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Comment Re:LEGO Dacta (Score 1) 136

I don't know. I was in 4th and 5th grade when I did the Dacta class and was probably in 6th grade when I got Mindstorms. I got it right after it came out, I don't think any of the new IDEs that are available now were available right at the release.

If I was still interested today, I'm sure I wouldn't be disappointed. In my Intro to ECECS (Electrical and Computer Engineering and Computer Science) Lab, we made a Mindstorms robot that had to traverse an obstacle course. The IDE we used still used "blocks" to represent functions, but it wasn't as simplistic as the LEGO IDE. I think you could even look at the code behind the blocks if you wanted to.

Comment LEGO Dacta (Score 1) 136

My brother and I went to a "class" thingy that used LEGO Dacta. Dacta was basically the precursor to Mindstorms, just less n00bified. You wrote the programs in actual code, not using LEGO's horrible GUI with blocks. Shortly after we completed the class two years in a row, LEGO released Mindstorms. I got it for Christmas that year and was very excited. That is, until I tried to program one of my bots. The stupidly-simple GUI for writing programs killed my interest in the whole thing.

My brother and I made some pretty awesome models including a conveyor belt that sorted based on color, a temperature controlled green house, and a black and white autofeed scanner. The scanner was epic. It was so cool to see the picture we drew show up on the computer screen.

After poking around, it looks like you can still buy the stuff:


Submission + - PS3 tops Wii in Japan for first time

An anonymous reader writes: Sony, which launched the consoles a year ago, sold 183,217 PS3 in Japan in the four weeks to November 25, topping sales of 159,193 Wii consoles, according to game magazine publisher Enterbrain, a key watcher of trends in the sector. Analysts said the latest data was encouraging for the prospects of the PS3, but it was too early to paint a rosy picture for the Sony machine.
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Submission + - Verizon RaisingUploads to 20Mbps in 16 FiOS States (

Tech.Luver writes: "Starting today, Verizon is offering its high-speed symmetrical FiOS Internet services to consumers in 16 states served by its advanced, all-fiber- optic network. The symmetrical services make possible equally fast downstream and upstream connections of up to 15 megabits per second (Mbps) or up to 20 Mbps depending on the state where the service is sold. At the same time, Verizon also has dramatically increased the upload speed of its fastest FiOS Internet services across its FiOS Internet service areas. These new services offer consumers downstream/upstream connections of either up to 50 Mbps/20 Mbps or up to 30 Mbps/15 Mbps depending on the state where the service is sold. Groundbreaking Consumer Symmetrical Services Expand to 16 FiOS States: On Oct. 23, Verizon introduced a unique, new, symmetrical Verizon FiOS Internet service for consumers, featuring an upload and download speed of up to 20 Mbps ( )"

Cheap New GeForce 8800 GT Challenges $400 Cards 402

J. Dzhugashvili writes "What would you say to a video card that performs like a $400 GeForce 8800 GTS for $200-250? Say hello to the GeForce 8800 GT. The Tech Report has tested the new mid-range wonder in Crysis, Unreal Tournament 3, Team Fortress 2, and BioShock. It found that the card keeps up with its $400 big brother overall while drawing significantly less power and — here's the kicker — generating slightly less noise."

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