×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Comments

top

David Auerbach Explains the Inside Baseball of MSN Messenger vs. AIM

50000BTU_barbecue Re:Imagine all this brainpower (84 comments)

Uh, fine, you can still contribute to FOSS by working on less futile things.

yesterday
top

David Auerbach Explains the Inside Baseball of MSN Messenger vs. AIM

50000BTU_barbecue Imagine all this brainpower (84 comments)

if it were applied to actually useful things? We'd have the green leisure society figured out for the entire planet.

yesterday
top

Our Education System Is Failing IT

50000BTU_barbecue Re:Most definately (288 comments)

Too bad you don't get the "fixed that for ya" meme. And in what universe is "too spell" correct?

yesterday
top

Our Education System Is Failing IT

50000BTU_barbecue Re:Most definately (288 comments)

>I know what you mean. It drives me nut's. It's defiantly not that hard too spell.

Fixed that for ya.

2 days ago
top

Our Education System Is Failing IT

50000BTU_barbecue Re:Most definately (288 comments)

Why do people have such a hard time spelling "definitely"? Is it that hard?

2 days ago
top

Why Tesla Really Needs a Gigafactory

50000BTU_barbecue Re:You gotta love Elon (191 comments)

That's the kind of guts you don't see in Quebec. All a bunch of pussy crybabies here.

3 days ago
top

Ask Slashdot: Professional Journaling/Notes Software?

50000BTU_barbecue notepad (167 comments)

Seriously. Just put .LOG on the first line of the file and every time you open it Notepad puts the date and time.

3 days ago
top

Why Tesla Really Needs a Gigafactory

50000BTU_barbecue You gotta love Elon (191 comments)

Here in Quebec we have several "dynasties" of rich people who got tons of money from their parents. Like Pierre Karl Peladeau. The guy's a billionaire but does sweet fuck all with his money as far as I can tell. At least Elon is doing something with his money. I have no idea why his electric car brings up so much animosity with people though. The point is that here in Quebec we have surplus electricity, we have universities, we have electrical engineers, we have research into electric cars.

And we did fuck all with it. I wish we had one Quebecker with the vision of an Elon Musk. All we have is Guy Laliberte putting on a clown nose in space, and Pierre Karl going "full loon" in political mode. What a waste.

3 days ago
top

Ask Slashdot: What Tech Products Were Built To Last?

50000BTU_barbecue Might as well add (692 comments)

my bike. It was a higher end carbon fiber frame Look and I put on Spinergy wheels with the PBO spokes. It's 12 years old now, might as well call it an antique from a performance bike POV. Yet everyone who's biked with me has commented on how good it still looks and it rides great. I know people who bought newer bikes that simply failed after a few weeks. Either the hydraulic brakes failed or the chain jumped and took a chunk off the frame, etc. The only thing I've done is keep it very clean. That really makes a bike last.

5 days ago
top

Americans Uncomfortable With Possibility of Ubiquitous Drones, Designer Babies

50000BTU_barbecue We can already control the weather (155 comments)

Seeding clouds to make it rain is 1950s technology and recently Moscow's mayor made it snow IIRC.

5 days ago
top

Ask Slashdot: What Tech Products Were Built To Last?

50000BTU_barbecue Re:Old Tek oscilloscopes (692 comments)

Excuse me, the 547 is a 50MHz mainframe, but perhaps you have a lackluster plugin in there?

5 days ago
top

Ask Slashdot: What Tech Products Were Built To Last?

50000BTU_barbecue Old electronics lab stuff (692 comments)

It's not fair to compare commercial lab equipment to consumer-level stuff, but I will anyways. I have a lot of test gear from the 1960s and 70s.

Tektronix 547 oscilloscope mainframe, early '60s

Plugins for the above giving me 4 traces, or 1GHz sampling, 10GHz spectrum, sensitive differential input

P6042 DC-50MHz clip-on current probe

HP 6284A DC power supply

HP 5316A 1GHz counter

HP 3468A 6 digit DMM

It's important and easy to get the documentation. As it is, most of these things just need maintenance, and the occasional burnt parts are still available. Except for the esoteric stuff like tunnel diodes and the current transformer assembly for the P6042.

The 547 is going on half a century. This stuff was built like a car, lots of metal, a thick chassis, very large components.

5 days ago
top

The Internet of Things and Humans

50000BTU_barbecue In Montreal (55 comments)

I think it would be a good idea for every pothole to have its own IP address so we can track how big it's getting, for example.

5 days ago
top

Apache OpenOffice Reaches 100 Million Downloads. Now What?

50000BTU_barbecue For their next trick (285 comments)

get the damn thing to work properly. I seem to have the magic touch to get every obscure and unexpected behavior to happen.

about a week ago
top

Vintage 1960s Era Film Shows IRS Defending Its Use of Computers

50000BTU_barbecue Re:Uproar? (146 comments)

Alex 7000 from the Bionic Woman. Hilarious. And what about Cylons?

about a week ago
top

Intuit, Maker of Turbotax, Lobbies Against Simplified Tax Filings

50000BTU_barbecue Re:Automating away bureaucracy... (421 comments)

You think I'm the only one in this situation? And you're talking to me about statistics? Wow. Why are all low UID accounts owned by assholes?

about a week ago
top

Nokia Had a Production-Ready Web Tablet 13 Years Ago

50000BTU_barbecue In other words (267 comments)

don't be a Commodore.

about a week ago
top

Intuit, Maker of Turbotax, Lobbies Against Simplified Tax Filings

50000BTU_barbecue Re:Automating away bureaucracy... (421 comments)

"Think about this: thanks to incomes growing faster"

Stopped there. I make less than I did 15 years ago, and when you include the fact I no longer have a health care plan and matched retirement contributions, I make even less than that. And who the hell drinks milk anyways?

about a week ago
top

Study Finds US Is an Oligarchy, Not a Democracy

50000BTU_barbecue Have I got news for you! (814 comments)

Not just the USA. Pretty sure boring old Canada is as well. And Quebec, and Montreal, and my condo. Just the way it really is. Pane et Circem.

about a week ago

Submissions

top

What's on your hardware lab bench?

50000BTU_barbecue 50000BTU_barbecue writes  |  about 5 months ago

50000BTU_barbecue (588132) writes "I made a comment a few days ago in a story basically saying the oscilloscope is dead. While that's a bit dramatic, I've found that over the last 20 years my oscilloscopes have been "on" less and less. Instead, I use a combination of judicious voltage measurements, a logic analyzer and a decent understanding of the documentation of the gadget I'm working on.
Stuff is just more and more digital and microcontroller based, or just so cheap yet incredibly integrated that there's no point in trying to work on it. (I'm thinking RC toys for example. Undocumented and very cheap. Doesn't work? Buy another.)
While I still do old-school electronics like circuit-level troubleshooting (on old test gear), that's not where the majority of hobbyists seem to be.
Yet one thing I keep hearing is how people want an oscilloscope to work on hardware. I think it's just not that necessary anymore.
What I use most are two regulated DC lab supplies, a frequency counter, a USB logic analyzer, a USB I2C/SPI master, and a USB-RS-232 dongle. That covers a lot of modern electronics.
I have two oscilloscopes, a 100MHz two-channel stand-alone USB unit and a 1960s analog plug-in based mainframe that is a '70s hacker dream scope. But I rarely use them anymore.
What equipment do hardware folks out there use the most? And would you tell someone trying to get into electronics that they need a scope?"
top

What's the problem with tech in Canada?

50000BTU_barbecue 50000BTU_barbecue writes  |  about 6 months ago

50000BTU_barbecue (588132) writes "Why is Canada unable to sustain a technological lead? Blackberry, Nortel, the Arrow, we are able to be world-class for a while, but then, nothing. Are we still just happy to be a resource-based economy? Do we lack a certain something, maybe personality traits? What's the deal?"
Link to Original Source
top

What's the most depressing sci-fi you've ever read?

50000BTU_barbecue 50000BTU_barbecue writes  |  about a year and a half ago

50000BTU_barbecue (588132) writes "Usually sci-fi provides adventure with happy endings for everyone. But what story have you read that resonates years later because of some insight about human nature or society that's basically cynical or pessimistic? For me it's Fred Pohl's "Jem" with its sharply divided resource-constrained future world driven by politics, and its conclusion that humans are just too destructive to handle contacting alien life, especially if humans have the technological upper hand.

I'm wondering what other stories have stuck in people's minds. It can be a short story, a novel or an entire series of books.

(Sorry, I have no idea what the tags are supposed to do or how they work. I click and it becomes "!politics" or there's a picture of a hat. No matter what I type in "tags" it stays as "politics" with a "x" I can click to make it "!politics". I've rarely seen something so useless be so counter-intuitive. sci-fi doesn't work, but when I type "science fiction" the space bar apparently acts as en enter key so all it sees is science. I think my next submission will be about depressing user interfaces.)"

Link to Original Source
top

Why are old hard drives so expensive?

50000BTU_barbecue 50000BTU_barbecue writes  |  more than 2 years ago

50000BTU_barbecue (588132) writes "I was idly daydreaming about how I could build a small lapping/polishing machine when I thought of using an old hard drive as the platform. The mechanics and finish are perfect, just put a lapping film on the platter and power the thing. So I started looking for old hard drives on eBay, figuring the size and heft would be best for tinkering. I was amazed to find that the prices on 20 year old hard drives is staggeringly high. With that kind of markup, there has to be a reason. It's not just one model that could conceivably be of use in old but very expensive medical equipment for example. It's all of them. ST-506, MFM, ESDI, you name it, the prices are insane.
So there's either a market for a universal Flash->ancient HD bus interface (go for it!), or some people know something I don't!
What gives?"

Link to Original Source
top

Fusion power in four years?

50000BTU_barbecue 50000BTU_barbecue writes  |  more than 3 years ago

50000BTU_barbecue (588132) writes "A few years ago I researched fusion as a practical energy source in the foreseeable future for a school paper. I thought I had been quite thorough in finding and describing all the contenders starting with the usual suspects like Tokamaks and Polywell, etc. My conclusion, based on my skepticism was that, at best, real practical fusion energy was half a century away and would likely be just another energy source and not a panacea. Things like peak helium and the need for superconducting magnets really stood out as a problem. Somehow, the folks at General Fusion escaped my attention at the time.

They are proposing a "solid based" system of fusion using a large spherical reaction chamber filled with molten lead and lithium and then using acoustic shock waves to compress the core where all the good stuff will happen. I'm looking for insights and comments from /.ers in the know about the project. Is this viable? Can it produce power? If so, this is a huge deal."

Link to Original Source
top

50000BTU_barbecue 50000BTU_barbecue writes  |  more than 7 years ago

50000BTU_barbecue writes "I just bought a Logitech G5 mouse and I find that the scroll-wheel/middle-button is useless. It triggers a scroll before it detents, so using it as a button is very frustrating since if you don't click just *exactly* between detents and *exactly* in the right orientation, it will scroll before registering as a click. Of course this means you're not clicking where you thought. Should I exchange this mouse or are they all like that? Which mouse correctly implements a usable combo scroll/click wheel? This is for finicky CAD work on a large monitor rather than gaming, BTW."

Journals

Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...