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Comment Re:Verizon (Score 1) 199

I take trips with my buddies each year where we fly to a big airport and drive around 1500-2000 miles round trip from there into rural areas on back roads.

We are a great cross-section of providers with Tmo, ATT, Sprint and VZW. I was the only one with service for the entire trip the last two times (NE states and NW states). ATT was next best. Sprint was the worst and Tmo was next.

My family takes a ~3000 mile road trip every summer. I've only been out of service once or twice in 7 years and those were in rural areas of Alabama or Oklahoma (IIRC).

I wouldn't give up VZW for anything.

Comment Re:Fortran (Score 1) 625

I'm not quite old enough to have used FORTRAN.

What does age have to do with anything? I took a computational linear algebra course in the late '90s that used FORTRAN nearly exclusively.

That said, I started out, like most kids in the '80s, with BASIC and assembly language (6809 and 6502, in my case). I started college early enough that the introductory computer-science courses were still in Pascal, but pretty much every course that needed to do real work used anything but Pascal...lots of C, with a systems-programming course splitting time between 8086 assembly and VAX assembly and a database course that introduced us to SQL (of course).

The computational linear algebra course mentioned above was a math course specifically for computer-science majors; other engineering students took a different linear-algebra course.

Comment Re: User's need to take responsibility too. (Score 1) 223

I still don't know how to make my mouse feel right, or stop many applications from looking horrible on a retina display.

I want to know what you use on Linux which makes dealing with resolutions and mice easier than a couple of clicks in OS X. If we accept your mouse thing as a realty, I could even follow along with you; however, saying you have applications which don't look ok on a Retina display is something which I simply cannot fathom.

Please explain.

Comment Re:Reminds me of the Pico Brewer (Score 2) 354

I kind of liked home brewing. But home bottle sterilizing was a fucking bore.

That's why I started kegging after a couple or three years. Sanitizing the bottles wasn't too bad (a trip through the dishwasher would suffice, either with heated drying or (if available) the sanitizing option enabled), but it's much easier and faster to fill one keg than 50+ bottles. You can also dry-hop in a keg.

Comment Re:Seriously? (Score 4, Informative) 354

why would someone buy a $400 machine that requires you to buy prepackaged produce to be squeezed out of it...?

Consider this quote from TFA: "Tech blogs have dubbed it a 'Keurig for juice.'" Then consider how Keurig machines and the coffee pods they use have sold over the past few years. Nobody ever went broke overestimating people's laziness.

Comment La Jetée (Score 2) 1222

The best science fiction movie of all time is a short (half-hour) black/white French film called "La Jetée" [translates as the airport's observation deck]. It is in the format of scanned photos with narration, like Ken Burns' PBS documentaries.

    A child sees a man crumble and die while visiting Paris Orly airport's observation deck in 1962. Shortly after there is total nuclear war. Because he is obsessed with this image of a man's death, he is selected to be a guinea pig in an experiment to send him time traveling into the future in order to get an energy source to restart civilization. He succeeds in moving in time, but always ends up in the pre-war era. There, he meets a beautiful woman and falls in love.

    It doesn't sound like much, but it is a true masterpiece. MIT even published a coffee-table book detailing every scene.

    It is super low-budget. One scene that shows the Arc of Triumph in Paris with a huge chunk blown out of it actually has a pin hole from a thumbtack displayed in it.

    David Bowie did a homage to it in video for a song from his Black Tie/White Noise album in the early 1990s.

    It is available on DVD from most big-city library systems.

Comment Re: Texas Instruments.. (Score 1) 857

the only way to choose in assembly was to use PEEK, POKE, and CALL from within TI BASIC

Did TI BASIC even have PEEK and POKE? Maybe it did and I just never knew what to do with them due to a lack of available documentation, but as I recall, those commands weren't in the console. They might've been in Extended BASIC, but I didn't have that cartridge back in the day. I have one now, as well as a bunch of other things (such as a PEB) that I didn't have back then, but a lack of space has kept it packed away the past few years.

Comment Re:TI-99/4A (Score 1) 857

Started with one that my parents had picked up cheapish ($150?) as the prices were starting to come down. Peripherals were still expensive as hell, though, and the console by itself didn't support much real work without them. Combine that with TI exiting the computer business a few months later and you can probably see where this is going: two years later, we ended up getting an Apple IIe (this time, with a couple of floppy drives, a monochrome monitor, and a printer), which got me through high school and a fair bit of college.

Comment 16 bits in 1979! (Score 2) 857

Proudly, my first was a TI-99/4A. And did I ever get every penny out of that thing, nursing it along until 1993 or so. Texas Instruments makes more chips (to this day?) than Frito-Lay. So of course their computer was something special. 16 bit TMS9900 CPU. Amazingly high quality parts and construction - literally cast aluminum around my 32k RAM expansion card. And they built-in owner loyalty by fostering and supporting users groups, even after they'd left the Home Computer market. TI knew how to sell to scientists and engineers; they clearly didn't know how to sell to the general public. And they kept the software model closed (any different from Apple today?). It was the very earliest days of the digital age; they failed in the market as much for social reasons as for design reasons. So, sadly, that machine becomes an evolutionary dead end. But what a machine. Look at TMS9900 Assembly Language.

Comment Re:VoIP with WiFi (Score 1) 99

So they're not enabling cellular service, but you can usually pay their extortion price for WiFi and then make all the VoIP calls you want.

Not if they block VoIP, which they usually do. They also usually block video streaming and other high-bandwidth services. You might sneak through with some obscure service nobody's heard of, but forget about using anything remotely popular like Google Voice or Skype.

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