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Comment Re:Douglas Engelbart (Score 3, Informative) 86

Woz and Jobs didn't invent anything but they were on the bleeding edge of commoditization of computers. The Apple II was one of the first computers available to the general public, which the average person could buy and use. The Commodore PET came out about the same time. There were a couple of CP/M based machines available a few years prior; but, in the 1975 timeframe even a CP/M system tended to be hideously expensive. It was unlikely anyone outside of a serious hobbyist would buy one for personal use. Machines like the Altair 8800 were the smallest and cheapest computers available at the time the Apple II was introduced, and a complete system could easily cost thousands of dollars.

For the sake of full disclosure: I was around to see all of this (as a teenager) and learned on these machines.

Comment Re:Thanks, NRC! (Score 1) 233

I'm within 10 miles of a nuclear power plant with two reactors, a shipyard that builds nuclear powered ships, and a naval base with numerous nuclear reactors floating at the docks. I have not seen any such document for any of my four children. What I have signed is a waiver giving them permission to treat my children medically in an emergency, which is a no brainer. If your district specifically calls out treatment "in the event of a nuclear meltdown" then your school board has issues.

Comment Re:Not the best place (Score 2) 233

Actually, because of their nature nuclear plants tend to run at a lower thermodynamic efficiency than coal plants. They dump a few percentage points more thermal energy into the environment per unit of electrical energy produced. You need a somewhat larger thermal sink for a nuclear plant than you do for a coal plant of the same generating capacity.

Comment Re:From the laundromat (Score 1) 88

There's no engineering in your proposal. It's just an off-the-cuff suggestion. Can't be done at that site, without substantial infrastructure added; and, the fuel would need to be sent out for reprocessing before it could be fed into the breeder. There are no reprocessing plants handling commercial fuel in the United States.

Comment simple solution (Score 1) 381

Simple solution: everyone passes through a scanner on the way out. If they're carrying any form of flash drive (including smart phones or music players), hard drives, flash memory sticks, any form of CD/DVD media, tapes, floppy disks, or punch cards, then upon exit they are immediately electrocuted via metal plates in the floor. Problem solved.

Comment Re:Punch tape (Score 2) 329

Don't use plastic tape, use stainless steel. laser cut the pattern into it and it should last a long time, through floods and fire, hot and cold. Store it with a primer, in case you die and a future geek needs to decrypt the encoding. Avoid storing around people who like to play with thermite or explosives. Also avoid storing next to large vats of acid, unless treated with an acid resistant coating. I would recommend not living near a lava spewing volcano. Might want to avoid nuclear weapons detonation sites as well -- the steel might not survive that. Otherwise, I think it should be ok.

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