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Ask Slashdot: Where Can You Get a Good 3-Button Mouse Today?

The_Dougster Gaming Mice (420 comments)

The six button gaming mice encourage you to retrain your hand position. Mouse wheels are big and made to be clicked easily without disturbing the scroll wheel. You should just learn to adapt to this new stuff imo.

2 days ago

Largest-Yet EVE Online Battle Destroys $200,000 Worth of Starships

The_Dougster Re:Wow (463 comments)

In the end, the developer gets paid exactly once for each player playing - so its not really a money grab, but which players pay for whose subscription exactly is a bit muddied by the economics of the tokens.

That isn't exactly true because EvE players usually have multiple accounts with various alts. At any given time a player might only have some of their alts active. When the market gets flooded with PLEX from other players rebuilding Titans, the free2play guys cash in and act like a sink for all the PLEX. Also you can train secondary characters simultaneously now if you spend a PLEX to activate that feature for a month.

So the amount of PLEX consumed in a month can indeed be more than the amount of subscribers, not to mention hoarders and ones that get destroyed.

about a year ago

Ask Slashdot: MMORPG Recommendations?

The_Dougster Re:Star Citizen (555 comments)

The LTI is over. Only those who already have LTI can buy more LTI ships until next week.

I ponied up a few bucks for a digitial package. Looking forward to this one!

about a year ago

Ask Slashdot: Cheap Second Calculators For Tests?

The_Dougster Casio fx-115ES Plus (328 comments)

I like calculators and picked one of these up for a spare. For a non-graphing, non-programmable, scientific calculator, it is pretty good. Input and output display are independent so you can use natural input and have decimal output. It is easy to use overall. Mine has no persistent state so if it times out and turns off it comes back cleared. These are neat calculators and very inexpensive.

about a year ago

New Real Life Laser-Rifle Cuts Through Metal Like a Blowtorch

The_Dougster Blowtorch? (143 comments)

A blowtorch can't cut metal. Maybe they mean cutting torches?

about a year ago

Research Shows E-Cigs Might Be As Good For Quitting As Nicotine Patches

The_Dougster E-Cigs are great! Much better than smoking. (314 comments)

Aside from the fact that you never run out as long as you have a big bottle of juice and a couple charged batteries, you aren't inhaling thousands of carcinogenic combustion products with every puff.

The constituents of the juice are glycerine, propylene glycol (not the same as antifreeze), nicotine, and flavoring. The only unknowns really come from the flavoring but you can readily read their ingredients. E-cig flavorings are typically non-oil-based food grade flavors.

If you smoke, I encourage you to try this. Just get a disposable if you want to see what its like without investing a lot. Also, if you do decide to get a real setup, don't get one that looks like a cigarette, they are obsolete, get a bigger model with a larger or replaceable battery.

about a year ago

Juggling By the Numbers

The_Dougster I can juggle three ... (59 comments)

and it took a long time to be able to do that. Four is a *LOT* harder. I cannot even fathom trying to learn all of these advanced maneuvers.

more than 2 years ago

Senate Bill Rewrite Lets Feds Read Your E-mail Without Warrants

The_Dougster See you all in prison! (403 comments)

You know with this kind of power, they will sooner or later "find" something that breaks some obscure law. Then we can all be in prison. Think how cheap license plates will be with the entire country producing them! Profit!

more than 2 years ago

For Sinclair Fans, The ZX81 Lives On

The_Dougster Multi Emulator Super System ZX 80 (196 comments)

Old ZX 80 hardware is expensive and rare from what I have seen. You can use the MESS Sinclair ZX 80 target to relive those 8-bit days of yore without the fear of electrical or mechanical breakdowns associated with running on the actual hardware. A lot of early microcomputer equipment often had power supply or other problems which means that even if you can get your hands on the real hardware now, and it works, it may not run for long before things start breaking. I do not have any old ZX 80's and don't have a ROM so I'm not sure of the exact legality were I to acquire one from say Mega Upload or such, but I almost suspect that they might be drifting close to the abandonware status in some areas at least.

There are quite a lot of neat old systems that MESS can emulate. I've been trying to get NitrOS-9 working with a Motorola 6309 myself.

about 3 years ago

Faster-Than-Light Particle Results To Be Re-Tested

The_Dougster Imaginary Mass! (412 comments)

Wow that's quite a concept. To me that idea smacks of some unknown type of energy which has the potential of being converted into regular mass. However, it would seem to me complex mass would be impossible because as the particle's mass oscillated between the real and complex states its speed would likewise be respectively slower and then faster than c. Heh, imagine the shock waves from something breaking the light barrier a couple billion times per second, and the energy dumped into entropy. I don't think a particle with complex mass would make it very far. More like a one way ride...

Pure imaginary mass (the tachyon) is pretty neat to think about though. What kind of state could mass be in its "potential" form? The old E=mc^2 certainly implies that you can convert energy into mass, but I'm not aware of anybody who has created mass out of pure energy yet.

more than 3 years ago

Is ARM Ever Coming To the Desktop?

The_Dougster Re:Has Everyone Already Forgotten About the Netwin (332 comments)

I still have a Netwinder. I spent quite a bit of effort porting the system to Gentoo ARM softfloat, although at the end of the day, it really hasn't aged well. The 275MHz ARMv4l seems a bit pokey now but it can run a bare-bones xorg system with a lightweight window manager. Prior to my porting effort, you had to use hard-float glibc which would trigger an interrupt and the kernel fpu emulator would handle the call. I submitted some patches upstream vs gcc but I have no idea if anybody ever did anything with them, for all I know I have the only softfloat-linux Netwinder in existence.

more than 3 years ago

Is ARM Ever Coming To the Desktop?

The_Dougster Re:Tabtop momentum building (332 comments)

I was able to compile the Hercules IBM Mainframe Emulator for my OMAP3 Beagleboard, and guess what.. it works.

more than 3 years ago

Large Hadron Collider is a Time Machine?

The_Dougster To The Future (332 comments)

Dear Descendant,

Please send me an email from the future describing how I can solve my current financial distress.

P.S. I will set up a trust fund for you if you do this.

Your Ancestor

more than 3 years ago

Military Pressuring Vendors On IPv6

The_Dougster Adding IPv6 is not difficult (406 comments)

I upgraded my systems to ipv6 even though I just have IPv4 by signing up for a free tunnel broker service. I recommend SixXS if you are serious, or one of the others if you just want to flirt around with IPv6. Basically, you open a tunnel on one of the machines, it starts radvd which activates ipv6 on every machine on your LAN automagically, and thats all you do. Perhaps edit a config file here or there to turn on ipv6 if its lacking for some reason. The radvd machine broadcasts on your net and provides something like DHCP for all your ipv6 enabled machines which usually just pick it up on the fly with no reboot or anything required.

more than 4 years ago

OpenOffice.org Declares Independence From Oracle, Becomes LibreOffice

The_Dougster Re:Why do open source projects pick stupid names? (648 comments)

Agree. LibreOffice is going to get laughed out of existence in the English speaking world.

It just doesn't roll off the tongue very easily... sounds all foreign and subversive.

They need some marketing help. Action words! Buzzwords!

  • ActiveOffice
  • TurboOffice
  • OpenWorks
  • UniversalOffice

See, I spent about 5 minutes and came up with IMHO better alternatives than that pussy LibreOffice name.

more than 4 years ago

First Human-Powered Ornithopter

The_Dougster I think this is pretty cool (250 comments)

It makes me think of that old footage of failed flying machines... remember the umbrella thing that bounced up and down? Anyways, this is just the greatest. This is right up there with winning a hot dog eating contest. Totally useless probably, but so inspirational.

more than 4 years ago

Steam Client for Mac Launches, Linux Client On the Way

The_Dougster I for one support our new linux Steam overlords (572 comments)

I suppose I'm a linux game old-timer. Back in the late 90s I had custom compiled Mesa for accelerated OpenGL with my most excellent Voodoo2 board. It was so big we called them graphics boards, not cards. It weighed about 5 pounds, was a full length card, and had every square centimeter covered with chips. But, my did it run Quake and Quake2 in full 3D glory. Truly I was the envy of my nerdish college neighbors who had not yet achieved Linux Wizard Level Zero, as I had done.

Really though, in my experience, which is rather quite enormous, it is generally possible to get most Windows® games to run mostly allright in linux operating systems through a huge amount of fiddling, tweaking, screwing around, and otherwise editing various config files and recompiling things with different options selected. The problem arises in that usually one does "some stuff" and eventually "it works." Unfortunately, you probably changed 20 things in between when it didn't work and when it did, and heaven only knows which one of those 20 things was the real thing that made it work.

Compounding the issue, is that some games seem to run with mutually exclusive settings to other games. In this case you find yourself running distinct instances of the X-Window System with specific config files, say to have 16-bit color at a certain special resolution, and a rather large number of configuration files special to a particular game of interest. Naturally, the more games like this that you have, the more the overall complexity is multiplied.

It really wouldn't take a lot to make a consistent platform which is capable of running all of these diverse applications, and Steam is definately something to think about. There was a lot of grumbling and whatnot when it was new, but personally I like the ability to purchase a game on Steam, sign in with my username and password, and have it download the content to whatever computer I am signed on at and magically make it work without having to search through boxes of cdroms and hope that the cd-key is on a sticker in the case and that the cdrom is still readable. Just log in, install content, and play... no optical drive required. If they can get this stuff working on a linux OS, and it really doesn't seem that far-fetched what with the excellent state of Wine these days, then hats off to Valve!

more than 4 years ago

FOSS CAD and 3D Modeling Software?

The_Dougster CAE Linux (413 comments)

There is one bright shining star in the otherwise empty void of free engineering software packages. I would suggest that you investigate CAE Linux . From their website

Based on the open-source CAE softwares Salomé, Code_Aster, Code_Saturne and OpenFOAM , you can load your CAD geometry in Salomé and start partitionning and meshing your problem in just 5 minutes.

That being said, I'm a mechanical engineer, and I've messed around with CAE Linux, and this is *not* anything even close to what you get with Solidworks or Autodesk Inventor. While the FEA end is good, maybe even great, the modeling functionality is very basic and more akin to what you get with ANSYS or ALGOR rather than a full blown 3D drafting package. Nevertheless, its a great package for engineers and students who want to do some meshing and otherwise learn the basics of finite element analysis. The site even offers a standalone distribution of Salome-Meca-2009.1 which is the core FEA bundle that comes with CAE Linux. I have successfully installed their blob in Gentoo into /opt and it runs on my system at least.

As far as full featured free 3D drafting packages, there really isn't any such animal yet. Yes, I've tried BRL-CAD, and no, I wouldn't consider it to be a viable option. You're going to have to look towards some sort of professional CAD package for that. At home, I use TurboCAD as a reasonably full-featured yet relatively inexpensive solution. There are a great many lower priced 3D drafting packages out there, so look around.

And I must say, I really admire your ambition here... hope it works out for you.

more than 4 years ago

Wait For Windows 7 SP1, Support Firm Warns Users

The_Dougster I never upgrade Windows (433 comments)

If I was building a new machine, which I'm not at the moment, then I would probably get a copy of Windows-7 for it. However, I never upgrade a Windows OS on an existing machine because on those occasions in the past when I tried it, it always was a disaster. Better to start fresh, or as some poster earlier suggested, get an external drive. I ran the Windows-7 beta from an eSATA drive last year and it worked ok. It existed in peaceful harmony with my Vista installation and didn't cause any issues at all.

more than 5 years ago



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