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Comment Re:ZX81 (Score 1) 857

Had that problem too - the 16KB expansion glitching during typing. However, there was just enough space inside the ZX81, under the keyboard, to place the guts of that expansion module, and once the proper connections had been soldered, no more problems. All that thanks to my HAM dad.

That couldn't have been the standard Sinclair 16K pack... those RAM chips stood quite proud and the board was folded in half so it was quite long

Comment Re:ZX81 (Score 1) 857

My first computer was a Sinclair ZX81 back in '82. I still have it in the basement... Unfortunately it didn't work any more after an attempt to solder the infamously wobbly 16k RAM pack in place with a ribbon cable.

Mine was a ZX-81 as well. My 16K pack survived my soldering. I was quite proud of a hack I did that mapped a speaker into the ROM copy area. Basically a few gates to trigger in the correct address range and a flip-flop to control the speaker. A simple POKE could turn it on and off. After that, some assembly code to play different pitches, and I was set to add sound to my games!

Comment Shoot the messenger (Score 1) 395

If Hollywood was creating a stream of innovative, original movies that might only appeal to a percentage of the viewing audience, his argument might have some merit. But when the Hollywood model is sequel after sequel with the odd reboot thrown in so we can make more sequels, I want to know if a movie is crap.

I can remember CHiPs when it first screened on TV. Couldn't tell you any storylines, but I'm pretty certain it was nothing like the drek I'm seeing advertised now. I don't need to see a Rotten Tomatoes score to avoid that one, but I'll be interested to see how low it can go!

To me, Ratner complaining about Rotten Tomatoes warning me away from his film is kind of like the pregnancy test kit manufacturers complaining about Australia's TGA (Therapeutic Good Administration; kind of like the FDA) warning that stick pregnancy test kit's don't work (as happened recently). Instead of railing against web sites that inform consumers about the quality of his product, Ratner might be better served if he made a better product.

You know, kind of like how the free market generally works.

Comment Re:given their track record, i doubt it. (Score 1) 73

Azure: failed to compete with aws/ec3/rackspace.

And yet we're seeing an uptick in Azure installations for Dynamics 365 for both new clients and existing AX2012 clients.

I guess it depends on what you mean by "compete", but Azure has already become a critical piece for many, many companies.

Comment Re:Scary stuff (Score 2) 279

I mean, there are plenty of bits of progress that don't take us back to the dark ages being proposed.

For example, lets invest heavily in solar, wind and nuclear power.

Even those are opposed by the coal/oil drilling nut jobs.

Q: What did South Australia have before candles?

A: Electricity.

Have a look at the South Australian experiment in renewable energy: http://search.abc.net.au/s/sea...

Comment It's a Sinclair... what did you expect? (Score 3, Insightful) 42

Us old-timers who grew up with Sinclair machines are shocked: late, under-performing and funky keys and you expected anything different?!

Every Sinclair machine has had a horrible keyboard: the ZX-80 and ZX-81 was diabolical; the Spectrum 16K / 48K awful; and the Spectrum+ & QL merely horrible.

Every single machine was late, buggy and idiosyncratic enough to make you wonder if Sir Clive simply should get a better dealer.

BUT they were cheap and relatively robust. The BASIC manuals were typically better than anything else available. There was lots of software and other people who owned them. As an introduction to computing, the Sinclair machines were wonderful. I credit my ZX-81 for being the launch-point for where I am today (ERP technical consultant).

Comment Re:Overboard, Sad! (Score 1) 358

A drone is a complex shape and its weight is distributed over a comparatively large area.

For anything other than a toy-grade drone, the primary mass is the battery, which is concentrated in one area.

While crashing it will be taking a complex path to the ground.

Complex path? They fall straight down. My worst crash came from an in-air propeller failure: it disintegrated. The three remaining propellers and the flight controller worked hard to stabilize the machine, but even with all those forces working hard it dropped like a rock.

Comment Re:Overboard, Sad! (Score 1) 358

If it truly was an accident and everyone was acting in good faith I think this is a rather severe overreach by the sentencing party.

Even if it was, it was highly preventable. The risk of failure of these things is well known - the battery can run out and it can plummet and fall on someone's head. Or in this case, a poor pilot can crash the thing into a wall and have it fall on someone's head.

In other words, avoid flying the things above crowds of people because the high risk of injury. The FAA and the drone's instruction manual should make that pretty damn clear.

As a drone pilot, I know that the danger of a decent camera machine simply running out of juice and falling out of the sky is minimal. The pilot gets multiple warnings, and the machine will auto-land if necessarily: just have a look on YouTube for people racing into rivers, lakes and oceans to save the machine as it descends.

However: a decent camera platform is GPS stabilized. Think for a moment how well your stand-alone GPS unit functions with moderately tall buildings around: I can see my position jumping around by half a block at times. So the machine thinks it is hovering at a certain location, and the GPS suddenly says it's much further away. The machine will try to get back to it's position, and that's when you get a building hit, which trashes your props and causes the machine to fall to earth.

So: You DON'T fly over people; you DON'T fly where GPS / GLONASS is sketchy.

He should have known better.

Comment Re:Okay - that was quick. (Score 5, Insightful) 895

This is like a presidency on amphetamines.

This is like a presidency at amature hour.

The really stupid thing is that for all the shaking-up that has been done to world leaders, the One China policy remains; Israel is still scolded; refugees are still being accepted; and there is no replacement for Obamacare on the horizon. For all the bravado, he has achieved nothing at the cost of the US's image and brand. Put another way, far from being the anti-Obama he portrayed himself to be, he has arrived at exactly the same policy positions.

The #1 thing he could do right now to show some statesmanship is to get to California, stand by the Oroville Dam and declare US infrastructure be his priority. Forget the Great Wall of Mexico. Here is a genuine crisis that is symptomatic of a deeper problem, and here is a genuine crisis handed to him on a silver platter. He want to build? Build. He wants a short-term sugar high on jobs? Employ people to build. Yes thre is a cost; but what the heck; borrow the money. He could probably borrow enough to do most of this work and still be able to say he didn't raise the national debt as much as Obama did.

But instead, he tweets about Nordstrom and how unfair they are to Ivanka.

Comment Re:Okay - that was quick. (Score 4, Informative) 895

You're wrong.
It's illegal for a private citizen to engage in diplomacy for the US.

You're absolutely right. But that isn't what undid him.

1. He lied to Pence about his son having a security clearance, causing Pence to repeat that lie publicly
2. He lied about the content of his conversation with the Russian ambassador.

#1 put him in Pence's sights. #2 ensured the outcome.

Comment Re:message from other hackers (Score 1) 531

We can debate how much influence the Russians really did have, but I'd say the Wikileaks emails did Clinton tangible harm.

Hillary won the "popular" vote by several million votes. The flyover states that handed Trump the presidency were never going to vote for her anyway; all Trump did was encourage them out to vote en masse.

I fail to see the impact of Wikileaks here.

Comment Re:"Suggesting" ... (Score 1) 715

And you aren't concerned that a foreign country directly altered the outcome of an election here?

I think this claim needs material demonstration that it actually happened.

HRC won the "popular" vote, so the majority of voters didn't care about WikiLeaks or what was revealed.

The fly-over states (which handed Trump the presidency) are the states he worked hard in (and HRC ignored), mostly because he knew he could get some big results for smaller investment.

These are the same states that didn't care for whatever celebrity endorsement HRC was trotting out that day. If they don;t care what Oprah, Ellen or Lena Dunham have to say, why would they care about WikiLeaks? The message there was "jobs, jobs jobs".

In other words, Bill Clinton was right: It's the Economy, stupid. Not the Russians.

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