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Comment First one I ever owned? (Score 1) 857

I still have the box it came in; it holds Christmas ornaments out in the garage.
A 8086 machine with 640kB RAM, single 5-1/4" floppy drive, CGA graphics adapter.
When I bought it I was torn between spending extra to upgrade to a 20MB hard drive or getting an EGA graphics card (16 colors!). I went with the 20MB hard drive; a wise choice in hindsight.
A month or so later I bought a real time clock adapter which came as a socket that plugged in underneath the BIOS ROM (?). It was great not having to set the date & time every time you turned on the computer.
Some time later I bought a math co-processor. The mother board had a socket for it so all you had to was plug it in and suddenly floating point math could be done at blazing speeds.

Comment Yes, not that it will ever happen. (Score 0) 448

These catch-all laws are frequently used to prosecute people that are not in favor with the current establishment, whomever they may be.
I think that the CEO of Burger King, since he's paid so much to be the standard bearer for that corporation, should take full responsibility when they fuck up.
It won't happen, of course; laws only exist to punish little people.

Comment At what point do people revolt? (Score 0) 120

At what point do people start sabotaging Verizon's equipment? At what point do people start insinuating threats to any of their neighbors that happen to work for Verizon? An what point do people erect a guillotine for the CEO and board members of Verizon? Not for a long, long time, if ever These things will continue until then.

Comment Re:Booting computers with switches (Score 1) 615

One of the first computers I operated was a PDP-8, complete with the lights and toggle switches. It was kind of a pain because one or two of the light bulbs were invariable burnt out, so reading back what you had already hand entered for the boot loaded was never a certainty. It was also a twelve bit machine and the instruction set (what little there was) was always written in octal. Our programming exercises were written out by hand on graph paper. When we thought it looked all correct we had to manually toggle it into those front panel switches. Once entered we could spit it out to paper tape to be re-used at a later date, because we were just that technically advanced.

Comment Re:Never had a chance... (Score 2) 78

The idea of modular phones or computers, where customers are expected to purchase proprietary modules to change their setup or just to upgrade, has been around since the dawn of the PC. Back in the 80's Byte magazine was filled with ads from computer manufacturers that claimed that you never had to buy a new computer, just swap out their custom (and therefore expensive) modules. Those manufacturers are, of course, not around any longer. It isn't possible to implement something like this without increasing size and manufacturing costs. *Every* time this idea gets flouted it fails miserably, but companies don't appear to learn from the past.

Comment Re:Whats wrong with the good old shopping trolley? (Score 1) 88

Because it will frequently fail. Try leaving that out in the rainy parking lot and see how long it lasts. It needs power, so now you have to recharge all your shopping carts every night, and of course they cost twice as much as a normal shopping cart. How does the customer dispute an error?, and yes errors will happen. Also, it's then so much easier to game the system to rip off the store.

This is one of those pipe dream ideas that always show up on TV commercials for big tech companies, yet nobody seems to ask the people that would be expected to actually use it.

Comment "It could help with lines,..." (Score 1) 88

It could, but it won't. Retails stores now only hire enough checkout clerks to keep customers from abandoning their shopping cart and walking out. When checkout clerks disappear, the stores will simply replace them with as few of these machines as possible. Your wait in line will still be just as long.

Comment Re:Karma (Score 3, Informative) 393

That would be well & fine for those areas from which the water was directly removed. The millions of trees the article is talking about, however, are mostly in the mountains and the associated foothills, upstream from where the water is eventually redirected. The trees get their water from precipitation, either directly as rainfall or from later snow melt. The years of drought have reduced the amount or rainfall, and removing every bit of infrastructure in the state's water system won't change that one bit, so please save you armchair engineering.

Comment Re:Self hosted (Score 1) 205

My IP, from Time Warner Cable, is effectively static, in that it doesn't change unless my cable modem is powered off for several hours, which hasn't happened in several years at least. Once the modem has a connection they have never cycled to a new IP address, and the few times it has happened I just updated my DNS records. Your mileage, of course, may vary. Still no longer run an outgoing mail server however, just too much of a pain in the ass to be worrying about.

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