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Comment Not surprising (Score 1) 391

Microsoft never offered anything that was all that good (ok, maybe applesoft was ok, but integer basic was much cleaner code... we gave up a lot of elegance and speed just to be able to use floating point numbers, even if your program didn't implement them) - their success had to do with luck and a contract with IBM, in which Microsoft maintained ownership of the cp/m clone that they bought (we all know it as MS-DOS) and essentially rented to IBM. Now that they (MS) lack any kind of monopoly in the mobile space (and thus any kind of leverage on vendors), their products are doing about as well as one would expect in a more or less competitive market. If they would have had to compete in a competitive market selling MS-DOS and Windows, I would expect about the same so-so sales that they get now in the mobile space. Just compare Windows 3 to the old Mac OS. OK, they both seem horrible by today's standards, but Windows was a lot more horrible. I would say even horrible by yesterday's standards. It only did well because you could run it on your DOS PC.

Comment Re:Corrected for income? (Score 1) 380

Dumb people tend to end up poor.

I think it's more like 'Poor people end up dumb'...

Lack of educational opportunities, lack of opportunities in general due to cultural bias and class discrimination. I've seen so many kids (i.e., 18-25 yr. olds) come through the university with plenty good hardware sitting on their shoulders, but absolutely no clue as to how to think or even focus their mind. These are usually the poor ones (first in the family to go to university). OK, this is anecdotal, but I see it over and over.

Comment DTACK (Score 1) 422

Let me date myself too...

Fun for early teens at my dad's place:

Pascal on the DTACK Grande anyone?

Also, I still like to play Ulitma I and II once in a while on the old //e. I don't know what happened to our ][+, I think my dad git rid of it.
I still remember putting EA EA in one place (that's a 6502 NOP, twice) in two nibbles on the Ultima II Master to make it ignore copy protection (don't remember which two nibbles though). I did it with the Copy ][+ nibble editor. Damn, that was a good program.

Comment Re:Money (Score 1) 758

I literally grew up cooking squirrels over a campfire, writing 6502 assembly, and, by choice, I know almost nothing of .Net. I do know f77, C, C++, OBJ C, Python, and some other weird junk most people probably never heard of. But, I don't think I want to work for anyone who calls themselves 'Expensify' anyway. Whatever it is, it sounds kind of latest fad-ish, it probably won't last.

Comment Wow, this is totally ironic. (Score 1) 325

The whole reason AMD almost died and had to split into ADM (design) and Global Foundries (fab + debt), is that they made a deal with Dell to buy their CPUs and pulled everything from the channel to supply Dell. Dell then backed out and all the little guys who had orders in the channel were left without the cheap and good AMD chipsets they had come to rely upon - i.e. AMD burned all the little guys. So the little guys went to Intel - they had no choice really. AMD, meanwhile, having burned most of its customers and then getting burned itself by Dell, had nowhere to sell their chips. So revenue all but dried up with the customer base more or less gone.

Now Dell might buy AMD? Wow, how things change in just a couple of years. Dell couldn't have planned it better if they had actually planned it (I'm pretty sure they didn't).

Comment Re:Diesels already do this. (Score 1) 576

I just moved to the US from Germany. I replaced my Golf I had there with a new one from here. What a let down. Only choice = 170HP ~30 mpg, optimistically speaking - unless you want to spend 27-30 K USD on a diesel.

As for Polos, even the 100HP gas model beats a Prius (OK, just barely), but they are kind of small.

If you check out the Golf models at the above link, you'll see they pretty much all match or beat the Prius. Why don't they offer them here? (And don't give me any BS about tighter emissions regulations here - compared to Northern Europe, our environmental regulations are also sad and embarrassing. Besides, they do actually offer the GTI here -also sad compared to the euro GTI- which is using stratified injection, just like all the other euro models).

I asked my friend who works at the VW lab in Palo Alto about it (i.e. when will we be able to get the good stuff here) and all she said was that everyone asks them that.

Comment Re:Data to crunch (Score 5, Informative) 53

You have particles entering the detector every ~40ns and hundreds of different instruments making measurements, which leads to a ton of data very quickly.

Not exactly true. It's running at 40 MHz, so that's 25 ns bunch spacing. Further, you don't exactly have to 'crunch' the data as it comes in, there are multiple triggers that throw lots of data away based momentum cuts and other criteria before it ever makes out of the detectors.

In ATLAS, for example, there are ~ 10e+9 interactions/sec. The Level1 Trigger, consists of fast, custom electronics programmed in terms of adjustable parameters to control filtering algorithms. Input is from summing electronics in the EM and hadron calorimiters, and signals from the fast muon trigger chambers. The info is rather coarse at this point (transverse momentum cuts, narrow jet criteria, etc), and at level one the info rate is decreased in about ~2us (including communication time), from 40MHz to about 75KHz. Level2 now does a closer look, taking more time and focusing on specific regions of interest (RoIs). This process takes about 10ms, and data rate is reduced to about 1KHz for sending to the event filter. Here, the full granularity of the detector (the 'detector means all the bits - Inner detectors: Pixels, strips, Transition Radiation tracker - The calorimiters - The muon tubes at the outside radius) and runs whatever selections algorithms are in use. This takes a few seconds, and output is reduced to about 100Hz and written to disc for a gazillion grad students (like myself) to analyze endlessly and get our PhDs.

There is much more to it of course, but you can find info about it on line if you really are interested in the details. Have a look at the ATLAS Technical Design Report:

Comment Re:Really Useful? (Score 2, Insightful) 59

Whether the BOLD signal truly correlates well with neural activity is still a matter of contention within the medical community

True, and we should mention that the time resolution on fMRI is on the order of a second or two. This suggests also some significant time walk or smearing in the signal. The point is that minimum brain response time is quite a bit faster than this (a few tens of ms), and this is smaller than the resolution of fMRI.

That being said, if you don't have brain pictures in your grant proposal, your chances of getting a cognitive science grant are greatly diminished. So everyone tries to find some way to use it, whether it makes sense or not.

Comment Re:Labview (Score 1) 250

LabView is kind of an interesting concept I guess, but if you have time critical stuff, where order of operations is important, then you end up with lots of klunky nested loops that take up lots of screen. The overhead on LabView is insane, so forget about speed. You can access shared objects (.so files), dylibs, and dll's though. That helps if you need something to happen in a predictable way, and you can write your own drivers or numerical functions in C++ (like image processing or something, or I once wrote a special driver for a custom piece of hardware where I had to write I2C over two pins on the parallel bus). On the other hand, I have used it to control equipment in experiments (like fire some capacitors, read in the CAMACs, look at probes, etc). It's pretty good for that sort of thing. But I've been tending to scipy + Qt + my own c++ libraries with boost python wrappers lately. I would try different tools, most of the open source things are pretty powerful once you get your groove on (i.e. develop your own typical workflow, this is also true if you spend money. Think of how long it takes to get efficient with Mathematica or MatLab). The best ones IMHO are:

scipy with PyQt
root (with or with out pyhton, and the interpreter is kind of bad)
Qt for easy GUI creation (again, with or with out python)
VTK if you really want to get deep into data visualisation.

Comment Re:Qtiplot & root (Score 1) 250

Root is good, but I do get 'segmentation violation' errors a lot, accompanied by a core dump. It is often totally untraceable. I wouldn't say it's a "steaming pile if s**t" like the poster below me, by any means. I *RARELY* use the interpreter though, it might actually be a "steaming pile if s**t". But you can use the libraries right in your own C++, and some of the classes are truly great. Great histogramming, really easy to do graphing, easy function fitting (user defined as well as pre-canned functions), integrals, derivatives, you name it. The graphing is quite god. There is a Qt plugin for it too, so you can draw right on a Qt canvas. There is also a comprehensive python wrapper that comes with it, so you could do a PyQt-root analysis if you want, you can set it up kind of like an Igor experiment. It's actually really worth learning if you are a physicist, you'd be at a disadvantage if you didn't. Qtiplot? Ehhh.. klunky, I lose patience every time I try to learn it.

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