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Comment Re:Conversion using APL (Score 3, Funny) 261

Seems like a perfect candidate for a simple one-line APL ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/APL_(programming_language) ) function. This should be something like {/~{\}, but my keyboard doesn't have the required keys to enter any of the characters needed. Can anyone help?

Ok, I've managed to work out a truly marvelous 7-character conversion in APL, but the margin is too small to contain it.

Comment Same problem, but at the server level. (Score 1) 282

Our family / family business has run, with increasing formality, email servers in various flavours since the mid-90's. These servers have processed messages including everything from lots (like really lots -- in the tens of thousands at least) of family pictures to (no doubt) lots of personal email of the many dozens of staff who have worked with us over the years. In general, the server settings have always been set to "retain everything", including full Exchange journalling, because there was no way to delete things without risking losing some important pictures someone sent to someone else.

I'm not too worried about the business activity traffic, because anything recent is well replicated in many other places -- primarily in various cached Outlook data files. But where family members threw away their old machines, the only copies of these important things are in the server journals we have archived. Is there some solution that can rationalize these millions of messages into some sort of structure?

In addition, I presume that this can only be done for individuals who actually want old items to be retrieved from the archives, as anyone else would be protected by privacy rights.

Comment Re:Car analogy (Score 2, Insightful) 392

For me the difference is knowing what gear I will be in when I go around the next corner.

I hate pressing the gas into a nice curve only to find a piss-poor response, followed by a laboured downshift and only some seconds later catching up to where I want to be. With a manual shift, I can put it where I want before it has to discover for itself that it's in the wrong gear. Also, it's way more fun.

(Proud driver of a Mazda Miata for more than 15 years, not to mention a half-dozen other "fun but not high-performance" sports cars).

Comment Re:Well duh .... (Score 1) 430

The point -- according to an Economist article last year that I am too lazy to look up -- is to make sure the transition from "cheap gas" to "no-way-I-can-afford-that" gas is gradual over a period of many years. That allows other technologies to go through the research, development, trial, and implementation phases in an economically feasible way. If gas stayed low and then went through the roof all of the sudden, the disruption in everyday life would be huge, as there would be no alternatives sitting on the shelf waiting for people to switch to.

Comment Idea! (Score 1) 183

At the risk of giving away a possibly lucrative idea, my plan is to patent the use of a gavel to bring order to courtrooms. Hopefully, this will allow me to collect royalties for every day of all the various trials I have to attend defending my patent: the more they fight, the more they pay.

Comment They're the same thing. (Score 2) 957

"The UN's Human Rights Charter mentions protection from "religious intolerance" but also in the same sentence "freedom of opinion and expression." "

They're not contradictory -- promoting blasphemy laws is a clear example of "religious intolerance" in my book, because it's not tolerant of someone's right to politely say that they think a given religion is incorrect.

Comment Re:Give them away (Score 1) 302

A modern high-school math calculator that is solar-powered and can run rings around the previous generations costs around $15 in any fall back-to-school sale, and even less when they're clearing out their school supplies for the Halloween stuff. Both my high-school kids have several old ones (borrowed from teachers when their was forgotten, or lost and then refound after purchasing a replacement) knocking around in their drawers. I've offered them to their friends and friend's parents, but every one just offers me back their old stuff.

Perfectly functional but unwanted electronics crap is everywhere these days: cell phones, DVD players, digital cameras, laptops, and high-school calculators will survive with the rats and cockroaches after we are long gone.

Comment Re:TUI ! (Score 1) 654

Turbovision (and all the Borland GUIs -- don't forget TurboProlog!) gets my vote.

All based on IBM's Systems Application Architecture / Common User Access (SAA/CUA) standard from the late '80s http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IBM_Systems_Application_Architecture#Common_user_access_.28CUA.29 . I still have a virgin copy of the SAA/CUA Manual in my amateur computer museum.

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