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Comment Not just USB (Score 1) 299

Yes, I agree that hardware improves over time, but some specialized applications depend on the old hardware

Lots of old stuff depends on a hardware parallel port..NOT an emulated USB to parallel printer adapter

Even more stuff, mostly industrial, requires a serial port, and sometimes the USB to serial adapters don't quite work

The mass consumer market is not the entire computing market

Comment I started programming in 1972 (Score 1) 342

I'm still getting paid well to write code today. I realize that this may sound egoistical and boastful, but I have only met one guy in all those years who was as good as me..and on a good day, I could probably beat him

I encourage young people to learn programming. I hope we develop more powerful tools that allow us to more easily manage the complexity of software. I'm not happy that software talent is very, very rare

In order to move beyond the crappy, bug ridden state of the art, we need bold, creative new ideas (and no, I don't have them). What we don't need is another layer on the shit cake of one shitty framework on top of another

It's just a fact that I don't understand. Most people suck at writing software

Comment Started in college, in 1972 (Score 1) 515

Programmed in Algol, on punch cards, for a Burroughs B6700 mainframe. Learned circuit theory, logic design and assembly programming as well

Then, in minicomputer lab, learned how enter the bootstrap program, in binary, with toggle switches

After college, took a break from computers to run a manufacturing business

I returned to computers with an Imsai 8080, taught myself how to program it in assembly, and used it to build a control system for an aerospace test rig

Later, I built an 8086 PC clone from a bare circuit board (yes, back then bare circuit boards were available). Taught myself how to program it in assembly

Then, I taught myself the C language, and got a job writing wafer inspection software..image processing on a 4Mhz 8086 requires some serious assembly skills

After that, I learned the 68000, and used it as the controller for a machine used in eye surgery

Next, I used a variety of commercial computers and custom designed microcontrollers for controlling a bunch of stuff in the theme park business

Various hardware designs and control designs followed, including a telepresence robot, stored-value payment system with SQL database, lane tracking system for semi-autonomous vehicle, computer-assisted landing system for military helicopters, control and monitoring system for charging large industrial batteries, and the control system for high power microwave amplifiers used in satellite communication

TL/DR..Learned the basics in college, the rest was self-taught

Comment Yes (Score 1) 982

It works fine for almost everything I do

Definitely turn off all of the "Metro" crap, and uninstall as much of it as possible

Turn off cortana and as much tracking as possible. Usability telemetry is fine with me, as long as it doesn't lead to crappy spam ads

I only had one problem..Solidworks 2013 doesn't run reliably. So, I have a win 8.1 bootable drive for it, (with grc "never10")..bit of a pain

This discussion will eventually become moot, as MS more and more aggressively forces win 10

Comment No, Never, No! (Score 1) 267

Movie theaters are not pleasant places to view video entertainment

In fact, I can't imagine a worse place to watch stuff (OK, maybe Turkish prison)

To go to a theater, I need to drive through traffic, find a parking spot, wait in line, sit in a VERY uncomfortable seat, then watch the thing linearly, with no ability to pause or rewind

I'll wait for Netflix

Comment For many users, yes..but (Score 1) 299

Serial ports are still used in a LOT of equipment

USB-to-serial adapters work, but have a maddening array of annoying quirks. It seems like every time you plug one in, it gets a different COM port ID

Parallel ports are also used in a lot of specialized stuff (like low-budget CNC). NOT for printing, but for providing a somewhat high-speed, 5V logic level digital interface

USB-to-parallel adapters fail miserably in this case. They are programmed to provide a printer port, but some software uses the hardware I/O addresses, NOT the printer driver

Comment Nevada City, CA (Score 3, Informative) 464

Absolutely beautiful! I love living here!

We are 90 miles from Sacramento, and have a great community!

Our local ISP is in the final stages of approval for a gigabit fiber network. Once we have internet, we will have it all

Yes, new tech business are welcomed here. Our economic development council is active in encouraging tech businesses to come here

We have a strong tech history. The Grass Valley Group has been producing top of the line video equipment for decades

I just hope that we don't get overwhelmed. Part of the magic of this place is its smallness and lack of density

It's a difficult balance..more businesses will provide jobs and help the area.. or OH SHIT!, here comes the avalanche

So yeah, I strongly encourage a VERY FEW tech companies to locate here

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