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Comment Re:Reality vs idealism (Score 2, Interesting) 290

However, media via Flash or Silverlight is also broken. It doesn't work everywhere and those media executives are just too stupid to figure out a safe system that will work everywhere. They need to find some smart people that know how to make things work and stop push old ideas of trying to control the software in people's computers. It is possible to do.

Comment Re:SI vs. Nerdissles (Score 1) 618

There was no violation. It was a separate context where 1024 and 1048576 and 1073741824 and 1099511627776 made sense. Note that it actually does NOT make sense for disk drives as they can be fully variable in the number of sectors they have, or their legacy CHS structures. It does make sense for RAM.

There's nothing wrong with my software because there is no standard to meet. The letters kMGTP and so on are scaling suffixes outside the scope of SI units We can scale anything we want. If you do want to make a NEW system that has single letter scaling, maybe I'll be interested. But my current notation system is designed and based on single letter scaling suffixes. And that is not broken.

Comment Re:Not news (Score 1) 618

OTOH, disk drives were hardly ever true powers of 2. The sectors are (and they damned well better stay that way). The total number of sectors or bytes never needed to be powers of 1024. I'm fine with that. What I am NOT fine with is some hardware trade organization thinking programmers will bow to them. Not happening.

Comment It's Marketing Speak ... and ... (Score 3, Insightful) 618

The basic issue is Marketing Speak. Those people don't understand how to use the Geek Speak values of 1024, 1048576, and 1073741824. They are going to use 1000, 1000000, and 1000000000. Just understand that and live with it. I do. As long as the sectors come across as sizes 512 and 4096 (instead of 500 and 4000), the device can work. I remember working with mainframes and having sector sizes of 800 on some drives.

I don't use this KiB, MiB, and GiB crap in my software. The standards group that made that doesn't have oversight on software. It was intended for hardware and marketing, which hardly ever uses it. I have code for doing number conversion with metric-LIKE suffixes, but that specifically needs a single letter, so that's just gonna be the way it is. Use it where the binary-ish values apply and don't use it where you need powers of ten.

It's all about knowing which way to interpret the numbers. For disk drives I know they are talking about k=1000, M=1000000, and G=1000000000.

Comment Re:User error. (Score 1) 467

I basically agree with you. However, if they are going to give the advice out to idiots, they really should make it idiot proof

A simple way to do this is a 2 stage BIOS with a starter PROM that does VERY minimal duty so i'ts hard to screw up. The starter PROM does only TWO things. 1. It tests one specific on-board USB port for a device with a specific code being present. If present, it will check for a partition containing a checksummed image that is not the same as the one already present. If the checksum validates, it will use that image to perform a re-flash maybe followed by a hard reboot. 2. Jump to the flash entry point.

Manufacturer provides the image file with integrated checksum, and an optional utility program for lamers to use that wipes the USB MBR, makes one partition the size of the file, and copies the file to that partition. If they want to prevent others from making these, they encrypt the image or checksum with something the first state boot PROM can decrypt.

The idea is an idiot can download the new image file and the USB transfer program. The idiot runs the program tells it where the file was stored (this may be hard for some idiots). When USB is complete, plug USB into the special on-board port (can be extended out to the back on some machines), and hard boot (reset or power cycle). It gets automatically flashed. If it fails, do over. Idiot may need a 2nd computer if yet another file needs to be used.

A smarter machine will have 2 flash spaces to keep a backup.

Manufacturers need to support idiots as those are now their largest customer base.

Comment Re:It was a fail safe (Score 5, Informative) 210

It apparently did it's job. But apparently it was given the wrong job. It is accused (by the manufacturer, of course) that someone entered the wrong amperage that it should do its job at. Unlike home circuit breakers which come in specific amperage levels (and vary from unit to unit by plus or minus 10 percent which is considered acceptable), these relay devices, which are a component in an overcurrent protection system, cannot be made at fixed amperage levels due to economics. They are quite expensive to replace with another just to tweak the settings due to changes made elsewhere in the power distribution network, and the number of different amperage values needed would be very large. They can be expensive also because either they directly connect to current transformers that have high open circuit voltage potential, or operate from digital sensors on the current transformers. They are also expected to have accurate at better than one percent.

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