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Reviving a Commodore 64 Computer Using a Raspberry Pi

bjdevil66 Re:old tech (165 comments)

While schools had Apple computers, many 40 somethings first cut our teeth with computers at home on the C64 or Vic-20. With the C64, I first saw a modem (300 baud) and connect to a BBS system, a floppy disk drive (5.25" - holepunched to use both sides), and compressed digital music (at a C64 club meeting someone had a 10 second snippet of compressed, digital music on a C64 - sounded like crap and took (the usual) 2 minutes to load, but it was a decade ahead of MP3s.)

It also had BASIC programming capabilities with the disk drives for storage. You could draw sprites/graphics, program songs, do basic word processing, etc. Save it on your floppy disk and you were set.

Finally, the C64 had great games that made the pre-NES home consoles like the Atari 2600 look like garbage. The game selection was big enough to where a lot of good games were eventually produced: Ultima III/IV/V (or Bard's Tale, Temple of Apshai, Sword of Fargoal) = World of Warcraft. Arcade/Adventure/Pinball Construction Kit(s) = Minecraft. Karateka/Yie Ar Kung Fu = every fighter game ever. Beachhead = a 2D Call of Duty. Other great games off the top of my head -- Mission Impossible, Raid Over Moscow, Summer/Winter Games (Epyx), Raid on Bungeling Bay, etc.

It was also our first exposure to pirated software trading and beating DRM (Fast Hack'Em, etc.). To play our pirated version of archon (a great cross of chess and 2-D shooter):

load"*",8,1 (,8,8)
sys 24832

The system is a fossil today, but it was great for its time... You just kinda had to be there.

about a week ago
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Russian State TV Anchor: Russia Could Turn US To "Radioactive Ash"

bjdevil66 Re:Sorry - Has to be posted (878 comments)

Whether Romney was just lucky or not doesn't matter. The real problem is that the guy that won was so arrogant and clueless about Russia. And his administration has made multiple, big mistakes abroad. AND it probably doesn't help that they're appointing top campaign contributors as foreign ambassadors even if they know nothing about the country they'll be living in.

Seriously - They're running their foreign policy like a bunch of amateurs playing catch-up.

And yes - The GOP was really wrong to push for and lead the invasion of Iraq. It was a total waste of political capital, a trillion+ dollars, and the scarring of thousands of American soldiers' lives. The problem with that "I hate the GOP no matter what" argument, however, was that Romney was willing to stand on his own at times, and he was definitely not a Sarah Palin like candidate.

about a month ago
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Russian State TV Anchor: Russia Could Turn US To "Radioactive Ash"

bjdevil66 Sorry - Has to be posted (878 comments)

This CANNOT be posted enough. Obama was 100% wrong, and Romney was 100% right.

Call it sour grapes for the 2012 election, but the guy that lost saw the potential problems coming - and our current administration mocked him for it. And Romney haters mocked him online and in the media.

Bottom line: As of today, when it comes to international relations, the executive branch looks like it's being run today by an amateur - supported by amateurs, all living in the same intellectual bubble full of yes men.

about a month ago
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Religion Is Good For Your Brain

bjdevil66 Re:Stress relief (529 comments)

But prayer won't get you drunk or pregnant.

about a month ago
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Religion Is Good For Your Brain

bjdevil66 Re:Religious ignorance. (529 comments)

Communism wasn't a religion. Communism is just an evil mutation of a utopian society where everyone VOLUNTARILY shares their wealth with each other and cares for each other, regardless of what religious views were held by any of its occupants. Communist regimes (under the Soviet model), however, chose the single religious model of athiesm to use as a tool of oppression and control. I imagine that Lenin and his more sincere followers in 1917 had no idea what kind of evil would spring up in the wake of Lenin's death within a few years.

about a month ago
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Religion Is Good For Your Brain

bjdevil66 Re:Religious ignorance. (529 comments)

Religion is powerful enough to compel mass murder, oppression, and dismissal of damning facts against your actions.

I think you meant to say that philosophical fascism, not religion, is powerful enough. Religion is a subset of philosophy, and any philosophy used to force an agenda on others and used to oppress those who don't conform is truly evil.

Philosophical, fascist atheists are just as capable of evil as intolerant religious people. See Stalin in the Soviet Union, as atheist of a state as there has ever been. I'd argue that Stalin was even more evil than Hitler. Millions upon millions were murdered, displaced, starved, and/or oppressed under his atheist regime.

The good news is that the majority of the world fails to follow religion as their religious books tells them to.

"Good news"? You clearly have no understanding of neither the content nor the meaning of religious texts such as the Bible, Torah, Koran, etc. If people followed the tenets of their scriptures, the world's problems would be solved so quickly that intellectuals would call it a modern-day miracle.

about a month ago
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Measles Outbreak In NYC

bjdevil66 Re:Dead Babies (747 comments)

What would crank up the fear quicker would be some A-list celebrity's well-documented child dying of vaccinate-preventable disease. I'm not saying any names because that would be in really bad taste and I don't wish any harm on anyone like that, but I can think of quite a few children that the press, tabloids, and bloggers have covered extensively - and their untimely deaths would be even more dramatic...

about a month ago
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Measles Outbreak In NYC

bjdevil66 Re:Cut them off (747 comments)

Whether you chalk it up to "the Constitution" or an almost religious-like refusal to admit they were wrong about autism/vaccinations, you can't force that kind of view that will be labeled as fascism by those who don't want them.

Like others have posted, the only force that will move these people now is watching loved ones they refused to vaccinate die in their own arms. (And it wouldn't surprise me that much if those people, in their grief, actually blame everyone else for their bad decision.)

about a month ago
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Measles Outbreak In NYC

bjdevil66 Re:Marketing is everything. (747 comments)

Post of the day for the Idiocracy reference. Someone please mod this poster up!

about a month ago
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Measles Outbreak In NYC

bjdevil66 Re:A bit of common sense maybe? (747 comments)

The GP post was clearly referring to the United States. What Italy does within its own borders doesn't matter to the Constitution or Jenny McCarthy.

about a month ago
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US War Machine Downsizing?

bjdevil66 Re:But will they shrink man-hours? Spending? (506 comments)

...this story is really just discussing how the Pentagon plans to get under the limit set by the law.

Maybe the executive branch should just unilaterally put off getting under the limit. It worked for Obamacare - why not this too?

about 2 months ago
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We Can Avoid a Surveillance State Dystopia

bjdevil66 Re:Where to draw the line. (267 comments)

Yes, I am implying that Socialism is better over the long term. Although, it's still not good enough.

The people have to choose to give or the system will fail. Government-sponsored socialism, via taxation and regulation of lifestyles, is always going to fail over the long-term. This is because corruption, hypocrisy, fraud, dependency/laziness, etc. inevitably eat at its foundation.

Voluntary socialism, however, does work. We forget that it is ultimately the individuals that shape how happy we are - not any forced government or economic model. People give and feel good about themselves, encouraging them to give more. Those who receive are lifted out of poverty and eventually gain enough self-respect to move up (assuming social mobility is available in the economy). I know it sounds like it's straight out of an old Sunday School lesson from church to some, but it IS that simple.

(One could carry this to an even more extreme, basic truth - that the unadulterated basics of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the answer to all of society's economic ills. Too many people, however, just see the words "Jesus Christ" or "Gospel" and are immediately repulsed - without any critical thought about its base principles. They start yelling about "freedom of religion", child molesting priests, hypocritical televangelists, "religion is the source of all war", anti-"God Hates Fags" rhetoric, "separation of church and state", weird religious cults, etc. Just getting to those basic truths about faith in God/yourself/others, hope, charity, honesty, the Golden Rule, etc. that would lead to happiness is surrounded by too many stumbling blocks.)

And economics is an attempt to quantify philosophy (with numbers and theories). Since religion is just a subset of philosophy - usually with an all-knowing, all-powerful deity or two mixed in, they are a lot alike - especially when you try to convince someone else that their Keynes/Marx/Greenspan economic theories are wrong.

about 2 months ago
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ICE License-Plate Tracking Plan Withdrawn Amid Outcry About Privacy

bjdevil66 Re:Duh - Not Private (152 comments)

Yes, license plates are for identifying cars. The 4th Amendment, however, was preserved due to the sheer volume of cars out there. A government official (police, FBI, etc.) had to "manually" focus on a single car at a time when there was a reason to pay attention to it. The extra work required to track too many people at once protected the 4th amendment.

Today's tech, however, can now passively track everyone with no effort - which blows away that illusory wall between the 4th amendment and license plate tracking. The moment some government official decides that they're a "person of interest" (whatever that means to that official at that time), they have a practically infinite amount of data to use against them already.

Why am I a "privacy nut" for seeing this problem and talking about it?

More importantly, why are you not concerned with this overreach?

Privacy nuts are usually branded as paranoid against the government, but I submit that people who call us "privacy nuts" have their own deep seated and subtle paranoia of their neighbors. If one really thinks about it, why else would one allow the government to track everyone everywhere in their cars if they weren't worried about some "what if" scenario where the guy next door could be "evil" and could hurt them?

about 2 months ago
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US Plunges To 46th In World Press Freedom Index

bjdevil66 Re:We're the best country in the world!!! Woo!! (357 comments)

Gay Agenda, Tax and spend liberal, Hostile...

Where in the hell did I use all of those right wing, catch phrases people use when they're usually too lazy to think for themselves and just chirp what some ratings whores like FoxNews personalities or Rush Limbaugh have said?

Put your preconceptions about what you may think Tea Party people are like for just a second, and consider this basic fact: The country is going into so much debt that the simple ability to build those roads, help the destitute, or even defend our country's borders from invaders will disappear when the government defaults in one form or another.

The unbalanced budget MUST stop, or economic forces will stop it for us - and NOBODY will like the end result of the latter - except the federal government's creditors, I suppose.

The Americans who worry about that are grouped in with the label "Tea Party", but that fear has NOTHING to do with racism, hating liberal ideologies, etc. It's just basic math - compounded interest, and spending more than you make. We're so spoiled as Americans that we assume that we're immune from collapse as an empire - and that's what we are and have always been - an economic and military powered empire. Maybe this is what happened to the Romans - maybe they got caught up in their Pompeii-style porn, betting on their version of fantasy football (gladiators), overbuilding their military but not wanting to actually serve in it ("let's pay someone else to fight for us"), etc.?

about 2 months ago
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US Plunges To 46th In World Press Freedom Index

bjdevil66 Re:We're the best country in the world!!! Woo!! (357 comments)

Your quote in there makes it seem like the tea part is not extreme, but they are, very extreme....

Or maybe there are many who agree with most of what the Tea Party wants - balanced budget - and not some of the more ridiculous things a few crazies rant about ("Kill the EPA! End Obamacare now - even if there is no better alternative.. Obama is evil! Pull our troops out of everywhere - who cares what happens next! End ALL domestic intelligence gathering NOW, regardless of the implications!" Etc.)

about 2 months ago
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US Plunges To 46th In World Press Freedom Index

bjdevil66 Re:We're the best country in the world!!! Woo!! (357 comments)

Racism absolutely does exist (amongst ALL races). Hell - there are racist black people that not only hate white people but hate darker-skinned blacks.

Also, the people that identify themselves as "Tea Party" types are NOT all racists. I consider myself one who is really worried about the horrible, annual federal deficit and out of control social programs, so I align with those Tea Party principles. That does NOT make me a racist. If anything, I want the government to balance its books just so they can actually CONTINUE the social programs, and to not balance the budget would eventually have the government default and kill the social programs, which would harm poor minorities than any idiot burning a cross in a Mississippi lawn today.

That racist stereotype is ridiculous, yet it is perpetuated by many.

about 2 months ago
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US Plunges To 46th In World Press Freedom Index

bjdevil66 Re:We're the best country in the world!!! Woo!! (357 comments)

The ones that care are called:

a) Racist bigots (for affiliating with "Tea Party Extremists" when they only want a balanced budget and reasonable cuts to defense and wasteful spending).

b) Gun zealots when they stand up for their right to bear arms (especially when someone invokes dead children as their weapon of degradation against gun rights). And no - aside from reasonable bans on fully automatic weapons and other heavy military hardware, there's not really a good middleground by half measures like magazine size caps or unenforceable registration laws.

Selfish jerks for wanting wasteful social spending cuts on the poor that seems to be fine with using SNAP funds for booze, etc. (Yes, they're a minority, but a substantial one.)

Intolerant bigots for wanting to worship who or what they may - and want laws reflecting their beliefs (as long as they don't conflict with basic civil rights - and I don't mean the ever expansion of civil rights to include every minority created by individuals for their own benefit.)

Ignorant racists for questioning this administration.

Ignorant terrorist supporters for questioning the last administration.

The groups described above are generally either directly assaulted by (or blatantly marketed to) elements in the press because they think for themselves - and whether they're right or wrong, they're - well - dangerous...

about 2 months ago
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Vikings' Secret Code Cracked

bjdevil66 kiddie code? (89 comments)

I imagine that 1000 years into the future some 20th century English runologist will crack the code of pig latin.

about 2 months ago
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Ugly Trends Threaten Aviation Industry

bjdevil66 Re:Cost (473 comments)

Whoa - You read way too much into my post, turning a possible future scenario for the US's decline into a vigorous attempt to defend atheism.

I also only included the "under God" snippet because it was in the Pledge of Allegiance - which fit the zeitgeist of the mid-to-late 20th century after World War II, which future historians will eventually call the peak of the US's dominance in the world (culturally, socially, militarily, etc.)

Feel free to throw up your Festivus poles and do your thing... and thank (name of deity/idol/philosophy of choice) for the First Amendment!

about 2 months ago
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Ugly Trends Threaten Aviation Industry

bjdevil66 Re:Cost (473 comments)

You're ignoring too many social forces at play - especially religion. Despite the growth of atheism in the USA, a large majority of people in the US still turn to God as a last resort when really pressed by a life or death crisis. If the country actually fractured, it would likely be on those cultural/social lines. I can't say what would happen to every state, but you'd for sure have the Bible Belt holding together from Texas to Florida along the Mason/Dixon line and West Virginia (pretty much the old confederacy). You'd also have a landlocked "Mormon belt" of Utah, most of Arizona (possibly sans everything south of the Gila River - more liberal Tucson, etc), and parts of California, southern Idaho, and a lot of Nevada. It would be the recreation of their original, larger "state of Deseret" in the 1800's (before the feds carved that way down to what is modern-day Utah). (BTW - If you think the Mormons couldn't pull this off, they got Prop 8 passed in California by popular vote and a 4% margin of victory. If they can accomplish that, they can get a LOT done when they work together.) Throw in a couple of regional coalitions based on what would probably resemble old college football conferences (Pac 8, Big 8, etc), and that'd be pretty close to what you'd get - maybe with some kind of loose confederacy between some regions (like what was thrown out in the 1780s before the Constitution?) Maybe the West Coast would toil under official Asian rule (Chinese or Indian) as a natural resource for farming and cheap labor to support the elevated Asian lifestyle - simply to pay off the US's debts (and be "protected" from other countries and keep the money flowing from Asia)?

However, IMO, all of that kind of major political upheaval is pretty far-fetched. The more likely scenario is borders across North America fading out of practical enforcement. It wouldn't be by national decree or a redrawing of borders. It'll simply happen because people will stop enforcing laws to protect them. We're already seeing this administration struggle with enforcing existing federal laws or constitutional principles they a) don't agree with (immigration), b) can't enforce or effectively implement (Obamacare), or defend (Constitutional protections against unwarranted surveillance). This empire will fall a lot like the Roman Empire fall quietly came and went - slowly from the inside over generations. Just like back then in Britannia, Germania, Gaul, etc. the indigenous people will stop kowtowing to their corrupt and comfortable masters and realize the federal government really is only as strong as the people make it. Also like the Roman Empire, it will probably take future historians decades to realize that the real USA (as it was - "one nation, under God, indivisible", with guaranteed rights and liberties actually protected by a government that was accountable to a people who cared) had quietly disappeared right under their noses - even if some of the borders remained on paper.

They may wonder (as an academic exercise) how we let such a great empire fall apart, but nobody will really mourn its loss - as long as they have a reasonably comfortable life and some other stuff to care about. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

about 2 months ago

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