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Comment Re:Utility software to the rescue... (Score 1) 273

I've dug through my old floppies for a program a former employer of mine, PC-Kwik, made, but never released that allows swapping an almost unlimited number of floppies in and out in place of more hard drive space... That should hold off the hard drive crunch, for me, for at least an hour or two...

damn - and I just threw out a whole case of floppies - still have some 8" though - do you need some?

Comment Re:Define loudspeaker (Score 1) 135

Having owned a stereo store back at the cusp between tubes and transistors, I immediately classed "loudspeakers" as something you purchased separately, at a premium, and attached to the sound source as one of the options in crafting a custom stereo system. At that time, if they didn't cost at least $100 each, they were not worthy of being in the store, and you were urged to go to Radio Shack or Sears. Those with built-in amplifiers may qualify but I didn't count the two speakers on my desk hooked to my computer as they are neither loud nor terribly good.

Comment Ask the vendors about bufferbloat too (Score 2) 125

One of the major effects of bufferbloat on wireless is reduced ability to usefully deal with lots of clients connecting to the same AP.

All the major vendors should be aware of what is going on at and have something in place to ensure that their products will reflect new updates soonest when things get fixed. This is an ongoing problem that crept up on the internet tech community and there is work in progress to deal with it but it will take time.

See (for example) Bufferbloat - Dark Buffers in the Internet, 1/20/2011

Comment Phone app + bluetooth = hearing aid (Score 1) 698

OK - in-the-ear aids are nice - but (and I don't need a hearing aid) I run around with a blue-tooth headset on much of the time (we have hands-free law for driving here in BC) so...

1 - custom fit? I got 8 different ear moulds for the basic unit - pick one and suffer while my ear adapts

2 - custom frequency response? - Are you telling me that a 1+ GHz processor can't do the math for umpteen different frequency bands and adapt if/when needed?

3 - patents? Digital signal processing has been around for a lot more than 20 years - we used to use the Telebit Trailblazer modem (M68K processor and signal processing chip) back in the mid 1980s - and it broke the audio spectrum down into 256 discreet bands at that time!

So... if you can't afford an in-the-ear unit, someone please do up an ap for the smart phones and bluetooth!

Comment Recent ad for $500 hearing aid (Score 3, Interesting) 698

My wife has a hearing aid - so I'm sensitive to this.

When she got it, we were fairly well off - just sold a company and to be frank, I didn't notice how much it cost.

recent problems with it put me on the front lines - and getting a bill for $800 just to fix is gave me a lot of angst. I have to say I railed at the person on the front counter quite a bit considering I know a lot about analog, digital, integrated circuits, and such - and basically told her that IMHO the components she was quoting as retail in the $3000 range were worth about $10 or less.

Then she loaned us an "over the ear" unit while the in-the-ear one was out for repair - and when I went to give it back, said "keep it" - so confirming that the actual hardware cost is trivial (unit is about 3 times the size of the current one but otherwise similar capabilities - and given the progress in IC units, represents maybe 3 years' progress)

So... when I heard an ad on the radio last week for an in-ear hearing aid for $500, I figured "about time" and so the poster is correct - there is a revolution coming.

Question is - what patents will be held over the heads of those trying to break this cartel - because it truly must be a cartel.

Note that I can now (despite the eye-glass cartel of yesteryear) purchase more than useful eye-glasses in various basic diopters at the local dollar store - to the point where I have enough around the house that I have achieve "maxiumum vapour pressure" of eye-glasses (i.e. there is a pair at hand any time/where I need them)


Comment 4 seasons - just don't know what order they come (Score 1) 454

Here in Vancouver, we typically get 4 seasons: too cold, too wet, too dry, just right

We just don't know when we'll get them.

Take the Winter Olympics last year - February and we got almost no snow, 20C temperatures and tourists running around in shorts and T-shirts.

Or "Summer" this year - that was an extension of "too wet" until after the middle of August - and now that September is here, looks like it might extend for another month or two.

Snow in May, warm weather at Christmas, love it.

The saying goes - if you can see the mountains it is going to rain. If you can't see the mountains it is already raining.

But I wouldn't live anywhere else.

Comment move to GUI was step backwards (Score 2) 567

I'll never forget the point at which the GUI took over from the keyboard for such things as bold, italic, and other things. Prior to this - the likes of WordPerfect were fast and efficient word processors because your fingers never left the "home" row and all commands were done with key combinations.

Now - type something, move right (or left) hand to the mouse - highlight - move mouse to menu - select - press mouse button - find "home" row again and start typing.

No wonder kids today use short-forms and misspellings and such In the mean time - I take full advantage of what key-combination commands there are - and get a lot more done

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