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Submission + - Flash Destroyer Tests Limit of Solid State Storage (dangerousprototypes.com)

An anonymous reader writes: We all know that flash and other types of solid state storage can only endure a limited number of write cycles. The open source Flash Destroyer prototype explores that limit by writing and verifying a solid state storage chip until it dies. The total write-verify cycle count is shown on a display, watch a live video feed and guess when the first chip will die. This project was inspired by the inevitable comments about flash longevity on every Slashdot SSD story, like these from earlier this week. Design files and source are available at Google Code.

Comment Re:Was already free for non-commercial use! (Score 1) 225

The whole purpose of a robotics environment like this is so that robotics builders can concentrate on actual robot stuff, whereas MSRDS makes you waste so much time learning their proprietary formats & techniques that you could easily loose the fun in learning robots!

(disclaimer: not a robotics guy, I just messed around with an NXT set last year)

My main issue with their environment is that the resulting robot doesn't actually do any of the thinking, you need a PC running MSRDS connected at all times. All processing is done on the PC, and commands are sent down to a slave program running on the robot. Other development environments supporting the NXT (like NQC) target the brick directly and give you a fully-independent robot, which is (to me) much more interesting.

Their realtime 3D simulation environment looked like a big selling point, but then I couldn't make it do anything myself besides running built-in samples. As you said, MSRDS focuses on the wrong thing, because NQC (or even the built-in Lego software!) was a lot more fun.

Comment Re:Star Control 2 (Score 1) 348

+1. I also remember playing .mods on the PC squealer, it sounded quite different than the original Amiga version, but it was still impressive :)

When I saw/heard the Amiga, I instantly sold my PC (286 12MHz) and bought an A500. One of my first games for it was Turrican II, I used to listen to the main menu music all the time...

Before I heard the Amiga, I was amazed hearing the sounds in Links (the golf game -- don't remember which version had digitized sound) on the PC speaker. Oh how far we've come...

Comment Re:Par for the course? (Score 1) 510

Not every store scans the serial numbers, for example Costco. I've swapped defective consoles that were past their warranty over there, if you do it once it's no big deal.

I've seen some posts earlier suggesting that this is scamming the store, but if you've ever worked at retail, you know that the store does not deal with the consoles - everything is done through a supplier, who deals with the manufacturer. Returns do get to the manufacturer eventually, at no cost to the store.

Yes, I realize that it's an abuse of the system, but I only did it as a last resort (e.g. before Microsoft extended the warranty on RRoD 360s).

Programming

Submission + - Programming the Commodore 64: The Definitive Guide (wordpress.com)

Mirk writes: "Back in 1985 it was possible to understand the whole computer, from the hardware up through device drivers and the kernel through to the high-level language that came burned into the ROMs (even if it was only Microsoft BASIC). The Reinvigorated Programmer revisits R. C. West's classic and exhaustive book Programming the Commodore 64 and laments the decline of that sort of comprehensive Deep Knowing."

Comment Re:Not Surprising (Score 1) 211

+1. I was confused by this story since I've been tethering with my iPhone 3GS just fine since I got it, and it was just like you said (turn it on and it works right away, zero hassles). I'm now amazed that Rogers enables tethering if most US providers don't...

Of course you must make sure tethering is included in your data plan, otherwise a big surprise will await you on your next bill.

Comment Re:HA! (Score 1) 342

Sorry, but I have to call you on this one, from personal experience.

GP is correct, read the rest of his post. All the info is there: an explanation of how the licensing system works, and how to fix it if you're stuck having to connect to XBL to acquire your licenses.

Comment Re:ha ha suckers!!! (Score 1) 658

That reminds me, the one time I really screwed up a Linux machine was when I failed an upgrade of glibc on a running system (I was a unix newbie and didn't know what I was doing).

It's been more than 15 years but I still remember the overwhelming sense of panic when none of the standard utils worked anymore, so I could not undo what I just did.

That day I learned not to mess with the glibc symlink, and how to fix an unbootable system from a boot floppy. Good times... (not!)

Comment Re:What is the point? (Score 1) 1713

Actually, I don't know why I didn't think of this before... It's possible that simply wrapping the iPad inside something like an InvisiSHIELD may be enough to weatherproof it for your uses, as it encloses the entire device.

Surely they will make a version for the iPad...

Comment Re:What is the point? (Score 1) 1713

What kind of issues does it have? Wrong position of the touch, not detecting the touch, random phantom touchs with no actual input?

Usually, if there's water on the touch screen, the touch input won't be responsive. You get missed inputs, or you can't drag the on-screen controls (because it thinks your multi-touching). I haven't seen phantom inputs. Wiping the water drops off the screen will take care of it... Maybe keeping a towel nearby is enough to deal with this.

You could probably simulate the problem by putting one or more drops of water on your iPhone screen, or by touching the screen with a wet finger. Controlled tests only, no need to use the phone in the shower :)

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