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Comment I guess I'm a luddite. (Score 1) 134

I"m a LUDDITE! I like small phones that aren't impossibly thin and obnoxiously wide and tall.. So yeah, I like like a 5S or iPhone SE. Thick enough to not have thermal detonation issues, thick enough for my fingers to actually grab to something other than a near knife-edge, thick enough to not destroy the chips within (touch-disease, anyone?)

5S / SE is perfection. It could be argued that 4 / 4S was perfection, but they were too heavy and in the hands of the clumsy the rear glass could easily break. Beautifully made, though - that stepped bezel - anyone else notice it was a dozen or so little steps milled out of the stainless slab? No? no one else notices little touches like that? Or like the 4 / 4S and 5 / 5S / SE have a very slight concave shape all around the periphery? Maaaaybe to let your fingers lift it from a surface easily?

Huh. I"m betting some of you did notice these little things.

Comment News flash: Average income is deceiving (Score 1, Flamebait) 124

The average income of 10th through 70th percentile - in other words, most citizens - is $32,245 / year (source, EPI Data Library - Wages by percentile.csv, 2015 [latest] row).

Over 40 million (out of 319 million, or about 12%) of US citizens are going hungry (feedingamerica.org).

The social safety net isn't safe, nor particularly social.

I'm sure we can expect relief from the Trump administration (cough... choke.)

But hey, let's worry about tech interns. My blinders need a workout anyway.

Comment Hey Slashdot: (Score 3, Insightful) 105

Slashdot Editors / owners / etc.:

o Please stop supporting paywalled sites.
o Please stop supporting sites with closed comment sections.

These things are bad for the web and the web's denizens -- of course not for the ethically crippled sites themselves, as we are their product, and both payment up and dissent down are multipliers to their bread and butter.

The paywalled sites are monetizing the news, and that almost always makes for biased reporting.

The closed comment sections make for echo chambers, and that creates an environment where fake news and agitprop flourish.

Same thing to my fellow slashdotters: if you support bad actors in bad behaviors, they will naturally persist. So think about that before you click through the next time someone thrusts a paywalled or comment-bereft site in your face.

Thanks for reading.

Comment Not quite dead yet (Score 1) 351

It means that we are now far more removed from access to the metal to even do a lot of the optimizations that we've done in the past.

Well... no, it means that you are, perhaps. Some of us still write in c or c++, and keep our attention on the details. You can tell you've run into one of us when the many-functioned app you get is a couple megabytes instead of 50, runs faster than the fat ones, and doesn't suffer from black-box bugs inherited from OPC.

I always thought that the user's CPU cycles and memory were things a developer was obligated to treat as the user's valued resource, and so not things to waste.

I know, totally out of date thinking. It's ok, I'm old, I'll die soon. :)

Comment machine code ate my neurons (Score 1) 351

But can you program in Z80 and 6502 machine code?

Yes. But more importantly, I can program in 6809 machine code. Including building all the index modes. Which, back in the day, is one of the things that saved me from having to design in, and then program, CPUs like the 6502 and z80, both of which are seriously anemic by comparison. But I prefer to program in assembler. Because I'm sane.

My affection for the 6809 ran so deep that I wrote the 6809 emulator you'll find here, which required me to implement the entire instruction set from the ground up.

But yeah, I can write machine code for about 10 microprocessors. And you know what? In the day... that was useful. I could read (E)(P)ROM dumps, I could cold-patch... but today, I just wish I could get the brain cells back. :)

Comment Re:Parts (Score 1) 351

I read the 1st volume when I was a high school student in the 80s. I knew Basic and Assembly and some Forth at the time. Book 2 and 3 weren't available at the library at the time so I never got around to read them. Anyway, my question is: what is MMIX, and how does it differ with MIX which was rather limited, even for the 6502 programmer I was at the time ?

Comment Re:!Revolution (Score 5, Funny) 263

The word revolution also contains the word evolution, and you might have noticed that we've evolved past the point of calling a paper printer a necessary component of computing today.

And the word "internet" contains the word "tern", so clearly it is built upon angry arctic birds with sharp beaks that dive bomb anyone who gets too close to their nesting grounds.

Comment Re:because (Score 2) 263

Indeed. I've ordered 3d prints online several times and as things stand there is no reason I'd ever do otherwise. The choice is, "have something produced using top notch hardware and finished by professionals", or "have something produced by crappy hardware, by you". The marginal cost may be lower if you do it yourself, but you have to plop down $1k first, so unless you 3d print a lot, you don't win even on that comparison. It's just not worth it.

If you run a business where you're 3d printing prototypes every day, that would be different. But regular for home users, I just can't see an argument for it.

Comment Re:It's always cost (Score 4, Interesting) 263

That's really a key issue. Most "standalone" things people want are not made of plastics, except for toys. There are a some things - for example, parts for a small homemade drone or whatnot, where strength is not important but lightness is. But most often, if you want something "standalone", you want it out of metal.

Being able to print replacement plastic parts for other things could be nice, mind you. For example, I've twice had to replace a plastic part on my refrigerator and it cost something like $50 each time with a nearly month delay, due to customs fees, shipping to where I am, etc. Having been able to print one out would have been great. Except, having a 3d printer alone wouldn't have been enough, because there's no "universal spare part database" that manufacturers upload to. A 3d scanner as well might have been able to enable reproducing the part from scanning its broken pieces, except that not only do you have to have one, the part was transparent, and many 3d scanners don't like transparent objects.

A "3d printing revolution" may come some day. But things are a lot more complicated than just making it possible to print something out of some material.

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