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Disappointed Woz Sells His "Worthless" Galaxy Gear Watch

NixieBunny Re:Nixie Watch (242 comments)

He wears his Nixie tube watch every day on the left wrist. His right wrist has held a variety of smartwatches, including an iPod Nano. (I make the Nixie watch, so I'd know.)

about three weeks ago
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The lightbulb I've most recently acquired ...

NixieBunny Trailer clearance lights (196 comments)

Each new clearance light fixture that I bought last week for my 1977 pop-up trailer came with two #194 wedge-base bulbs. The light fixtures cost $4 each. The plastic must be worth something, so I said "under a dollar".

about three weeks ago
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Disappointed Woz Sells His "Worthless" Galaxy Gear Watch

NixieBunny Re:OMG WOZ TOUCHED IT. (242 comments)

I'm the guy who supplies Woz with his Nixie tube watches. I've had to repair a few of them after too many Segway polo matches. They get just as crusty as anyone else's watch.

I briefly thought about selling the broken parts on eBay, but it seemed a bit too squicky. Although you know the auction would end up on Reddit.

about three weeks ago
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Boston Trying Out Solar-Powered "Smart Benches" In Parks

NixieBunny Re:If you're worried about being tracked/viruses.. (119 comments)

You will wait quite a while to get a charge that way. The devices negotiate the charging current over the data lines. The default is either zero or 100 mA. Best to buy a purpose-made USB data isolator that negotiates a good rate with a built-in microcontroller, but doesn't connect the phone to the charger data lines.

You can build one using a few resistors. See Adafruit's MintyBoost.

about three weeks ago
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What's Your STEM Degree Worth?

NixieBunny Re:It's Worth Very Little (148 comments)

That's like most jobs, but not all. Unfortunately, the fulfilling ones tend to pay less. Fortunately, you don't need to go shopping so often to fill that void if you have a fulfilling job.

about a month ago
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How Vacuum Tubes, New Technology Might Save Moore's Law

NixieBunny That would be handy for radio astronomy too (183 comments)

I work in a lab where we make radio receivers that work at frequencies around 460 GHz. As it is, we have to use a mixer diode to convert to a lower frequency (10 GHz) before amplifying the signal. This technology would be well suited to this application, provided that the noise is low enough. We already cool the mixer to 4K in a vacuum chamber.

about a month ago
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Construction of World's Largest Telescope Finally Underway in Chile

NixieBunny Early 2020s? (76 comments)

Based on how long most of these big telescope projects end up taking, I'd expect late 2020s for it to become usable. We'll see.

about a month ago
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Which desktop environment do you like the best?

NixieBunny Re:TOPS-10 (611 comments)

Ah, I remember sixbit. The PDP-11 had another one called RAD50, which was 50 octal, which fit three alphanumeric characters into a 16 bit word. I had to encode my high school's attendance rolls into RAD50 to get them to fit on one RT-11 floppy disk.

about 2 months ago
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Which desktop environment do you like the best?

NixieBunny TOPS-10 (611 comments)

Straightforward commands. Case insensitive. Gets the job done. All words limited to six characters, because that's the longest word a person should have to type.

about 2 months ago
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Goodbye, Ctrl-S

NixieBunny Re:I'd rather not use (521 comments)

Back in my day, computers would fail for no explicable reason.

Or, more likely, your hand would brush against the RESET key that was prominently featured on the keyboard right below RETURN.

about a month ago
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James Cameron and Eric Schmidt's SOI Grieve Loss of Nereus ROV

NixieBunny They will build a better one (72 comments)

Underwater robotics is all about advancing the state of the art. A machine that lived six years was reaching obsolescence. I'm sure that the boys in the back room will have fun building its successor. (I have helped to build a few underwater robots for competitions, and it's always a joy to start work on the next one.)

about 2 months ago
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SpaceX Wins Injunction Against Russian Rocket Purchases

NixieBunny Re:Oh how the mighty have fallen (166 comments)

This case turns the usual defense procurement bugaboo on its head.

about 3 months ago
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US Nuclear Missile Silos Use Safe, Secure 8" Floppy Disks

NixieBunny Re:Are there any old drives around that read these (481 comments)

I seem to recall from my BIOS writing days with CP/M, that the 8" drives had twice the data rate of the 5" drives. They also spun faster, 360 RPM vs 300 RPM. The 8" IBM format was soft sectored 26 sectors of 128 bytes, and the 5" used 16 sectors of 128 bytes or something like that. too many numbers to remember.

At any rate, the four 8" floppies that I still have in my meager collection are all different, for different CPUs, OSes, languages, different sector formats, etc. The closest I came to inter-system compatibility was to write a CP/M floppy reading program for the PDP-11.

about 3 months ago
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Interviews: Ask Bre Pettis About Making Things

NixieBunny Parts to finish a 3D printed design (69 comments)

Many useful items that one could build require some metal bits in addition to 3D printed parts. I've recently encountered this situation when trying to make a little gizmo with motor drive. Small gears, shafts and so forth are very hard to come by. Have you considered starting an ancillary industry that provides the sorts of things that the company Small Parts used to offer, before Amazon killed them?

about 3 months ago
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Is Analog the Fix For Cyber Terrorism?

NixieBunny Re:Stuxnet (245 comments)

Yes, it was a USB flash drive with a firmware update.

I work on a telescope whose Siemens PLC is so old that it has a PROM in a 40 pin DIP package for firmware updates. Not that we've touched the firmware in 20 years. After all, it works. And it ought to work for another 20 years, as long as we replace the dried-out aluminum electrolytic capacitors regularly.

about 4 months ago
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Eric Schmidt On Why College Is Still Worth It

NixieBunny Re:They don't know you. Two resumes, one degree (281 comments)

I have no degree, but in 35 years I've never had to be selected from a pool of candidates. What's it like to have to compete for a job?

I worked my way through college at the school, building exotic computer systems for grad student research projects. I noticed one day that I was learning a lot more in the job than in the classes.

Now, 30 year later, and after 20 years in industry, I work at the same university, building electronics for telescopes. I suppose I could have gotten further with a degree, but not much further. At my performance reviews, I ask my boss to please not promote me to management.

about 4 months ago
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Vodafone Foundation Launches Cell Site In a Backpack

NixieBunny Re:Power Source? (37 comments)

There is some room left in the suitcase. They could have fit more battery packs in there - especially if they are Li-ion so as to not weigh a ton. Also, they could have provided some folding solar panels (it's not clear form the article if they are included or not).

about 5 months ago
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How much time do you spend gaming compared to 10 years ago?

NixieBunny Re:Only one decade? (270 comments)

What are you talking about? Tetris is not violent. Mindless, yes.

about 5 months ago
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How much time do you spend gaming compared to 10 years ago?

NixieBunny Does Solitaire count? (270 comments)

Because playing Solitaire on my phone is the sum total of my gaming experience these days.

about 5 months ago

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