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Comment Re:Not actually available now (Score 1) 243

Where can I buy R-Pi in a B&M store in the USA, so that I can actually get it for $5? And when will it actually be available? You left out the necessity to pay sales tax in most US states at B&M stores. So I had to pay $5.40 US Cash for mine, 20:30 EST on 27 Nov 2015 at a MicroCenter in Ohio. Of course they had already been sold out for hours, the only reason I got one was I ordered it online the previous day as soon as I learned the Zero was available.

Comment Re:So how long until we have Rasperry Pi Pi (Score 1) 243

the bare board costs $5 while options with SD card, adapters and all kinds of extras reach the prices like the one you listed. I fool around with computer electronics, and so have most of the required "extras" for the RPI Zero laying around here,somewhere. The only thing I didn't already have that the RPI Zero needs was a HDMI type C (mini) video cable.

Comment Re:More use if it had some network connection (Score 1) 243

Yesterday evening I bought a RPI Zero in person, at my nearest MicroCenter for $5.40, tax included. They had sold out many hours before that. I only got it because I placed an online order the day before as soon as I read about the Zero. Up until a few weeks ago, MC was selling USB 2.0 WiFi adapters for $5.99 before sales tax. Cheapest USB WiFi adapter they sell at the moment costs $9.99. My only grip in the HDMI type C (or mini) video socket, which is trivially smaller than an HDMI type A socket. An HDMI type C adapter or cable will cost far more than the Zero.

Submission + - UK's National Computer Museum Seeks Repairmen for BBC Micros (

tresho writes: 1981-era 8-bit BBC Micro computers and peripherals are displayed in a special interactive exhibit designed to give modern students a taste of programming a vintage machine."We want to find out whether people have got skills out there that can keep the cluster alive as long as we can," said Chris Monk, learning co-ordinator at the organisation.

Owen Grover, a volunteer at the museum who currently helps maintain the cluster of BBC Micro machines, said they held up well despite being more than 30 years old. The BBC Micro was "pretty robust", he said, because it was designed to be used in classrooms. This meant that refurbishing machines for use in the hands-on exhibit was usually fairly straightforward. "The main problem we need to sort out is the power supply," he said. "There are two capacitors that dry out and if we do not replace them they tend to explode and stink the place out. So we change them as a matter of course." General maintenance on the machines includes replacing keys that stick and the occasional component that fails. Thankfully, he said, there were few custom-built components in the machine so getting spares is easy. Harder-to-obtain parts are cannibalised from broken or faulty machines the museum has in its stores.

Comment Correcting a "check engine light" (Score 1) 258

I once had a "check engine light" go on in my 2001 F150 pickup a short time before it was due for an emissions test. I didn't have time to fully correct the problem in the time available, I did some online research and found that simply reversing the exhaust gas hose connections on the engine's Differential Feedback Pressure Sensor (no tools necessary) fooled the car's computer and temporarily corrected the error condition. Later I corrected the underlying problem.

Comment Liability insurance for self-drivers (Score 1) 615

No one has mentioned this. Surely a hefty amount of insurance will be mandatory for all such vehicles, under existing rules that apply to existing freight trucks. I suspect the risk premium ( being unknown at the start of this innovation) will prove to be extremely expensive, maybe as high was $40,000 per year per 125,000 miles of truck travel. Of course the corporations owning the trucks can probably pressure / bribe our esteemed legislators to exempt them from all liability, similar to what the ownership of for-profit nuclear reactors did many years ago. The first mass casualty incident in which a robotic semitruck kills a few dozen people will upset everyone.

Comment Re:my solution (Score 1) 79

My solution is also me. I answer all robocalls (even the pre-recorded ones) with "Hello. This call is being recorded". I've quickly gone from around 3 or 4 a day to almost zero. Guess they're scared of the fines, and it looks like they share information on who's after them.

I wonder how this works when robo fax calls ring you up.

Comment Re:No time zones, no DST, centons (Score 1) 277

Clock times are not merely a social convention, they are a societal requirement. I don't think my boss would accept my excuse of "I changed all my clocks" when I roll into work 4 hours late.

Societal requirements are another type of social conventions, utterly arbitrary. Showing up on time to please your boss is another convention, although probably necessary if you wish to stay employed.

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