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Slashdot Asks: Should Schooling Be Year-Round?

VAXcat Waiting for summer to end... (421 comments)

I'm looking forward to the end of summer, when all the college kids go back to school and stop spending all day taking down my Ingress portals...

about two weeks ago
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What Do You Do When Your Mind-Numbing IT Job Should Be Automated?

VAXcat It's obvious (228 comments)

Automate it, don't tell anyone, and then get paid for doing nothing while you waste all of your time browsing stuff on the Interweb. That's what I've done...

about two weeks ago
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HP Gives OpenVMS New Life and Path To X86 Port

VAXcat Re:VMS is dead; long live WNT (136 comments)

You are only middlin' right. WNT is like VMS as far as the general design of the kernel goes - but most of what makes VMS the wonder that it is is missing. No versioning file system, no DCL (DEC Command Language), no Distributed Lock Manager, no clustering (WNT clustering isn't even in the same league as VMS clustering), no logical name support, no RMS (Record Management System), no sophisticated Batch and Print environment, the list goes on and on. Without these things, WNT may schedule tasks and manage memory more or less like VMS does, but does not deliver the utility and user experience that make VMS legendary.

about three weeks ago
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Secret of the Banjo's Unique Sound Discovered By Nobel Prize-Winning Physicist

VAXcat Banjos...not a fan... (101 comments)

One day my old pal David has played a gig with some local musicians, including his roommate, Bob, who was a banjo player. After the set, Bob was going somewhere else with some other people, so he asked Dave to take his banjo home for him. On the way home, David stopped at the convenience store to get a six pack. As he was standing in line, he suddenly realized that he had left the car windows down, and that he was in a bad neighborhood. He rushed out, but, sure as hell, the worst possible thing had happened - exactly what he was afraid of - someone had spotted the open car windows, and thrown two more banjoes in the car.

about 2 months ago
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The Rise and Fall of the Cheat Code

VAXcat Earliest I know of... (178 comments)

Inthe 70s, Zork on PDP11s had GDT (game debugging tool). It allowed you to manipulate the arrays of objects, locations, etc. It had a password prompt, that demanded your name, cat and zip code. I recall that the name was supnik, the cat was barney, and I've forgotten the zip code. Bob Supnik was the DEC engineer that translated ZORK frm MDL to Fortran.

about 2 months ago
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Autonomous Car Ethics: If a Crash Is Unavoidable, What Does It Hit?

VAXcat Re:A bunch of nuns? (800 comments)

I steal the lever and see what I can get for it on Ebay.

about 3 months ago
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Researchers See a Post-Snowden Chilling Effect In Our Search Data

VAXcat Re:I wonder if I'm on the list (138 comments)

Before you try using H2O2 80% as propellant, read about how dangerous it was as the monopopellant "T-Stoff" in the ME163. Lots of explosions and dissolved pilots...

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

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

DEC (Digital Equipment Corporation) sold lots of systems that used these 8" disks. Lots of PDP-8 systems and PDP-11 systems used them for system devices. DEC's first VAX computers, the 11/780, used them as load devices for loading the microcode before the system would boot from a real hard disk. I have a bunch of them in my collection, attached to PDP-11s, still working fine.

about 4 months ago
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Anonymous' Airchat Aim: Communication Without Need For Phone Or Internet

VAXcat Re:Airchat, or as I like to call it, CB Radio (180 comments)

It's a good point, that VHF allocation for CB would prevent some of the abuses it is prone too. But when it was allocated, radios that operated at 50 Mc and above . were exotic and expensive. Gear that would operate at 27 Mc was a lot cheaper and ruggeder than VHF gear would have been.

about 4 months ago
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Anonymous' Airchat Aim: Communication Without Need For Phone Or Internet

VAXcat Re:Oh really? (180 comments)

Not allowed to swear? Clearly you don't spend much time listening on 20 meters, or (at least in my local area) 80 meters. The amateur operators to be found there could teach sailors a few things about swearing.

about 4 months ago
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Asia's Richest Man Is Betting Big On Silicon Valley's Fake Eggs

VAXcat Mockolate (269 comments)

This reminds me of the Friends episode where Monica has to make recipes for a chocloate substitute - Mockolate.

about 6 months ago
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Fracking Is Draining Water From Areas In US Suffering Major Shortages

VAXcat Re:About beta. (268 comments)

They need to remember what happened to Digg. Sites like this can lose almost all of their users in the blink of an eye.

about 6 months ago
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Australian Team Working On Engines Without Piston Rings

VAXcat Re:Okay...nice and all... (368 comments)

"...and aren't exactly long lived" Model airplane glow plug engines exist in two states - not broken in yet, and slap worn out. There is no middle ground....

about 7 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Video Streaming For the Elderly?

VAXcat Re:50s TV - Antennae (165 comments)

I dunno about the whole country, but in the two big cities I'm familiar with the TV situation, Dallas and Houston, the TV stations all have their broadcast antennas located at more or less the same location, so you don't have to change the antenna aim to change the channel.

about a year ago
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Lead Developer of Yum Killed In Hit-and-run

VAXcat Re:North Carolina drivers are the worst in the US. (413 comments)

Clearly you've never driven in Boston...I had a summer job there driving a patient transport van for the Boston State Hospital (a mental asylum), and I always felt like the lunatics I was driving around in the van weren't a patch on the maniacs driving the other cars.

about a year ago
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Lead Developer of Yum Killed In Hit-and-run

VAXcat Re:When you ride at night, (413 comments)

He's not blaming the victim, he's quoting a Roling Stones song lyric. Jeez....woooshhhh

about a year ago
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Malcolm Gladwell On Culture and Airplane Crashes

VAXcat Re:Take the men in the silos out of the loop ... (423 comments)

They say in the future, airliners will no longer have a pilot and a copilot. Instead, there will be just a pilot and a dog. The dog is there to bite the pilot if he tries to mess with any of the controls.

about a year ago
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FCC Considering Proposal For Encrypted Ham Radio

VAXcat Re:Harmless? (371 comments)

It goes back to the origins of radio. Originally, it was all amateurs messing arouind. Then, as it became more useful and of interest to companies and governments, amateur radio types were quick to restrict themselves as harmless and non-competitive to these interests, in order to keep from being squashed as nuisances. I think it ought to be more like licensing of pilots - those licensed at the lowest skill levels can't charge for flying and can only fly for personal gain under strict rules. As pilots progress in skill levels, they can perform a wider range of flying for hire. Something similar could be done for radio operations. As it is, it took decades to get legal permission to use a radio link to order a pizza.

about a year ago
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FCC Considering Proposal For Encrypted Ham Radio

VAXcat Re:It's dead either way, why not try this? (371 comments)

Can't swear? You clearly haven't spent much time listening to 20 meters, or, at least in my part of the country, 80 meters. Sailors could learn a thing or two about swearing by listening in....

about a year ago
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Keyless Remote Entry For Cars May Have Been Cracked

VAXcat Re:Seems an unnecessary feature (398 comments)

Never get into a car with a carjacker. People who do that wind up at the secondary crime scene, where the homicide (yours) takes place. Run away if you can, fight if you must, but don't get in the car.

about a year ago

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