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Comment Re:Consumer? Pah. (Score 1) 177

Actually, it could be a good thing. Not being able to receive television signals without paying your license fee would mean that people who don't want to pay their license fee won't be hassled by endless threatening letters from the licensing authority. They'd be free to own a television and it'd be easy to prove they weren't using it illegitimately, thus saving them a fine.

</devil's advocate>

Comment Re:Depends on your criteria (Score 1) 1174

As a kid I had a small-gauge slot car set that ran off a double-insulated adaptor with a plastic dummy ground pin that only served to open the shutters on the live and neutral sockets. Then it snapped off.

I can still remember the noise my mother made when she walked in on eight-year-old me prising a matchstick into a wall-socket trying to plug it in :)

Comment Re:Classic Cars (Score 1) 496

But don't you think those old cars have a certain something that makes them worth taking care of? I drive a 2000 Mitsubishi Colt (Mirage for all you 'Merkins) and I seriously doubt that in forty years time there will be a single one left. Not because it isn't perfectly good as a method of getting to where you want to go; more because it wasn't designed in the same mindset as that '59 Bel Air. It's a white good- 3 1/2 metres of car. The Bel Air was sold on the buyers' aspirations- my Colt was sold because the first owner preferred it to riding the bus to work.

Comment "old" computing is still prevelant in retail. (Score 1) 875

I work for a large UK supermarket chain (the largest, actually) and their computer systems and supporting software are pretty old. The tills run NT4 and the SBO/print queue manager is an IBM RS6000 (a PowerPC based machine, I believe) running OpenVMS.

The most up-to-date bits of kit are the checkout servers and the employee terminals- they run XP, but all of the software they run is either 16bit Windows stuff or terminal emulators to talk to that OpenVMS machine or the datacentres; having said that, I know of at least one store in our area that's still using an IBM 3151 orange-screen terminal. The in-house word processor is Ami Pro, a dreadful piece of software. I'd almost forgotten how annoying the 8.3 filename limit was :)

Anyway, with mission-critical stuff, the motto is usually "If it ain't broke, don't fix it". In our case, it seems to be "If it ain't completely broke, ignore it."

Comment Re:Looking forward... (Score 1) 213

I heard Douglas Adams quoted on the radio this morning. Seems to apply here.

"Anything that is in the world when you're born is normal and ordinary and is just a natural part of the way the world works. Anything that's invented between when you're fifteen and thirty-five is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it. Anything invented after you're thirty-five is against the natural order of things."

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