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Ask Slashdot: What Old Technology Can't You Give Up?

Unxmaal ROT13 (635 comments)

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about 5 months ago

Will the Apple TV Become a Gaming Platform?

Unxmaal Re:Didn't we already see this? (194 comments)

Apple already tried a gaming platform back in the day. It was called the Pippin.

Is this idea gonna fly?


more than 3 years ago

Will the Apple TV Become a Gaming Platform?

Unxmaal Re:More walled gardens anyone? (194 comments)

Do we really need yet another Apple-controlled walled garden? Don't we have enough of those already?

Yes. No.

more than 3 years ago

Do Car Safety Problems Come From Outer Space?

Unxmaal McMurdo (437 comments)

When I was working for NASA, on the NISN network, we'd get these weird router crashes for the old Cisco router located at (or very near) the South Pole in Antarctica. It was always a memory problem, and I'd always have to call someone to get them to powercycle the router. It irritated me to keep bothering those guys, so I opened a case with Cisco TAC.

The TAC guy sent a terse response, saying that particular crash was a "transient memory error" due to "alpha radiation or sun spots." That really pissed me off -- Cisco TAC just gave me a standard BOFH response! I escalated, and swung the NASA club around some, and finally got a senior engineer on the phone. "You said this router's at the South Pole, right? So that means it's at very high altitude, with very little ozone shielding, right?" "Umm, yeah." "Well there you go. There's a lot more radiation at that altitude than at sea level. Our stuff's only rated for sea level. See if they can .. I dunno, put a lead blanket over it or something."

I relayed the info to my contact at McMurdo, and he laughed and said he'd figure something out.

On a hunch, I checked the other two "high-altitude" routers we had, and sure enough, they both had a statistically higher failure rate for "transient memory errors".

more than 4 years ago

What Did You Do First With Linux?

Unxmaal Slackware was first (739 comments)

In 1995, my pal Robert (or was it Jeff?) downloaded a Slackware distro -- via slow modem, onto floppies. It took about a week.

We all passed the floppy set around, installing Linux onto our computers. By February of 1996, id had released the Quake demo. I had Win95 on my old craptastic Packard Bell, but it simply wouldn't run Quake. I spent hours trying to get the SVGALib Quake to run. I distinctly recall nuking my system in an effort to get X running, and somehow typing (as root) "rm -rf / usr/local/lib". See that extra space? Yeah, that was fun.

I got a new computer, but couldn't get Win95 to run, so I switched to OS2/Warp. It wouldn't boot at all. Linux would run, but would crash a lot. I finally discovered that the scumbags who sold me the computer had swapped the new 486 Intel chip for a much older and slower Cyrix chip, and overclocked the hell out of it so that it'd show the appropriate Mhz at boot.

I finally switched that POS out for a new computer, and ran dual-boot Linux and Win95 for several more years. Today I use Macs, but they're mainly pretty window dressing for terminal sessions on Linux machines.

more than 5 years ago

Alpine 1.00 Brings Pine Back

Unxmaal Re:Webmail vs. Pine (204 comments)

Pine is still my mail reader of choice. Every so often, I'll try using mutt again, and every time I'll switch back to Pine, because those keystrokes are embedded in my brain. I know mutt can "be made to look almost like pine", but there's a big difference between 'almost' and 'exactly'.

more than 7 years ago


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