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How Old Is the Oldest Computer You Regularly Use?

dolphinling Older than 15 years (543 comments)

I semi-regularly ssh into a server that's running linux 2.2, and AIUI the home directories for that and the desktops in the building (that I do use regularly) are served off an ancient SGI mainframe. I also regularly use a server running AIX 5.3; I have no idea how old the hardware for that is (AIX 5.3 came out in 2004).

Thus, I'm reasonably sure 15+ years old is not an overstatement. Yay for universities.

That said, even my desktop is over 6 at this point.

more than 4 years ago

How many countries have you visited?

dolphinling Hometown? (958 comments)

"6-10, and some of them haven't heard of my hometown"? Forget that, I can stay within my state and most of the people I meet haven't heard of my hometown. Some of us don't live in cities, you know.

more than 4 years ago

Do Retailers Often Screen User Reviews?

dolphinling Who was the retailer? (454 comments)

Who was the retailer? We need to know, so we can avoid them.

more than 4 years ago

New Phoenix BIOS Starts Windows 7 Boot in 1 Second

dolphinling Re:BIOS (437 comments)

Beats me, you'd have to ask on the coreboot mailing list.

My best guess, though, is yes. (Excluding, of course, Windows startup.)

more than 4 years ago

New Phoenix BIOS Starts Windows 7 Boot in 1 Second

dolphinling Re:BIOS (437 comments)

Hard to say. I'm pretty sure the 3 second time had a lot of "typical" linux components stripped out, but note that you won't get a shell until everything's finished loading, while X can be started in parallel with other things and be usable while other components start. I believe some work was done that got it under 5 seconds from init to usable. There's still the bios time (0 with a tricked-out coreboot setup) and the time while the kernel starts up before init (this takes 2-3 seconds for me, no idea what "normal" or "fast" is). That adds up to ~7-8 seconds.

One thing to note is that storing the kernel directly in EEPROM lets you skip the bootloader entirely. Bootloaders are usually pretty fast, but they usually have a programmed delay of a few seconds to let you choose a kernel or whatever.

more than 4 years ago

New Phoenix BIOS Starts Windows 7 Boot in 1 Second

dolphinling Re:BIOS (437 comments)

It's not really all that fast. With coreboot there's an option to flash a kernel directly to your bios chip, and skip bios and bootloader entirely. Makes kernel upgrades a pain, of course, but they got wall time from poweron to a working linux shell down to three seconds.

more than 4 years ago

Why Do Hard Drives Keep Getting Bigger?

dolphinling Re:Files are a gas, but drives are not balloons. (450 comments)

I'd say media files (and software, too) expand to take up as much space as internet bandwidth allows. Back in the day, if you wanted online video, it was all tiny .mpgs. Now it's HD Theora and H264. Back when I had dialup, I wouldn't have appreciated it if the only way to watch something was to wait 7 weeks for it. Now, I can get that same file in a few hours and that's an acceptable time to wait.

And of course, very much involved is packrat tendencies: we'd much rather buy another hard drive than have to delete stuff, even if we're done with it.

more than 5 years ago

Under my immediate control are X USB drives; X=

dolphinling Re:Nay to USB drives, but Yea to floppies? (412 comments)

They're not a virus risk due to autorun if you, y'know, use a sensible OS.

This is slashdot, man, get with the program.

more than 5 years ago

AMD Breaks 1GHz GPU Barrier With Radeon HD 4890

dolphinling FLOPs/Hz (144 comments)

1600 FLOPs per Hz? That's actually rather impressive.

more than 5 years ago

Dell's Rugged Laptop Doesn't Quite Pass 4-Foot Drop Test

dolphinling OLPC (113 comments)

Huh. I dropped my OLPC from about 4 feet (a little less, maybe 3.5 with some forward momentum too) just a week ago. It bounced to about 1.5-2 feet, then landed again. Outdoors, hard asphalt. No damage except a tiny depression in the plastic on one corner.

Not the first time I've dropped it, either. Only thing I've broken from a drop is a tiny chunk of plastic off the headphone jack--in a ~6 foot drop onto a tile floor that hit the wall and my leg and thus didn't get the full force, but did manage to bend the 1/8th inch headphone connector.

Sounds like Dell has some catching up to do.

more than 5 years ago

Mathematics Reading List For High School Students?

dolphinling To Infinity and Beyond (630 comments)

A book that I liked when I was younger was To Infinity and Beyond by Eli Maor. It's a sort of advanced layman's look at infinity and the closely-related zero. It includes mathematical topics your students probably haven't seen before (and won't, unless they become math majors), in enough depth to be interesting but not overwhelming (not enough to really be useful mathematically, either just to make them interested and perhaps help them be more comfortable if/when they get to higher math). It also has a lot of history. It seems to be mostly available on google book search (a bunch of random pages missing, but mostly there) so you can check it out without leaving your computer!

more than 5 years ago

Game Industry Optimistic About Surviving Economic Crisis

dolphinling "Big trouble for the industry"? (52 comments)

"Could spell big trouble for the industry"? Perhaps you mean "could spell big trouble for companies that try to keep using outdated methods"?

more than 5 years ago



dolphinling dolphinling writes  |  more than 7 years ago

dolphinling writes "Everyone knows the Mozilla Corporation makes a lot of money and employs a lot of people now. Google has full-time employees working on Firefox too, as do a number of other places. Yet despite that, in the six months up to Firefox 2 "27% of the patches to Firefox and Gecko and other key projects were submitted by key volunteers, [and] those patches represent 24% of changes made to the source code". What's more, those numbers only counted contributers with 50 patches or more, so the actual numbers are probably quite a bit higher. It's good to see that even as Mozilla does so well in the business world, it can still keep its ties to the community so strong."



PoemSig v2

dolphinling dolphinling writes  |  more than 8 years ago

I came up with another sig, a limerick this time. And let me tell you, fitting a limerick into 120 letters is hard.

A character limit can thwart/If too long, your sig will abort/I made one today/But then had to say/AGH! This space's too

I think you have to use the /s because Slashdot'll leave normal line breaks as HTML ( = not line breaks), and would count <br> in the character limit. If you can get around that, be sure to tell me!



dolphinling dolphinling writes  |  more than 8 years ago

I just came up with a new sig, but I don't want to leave my old one. So here it is, CC-SAed, for anyone who wants to take it:

My sig's a poem
Five, seven, five syllables
It is a haiku


Encrypt the DMCA

dolphinling dolphinling writes  |  about 9 years ago

I'll have to read through the DMCA sometime, because I want to try this out.

If I encrypt the DMCA, does that make it illegal for all those lawyers to possess an unencrypted version, thereby making it so they can't apply it?


Lost Irony

dolphinling dolphinling writes  |  more than 9 years ago

link. Second reply to it, and its sub-replies

For the record, my sig right now is "There are 11 types of people in the world: those who can count in binary, and those who can't."


Subthread spawning

dolphinling dolphinling writes  |  more than 9 years ago

I am proud to say I have spawned a sub-thread with a full 13 posts (6 directly to my comment), at least one of which was exactly redundant and several that were somewhat redundant, all of which were offtopic, and only two of which were original (those being a gramar nazi and a reply to it), and I did this all with the words "No it's not.".

Re:It's been said before I'm sure:

P.S.: Thanks to whoever gave me the "interesting" karma :-)


First Journal Entry

dolphinling dolphinling writes  |  more than 10 years ago

I noticed two things today. One, my Karma went up to Good from Positive, probably because of the discussion that I got several of the first hundred posts on and was therefore visible, and two, I have two Fans. Where the heck did these people come from? I've never seen nor heard from them in my life. I'm still at 0 friends, foes, and freaks (waiting for my one friend who actually reads /. to get a new account, since he forgot the password to his old one a year ago).

Comments enabled because I like free speech.

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