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Comment Re:I don't understand. (Score 1) 277

Also, it wasn't until the early 60s that the earliest photocopiers appeared, courtesy of Haloid Xerox corporation, and a good decade after that before most people could usually get access to them for personal use.

That brought about a change in thinking. Prior, unless a print shop was going to get involved, you only really thought about making copies at the time of creation - via carbon paper, or mimeographs. People weren't used to the idea of creating copies of something after the fact.

The writing habits of authors and people like Roddenberry were already well developed. Today we think nothing of 'backing things up', but at the time it must have been a strange idea to them.

Comment Re:Given a choice in the 70's (Score 1) 277

Ahhh. David H Ahl's 101 BASIC games - those were written on a mainframe I believe, and required a little bit (not much usually) of work just to translate to the BASIC dialects found on the common machines of the time (Commodore PET, Apple ][, TRS-80, Atari). The Atari BASIC was the hardest of the bunch because it's string handling differed the most (not being based on the Dartmouth/Microsoft BASIC interpreters of the time)

For real fun, I remember at about age 14, taking a commercial game- Starbase Hyperion - that was written in Atari BASIC, but had a few 'anti-hack' measures, and undoing them to make it readable when listed (like coming up with meaningful names for all the variables - they were in a table that had been replaced with control characters).

Comment Re:Nothing unusual about CP/M (Score 2) 277

As I recall, it was common for the CPU in machines of that era to interact heavily with the Floppy Controller during the I/O process: listening for the sync hole (a real hole in the floppy), driving the stepper motor, transferring bytes, intra-sector timings, stop/start bits, etc. All of which could be further impacted by the system clocks and even the memory wait states used in that particular machine.

There were many early "homebuilt" CP/M machine from sources like HeathKit, Northstar, etc, so there could have been quite a few variants in terms of the actual magnetic data on the disk.

For some real fun, look up how the CompuColor II (circa 1979) controlled it's floppy disks -- it used a serial IO chip in developer/debug mode to save on having a dedicated floppy controller chip.

Comment Let me translate this for you... (Score 3, Interesting) 30

As someone who has made games for over 20 years, including mobile, and was responsible for a game in Steam's top 100 played over 10 years after it's initial release... let me translate this press release for you...

"We want a revenue stream sustained for 10 years without us having to constantly develop new games and enter into the lottery that is mobile games today.... ... We also want it to never rain during the daytime, or when we are out and about."

Having worked on some hugely popular titles let me just say that I've learned that despite all you do, you don't control your audience. You're in the entertainment business, no matter how good an entertainment product you have, and no matter how much marketing you are doing, you are not making something that is truly necessary in your customer's lives.

So if your players get bored, don't have as much time to spare, popular fads change, new fads sweep the popular conscience, technologies or platforms change, they don't have the money to spare, they want something new and more novel, or whatever... then life moves on and so do your players.

The idea suggested by the headline - that a game's life cycle will be longer just because a developer deems it should be, is ludicrous.

Digging into the press release, though, that's not what they are saying. They are saying they will design their games, technically and gameplay, with a long lifespan in mind. That means growing and evolving content - new levels, new content, new stories, etc. Ongoing active development, much like a long running TV show - never completely wrapping things up and always leaving the door open for what comes next.

Doing that means keeping a development team active for the duration.. which in reality is going to be for as long the game sustains a certain revenue level. If not, the game goes into "sunset" mode. Lots of mobile games are already doing this entire strategy.

Heck, I worked on an iOS game doing just that 3 years ago. It requires that your game develop a large enough *paying* player base early on, and that you sustain their interest enough to keep the IAPs coming, and do it on a regular and consistent enough basis. The whole whale vs non-payer thing comes into play, as well as newer, shinier competition. That means they will pull out all the (Skinner boxes, social groups/teams, etc) stops to keep players hooked and interested.

Great if you can do it, but there is no magic formula or guarantee that you will succeed, or for as long as you want to.

Comment Re:Really weird backward step (Score 1) 134

If your commentary on welding is referring to the fillets, I believe they are there to prevent a stress concentration due to the sudden change in geometry. I further suspect that the beams are non-prismatic because it is harder to model that way. If what you want to do is prove the capability of the 3D printing process, it is quicker to copy a known good design. Once they get their legs they will likely start re-thinking the basic shapes. Hopefully by then, calculation methods will have caught up enough so that you don't waste a lot of time trying to define all your little non-round, non-straight, non-uniform thickness jiggery-pokery.

My concern is quality control and (more specifically) material anisotropy. 3D printed parts are essentially all weld. I don't want to have to resort to (expensive) welding NDE over the entire part.

Displays

Ask Slashdot: Affordable Large HD/UHD/4K "Stupid" Screens? 330

New submitter LOGINS SUC (713291) writes Truly in the first-world problems category, I've been looking for large format (>55") HD/UHD screens for home entertainment. In light of the recent Samsung big-brother monitoring and advertisement injection concerns, does any reputable manufacturer still make "stupid" TVs? I don't want to pay for all the WiFi, apps, cameras, or microphones. I don't need it to have speakers. And at this point, I don't even care if it has the TV receiver functionality. All this stuff leads to vendor lock-in or is well on the path to obsolescence by the time I purchase the device. I prefer all of this non-visual functionality be handled by devices better suited to the purpose and I don't want to pay for screens including these widgets I have no intention of ever using, at all.

I've searched all the normal retail outlets. If I find anything, they are wildly expensive. "Computer monitors" fit the bill but are almost all 55") LCDs in the sub-$3,000 range anymore? Are projectors the last bastion of visual purity for home entertainment?

Comment Re:Thanks, assholes (Score 1) 573

Most of the "3d gun" nutters are specifically printing the lower receiver. Under US law, this is the only part of the gun that is licensed. The rest of it is all accessories. What these nutters are doing is printing the unlicensed receiver and then installing regular gun parts around it. In clear violation of the law, I might add.

Comment Re:Like many inventions ... (Score 2) 250

Yes, actually. There is a niche in the logistics business of moving pallets from where they are unloaded to where they are loaded. Also, as others have indicated, there are cottage businesses associated with refurbishing and recycling damaged/end-of-life pallets.Some are just stacked. Fancy operations will strap them into pallet sized cubes.

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