameless propaganda with no redeeming social value has got to stop. Will no one think of the children?

    And I'd love to rant a bit more about that page, but that's it. How long has this been up? Granted I'll say these comments are probably worth reading, but 3? That's it? What kind of criticism is that? Any propaganda meister worth his salt ought to know that the key principle is REPITION... I'm sure you've got it in you somewhere.

    ... Ahh, that feels better. But really, ya'll, is bombing the form gonna do any good? Lookit this forum; we knows there's dipshits abounding who happen to be around, do we need to prove it yet again?

  • An Apple ][c was my first computer too. Shoot I still have the damn thing plugged in. Lemonade Stand rules!

    andy j.
  • my first was actually my dad's first, a timex sinclair that booted up to some assembly interpreter. It had grainy black and white ntsc output, had a membrane keyboard and would have been able to fit inside my current computers case with the cover on! It was just terrible though.
    We returned it and got a TI/994a a while later. I quickly monopolized the 99, and moved it into my bedroom. To get the full effect for Trek, (transcribed from an issue of Compute!) I would dim the lights, turn on a blacklight and wear my surplus Russian tank pilot goggles. Then I would tweak the text colors all to hell to get the important info to stand out more clearly (klingons!). Surely this is way too geeky, but it is where I developed my keen interest in UI design. Now I do interfaces for video games and make rather good money. And to think, my parents completely discouraged this by making me chop firewood, play outside, do the dishes. From their perspective even watching TV was a better way to spend my time!
  • Cool hack.

    I remember back in the old times when I got deleted from a large multi-line BBS. It was an Oracomm board, and if you were the one who originated a discussion thread you had the ability to also delete it completely. So one night for fun I spooled the whole thread into a text file, ran the textfile through the Jive filter, deleted the thread, and posted the new 'jive' version as if it were the original thread.

    Boy were people pissed.
  • Love the idea! Next time start with the basics and see if you can make whiskey. =) I'm imagining after half a day of work on the computer - picking up the whiskey that drained into a shot glass beside my computer.. the harder you work the more you drink.

    So the little copper box is cool, but he said he 'soldered' it together.. depending on the type of solder you use - it has quite a high percentage of lead in it. I'm not sure I'd drink much out of that particular design of still...

  • by zigzag ( 2071 )
    On the Linux Sucks site,
    through the Linux Slogans link,
    in the Why Linux Sucks column,
    at the fourth bullet

    there is mention of a tool for viewing MS Word docs. Looks cool. Thought you should know.

  • The problem is not that their not straight ASCII -- they are not straight ISO 8859-1. Windows uses several reserved characters for things like curly quotes, and these characters are not implemented in Unix character sets.

    I would imagine if you had a MS True Type font, it would look OK. (Or, Slashdot could shut everyone up by implementing a curly quote to HTML & code replacer in it's submit processor.)
  • by Rinikusu ( 28164 ) on Monday July 10, 2000 @04:40PM (#944481)
    Okay, this is pretty funny.

    First off, Let me start off by saying that I'm a Win2K user. I used to run NT 4.0, but replaced it with an errant install of Redhat 6.2 (see some of my previous postings for that). So, I more or less tried to use Redhat 6.2 for about a month.

    Now, why am I back to Win"blows"?


    1) The applications I use are here today, not tomorrow, not next year. I got tired of trying out really beta software for Linux for the stuff I use, and the stuff that wasn't beta was very unpolished, very cluttered, very unfocused. Think GNUCash vs. Quicken or even Money and you'll see what I mean.

    2) X is slow and crappy and unresponsive. I run a dual CPU system and it annoys the hell out of me. X likes to crash, taking my whole system with it, usually. It just sucks balls. I stated before that the client-server architecture inherent in X is NOT NEEDED for typical home/end users. BeOS does the GUI right. You want to beat the GUI experience that Win2K gives? Ditch X and come up with something new.

    3) I've not *touched* my registry since installing Win2k. I had to "touch" all kinds of config files weekly under Linux, just to install stuff.

    4) Who cares about freedom to do with the software? Can't you see that RMS wants you to be paid MINIMUM WAGE for your work? How dare you code for money! nono, that was a rant, sorry. Rather, most users don't give a rat's ass about GPL or whatever. They want to install a software package and then use it. They don't want to have to search freshmeat.net for some obscure graphics lib or a specific version or whatever. Win2K at least halfway has this right. how many updates have I done to Win2K? Two or Three, the security update patch, couple drivers. And they installed *smoothly* with a double click. Every week I was scouring for the latest glibc or whatever to get whatever to work. Too much of a hassle.

    4. Linux just felt too beta to do anything that I would want to do. The feel is not right on the OS. I don't care how smooth the architecture is or how stable it is (to an extent). Think of it this way: My Ti Graphing Calculator I had for engineering never crashed on me, but you don't hear me extolling it's stability virtues. Win2K didn't crash on me until I installed EverCrack.

    5. i won't go into the games rant, because games are not important to me.

    Does Linux suck? Hell fuck no. I've got two linux machines in my living room routing mail, etc. They are *great* for that. But for everyday using, Win2K provides me with the best experience, freedom be damned. BeOS has a better "experience" than linux, and I'd really like to see it take off. Will I ever use Linux as my everday OS again? If they can fix X so it doesn't run so slow and get some real apps that don't require 3 hours of searching to find that obscure library (hey, freedom has its price), then maybe. Until then, I'm sticking with something I know and somewhat trust. Fuck, guys, it's just a goddamned OS. Go outside and see the real world every once and awhile.

  • Yeah, yeah, mousepads, shirts, hats, whatever. They're missing out on an incredibly lucrative line of products -

    picture, if you will, the Rubber Bandit (tm) condom, proudly adorning the genitalia of engineer/criminal men worldwide.

    I love it.

  • If there is anything more boring than listening to fellow computer geeks blather about computer history and nostalgia, I've yet to hear it. Y'know that way that real DORKY geeks get? When they talk about things that are supposedly REALLY interesting, but are only inflated in their own minds? This computer nostalgia topic boils it down to its very essence.

    "Oh yeah, I remember that! I once programmed SpaceWar by soldering traces right onto the motherboard! And we only had 73 bytes of core!"

    Surfing on a wave of nostalgia for an age yet to come...

  • asdasdsadsadas
  • In my experience, all traffic problems can be attributed to one or more of the following:

    • Old people
    • Stupid people
    • Truck drivers
    • Cops
    • Taxis
    • Cell phones
    So, if a mentally deficient retired-cop-now-truck-driver happens to be following an elderly taxi diver talking on a cell phone, all traffic in the surrounding 10 state area would simultaneously come to a halt. Any combination of the above would yield the same results.

    And remember, cell phones are the root of all road rage.

    "Integer: a number that represents any valid floating-point value"
  • Here [newslibrary.com] it is... they want to charge you a buck fifty for it though.
  • by Azog ( 20907 ) on Monday July 10, 2000 @04:53PM (#944487) Homepage
    Another book that Unix developers should all read is the Unix Haters Handbook. It comes with the Unix Barf Bag, a cool desktop accessory for the budding Unix guru!

    It has a lot of well reasoned, well documented complaints about the suckage of various Unix flavors. It is mostly pre-Linux, (and Linux and friends have fixed a lot of the problems) but many of their complaints are applicable.

    Top Unix problems, IMHO:
    • X Windows. bleah. Too many sacrifices were made for the network transparency. Still no anti-aliased fonts! Font handling in general sucks, because the client and the server have no standard way of communicating font metrics.

    • Printing, and What You See Is What You Get. This was the most significant improvement of Windows 3.x over DOS. The driver of the desktop publishing revolution was Macs and the LaserWriter. In comparasion, printing sucks on Linux. Don't tell me about TeX, or troff - I know. (shudder).

    • Basic local area networking and file sharing. This is sooo simple in Windows. You right click a folder... share as... change the default permissions... and a few seconds later all the other windows machines can see it. On Linux I'm often reduced to using ftp. What about NFS you say? Not a File System. NFS is fundamentally broken. The idea behind it was a stateless protocol - the problem is, a file system is nothing BUT state. Plus you have to edit configuration files... groan.

    • Web Browser. Mozilla is getting there... slowly... please...

    • The "Everything is A Text File" attitude. This is great for quick hacks, but a lousy way to build software. Think I'm wrong? Read the book. At least Gnome and KDE are abandoning this for actual component systems.

    But hey. For a lot of things, Unix is great! I run my home server with Mandrake 7.1, but my workstation usually runs Windows 2000. At work I use FreeBSD, and my firewall is OpenBSD.

    And, free software is slowly but surely fixing most of those problems. Just don't forget: it isn't there yet. For some people, and some things, Linux still sucks.

    Torrey Hoffman (Azog)
  • You know how those rubber bands snap if you overwind them and how it hurts your fingers? Wonder what a 100lb rubber band would do to your fingers.
  • Or maybe Parsec exists for other platforms...? Here's hoping ;-)
  • Because Microsoft products use a different encoding to iso-8859-1, which is standard in the UNIX world - and, indeed the standard to which most moders specs are written. Windows encoding has several extra characters encoded in undefined areas, which contain not-so-smart quotes (the typeographers' quotes).

    The shouldn't be a problem, because when translating to HTML, one should either use non-smart quotes (' and "), or one of the HTML entities (&ldquo;, &lsquo;, <q>) that deal with this problem. Instead, MS products use &# entities, specifying numbers which are meaningless on non-Windows encoded systems.

    Of course, it isn't all Microsoft's fault. While Lynx and IE 4 & 5 both recognise and render the various quoting entities and markup correctly, stupid old Netscape, and worse yet, Mozilla don't, even in their latest incarnations. (Netscape 4.72 not doing so is bad enough, IMO, but mozilla has no excuse, since the extneded entities are part of the HTML 4 standard. So much for claims gecko is a standards-compliant rendering engine).

    At any rate, the most correct thing to do would be to use dumb old typewriter style quoting in HTML. But Microsoft products don't do that, sadly.

  • Wow. I actually thought the MindGuard people were serious, until I read their license [zapatopi.net]. Funny.

  • Speaking of going crazy, he mentions that his TI-82 never crashes. Well, apparently he has never actually installed any programs on it, because badly designed assembly programs can and do crash calcs all the time. When I upgraded the OS on my TI-89, all of the older programs crashed, and I managed to have to reset the calc about 50 times that day :)

  • Actually, their webhosting provider (hypermart.net) runs Linux/apache (guess they're not up to setting up their own server).

    hypermart.net is running Apache/1.3.6 (Unix) secured_by_Raven/1.4.2-dev ApacheJServ/1.0 g2am/1.36 adutil/1.7 g2ad/1.63 on Linux
  • My first computer was a DIGI-COMP 1 [computergarage.org], a 3-bit mechanical computer. It was built out of pieces of plastic and wire.

    In high school, I learned how to program on the school district's RCA Spectra 70 [gopbi.com] mainframe that was connected to a 110 bps KSR-35 teletype in each high school via modem. The RCA Spectra 70 was a clone of the IBM 360, except for the reliability bits. It crashed all the time. It offered Dartmouth BASIC, COBOL, WATFOR FORTRAN and RPG.

    My first electronic computer was a Radio Shack TRS-80 Model 1 [kjsl.com] (AKA Trash-80) with 4K of DRAM. I really wanted an Apple II but I couldn't afford one.

  • A Traffic Simulator Applet [horstmann.com] written by Cay Horstmann
  • by vyesue ( 76216 ) on Monday July 10, 2000 @06:00PM (#944502)
    ...but I have nothign to say about that.

    Instead, I thought I'd comment on the nonlinear emergent whatevers - if you did not take the time to read that because it looked like some wierd math thing you couldnt understand, I urge you to read it. In fact, shame on the /. crew for not giving this the big, bold, badass headline that it deserves. this is probably one of the most important things that you will ever read on /., and it's somethign that every human over 16 in the US sould be forced to read.

    I suffered through weeks of drivers education classes and learned nothing. if driver's education taught you NOTHING other than the contents of this link, america would be reshaped permanently, forever.

    Go read the link. now. seriously. do it.

    99% of traffic problems in this country can be SOLVED by following one simple rule - LEAVE SOME FUCKING ROOM BETWEEN YOU AND THE GUY IN FRONT OF YOU. enough room for some jackass to jump in between without you getting all hot an bothered about it. traffic sucks in this country for the simple fact that people ride each others' asses everywhere they drive. well, that and retards driving slow in the fastlane, but tailgating is a far more terrible problem.

    go read this link. learn to drive like this. spread the word; spread this link. let's use the slashdoteffect for the powers of good just once, mmkay?
  • I love textual conf files! It makes backups of my configuration quick and simple and is especially helluh for playing around with the configs. Thats the thing that i hate with windows, configuration is scattered between files with proprietary layouts, the registry, and ini files - who knows what to backup?! How would I backup the entire system config? its hard! Linux lets me do this modularily. Now, the registry isnt a bad idea, and I think that a central configuration registry would be a cool thing for linux - even just a few SQL databases even?
  • by joel.neely ( 165789 ) on Monday July 10, 2000 @07:18PM (#944513)

    I ran across this idea over 30 years ago. Some guys at IBM were working on simulating traffic flow thru city streets and came to the conclusion that the best description of the available data had the same mathematical form as that of fluid flow in pipes. From that key observation, many interesting analogies followed directly: standing waves, shock waves, the congestion resulting from an abrupt narrowing (lane closure or step down to a smaller diameter pipe), etc.

    Fascinating to contemplate how often a new discovery could be found by going back and looking at some of those outdated materials in the dusty old dead tree libraries!

    A couple of years back there was a flurry of excitement about a couple of high-school kids who used some math software to come up with a "new" geometric construction for dividing a line into an arbitrary number of equal divisions. Their teacher had them present a paper at a math teaching conference, and they were even written up in the Wall St. Journal. Meanwhile, I found exactly the same bit of geometry in an old book on typography and book design, and a newer one (but older than their "discovery") on Fontographer. Seems this same construction had simply been a well-known tool in the printing and book layout field even though the math teachers had forgotten it.

    All of this raises the question... In our rush to assume that anything not on line (and easily found by a search engine) is no longer relevant, how much real information are we in danger of losing? (And the problem itself isn't new -- remember the Venetian stained glass that nobody knows how to make any more?)

  • by Azog ( 20907 ) on Monday July 10, 2000 @07:38PM (#944515) Homepage
    Yes, that would be nice. Now that MySQL is GPL, it would be possible to do something like the Windows Registry, but properly.

    I like text config files too... sometimes... but it can be so damn confusing finding the file you need. Especially when you go back and forth between several flavors of Unix. On FreeBSD, the Apache config file is... um... I think /usr/local/etc/apache/apache.conf. But under Linux it's... um... /usr/etc/apache.conf. Or is it? Damn! time to run find again...

    And where was that php3.ini again? ARRRGH!

    Unfortunately, it's too late to change things. Although it would be possible to make a distribution of Linux with all the settings and configurations stored in a nice MySQL database, with a nice text mode tool for editing it (or just run mysql -u root -p config if you are the command-line type...)

    it's too late. It would be incompatible with all the other stuff out there, and as soon as Apache, or PHP, or Bind, or ifconfig, or ANYTHING was revised, you would be in a race to keep up.

    No, Unix is stuck with a zillion text mode files, all with incompatible syntax, different naming conventions, and poor documentation.

    The only glimmer of light is the File System Standard. Maybe, eventually, all the Free Unixes of the world will agree on it, and at least I will know WHERE to find the file I want.

    (not that NT is always an improvement... who can remember where the hosts file lives on an NT system? Somewhere under \system32\drivers, I think?)

    Torrey Hoffman (Azog)
  • My first "computer" was an IBM 407 Calculating Punch, programmed by placing jumper wires on a board about twice the size of today's mobos. By the time I went to college, I found they had a Clary DE-60, also programmed with jumper wires and a General Precision LGP-30. Back in '65, this computer had 64K bytes - of rotating drum memory, no RAM, not even "core" memory. I/O was only through the Freiden Flexowriter, a huge typewriter (85 lbs.) with a paper tape punch. And it was programmed in hex machine language. I'll never forget debugging hex where the codes were 0-9,F,G,J,K,Q and W. (They represented the codes from the Flexowriter for 10-15.) Finally, the school got an advanced computer, a CDC-8090 with 4K 12 bit words of core memory. But it came with tape drives, a punched card reader and a FORTRAN compiler! So we really coded up a storm!!

    My first operating system was tape based because there wasn't any room left in memory after that compiler loaded its run time libraries for the execution. (It took two of us three weeks to write.) And it was reloaded after every job! The OS was really just a job control system but it was designed to interpret only the first two characters of each word on the job control card so we had contest to come up with the weirdest sentences that would still specify the right job parameters.

    After graduation, I got to work on an IBM 1401 and one of the custom machines (AN/FSQ-31) IBM built for the military just before they designed the 360. By the time I bought my own home computer (a Commodore 64), I'd already been programming for over 15 years. But that C-64 was capable of graphics and sprites that the mainframe at work couldn't touch. When the C-128 came out and offered CPM, I though it was a wonderful alternative to OS/360.

    My favorite magazine was Dr. Dobb's Journal but that was back when it was titled "Dr. Dobb's Journal of Computer Calisthenics and Orthodontia; Running Light Without Overbyte". Things have changed a bit since. I'm playing with Beowolf clusters at home and designing distributed comm networks for world wide deployment now but thanks for the opportunity to stroll down Memory Lane!
    VP Unmarketing, Product Confusion and Linux Distributions
  • rocking with a Kingston 486 upgrade and a Kingston memory MCA board, fully populated with 16mb of ram
    Hardware upgrades really used to rock. Systems didn't dead-end back in the day anywhere near as frequently as they do now. Thank std_deity.h for companies like Powerleap [powerleap.com] and Evergreen [evertech.com] still keeping the innovative hardware upgrade alive. I've already turned my Pentium75 into a K6-2 300. Soon I'll be upgrading my company's old NT server from a PPro 200 to a Celeron 600 without having to take it down for a week.

    Does anyone else know any other companies with a flare for such upgrades?

  • maybe it could be used in the hurd or something? hehe.

    the big issue would be that not all conf files work like 'key = value'. otherwise, you could have some daemon keep some sort of flat file/database equivilance.

    the idea is that once such a system exists, people may be inclined to use it. hehe. it could be something like the proc filesystem. where you have files, which arent really files. you can change them, but the changes really get made in the database. I'd go for that :)
  • Death is the price we pay for the orgasm.
    • X Windows. bleah. Too many sacrifices were made for the network transparency. Still no anti-aliased fonts! Font handling in general sucks, because the client and the server have no standard way of communicating font metrics.
    Yeah, there's always room for improvement. But network transparency is incredibly important for some of us. Moreover, "no AA fonts" is not such a big problem as certain people like to portray it. Right now, for example, I can spot exactly two cases of the jaggies on my desktop (the "AM" in my clock).

    All in all I appreciate X a lot, in spite of several years of using Win 9x exclusively.

    • Printing, and What You See Is What You Get. This was the most significant improvement of Windows 3.x over DOS. The driver of the desktop publishing revolution was Macs and the LaserWriter. In comparasion, printing sucks on Linux. Don't tell me about TeX, or troff - I know. (shudder).
    Again, not so big a problem as often protrayed. For nicety-nicety documents, I whip them out in LyX, gen them up as PostScript, inspect them in the previewer, click a button to print them, and - presto! - what I saw is what comes out on my printer. (Not even a PostScript printer, thanks to the wonders of GhostScript.)

    • Basic local area networking and file sharing. This is sooo simple in Windows. You right click a folder... share as... change the default permissions... and a few seconds later all the other windows machines can see it. On Linux I'm often reduced to using ftp. What about NFS you say? Not a File System. NFS is fundamentally broken. The idea behind it was a stateless protocol - the problem is, a file system is nothing BUT state. Plus you have to edit configuration files... groan.
    NFS works fine by me. If I want others to see a file, chmod fixes it in an eyeblink.

    I admit that ACLs would be nice in certain circumstances, though as a former VAX admin I can testify that in business environments they can be an enormous amount of headache for little tangible gain. (Think "office politics".)

    • Web Browser. Mozilla is getting there... slowly... please...
    This is a favorite thing for trolls and astroturfors to bring up. No, I don't think you fit into either category, but you still get the same answer they do: this is not a problem with Unix. So long as 90% of the desktop belongs to a single platform, 99.99% of the for-profit programming work is going to go toward perfecting products for that platform.

    • The "Everything is A Text File" attitude. This is great for quick hacks, but a lousy way to build software. Think I'm wrong? Read the book. At least Gnome and KDE are abandoning this for actual component systems.
    And making a very big mistake, IMO. One of the few things that ticks me off about GNOME is that they are GNOMEifying things rather than having GNOME pick up what you already have installed on your system. I haven't looked at 1.2 yet, but under October... if you upgrade xscreensaver, GNOME doesn't get the new goodies. Also, some menu items are actually easier to fix with an editor than by clicking 100 times on the panel (e.g., ssh terminals to all your other machines/accounts), but when you go to do it the easy way, you find that you have to edit separate files in separate directories rather than a single flat file like FVWM offers. Grrr.

    > Just don't forget: it isn't there yet. For some people, and some things, Linux still sucks.

    I can deal with that. If Linux isn't "there" yet for someone, that someone simply shouldn't use Linux. Or should dive in and fix it.

    But for the rest of us, it's absurd to hear a blanket condemnation that "Linux sux" when we are able to use it to do so many fine things that we were not able to do with our previous systems.

  • by Black Parrot ( 19622 ) on Tuesday July 11, 2000 @12:17AM (#944531)
    > The applications I use are here today, not tomorrow, not next year.

    Yep, applications are an issue. But you should blame the vendors, not Linux.

    > X is slow and crappy and unresponsive. I run a dual CPU system and it annoys the hell out of me. X likes to crash, taking my whole system with it, usually.

    This makes me wonder whether you've actually used it. I find it faster and more responsive than the Win9x GUI on the same machine (though the WinGUI is probably being dragged down by that boat-anchor excuse for an operating system that it's integrated with).

    I also find that recent versions of X crash only extremely rarely, and even if you include older versions of X, I have never seen it take down the whole system.

    > I stated before that the client-server architecture inherent in X is NOT NEEDED for typical home/end users. ... You want to beat the GUI experience that Win2K gives?

    So. Is W2K what home/end users should be running?

    > I've not *touched* my registry since installing Win2k.

    Oh, boy. Wait until it gets corrupted, and then see what you get to touch.

    > I had to "touch" all kinds of config files weekly under Linux, just to install stuff.

    OK, but under Windows you "touch" a bunch of clickies to configure your new software. Some of us find text files more user friendly.

    > Who cares about freedom to do with the software? Can't you see that RMS wants you to be paid MINIMUM WAGE for your work? How dare you code for money! nono, that was a rant, sorry.

    Even in the unlikely event that RMS actually wants that, what has it got to do with using Linux? Sorry, but you have revealed yourself as a troll by including this one.

    > Rather, most users don't give a rat's ass about GPL or whatever. They want to install a software package and then use it. They don't want to have to search freshmeat.net for some obscure graphics lib or a specific version or whatever. Win2K at least halfway has this right. how many updates have I done to Win2K? Two or Three, the security update patch, couple drivers. And they installed *smoothly* with a double click. Every week I was scouring for the latest glibc or whatever to get whatever to work. Too much of a hassle.

    I don't find this much of a hastle at all. Particularly compared to dll hell. When a program needs a particular version of something, you can at least find out which version it needs. Then just visit the appropriate site and download it. (I get mine as RPMs from rufus.www.org, where you can list them by name, distro, etc.)

    At least with Linux kits you can see what they are going to change before you install them, and most of them can be installed beside older versions as well. Yeah, you have to look at it before you install, but IMO that's much better than trying to clean up the mess after one of those two click installs you're bragging about.

    > Linux just felt too beta to do anything that I would want to do. The feel is not right on the OS.

    That's a perfectly reasonable opinion. So why did you have to bring up all the other fluff arguments? If it's not for you, don't use it. Unlike a certain other OS I could name, no one is trying to make you use Linux.

    > I don't care how smooth the architecture is or how stable it is (to an extent). Think of it this way: My Ti Graphing Calculator I had for engineering never crashed on me, but you don't hear me extolling it's stability virtues.

    Ah, but unlike Windows, calculators are not in the habit of crashing. Think of it this way: if other calculators crashed in the middle of exams, wouldn't the engineering students be extolling the virtues of one that didn't?

    For some installations, crashing computers simply are not an option. And even for the rest of us, there's no reason to put up with it. I've got better things to do than wait for my system to reboot so I can see how much work I've lost. The pity about the "desktop revolution" is that it has trained people to think losing time and work is normal.

    > Win2K didn't crash on me until I installed EverCrack.

    Wow. Looks like you're doing better than lots of other W2K owners.

    > Fuck, guys, it's just a goddamned OS.

    Increasingly, the favorite way of justifying settling for something that's overpriced and second rate.

    If your calculator habitually crashed during an exam, would you shrug it off with "fuck, it's just a goddamned calculator"? If your car frequently broke down on the way to a job interview or hot date, would you shrug it off with "fuck, it's just a goddamned automobile"? When an airplane falls out of the sky, does the FAA shrug it off with "fuck, it's just a goddamned airplane"?

    No, whether at work or at play, quality matters. Lots of people want to spread the myth that this shouldn't apply to OSes, just like they want to spread the myth that anti-trust law and consumer protection law shouldn't. But I don't buy it.

  • I don't know what the guy who built the x86 still used to solder the still shut, but if he used standard Drat Shack solder, the result of the still could kill you with lead poisoning. Use lead free solder, like plumbers use.
  • The first computer [holotech.net] I ever worked on was a DEC PDP 11/70, in 1975. Then our school sprung for a state-of-the-art TRS-80. The first computer I owned myself was a 286 clone from American Semiconductor.

  • > I admin VMS for a living and I detest ACLs - they just generate work and complication. Thankfully, here they are verboten unless there is No Other Way. And there is ALWAYS Another Way.

    Yeah, I used to work in a shop where the secretaries wanted to use ACLs to share their files with specific other secretaries. Problems, problems.

    They would request an ACL, we would set it up, they would forget they requested it, and then get pissed off when someone read something they weren't supposed to know.

    Or they would come around when someone was out of town, wanting us to set up ACLs to let them see the absent party's files. And we had no guidelines whatsoever as to who was actually supposed to be able to see what.

    Or two would disagre on how an ACL should be set up, and we'd have to go to the boss to see which secretary had more clout that week, so that one could have her way... until the next round.

    Then there were the technically clueless secretaries who convinced some manager that they should be given system privileges so they could manage the ACLs, after which things got really screwed up, both technically and in terms of legitimacy of access.

    All in all, the problem was more political than technical. We tried scripts to let them manage their own and leave us out of the loop, but that didn't work because they were so clueless about what they wanted and so forgetful about what they had actually granted.

    And in addition to the politics, you could hardly get anything done for the phone ringing with someone demanding access to someone else's files.

    I'm glad I'm out of that game.

  • I regularly drive on the section of the M25 where the variable speed limits are imposed, and I've never seen 'a dozen cops sitting on the side of the road'. I can't see why they'd bother, since the gantries above the lanes that display the speed limits have digital speed cameras built into them. Last I heard, they're set to trigger if you're doing 10mph above the posted limit (and at 90 when there's no limit posted).
  • They mention that high sugar levels are bad. THC drops your sugar levels - would this mean that stoners stay younger?
  • Oh yeah, and your moderation notwithstanding, I still do not consider myself a troll. Yeah, I've had a few troll moderations, along with every other type of moderation (except insightful, *sigh*). And my karma is always around zero. If I was trying to be a troll, I could easily do a lot better than that...

Q: How many IBM CPU's does it take to execute a job? A: Four; three to hold it down, and one to rip its head off.