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Computer Chess Created In 487 Bytes, Breaks 32-Year-Old Record

PhotoJim Re:Missing rules (190 comments)

We await the results of your effort.

yesterday
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Computer Chess Created In 487 Bytes, Breaks 32-Year-Old Record

PhotoJim Re:Incredible! (190 comments)

Atari 2600 cartridges are 4 kB maximum. It's certainly possible the game only used a fraction of that, but highly unlikely.

The 2600 did only have 128 bytes of RAM, but none of this would be needed for the program itself, which would be accessed directly from cartridge ROM by the CPU. On the ZX, the code would have to fit within the 1kB and the remaining RAM would be available for its execution.

yesterday
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Ask Slashdot: Are Progressive Glasses a Mistake For Computer Users?

PhotoJim It all depends on your eyes. (464 comments)

I've got one near-sighted eye and one far-sighted eye, and both are astigmatic. Wearing glasses really wasn't a choice for me. If I want to see clearly, I have to wear them.

I got progressive lenses when I got diagnosed with presbyopia at age 35 (seriously), and I got used to them, surprisingly, right away. Yes, they're slightly less convenient because the near focus area is toward the bottom of the lens, so you'll want your displays to be a little lower than you might be able to tolerate them if you don't have presbyopia.

One other option, if you need correction for nearer focus, is to get a pair of single-vision reading glasses (i.e. glasses that lack the progressive lens/bifocal feature and are geared to your near vision, sacrificing your distance vision). I got a pair, quite sure I'd need them for my computer work, and the reality is that I really don't. I do, however, find them to be indispensible in certain situations, most notably trying to watch televisions in economy class of aircraft - I no longer have to crane my neck!

about a month ago
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Dr. Dobb's 38-Year Run Comes To an End

PhotoJim Re:Oh yeah, he was a orthodontist (156 comments)

Also, Commodore BASIC lacked IF-THEN-ELSE, having only IF-THEN so sometimes GOTOs were necessary to do what you'd do using ELSE if you had it.

Also, on the stock VIC-20 especially, with only 3,583 bytes of RAM free for BASIC programming (unless you bought a RAM expander), you were coding for efficiency first, not readability or understandability. It had to fit in 3.5kB or else it wouldn't run. Nothing else mattered unless you had spare space.

Incidentally, decking out a VIC-20 to 32 or even 40 kB RAM is a lot of fun. It might still be awfully modest by today's standards but it sure makes for a fun programming environment.

about a month ago
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UK Ham Radio Reg Plans To Drop 15 min Callsign Interval and Allow Encryption

PhotoJim Re:Encryption on HAM bands is a Pandoras Box (104 comments)

Indeed. It's "ham" (or better, "radio amateur"), just like it's not the INTERNET or SLASHDOT.

about 5 months ago
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UK Ham Radio Reg Plans To Drop 15 min Callsign Interval and Allow Encryption

PhotoJim Re:Scrap all the rules (104 comments)

Part 97 only applies to US hams, or foreign hams with reciprocity transmitting from US territory.

about 5 months ago
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Here Comes the Panopticon: Insurance Companies

PhotoJim Re:Can't live with/without them... (353 comments)

Of course our plan is imperfect. It's just less imperfect than yours is.

Choice is great, and normally I'm a big fan of choice, but when Canadians live about 2-3 years longer than Americans, on average, and spend a little more than 50% of what Americans spend on health care, I view our compromises as being acceptable. I like the economic freedom that detaching health insurance from employment provides. The two times in my life I have had pressing issues, I received immediate care. And frankly, it would be best if the US remained a private health care nation because, if I prefer care faster than my province's system provides it, I can hop across the border for it. I don't expect to have that need, but I still have that choice.

No one is uninsured here, and that means no one consumes health care and free rides on those that can afford to pay (or choose to pay), and even those of modest means will get quality care. Preexisting conditions are a non-issue. To me, those advantages outweigh the loss of choice. (And to be truthful, I do have choice - Canada has 13 systems here, one for every province and territory, so if I don't like the health care where I live, I can hop to another province. That's adequate for me.)

about 7 months ago
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Here Comes the Panopticon: Insurance Companies

PhotoJim Re:Can't live with/without them... (353 comments)

Public health care systems work fine in a lot of places (most of western Europe; Australia; New Zealand; Canada; and probably others). If the US can't come up with an efficient-enough bureaucracy to make it work there, then it's really time to change how you guys do things.

about 7 months ago
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Here Comes the Panopticon: Insurance Companies

PhotoJim Re:Can't live with/without them... (353 comments)

It works fine where I live.

As for ice cream, if it's causing people health issues, tax it. As a bonus, the money's in the tax system to put directly into health care, if your system is rationally designed.

about 7 months ago
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Here Comes the Panopticon: Insurance Companies

PhotoJim Re:Can't live with/without them... (353 comments)

This is why you need a single payer system. My premiums don't go up because I ate too many ice cream cones, because I don't pay premiums per se. I pay taxes and my taxes pay for medical treatment for anyone who lives in my jurisdiction.

The solution to your problems, perversely to sycodon's preferences, is *more* government, oddly enough, not less.

about 7 months ago
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The Energy Saved By Ditching DVDs Could Power 200,000 Homes

PhotoJim Re: (339 comments)

There's no question that content providers like streaming because it means we're really just renting the content. There's also no question that it's super convenient (I have Netflix like a lot of people do) but I don't view it as a replacement to physical media, but rather as an augmentation.

about 7 months ago
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The Energy Saved By Ditching DVDs Could Power 200,000 Homes

PhotoJim Re:DVD still have use. (339 comments)

I'm a fool because I have a cottage where there isn't inexpensive broadband or a 4-terabyte server?

about 7 months ago
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The Energy Saved By Ditching DVDs Could Power 200,000 Homes

PhotoJim Still buying DVDs here (339 comments)

Well said. I buy my music on CDs for the same reason. (Granted, I rip it and file the originals away almost instantly; I still actually use my DVD and Blu-Ray media but that might change soon too if I can ramp up the server space).

about 7 months ago
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The Energy Saved By Ditching DVDs Could Power 200,000 Homes

PhotoJim DVD still have use. (339 comments)

I still buy physical DVDs - primarily because they are passively archival and don't depend on me a) having connectivity or b) having my server nearby. I view programming at some locations (like my cottage) where it's easier to bring a few DVDs than it is to copy a bunch of data onto a hard disk and then connect a computer to the television.

I also wonder if the energy consumption considers the issues of ramped-up Internet infrastructure and server capacity required to store, back up and stream the content. This isn't free and isn't emission-neutral. High-def (e.g. Blu-Ray) content is even moreso whereas the cost of a Blu-Ray disc versus DVD is actually almost trivial. Once you own the Blu-Ray player, you're done except for the marginal two or three dollar cost for the higher definition media.

about 7 months ago
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Did the Ignition Key Just Die?

PhotoJim Re:Help! Help! (865 comments)

In parent post, :s/clutch/clutch pedal/

You're welcome.

about 9 months ago
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Did the Ignition Key Just Die?

PhotoJim Re:Help! Help! (865 comments)

Get a manual transmission. Depress clutch; power is disconnected. Done.

about 9 months ago
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Did the Ignition Key Just Die?

PhotoJim Re:The actual technical fault. (865 comments)

The best solution to this problem is the third pedal - the clutch - but unfortunately it too seems to be falling by the wayside. Still, automatics can be quickly popped into neutral under duress, and drivers with automatics should really practice this. Generally you can just slide the gear selector; no button-pressing is necessary.

Still, I agree with you about physical keys. They're simpler, and simple is good.

about 9 months ago
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FCC Proposes $48,000 Fine To Man Jamming Cellphones On Florida Interstate

PhotoJim Re:Probably saved more lives with jamming (427 comments)

There are three or more seats in almost every vehicle where people can legally operate phones.

about 8 months ago
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After a Long wait, GNU Screen Gets Refreshed

PhotoJim Re:I loathe screen (77 comments)

You can change ^A to something you prefer.

about 8 months ago
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How Far Will You Go For Highest Speed Internet?

PhotoJim Re:The real story: (142 comments)

They go south precisely because it isn't very summery where they live. :)

about 10 months ago

Submissions

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Australian company surcharges IE7-using customers

PhotoJim PhotoJim writes  |  more than 2 years ago

PhotoJim writes "Australian company Kogan has decided to add a 6.8% surcharge to orders by customers using Internet Explorer 7. The reason? To offset the costs of supporting the 6-year-old web browser. "But don't worry," Kogan says, "...we're making it easy to get around this one with a simple upgrade away from IE7". Their blog has the details."
Link to Original Source
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PhotoJim PhotoJim writes  |  more than 8 years ago

PhotoJim writes "A man in Japan may have set a world record this week by reciting pi by memory to 100,000 decimal places. And I thought I was a geek because I can recite it to fifteen! What stupid geek tricks have you, my fellow slashdotters, accomplished or witnessed?"

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