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Comment Re:Apple ][, rev 0 (Score 1) 857

Mine was an Apple ][, revision 0. It came with 16KB RAM and cassette tapes. We had to get the Sup'R'Mod RF modulator to use it with an old TV. It always displayed text with color tinges and had only 4-color hi-res graphics. Later on, I modified it with the circuit from Byte magazine to have 6-color hi-res graphics.

At the time, adding another 16KB of RAM would have cost $400. Floppy disk drives had only just come out, and cost $595, plus a hundred or so for the controller. We didn't get either until they came down in price.

Things I liked:
- It turned on instantly (although on a Rev 0 you had to hit Reset after turning it on, until you added a card with power-on-reset).
- The tape interface was relatively fast and very reliable. Although I'd always save a program on tape twice, I usually never needed the second copy.
The only time I had troubles was when I used a tape recorder with a badly aligned head. It would record and play its own tapes fine, but not other ones, and others didn't like its tapes.
- The disk drive was such an amazing improvement over tapes. It really changed the computer from being a toy to tinker with into a useful tool.
- Compared to the Commodore 64 or Atari 400/800, both the tape interface and disk interface were vastly superior. I couldn't believe that the Commodore 64's disk interface seemed as slow as the Apple's tape interface (at least, until you loaded an accelerator program).

Things I didn't like:
- The hi-res graphics were advertised as 280x192 with 4 (or later 6) colors. In fact, it's much quirkier than that. A dot placed in an even column is one color (maybe purple), and a dot placed in an odd column is a different one (green). Two dots placed side-by-side were white, mostly (in fact the edges were tinged with color, depending if the dots were even/odd or odd/even). Since the dots were stored as bits within a byte, and only 7 bits out of each byte were used, the 6-color mode would use the last bit of each byte to shift the other pixels of the byte half a pixel over, as a result changing their colors from purple/green to blue/orange.
By having the pixel position determine its color, Woz was able to get away with a relatively simple video circuity implementation. But it was a pain for programming and artistic representation.
- The sound output was as primitive as possible: touch a memory-mapped I/O location, and the speaker would flip states between cone in and cone out. To make tones required CPU-driven timing loops to toggle the speaker at appropriate times. Thus, for the most part, all game sounds consisted of short blips between other actions. Only very sophisticated games later on could do more continuous sounds.

I could spend all day reminiscing about how it used to be. It was a fun time, and I learned a lot about computing. There were many great games that used the power of imagination to bring you to worlds as interesting as any you'll find on today's PCs.

May Lord British and Tony Suzuki and many other game writers of the time always be fondly remembered!

Comment Why not require a minimum % residency to be legal? (Score 1) 211

If the lawmakers are really just concerned about companies doing lots of short-term rentals of otherwise unoccupied spaces, then why not target the bill at them specifically (by including a residency requirement) instead of just outlawing all short-term rentals?

Comment Re:TFA devoid of detail (Score 1) 25

The security advisory says that the update filters out QWERTY packets received from the mouse. My take is that it just prevents keystrokes from being input through the mouse interface.

It still doesn't mean that the interface is secure; it just has one fewer holes than it had before. If you want security, don't use wireless devices.

Comment Requirement should be Logic / Algorithms, not CS (Score 1) 209

What is important in CS is the unchanging core: logic & algorithms. Kids need to understand logical thinking and step-by-step problem solving.
Oh, and one more thing: documentation. Kids need to be able to explain to others what they've done.

Get that right; all the rest is window dressing.

Comment Re:Improve them (Score 1) 403

This, among others. If you're going to do videos, do them well. If you can't do them well, don't bother.

Have decent quality sound, properly leveled.

Don't just have wandering discourse: edit it down to the meat of the matter. (Don't waste our time.)

Never auto-play anything.

The list goes on...

Comment Re:therefore the roads should be redesigned (Score 1) 582

Many people say that the problem is the speed limit. It may be better to look at this from the other side: If, for proper safety of the neighborhood, the cars should only be going 25 mph, then the roads should be redesigned such that cars can only go 25 mph.

This can be done several ways:
- speed bumps
- adding islands to intersections that must be driven around
- extending curbs into the street to make straight streets curvy
- blocking off some streets (or making some parts one-way)
- etc.

Comment POE + USB Lipo adapter (Score 2) 81

It seems like you just need to combine your POE adapter with a USB "lipo" adapter.
The latter are meant to attach to a lipo battery (7.4V - 22.2V) and provide 5V for USB charging.
(Of course, you can use any DC power source as input, not just lipo batteries.)
You can search Ebay for "usb lipo mobile charger" to find them, starting at $5 for basic ones.

Comment "Big Nose" problem. (Score 1) 79

The displays on this headset are angled apart, which means that both eyes cannot see both edges of both displays. If the left eye can't see much over to the right (and correspondingly, the right eye can't see much over to the left), then this display will suffer from the "big nose" problem. It's like when you place your flattened hand perpendicular to your face between your eyes.

The number I'd like to see is what the 100% overlap FOV is. That is, what's the FOV where both eyes can see the same imagery?

Comment Re:Link to the drones (Score 1) 98

You should check out HobbyKing.com to see what kind of stuff is available (under "multirotors"). You can buy the parts at lots of places. I frequent Ebay to find deals, but there are many specialty online stores that sell this stuff.

You should also visit rcgroups.com and read up (again under "multirotors") to see what the community is doing and find reviews and answers to questions.

You can buy prebuilt, or you can buy parts and assemble. Figuring out what works with what can be a bit of a pain, since descriptions can be sparse. But most questions can be answered by searching rcgroups.com.

If you really shop for bargains, you could put together an entire 250 FPV setup for about $250. That's for the craft, r/c transmitter, camera with transmitter, video receiver with display, and battery with charger. But $300 might be a more realistic starting budget.

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