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Comment Re:Wow (Score 5, Interesting) 117

Yup, this sounds just like the reports of negative temperature. There, the distribution of particles was governed by a term like B*c*T, where B = external magnetic field strength and T = temperature. The field was suddenly reversed, but the particles didn't change their configuration immediately. The system looked like B*c*T for a while, but the field was now -B. So if you wrote the term as (-B)*c*(-T), it looked like the long-term equilibrium state at field -B and temperature -T. Of course, the system wasn't at equilibrium, so the math didn't really apply.

Comment Re:There is a part that is forever - bureaucracy (Score 1) 262

Politicians come and go and ideas are forever.

The problem is that while politicians may go, the bureaucracy they create does not.

Also, legislation (in case that wasn't implied already). For instance, the consensus on certain drugs seems to be that drugs are bad, because they're illegal, and they better stay illegal because they're bad. The same goes for things like copyright laws, with some people arguing that we shouldn't allow the Pirate Party in the parliament, because their agenda goes against current legislation. Because obviously the parliament should never do such a thing as change the law.

Comment translation: (Score 2) 36

"intel has sufficiently beat the stuffing out of certain 3 letter competitors in the market, and no longer needs to shill its compiler. please return when our CEO returns to shore after having exhausted his supply of caviar. It is at this time we expect to begin IDF18, where we will scramble madly trying to renew competition against Ryzen."

Comment Triumph-Adler Alphatronic PC (Score 1) 857

IOW, something with a Basic interpreter but none of those silly games of the Commodore machines some of my friends had (though it came with ROMs for chess and a Pacman-like game). Also, a manual in German which was great fun as in that year 1987 I had just started to study it as my second language.

Comment 16 bits in 1979! (Score 2) 857

Proudly, my first was a TI-99/4A. And did I ever get every penny out of that thing, nursing it along until 1993 or so. Texas Instruments makes more chips (to this day?) than Frito-Lay. So of course their computer was something special. 16 bit TMS9900 CPU. Amazingly high quality parts and construction - literally cast aluminum around my 32k RAM expansion card. And they built-in owner loyalty by fostering and supporting users groups, even after they'd left the Home Computer market. TI knew how to sell to scientists and engineers; they clearly didn't know how to sell to the general public. And they kept the software model closed (any different from Apple today?). It was the very earliest days of the digital age; they failed in the market as much for social reasons as for design reasons. So, sadly, that machine becomes an evolutionary dead end. But what a machine. Look at TMS9900 Assembly Language.

Comment Re:I'd happily pay $5 more for a SATA port (Score 1) 79

32K? Christ, your generation was spoiled.

I still have my old ZX81 with the 16K RAM pack. You have to put ice cubes in Ziploc bags and rest them on the plastic above the heat sink, or else thermal expansion makes the edge connector lose contact with the board. Of course you can always go old school and just use the onboard RAM chip with 1024 bytes.

Of course by 2050 we'll be cracking up at the thought of a Raspberry Pi- another British computer.

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