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NVIDIA SHIELD Tablet Android Lollipop Update Performance Explored

pjwhite Name eight unrelated words (57 comments)

"NVIDIA SHIELD Tablet Android Lollipop Update Performance Explored"

This headline has meaning for many of the people reading it on this website, but imagine the average non-technical person trying to parse this.

about 2 months ago

WD Announces 8TB, 10TB Helium Hard Drives

pjwhite Re:Leakage? (296 comments)

I still have a couple of Bigfoot drives running strong in a Windows 98 machine. Most reliable drives I've ever had. Slow, yes, but for my application, fast enough.

about 5 months ago

Old Doesn't Have To Mean Ugly: Squeezing Better Graphics From Classic Consoles

pjwhite Nintendo and TV quality (167 comments)

When I used to have a Nintendo (NES), I would hook it up to my cheap TV and the picture was fuzzy, edges were clipped, etc. Then I connected it to an Amiga 1080 (?) NTSC video monitor. The improvement was dramatic. Same (theoretical) resolution, but much sharper and better color.

about 5 months ago

Use of Encryption Foiled the Cops a Record 9 Times In 2013

pjwhite Out of how many? (115 comments)

The headline is meaningless without also including the number of cases actually involving encryption. Looking at the article, that number appears to be 41.

about 7 months ago

In SF: an App For Auctioning Off Your Public Parking Spot

pjwhite Re:Legally questionable, doomed to fail! (427 comments)

This sounds like a bad idea, and not just the reasons others have already posted.
In order to make use of this system, drivers looking for a spot, by definition, are not parked safely off the street, they are driving. And they are looking at their phone/tablet/whatever, not at the road.
San Francisco is notorious for the high number of pedestrians injured by cars.
How many will die thanks to this new app?

about 9 months ago

Ask Slashdot: Experiences With Free To Air Satellite TV?

pjwhite Re:Don't expect it to be Cable (219 comments)

I had a FTA receiver connected to a small dish that was mounted on the roof of the house when I bought it a few years ago. After some fiddling with the receiver settings, I was able to detect several dozen channels, only a few of which were unencrypted. The best one was the NASA TV channel, which I watched quite a lot until one day it went encrypted like the others. I tried re-aiming the dish a few times, to see if I could pick up other satellites, with no luck. Without proper equipment, aiming is very difficult if not impossible. For a casual TV watcher like me, it wasn't worth the time and effort.

about 10 months ago

What percentage of the software you use regularly is open source?

pjwhite Work vs. Home (222 comments)

At work, I use almost all Windows based applications, none of which are open source At home I use FreeBSD for a lot of things, and that's all open source. I also use a lot of software I've written myself, some of which is open source, but mostly not.

about a year and a half ago

Ask Slashdot: Hands-On Activity For IT Career Fair

pjwhite Career option (121 comments)

Have them:
Dismantle a desktop PC.
Take apart a video monitor (CRT or LCD).
Tear down a hard drive.

Congratulations -- they're qualified to be a computer recycler.

about a year and a half ago

Your preferred Linux distribution for 2013?

pjwhite What is this poll really telling us? (627 comments)

How many people have actually used and can make a valid comparison of all these distributions?

about a year and a half ago

Compared to my 1st computer's memory ...

pjwhite Re:No 512 option? (587 comments)

(cough, cough)

about a year and a half ago

My view of touchscreen laptops:

pjwhite Touchscreens have their uses (359 comments)

Touchscreens are OK for applications that you need to use for 5 seconds, like a kiosk where you would look up some information and then go on your way. But for continuous use, they are not the right interface.

about a year and a half ago

How Did You Learn How To Program?

pjwhite My high school was cool (623 comments)

My high school (ca 1972-1975) had a computer lab with 3 or 4 desktop programmable calculators. I think they were CalComp or Monroe. They had a system where you could write a program on one to three punch cards that the calculator would read in and execute. The punch cards were standard IBM size, but they had pre-perforated holes that you would push out with a stylus on a special card holder. You could fix a mis-punched hole by gluing the chad back in place.
I spent a lot of time learning all about those machines and exploring their limits. I wrote many programs that used the maximum number of instructions possible, and learned a lot about program optimization that way. I discovered some undocumented op codes that allowed some interesting printer operations and wrote a program to print sideways banners on the tape printer.

about a year and a half ago

Ask Slashdot: Old Technology Coexisting With New?

pjwhite Re:Keyboards no, $750 RAID cards yes (338 comments)

I have been using the same keyboard layout since 1989, when I first got a Northgate keyboard, and I refuse to switch. The function keys are in two vertical columns to the left of the main keyboard and on the left-hand side of the main keyboard I have, from bottom to top, "Alt", "Shift", "Ctrl" "Tab" and "Esc". (Caps Lock is safely out of reach just to the left of the space bar). There is a full numeric pad on the right as well as a cursor control group just to the left of the numeric pad.
I find this layout much more efficient ergonomically than more modern keyboard layouts, which sacrificed good layout for compactness.

One of my main computers that I use almost every day is a Pentium 3 Win98 machine, with four different parallel port devices (attached through a switch to the single parallel port on the computer) -- an HP LaserJet Series II printer (still making clean prints), an EPROM programmer, a security dongle and a JTAG adapter. I also have (and use regularly) a Houston Instruments plotter connected to this computer via RS-232.

more than 2 years ago

WD Builds High-Capacity, Helium-Filled HDDs

pjwhite Secondary advantage to helium (356 comments)

Another advantage of using a drive filled with helium is better thermal conductivity than air (0.142 vs 0.024) . The heat generated by the inner workings of the drive will be conducted to the outer case, keeping the inside cooler.

more than 2 years ago

Inductive Charging For EVs To Be Tested In Berlin

pjwhite Re:Low efficiency? (123 comments)

The answer to this question is, "convenience."
Imagine the scenario where you recharge your commuter car overnight. With a plug system, you will have to remember to 1) plug in the system when you get home and 2) unplug it again when you leave for work the next day. If you forget either of these steps, you end up with either an uncharged car in the morning, or the plug gets ripped out of the side of the car when you drive off.
If you can drive over an inductive loop when you park, your car will charge automatically when you park and there is nothing to disconnect when you leave again.

more than 3 years ago

How 3D Printing Could Help Keep the ISS In Orbit

pjwhite 3-D Printing predicted in 1952 (200 comments)

As I recall, Robert Heinlein's 1952 story, "The Rolling Stones," predicted 3-D printing, or its equivalent, when referring to a method of making repair parts for a rocket engine.

more than 3 years ago

Rare Earth Restrictions To Raise Hard Drive Cost

pjwhite Recycling? (254 comments)

With all the old hard drives that wear out or become obsolete, I wonder if there is any effort being put into recycling the rare earth magnets they contain, or if old drives are just dumped by the ton into landfills.

more than 3 years ago

Lines of code I've written in the last 24 hours:

pjwhite Re:Not too many (391 comments)

Same here. I didn't write much code, but I did a lot of editing and got several things to start working. Lines of code written is a terrible way to measure productivity.

more than 3 years ago


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