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User Journal

Journal Journal: Slashdot's double standard... 1

This post is mainly speculative, so I'm enabling comments for it.

Specifically, I'm wondering why Slashdot thinks it's OK to practice double standards.

Case in point: On Nov. 3rd, I submitted the exact same story as got submitted (and posted) here on Nov. 4th.

My submission was rejected. However, it's apparent that the second one, from someone else was, for whatever reason, considered worthwhile for posting.

I think any future goodies I run across will be sent to kuro5hin first. There, at least, they can be voted on by the entire readership as to whether they should be posted.

If I sound annoyed, it's because I am. I'm not going to lose any sleep over it, but I was under the impression that /. was a little more fair-minded than they've shown themselves to be to date.

Perhaps /. should let their readers vote on what is newsworthy and what's not? Lord knows this isn't the first time I've seen crap like this going on.


Journal Journal: Another "obsolete" item restored!

For a total investment of $29.00 ($20 for the initial purchase, and $9 for a replacement memory battery), I've restored an $8,000 or so late-80's Telephone Network Simulator (essentially a mini-CO in a desktop package) to full functionality. This thing is built like a tank, and was made by TAS (now owned by Spirent Communications), their model 114.

The idea is that it simulates all the functionality of an analog (POTS) phone line. It'll generate dial tone, ringback tone, ringing voltage to the destination port, etc. In fact, to get to the destination port, you need to dial its number from the source port just as if you were connected to a live line. The unit can also generate impairments (noise, reduced levels, line imbalance, etc.) to 'stress-test' whatever you've got hooked to it. Even neater is that you can remote control it via RS232 or GPIB, so it can be hitched to an appropriately-programmed computer for automated testing.

In the context of my lab, it'll be a great unit for line-testing cordless phones, answering machines, and other such goodies, and for proving what a crappy job some of the Taiwan import "fashion" phones do of handling marginal lines vs. older Western Electric (original Bell System) hardware.

Where did I find this cool gem, you may ask? At a ham radio/electronics swap meet, in the Bay Area. Who says such events are "dead?" ;-)


Journal Journal: It works!

Dang, I love it when things work, especially when it's things that other people hastily dub "obsolete" (a word which gets my personal vote for 'Most Despised' in Anyone's Funk and Wagnall's) just because they think it's too old to be useful.

Specifically, I restored a gorgeous example of well-built mid-90's technology to full functionality today, in the form of an Ancot DSC-216 SCSI bus analyzer. Fully self-contained, built-in plasma-discharge display, it can fully test and analyze any SCSI device or bus up to Fast/Wide-20.

"Obsolete" my arse! Stuff that's truly "obsolete" doesn't sell for over $6,500, which is what the 216's are going for according to a couple of used test gear sites I checked. I think I've got a grand total of $230 or so into it now, including shipping for some parts. Gawrsh, I guess Ebay really is useful for something after all... ;-)

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I find you lack of faith in the forth dithturbing. - Darse ("Darth") Vader