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Comment Re:Consider yourself lucky (Score 1) 212

I would really hate to have to deal with those boards, or even the massive relay logic banks that they used to use. You do have my sympathy....

I have worked with a lot of PLCs, but never action logic. Always curious, how do they compare to the Allen Bradleys and Omrons of the world? I am not tied to any particular setup, except I do have an abiding hate for the bloated mess that is Siemens.

Comment Re:You're not alone (Score 2) 212

USB to serial adapters are shit. +/-6V instead of +/-12V and variable latency (USB does not guarantee latency). RS232/RS485 to Ethernet adapters are far better, but nothing competes with a physical port for some obscure finicky equipment. And yes, it is still out there working fine unlike the modern rubbish that fails if the air gets slightly moist.

Comment Re:You need to come up with a migration strategy (Score 1) 212

That is what I love about Omron. Upload the program from, say a C2H, and download it on a modern CJ CPU, and everything seamlessly and flawlessly just works. Plant downtime rangers from zero to 15 minutes.... Other PLC manufacturers are very decent too, but bloody Siemens breaks between PLCs of different sizes on the same generation. Bastards. And Toshiba is still on Generation 1.

Comment Re:Have a look at PCs for Industrial Automation. (Score 1) 212

Fanless industrial PCs tend to be more than R500. Also they tend to run old hardware and DDR2 RAM is now really expensive. It is silly, but it is the way things are. And fanless is a must in, for example, an environment which corrodes copper or tin in solder. And yes, I do work in such situations.

Comment Re:RS 232 to ethernet adapters - Security warning (Score 1) 212

100% of RS232/RS485 to ethernet adaptors I have worked with have had at minimum IP level filtering. Trivial to defeat, I know, but most sit on networks with no direct connection to the internet. And honestly if you've got a hack on your subnet you have bigger problems than the fact that he can access your unknown (to him) PLC. Like the fact that he can own your SCADA and break things without having to understand ladder logic in the PLC.... Worry about your SCADA first, and your conversion devices second....

Comment Re:Consider yourself lucky (Score 3, Interesting) 212

It is a case of the 'right tool for the right job.' In some cases ladder logic is still the best choice. Running interlocking or normal controls like PID and so forth in ladder makes a lot of sense. Sequential function chart can be useful too, but tends to be overused by IT types who get cornered into control and have no clue what they're doing, as does script. Basically, what I'm saying is if we ever throw out ladder, it means we're being pretty thick. Ladder has a place and makes a lot of sense from the process POV, throw too much of it out and you're being stupid.

Naturally, put the 'hardware' ladder system into a suitable PLC that can do SFC as well as ladder and the scripting language of your choice, but don't throw out the logic. That is often still the most logical solution and IT types who think ladder is obsolete should honestly be shot at dawn for the bastards who create un-maintainable messes of spaghetti code that they are. Siemens programmers are the worst culprits here.

Comment Re:And with this move... (Score 1) 590

I do not think I will be taking your word on that. I would say that the poster in question at least shows the competence of being able to learn from their mistakes, however late in the game. If they'd said "Oh, thats horrible, let me give PETA more money," you might have a point.

Tell me, by calling this guy incompetent and stating he should not be connected to the internet, what do you actually hope to achieve? I fail to see any positive outcome for either you or him in this exercise.

Comment Re:And with this move... (Score 4, Insightful) 590

So... The dude made a mistake. Feels bad and is going to stop making the same mistake, and you come down all medieval on his arse calling him a dumbass and "not bright." Nice... Have you ever noticed what this makes you look like? Or that in any discussion, this sort of approach will have the opposite affect of what you desire? You're clearly not "sorry". Just, to be blunt and frank a bit of an ass.

PETA has a fairly effective brainwashing technique. Most of the PETA supporters won't believe a word of this no matter how much evidence you show them. It is completely stupid and inane drivel they spout, but if you never look deeply into it (for whatever reason), it is quite possible you'll never see it. The GGP might simply have taken them at their word, "we help animals." Sure he should have checked, but not everyone has time or is quite as cynical as you might be.

As for myself, I only support the People Eating Tasty Animals variety of PETA. But I have made donations I have deeply regretted when I found out more. Never anything substantial, but I $2 here or there can add up to a nice steak, and I like my steak.


Inside One of the World's Largest Data Brokers 64

itwbennett writes "Contrary to recent reports, data broker Acxiom is not planning to give consumers access to all the information they've collected on us. That would be too great a challenge for the giant company, says spokesperson Alexandra Levy. Privacy blogger Dan Tynan recently spoke with Jennifer Barrett Glasgow, Chief Privacy Officer at Acxiom (she claims to be the very first CPO) about how the company collects information and what they do with it. This should give you some small measure of comfort: 'We don't know that you bought a blue shirt from Lands End. We just know the kinds of products you are interested in. We're trying to get a reasonably complete picture of your household and what the individuals who live there like to do,' says Glasgow."

Comment Re:Ah, of course... (Score 1) 61

Both wrong. I live in Joburg, and don't carry a gun. There hasn't been a taxi war in years, and while violent crime does happen it isn't as common as people make out. Depending where you are of course, but a lot of Joburg is quite safe - and I do go to unsafe areas on occasion, but so far the worst I've witnessed is a smash and grab.

Comment Re:So basically (Score 1) 509

Yeah, I do see the point. Surely though you could build a 'black box' model. Not for use in analysis of reality, but for use in-game. Simply take existing sales figures from existing game companies and then match them to the internal success/failure variables of the in-game game. There must be sufficient data available to make this a fairly viable approach. You could even factor in more complex stuff like review scores. Just because you can't model the process entirely doesn't mean you can't make a passable simulation of it. You could also to some extent model DRM including it's negative impact. It wouldn't make the game a completely accurate simulation of the real market, but it would make it more interesting than a 'tycoon' game. Though, IANAE( E= Economist....).

Comment Re:So basically (Score 1) 509

Ah. The site appeared down, so I didn't realize. Well, that's a pity then. Doesn't that mean they don't actually have a point? I understand the guy wants to make money. It is tough being Indie (that is why I keep buying the same game from Jeff Vogel), but wouldn't it have made the point better if it had been an accurate simulation of piracy?

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"Of course power tools and alcohol don't mix. Everyone knows power tools aren't soluble in alcohol..." -- Crazy Nigel