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Comment Re:You're in trouble (Score 1) 14

No - they use a wireless pen with a pressure sensor probe to determine intra-ocular pressure. This is different.

The lens on the eyeball is a contact lens, along with a cap so that it keeps the eye fully open, and it presses up against the receiver in the slit lamp. This way they get a really magnified, detailed view of the retina - it's pretty much the same setup as when they want to laser the retina, lubricating goop and all, just not as long or occasionally painful, and with a different lens and holder to accommodate the .laser beam.

Kind of gross, but you get used to anything after a few dozen times, I guess.

Comment Re:experiment always work, even when they fail (Score 1) 11

I was thinking of making another run at politics, but it really IS messy, dirty, sleazy (it's been noted that it's the most corrupt jurisdiction in the western world - beats anything in the US, and we have several ongoing corruption probes), so that's not exactly my cup of tea.

I really, really hate giving up. I'm thinking that maybe some of the funk I'm in is a side effect of the blood pressure medication I was taking. I'm going to try something a bit different on the coding side and see what comes of it over the next 4-5 days. And I'm going to get back into writing stuff (that I can do with my eyes closed :-)

If I *had* a garden, the dogs would have made a mess of it by now ... of course, considering that one of them was easily jumping 8' fences as a puppy (and he's a lot bigger now) and the other one can dig under anything ...

Comment Re:experiment always work, even when they fail (Score 1) 11

Well, you're working on something.

Not really - it's one thing to write a quick post, another to stare at code for hours on end. My stupid eyes won't let me do the latter any more because of retinopathy, so I've been taxing my brain trying to figure out if there's life after coding, and if so, what it looks like.

Comment Re:Wait a minute... (Score 1) 14

Ouch! I guess I should count myself lucky.

Straight to the hospital (thank goodness for socialised medicine) ... it happens just after a 36 hour flight from Europe

So, which hospital, since we're both talking about Kanuckistan? I was seen at the Lakeshore, then the specialist clinic, then referred to the Jewish General.

Comment Re:What an ass (Score 1) 311

We've had large multi-user operating systems for decades now and people still don't seem to understand this basic principle -- if an interface is available to a regular user, it has to be vetted to ensure that it does not allow the user to do any more than what it advertises and that the effects of that are limited to things that the user is supposed to be able to accomplish.

What a load of horse puckey. This is a kid's computer for school use. Not a system to control an aircraft or nuclear power plant. "As much security as necessary, and no more". Besides, you should always leave some low-level fruit hanging out there as a "canary in a mineshaft" warning mechanism, otherwise you are forcing attackers to put on their best game face.

Comment Re:You're in trouble (Score 1) 14

It's been a LOT worse than it is now. Originally, the left eye was completely opaque due to all the bleeding.

Over time, with lots of laser photocoagulation (which isn't just to "snip the bleeders", but also to reduce the permeability of the retina to perfusion of O2 so that it doesn't promote new vascularization), the bleeding is now occasional, and pretty much limited to a "stalk" of fibrous tissue in the center (which they avoid lasering because that's where your sharpest vision is, and hitting that will really ruin your day).

The stalk, until it completely breaks down and is absorbed, will continue to exert some torsion on the tissues, so it will occasionally bleed - but nowhere near as badly as it did. So, I'll get lines of black as a "tubule" (for want of a better word - a blood vessel that has since stopped being a blood vessel, but left behind the epithelial cells that composed its outer surface) fills with blood, and when the blood flow stops, it will gradually fade as the blood gets absorbed by the vitreous and then removed from the eye as part of the natural ebb and flow ... or it settles out as "gunk".

Like everything else, it's all about risk management and playing the odds.

My problem is that the fibrous stalk is right on the fovea, so it's smack dab in the middle of my field of vision, which makes it a real PITA to work on a computer, as it not only interferes with the vision in that eye, but the other eye then gets over-strained. If the same problem were off to one side, I'd just ignore it.

As to whether this guy is good ... this hospital is the designated treatment center for optical critical cases, and they don't take ANY other cases. I saw one patient trying to get on the waiting list, and (since I'm friendly with all the women working the desk) we talked about it after ... the rule is simple - nobody who can get routine treatment elsewhere gets on the list. Not even if they're wiling to wait a year, 2 years, 3 years.

This particular doctor is the guy who teaches the specialists, so every visit, every patient gets seen by several doctors; yesterday was a "light" day (Monday is heavier) - so there was only the usual eye exam to see if there had been any vision loss since the last visit, q&a on changes to medications, etc., tests for internal eye pressure, stuff like that, then several doctors examining both retinas in detail using the slit lamp along with a lens thingee stuck to the eyeball, then the bright light and magnifying lenses and all that stuff, and an explanation as to what they've found so far, what's good, what's bad, and what's next.

Since the cause of the bleeding was advanced proliferative diabetic retinopathy, and not degeneration of the retinal tissue itself, but bleeding of delicate blood vessels that "had n business being there in the first place" and as such, were not well-supported against torsional effects from such things as looking in different directions, it's actually better for the vessels to snap and bleed, than for them to maintain structural integrity and continue to exert torsion on the retina (and possibly tear it) - that, if I understand correctly, is part of the "every time it bleeds, it's that much less likely to bleed in the future" conundrum. A blood vessel that is no longer fixed to the retina will eventually deteriorate and become part of the "debris" floating around, and hopefully eventually continue deteriorating to the point that it can be eliminated by the eye's natural processes.

For non-detail work (like watching TV) it's not really an issue - one good eye is enough, and the other one sees enough outside the central field that a big enough screen is okay, and the commercial breaks every 10 minutes gives an automatic "time out". Computer work - not so good. Even with rest breaks, there's still too much eyestrain, and it's also harder/impossible to do anything meaningful when you can't "get in the zone" for a good chunk of uninterrupted time - not to mention that using larger fonts means less code visible, so a lot more hunting around to find anything. It's not like in the "bad old days" when 40 columns was overkill for asm listings.

I've tried other work-arounds, like replacing some numerical values with constants to make it easier to scan quickly, but it's simply not enough to make up for what's lost. Life's a b*tch, I guess.

Just writing this post is a PITE (pain in the eye), because, unlike writing a story or article, I'm composing it as I write, instead of thinking about it ahead of time and then just committing it to text as a separate, shorter step involving less computer time. So I'm going to have to find some way to make a living either (a) writing, (b) stand-up comic, or (c) politician ... oops, b and c are redundant :-)

Comment Re:experiment always work, even when they fail (Score 1) 11

Thanks for the compliment.

I know what you mean about "my enthusiasm for diving under the hood is waning". At some point, it's just repetitive - switch distro, figure out how to get back what you've lost, time passes, switch distro, repeat ...

In one way, though, it's a good thing, because it prevents us from getting all ossified and seeing only one distro's "one true way of doing things." For example, since switching form suse to fedora, there are a few things I like (and a few I don't) that I kind of wish had been available under suse ...

That being said, my normal "workflow" just doesn't work so well under Windows, so it's only one or more of (a) frustration, (b) software compatibility (c) platform testing (d) hardware that would be a factor.

Seriously, if all it was was "tinkering under the hood", we could all just go back to DOS in unreal mode and have 4 gigs of ram per process (64 gigs total using PAE), since almost all 32-bit cpus support 36-bit memory addresses.

Comment Re:Wait a minute... (Score 1) 14

That makes sense, since the eye with the real problems is much more myopic to begin with. Still, I'll put up with "junk" taking a few minutes to "settle out" first thing in the morning over "opener 'er up and scrape it out", at least for now, on either eye. Still, with all the people who, like you, say it improved things, I'll keep an open mind if he recommends it.

That rubber band routine sounds really gross.

BTW - I think the term you were looking for was internal limiting membrane.

The retina is composed of 10 layers, from the outside (nearest the blood vessel enriched choroid) to the inside (nearest the gelatinous vitreous humor):
1 pigmented epithelium,
2 photoreceptors; bacillary layer (outer and inner segments of cone and rod photoreceptors),
3 external (outer) limiting membrane,
4 outer nuclear (cell bodies of cones and rods),
5 outer plexiform (cone and rod axons, horizontal cell dendrites, bipolar dendrites),
6 inner nuclear (nuclei of horizontal cells, bipolar cells, amacrine cells, and Müller cells),
7 inner plexiform (axons of bipolar cells and amacrine cells, dendrites of ganglion cells),
8 ganglion cells (nuclei of ganglion cells and displaced amacrine cells),
9 nerve fiber layer (axons from ganglion cells traversing the retina to leave the eye at the optic disc),
10 internal limiting membrane (separates the retina from the vitreous).

Comment Re:How can you kill that which is already dead? (Score 1) 11

Well, viruses that infect people are technically not living things, but we still say we "kill" them, even though we don't actually do that - just denature them at best by applying heat, etc.

But I think your description of "a Frankenstein's monster, hooked up to a defibrillator and heart/lung machine" might come close to where Canonical is heading.


Journal Journal: When bleeding eyeballs is a "Good THING" (TM) 14

I guess you learn something new every day ... today I learned that apparently, as long as it doesn't get out of hand, my retina bleeding once in a while is a good thing - it means that the torsional stress is causing "gunk" (the scientificky term) to detach from the retina, so of course some blood vessels will also bleed, but as long as they eventually stop, it's a good thing ...

Comment Re:I miss plain text, particularly for email (Score 1) 14

If the doctype is html, then the ony custom tag handling should be css styles from the associated style sheets, right? One example of a mistake in the standard is not allowing more than one title tag in an html doc - so you can't have a multi-part html document with a titles tag for, for example, each chapter.

Of course, there's nothing stopping someone from implementing a custom browser that violates the stupid standards and allows any tag, as many times as necessary ... but why bother - browsers are following the same trend as other tech - rises to a peak, then collapses under its own weight.

Comment Re:I'm sorry... (Score 1) 9

You may not want it after you've read it - it won't have the usual trollery and other fun stuff in it.

I just re-read the first chapter, which I wrote a few weeks ago and then left to "gel" a bit, and it's not bad ... not great, but not bad. Needs some editing, and to be split into 2., then I'll work on chapters 3 and 4 this weekend.

It might be fun to do it as a serial ... release a chapter every once in a while ... but then if I find that there's part that needs re-working to make the story flow better, it's too late to revise, so there's that risk - or challenge. Still, it would sure embarrass the government (the first chapter starts with something that should be totally impossible), so it's kind of tempting to do it that way.

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Numeric stability is probably not all that important when you're guessing.