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Comment Wheatstone bridge (Score 1) 620

Ignoring stuff like a fountain pen and a mechanical watch (both of which I use daily) we had an old Wheatstone bridge in one of the PChem labs I taught a number of years ago. It was pre-WWII, mid-1930s and still worked fine.

If you want computer tech, I've used Fortran 4G on some ancient IBM mainframe back in college to run some analysis on research results, and we had an HP-85 running an HPLC in a lab a while back. The HP85 had the worst case of screen burn in I've ever seen- the main HPLC control screen could be seen clearly even when the computer was turned off

Comment What's your favorite strange rule result? (Score 2, Interesting) 111

In Car Wars it was impossible to kill yourself with a .45 magnum pistol. (People had 3 HP, 1 damage injured, 2 made the character unconscious. A heavy pistol did 2 damage so shooting yourself with it made you unconscious) Unforeseen bizarre results often appear in game play- what was your favorite?

Comment The day I knew OS/2 was doomed... (Score 1) 387

was the day I went into the campus bookstore. There were some boxes of OS/2 Warp, ~$200 with the networking stack, right next to the SDK, which was well north of $500.

Meanwhile, on the next shelf over there were some really colorful boxes of Visual Studio for $99, including the bundled copy of NT 4.0. Laugh all you want at Ballmer screaming about "Developers", MS got it.

Comment Re:Why is ITT even eligible for federal student lo (Score 1) 85

Yes, let's look at Berea. 1600 undergrads, more than $1 *billion* endowment. There's a good reason they don't need to charge tuition. I work at a college too, and we do have to charge tuition, in part because our endowment to enrollment ratio is less than 1/7 of theirs.

Ozarks is a bit worse off, at only $427M for 1300 students. They're only 4x better off than we are. Given that their students are required to work for the college, they can make up that difference.

So in order to manage to do what they can, all we need to do is raise either a ~billion dollars (we have more students so will need more cash) and have all of our students work, or raise ~2 billion and we can avoid that.


Comment FARK has become tamer for various reasons (Score 1) 45

Drew: There's no attempt to make Fark more PC. I think what happened is the rest of the Internet moved -far- past us on the anything-goes relative scale.

This really isn't the case, but it's not necessarily bad. Ironically, the recent "PC" changes have been less offensive than previous ones. Fark has removed a number of "extreme" posters over the years- Gorgor and Rugbyjock are two of the most obvious. IMHO, that really hurt- they both added a lot of substance to the site, and since everything they did was only accessible if you went looking I'm still not sure why they were so awful.

The more recent changes aren't anywhere near as bad as people think. For example, there is a tradition of posting links to tasteful pinups on the football threads during commercial breaks- one poster did every Playboy centerfold in order. Nobody has griped about it. The one time a mod really cracked down on this (and other offtopic pics) they were overruled in less than an hour. OTOH, there was a poster who started posting links to bondage porn in those same threads. Some of the most prolific posters in football threads are women, and it was clear it was over the line- I had no problem with him being squashed.

Comment Re:65nm?! (Score 1) 268

I'm typing this on a desktop running a Conroe-version Core 2 Duo: 65nm process. I just got finished running a game of Borderlands 2 with all of the options cranked up.

Yeah, yeah, I know that's primarily GPU, but the idea that somehow a C2D is a crippled chip is absurd. This thing is fine for pretty much everything I throw at it. The biggest bottlenecks it has right now are the 4GB RAM on the motherboard and the USB2-based wireless adapter- the CPU basically doesn't hold it back at all. The only thing that's CPU bound is Registax, and I can wait a few minutes while it runs.

Comment Re:No suprise. Comcast TV is poor value for money (Score 1) 140

Ironically, I recently switched to Comcast (105 Mbps) and ended up with the basic channel package. The way the teaser rate worked is that is was actually a lot cheaper to order the two bundled than the bare internet line- it was $10/month less plus $40 less on install.

Only thing I have to do is cancel the basic cable after year 2 on the contract. I'm not looking forward to that...

Comment Re:Landing vs splashdown (Score 1) 342

You mean how trashed the space is where the old Constitution is? It's basically George Washington's axe at this point- there's very little left of the original ship, just all the stuff that they patched her with. She was overhauled and rebuilt multiple times while still on duty, but the article you sent notes that by 1925 she was in such bad shape the stern was ready to fall off and had to be fully repaired. She was repaired again in 1973, then in 1995 they rebuilt her again to return her to her original design.

Comment Re:Easy grammar (Score 1) 626

Annoyingly it also dropped the you singular and you plural- no tu/vous distinction which makes it clear if you're talking to an individual or group.

The best alternative I know if (even as a Northerner) is y'all, the only Southernism I picked up while living there.

For large groups it's "all y'all"

Comment Re:Correction Re:STEM *is* Humanities (Score 1) 397

I'd rather you be able to both communicate effectively and do reasonable design, so as to avoid embarrassing, very very expensive, or fatal problems. The idea that somehow STEM grads naturally pick up on how to communicate effectively is about as laughable as the idea that humanities students learn science through daily life, and the idea that somehow STEM education is so difficult that you have to skip out on humanities is absurd.

Comment Re:Maybe on Android, but not for long (Score 1) 107

Google certainly will- its dominance in search means the FTC might take a rather dim view of them excluding alternates on Android.

Apple might not, although they allow lots of other MS apps including some that compete directly such as Office365 vs. iWork. My guess is that most iOS users are so embedded in Apple's ecosystem that switching to a less-well integrated app away from Siri will be the choice of just about nobody.

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