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Comment Learning to code (Score 1) 515

I bought a Sinclair ZX81 in 1981, and taught myself BASIC. I went on to Z80 machine language; an 8- bit word is easy to deal with; it made more sense than BASIC anyway. Then I went on to the scripting languages; along the way got some Java. Now I create silly apps in Lua (using Corona) that people actually download.

Comment Hitching a Ride (Score 1) 269

I had a friend, years and years ago, would go out to an airfield and "hitch a ride" on a private 'plane going to either somewhere he wanted to go, or (sometimes) to just anywhere the pilot was going that sounded interesting. He would have been about 19 years old then, like me. I was too nervous to try it on my own, and it wasn't the sort of thing that two guys could do in a small 'plane, so I never did it.

Comment XBMC is your only man ... (Score 3, Interesting) 420

As far as i'm concerned, XBMC is pretty much the only way to go here. I keep my media files (Movies, TV, Music) on a terabyte drive in my first generation Mac Pro and samba share them gigabit to a Zotac id41 running Openelec. Openelec is an appliance-like Linux distribution that installs quickly and does nothing other than run XBMC (there's no "desktop" except XBMC; you can control it via ssh). I tried Serviio, and a couple of streaming servers, but they don't always understand what a file is supposed to do and choke on it. Samba just shares files and lets the remote machine figure them out. XBMC figures everything out that I've sent it so far; it has a host of plug-ins (what they call "add ons") including one for the BBC iPlayer, and for the ITV player, and for Hulu and you can even control rtorrent from one of them. For the Beeb and ITV I use Witopia's VPN service which can be invoked from Openelec's command line if you know what you're about. Plays 1080p nicely on my 50", all sorts of 5.1 audio goes through a semi-decent Pioneer amp. Openelec is not for dedicated Linux tinkerers. I set the Zotac up originally with Arch Linux because, you know, "I'm a geek, uh huh, uh huh" and it was a huge mistake because I was updating the damned thing every 20 minutes the way Arch people do, and I put a desktop on it and installed browsers and so forth thinking that I'd have a neat fully blown computer there in my living room and I could surf and check my email -- fahgeddaboudit! It's an HTPC only these days, plays music and video. Those Zotacs are powerful little machines though. I have a friend in town does the same thing with a Pi.

Comment What the Law Says (Score 1) 292

I think that all y'all should read through the actual copyright law, or at least, check out Michael Geist's blog .

The max fine is 5000 canukshekels for all infringements prior to the lawsuit, but the minimum fine is $100, and the law contains language advising the courts to consider stuff like the impact of the fine on the defendant, and so on. Mr. Geist suggests that it might not be worthwhile for the MAFIAA and so forth to go to court only to be awarded $100 in damages.

As well, the rulings of that Federal Court in Montreal ordering the ISPs to hand over the names of subscribers (there was another case about 18 months ago in the same court, I believe) have never been appealed; eventually, that will wind up in the Supreme Court.

Comment And they wonder why there's so much piracy ... (Score 3, Insightful) 392

Seriously. This is why people download pirated versions. Even if you have a paid version of something, the damned thing "phones home" every time you launch it, the bozos are so paranoid. You can disable this in /etc/hosts, but it's still indicative of greedy grubbing stupidity. If they charged a third of the price, they'd sell 3 times more copies. Look what Apple did with FCP -- they made it affordable (yes, I've read the complaints, but it works fine).

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