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Comment Re:Only? (Score 1) 94

If we persisted then they would accede, but it always felt like we were forcing them to alter their well-worn lunch cycle and throwing the balance of the Universe out of whack.

Because you were.
What we call routine, they call ritual.

Just hand someone from Japan your business card improperly*... if it's someone high enough then your boss and your boss's boss may have to bow in apology** for not teaching you correctly the protocol of etiquette. Of course then you get bitched at for it. (totally worth it, my boss was a dick and this was a beautifully PA opportunity to make him suffer).

* Two hands, both corners of card pinched in index finger and thumb, card facing recipient, face up. Bow (30-60 deg, depending on your back, rank, etc.), look approx at recipients feet, present card.

** hold a 90 degree bow for 30 seconds.

Comment Re:Whose life? (Score 1) 83

Standard Auto loan terms are 3,5,and 6 year.
I would argue that the car is (should be) designed to last at least the duration of the terms of the loan, or more realistically 10 to 15 years...
Beyond that I would expect that there will be additional costs that the end owner is expected to pay? That's when the suspension is really due for an overhaul on most cars.

Comment Re:Bad journalism (Score 1) 68

You are correct, I have a line conditioner for my scope and atomic clock (admittedly a low end rubidium model) that is only a big-assed inductor and a capacitor. Works great at cleaning up AC, but I did assume DC-DC in my post since this was space-based GPS stuff and AFAIK the power bus on those is DC only.

Comment Re:having kids is dumb (Score 2) 490

Being married does not save on taxes.

It does compared to being divorced and paying extortion money via child support to an ex that refuses to work...
heh, ask me how I know.

And before someone says something about the CS comment, I have my kids half the time, but I bear vastly over half their expenses, even after 4 years where their other parent could have gained meaningful employment with the 6! (4x 4.0 AS, 2x 4.0 BS) degrees they have.

Comment Re:New hard drive? (Score 1) 612

I *loved* my ESDI drives. WREN III nominal 160MB drives with dual read/write heads on linear actuators (yes, I know, this was after steppers).
Formatted by using the debug routines in ROM on the controller, you could pick space or reliability. 62, 63, or 64 sectors per track with 2, 1, and 0 spare sectors respectively that the hardware could re-map for you.

Comment Re:bitwise math (Score 1) 612

Any time I've had to *really* tune something I've left the clear simple C code in a block comment in the source.
I leave a note: This code is not cruft, this is what the below sub with inline asm and crazy bit operators does but in a vastly more readable form.

As a matter of course I try to make those crazy optimizations as self contained as possible, ideally as their own sub.

Comment Re:Bad journalism (Score 5, Informative) 68

Noise filtering.
Often these DC-DC stepdown converters can leave lots of ringing on the DC Rails (bot input and output). The capacitors (chosen for their ability to both absorb the peak and fill the trough of the ring at the requisite frequency) are responsible for making that DC nice and smooth.
When they fail it can be an open (common, and problematic) in which case the downstream components and assemblies are subjected to EMI and ring noise that may be out of their tolerance and thus degrade performance (or ultimately fail them); or the caps can fail shorted, which more often than not quickly becomes an open rather violently... unless the power supply dies from being shorted first.

there's the easy reader version.

Comment Re:Something is missing (Score 1) 359

More deliveries per hour means a shorter work day unless other steps are taken, steps which may not always be possible.

The other steps would mean firing some drivers and making the rest do more deliveries. Did you think that UPS was run by Sister Theresa?

The other steps would mean not hiring more drivers and making the existing ones do more deliveries.

Comment Re:Against TOS (Score 1) 652

Actually I am well aware.
The doctrine is being abused.

This doctrine is not actually an exception to the Fourth Amendment, but rather to the Amendment's requirement for a warrant or probable cause. [...] This balance at international borders means that routine searches are "reasonable" there, and therefore do not violate the Fourth Amendment's proscription against "unreasonable searches and seizures"

And the intent of said doctrine is much more mudaine. The are supposed to be looking for drugs, illegal weapons, and proper visa papers... not trawling a giant-assed fishnet looking for any scrap of information that could be used to convict someone.

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