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Comment Re:Why pay the Microsoft tax? (Score 1) 217

Slashdot commenters are generally not good at reacting to abuse.

So the proper response is to join the NRA and come out with all guns blazing? Didn't work out well for Jimmy Cliff, did it (I here, but I disappear)?

Come on, we have all switched to Linux, moaned about Unity till it was scrapped, and use LibreOffice or Google. I have had Linux on my desktop since 1776. Looks like we are doing reasonably well.


Comment Re: Old (Score 2) 82

I have a J7, with dual sim, huge removable battery, SD card slot, etc. I do miss the "Note" feature but the curved screen edge is a serious no-no if you want something to draw schematics on.

Samsung also make models Ax to Xx, Yx, and Zx, for a wide range of "x". You can avoid the Sx without any significant pain. They could probably slim down the range without losing a lot of customers.

If you want significant computing power, used Sun M series mainframes cost under $1,000. I admit that that a 42U rack probably won't fit in your pocket, and the fans deliver 80dB background noise, but if you want cheap computing power, you probably need to make some concessions. Personally, I am willing to go without the extreme compute power on my Smart phone in the interests of battery life.

Comment Re:Way overhyped by the media (Score 2) 104

But if you can replace the transistors in RAM memory with light based technology, then why not the entire CPU?

Because I am way too busy filing a patent for "a method of blending unicorn poo with fairy dust, with the potential to operate on an industrial scale at a lower cost that some existing methods".

What is your excuse? <Slashpoll required here >

Comment Re:Seeing is believing (Score 1, Interesting) 202

A 1,000 W panel is its peak rating. It will give you about 300W average during daylight hours (in the tropics, not North London), so about 150W average over 24 hours.

Where you live is a lot different to here. Generally, we expect a house to average 4kW (over 24 hours) with no A/C. 5kW will probably only power one A/C in addition to routine loads, and a very small house has a 15kW gas boiler round here.

Electric heating costs 5 * the price of gas here. Even using an A/C in heating mode will cost you twice what gas would cost you.

Comment Re:Its called mass transit (Score 1) 168

Mass transit does not appear to pay for itself on the surface,

That is because it runs underground :-)

In reality, cars don't pay for the road, but rail users pay for the track. This is not a level playing field.

When I was a student (in the olden days), I conducted a (very unscientific) survey: I asked a large number of car drivers stuck in heavy traffic "Would you pay 50p to make the car in front of you disappear?" Approximately 90% said "Yes"., with a few saying, "I'd be happy to pay £1".

You need to explain to these voters that that is why they should subsidize rapid transit (or even appallingly slow buses).

And why Libertarians are daft as a brush.

Comment Re:Synchronous Error Handling and Core Dumps (Score 1) 467

Lucky you. I had to make do with an ASR33 connected to a remote Multics system connected by 300 baud acoustic coupler - which I repeatedly crashed for the whole 60+ userbase - by declaring a Fortran array with the name "ARRAY"!

It took several weeks for the operators to realise:

a) it was me doing it
b) that the name "ARRAY" for an array was not only illegal, but was not documented as such, so was not caught by the compiler, and brought the entire machine down by generating illegal (but not documented as such) opcodes.

I had assumed it was only my own instance that was dying each time I ran the program, and I got no diagnostics back other than

PXZ/*^%$....<no carrier>

which is not really very helpful, but was fairly typical of 1972.

And it was uphill both ways

Comment Re:BASIC (Score 1) 467

and floppy drives were too expensive to afford more than one?

Assembling paper tape programs often took more than 12 hours on early 8008 systems.

And Installing a new OS on my PDP11/60 (with dual 40MB hard disks) typically took 24 hours. I admit that is because most of the device drivers had to be assembled and linked, but it was still over 20 hours from when it said:

> now would be a good time to go and make a cup of tea or coffee (time zone dependent)

until it printed the next prompt. And all that time, the washing machine sized disk drives were rocking around like mashing machines on a spin cycle, and the whole machine consumed over 10kw.

When running, it theoretically had about the power of a 486, but supported up to 12 people using dumb terminals for data entry, and writing the results to 1/2" tape.

It was gradually replaced by PCs running the same Fortran data entry program on DOS, and an 11/34 to copy the 8" floppy disks to 1/2" tape. Which cost about the same as the (second hand) PDP11/60, but used a lot less electricity,

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