Slashdot: News for Nerds


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The Almost Forgotten Story of the Amiga 2000

Anaerin Re:SCSI madness (177 comments)

The thing is, that was SCSI's fault, not the Amiga's. Dealing with DIP switches and termination was a problem no matter what OS you ran, or who made your hardware. Amigas had AutoConfig, which would (for Zorro I/II/III cards) allocate DMA, Interrupts and IRQs automatically at boot-time, along with auto-loading firmware and drivers. It was so good, in fact, that Intel copied it and called it "Plug 'n Play".


Ode To Sound Blaster: Are Discrete Audio Cards Still Worth the Investment?

Anaerin Re:No. (499 comments)

See, the thing is, that "Front panel audio" connection is running through a wire inside the case (Where all the RF interference from hard-drives and fans comes from) and is entirely unshielded. So it gets affected by everything going on inside the case.

about two weeks ago

On the Significance of Google's New Cardboard: An Idea Worth Recycling

Anaerin Re:Focus? (42 comments)

Well, as the phone (that you slot into the "front" of the contraption) already has a suite of magnetometers, gyroscopes and accelerometers, it can quickly and reasonably accurately track head movement. There's also a hold for the phone's camera to look out, so it can be used for AR purposes (and the camera can be used to augment the head-tracking above).

Of course, what I'm waiting for is for someone to add some kind of "Steam In-Home Streaming" (or something similar) support for the phone, so you can run Oculus-supporting games on your PC and have the video sent over WiFi to your phone/HMD, which would be the perfect "Killer app" for this system. And the chances are, someone (Possibly even Valve) are working on this right now. It might exacerbate the lag issues (what with WiFi latencies and encoding/decoding latencies being added to processing latency), but it would be palpably better from a "freedom of movement" standpoint (and possibly a weight standpoint) than a Rift.

about three weeks ago

Google Demos Modular Phone That (Almost) Actually Works

Anaerin Re:Hey, AmigaOS has a gift for you... (126 comments)

Okay, so here's a scenario for you. I've just built a nice new Ara phone. It has a computing module, a camera module, an LTE/GSM+SIM module, a 802.11a/b/g/n/ac module, 128GBs of storage, a touchscreen and a fingerprint reader.

It's the first time I've put this device together, with brand new parts out of the box. How am I meant to download the drivers? I can't use the WiFi, or the cellular modem, I don't have drivers for them yet. And I can't display any kind of configuration, because the display isn't set up either.

The "phone" has the main OS pre-loaded (I'm presuming a bare kernel on the Computing module, as that's what would decide what version of binaries and the like would be needed), so it can boot, but there's no functionality on it to mount the storage, or bring up the display, or even to start the WiFi and/or Cellular data, because there's no drivers for that yet.

The way I'm suggesting means that all the drivers are compartmentalized and available from first boot. The moment you slot a new module in it's ready to use. And while you can update the software onboard, you don't need to download software to get the system up and running. The on-module flash would also be locked into read-only mode for regular operations, and only unlocked as read/write when an update is required.

about three weeks ago

Google Demos Modular Phone That (Almost) Actually Works

Anaerin Hey, AmigaOS has a gift for you... (126 comments)

It's called Autoconfig. Essentially, Autoconfig does IRQ and address assignment (And is so good at it that Intel copied it for their "Plug'n'Play" system), but Autoconfig does more than that. It also initializes the firmware and loads it in. And the firmware for each device then contains the necessary libraries to (at the very least) get the hardware running. So, for example, hard-drive controllers get their drivers loaded and the hard-drive becomes available as a boot device, network cards are initialized enough that PXE booting works, graphics cards are started up and displays initialized, sound cards are initialized, etc.

So, essentially, every piece of hardware would take care of it's own drivers and NVRam config. WiFi module has WiFi drivers on it. And so on. The configuration software was not included on-device, but there's next-to-no reason why that couldn't be on-device too, as the price of flash is extremely cheap these days.

about three weeks ago

Machine Learning Used For JavaScript Code De-obfuscation

Anaerin Re:Biggest beneficiary: Minecraft mods (31 comments)

  1. Minecraft is written in Java, not JavaScript.
  2. The MCP (Minecraft Coder Pack) already has a deobfuscator built in (kinda sorta)

about a month and a half ago

A Bike Taillight that Goes Beyond Mere Taillighting (Video)

Anaerin Hard enclosure? (86 comments)

Why is he proposing a hard enclosure for this? It would be a lot more practical (not to mention more convenient and lighter) to sew these into the covering flap of a messenger bag or similar (like he had), using easily-obtainable RGB LEDs on flexible PCB strips (like he was using) that are already sealed and watertight. The only difficulty would be sealing the connecting points, but that wouldn't be too much of an issue, and if you're going whole hog and making from the SMT parts up (instead of repurposing already made components) you could make a square sheet of flexible PCB for the whole thing.

Also, aren't there laws against putting flashing/strobing/colour-changing signs and lights in front of people's faces while they drive? While better visibility is good, techno-disco-light-shows distracting all and sundry on the road is bad.

about 2 months ago

YouTube Releases the Google Video Quality Report

Anaerin Re:Link to the actual report tool (66 comments)

I guess you're not seeing the "Compare providers in your area" tab that shows at the bottom-right under the results graph? 'cause that showed for me, and listed both ISPs available in my area.

about 2 months ago

BioWare Announces Dragon Age Inquisition For October 7th

Anaerin Re:Dragon age huh? (79 comments)

They did apologize for it. A few times. They've been showing DA:I around before it was officially announced, and they specifically called out "No more cookie-cutter levels".

about 3 months ago

Intentional Backdoor In Consumer Routers Found

Anaerin Simple fix (236 comments)

Wouldn't it be a simple "Fix" to set up port forwarding to redirect traffic directed to port 32768 to a "dead" address. Then the port would already be allocated, and when the "Knock" arrives, the port is already in use, and data goes nowhere.

about 3 months ago

Will This Flying Car Get Crowdfunded?

Anaerin Re:So many reasons not too... (157 comments)

3) More like a helicopter than an aeroplane? Nope. Airplanes are MUCH easier to fly than a helicopter; the average person cannot do this.

Perhaps they're thinking of a Gyrocopter (or Autogyro). That has the advantage of small size (No need for large fixed wings) without the complication of dealing with a collective stick system.

Personally, I was always interested in the "Land Shark" project ( link, as the original has since disappeared). The idea was to have a tadpole-style trike that, when on water, would use it's turbine-shaped rear wheel hub to propel it as it hydroplaned on the front wheel's lowered mudguards. Simple, and effective, but unfortunately it never got off the ground. A shame, really.

about 3 months ago

Google Project Ara Design Will Use Electro-Permanent Magnets To Lock In Modules

Anaerin Re:They talk very big (62 comments)

Okay, here's the deal. You want a phone, so you buy a base unit (that probably has the screen). Once you've done that, you choose what CPU (Single-core? Dual-core? Quad-core? Octa-core?) you want, how much RAM (512MB? 1GB? 2GB?), how much storage (16GB? 32GB? 64GB?), what kind of camera (None, 2MP, 4MP, 16MP with telescopic zoom lens?), Location system (Cell Tower Only? A-GPS? GLONASS + GPS + Compass?), Radios (Bluetooth? Wifi (a? n?), cellular radio (None? CDMA? GSM/Edge? UMTS? LTE?), card reader, and battery you want.

Want to update at a later time? Not a problem! Swap out that tired old dual-core ARMv7 for the latest dohexa-core 64-bit ARMv11! Running out of RAM too often? Throw another 2GB in there. Find you're taking more pictures than you thought? Swap out the basic 4MP shooter for a 28MP beast! Want to do work with 3D mapping? Add a second camera!

The idea is to make phones as modular as (or even more so than) a home PC.

about 4 months ago

Google Project Ara Design Will Use Electro-Permanent Magnets To Lock In Modules

Anaerin Re:So If I Drop My Phone (62 comments)

Yes, you have to put back together any sections that came off, and replace any parts that too catastrophic damage and broke. Unlike the current method, where you have to replace the whole damned thing.

about 4 months ago

Security Evaluation of the Tesla Model S

Anaerin Re:not limiting attempts (93 comments)

Doesn't much matter. 1,000 threads hammering an account that will only accept an attempt every second will take just as long as 10,000 threads, or even 1. It's tied to the account, not the IP.

about 4 months ago

Website Simulates Amiga OS

Anaerin Re:I'm waiting till 2055 (45 comments)

I believe one of the goals of the AROS project is to have a drop-in replacement for workbench/kickstart ROMs for m68k systems. So you could use their ROM on UAE and have a compatible system built entirely from open-source software. If that's your thing...

about 5 months ago

Dear Asus Router User: All Your Cloud Are Belong To Us

Anaerin Re:and this is why smart peiple don't touch window (148 comments)

Yes. Linux prevents it. Right. And what software do these routers run as their firmware? That's right, a customized version of Linux.

about 5 months ago

Slashdot Tries Something New; Audience Responds!

Anaerin Issues, and fixes (2219 comments)

Speaking purely from a look perspective, there are a mess of problems.

  • Huge amounts of whitespace on either side. This is 2014, and there are a million tutorials on how to make a fluid design.
  • Complete lack of contrast. I have no problem with the text contrast, but there's so little difference between comments, and between stories, no delineation or separation.
  • Basic problems - Some fonts in the CSS are defined as "Helvetica sans-serif". There needs to be a comma in there, Chris!
  • In slashdot comments, there are 3 levels of display: Open, summarized and hidden. In the new beta, there are again 3 options: Open, closed and hidden. "Closed" is not as versatile as "summarized".
  • Using JQuery to get the comments I have little-to-no problem with. But slashdot's main point is the long list of comments. The current AJAX system is limiting, at the very least (only grabbing 100 comments), and while it does have some options, it seems that none of those are available here. I had some issues with sorting this out with pure CSS (the Javascript was interfering with it), but I believe it is possible to implement this comment folding properly.

I've done a fair amount with pure CSS (Userstyle for Stylish here), including fixing the acres-of-whitespace width issue (Though I could do more if the source was in a better order), and bringing back the nicely contrasting bars to comments. I'm sure there is more that could also be done, and I'm seriously considering playing with GreaseMonkey to sort out some of the more egregious Javascript problems, but that's going to remain something on the back burner for now. This is obviously a beta site, and a work-in-progress, and I'm only doing this as a personal amusement in my spare time. I'll gladly answer any questions on this, and I'm certainly more than willing to lend a hand to make one of my favourite sites better.

There is much potential here. Unfortunately, a cannonball at the top of the Eiffel Tower also has much potential. Only time will tell how this is going to work out. But for the moment, it seems, SlashDot Beta is not ready for prime time. Heck, at this stage I'd barely call it a beta.

about 5 months ago

Build an Open-Source Electric Car In About One Hour

Anaerin Re:Does it fix the comment threshold? (188 comments)

No, you're not missing anything. What I can do (with CSS) is make it so that items that are "Removed" by the filter are instead collapsed down to their titles. I might be able to do even more than that, but that's all I've come up with so far. I'll let you know if I manage any more.

about 5 months ago



Myst Online: Uru Live Sourcecode Released

Anaerin Anaerin writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Anaerin (905998) writes "After many years of waiting, and a lot of closed-room code tidying and cleaning, Cyan Worlds has released the Plasma client and development tools, along with a community-developed server, to the Open-Source community under a GPLv3 license."
Link to Original Source


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