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Slashback: Reuse, Rotors, Prairie Dogs 123

What to do with your collection of AOL CDs, an antique drill and a flourescent bulb? Anxious to know what happened to the missing Enigma rotors? Want to go digging with gopher, but with your Web browser? Read on for more info.

No sir, we can't keep sending you more. guido_sst writes: "The winners of the Great AOL CD Invention Contest sponsored by UltimateChaos have been announced at http://www.ultimatechaos.com/contest/. Winners include two lamps, a clock, and a 'scaled' car."

Also, the DVD-grabber style cases that AOL is spreading right now make a nice way to give your relatives pictures on CD-ROM, once you slip in your own insert sheet.

Now you can read all your letters from Mom again. Remember the Enigma machine cleverly stolen and cleverly returned from Bletchley Park? You may recall that though the apparatus itself was returned, the all-important Enigma rotors were not recovered at that time. Now you can stop holding your breath, because evilandi writes: "ThisIsGloucestershire, the website of the local newspaper covering UK spy centre GCHQ's home town of Cheltenham, have this story telling how the police have finally recovered all the missing rotors for the stolen Enigma historic wartime encryption device. Without the rotors, the Enigma device returned to the BBC would have been useless. This brings the stolen Enigma story to a close; a man was arrested and the entire Enigma device is now complete and back in safe hands. The working Enigma device should be back on display at Bletchley Park soon."

Yes, I'd like one copy of "Gopher Hunt," please? emanuel writes: "After reading the gopher:// manifesto, it got me to do something that I had been considering for some time: move my internet presence into gopherspace and out of the Web. The problem: few people have a gopher browser, and most Web browsers have poor (Internet Explorer) to non-existent (Netscape 6) gopher support. The solution: write a gopher-to-Web gateway which will allow anyone with a web browser to navigate gopherspace. And while I'm at it, why not add WML support to let mobile phone users into gopherspace as well (after all, gopher is well suited for wireless devices)? So after a few evenings of mad coding, I have something that works fairly well (but is far from complete). See the webgopher project at gopher://gopher.heatdeath.org/. It's Free, and I'd love some involvement from other gopherheads." Greetings to my 7th Grade English teacher Note that the next installment of Hellmouth Revisited is now online.

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Slashback: Reuse

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  • I like to line up five AOL or other useless CD in a row of five, fifty yards away, hit the timer and pretend I'm in the Olympics shooting the Biathlon...
    ------------------------------------- --------------------
    I bent my wookie
  • "I think someone who takes the time to cut AOL CD's into tile-able shapes, and then proceed to cover their entire auto is pretty impressive. "

    If by "pretty impressive" you mean "a few eggs short of an omelette", then you indeed have a very good point.

  • I must confess to putting an AOL CD in a microwave - it looks great, with with sparks going through the metal interior. It'll all be over in less than a second - so either have a number of CDs, or look very closely...

    Anyone for long-exposure photography of such an event?

    And as for destroying the microwave? AFAIK, it didn't do the microwave any harm; I think the microwave died some time later in a completely unrelated incident involving microwave popcorn being left in for about half an hour. It wasn't me...
  • A friend of mine hangs AOL CDs from the mast and boom of his sailboat to scare away birds (and keep away the attendant birdcrap.) A scarecrow for modern times.

    Tom Swiss | the infamous tms | http://www.infamous.net/

  • The data pits are actually inside the CD, a few layers down from the surface. The reason you screw up a cd if you scratch off the label is because the back of label is the silvering the laser reflects off.

    If you want cool things to do with a cd, try spraying it with freezer spray (God's gift to service engineers) until it's semi-flexible (I never understood that: heat them, they bend. Freeze them, they bend) and stick it in that other god-sent toy, a microwave.

  • by normiep ( 68432 ) <pblaer@panix.com> on Tuesday December 05, 2000 @05:08PM (#579665)

    Sorry this might be a tad off topic but...

    So I don't have a cool use for AOL cd's (aside from the standard frisbee/weapon uses), but we did find a cool use for one of their mailings.

    I was going through the mail one day and as I was flipping through things, I started hearing the familiar "You've got mail" voice... it was really strange... eventually I found a laregish card board box from AOL from which it was coming.

    So brought it back from the lab and was fiddling around with it for a while to figure out what was triggering it (yeah I'm slow sometimes) and eventually one of my lab mates pointed out that it was light sensative, so whenever it was exposed to light (then dark again to reset it) it would go off.

    So we cut the the speaker and the bit of electronics out (it had a battery attached to the board). Speakers are magnetic, so at first we thought, gee... cool fridge magnet, but then we had a better idea... we stuck the speaker to the inside of the fridge. So now whenever anyone in the lab opens the fridge... "You've got mail!". Its pretty funny, especially when new people rotate in.

    Surprisingly enough the battery has held up pretty well for over 3 months....

  • Actually happened to me at work. Someone stole it! I sent the following email to all my co-workers:

    The coaster for my coffee cup has mysteriously disappeared from my desk. It is approximately 5 inches in diameter, with a half inch hole in the center. It's 1/8 inch thick, with a silver bottom and an orange top. If you've seen it, please return it ASAP, as I'm getting rings on my desk.

    Unfortunately, it was never found.
  • After the microwaving is over, you can place strips of tape across the top of the former CD and actually pull off the metal layer that held the data.
  • Just avoid the bi-athletes!
  • I always assume statements like:
    This [localhost] is the direct link to ...
    are actually the goatsex links!

    After being tricked once to view that god-awful picture I was cured of clicking on links without a looksee at the link itself.

    Sick people out there!

    (No, the parent's link is not such a trick).

  • I think you missed the point, he wasn't trying to make the AOL CD unreadable, he was trying to make his friend think he had destroyed a CD that the friend let him borrow.
  • I guess the birds are just as afraid of AOL as us humans. Maybe we should elevate them to "sentient" status along with (arguably) the dolphins and whales.
  • Just what the subject says. Collect enough and practice your shooting skills all afternoon long. They really look much better than a clay pigeon when shot. The reflective surface just kinda shimmers on the the way down.
  • The whole freakin' system is out of order!

    Why did a simple lamp that *anyone* could have done get 1st while a clock, a clock with AOL CDs as the gears, gets 2nd, and a car gets third?

    Move the freakin' lamp to third place, incrementing the clock and the car, and you'll have a better judging.

    Making a clock takes real skill that not just anybody can do.
  • The ascii girl #3 in his pr0n directory at gopher://gopher.heatdeath.org/00/pr0n/pr0n003.txt% 09%09%2B looks underage! Damn ascii kiddie pr0n! Damn ascii child pr0nographers, exploiting our underage letters and numbers like that...

    [Note: joke, not troll. Now, put the moderation point *on the floor* and back up, slowly...]

  • Well, I am a little bit too young to have melancholies about the Gopher protocol (at least, I didn't have Internet access at the time when it was popular). But that makes me even more curious. So now I'm browsing around a little through these gopher:// links.

    At one moment, I wanted to check something out on Slashdot again. Slashdot on Netscape. Slashdot in HTML. HTML with tables and pictures. Tables and pictures with Netscape. Pictures through my dialup connection...

    Please, can't we have a Gopher interface to Slashdot?

    Well, at least, the guy from the article said Gopher "can do". And I already discovered that Gopher can show HTML (but only where necessary please, otherwise it would just be re-inventing HTTP) and do forms stuff. Some thinking has to be done, however, in how to represent the user comments. Any ideas?

    It's... It's...
  • Without the rotors, the Enigma device returned to the BBC would have been useless.
    As if anybody is really using it these days for encryption purposes. Shesh!
  • Too bad we don't advertise and site hits don't make a bit of difference, eh?

    We pay for everything out of pocket and are obligated to do nothing...any other "complaints"?
  • We actually got a four-character Enigma machine as one of our contest entries. I'll try and post it later on today.
  • Does "America" mean "The United States of America" now?

    To Canadians it does. We get a bit miffy when we go to Europe and you call us Americans. You may be technically correct, but I think most persons in the Americas think of American as "citizen of the Democratic Republic of America", ie the allegedly United States thereof.

  • There's several entries that didn't win that I personally would have liked to see take home a prize, but when you take a vote with eight people, you don't always see the results you want. Just ask Al Gore.
  • Damnit, why can't some sites keep their URLs stable for more than two days at a time?


  • This [heatdeath.org] is the direct link to the gopher browser.
  • It's the load average, basically the average number of processes that want to use the CPU at any given time. The three numbers are the load average for the past 1, 5, and 15 minutes. 0.5 (the current value) is actually pretty good. Unfortunately Tomcat (Apache's implementation of JSPs and Servlets) is dieing and I'm not sure why.
  • A few of these AOL CDs under a leg should make my end table steadier than the AOL floppies did.
  • by DeadSea ( 69598 ) on Tuesday December 05, 2000 @03:52PM (#579686) Homepage Journal
    Enigma rotors turn up [thisisglou...hire.co.uk]
  • Why was the guy arrested? Didn't he return (albeit in a roundabout way) the machine in the first place? As quoted from the Sunday Times [sunday-times.co.uk]?

    I am so smart. S-M-R-T ... I mean S-M-A-R-T.
  • with all the freakin' AOL cd's I've got, I should build one of those mirror fileds to focus the sun's light on a big pot of water, heating it to a boil to spin some turbines... instant power...

    or, better yet, instead of a big pot of water to spin some turbines, how 'bout a big tub of water with a jaccuzi system... ahhh... so nice...

    AOL cd's also make for a bizarre game of psycho frisbee, as they do not fly all that great.

    I also plan on building a big-ass AOL icosahedron to hand from my ceiling like a freakish looking disco ball.

  • As my friend and cow-orker Chelsea has kindly pointed out, "dieing" was spelled incorrectly. It should be spelled "dying". I hope. If I got the second spelling wrong she will certainly kill me.
  • by wowbagger ( 69688 ) on Tuesday December 05, 2000 @05:15PM (#579690) Homepage Journal
    Your microwave oven is just a 600 watt transmitter at 2.3 GHz. Normally, the water in food adsorbs the microwave energy, and heats up. (This, by the way, is why the 2.6 GHz ISM band wireless networks are very susceptible to rain fade). Now, if there is nothing in the oven, the energy has no where to go. The technical term for this is "high VSWR", high voltage standing wave ratio (pronouced vis-war like "his car"). The electrical field will build up to a very high level, enough to possibly arc over in the oven. Once that happens, the power will flow along the arc, and most likely damage something. Also, any leaks in the oven will become much worse, and you might get an RF burn if you are in the wrong place at the wrong time. Finally, even if none of the above happen, the magnetron (the device that makes the RF) will heat up inside, and may burn out or explode.

    That said, the odds of this happening if you run your oven for short periods of time (tens of seconds or less) are pretty small.

    If you want to help prevent this, place a small quantity of water in the oven. That way, the energy has a place to go (until the water boils away.)

    Other "stupid microwave tricks" that I am in no way responsible for you hurting yourself with: Microwave an old florescent tube. Or an incandescent lamp. Light a birthday candle, and microwave it.

    Remember, you are on your own if you do this. I didn't tell you to do it. If you get hurt, try to kill yourself so you don't breed.

    And lastly, "Short, controlled bursts".
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Go to the your local dime store or notions store. Buy some self adhesive contact paper. Contact paper comes in many different patterns and colors. Cut the contact paper to fit the AOL covers. Peel off the protective backing and afix to the AOL covers.

    Myself, I go for the 70's motif pop art "gogo" motif contact paper (with the big orange flowers). Cool.

  • Actually, if there's anysort of metal causing sparks, I think it is a risk to your microwave... I remember a few years back some moron put some sort of metal food container (I don't remember if it was a tin or one of those cardboard chinese food containers with the metal handle still on it... it doesn't matter, result probably would have been the same) in one of the graduate student lounges. It burned out the microwave's coils completely.

    The punch line of course is that this was the physics deptartment stundent lounge... so you'ld think that they would have known better.

  • In Australia it's just called AOL.
    It's marked as being really 'Aussie' with lots of Australian slang and orange shirts in the ads.

    Those ads call up all those homocidal tendencies that doctors struggled for years to supress.
    I haven't been sent a CD yet.


  • err... isn't deja news a usenet to web interface... I don't quite get the connection.
  • But then, I did just wake up. :-)

    I can just see it now:

    enigma1>sho ver
    None of your business.
    enigma1>sho interfaces
    None of your business. (etc.)

    (they would, after all, be pretty enigmatic).


  • Because his story was bupkiss and he was effectively holding the rotors for ransom.
    Where can the word be found, where can the word resound? Not here, there is not enough silence.
  • okay, I know this is offtopic, but I didn't see a single post about the wonderful ASCII pr0n on the gopher site, and I just thought it needed to be mentioned :P

  • haven't you ever heard of a little thing called super villians?

    007 can't crack those coded messages in his head without Q now can he?
  • Yeah, when I pointed this out to an AOL Canada guy at a computer show when they were just starting to promote AOL Canada, he said "Yeah, well, we're not really calling ourselves America Online anymore. Just AOL."

    Kinda like ESSO (S.O. or Standard Oil)
  • gopherd can be configed to spew out HTML if the browser connects via port 80 instead of port 70.
  • Take a nice juicy grape and cut it in half longitudinally, leaving just a bit of skin joining the two halves. Place it in the microwave with the cut faces up, and nuke it.

    Jets of blue flame shoot up out of the grape halves!

  • I entered this contest - I doubt I will even be mentioned in the "other entries" catagory (ie, all those who _didn't win), when they put it up (have they? Haven't checked in a while). My entry was a laser lissajous pattern maker, using the AOL CDs as the mirrors on a LEGO frame...

    Anyhow - what I should've done, had I known that lamps were going to be the popular thing (and this was actually an idea I was going to do, but I thought that the laser maker was a more "geek" thing - stupid me):

    The light-up AOL CD coaster - take an AOL CD, nuke it properly (to get the crackle effect), laminate the label side (to prevent future flaking?), and on the silver side, glue some EL thin-film backlighting material. Maybe make a half-inch stack, cored out, and house the step-up system and 9 volt battery to power it. Mount a switch somewhere else.

    The light would shine/glow out through the top crackled surface, surrounding your can... Would look pretty neat...

    Worldcom [worldcom.com] - Generation Duh!
  • But Q is dead now... oh hell, now what'll he do?
  • Somebody should have built replacement Enigma rotors out of AOL CDs.
  • I would have mounted it inside a toilet seat.
    The idea of a coworker getting up from a newspaper break to the sound of "You've got mail!" plop-plop, is just fall-down-fuuny to me.

    The REAL jabber has the /. user id: 13196

  • Your entry came within 5 points of fourth place.

    If I find some time this weekend I'll put the rest of the top ten entries up.
  • The toxic fumes can get to you though.

  • Yeah, I originally started without the alcohol, then thought "Hey, if I coat it with something flammable it would be even more cool!" - I swear the offspring sone "Pyro" is about me.

    I've only burnt one microwave doing it, since I have found a good balance. What happens is the sparks from the metal will ignite the alcohol and you get a nice little blue flame from it mixed with sparks. Very pretty.

    If you use to high of proof alcohol the flame will be mostly invisible though, which I learn with some 151 (waste of a shot if ya ask me).

    Another cool trick is to get a bowl with about a shot in it and break the CD (multiple CD's work best) into little pieces (careful with this part.. they shatter very easily, best to mix with a plastic bag) and dump the pieces into the bowl.

    Microwave for about 10 seconds, looks even cooler. I think ths is slightly more risky however, I've had pieces shoot out of the bowl a few times.

  • by vectro ( 54263 ) <vectro@pipeline.com> on Tuesday December 05, 2000 @03:03PM (#579709)
    I find the non-US versions of AOL rather amusing - For example, you have America On Line Europe. Huh?
  • True. It barfs on HTTP/1.1 requests, though, so recent browsers don't work. Also, links are written as gopher:// URLs, so it's not really usable if your web browser doesn't support the gopher protocol anyway (like Netscape 6).
  • Yeah, like the guy in the article, I get AOL Canada.
  • I think this would be cool too. The interface would take some time to put together, but probably a lot less than it took to do the HTML interface. The presentation of comments could be pretty simple: the thread hierarchy is represented using directories, and each individual comment is a text file (or HTML file, if the comment uses formatting). Replying could be done using Gopher+'s Ask stuff.

    However, I think an NNTP interface to /. would be more appropriate.
  • I love these advertisements they send out for "540 hours free", when you have to use them all in the first month, and your average month only has about 700 hours in it.

    I suppose if you were really addicted to the stuff, you could use AOL full time, all day and night, and manage to eek out 540 hours. But I have a hard time envisioning that, especially given how hard it is to stay connected to AOL for any extended period of time.
  • Pour a small amount of high potency alcohol (80 proof or higher) over the surface and immediately set it in the microwave and put it on for 5 seconds.

    Dont sue me for trying it and setting your house on fire, it's not my fault. It just looks rather cool.

  • Take CD Instert into Microwave, turn the lights out! Set microwave on High for 15 seconds It looks like an object that just traveled through time... Blue sparks starting from the center working outward. Warning.. this pisses my wife off every time I do this. Milage with your microwave may vary... keep a charged fire extinguisher beside you at all times, just in case this gets out of hand. Don't go over 15 seconds... or you could reflect enough energy to start a fire or destroy your microwave. Have Fun!
  • An excellant idea... although one problem is that the toilet seat is not metallic, so it would have been a lot harder to get the thing to stick... yes I've heard of glue, but I found using the speaker as a magnet hard to pass up. -Paul
  • it is like a bad recurring dream :( History doesn't need to repeat itself *this* much ;)
  • Big eighties lookin' earings.
  • Does anyone remember the disc guns you could/can get? that shot those floresent discs? I wanted to build a cannon one of those that fired AOL disks. It should be pretty easy, the firing mechanism would be a big spring, the barrel could just be a wooden box/trough [__]. The hardest part would be getting the large spring and not killing your self with it.

  • just turn it upside down so the cool shiney side shows and put a candle on it... or you can use it as a wax gard if holding tapered candles, just slide it through the hole. Great for all the techno pagens outthere.
  • by jjr ( 6873 )
    Is good an example on how to create you gopher to web interface.
  • crap should have hit preview.. I can spell really... PAGANS sorry
  • The link for "this story" from ThisIsGloucestershire doesn't seem to work. This link [thisisglou...hire.co.uk] should work a little better. Here's hoping it doesn't break again.
  • by cnkeller ( 181482 ) <cnkeller.gmail@com> on Tuesday December 05, 2000 @03:57PM (#579725) Homepage
    Without the rotors, the Enigma device returned to the BBC would have been useless.

    Would have been useless? Like 60+ year old encryption technology isn't useless already?

  • by Klerck ( 213193 ) on Tuesday December 05, 2000 @03:12PM (#579726) Homepage
    What to do with your collection of AOL CDs, an antique drill and a flourescent bulb? Anxious to know what happened to the missing Enigma rotors? Want to go digging with gopher, but with your Web browser?

  • great coasters,

    nice candle holders for an outside table,

    good poke balls: get flourescent red spray paint, flourescent white spray paint, 1 inch thick masking tape, lots of newspaper - lay two layers of newspaper under the paint area, with extra two feet for overspray - tape on newsprint over a top row of CDs (so upper half covered) - tape on newsprint over a bottom row of CDs (so bottom half covered) - spray paint white - now reverse the CDs after drying for 2-6 hours - spray paint red - dry for 12 hours - for best results, spray paint on the SHINY side, unless you want to do two coats.

    Used the above for a poke ball tunic for Pokegaard, the Forgotton Demigod of Pokemon, in his avatar of a 9 year old boy, along with some belt pokemon and standard issue poke balls, at the 2000 Burning Man [burningman.com]. Attach to a mesh shirt with plastic coat wires (Electroluminescent Wire [elwire.com] is best) and try dancing with this at a rave in the desert, with strong strobe UV lights, for best effects.

    they also make cool bead curtains ...

  • by DeadSea ( 69598 ) on Tuesday December 05, 2000 @04:02PM (#579728) Homepage Journal
    >Scrape up your AOL CD very badly on the data-side.

    You mean scratch the polycarbonate side?
    The data layer on the cd is just under the label. CDs are rather resistant to scratches in their plastic because those scratches don't actually destroy data an the laser beam can focus around them. Scratch the label though and you will wipe out the pits.

    Take a dry erase marker (or permanent if you don't like the cd) and make a line (on the plastic side) from the center of the cd to the edge. Put it in your CD player and the player will probably be able to play the CD just fine because of focusing, and error correction. Better (usually older) cd players will be able to play CDs with up to four or five such lines. (Newer cd players are cheaper partly because they aren't made so well anymore.)

  • Too bad the ones I get are all plastered over with stickers hawking AOL, and it's impossible to get them off w/o ruining the plasting that keeps the insert on.
  • Take your AOL CD and place it in your microwave
    Time it for 3 seconds and hit start.

    Just as the time is about to run out, you'll see sparkling fun, and your CD will be left with lightning burn marks with which to decorate your room!

  • That ultimatechaos.com site thrives on slashdot hits. I had to use my own extreme counter code to find the correct URL, but I finally put together the correct URL for their stats []. As you can see, today (Tues Dec 05) is well on its way to being the highest day in unique hits (1245 unique hits for today when I checked). Oh, those 10,000 hits back in week 39? That corresponds to this [slashdot.org].

  • Now here's a beautiful sight.

    Pictures of Toasted AOL CDs... Wow. :)

    Toasties! [ardant.net]

  • They'll have to start using COMPUTERS! Ick! Quick, find the rotors! Find the rotors! Why didn't they just contact the owners of the one of the other two enigma machines and machine new rotors? Or scan them and use stereo lithography or any other 3d xerography thang?
  • Pour a small amount of high potency alcohol (80 proof or higher) over the surface and immediately set it in the microwave and put it on for 5 seconds.

    Doing it without the alcohol works just as well, and you have the added bonus of not blowing up your microwave.

    This method also works well for coasters. =]
  • This reminds me of my high school days, working at a restaurant that had those microwaves with no windows or displays. With the constant background noise of the restaurant, you had no way of knowing if the microwave was running. The problem was, the microwaves were positioned in such a way that it was common to brush up against it in passing, hitting one of the buttons that turned it on. After a few minutes of running with nothing in it, the plastic tray inside the microwave caught on fire, and you didn't know it until smoke started coming out. It was always a funny site for someone to open the door and see flames shoot out of it. It was even funnier when, as some sort of stupid reaction, the person would grab the tray and toss it away from them. It usually landed in the deep fryer. We didn't do much cookin' those days, and cleaning up was a bitch, but I sure enjoyed it.
  • A couple years ago I found out that my company (a largish VAR) would pay be more if I had an MSCE so I trucked down to Costco and got myself some books. No, it wasn't very hard.

    Well they did pay me more, and my friends made fun of me, but I also ended up with a free one year Technet subscription. Technet is basically MS's knowledge base, patches and beta software sent to you every month (10 - 25 cds).

    I now have a foot and a half high stack of useless crap, even more offensive than AOL cds. Anyone have any ideas what I should do with them?

    I am looking for funny stuff and no I don't think I could fit them up my ass.
  • My company make some high speed imaging equipment and we figured out the right use [cordin.com] for them. Sorry, cann't find bigger picture now.
  • One should point out that this will also cause some minor vaporization of the metals and glass, both of which are highly toxic to humans, so don't breathe in the fumes when you look at the results, unless you have adequate ventilation.

    When an old microwave of mine went, the resulting vapors set off the fire alarm ... so let's be careful out there!

  • by Pope ( 17780 )
    "Short, controlled bursts"

    That's what the girlfriend always says...


    Freedom is Slavery! Ignorance is Strength! Monopolies offer Choice!
  • The other day I got an AOL coaster^H^Hpromotion CD in the mail. When I opened it up (I'm not sure why) the inside of the jewel case read:

    Pass this software with the registration number and password printed below on to your friends for their FREE trial offer! 6P-4010-2805

    Does anyone else find that pretty ironic? ;-)

  • Disclaimer: Don't do it at home
    Does your workplace have a cafeteria with a microwave oven?

  • Anyone got any ideas on how to amass great amounts of AOL cds?
    Rock 'n Roll, Not Pop 'n Soul
  • Maybe they could have gotten the guy that build clockwork gears from AOL CDs to help them build replacement rotors for the Enigma box...
  • IRC, the older CD players have their lenses made of glass. As the error correction circuits (that controls the laser beam) became better, they could replace the glass lense with a plastic one (IC:s are cheaper than glass...)
  • Another good one: get a grape. Slice it almost in half -- the two hemispheres should be connected by just a bit of skin. Place the grape in the microwave for a few seconds. Watch the pretty arc between the grape halves.

  • Now that was a Troll. Good Moderation!

    Why have I been trashing my karma in recent posts? Because being over the 50 point limit means I can only lose points. I like contributing intelligently to /. but miss the karma feedback. If I drop my karma significantly then I can work on contrbuting as before and enjoy watching the karma rise. When I hit 50 again, I'll troll and flamebait and off-topic all over again.

    This is fun!
  • Isn't that a sort of 'false advertising'?

    Thats it! I think someone, who isn't me, should use 750 consecutive hours of AOL-UK and see if they get billed for the last 6 hours.

    THEN WE CAN SUE THEM FOR EVERYTHING THEY'RE WORTH! HAHAHAHA! ...sorry. got carried away there. It'd be an interesting experiment though.


  • Pack about 20 CDs together (a MSDN set is as good for this as an AOL collection) to make a fat cyclinder, tape them so they don't wriggle, then take your hacksaw and chop 6 or 8 notches, evenly spaced about the perimeter and about 1cm deep, along the axis of the cylinder. Untape the CDs, which you can now ``plug 'n' play'' at right angles to make the most bizarre house-of-cards type structures. We also have a mobile made from CDs hanging from the kitchen ceiling. Our baby boy finds it fascinating, almost as entrancing as clocks.
  • by B-Rad ( 66696 ) on Tuesday December 05, 2000 @03:15PM (#579753) Homepage
    The WebGopher thing is cool, but if you go to the webpage for heatdeath ( here [heatdeath.org] ) you can try the Java gopher to web gateway. It's a hell of a lot cooler than the gopher support for, say, IE.
  • Speakers are magnetic, so at first we thought, gee... cool fridge magnet, but then we had a better idea... we stuck the speaker to the inside of the fridge. So now whenever anyone in the lab opens the fridge... "You've got mail!".

    Magnetic? I'd expect them to use piezo... but anyway, a better use would be to hook this up to your PC's parallel port, then hack biff to trigger it when you really do got mail.

  • Heh...

    I give a hearty round of applause to the winners - they clearly took a lot of time on their projects (especially the clock - damn - clocks are HARD to make).

    I would suppose I lost points on the relatively small numbers of AOL CDs used (2), and the fact that I used LEGO for the rest (it was easiest for me to build with).

    Actually, I had fun entering this competition - I have always liked "here's-an-idea-this-is-what-you-can-use-GO!" type contests...

    Worldcom [worldcom.com] - Generation Duh!
  • by swagr ( 244747 ) on Tuesday December 05, 2000 @03:17PM (#579758) Homepage
    1 AOL cd.

    Borrow your friend's favourite/most expensive CD.
    Scrape up your AOL CD very badly on the data-side.

    Put the AOL CD in the jewel case backwards.

    When you return the CD say something like "oh.. check to make sure it's in there" so you can see the look on his/her face.
  • by Phexro ( 9814 )
    doesn't a www->gopher interface kinda defeat the purpose of gopher?

    oh, like... a stable client, lightweight protocol, etc, etc...
  • I would like to take a look at it..

  • by kevlar ( 13509 ) on Tuesday December 05, 2000 @04:51PM (#579766)
    I have not, nor have I heard of anyone every killing their microwave this way. HOWEVER, if you leave it in there too long, I'm sure it'll do something bad. Thats why you set the timer for 3 seconds... plus thats all it needs, because the reaction happens really quick. It basically burns the metal part of the CD which holds the data.

    Now you do this at your own risk... but I'm telling you that I've done it a million times exactly as prescribed, and have not damaged anything (Except the CD of course ;)

    ONE MORE THING: Place the CD so that the readible side is DOWN, and the label can be seen on top. e.g. place it in the microwave the way you would put it in your CD player.

    It works best on CD-R's.
  • Actually, they make pretty bad frisbees. To begin with, they lack the flight-producing shape that causes a frisbee to generate lift when thrown. Along with that, they're dreadfully overstable, and thus will hook sharply to the left when thrown with clockwise rotation.

    But then again, I'm a frisbee snob.

  • Have you ever played the game where you try to flick playing cards into a hat acrosss the room? We played that with AOL CD's and an inverted lampshade. It's exactly that hook that makes the game challenging.
  • by Speare ( 84249 ) on Tuesday December 05, 2000 @03:23PM (#579779) Homepage Journal

    After reading the gopher:// manifesto, it got me to do something that I had been considering for some time: move my internet presence into gopherspace and out of the Web.

    So, is this considered going underground?

  • Yes, I suppose it does :-) However, since there are a lot of people in the world who don't have access to a gopher client (or don't know how to use one), I would still like them to be able to access my gopher info.

The intelligence of any discussion diminishes with the square of the number of participants. -- Adam Walinsky