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Comment Re:They are still damn overpriced (Score 1) 241

The Macintosh II line (and by this I assume we're talking II / IIfx-type, not the smaller ones like the IIci) were tanks. While I won't really argue that the iMac line is necessarily good or bad quality (the 2005 iMac G5 a family member owns seems pretty good when I opened it for a RAM upgrade), the Mac Pro line (especially the aluminum ones; G5->Intel) seem very solid and well engineered.

Comment CO2 (Score 1) 183

From what I've understood over the years, it is because those folks emit slightly more carbon dioxide than others and that is what the mosquitoes are attracted to. I, unfortunately, am one of those people. However, I am able to make the claim that "I'm full of hot air" as a result :-)

But to be serious, a mosquito trap basically uses CO2 as bait.

Comment Re:Lest we forget... (Score 1) 376

Actually, I think the problem was only on Windows 3.1. I can't say if it was on 3.0, but I've tried this in the past on Windows 2.03 (386) and even 1.0x and it returns the correct 0.01 result. My question is how did they screw up something as simple as a standard calculator application? Isn't that almost a standard programming assignment in computer science 101 courses?

Comment Re:Metaphores. (Score 1) 79

Considering Jobs and Woz made no claims to knowing what it meant at the time, it was amusing to see Jean-Louis Gassée's book 20 years or so ago called "The First Apple". Had a picture of Sir Issac Newton sitting under an serpent-laden apple tree with a Macintosh. Birth of history (if you consider the bible as such), birth of science (if you consider Newton and the gravity apple as such), and birth of computer revolution (if you consider the Macintosh as such). Clever.

Comment Smile, mistress! (Score 1) 249

I was talking about "Photo Cops" this weekend while driving on the Garden State Parkway and saying "if they ever introduced [photo cops] on the GSP, people would be screwed." Referring, of course, to the fact that it is a 55 mph road and everyone was driving 70.

They tried having photo cops on Route 80 in NJ back in the late 80's or early 90's (don't quite remember) and it was simply a camera sticking out of the back of a van. Trip the speed limit, take a photo of the driver, mail summons to person. From what I remember at the time, it caused a bit of an uproar after a few politicians got pictures of them driving with their mistress and the summons envelope being opened by their wife.

Speed enforcement is fine; it keeps people relatively sane with their driving habits. I personally feel that the dangerous ones on the road are the ones who are driving more than 5-10 mph away from the average that everyone else on the section of road is driving. But sometimes you have a clear shot where there is nobody around you and goosing it up several mph to gain some time isn't that big a deal. If an automaton is going to penalize me without any context, that's where I draw the line.

Comment I thought they meant 33 Thomas St (Score 1) 60

I thought they meant 33 Thomas Street, which is another old switching building but has no windows, unlike the Verizon building they're talking about.

Back in the day (as recent as the late 80s or even early 90s) a lot of downtown Manhattan businesses had multiple phone lines going to every desk at those office high rises. These buildings existed just to house all that equipment, from what I always gathered. While I don't know what it looks like inside today, I'd imagine the technology of today requires only a fraction of that space now.

Comment Re:Cadillac (Score 1) 305

Tesla took this to another level. Their sedan has pretty much vertically rotated 23" LCD touch screen as their control center. Sure, that's great you can google while you're driving (uhh.. hang on..), but this screams "take your eyes off the road and focus on this screen to turn up your radio volume". Now introduce a software upgrade that rearranges buttons and I'm SURE there will be auto accidents because of this "innovation".

Submission + - So long, and thanks for all the Twinkies (

bjb writes: According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, Hostess Brands is shutting down, firing about 18,000 workers and seeking liquidation. "A victim of changing consumer tastes, high commodity costs and, most importantly, strained labor relations, Hostess ultimately was brought to its knees by a national strike orchestrated by its second-largest union.". Apparently the remaining inventory of breads and cakes will be sold off to big box retailers and the future of the brands will be determined by the highest bidders in the liquidation.

Comment Will you ever go back to teaching school kids? (Score 1) 612

Many years ago I read about how you were dedicating a lot of your time to teaching school kids how to use computers. I was always a fan of yours prior to that, but reading about your work there solidified you as a hero in my book. I think I even sent you an email years ago saying that if you were willing, I'd come out on my own dime to help out for a week (I've always been one of those highly technical people who can actually be patient and teach effectively as well).

Are you ever going to return to this? Sure, I can imagine that kids might not need as much help these days; for those of us who stopped our family VCRs from blinking 12:00, I've always thought that my kids are going to have something similar as they get older with me. But still, do you think you would ever do this again?

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If Machiavelli were a hacker, he'd have worked for the CSSG. -- Phil Lapsley