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Comments

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Why the Z-80's Data Pins Are Scrambled

bjb Re:C=128 (167 comments)

Do provide links. Please. I failed to find them, and my black 2.04 books are buried in some box from my latest moving day (if I had not thrown them out).

If you want a 1.3 ROM Kernel Manual, you'll have to pull it out from under my kid's car seat. Just the right size and thickness to correct the seat angle :-)

Always wonder if someone will ever catch a glimpse of that and know what the heck it is...

about 2 months ago
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Apple Launches CarPlay At Geneva Show

bjb Distraction from what is important? (264 comments)

I love how in the video showing the touch screen interface, somewhere around 23 seconds in the narrator states that "it is presented in the same way that you're used to [long pause] without distracting you from what is important".

The pause is long enough that you wonder if they're trying to say that "what is important" is the data on the screen or what you're doing?

Heck, I'd like to think that DRIVING IS WHAT IS IMPORTANT and these touch screens are only taking your eyes off the road so you can pinpoint where on a screen you're going to touch. I dig technology and progress but driver controls are one thing that should be left in the analog world of dials, buttons, levers, etc.!

about 9 months ago
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Unreleased 1963 Beatles Tracks On Sale To Preserve Copyright

bjb Re:This is important (230 comments)

You joke, but it's really incentive for future artists more than former. When they see people working a few years in their youth and then earning royalties into retirement, that's quite the incentive to get into music.

Just ask any musician. They'll tell you they got in it for the money.

Appropriate Frank Zappa & the Mothers of Invention link: We're Only In It for the Money

about a year ago
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China Prefers Sticking With Dying Windows XP To Upgrading

bjb Is it about ease of piracy? (333 comments)

I'm just curious why sticking with XP would be desirable. I know that Vista/7/8 have higher system resource requirements, but is perhaps the driver being that it is easier to pirate a copy of XP?

The basis for my statement there is simply because I know that XP only asks for a product key and I don't recall in recent history the activation mechanism being particularly strict. Vista/7 seems to start disabling itself after a while without a properly activated key and 8 seems to want an email address to tie your license to (from the one time I played with it out of curiosity). I'm figuring the Vista/7/8 mechanism is just tighter?

about a year ago
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Amazon Jumps Into Desktop Virtualization With "WorkSpaces"

bjb I hope this improves Citrix for Mac (92 comments)

I know that this isn't quite the same as what Citrix does with its Xen Desktop and Receiver bits, but for those who do remote access to work with a Citrix product and do this with a Mac, I'm a bit frustrated that the Mac client is always a step behind.

Specifically, the Windows client now has USB routing and HDX features and this seems to be absent from their Mac client offerings. With a lot of organizations using IP conferencing (read: Lync), this is becoming a bit of a problem.

1 year,11 days
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Microsoft Narrows Down CEO Shortlist: Elop, Mulally, Bates, Nadella In Mix

bjb Gill Bates? (183 comments)

In my pre-caffienated state this morning and frankly not paying much attention to who is going to take over Microsoft, I couldn't help but to think Gill Bates when seeing that name.

If the guy is a suitable candidate to run the firm, it would almost be too perfect :-)

1 year,18 days
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Apple 27-inch iMac With Intel's Haswell Inside Tested

bjb Re:They are still damn overpriced (241 comments)

The Macintosh II line (and by this I assume we're talking II / IIfx-type, not the smaller ones like the IIci) were tanks. While I won't really argue that the iMac line is necessarily good or bad quality (the 2005 iMac G5 a family member owns seems pretty good when I opened it for a RAM upgrade), the Mac Pro line (especially the aluminum ones; G5->Intel) seem very solid and well engineered.

1 year,27 days
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AMD's New Radeons Revisit Old Silicon, Enable Dormant Features

bjb Re:Marketing Numbers (75 comments)

I'll take a 280ZX. With T-tops, preferably.

about a year ago
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Why Are Some People Mosquito Magnets?

bjb CO2 (183 comments)

From what I've understood over the years, it is because those folks emit slightly more carbon dioxide than others and that is what the mosquitoes are attracted to. I, unfortunately, am one of those people. However, I am able to make the claim that "I'm full of hot air" as a result :-)

But to be serious, a mosquito trap basically uses CO2 as bait.

about a year ago
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Linux 3.11 Officially Named "Linux For Workgroups"

bjb Re:Lest we forget... (376 comments)

Actually, I think the problem was only on Windows 3.1. I can't say if it was on 3.0, but I've tried this in the past on Windows 2.03 (386) and even 1.0x and it returns the correct 0.01 result. My question is how did they screw up something as simple as a standard calculator application? Isn't that almost a standard programming assignment in computer science 101 courses?

about a year ago
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Apple-1 Sells For $671,400, Breaks Previous Auction Record

bjb Re:Metaphores. (79 comments)

Considering Jobs and Woz made no claims to knowing what it meant at the time, it was amusing to see Jean-Louis Gassée's book 20 years or so ago called "The First Apple". Had a picture of Sir Issac Newton sitting under an serpent-laden apple tree with a Macintosh. Birth of history (if you consider the bible as such), birth of science (if you consider Newton and the gravity apple as such), and birth of computer revolution (if you consider the Macintosh as such). Clever.

about a year and a half ago
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Drones: Coming Soon To the New Jersey Turnpike?

bjb Smile, mistress! (249 comments)

I was talking about "Photo Cops" this weekend while driving on the Garden State Parkway and saying "if they ever introduced [photo cops] on the GSP, people would be screwed." Referring, of course, to the fact that it is a 55 mph road and everyone was driving 70.

They tried having photo cops on Route 80 in NJ back in the late 80's or early 90's (don't quite remember) and it was simply a camera sticking out of the back of a van. Trip the speed limit, take a photo of the driver, mail summons to person. From what I remember at the time, it caused a bit of an uproar after a few politicians got pictures of them driving with their mistress and the summons envelope being opened by their wife.

Speed enforcement is fine; it keeps people relatively sane with their driving habits. I personally feel that the dangerous ones on the road are the ones who are driving more than 5-10 mph away from the average that everyone else on the section of road is driving. But sometimes you have a clear shot where there is nobody around you and goosing it up several mph to gain some time isn't that big a deal. If an automaton is going to penalize me without any context, that's where I draw the line.

about a year and a half ago
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World's Largest High-Rise Data Center Opens In New York

bjb I thought they meant 33 Thomas St (60 comments)

I thought they meant 33 Thomas Street, which is another old switching building but has no windows, unlike the Verizon building they're talking about.

Back in the day (as recent as the late 80s or even early 90s) a lot of downtown Manhattan businesses had multiple phone lines going to every desk at those office high rises. These buildings existed just to house all that equipment, from what I always gathered. While I don't know what it looks like inside today, I'd imagine the technology of today requires only a fraction of that space now.

about a year and a half ago
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Should Congress Telecommute?

bjb Re:Yes! (213 comments)

If it decreases the influence of lobbyists, then yes.

Lobbyists will have to email and thus hopefully get caught by spam filters?

about a year and a half ago
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Ask Slashdot: Best Way To Block Noise In a Dorm?

bjb Go to the study room (561 comments)

Forget studying in your dorm room. Go to a study hall and preferably find one of those desks with the walls on three sides so you can get into your own little world. Just try not to sit near the cute girl or that will distract you.

about a year and a half ago
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Minority Report's Legacy of Terrible Interfaces

bjb Re:Cadillac (305 comments)

Tesla took this to another level. Their sedan has pretty much vertically rotated 23" LCD touch screen as their control center. Sure, that's great you can google while you're driving (uhh.. hang on..), but this screams "take your eyes off the road and focus on this screen to turn up your radio volume". Now introduce a software upgrade that rearranges buttons and I'm SURE there will be auto accidents because of this "innovation".

about a year and a half ago
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Darling: Run Apple OS X Binaries On Linux

bjb Re:Does it run PPC binaries? (255 comments)

I have a feeling you mean 10.5.8; 10.6.x is Snow Leopard which dropped support for PowerPC. Leopard's 10.5.8 release was in August 2009, according to Wikipedia.

about 2 years ago
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Ask Steve Wozniak Anything

bjb Will you ever go back to teaching school kids? (612 comments)

Many years ago I read about how you were dedicating a lot of your time to teaching school kids how to use computers. I was always a fan of yours prior to that, but reading about your work there solidified you as a hero in my book. I think I even sent you an email years ago saying that if you were willing, I'd come out on my own dime to help out for a week (I've always been one of those highly technical people who can actually be patient and teach effectively as well).

Are you ever going to return to this? Sure, I can imagine that kids might not need as much help these days; for those of us who stopped our family VCRs from blinking 12:00, I've always thought that my kids are going to have something similar as they get older with me. But still, do you think you would ever do this again?

more than 2 years ago

Submissions

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So long, and thanks for all the Twinkies

bjb bjb writes  |  about 2 years ago

bjb (3050) writes "According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, Hostess Brands is shutting down, firing about 18,000 workers and seeking liquidation. "A victim of changing consumer tastes, high commodity costs and, most importantly, strained labor relations, Hostess ultimately was brought to its knees by a national strike orchestrated by its second-largest union.". Apparently the remaining inventory of breads and cakes will be sold off to big box retailers and the future of the brands will be determined by the highest bidders in the liquidation."
Link to Original Source
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Best Resource for Identifying Legit Applications?

bjb bjb writes  |  more than 4 years ago

bjb (3050) writes "While helping a somewhat computer illiterate person figure out a problem recently, they pointed out that their PDF files stopped working. Upon investigation I found something installed called "PDF Suite". Never hearing of it, I googled it with "malware" and other key words, but nothing turned up though my suspicion remained (and WOT somewhat confirmed.) So my question is where can you go to find if something is legitimate? Given the person's dial-up connection, downloading malware detection applications (and updates) is too heavy and I don't maintain a USB stick with such apps since I don't do this kind of thing often. Where can you quickly find information?"
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New touch screen Palm Pre ditches old PalmOS

bjb bjb writes  |  more than 5 years ago

bjb (3050) writes "Just received an email last night from Palm that a new touch screen device, the Palm Pre, is going on sale shortly. A quick google found a two reviews: engadget and gizmodo. First look is that they ditched the legacy PalmOS (aka Access) for a new "Palm webOS". Is this going to save the company? Can it compete with iPhone, Android and Blackberry again? I've always loved my Palm devices, so hopefully they've done something right here."

Journals

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Adoption of Apple's Parallel Programming Technologies

bjb bjb writes  |  more than 5 years ago Apple's release of Snow Leopard introduces three interesting technologies that are addressing a common problem we're facing today: single-threaded CPU bound applications are reaching their performance limits. OpenCL, while not original in concept, is an attempt at a standard for tapping your GPU's processing capabilities. Grand Central Dispatch, a recently open-sourced library, is an intelligent attempt at a system-wide thread pool that is easily taken advantage of by the blocks C language extension available to Snow Leopard. All of these technologies sound fantastic, but we will only benefit outside of OS X if the Windows and Linux communities embrace them. My question is what does the Slashdot community think? Will blocks be widely adopted? Will we see cross-platform code taking advantage of libgcd and OpenCL? Are there fundamental issues with the design or license that turn people off? Of course, Microsoft has already started their counterplay by introducing DirectCompute in Windows 7, so we may see another divide similar to OpenGL VS Direct3D. However, all this is at least addressing an itch that needs to be scratched.

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