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Ask Slashdot: How Do I Make a High-Spec PC Waterproof?

solid_liq Embedded with DSP (202 comments)

It sounds like you're using the GPU as a DSP. Why not just get an embedded processor with a built in DSP? An example of an older generation one is the Atmel at9g45m. This is an older ARM core processor which has more power than you would expect. You can probably get away with using a fanless ARM system for your application. You may even find one that has enough processing power which doesn't even need a heatsink.

about a month ago
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Advice On Teaching Linux To CS Freshmen?

solid_liq Re:Start by... (467 comments)

What can you do in Slackware that is impossible in Ubuntu?

In Slackware, you learn how to do things on any Linux distro. In Ubuntu, you only learn how to do things in Ubuntu, Debian, and Debian derivatives. I owe to Slackware the fact that I can sit down and work with any Linux distro out there. It doesn't include its own special tools for anything, so you are forced to do everything the "standard Linux way," which is the way that works on every distro (with some special exceptions, like DSL).

more than 3 years ago
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Advice On Teaching Linux To CS Freshmen?

solid_liq Give them insight into the underpinnings (467 comments)

I would teach them basic bash scripting, and about /proc and /sys. Then I would have them write scripts to automate extracting information from /proc and /sys in bash using grep, sed and maybe awk. Teaching them how to work with Linux from the shell and how to pull information out of the kernel like this should give them some good insights into the operating system and its tools. Additionally, I would teach them how to write init scripts and how to do "fun" things to get them excited about Linux.

more than 3 years ago
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What 2D GUI Foundation Do You Use?

solid_liq There's always the option of no framework (331 comments)

I had the same dilemma, except I also knew I would eventually add 3D graphics as well. I wanted it to be portable to anything, and I needed it to render accurately and with proper anti-aliasing (anti-aliased while drawing, not via a filter after the fact). After mulling over all the options, I came to a difficult conclusion: write it myself. This is more work than I'd like, but it allows me to ensure it will run on anything, anywhere. If something new comes out that I want it to run on, I just port to it; I don't have to beg a vendor for it to be ported for me. Performance isn't paramount to my application, so I can put enough abstraction layers in to make the porting process relatively easy. All frameworks seem to put performance as the highest priority, which gets rid of the ease of portability. If your application will render graphics that sit still most of the time, this may be your best option (assuming you know linear algebra if you want vector graphics, and know graphics programming regardless).

This option worked for me.

about 4 years ago
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How Can an Old-School Coder Regain His Chops?

solid_liq Switch to embedded (565 comments)

You'll find getting back into the field, to program in high level languages with all of your previous experience outdated, to be very difficult. Companies will not want to pay you the salary your years of experience would warrant, and it would be like starting over.

Instead, the method back in that I've found for those of us who started in the "old days" is to go for embedded systems development. The embedded world uses 10+ year old technologies, so your experience with assembly language programming and writing software for systems with limited amounts of RAM and storage space is a big plus for embedded systems development. There are plenty of companies still creating software for processors that run at between 4 and 20 MHz with anywhere from 256 bytes of RAM on up to a handful of kilobytes of RAM. I've found this sort of development work is much more interesting, anyway, and people with old school knowledge are considered more valuable, rather than a dinosaur, for such work.

more than 4 years ago
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SpaceX Successfully Launches Falcon 9 Rocket

solid_liq Nice pictures (190 comments)

For such an expensive rocket launch, you'd think they'd at least have a professional photographer with professional lenses. Those pictures are terrible. Look at the flames; there's no detail. They obviously used cheap lenses. I'm an amateur photographer, but I have professional equipment because I'm too picky to have my pictures look as bad as their launch pictures do. I'm glad the launch succeeded, but you'd think they'd want better pictures for examining the launch and for PR.

more than 4 years ago
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When Mistakes Improve Performance

solid_liq Take a step back? (222 comments)

He apparently wants us to take a step backwards to the days when crashes were frequent, such as with Windows 98. Software quality has a long way to go already. Does he not realize that making programmers deal with such an issue would bring software quality back into the Dark Ages?

As it is, programmers aren't given enough time to write software that works bug-free. Schedules are always rushed. This would dramatically increase: the burden on developers, the quantity of bugs, the number of developers being fired because they didn't get a project accomplished nearly as quickly as someone who pulled off a similar project 5 years earlier, the frustration of the users and developers (and transitively, the number of heart attacks around the world due to elevated blood pressure), the number of security vulnerabilities in software, and the migration rate to processor vendors who didn't make this mistake.

In short: this guy is on crack!

more than 4 years ago
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For Automated Testing, Better Alternatives To DOS Batch Files?

solid_liq Okay... (426 comments)

You're crazy!

more than 4 years ago
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Computer Competency Test For Non-IT Hires?

solid_liq Simple Solution (369 comments)

The solution to this is simple:

1. Make sure you have an Enterprise licensed AV installed. The per-client cost is low, and the updates will be centrally managed by the server. If your network is too small for this to be cost effective, then just have Norton AV (or your favorite respected AV) on every machine in the network.

2. Don't give your employees local admin privs. This one change has, in my experience, made all the difference in the world for many small businesses.

This is much cheaper than paying the labor for having an IT person come in and clean up all the messes.

more than 4 years ago
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Virtualizing Workstations For Common Hardware?

solid_liq Yes (349 comments)

It's call Norton Ghost.

more than 4 years ago
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Bill Gates May Build Small Nuclear Reactor

solid_liq A nuclear reactor and Bill Gates (347 comments)

I don't know about you, but I don't want to be anywhere a nuclear reactor that Bill Gates had any part in designing. It's bad enough that computers running software he had a hand in creating have orders of magnitude more problems than software from any other source. Put Bill Gates into the nuclear reactor business, and... well, I shudder to think of the sheer magnitude of the potential for disaster there.

more than 4 years ago
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Best Filesystem For External Back-Up Drives?

solid_liq ext3 (484 comments)

I go with ext3 for this personally. NTFS doesn't store *nix style filesystem permissions, and causes various other issues with you Linux systems. With ext3, you can store all your files with all of your permissions intact, the filesystem is mature and trustworthy, and you can still access all of the files from any operating system by simply connecting the drives to a dedicated fileserver machine (an older computer or small device works perfectly for this). Simply share your files via NFS, Samba and ftp (if you need ftp access for something like xmbc). Having a dedicated machine for this means you can also script your replication to the secondary drive, so that you only have to attach the drive for the mirroring process to take place.

This is the solution I've been using for about four years now, and it works great for me.

more than 4 years ago
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Nuclear Reactors As Art

solid_liq Nuclear Art (118 comments)

Featuring racing electrons?

btw, first post! ;)

more than 4 years ago
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How Can I Contribute To Open Source?

solid_liq Re:You're doing it wrong. (332 comments)

"Second... I don't want my tax dollars being used for a mirror server."

You sound like a Microsoft junkie. I suppose you think opensource is, "evil evil bad!"?

more than 4 years ago
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Are There Affordable Low-DPI Large-Screen LCD Monitors?

solid_liq Software solution, no hardware required (549 comments)

That's easy! Switch them to Linux, where the devs weren't too shortsighted to realize that it would be a good idea to make everything on the desktop scalable. I run at my native resolution, which would make things a bit small for me, but all I have to do is set the monitor DPI to a higher value than actual, and everything appears at a nice, easily readable size.

about 5 years ago
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Simple, Cost-Effective, Multiroom Audio?

solid_liq Mac Mini (438 comments)

How about a Mac Mini with a remote control? They have good audio hardware, you can connect it to your network wirelessly, and you can use Mac OS X, Linux or Windows on it for playing audio. They're also small, nearly silent, and women think they're cute.

about 5 years ago
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Installing Linux On Old Hardware?

solid_liq Debian minimal (507 comments)

Debian Minimal is what you're looking for.

about 5 years ago
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Wait For Windows 7 SP1, Support Firm Warns Users

solid_liq Really? (433 comments)

Gee, THANKS Captain Obvious! I don't know what we'd do without you!

about 5 years ago
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Toyota Experimenting With Joystick Control For Cars

solid_liq Where's the beef? (609 comments)

No pictures? How can they not show us any pictures of this? And why a joystick? Why not something more like a brainwave scanner? That way, when you're talking on the cellphone, and you get distracted by picturing what the person on the other end is saying, you crash into a wall! That would be so cool!

more than 5 years ago
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1/3 of People Can't Tell 48Kbps Audio From 160Kbps

solid_liq I've noticed this myself (567 comments)

This is why I only ask musicians who are good at what they do for advice on audio equipment. If you want to know what's good, you have to ask a musician who's passionate about music. Musicians know what the music is supposed to sound like because they've spent countless hours learning songs and practicing their craft. By listening to them, I have a setup that's so good it's made me turn and look behind me more than a few times because I swore the noise was made by something in the room.

KRK Rokit Studio monitors with a BBE Sonic Maximizer, in case you're wondering.

more than 5 years ago

Submissions

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Journals

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solid_liq solid_liq writes  |  more than 10 years ago KDevelop Feature: Add code for creating functions and variables, which also produces comments for htdig

For apps where I would like transparency, Support real transparency with freedesktop.org's kdrive DDX
One such place might be the background of the graph for KPPP

KDevelop bug: When you select the tab of a file which is not long enough to fill the view, and you move the mouse wheel to scroll the view (generally before you realize the file is too short to scroll), the mouse wheel event is instead handled by the tab bar.

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solid_liq solid_liq writes  |  more than 10 years ago Got my car back today. Drives fine. Initially, the left front suspension did seem a little stiff. However, it only took about five minutes for it to loosen up a little. Seems to be self-adaptive. Pretty cool. Handles better, needs two new rear tires. The place rotated my tires without charging extra for it. That was cool. The mechanic, when I spoke with him, seemed competent and honest. The guy behind the counter, however, reminded me of Brian from Main Street. A little shady. I need to remember,

BRING CAR BACK FOR INSPECTION AND RE-ALIGNMENT IN DECEMBER, FREE OF CHARGE

Another idea for Konqueror: Add option -> Print all tabs
Maybe also -> Print selected tabs

I installed another installation of Slackware 9.1 last night, bare bones. I need to download an X Server and a bunch of other crap. It turned out I could use the DVD, but I have to unplug my USB Hub before booting. The kernel on disc apparently has some problem with hot-plugging usb devices (other than, of course, root hubs). I have to re-install Lilo. The new install fucked up my lilo for some reason.

Europe forged ahead with the project Galileo (EU's GPS clone) and it is set to be operational by 2008 with 30 satellites encircling the globe in medium orbit.

Complain about Konqueror's bad method of resizing text: Specifically - Fonts overlap when font size is increased.

Kate issue: Set bookmark/clear bookmark text in context menu not set appropriately per line number. It appears to just be a bool, and does no checking to determine if the clicked-on line actually contains a bookmark or not.

Konqueror idea: context menu -> View Text
This would allow you to highlight text from an article, and have it displayed on its own. Benefits: Text can be rendered in the user's preferred font, font size, font color and background color (set in preferences). The text will also then be "printer friendly." In order to accomplish this best, the feature should respect the relative font sizes (for headings, etc) when rendering the text seperately from the source web page. This would also be a workaround, at least for now, for the problem of the text of certain web pages vertically overlapping when the font size is increased.

Konqueror idea: Highlight alternating lines of text.
This would be an accessibility feature, to make it easier to read the text for the visually impaired. Also good when drunk ;) or suffering from severe eye strain.

For Konqueror A page the has font rendering problems:
http://www.navyleague.org/sea_power/may_04_10.php
which is especially interesting because line 692 of the generated html specifically detects Konqueror as being the browser.



Today's quote:

In Boston, it is illegal to hold frog-jumping contests in nightclubs.

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solid_liq solid_liq writes  |  more than 10 years ago

Ok, a little late on putting this in, but here I am at least.

Ok, today I took my car into Precision Alignment and Brake. Turned out the strut was bent, needs a new one. The toe was 2" in, and the strut seems to be bent about 2 degrees. Left my car overnight, and I am hoping I don't need a new ball end (?) or something like that. Piece of cast metal costs $150, used. The strut only costs $139.97 new. What a rip.

Saturday, the 19th, I used swaret. It updated aaa-something, which is a package which should never be updated. As a result, it screwed up my linkages. I'm not sure if I can fix them, so I'm now creating ISOs to burn for the Slackware 9.1 install. Crap, just stopped the iso creation process by pressing control-c, instinctively, to copy this message into here:

Error while reading `../../live/dev/core' - file will be ignored (Success)
Error while reading `../../live/usr/adm/messages' - file will be ignored (Success)
Error while reading `../../live/usr/adm/syslog' - file will be ignored (Success)
Error while reading `../../live/usr/tmp/kdecache-mike/http/e/weather.noaa.gov_pub_data_observations_metar_stations_KTUS.TXT_23361aed' - file will be ignored (Success)
Found 548 of the 550 files required by the template

Anyway, I'm creating the ISOs because the DVD I originally installed it from is a little scratched, and the installer would not boot from it. Just got this message:

Will not reuse existing temporary file `/home/mike/tmp/slackiso/slackware-9.1-install-d1.iso.tmp' - it was not created by jigdo-file, or is corrupted.

Well, I may do two installs, or not. We'll have to see. I have to remember to do custom kernel builds, no matter what. One install may be to see if I can get a 2.6.x kernel working with a bare install, and then custom build everything else (X Server, KDE, etc, etc, etc). That would be nice. Luckily, I believe I left a LOT of unused space on my 200 gig drive.

While swaret was updating my distro, I was making some changes to KPPP. The two files I modified are:

pppstatdlg.cpp
pppstatdlg.h

located in:

/home/mike/programming/kde_modifications/kdenetwork/kppp

I will have to remember to use them. I used kdecvs-build-0.65 to get the files I modified, located in:

/home/mike/archives/kde_source/cvs

Once I'm back up and running, I'll have to test the changes I already made, and see if I can do the ones I mentioned in the comments I added. One I may not have put in comments is an auto-scale method, to make the scale sane again after rediculous spikes. Possibly even put a peak detection in there, to ignore them (maybe account for lag where the actual transfer rate could not have been that high, it was rather just buffered data which was read-delayed).

I also made some inconsequential modifications to KWeather. I really need to dig into that after I have finished my KPPP mods. It needs several changes, including displaying a weather summary page for all the stations it collects data for, and the ability to graph out weather patterns.

I would also like to make a change to the new LCD clock, to give a proper font or background color (preferably font) when the transparent background has dark colors behind the text. My idea for that is to average the RGB components to (effectively) get a luminance value. If that doesn't work, then I could use the yuyv style conversion to get the luminence from that. Anyway, I'd like to use the luminence to determine a proper font color. I believe it will take experimentation to find a color determination method which will work well.

After that, I would like to hack on Konqueror to give it (in order)

  1. Date and time display!!
  2. Adblocking, ala Firefox plug-in
  3. Some way to mark tabs and "Move selected tabs to %whatever% window," where %whatever% can be a named window, if the user chooses to give it a name. Then again, maybe no naming.
  4. WHERE THE HELL is the missing "Properties" option in the context menu??? ADD it. Also, while at it, perhaps give it "themeable" context menus. Konqueror's context menu SUCKS ASS.
  5. Completely overhaul the bookmarks system. I don't like it. Try to do this non-intrusively, of course, so as to not piss anyone off.

Also, making changes to the KMenu system, to give it the right-clicking capabilites of GNOME, might be a good idea.

Adding mouse wheel sensitivity to tabs in general within KDE has to be a good idea.

Finally get around to creating my generic KWin framework. The above tasks should give me a better working knowledge of KDE to help me out with this.

OH YEAH, SAW THE FIRST SUCCESSFUL SPACE LAUNCH OF THE SPACESHIP ONE ON TV TODAY!!!
It was on CNN and MSNBC. Hell yeah!! I love it. Can't wait for it to change the face of transportation! Or at least tourism. Also can't wait to see the Discovery channel special about it.

Recieved my July/August issue of MIT Technology Review today. Lots of articles on nanotech.

Saw 50 First Dates today. Not too bad. 3.5 or 4 out of 5.

For some reason

rm /home/mike/tmp/slackiso/ -rf

caused some lockup. Then an

ls /home/mike/tmp/slackiso

also locked up. Weird. Did this because of the screw up above. Need to retry creating the ISOs.

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solid_liq solid_liq writes  |  more than 10 years ago Well, it is now Thursday, June 10, 2004. I have been forgetting about this journal being here until just now. I now realize this could be useful, and provide me with great insight.

I have to get around to getting the app into pima tomorow, let's see if that happens.

I placed 5/6th in the Main Street tourney yesterday, for $10. It was a full 32 player field, with a waiting list. That left me with a net of -2 dollars for the duration I was there. I noticed some bad blood while I was there. Brian Wilson told me when I was paying my entry fee that I wasn't allowed to play in the tournament, and insisted he wasn't joking. I warmed up with Olivia Jackson, and noticed her speaking with Bob Jackson at the end of warm up about my playing, and whether or not I should be allowed to play. Found out the ratings meeting is this Sunday, June 13th. Will find out how that turns out on, perhaps, Tuesday, June 15th, although I have not yet decided on the date.

Last Saturday (June 5th) I played the Mint tournament. It was a 17 player bracket. I took 2nd place for $41. Net profit for the night: $30. One of the employees of the Mint tried to steal a full pack of cigarrettes from Anthony. Another employee there was in on it. Had a girl want to take me home, turned her down. Played spades afterwards with Anthony and friends. The day before was the first time I had played pool in quite some time, as well as the first day I drank any alcohol in quite some time.

My mom told me today about a new job she was hired to. She starts Monday, June 14, 2004.

I am still in the planning phase for the KWin decoration. I have finished marking up the howto I printed, and my next step is to start organizing my own notes on what needs to be done to create the generic framework.

I would also like to see if I can make a logging system for KWeather, to keep track of the temperatures on a day to day basis.

Still need to find a source for good, free quotes to use as e-mail signatures and the like. I need to remember to do this. I also need to remember to start making daily journal entries.

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solid_liq solid_liq writes  |  more than 10 years ago

Well, May 1st is here. I currently have 51 dm's (at 2pm, az time).

Supposed to be doing web work next week finally, we'll see how that goes. The data's supposed to be almost ready.

Well, this is my first time trying a journal entry on slashdot, let's see if it's useful.

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