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Larry Ellison Rejuvenating Hawaii's Sixth-Largest Island (Which He Owns)

DrogMan Re:Is there a volcano? (297 comments)

He just needs an amusingly short French manservant. That way he can be both Ricardo Montalban AND Scaramanga.

Or a fluffy white cat...

about a year ago

COBOL Will Outlive Us All

DrogMan There are only 3 COBOL programs... (318 comments)

The "Input and Validate"
The "Update"
and the "Print"

At least that's what a lecturer told me many years ago when I did COBOL at uny. I didn't get on with it initially, then I got bored and opened the book... Then I learned that what the lecturer was telling me was his idea of what COBOL ought to look like and not generic. It got a little more interesting after that (along with the student competition to see how many errors we could make the compiler generate with the minimal amount of syntax errors - one mis-placed full-stop managed to get it to the limit of 999 once)

I've not written a COBOL program for over 30 years now. I don't miss it.


about a year and a half ago

DARPA Begins Work On 100Gbps Wireless Tech With 120-mile Range

DrogMan Re:Quality article, full of technical details (83 comments)

The price is affordable for "carriers" (ie. telcos and thererfore peanuts for mlitary), and you can buy true 1GHz full duplex units off the shelf today.

There is a problem with 60GHz though - range. It's the O2 absorption frequency, so max is 1-2Km...

However there are other frequencies in that area of the spectrum which I know are being investigated/used...

about a year and a half ago

ITU To Choose Emergency Line For Mobiles: 911, or 112?

DrogMan 911 is already used in the UK ... (354 comments)

For some local dialling codes. Eg. Bristol has 0117 911 xxxx - so from a landline in Bristol you just dial 911 xxxx ...


about a year and a half ago

Ask Slashdot: Storing Items In a Sealed Chest For 25 Years?

DrogMan Re:Put stuff in sealed plastic cases? (434 comments)

I recently bought an old Apple II.. And tried out some of the 30+ year old 5.25" floppies I had in storage all these years (I've got 100's). Most of them still work!

I'm suspecting that the bit-density is so low that it's hard for them not to work, but I was still plesantly surprised.

Now all I need is an Apple II serial card so I can get some of the source code for stuff I write way back then off the floppies onto something else...

about 2 years ago

Mercedes Can Now Update Car Software Remotely

DrogMan Best scenario... (228 comments)

So you're the getaway driver sitting in the stolen Merc - your partners in crime are runing towards you. You hit the 'start' button... "Please wait while we install the latest software update. This process will take approximately 5 of your finest German minutes." Fantastic!

more than 2 years ago

Vim Turns 20

DrogMan Re:Oblig.... (271 comments)

Heh... ZZ needs 2 keypresses, :x three (because it's :x RETURN) Similarly :wq is 4 keypresses.

Of-course someone might argue that needing the shift key is really another keypress, but they're probably emacs users... ;-)

more than 2 years ago

Smartphones For Text SSH Use Re-Revisited

DrogMan Re:The N900. (359 comments)

Maps aren't critical at all, however I just want to carry one device - not a separate GPS, phone, etc. If Nokia released OVI maps with turn by turn directions for the N900 then I'd be really happy.

more than 3 years ago

Smartphones For Text SSH Use Re-Revisited

DrogMan Re:The N900. (359 comments)

I too am an N900 user... However after seeing my wifes HTC Desire, I suspect my mext phone might be the Desire with the keyboard... (HTC Vision) I've been a Nokia communicator user from day 1, but I think Nokia has somewhat lost the plot now - I miss the maps on my old N90 (the 3.5 year license expired!) and there isn't anything bundled with the N900 and it looks like there never will be. My wife seems to get on OK with Google maps on hers.... But it'll be a year or more before I'm ready for a new phone, so who knows what'll be out there then... G

more than 3 years ago

Persistent Home Videoconferencing Solution?

DrogMan Re:SIP Videophones? (253 comments)

I'm sorry that your country can't cope with 30GB a month per user. That's a fairly standard offering where I am in the UK, and of-course, at least 8 hours of that will be in off-peak and unmetered time (depending on the ADSL package you have)

more than 3 years ago

Persistent Home Videoconferencing Solution?

DrogMan SIP Videophones? (253 comments)

A Pair of Grandstream video phones will fit the bill (although they're not Wi-Fi - so run a cable), however can you afford the bandwidth? You're talking about 250Kb/sec each way more or less 24/7 ... That's close to 500MB a day, each way. OK if you have unmetered access, but I've really no idea what your internet conneactions are like... If they meter both ways, budget for one GB a day...

You'd need to do some port-forwarding in each router (UDP 5060 + the RTP ports) and 'dial' the other site by IP address - it's not hard on the GXV phones and it saves setting up proxys/sip servers/asterisk, etc. If you set each phone to auto-answer then it's not hard to re-establish the link if it fails for whatever reason.

Failing that, if you want to be PC/Laptop based - look for Ekiga...

I use a combination of GXV3000 video phones, Ekiga and my Nokia N900 to make/take video calls from my family and in-laws, although I use an Asterisk server to co-ordinate everything and we don't stream 24/7!

more than 2 years ago

When Telemarketers Harass Telecoms Companies

DrogMan Re:There is an app for that. (234 comments)

BT are already doing this - admittedly in Textual form on responses to twitter and to their BTcare email system.

Example of a bit of email they sent me:

Once again I am very sorry that you feel that I haven't been of service to you and that you feel really angry, upset and disappointed.

What I sent them: You haven't been of service to me and now I'm really angry, upset and dissapointed.

In response to their: Thank you for allowing us to be of service to you.

BTcare - what a joke.

about 4 years ago

BT Gets Exclusive Rights To OnLive In the UK

DrogMan Re:WTFBT (128 comments)

Great if you can get Be LLU - but for others who have no choice of LLU, (like myself in a rural area), it's important to know that there is still a choice of over 100 ISPs other than BT retail!

more than 4 years ago

BT Gets Exclusive Rights To OnLive In the UK

DrogMan Re:WTFBT (128 comments)

The 50:1 (and 20:1) contentions were dropped some years back. BT Wholesale now give speed guarantees over the wholesale network at 2 service levels (standard and elevated) IIRC Elevated is 3Mb/sec or higher for 90% of the time (assuming you can get 3Mb/sec)

The real contention starts when BT wholesale pass feed it into the retail ISPs - such as BT retail who have a grossly overloaded network.

But you get what you pay for. I pay for a business service and get 8Mb in and 800Kb out 24/7.

more than 4 years ago

BT Gets Exclusive Rights To OnLive In the UK

DrogMan Re:WTFBT (128 comments)

There's a lof of mis-conceptions about the way BT works and it's looks like you've been misled by the BT propoganda...

BT are many companies - BT retail - the ISP in this case is just one of over 100 ISPs who use the BT Wholesale network.

The BT wholesale network is actually relatively good - it's when BTW hand the data over to the retail ISP that things go wrong. BT retail in this case are a very large ISP, therefore have a lot of clout. They also have a grossly overloaded network.

So just pick another ISP that uses the BT wholesale network and you'll get an almost instantly better service.

more than 4 years ago


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