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Full Frontal Quickies 166

Lady and Gentlemen, sit back and brace yourself for the assault of the quickies: AlexPixel sent us the curiously named which actually sells feet keyboards for key modifiers and mouse clicks. cadfael sent us a sordid tale of a coder scorned. Some billboards: first from Ant we have a windows error and from mazur we have a bit of unix (must be california ;) mmca noted that scientists have discovered why candy wrappers are loudest in movie theaters. IcesTorm-I noted a supposed windows bug that will make ya wonder. DuncMonk sent us a cool comic strip called Sinfest that you might wish to add to your morning coffee. How about the x86 Still for those of you who believe that controlling your stereo, lights, garage door, and neighbors dog just isn't enough for your PC. Not out there enough for ya? How about RSA implemented entirely in javascript? (Doesn't work for me ... I leave that crap turned off ;) And finally to leave everyone on the proper melodic note, gribbly Symphony #2 for Dot Matrix Printers. Fortunately it's available in MP3 just in case you don't have a dot-matrix printer still handy...
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Full Frontal Quickies

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  • Though I sympathize with Mr. Coder Scorned, I would say that, by setting up such a service on his own personal site without compensation, and by not setting such a service up as part of the company's own infrastructure (which it is his job to build), he failed in his duties, and didn't do his job right.

    We can all look at it and say 'This guy was being nice, running it himselef!'.. but... your duty to the company is to design systems that protect the companies interests from everyone else, includeing YOURSELF.
  • Isn't that the same symphony for dot matrix printers that was posted to /. 2 other times before?
  • But it's quite a scary thought that with the coming of the Crusoe and perhaps StrongARM replacing x86 for many usage, the world will lose out on the x86 processors biggest advantage.. distilling booze. So even when the computer crashes, you won't care- you'll be drunk off your horse!
  • That shot of the crashed video board has inspired me. Those damn things are like animated GIF's on the highways, and I've been looking for some way to mess with them without being totally destructive and getting my ass thrown in jail.

    It's all so simple...I just need to get a copy of BackOrifice installed on it, and put up my own subversive messages. Subtly, of course...I was thinking of something along the lines of:

    "News Flash: Animated billboards reported as #3 cause of fatal car crashes, following drunk driving and cell phones!"

    Okay, maybe not, but I still hate them.
  • Didn't we just see this a few weeks ago on /. ?
  • california?

    look again, mazur is from .nl, there is an url with .nl, and Hilversum is in the netherlands as well (been there...)

    greetings, eMBee.

  • It almost makes me want to host my company's web site from home, in case I decide one day that their health insurance policy just isn't comprehensive enough.

    Seriously, though, if his company allowed their site to be hosted by/on his personal equipment, they've earned whatever happened.
  • > from the SELECT-*-FROM-quickies-WHERE-humor--0; dept

    What? Grabbing all quickies with humor less than 0? That seems pretty bad...
  • It rocks. Go.

    Link 1 []..

    Link 2 []..

    Beats the crap out of anything Illiad has ever drawn.

  • Microsoft is getting free advertisements from electronic billboard operators!

    No wonder there's so many Windows bugs! Bill Gates, in all of his genius and luminating brilliance, told his Windows devs to include a sneaky billboard function into the win32 api (WinCreateBillboardError()) that's called on all billboards to secretly promote Windows!

    Or some pro-linux billboard operator has been playing tricks on poor Bill

    Q: How many Bill Gates' does it take to screw in a lightbulb?

    A: Just one. He just holds the lightbulb still and lets the world revolve around him.

  • Yep, it's definatily dutch, I know couse I live in the netherlands and have seen this billboard IRL on train stations.
  • So these foot pedals are by default set to be Shift, Ctrl, and Alt. That means I only need 1 finger to reboot my computer! Heck, I can use my nose if I'm doing something silly like playing the bass and using the computer simultaneously. Amazin'.
    In all seriousness, I like the idea of being able to set macros to foot pedals. As the site points out, HTML coding could become much easier.
  • The excalibur also crashed during Interop '99. I'm quite sure that many of the billboards run Windows.

    It's amazing that this happened during an industry conference, when there was such a wonderful chance to embarass M$.

    You can see it here on my web site: allery/16/r113-mssucks.jpg []
  • I must agree SinFest is an excellent independent web strip. The art is excellent and the writing is great - If it whets your appetite for more independent webcomics check out BigPanda [] or both excellent sources of online comic goodness that you wont find in your daily paper (and who wants to get ink all over their fingers anyhow). []

  • The windows bug really is a feature of the bios.

    As posted on the Microsoft link:

    During normal operation or in Safe mode, your computer may play "Fur Elise" or "It's a Small, Small World" seemingly at random. This is an indication sent to the PC speaker from the computer's BIOS that the CPU fan is failing or has failed, or that the power supply voltages have drifted out of tolerance. This is a design feature of a detection circuit and system BIOSes developed by Award/Unicore from 1997 on.
    This of course would be a real bummer.

    now if you are running an Olde Dos System (TM), you might run into a virus that plays a happy melody, but your antivirus would have to be about 5 years out of date, to say the least.

  • by torpor ( 458 ) <ibisum&gmail,com> on Wednesday August 02, 2000 @03:14PM (#883993) Homepage Journal
    From what I can tell, the translation of the Unix billboard (which isn't an error - it looks like Dutch unix) is something along the lines of:

    For anyone who has listed in their CV (resume) that their work is their hobby and they are creative or innovative, send them an email with the subject set to "Your place is in Hilversum" (?), and tell 'em to go check out the URL:

    Not sure about the subject line, but that's a pretty darn nifty advertisement, for damned sure. I'd send 'em my resume...
  • From the Microsoft support article listed above

    During normal operation or in Safe mode, your computer may play "Fur Elise" or "It's a Small, Small World" seemingly at random. This is an indication sent to the PC speaker from the computer's BIOS that the CPU fan is failing or has failed,-snip-

    So is my computer oppening more and more windows when I try to leave pr0n sites a sign of a failing computer?
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Being an ignorant american I'll try and translate:

    jewerkisjehobby = your work is your hobby

    creatief/innovatief = creative/innovative

    je baan is in hilersum = your job is in hilversum

  • When I follow the link to the Candy Wrapper Acoustics story, I get the following response from the CNN servers:

    Not Found

    The requested object does not exist on this server. The link you followed is either outdated, inaccurate, or the server has been instructed not to let you have it.

    Anybody have the correct URL? :)

  • What I mean to say is BigPanda.Net [] and keenspot []. Good online comic stuffs.

  • by / ( 33804 ) on Wednesday August 02, 2000 @03:16PM (#883998)
    Cached: here []. I could've sworn that story was from months ago, and it was (June 2).
  • > That means I only need 1 finger to reboot my computer! ... Amazin'.

    I think you spell it "Amazon".

  • Quote from Microsoft:

    This is a design feature of a detection circuit and system BIOSes developed by Award/Unicore from 1997 on.

    Notice how M$ uses Feature to describe bugs and easter eggs.

  • correct, and is the website of the public television
  • perhaps he meant for humor to equal -1 which in many databases is 'true'. However, in that case it should have been = not
    Personally, i'm annoyed that he used * instead of listing the column names.
  • > the curiously named which actually sells feet keyboards

    The name makes sense if you've read Tolkien. However, Bilbo would insist that it's "foots" rather than "feet".

  • IcesTorm-I noted a supposed windows bug that will make ya wonder

    I don't think this can be called a "windows bug" since it sounds like the BIOS does this. Doesn't matter if you are running M$, Linux, or *BSD, it would happen anyways.

  • by Kris_J ( 10111 ) on Wednesday August 02, 2000 @03:22PM (#884005) Homepage Journal
    The foot-pedals thing is ancient. I found out about it from a /. comment, ordered one, had it shipped to Australia, used it for a few months, decided it wasn't particularly useful and on-sold it to a friend about a year ago (he thinks it's great).

    The musical error was linked to in a comment attached to a set of quickies maybe a month ago (I posted it to my journal [], so I can get an exact date)

    Quickies? More like Oldies. The very best /. from 6 months, 12 months and 2 years ago...

  • Yes, perhaps someone forgot that AP stories expire after one week... Definetally saving up this quickie for a while.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    While I suppose you youngsters of the .com crowd
    are fairly easy to entertain with cheap dot matrix printer symphonies, I would really love to see the history of IBM drum drive hacking, such as the famous "waking" drive, where one synchronizes the heads to slam against the same side of the drive repetivily until it starts moving across the room, or the more sufisticated music of mainframe drive head symphonies...

  • So, about this pedal -- does anyone know if there is an equivalent of carpel tunnel syndrome for the ankles? It may be helping carpel tunnel syndrome, but my ankles are going to be damned sore after a hard day coding, I think!

    Ah well. All in the name of load balancing, I suppose.

  • I know that slashdot repeats itself every so often, but the javascript RSA one was in a bunch on quickies posted by emmett on June 30, barely more than a month ago.

    Should I expect to see it again in 30 days time?

    CmdrTaco should have used the preview button.
  • That windows bug reminds me of the time I went to the airport to pick up my mother... the monitors that display the arrivals/departures information all had the dread BSOD.

    She no longer flies out of that airport.

    By the way, does anyone else think the guy pictured in the other bilboard looks kinda creepy?


  • What a great story! Four paragraphs to explain that, no matter how quickly or slowly you open a candy bar, the same amount of sound comes from it. Like I didn't know it! Their advice: Just open it quickly and get it over with. Wow, these guys are GOOD!!!
  • Here in Queensland Australia they use Commodore 64's for the electronic train table billboards at train stations. I found this out one day after walking down to the platform and seeing the old C64 basic blue screen.
  • Great! A tune to accompany the famous BSOD! Maybe the billboards could have great, big speakers attached to them.... I would've prefered "Daisy daisy..." anyway...
  • Now we know what is beyond Water Cooling: Evaporative Alcohol Cooling!
  • I think it was at the first Perl Conference, I dunno. But it was pretty damn cool. More than a couple people ran it (just for grins, I guess -- it was easy enough to read on it's own) to see what it did.

    I just had another thought: instead of emailing an an ascii resume as an attachment to a potential new employer, why not slurp in your resume, encode it somehow, and then send them the script/source/whatever as an attachment? As hard as it is to hire good people, I don't think that it would be a turn-off or keep you from being considered. It might piss off HR, but that's never a bad thing. If someone sent me their resume that way, I recommend they be hired on the spot. At any rate, you could use it as a filter: anyone that either didn't get it, didn't run it or didn't appreciate it wouldn't likely be a place you'd want to work anyway.

    Of course, my .sig might make me out to be a little biased... :-)


  • You might ask an organist, they play with pedals also. You could also check if there tended to be injuries caused by foot-pumped portable organs or foot-pumped sewing machines; although this is an easier motion than erratic selection, a pattern of injuries would be an indicator of problems.
  • > Some billboards: first from Ant we have a windows error []

    Now they've hired Lance Burton [] to pop up on a nearby billboard and prompt you whenever you need to insert a disk!

    Though a more impressive feature would be to have him whisk it in magically as soon as it's needed.

  • by dark_panda ( 177006 ) on Wednesday August 02, 2000 @03:37PM (#884018)
    ... unintelligible blue screens of death that tell us lots of useless numbers and memory addresses but nothing of any use, and midi that plays randomly.

    How difficult is it to bring up a window that says, "Excel crashed, your work is gone, loser."

    Instead I get a midi of 'Start Me Up' and some memory addresses. Killer!

    For your pleasure and off-topic fun, a handy lexicon of Microsoft PR translations:

    • Loads applications 50% faster! -- experience crashes 50% faster
    • Multitasking! -- crashes multiple programs at once
    • Backwardly compatible! -- will also crash your existing software
    • Network ready! -- crashes multiple systems at once
    • Multimedia ready! -- experience the astonishing sights and sounds of crashing in vivid VGA color
    • Free MSN subscription! -- go online and talk to other Windows users about their crashing experiences
    • Mac-like interface! -- 11 years of development and it's not even original
    • User friendly! -- pictures of clouds
  • Q. How many Microsoft coders does it take to change a lightbulb?

    A. None, they just declare darkness as the new standard.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Due to this I think Nordquist has his site hosted here [].

    Oh, and i've temporarily hosting company pages on my personal site just because the company servers didn't have PHP and although I told the server guys it was required it took them two months to bother installing it. Shitty companies can force these strange circumstances on workers - I sympathise. I think the way he went about announcing that the company was a bitch was pretty classy - actually.

  • I enjoyed the billboards and the comics... but we know the candywraper and symphony thing were around some time ago.
    BTW sluggy [] is catching up again.
  • Hotice that the black of the background of the billboard is different from the black of the error message.
    I *wish* it was real though.
    Oh well, M$ should adopt a similiar billboard for their Windows Me ad campain
  • by Pflipp ( 130638 ) on Wednesday August 02, 2000 @03:52PM (#884023)
    It's not California at all, mister! It is Holland. Some folks at our national television try to attract some IT'ers.

    The bills were all around the place some time ago. I liked them. is the united website of national broadcasters. And Hilversum is the place where they make TV in holland (like Hollywood, only VERY different :-) Besides, it's TV, not film)

    It's... It's...
  • At the risk of being moderated down for being off topic.

    Did you mean to say lady and gentlemen? because I thought it was pretty funny! I do think there are more than one women on /. though :)
  • Q. How many Microsoft support personel does it take to replace a lightbulb?
    A. We have issue this problem Support Number 31415567 and are currently assigning a technician to help you solve your lightbulb problem. We will contact you when a technician becomes available.

    Q. How many Windows programmers does it take to create a lightbulb?
    A. 472 -- one to write WinGetLightBulbBox(), one to write WinRemoveLightFromBox(), one to write WinCheckLightSwitch()....

    Q. How many Microsoft support tech's does it take to fix a lighbulb?
    A. Well, actually you must be the problem, because we have a copy of the lightbulb here in our office and it's working fine...

    Q. How many Microsoft debuggers does it take to replace a lightbulb?
    A. None, they just notice it's burnt out.

    Q. How many Microsoft programmers does it take to fix a lightbulb?
    A. None, they just write darkness up as a new and useful feature.

    Q. How many Microsoft developers does it take to replace a lightbulb?
    A. Three -- two to hold the ladder steady and one to screw the lightbulb into a sink faucet.

    Q. How many Microsoft employees does it take to replace a lightbulb?
    A. None. They live in eternal darkness.

    I've got a million of them.

  • The sound is caused by the pops and clicks as creases in the packaging material are pulled apart, and there is very little a theatergoer can do to decrease the loudness of those sounds, according to Eric Kramer, a physicist from Simon's Rock College of Bard in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. you're saying that the noise of opening candy is a product of the packaging? Well, hot damn! I figured it was just something in the air.

    CNN calls this news? Must be by Jeannie Frickin Moos.


  • Maybe I'm crazy, but wouldn't it make more sense for it to actually tell you about the problem?

  • I know a web consultant who had an issue with some large site not paying its bills for his service.

    It seems that my friend often deals with clients who are not too savvy - so he often keeps the registration for the clients domain names under his own control.

    He just directed his client's DNS (which was some major company) to a porn site.

    It backfired on him though. A sheriff's deputy showed up at my friend's parent's house to serve a lawsuit process over this and I guess the parents (who are very elderly, conservative, and not hip to the ways of the web) were pretty astounded at the name of the porn site that was listed on the process.

    This same fellow makes it a practice to always register domain names under his own name and never give them up until the money is settled. I know of a number of companies that are probably unaware that they don't have control over their own DNS and that he's keeping this card up his sleeve in case negotiations turn bad.

  • It is not the typical employee's responsibility to look out for the company's best interests, it is the managers'. That the managers did not forsee problems with this employee hosting the web site on his own personal account is not the employee's fault. It wasn't a technical issue, it was a business and legal issue.

    You are not obligated to protect the company from bad management decisions.

    Despite rumors to the contrary, I am not a turnip.
  • by Th3 D0t ( 204045 ) on Wednesday August 02, 2000 @04:10PM (#884030)
    Did you follow the link? It's not even a windows error. It is a BIOS indication that the CPU fan is failing or that the power supply voltage has exceeded tolerances. Microsoft was probably bothered about it, though, so they threw it in their tech support database.

    And, it's not MIDI, it's the PC speaker.

    Now, this [] bug is funny.

  • That's the same thing I thought when I first saw it.

    But then I realized, why would anyone fake it, it doesn't make any sense. It's from windows setup, and it's not an error or a "bug".

    Then, later, I realized, why would anyone pay money to put that nonsense on a billboard?

    To quote Alex Trebek, "I don't get it."

  • Did you see the date on that story?
    Tuesday, May 9, 2000, 12:00 a.m. Pacific

    Anomalous: deviating from what is usual, normal, or expected
  • The thing I'm wondering is... Why the heck did they pick those two songs? Couldn't they think of a better sound, perhaps maybe an ALARM? I'd tend to think that would make people a lot more worried than a little Beethoven...

    -- Dr. Eldarion --
  • Think that's bad, try reading the comments with a threshhold of -1
  • The same Dot Matrix things were posted a while ago, was it not? Plus the site is slow-as.
  • This isn't an entirely new phenomena - back in the days of the Commodore 64, there was a program available that would knock the heads of the 1541 disk drive to the tune of "Daisy, Daisy". And now, in the days of emulators and MP3's, you can get both the program and hear the music at The amazing disk drive music page [].
  • ... not without precedent, as I believe you will find that Superman once did it to save Lois Lane's life in Superman.

    Besides, I'm sure that Bill Gates wants to think that if there's one man who can stop the world from spinning, it's him.

  • Trust me, it's real. I was in Vegas last week and saw one do something like that. The screen was gibberish with the exception of the word "Microsoft" printed at the bottom. Then, of course, someone had to ctrl-alt-del it and go searching for the file to start it up again. Quite humorous indeed. My two cents...
  • I see windows more and more in public embedded systems (3 guesses how I know it's windows...)

    Our airport (Austin) is new, and they have a bunch of multi-headed boxes showing departures and arrivals. I've seen 'em with windows error messages several times... wasn't there a web site of "sightings" like this somewhere?


  • I like how they say they are "researching" the problem!

    Now if someone will post a crack about correcting the rotation of the planet using nukes, we'll not only be enjoying quickies we already saw here a few months ago, we'll be having the same discussion about the same quickies we saw here a few months ago! :-)

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

  • he failed in his duties, and didn't do his job right.

    The company never should've allowed official company stuff on an employee's personal web site. They compounded the mistake by letting it go on for so long. Third, they didn't pay him for the hosting. Now you have the gall to say he screwed up? The company deserves what it gets. If he wanted to put up a hot naked leprechaun porn page, the company would have no basis for grievance.

  • Maybe I'm crazy, but wouldn't it make more sense for it to actually tell you about the problem?

    I'd be inclined to think so. Unfortunately, Microsoft didn't put this particular Easter egg into the code; it's a feature of the BIOS itself.

  • Didn't we just see this a few weeks ago on /. ?

    I think [] we did... :-)

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

  • by Penrif ( 33473 ) on Wednesday August 02, 2000 @05:04PM (#884044) Homepage
    from the SELECT-*-FROM-quickies-WHERE-humor-&lt-0; dept.

    Well heck, if you're selecting the quickies with humor less than zero, they're bound to suck. I'd check the SQL server though, some of those were mildy funny.
  • Why was my post moderated down to 1, offtopic (it got posted at 2).

    I was responding to the "coder scorned" post and meant it to be a warning to everyone reading it to keep control of your internet assets.

    You may regard my friend as an asshole - but he regards it as his business strategy, much to the dismay of his clients who do not make the effort to get informed about important things like who owns the domain name registration.

  • no. it looks like it got pulled. if you go one link down, you can see the directories and theres only one story about blueberry farms.
  • the candy wrappers story got pulled. its a AP link - gets deleted in 1 week.
    heres the story in brief. sorry for the bad formatting and potential spam...i just copied and pasted it :
    ATLANTA (AP) -- Scientists have
    figured out why candy wrappers are so
    noisy when opened in a quiet theater, no
    matter how slowly or deliberately they
    are unwrapped.

    The sound is caused by the pops and
    clicks as creases in the packaging
    material are pulled apart, and there is very little a theatergoer can do to decrease
    the loudness of those sounds, according to Eric Kramer, a physicist from
    Simon's Rock College of Bard in Great Barrington, Massachusetts.

    Opening the wrapper slowly merely spreads out the pops and clicks. It doesn't
    make them softer.

    The study was released this week in Atlanta at a meeting of the Acoustical

    Kramer and Alexander Lobkovsky of the National Institute of Standards and
    Technology in Gaithersburg, Maryland, studied the sound waves from
    unwrapping candy wrappers.

    The noise could be decreased with different wrapping materials. But for now,
    candy wrappers are going to make noise no matter how they are opened, Kramer

    His suggestion for movie-goers craving candy: Open it as quickly as possible and
    get it over with.
  • did any one notice the windows error [] was actually the windows hardware wizard? Go back and look. The windows hardware wizard is what pops up automatically when new plug & play hardware is installed.

    Now I've never worked with these billboard systems before so I have to ask: Exactly how does a live billboard encounter a situation where the add hardware wizard pops up?

    I can see it now. Two geeks are assigned to replace the video card for this system.

    Geek #1: OK, #2, this is your first time on this job so you might be surprised. That billboard takes a video signal just like any other monitor. Its just an average PC system so this job will be cake.

    Geek #2: Cool! So all we have to do is take a spare monitor and a video card up there.

    Geek #1: Well yeah, but we don't need the monitor. We'll just watch the progress from the billboard.

  • The most recent quickies contain a lot of repeats.

    Search for the others yourself. I don't expect the posters to remember every /. story, but you think that they could run a search for at least the most recent stories for the topic they're posting?


  • Okay, sure it would be nice to have footpedals for Emacs, the way Emacs was meant to be, but is it really worth $99?

    - Serge Wroclawski
  • Don't know how seriously to take the candy wrapper study. And BTW, the study doesn't say its the loudest, just that noise happens.

    Scientist sometimes do get bored and amuse themselves by producing "funny" research. The Journal of Irreproducible Results is one example of this. At times, this "research" are presented in a more formal environment. IIRC, there was a paper published in a highly reputable journal that tried to determine what type of cheese the moon was composed of. They took actual lunar seismic velocity measurements and compared them to laboratory velocity measurements of different types of cheese.

    Another time, a talk at a meeting was to be on a newly discovered orientation of the mid-ocean ridges where seafloor spreading occurs. These ridges are normally linear. But in this case, two approaching linear ridges diverged and then overlapped at a particular point. The title of their talk was something like, "69ing Mid-Ocean Ridges." Needless to say, a lot of ppl showed up for this talk.

    Ralph Alpher and Hans Bethe wrote a paper. They then added George Gamow to produce an authorship of Alpher, Bethe, Gamow (alpha, beta, gamma).

    I once tried to published a paper where the key variables were p and q, and said that one must mind your... I had to make editorial changes.

  • I'm floored.

    This BIOS bug was developed before 1997. My MicroQ, Pentium 75, circa 1996, with Award BIOS v4.50PG, played Beethoven for me on the tinny little computer speaker in early 1997. I had no idea what was going on. It freaked me out.

    I wasn't running any anti-virus software back then and I figured my machine was hosed. A search, at the time, of Norton and McAfee web sites mentioned a Beethoven virus with little more than a title. They had no idea who designed it or what the cure was. As expected, I bought and installed a commercial anti-virus package to clean my machine.During the Y2K brew-ha-ha, I went to Award's web site to research if my BIOS was Y2K compliant. There was no mention of this musical madness on their web site. This is the first I've heard about it.

    Since then, I have inadvertently ripped out my original computer speaker. I'm definitely going to go to the trouble of replacing it now. Wow!

  • Dude! great idea, you could make it start showing porn banners, and other cahotic junk. One problem tho. Are those things on the net? And do they keep the boxs up by the billboards? it seems to me those things would be transmited remotly (from the box)they wouldn't need more then dial-up access. This is a great idea but improbable.
  • Did you actually read the article? It's a FEATURE (that means INTENTIONAL) in the BIOS.

    Microsoft put it ont heir tech support because if my windows box started playing music, I would think I had a virus.
  • The Bios playing beethoven is not a bug, it's a feature... AND THIS TIME THEY MEAN THAT!

    the bios engineers figure, if there's truly a problem, they can't trust that they can write to the screen for output to report it...but they can grab the pc speaker... beeping won't get the attention of the user, and making a user count the number of beeps is a losing proposition... hence, MAKE IT A TUNE WE KNOW.

    So many idiots (including Taco, he chose to post it) think it's a bug... so many complained to Microsoft that windows was making their broken 'puter play music... that M$ had to put up a page saying "really, this one's the BIOS guys, not us, really, gotta believe us"

    A host is a host from coast to coast
    but no one uses a host that's close

  • I've seen a surprising amount of crashed windows billboards. I saw one in New York while attending Linux World and 2600 had one the same month that Netware 5 came out.

  • It's a perfect match!
    I just programmed the foot pedal to Ctrl-Alt-Del, glued a picture of Bill Gates on it, and hanged it on the wall.
    Now every time I get a BSOD I just punch Bill a few times in the face!
  • The strings in the billboard are Dutch.
    omroep = broadcasting company
    Hilversum = the town all important televison stuff is located


    find * -name "Resume*" -group yourworkisyourhobby \
    -exec grep -il '(creative | inonvating )' \
    {} \; | xargs nawk '$1 == "email" { \
    print $2 }' | xargs Mail -s \
    "Your job is in Hilversum" \

  • The Detroit airport occasionally has an Amiga Workbench screen showing up at the security checkpoint, instead of the "Cameras ok, laptops ok" type graphics. Sometimes it'll even be showing the AREXX scripting that makes it work.

    Or maybe it's a linux box running UAE. Nah...
  • Check out silophone [], it's by the same group that did the printer symphony. It's a giant grain silo in montreal that is hooked up to the internet. You can upload/play a sound in this thing and hear it reverberate live. It's pretty amazing.

    More silophone links []

  • What I really want is a foot mouse. Although it sounds pretty silly at first, I would definitely love using a mouse without taking my hands away from my keyboard.
  • Finally, somebody else who comprehends the sublime suckiness of JavaScript.

    At long last, I have been agreed with.

  • So would that make it more efficient?
  • Perhaps I assumed that, because he was a former program manager at Microsoft, that he had a somewhat managerial position at this company. I figured perhaps he was a piece of that.

    And if they weren't paying him, that's HIS fault for running it, or his fault for not asking.

    I'm not saying that the company screwed up or he screwed up, or that one is guilty and one is not, merely that the situation should not have arisen, and both parties should realize that.

    Without the full story, who can say?
  • by Russ Steffen ( 263 ) on Wednesday August 02, 2000 @07:34PM (#884068) Homepage

    That Windows problem is interesting and all, but it pales in comparison to this gem []. I almost feel sorry for the person who had to write that.

  • > Finally, somebody else who comprehends the sublime suckiness of JavaScript. At long last, I have been agreed with.

    Twice in one day: I also <CmdrTaco>leave that crap turned off</CmdrTaco>.

    It's funny/annoying how endemic the assumption is that everyone does use it. I often visit sites, get bizarre error messages, report them, and find out that the bizarre message should have actually said "You need to run that crap^w^w JavaScript to do that."

    ps - Turning that crap^w^w JavaScript off works wonders for the stability of Netscape under Linux, and also disables the ever popular pop-up ads.
  • by alhaz ( 11039 ) on Wednesday August 02, 2000 @08:49PM (#884073) Homepage
    Sure, occasionally stuff gets re-posted, but this is absurd. You missed a few.

    The x86 Still was a quickie not quite a month back []

    RSA implemented in javascript was a quickie just a few weeks before the still []

    I understand that sometimes stuff is gonna show up twice, but this is silly.

    for the record, the foot pedals were their own article HERE [] so we're what, four out of 10 confirmed already posted, and a fifth that may have been?

    You may call a technicality on the symphony. Personally, I think it's stupid to link to the knowledge base article. It's not a windows bug. It's not a bug. The hardware does it, it'd do the same thing if it overheated under Linux or BSD. I used to work for a shop years ago that had a Netware box that would play Fur Elise when it got too hot. It's a function of the hardware monitor on some motherboards.

  • The UNIX-looking billboard is in the Netherlands, not California.

    The Windows "bug" doesn't have a thing to do with Window. It's been around for years and resurfaces every now and then when somebody "discovers" the web page. It's a hardware alarm generated by the BIOS when voltages go awry in the computer.

    I'll stay away from the usual rant about spewing out "news" on /.


  • by Duxup ( 72775 ) on Wednesday August 02, 2000 @09:13PM (#884076) Homepage
    Dot matrixes aren't the only printers that are musical, some have it built into them.
  • Don't worry about convincing me that Javascript is bad - I already leave it turned off, and have ever since I read the CERT [] advisory that said you should turn off scripting in your browser because crackers might post scripts in web forums that don't filter the posted HTML correctly

    Slashdot doesn't allow the SCRIPT tag but some sites do (perhaps unknowingly) and so someone can write an apparently innocent comment in a chat and include a script that eats your hard disk.

    A close friend of mine told me that she's been writing largely in Javascript for a long time now and her company is in fact basing their entire online strategy on Javascript. They're making a huge investment in it and will be selling a product that will be very expensive that will require very highly paid people to leave Javascript on all day long just to do their work.

    I was astonished at that idea and said they were doing a disservice to their customers by encouraging them to enable Javascript, let alone requiring it for the basic functions of their product.

    She was pretty incredulous about this, even after I recounted the above CERT advisory. She told me Javascript was sandboxed and could not do anything destructive. I told her it was full of holes and highly nonstandardized and bugs were being found in it all the time.

    I also advisted her to read the Forum on Risks to the Public in Computers and Related Systems [] (also available as comp.risks [comp.risks] on the Usenet News).

    I told her I felt that reading Risks was a very basic requirement for anyone who wrote software for a living, and was doubly important for someone like her who wrote software that would effect people's lives in a substantial way (I can't be too specific - but she's not writing entertainment software). She thought this was all very silly.

    Now, slashdotters, what can I say to my friend - what can I say that is of real substance not just flaming? Can you give me literature references or URL's? Pertinent CERT advisories would be good.

    BTW - here's a suggestion - while I leave Javascript turned off most of the time, I often find I have to turn it on to use some sites. It really gets me down that some sites don't even function if Javascript is not enabled.

    But Junkbuster [] is a simple proxy that will filter out ads and stop cookies, but allow them in controlled ways. For example, I only allow cookies from Slashdot and my bank, so I don't have to have cookies from any other site and I don't have to keep turning cookies back on to read slashdot.

    I think it would be a fairly simple matter to modify the Junkbuster source code to filter out SCRIPT tags for most sites except those that are on an approved list. The source code is GPL'ed so someone with the inclination could just get the source and do it. I'd do it myself but I'm real busy for the next little while.

  • by rjamestaylor ( 117847 ) <> on Wednesday August 02, 2000 @09:52PM (#884082) Journal
    Lesse: "Je werk is je hobby" tld=".nl"
    Must be California??
    Get out of the Geek Compound before it's too late! Travel! See the world!

    California may be morally simular to the Netherlands, but, believe me, they're worlds apart.


  • I tried to convince Gav (supreme leader of Keenspot and artist of Nukees []) to make a Keenspot slashbox, but he wasn't interested.

    In other news, it seems when this article first got posted, Keenspot (and quite a few of its member sites, like College Roomies from Hell [], got Slashdotted.

    And check out Help Desk []. It's awesome (done entirely on OS/2 too).
    Zardoz has spoken!

  • Blue screens are alot nicer under Win2k. After a few months of using it, I have only seen one. It happenned when my mother attempted to install drivers for her CDR drive, but accidently installed the Win98 drivers (the installer program didn't bother to check what operating system was running!). Anyway, upon rebooting, a blue screen came up that looked something like this (paraphrased since I don't remember the exact words):

    A fatal error has occurred.
    [some debug info]
    If this is the first time you have encountered this error, reboot and try again. If you encounter the error again, press F8 when you boot your computer to get a menu with more options.
    [more info *in plain english* about what to do followed]

    So, I rebooted, and the error didn't go away. Booted again and went into the F8 boot menu, and there was an option that said "Use last known good configuration." Believe it or not, it worked! It removed the bad drivers, and left everything else as it was. I was amazed.

    It turns out that Win2k is really much better than either Win9x or WinNT. I still use Linux on my primary computer, but I have a second computer next to it running W2K and I actually do alot of stuff with it.


  • One day i went to a cash machine (ATM) at the Natwest bank, and all there was on the screen was an NT4 "Press CTRL ALT DELETE to log on" message box. I dunno, maybe the power had gone down or something and it came back looking like that.

  • They run Windows too.

    Every time I go in, there's a little grey error box on the screen but NO keyboard or mouse to click OK. Needless to say the thing doesn't work.

    What idiot designs an embedded system and uses an OS which required a keyboard and mouse? What kind of thought processes does this require? The next question is what kind of moron buys a product like that?

  • Based on a slashdot note well over a year ago, I was intrigued with bilbo's product and bought one. A few notes:
    • it is a cheaply produced product that reeks of russian manufacture;
    • the set of drivers that came with it crashed my computer fiercly. fortunately, it just turned out that they sent me the wrong one, and i was able to download a fix from their website;
    • the pedals did not have consistent action -- one required a slightly different touch to get it to work right;
    • accordingly i never really trained my feet to make use of them. they are now junk in my tech junk room.

    Now I have just placed an order for a twiddler [] -- found from a link off tiqit, separate note in slashdot today -- which I hope to receive in about two weeks. I'll let you know how it fares.
  • by rjamestaylor ( 117847 ) <> on Thursday August 03, 2000 @07:53AM (#884122) Journal
    Your .sig has an error in it: add a ";" to the end of all the entities and it'll work right.
    It's not an error in the .sig. According to the standards [] the semi-colon at the end of character references is not required.
    Sorry, but under Mozilla it handles the entities semi-correctly
    You're right: this is Mozilla's failure to adhere to proper standards (again). Because of this kind of failure, the W3C had to make this [] note:
    Note. In SGML, it is possible to eliminate the final ";" after a character reference in some cases (e.g., at a line break or immediately before a tag). In other circumstances it may not be eliminated (e.g., in the middle of a word).
    We strongly suggest using the ";" in all cases to avoid problems with user agents that require this character to be present .
    (Emphasis added)
    I'd rather code to a standard than to a user agent (that isn't even finished yet).

APL hackers do it in the quad.