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Comment Clearly something is wrong here... (Score 5, Funny) 353

... because just before drive production went offline I finally outfitted my new home server with 9TB of storage for just $420. Pretty much my entire life, it's been that once I go and buy some computer hardware, two weeks (or however long the return period is) later, the price is guaranteed to be cut significantly (or a much better version is released).

Someone needs to check the alignment of the universe.

Comment Did anyone notice? No Hard Drives in Sales Adverts (Score 2) 304

Something I noticed for the last three weeks was the absence of hard drives specials or sales in the weekly adverts from retailers like Fry's electronics.

When newegg sent out their "November Madness" and "Black Friday" emails to subscribes, there was *not a single* hard drive to be found in the sales.

Normally I'd try for a witty or insightful comment here, but I just don't have much more to say as I don't know if it more due to profit taking on the retailer's part, or if they are more concerned about running short/out of supply in the near future.

Comment We may never get to perfect emulation (Score 1) 227

very coincidentally, I was having a conversation about Atari 2600 emulation last night, and it was suggested that "perfect" emulation of the early consoles might be impossible due to the change from CRTs to LCD TVs (and monitors).

The culprit in this case is the latency added by digital displays (and PC style video hardware) and packet-based input devices (USB, etc).

On pre NES hardware like the Atari 2600, the games would (at times) be synchronized to the video output signal of the CRT (see for a discussion), and they also had specialized video hardware which often did collision detection between various video elements (sprites, missiles, backgrounds, etc) meaning that results were detected as the frame was outputted, and available to the game code instantly .

This *can* be emulated perfectly by the emulator/ PC CPU

But these games ran their main loops at 60 hz (or 50 for PAL), and many of them required near perfect reflexes and timing.

Once the emulator has completed and rendered a frame of the old console game, how long until the player actually sees the result?

The answer is: It varies.

Will there be a 1/60th second delay before the video card swaps the rendered frame to the front buffer?

And how long will it take for the front buffer to be sent over HDMI/DVI to the LCD Tv set or PC Monitor? another 1/60th of a second?

And how long before the TV or monitor actually displays the frame? Another 1 or 2 60ths of a second? more? (The TV/Monitor takes time to buffer, filter/process and scale the image). You usually don't notice this on TV sets because the audio is buffered and delayed so it stays in sync with the video.

And now that the next frame is finally visible to the player, he/she can sees that they need to react to save their on-screen character, so they press the controller appropriately.

And how long does it take the USB adapter/controller to send to a packet to the PC, and for the PC to process it and make it available to the emulator? Compare that to the original hardware where pushing a button or joystick caused an individual circuit to open/close and whose status was polled immediately and directly by the console CPU. Maybe it's fast enough, maybe it adds another frame of latency.

In the end, with emulators we likely have a longer feedback loop from the emulator to the display to the player to the controller and back to the emulator compared to the original console and CRT displays, and many old games just won't play the same as a result.

We can emulate the game perfectly from the standpoint of the hardware simulation and audio/visual display, but still not get the play experience emulated perfectly because of changes in the feedback loop to the player.

Comment Re:Recording should be a basic function... ? (Score 3, Interesting) 74

I was under the impression that there were no public APIs for getting at the audio data from the call in progress,specifically to keep people from making apps that could record calls due to legality issues (wiretapping, etc, depending on your location and jurisdiction).

The "recorder" programs that are out there recording directly from the mic, and are usually not able to pick up the output from the speaker (and if they do, it's usually very faint). iPhones / iOS lack the capability for the same reasons.

I think a lot of people would find it very useful, for a number of various reasons, to have the ability to have their calls automatically recorded, with metadata of who, when, etc, stored in .WAV or other easily playable format, and automatically synced with their PC.

Comment I have pancreatic cancer.. (Score 3) 471

.. and trust me, I'd say not being a billionaire sucks more.

A billionaire not only has people to help get through each day, but there are other people to research possibilities and provide the best possible care.

However, for me, it sucks more because I don't have the money (or the time) to do all the things I want to do, to see all the things I want to see in this still very beautiful and wonderful world. Nor can I care for those nearest me in the way I want to.

I wish SJ the best and hope he recovers from whatever ails him.

Comment Re:Movie Madness (Score 2, Interesting) 186

Neat concept for a BBS game.

I'll bet no one here remembers "CompuTrek" hosted on Computalk TCS in the Dallas/Ft.Worth Area circa 1986-1988. Up to 8 players squaring off in a real-time version of the old 'Star Trek' games (on a 64x64 sector grid if I recall correctly). The BBS itself was run on a cluster of 8 Atari 800's, sharing a Corvus 20 MB hard disk via a multiplexer, (and with a homemade synchronization device attached to joystick port 2 of each machine no less). The guys with 2400 baud modems had a definite advantage.

Whenever I hear "Galactic Empire" I always think of the TRS-80 game from br0derbund (conquer the 19 other planets in 1000 years) without FTL.

 

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Woman Trademarks Name and Threatens Sites Using It 273

An anonymous reader writes "Be careful mentioning Dr. Ann De Wees Allen. She's made it clear that she's trademarked her name and using it is 'illegal... without prior written permission.' She even lists out the names of offenders and shows you the cease-and-desist letter she sends them. And, especially don't copy any of the text on her website, because she's using a bit of javascript that will warn you 'Copyright Protect!' if you right click on a link."

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