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Comment Kermit could talk to a broken toaster... (Score 1) 146

Back when I was doing freelance contracting in the early 90s I relied on it. Unix, Xenix, DOS, compiled it on a bunch of things. I could use it to talk to anything, I reckon with the right parameters it could talk to a broken toaster. It may not have been the fastest protocol around but it WORKED. I was sorry to see it closed up, and I'm sorry to see it go.

Comment Re:Jerry Pournelle (Score 1) 185

Oh how this is sooooo close to the mark, wish I had mod points. Like others I gave up reading JP's column. Well that's not quite true, I scanned it just to see who he would be name-dropping this month.

Steve Ciarcia's column, on the other hand... that guy was amazing. Not that I ever built any of his circuits, but he certainly added that technical grunt to the magazine.

Comment Jules Verne wrote about this in one of his novels (Score 5, Interesting) 238

In Jules Verne's 'Mysterious Island' he writes about how his castaways build a civilisation on a remote pacific island. One of the things they build is a telegraph from scratch. They also build paddle wheels, make guncotton, determine the latitude and longitude of their island, make a secure house out of a cave behind a waterfall, grow wheat from a single husk and a lot of other things. And as a bonus, it has the return of one of Verne's most famous characters (read it and find out who!). This is one of my favourite books, I can definately recommend it to the whole slashdot crowd.

Comment European ExoMars rover has skinny wheels (Score 1) 100

...and for the life of me, I don't know why, considering Spirit has shown how easy it is to get bogged even with autonomous ground-plotting software. The Lunar Rover mesh wheels worked perfectly, were lightweight and durable, why not do the same? Alternately, if I were in charge of wheel design I would perhaps consider a more spherical wheel cross-section. I recall something I saw whilst browsing Google Patents which was a 1930's swamp buggy machine that had spherical wheels. The softer the terrain the further it sank down, which in turn increased the ground contact area. Seemed like a good idea to me.

Comment Re:Punch in the eyeball (Score 1) 347

Wish I had mod points, parent is absolutely correct. Stop complaining and trying to find some panacea for your architecture problems. It seems you want to have something you can show your client 'There! it works on THAT browser!' instead of thinking about the common denominator. There's no way I'd be happy having to use not just a particular browser, but a particular version of that browser - who are you trying to kid? The client and the user, it seems. Sorry if this seems harsh but that's my opinion.

Comment Re:Purpose is not stated (Score 4, Informative) 362

Amazon.co.uk sold both downloads as loss leaders. The 40p limit applies to the wholesale price, not the retail price.

  - I pay Amazon 29p
  - Amazon pays Sony 40p (or more?)
  - It counts towards the chart
  - Amazon hopes my retail experience was good, and I'll come back for more music downloads in future. This time at a profitable price.

Everybody's happy.

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