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Comment OMG. White-Out, Liquid Paper, corrector sheets. (Score 1) 425

However I have tested myself on a computer, and find I can easily do 50-60 wpm now because I don't have to worry so much about mistakes.

OMG, yeah. I learned how to type on old manual typewriters, without a delete key like the later Selectrics had. Hit the wrong key, and you had to backspace, get out the Liquid Paper (or other correction fluid) and wait 5 minutes for the damned stuff to dry before you dared smack your ribbon against it.

I mourn that today's children and young adults will never know the tactile pleasures of playing music or videos on equipment which makes pleasant snapping and whirring sounds at every command - or potentially losing a fingertip when the reel-to-reel is fast-forwarding through a 20 minute tape - but I sure do envy the word processor as a first typing experience.

OTOH, there is no computer keyboard ever made which feels as satisfying as a well-maintained IBM Selectric. My IBM Type M keyboards are the best I've ever felt (this is being typed on a 1984 Type M) but still don't feel as nice as Selectric III.

Among my obsolete skills, I can also use a sliderule, edit videotape with a razorblade, test a vacuum tube circuit for proper bias, and do a mean A-B roll edit on non-timecoded U-matic VTRs. And I was born in the 1970s! LOL

Submission + - Learning non-GUI Event-Driven Programming

BigBlockMopar writes: Hey everyone,

I need to learn event-driven programming. I have the basics from University, but it was all GUI-events in Java.

I need to write a console-based application which will be able to respond to events from several hosts on a network and control some hardware accordingly. Event-driven seems to be the way to go, since each host can generate requests for service from the hardware at pseudorandom intervals, and I don't want to keep the hosts tied up waiting for the hardware to service them in a sequential order. Speed isn't an issue — we are talking about software which will manipulate physical objects, placing them in a position the individual hosts may analyze them (a potentially lengthy task).

At the moment, I'm toying with the idea of the hosts sending e-mails to the machine controlling the hardware, but there has to be a more elegant solution. I'm not much of a programmer (I'm good at hardware for real world data acquisition and control), but I'm determined enough to do it once I get a handle on the basics of the architecture I wish to implement.

I'm hoping someone out there can suggest a few online tutorials and maybe a development environment with templates for what I need to do, and give this "brute force and ignorance" programmer a few tips to make life easier.

The environment has to be Linux. I need the stability, security, and device drivers for my USB interface boards. I haven't decided on the language for the event loop — I'm thinking C++ or Perl, depending on the abstraction I think I need based on your suggestions — with event handlers being written in everything from Shell to Assembly depending on which event they're handling.


Comment Chainsaw in Locker (Score 1) 687

I found a chainsaw in the garbage on the way to school. Being the collector/fixer that I am, I grabbed the chainsaw and took it to school with me. My friends made jokes. None of the staff even batted an eye as a 14-year-old nonchalantly carried a chainsaw to his locker. I fixed the saw the next day in auto shop. And for the next 7 months, a fueled up and ready-to-go chainsaw sat in my locker because my mom would freak out if I brought home more "junk". A friend got on to a school bus with a rifle. It was seized solid, and wouldn't have fired at all. He walked right into the school with it. AFAIK, nobody freaked on him. It was to be used as a prop for the school play. Dave now has a PhD. Columbine really changed things.

NASA Running Low On Fuel For Space Exploration 282

smooth wombat writes "With the end of the Cold War came warmer relations with old adversaries, increased trade and a world less worried about nuclear war. It also brought with it an unexpected downside: lack of nuclear fuel to power deep space probes. Without this fuel, probes beyond Jupiter won't work because there isn't enough sunlight to use solar panels, which probes closer to the sun use. The fuel NASA relies on to power deep space probes is plutonium-238. This isotope is the result of nuclear weaponry, and since the United States has not made a nuclear device in 20 years, the supply has run out. For now, NASA is using Soviet supplies, but they too are almost exhausted. It is estimated it will cost at least $150 million to resume making the 11 pounds per year that is needed for space probes."

PG&E Makes Deal For Solar Power From Space 392

N!NJA writes "California's biggest energy utility announced a deal Monday to purchase 200 megawatts of electricity from a startup company that plans to beam the power down to Earth from outer space, beginning in 2016. Solaren would generate the power using solar panels in Earth orbit and convert it to radio-frequency transmissions that would be beamed down to a receiving station in Fresno, PG&E said. From there, the energy would be converted into electricity and fed into PG&E's power grid."

Submission + - Best Wi-fi Portable Browsing Device? 3

foxxo writes: "I'm a library worker, so I get lots of questions about our collection when I'm out in the stacks. I'd love to be able to access our online catalog and give patrons more comprehensive guidance without directing them to the reference desk. What options are available for a portable device with wi-fi connectivity, full-featured web browsing, and (most importantly) no cellphone-style activation and service fees? Size is important, too; I need something I can carry in my pocket, not a micro-notebook with full keyboard. (And I am a library worker, so low cost is key!)"

Comment Re:Net Neutrality in Action (Score 0, Troll) 269

And it's "multicultural", which makes the CBC-types feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Now if only you could find some way of making Albertans look like assholes, you could slot it between Little Mosque on the Prairie and Wild Roses and we'll have another show that nobody watches but gets government funding.

The guy from Little Mosque on the Prairie could meet up with some chick from Wild Roses and then he could cut off her head as a pay-per-view event, but still no one would watch. As with all CBC programming, it would be culturally realistic enough, but as with all CanCon, it's all bad lighting, all bad acting, all bad concept, all horribly written, and all horrific direction. Welcome to Canadian television. No wonder I have an illegal satellite dish.

The people petitioning the CRTC to expand CanCon are just bitter that they weren't talented enough to get a Green Card.

Comment Re:Do not bite, it's a gimmick! (Score 1) 117

Rem,ember this is one country without a domestic car concern...the only such country in the entire so called G8! Canada? Give me a break!

No, Canada has the Bricklin, and we all know how well that turned out.

You are right, you speak hard truths, but you're right. The Canadian market isn't big enough to support a car industry, except through reciprocal agreements with our best friends, the USA. As for the Japanese stuff, it's ASSEMBLED in Canada, much like Ikea furniture is ASSEMBLED in your living room - it's not a product of your innovation, testing, or manufacture: its factory is a slightly larger Allen key, that's all.

Detroit/Windsor builds some of the most innovative and technologically amazing cars of the day, and had historically done so. The Model T. The Cord. The Hemi cars. The Omni/Horizon. The Chrysler minivan. US leadership and design for a US market, but MANY American cars were built in Canada.

US/CDN cars are well-designed and very innovative. The killer for The Big Three is that when you have a poor quality intake manifold casting built by someone with a 9th grade education making $40+ an hour, you can't afford to scrap it. (Case in point: intake manifold on my Dodge Ram was full of bubbles; it looked and sealed like Swiss cheese. No wonder the truck never had any power and had burned out three sets of exhaust valves.) You have to deal with it - put it on the car and pray it doesn't come back under warranty. The unions have driven the Big Three into their current state. A sock filled with mashed potatoes could make a better brake piston than some of the work I've seen the UAW's people turn out.

You need to kill the unions to save the Big Three.

Pull a Reagan. Fire them all, replace them with a bunch of pimply high school kids who like to ask questions, and I promise you the cars will be better.

As for me, I continue to drive domestics. It's easier to fix bad manufacturing than it is to fix bad engineering.

Comment Re:Is it valid to compare an IP to address book? (Score 1) 258

The police using an IP Number to locate my address is no different than if they did a Reverse Phone Number lookup. If the latter does not violate my rights, then the former does not violate my rights either.

I disagree. If your IP address is by DHCP, it may change even more often than a teenager's cellphone number. How good is the ISP's record keeping?


Universal Power Adapter Struggling For Support 277

Ian Lamont writes "Last year, there was a lot of hopeful discussion surrounding an initiative to have the consumer electronics industry standardize their products on a USB-based universal power adapter devised by Green Plug. Eight months later, the effort has stalled. The reason: manufacturers have balked from using Green Plug's technology. '... Gadget makers seem to have no compelling financial incentive to adopt Green Plug's technology. It would require them to add Green Plug's chip, or similar hardware and software, into every phone, camera, or music player they build, making them more expensive and more complicated to build. Another stumbling block for manufacturers: A universal power supply would kill the market for replacement power supplies. Manufacturers sell these at a steep markup price to customers who lose or break the original one that came with the device, and aren't tech-savvy enough to procure a low-cost generic replacement.' Green Plug is now trying to drum up public outcry through a (slow) website, but the number of supportive comments and votes remains relatively low."

Comment Re:Gomco, Mogen, Plastibell. (Score 0, Offtopic) 1397

The most sensitive nerve cluster in the male body is at the base of the foreskin - and you don't have it.

Really? Ever had it? Ever had sex with it?

How about the frenum. All you guys jump up and down about that being the most sensitive part of my penis.

Neither one is sensitive. They're just *there*, in the way of the head and the shaft.

Well, I had 'em both cut off - the frenum, the mucosal end - and the only thing I regret about the whole thing is that it wasn't done at birth.

Your crappy sex life has to do with whatever whacked-out psychology you have. Blaming circumcision for your erectile dysfunction or your premature ejaculation is pure idiocy.

I wish I'd been circumcised at birth in your place, so I could have enjoyed its benefits all my life, and you could come to terms with whatever your failing is.

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