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Comment Bring back the brick-sized phones! (Score 1) 246

The big fat extended battery is one of the things I miss from my HTC Universal from before it got stolen.

640*480 VGA screen, touchscreen, QWERTY keyboard - albeit a lousy one - 3G, SDHC, IRDA, Wifi, Bluetooth, 2 cameras, one for video, one for photos - that phone had nearly everything. And with the 4.8Ah battery I had, not only did the camera still work and so on, but it ran for a whole long weekend of heavy use on a single charge. I could leave home for work Friday morning, go away for a weekend, and it'd still be going when I got back to the office on Monday morning to charge it. OK, so, it was fat with the big battery and no longer fitted in its case - but totally worth it.

The only snags were the disastrous keyboard - poor layout, but app keys for the various bundled programs in the main alpha block, so if you didn't quite hit the space bar, you left your current app in mid-sentence and entered the web browser or something - and the fact that it ran Windows Mobile. Which is utterly horrid.

My current Nokia E90 does more and has a better keyboard, but it has no touchscreen, can't charge over USB, lacks a standard headphone socket and if I use it hard its battery is dead in 5-6hr. If I use my wonderful media phone as an MP3 player or radio all day, and navigate using its GPS, before sunset it's dead - and I can't charge it without the special Nokia charger. Old ones don't work, they changed the connector size.

If I tether it to my notebook it works fine as a 3.5G modem - but its battery is dead in 2-3hr of use.

And no extended ones are available.

It's so stupid it's tragic.

Comment Re:Wolfenstein 3D? (Score 5, Interesting) 117

Not only Wolfenstein - which arguably was the origin of the engine of Doom - but other significant milestones are missing.

Firstly, Jez San's "Starglider", marketed by Rainbird. Possibly the first 3D game for home computers. ("Battlezone" ran on dedicated vector-graphics hardware.)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Starglider

David Braben's "Lander" and later the full game "Zarch" for Acorn's Archimedes were AFAIK the first /solid/ rendered 3D graphics on home computers:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zarch

Of course, Braben's Elite was the first computer game to use any 3D at all - Starglider was /all/ in 3D.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elite_(computer_game)

These seem to me to be worthy of a mention, at least an opening paragraph. So, probably, is Maze War (1973!) - just limited box-drawing, but a display of 3D and a widely-used technique.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maze_War

It doubtless inspired 3D Monster Maze from 1981 on the ZX81, a machine which didn't even have graphics as such:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/3D_Monster_Maze

3D Ant Attack from 1983, which also provided the engine for Zombie Zombie.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ant_Attack

Comment Re:Bike it (Score 1) 865

It's not some royal proclamation that can never be violated.

If you get sweaty, shower. (If you don't get sweaty, you're not doing it right.) If it starts to rain or whatever after you leave, shower. If there is no shower in the office, find a nearby health club or something and shower there. Probably still cheaper than the costs of motor transport.

If the weather is really inclement or dangerous, *then* you use a vehicle. There's nothing that says that normally doing one prevents the other.

And if you feel ill, then you probably aren't going to work anyway.

These are red herrings.

Comment Bike it (Score 1) 865

I worked a 7pm - 7am shift for 9 months last year, too. I lived 10 miles from my work, which was in the centre of London, one of the largest cities with some of the most congested traffic in the world.

I got on my bike.

With a month or so of practice, I could equal the time spent on the train - about 45min each way. If you get reasonably skilled, a bicycle can make better time in urban traffic than a car. It burns a thousand plus calories a day, and not only gets you fit, it saves money, as well.

If you're particularly overweight or unfit, try a recumbent. They are massively more ergonomic as well as vastly more aerodynamic to ride.

A daily commute of 15-20 miles each way is perfectly doable and it will transform your life.

It's also a great way to wake up at the start of the day. Beats the hell out of caffeine.

Comment Wow! (Score 1) 4

Well, I'm impressed, anyway. I'm boggled, actually.

If you ever get to the stage of either selling these things, or publishing the specs so that someone else can, it sounds like something I'd love to play with... :)

Comment Re:DLC = "Downloadable Content" (Score 1) 127

DLC is already a standard IT industry term, and for actual knowledgeable people who know about computing -- as opposed to semi-literate games weenies -- it means Data Link Control, which is a network protocol used by IBM SNA mainframes and peripherals and HP LaserJet printers, JetDirect print servers and other network-attached printers. It is also a layer in the OSI 7-layer network model.

What it doesn't mean is "downloadable content", because "download" is a single word.

So whoever came up with this needs a slap.
Businesses

Submission + - The job from heaven or hell in the Netherlands

FreshnFurter writes: "An original job opening in the Netherlands seems to be shoe in for some of the slashdot audience: http://www.nationalevacaturebank.nl/vac/1212231/?s key=mmwn

The company is rockingstone which apparantly makes Windows software too.

The opening is looking for a "Kettingrokende, atheistische, niet al te autistische Linux freak" (i.e. Chain smoking, atheist, not too autistic Linux freak). The pension plan is interesting too.: "No bullshit about pensionplans, you get that yourself. You get to choose what insurance company or bank gets to do you over."

More specifics on personality: 1) No guys with mustaches, 2) No idiots who implement major changes on a server on friday afternoon.

Slashdotters, what are you waiting for!"
Software

Submission + - Installing Software in Linux is a Headache

eldavojohn writes: "Ian Murdoch has started a series entitled "Software installation on Linux: Today, it sucks" that expresses the problems he has with installing software on Linux. He's noticed other blogs that mention using open source in Windows because it is guaranteed to come with an installer that "just works." A lot of Linux distributions out there have their own package deployment programs (RPM, APT, yum, etc.) but, as I've also found, nothing is guaranteed to "just work." The end of his rant points to the recent LSB conference in Germany with hopes that its Packaging Summit (December 6) will give the Linux Standards Base something to think about and hopefully address."
Windows

Journal Journal: The sudden appeal of XP 1

Having to work in a support enviroment, you often end up in talks about the latest thing that is going to hit you for support. Now, in my case, I socialise a lot with my co-workers and often we get together at parties and the subject of the latest thing to make our lives miserable comes up. Such is the case with Vista, but what is noticable is how we chat for about 20 minutes about features, hardware and software compatabillity untill someone mentions what he done to his XP partition to make (mo
Spam

Submission + - Spam volumes -- what's REALLY going on?

richi writes: "The sky is falling! The sky is falling! Spam has doubled / spammers are winning / spam is 80% of all mail / 90% of mail / 110%, etc. etc. etc...

*Yawn*

I'm getting bored with self-serving anti-spam vendors flinging dubious statistics around. Yes, spam volumes have increased recently, but doubled? No.

More at Computerworld: http://www.computerworld.com/blogs/node/4182"
Portables

Submission + - Matsushita Claims A Safer Li-Ion Battery

Anonymous writes: After millions and millions of notebook battery recalls this year, not to mention notebook fires, Matsushita says it has developed a safer way of mass-producing lithium-ion batteries. According to this story, the company says that it offers a "clean" manufacturing process free of the potential for contaminating battery packs; that's the problem Sony said it encountered when it ran millions of suspect battery packs off its assembly lines.
User Journal

Journal Journal: Hey, I don't Want That Futile Gadget

I hate Xmas. I feel sad at this time because the holidays. I feel people both so naive and hypocrite. I really don't find fun anymore at Xmas. When I was in London I saw the famous trend to greet 'happy holidays' instead 'merry xmas'. New times, when muslims are part of the market and diversity is on the tune. Now Jews are having chanuka peacefully. OK, that's nice. I don't complain about that. I am actually pretty unaware of it all.

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