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Star Wars Coming To Blu-ray In September

desmondmonster Re:Actually, it's Greedo who shoots first. Again. (419 comments)

Actually the visual fidelity of the originals really isn't that good by modern standards. A few years ago they released dvds with the original *unedited* and the remastered versions, and they originals look very fuzzy and kind of cheesy by comparison. It's the sort of thing you might not notice on an old CRT, but the LCD screen I had definitely revealed some limitations in the original film prints.

more than 3 years ago

How Can an Old-School Coder Regain His Chops?

desmondmonster Re:C-sharp (565 comments)

Can you suggest some tips on getting involved with ETL/data modeling work? I'm coming from an accounting background but have experience with Perl and VBA. Haven't messed around with Java too much, and my personal projects are too small to be useful for learning about back-end data flow.

more than 4 years ago

Ballmer Says Microsoft Is 'Hardcore' About Tablets

desmondmonster Re:Hardcordz (324 comments)

I thought the internet was tubular.

more than 4 years ago

Parallel Programming For the Arduino

desmondmonster Re:Propeller Chip (140 comments)

Sure, 8 cores. That'll handle a few servos, audio input/output, light sensor, and video processing, all done natively. After all, it's a microcontroller, good for gadgets and robots. It's not like you're running MapReduce on it.

more than 4 years ago

Parallel Programming For the Arduino

desmondmonster Propeller Chip (140 comments)

Another option is to use the Parallax Propeller microcontroller. It's got 8 cores, 80Mhz clock speed, and 32k of ram, and you can either program in its higher-level Spin language or get right down into assembler. The Arduino is fun to learn on and accessible to people who don't have a strong programming background, but working with the Propeller is like advancing to the varsity squad.

more than 4 years ago

Why "Running IT As a Business" Is a Bad Idea

desmondmonster Re:He is correct (364 comments)

"The perennial problem of IT: It's benefits are several degrees removed from its efforts, from the POV of an accountant." There is an easy way to fix this, as the article suggests: get to know a couple of your accountants, see what kind of work they do and how they use Excel, then write a quick macro to format their data, spread it across several tabs, or email their colleagues. This simple work makes a real impact, and they will quickly understand IT's benefits.

more than 3 years ago

Burning Man Responds To EFF's Criticism of Policy

desmondmonster Re:There's tickets? (210 comments)

'spontaneously gathering' may work for a few thousand people for a couple years, but the cat's now out of the bag. if you want to throw technicalities at BLM, they can probably find a technicality to toss all the campers off the land. burning man gets away with it every year because it brings money into a depressed area, which requires coordination. if you want to relinquish all responsibility, you're opening yourself up to being controlled by other, outside influences. i think the tradeoff's worth it.

more than 5 years ago

Burning Man Responds To EFF's Criticism of Policy

desmondmonster Re:There's tickets? (210 comments)

There are serious logistical challenges to building a city in the desert. Organizers must secure permits, hire portapotty cleaners (who come every day), give out art grants, etc, and these things cost serious money. Burning Man isn't spontaneous and people have realized that for 50,000 people to live civilly with each other, there need to be some rules and a modicum of organization. (The "rules," IIRC, are mostly about adhering to the laws of federal park lands, which the playa is.) I've been twice and old timers always say it's not like it used to be...even people who have been there only three times. But they keep going back, because not-what-it-used-to-be is still better than anything-else-that's-going-on.

more than 5 years ago

WD's Monster 2TB Caviar Green Drive, Preview Test

desmondmonster 2,000,000,000,000 (454 comments)

Seriously, at some point won't all this space be enough for anybody?

more than 5 years ago

BUG - "The LEGO of Gadgets"

desmondmonster Arduino (131 comments)

I think that for general purpose gadget-making, an Arduino board ( is more versatile. They're commonly used by artists for the straightforward input-output commands but I'm sure that someone clever enough could make some killer projects. Also, it's a helluva lot cheaper and fully open source.

more than 6 years ago


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