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Comment Re:it is harder to get high on (Score 1) 385

Perhaps it doesn't get you "high" but it is highly addictive. It was once used to wean junkies off heroin. Nearly every user becomes an addict. And once addicted, they become tethered to a methadone clinic where they must go and jump through hoops to receive their dose.

Now comes reports that methadone kills. It'll be interesting to see whether the FDA does anything. They dragged their feet until 50,000 heart attacks and untold fatalities occurred with Vioxx. But they pulled PPA based Sudafed, which had been sold for nearly 4 decades, off the market due to the potential for strokes.

Comment It can be done but most won't (Score 1) 473

You can work in tech into your 50s but the odds are against it. Keeping your skills current is a constant battle that will eventually wear anyone down. Changing jobs gets harder. Changing careers is an undertaking. As a tech worker in my mid 50s, I see mostly younger tech workers around me. My boss prefers to hire them and has said so. And with the current labor climate, older tech workers have little job security. To those smug individuals who think their skills are so great they'll retire a tech worker, I say they have another thought coming.

Comment data centers won't create jobs (Score 1) 631

Untold numbers of high paying jobs in the US disappeared as the US lost it's manufacturing base primarily because the leaders of US companies discovered they could vastly increase their profits by manufacturing their products in low wage countries.

The Apple facility only needs 50 highly specialized engineers and techs. Other than some of the admin, security, maintenance and other misc. personnel, that's pretty much all they need. It is unlikely many of the technical people will be found locally.

It is unrealistic to expect US unemployment/underemployment problems to be solved or even significantly mitigated building facilities like this. It is also unrealistic to expect all these displaced manufacturing workers to retrain to become technical workers or medical workers. Even if they did, there's only so many of those jobs to go around.

Comment Re:Gave up too quickly (Score 1) 394

Personally I'd like the test equipment spinoff to buy the trademarked name back. Id like to see a new line of "HP" spectrum analyzers or "HP" scopes. HP had a beyond spectacular reputation for test equipment years ago ...

Amen. HP test equipment was top notch. It was so well made, much of it is still in service. I have a model 400D Vacuum tube voltmeter and the legendary 200CD sine wave oscillator that can source 80Vp-p. Both still work.

HP also made the best calculators at one time. My 25 year old HP-15C calculator still works after decades of heavy use and abuse.

Can the HP brand name be salvaged? I don't know. Much damage has been done, maybe too much.

Comment fixation on cost cutting (Score 2) 598

Companies have cost-cut themselves into oblivion. They've outsourced themselves out of business. That demonstrates the folly of their business model. Look at the results. If your course of action results in your undoing, it is clearly wrong. And yet, they march like lemmings to the sea.

The worst part is by the time enough people realize what we've lost and why, it may be to late.

Comment incandescent light bulbs are not obsolete (Score 1) 685

CFLs have displaced incandescent light bulbs in many applications but incandescents still have their place.

CFLs have a warning on their base that putting them in enclosed fixtures such as ceiling fixtures and recessed fixtures can shorten their life.

I haven't seen any low intensity CFLs. There are still 15 Watt incandescents which can fit a standard light socket.

The CFL floodlights don't perform as well as incandescents. For home use, I seldom leave my outdoor floods on for extended periods. But when I want to investigate a sound, I want full intensity right then. The CFLs I've tried had a warm up characteristic.

I still like the look of incandescent christmas lights, especially the C7 and C9 flasher types.

LED stage lighting is a mixed bag. It uses less power and doesn't get nearly as hot but incandescent looks better. Some of the colored CFLs such as blue look really good. There's one club in the area using those with reflector fixtures.

I doubt we'll see incandescent lights completely disappear from specialty use or from use in harsh environments.

Comment Re:supposedly obsolete tech (Score 1) 685

Okay, the vinyl records, CRTs, incandescent light bulbs, and even the typewriter I can understand. But what could you possibly still be using that has vacuum tubes in it?

I have several Fender Guitar amplifiers which use tubes. I also have the mighty Ampeg SVT, the gold standard of bass amplifiers.

I have various test equipment which uses tubes:
HP 200CD Oscillator (can put out 80 Vpp) (!)
HP 400D Vacuum Tube Voltmeter
Eico model 1030 power supply

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There is no likelihood man can ever tap the power of the atom. -- Robert Millikan, Nobel Prize in Physics, 1923