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Comment Stained glass (Score 1) 321

Missing option: Stained glass windows. I can do very nice electronic soldering, but it's whether you can solder 1" wide lead came with a 250 watt Hexacon iron with a 5/8" tip that separates the men from the boys. Hexacon makes bigger ones. I think they're for soldering together battleships or something. Recent accomplishment: Rebuilding all the leaded glass windows in the Yale University Art Gallery.

Comment Re:Tower of Babel (Score 3, Insightful) 309

At any rate, whatever meaningful socialism there was in Hitler or in Nazism was wiped out ... during the Night of the Long Knives.

Whatever meaningful socialism there was in _______ was wiped out during ________

1) the USSR / Stalin's purges
2) communist China / Mao's purges
3) Cuba / Castro's purges

and on and on.

Socialism / Communism isn't a way of running a society. It is a method used to disrupt and destroy a society. The nuances and differences between socialism, communism and Progressivism are as meaningless as the nuances and differences between the effects of different types of nuclear weapons on a city. Socialism, Communism and Progressivism are a means to achieving totalitarianism, no more, no less.

Comment Windows 2000 (Score 1) 417

I used Windows 2000 until a few weeks ago. Rock stable. Ran everything I wanted. I just recently built up a new system (Phenom II X6 1100T / 8GB / SSD) to replace my Athlon XP 2000 system and bit the bullet and put Windows 7 on it. I got a 12 year run out of Windows 2000. Not too shabby.

Comment RS6000 boot times were horrible (Score 1) 557

The worst I ever had to deal with was an IBM RS/6000 Model F50 with a lot of SCSI cards. This was in 1998. Boot time was upwards of 30 minutes. It did these incredibly long self-tests of every card in the system. IBM didn't seem to understand that spending 5-10 minutes self-testing a SCSI card wasn't acceptable when there were a half dozen or more of those cards in the system ...

That system really messed with us. I'd come in at midnight to take the system down, and if there was any problem that required multiple boot attempts, I would be stressing about getting the system back up by 8AM. Nothing like being blasted by industrial strength air conditioning at 5AM watching the little LED numbers change over and over again. Once the system got up and running it was pretty fast (for the time), but oh my god the boot times.

Comment Re:no free energy (Score 1) 326

Go feel the air blowing through the outside-part of your air conditioner or the air blowing out of your refrigerator vent in the back or on the bottom.. It's warmer than the air that went in.. That's where the heat is going. Air conditioners and refrigerators separate hot from cold, they don't generate cold only. They actually make more heat than they make cold. The difference is equal to the energy in the electricity used to run the air conditioner or refrigerator.

Comment Grid storage at last! (Score 1) 326

It seems to me like this would be a good candidate for grid storage. Say you had a solar farm with both conventional solar cells and this new technology. When the sun shines, the regular solar cells both provide the product energy from the power plant, and also operate pumps that pressurize the hydrogen and oxygen coming off of the new cells. At night and when clouds come overhead, the system switches to fuel cells to burn the stored hydrogen and oxgen, regenerating the water in the process, and keeping the power plant producing electricity through the night. Thus, you overcome the biggest problem with solar power plants -- their intermittancy. Such a power plant, properly designed, should be able to produce continual power effectively indefinitely, barring extremely long periods of overcast weather. The "nighttime" capacity of the power plant would be a function of the size of the hydrogen tanks you could store on site -- and I believe that pressurized gas tanks scale upwards very cheaply and easily. As a bonus, the water in the system would be continually contained and recycled, making the system attractive for use in arid places like deserts where solar is most profitable.

Hopefully it will turn out to be cheap in practice and can be used this way.

Comment Re:What's with the Y2K snark in the summary? (Score 1) 498

Ditto. I worked for a university at the time. We upgraded every last speck of software in our IBM 370 mainframe facility in the months leading up to Y2K as IBM went through the operating system with a fine tooth comb sending out bug fixes, and we found and killed dozens of minor bugs in our local software in the months leading up to Y2K running a second level OS with the date pushed forward. Then Y2K happened, and the worst thing that happened was that an old mail program that was only used by old timers started showing people's new mail at the wrong end of the list. And everyone sort of felt like it was a big non-event and kind of made fun of it. It's no coincidence that that era was a high water mark for IT jobs.

Comment Re:Apollo Guidance Computer (Score 1) 498

Well if you're going to include surviving printouts that could theoretically be scanned, I have a complete assembly printout of the IBM APL/1500 operating system (fanfold paper, about 5 inches thick), dated 12/1/1968, but I certainly have no plans to take the time to recover the operating system from the assembly listing.

Comment Re:Code monkey or engineer? (Score 0) 545

Yes, but good architects draw fast because they get lots of practice. It's like playing an instrument, or athletics, or any other skill. The more you do it, the better you get. Good programmers usually can type fast because they program a lot. But it's the fact that they spend a lot of time programming that makes them good programmers, not the fact that they can type fast. Fast typing is a side effect of spending enough time programming that you get good at the physical mechanics. If you can't type fast, then you're like a guitar player who can't find the notes on the fretboard. It's a sign that you aren't practicing enough.

The last part of this comment makes me laugh. If you're sitting around "processing the rest of the design" while "code monkeys" do the actual programming, then you are not an engineer. You are a manager, and you are not doing the programming. You may think that you are doing the very important thinking part of the job, but actually it's your "code monkeys" who are working their asses off trying to implement the half-baked designs of the "engineers" who not only never get their hands dirty writing code, but look down on the "code monkeys" who actually write the code and make it work.

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