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The Airplane of the Future May Not Have Windows

the_rajah No Windows? (286 comments)

I guess that means they'll be using Unix, BSD or Linux. ((Ducks))

about 2 months ago

3 Recent Flights Make Unscheduled Landings, After Disputes Over Knee Room

the_rajah This is just one reason why we don't fly any more. (819 comments)

Our last flight was on 9-10-2001 out of LaGuardia. We looked out our window and saw the trade towers the last full day that they stood. It's not that we think the technology of flying is dangerous, it's just the hassle and being treated like cattle that flying involves. My wife and I are both large people, genetically. Flying for us usually involved paying extra for first class or buying the middle seat.

Would I fly in an emergency? Yes, but for now we've decided that if we can't drive there, we don't need to go. I know others who have arrived at the same decision for the same reason.

about 3 months ago

New Watson-Style AI Called Viv Seeks To Be the First 'Global Brain'

the_rajah Is Doctor Forbin.... (161 comments)

behind this project?

about 4 months ago

Ars Editor Learns Feds Have His Old IP Addresses, Full Credit Card Numbers

the_rajah Just another reason not to fly..... (217 comments)

My wife and I last flew commercial on 9-10-2001 out of LGA, the day before 9-11. My wife and I decided, the next day that, short of an emergency situation, we were done flying commercial. If we couldn't drive to get there, we didn't need to go. It's not because we were afraid of terrorists, but we saw what a hassle and invasion of privacy it would became.

about 5 months ago

Ask Slashdot: What Would It Take For You To Buy a Smartwatch?

the_rajah I've worn a watch for almost 60 years... (427 comments)

I have a stainless steel self-winding Rolex Explorer that I bought for $157 in Gibraltar in November of 1969. I've had it serviced once. It still keeps very good time. It tells time in the 12 hour system. No day, no date, black face, high contrast very visible hands. It's a basic watch and it's exactly what I want in a watch. I don't think I need a "smart watch" to augment my smart phone. I will admit that I sometimes use a Plantronics Bluetooth headset with the smartphone, in part, to comply with our new laws regarding phone use while driving. That, so far, is the extent of my wearable technology.

about 6 months ago

Teaching College Is No Longer a Middle Class Job

the_rajah I am an adjunct instructor at a for-profi college. (538 comments)

which shall remain nameless. I have taught electronics in college two times in my 44 year professional career, working in industry the remainder of the time. Currently, I am teaching only one class per week in the evening. If I taught full time, my pay would be about one third of my pay in industry. That was why I left teaching after 3 years as a full time instructor in the 1980s. I had a family to support and could only make ends meet comfortably by taking on consulting work beyond my teaching. Now, I am nearing retirement and was approached by the Dean of the school out of the blue, so decided to give it a try. I have completed one quarter and got good reviews from the students, so am now starting my second quarter. I view it as something useful to do in retirement.

about 6 months ago

Ask Slashdot: What Inspired You To Start Hacking?

the_rajah Ah, all you youngsters,,, (153 comments)

I was born in 1946. My father had been an Air Corps radio operator during WWII. He died when I was very young, but left behind a Hallicrafters receiver and a few boxes of electronic "stuff" that my mom did not throw away. My grandfather was not in the military, but was interested in radio during the 20's, 30's and 40's. He repaired radios and built some of his own from parts. He died, also when I was very young and, like my dad, left behind boxes of intriguing "stuff". When I was 9 or 10, I commandeered the Hallicrafters S-38 and started listening to Shortwave.

In our little town, the library had very few books about electronics and what they had were very old. I read them all. I wanted to check out the 1944 ARRL handbook, but it wasn't there. Somebody else had it. The librarian said she knew who had it and that it was over-due so she called the person that had it and they bicycled down to the library to return it. It was one of the high school kids a few years older than me, but the son of one of my mom's best friends. We struck up a friendship that endures to this day. He became a ham, too.

The librarian said that her brother, in the next town, was a ham radio operator and would I like to talk to him. I got my mom to take me over to meet him and decided that I was going to be a ham, too. My mom helped me study for the FCC test and learned the code along with me so I could pass the code test. At age 11, I passed the test and was a ham radio operator. I built my own Heathkit DX-40 transmitter, strung up an antenna and was on my way. My mom got her license, too, but didn't upgrade it when it expired. The entry level novice license was not renewable.

I discovered that I liked to build my own equipment. I salvaged parts from TV repair shops and surplus stores. In high school, I built a 1,000 Watt amplifier and had my own surplus model 15 Teletype machine, operating digital modes in the early 1960s, way ahead of the Internet. All my gear then used tubes, of course.

When I was in college, I studied Electrical Engineering. I wrote my first computer program in Fortran IV in the Fall of 1964. I had my first computer at home around 1976 which was a Mostek F8 development board interfaced to a surplus TI Silent 700 printing terminal.

Throughout my Engineering career, I was mostly a hardware designer, but software eventually played an important part, too, as a designer of elevator control systems, Elevator in the vertical transportation sense, not grain elevators, although I also designed grain temperature monitoring systems for the grain type.

I'm in my late 60's now, still working part-time in engineering and teaching electronics at the college level. I still enjoy being a ham radio operator, too. It's been a good ride and it's not over yet.


about 7 months ago

Data Center With a Brain: Google Using Machine Learning In Server Farms

the_rajah The Forbin project... (26 comments)

Colossus. Need I say more?

about 7 months ago

"Going Up" At 45 Mph: Hitachi To Deliver World's Fastest Elevator

the_rajah Re:Express elevators (109 comments)

I've been in the elevator business for 30 years. One floor runs are not done at speeds of over about 250 FPM, depending on floor to floor distances.

about 8 months ago

WSJ: Prepare To Hang Up the Phone — Forever

the_rajah I'm a POTS fanboi... (449 comments)

We had a tornado in our neighborhood in 2006. Power was out for 7 days and cable was out for 10. Cell service ceased working reliably because the cell towers were out. POTS never hiccuped, even as the tornado was overhead. I still had access to dialup Internet so I could at least do email.

Both AT&T, my POTS provider and Comcast, our cable provider, keep bugging us to switch to VOIP. I keep saying "No" for reason of reliability. There's nothing quite like having a pair of copper wires back to a central office powered by a big battery. Yes, we do have phones that don't require line power to operate including one in the basement where we shelter in a severe weather situation.

Then there is my ham radio equipment which has battery backup.

about 9 months ago

New Jersey Auto Dealers Don't Want to Face Tesla

the_rajah Sounds to me like classic... (342 comments)

Restraint of trade. Imagine that happening in New Jersey.

about 9 months ago

Ask Slashdot: What Software Can You Not Live Without?

the_rajah If it is a Windows 7 or later system: (531 comments)

Firefox Chrome
MS Security Essentials

After that it depends on what I'm purposing the system for.

If it's for my use, I'll install VirtualBox along with a copy of my XP VM for some legacy software that doesn't play on any later versions of Windows

about 10 months ago

How much time do you spend gaming compared to 10 years ago?

the_rajah About the same... (270 comments)

Zero unless you count occasional Free Cell playing.

about 10 months ago

Short Notice: LogMeIn To Discontinue Free Access

the_rajah Why can't you use Logmein to set up TeamViewer? (408 comments)

Free logmein isn't ended yet. You've got until the 28th before you get locked out. I've already set up most of my remote computers I manage for friends and family with TeamViewer.

about a year ago

Ask Slashdot: Will You Start Your Kids On Classic Games Or Newer Games?

the_rajah Adding to my own post... (285 comments)

I also had access to my grandparents collection of National Geographics going back to the 1920's.. I could get lost for hours reading those on a rainy day. Then there was my ham radio station, mostly home built while I was in high school. I lived in the country and had my own .22 rifle from the time I was 10 and could go outside and do some "plinking" even though there weren't other kids to play with. I didn't need video/electronic games. I know I'm old, so excuse me for thinking that video games are way over-rated.

about a year ago

Ask Slashdot: Will You Start Your Kids On Classic Games Or Newer Games?

the_rajah We didn't have electronic games when I was a kid.. (285 comments)

You insensitive clod.

We played Monopoly, Parcheesi, Canasta, Rook and the like, but only when it wasn't nice outside.

about a year ago

The Dismantling of POTS: Bold Move Or Grave Error?

the_rajah I haven't gotten off the POTS yet.. (582 comments)

We have POTS service in our house and phones that don't need power other than the CO loop current.

Our neighborhood was hit in March 2006 by an F2 tornado. Our house survived rather well, but the infrastructure didn't.... other than the phone lines which are buried clear back to the CO. I was on the phone in the basement while the storm was passing overhead, checking on our kids who live nearby, but out of the direct path of the two tornadoes that hit our community that day. We had no electricity for a week and no cable for 10 days. They were mostly above ground.

My wife and I both have cell phones, but they did not work because the cell tower nearest us went down, too.

We survived fairly comfortably with a 5.5 KW generator and gas heat. We had access to the Internet via a dialup connection, which we don't have now.

I'm a firm POTS believer.

1 year,19 days

Boston Cops Outraged Over Plans to Watch Their Movements Using GPS

the_rajah Our company does exactly this same tracking. (409 comments)

All the field technicians have company supplied phones that have GPS tracking enabled. Their supervisor can track them via a map display and their movements are logged and retained. They also are dispatched via those phones and enter their time and material accounting per job that way. It's very efficient. Do they like it? No, not very much, but it's part of the deal if you work as a field technician for this company with over 30,000 employees world-wide. If you don't like it, don't work in this well-paid industry. All of the competitors are doing the same thing.

about a year ago

Give Your Child the Gift of an Alzheimer's Diagnosis

the_rajah Prostate screening discussion yesterday with doc (198 comments)

I had my annual physical with my family doctor yesterday. He told me that he no longer does, nor does he recommend, prostate cancer screening based on recent studies. Most of the prostate cancers detected are not the ones that will kill you, but it's not possible to test for that without an invasive biopsy that is very uncomfortable. If you jump right into treating the cancer, that is also very uncomfortable and potentially debilitating.

about a year ago



Wienermobile wipes out

the_rajah the_rajah writes  |  more than 6 years ago

the_rajah (749499) writes " Wienermobile wipes out Famed vehicle spins, crashes on snow-covered Pa. highway; 'hotdoggers' OK. February 11, 2008
MANSFIELD — Let's be frank: motor vehicle accidents aren't much fun for anyone, but when a 27-foot-long tube-steak spins out on a snow-covered highway, it's bound to generate some grins.
Cue the puns......"

Windows Marketplace offers Ubuntu download!

the_rajah the_rajah writes  |  more than 7 years ago

the_rajah writes "From http://www.windowsmarketplace.com/details.aspx?vie w=info&itemid=3411347

"Ubuntu is a community developed operating system that is perfect for laptops, desktops, and servers. Whether you use it at home, at school or at work Ubuntu contains all the applications you'll ever need, from word processing and e-mail applications, to Web server software and programming tools. Ubuntu is and always will be free of charge. You do not pay any licensing fees. You can download, use and share Ubuntu with your friends, family, school or business for absolutely nothing.Version 7.04, named "Feisty Fawn," adds the Ubuntu Studio, a multimedia editing and production suite, to the distribution."

Microsoft distributing Linux and now constrained by the GPL? Probably not since the download link is to download.com, but still interesting."

the_rajah the_rajah writes  |  more than 7 years ago

the_rajah (749499) writes "Xandros — Microsoft deal in the works? http://blogs.zdnet.com/microsoft/?p=486 ZDnet Blog about a disappearing headline at EWeek.

[i] "Looks like there could be another Microsoft-Linux patent deal in the offing.

eWEEK posted a story a few hours ago entitled Microsoft Gives Xandros Linux Users Patent Protection. The story is now gone from the Web site.

My best guess? Theres some embargoed news coming some time in the next few hours. (Note: I was not put under or offered any Xandros-Microsoft embargo.)

Based on eWEEKs now-disappeared headline, it sure looks like Xandros may have gone the Novell route and signed a patent-protection deal with Microsoft. (The other possibility is eWEEK believed Xandros was ready to sign on the dotted line, but didnt. My educated guess is there is a deal and eWEEK jumped the gun in publishing the exclusive story. Guess well find out for sure in a few more hours.) "[/i]

First the ODF shoot-down, now this, what next?"

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