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Comment Re:No user serviceable parts inside--NOT! (Score 1) 159

This still worked 10 years ago. Admittedly, 6502-based computers were quite rare by then, but also very cheap because most people considered them junk. (And my machine code reference manual was a book, rather than photocopied.)

The putting hand-soldered circuitry into the printer ports came later for me, with Windows (back then I hadn't more than vaguely heard of Linux) and an RS232 port. That's still possible nowadays, although you probably need to get a USB to RS232 convertor (i.e. an RS232 port that's driven over USB) in order to get a computer with the appropriate ports.

Comment Re:Kudos to Google for their geeky naivete (Score 1) 159

Yes, but not by as much as you'd like, and it's been getting slowly worse over time for a while now.

The government - whichever party is in charge - has attempted to attribute the steady increase in grades to students being better-taught / cleverer, but are failing to hide the main causes of that, which are that the courses are being simplified and the grade boundaries adjusted so that you get higher grades for the same quality of work from the students. Most of this is subjective, but as an objective example, the year after I completed my Mathematics A-level (exam taken at approximately 18 years old, and the usual qualification used to obtain entrance to university), they pretty much directly removed 1/6 of the syllabus. (Precisely what happened: you had to take 6 exams, 3 of which were compulsory and 3 of which you could choose from a set. They changed the course to have 4 compulsory exams, which together covered the same material as the previous 3 compulsory exams, and requiring the choice of 2 of the optional exams. This lets you drop one of the optional exams, reducing the syllabus you have to cover, while still getting the same qualification.)

Comment Re:Skillful self-promotion (Score 1) 157

It was discussed on Slashdot at the time, but the editors missed what's going on. This comment is a summary of what happened; you can read the story, and the other comments on it, for more details.

Short summary: a fan of Capcom games decides to make a crossover, when Capcom find out, they'd be within their rights to sue them, but instead they decided to publish it, giving it away free as an advert for their game franchises.

Comment Re:Skillful self-promotion (Score 5, Interesting) 157

As Capcom showed recently, there are often situations where you have the alternatives of engaging in expensive legal battles, or getting a bunch of free marketing and good publicity out of the situation. The second option is rarely taken, but it's nearly always better, and I applaud people for taking it.

Comment Re:Does programming necessitate the use of a compu (Score 1) 313

No, not usually a general purpose computer. Just as most programs aren't CPU emulators, most silicon chips aren't general purpose computers. Computers are used to replace special-purpose chips more and more nowadays because they're easily mass-produced, but that's far from essential.

Comment Re:root access (Score 4, Informative) 129

Windows actually has two root-like permission levels, "administrator", and "SYSTEM" (which is higher and cannot be given to normal accounts). It might be interesting to know which the attack allows escalation to (although I think an attacker could do anything they cared about with only administrator-level permissions, they'd just have to do it a little indirectly).

Comment Re:Not again... (Score 1) 1110

That Gnome 3 complaint is almost certainly a for-technical-reasons one. The problem is that you can look at a window and observe that it's open, and make a good guess about which app it belongs to, but that doesn't necessarily give you enough information to be able to open another copy of the app.

(I've been looking into the technical details behind this in an attempt to improve it for Unity, and I'm reasonably sure there's no 100% reliable way to figure it out. Unity's solution seems to be just to randomly fail when it can't figure it. Gnome 3 is presumably only making it possible when it's sure it'll work.)

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