top My toy collection is ...
I have a modest inventory of around $170,000 retail. I own a toy store. I don't make anywhere near as much as when I was in software. $16K a year now compared to a peak of $103K about 12 years ago. But I don't work for managers who got all their smarts from Googling and have no real-world large-system architecture experience. And my stress is virtually non-existent.
There is a downside, however. Today's parents tend to be more selfish and mom will spend her money on a Brazilian and yoga pants before she buys anything for the kids. If Junior does have something it is an iphone to chew on or an ipad to play games or watch movies. Toys and toy stores are going the way of dinosaurs and mainframes, IMO. But I'm not abandoning ship just yet.
top AT&T Rolls Out iPhone Wireless Emergency Alerts
Really, I'm n years old and it is a miracle I am still alive. I may always forget to bring my bicycle helmet with me but now I feel safer than ever. Will the President soon remind me to brush my teeth before I go to bed (or with the help of the NSA and IRS jack up my dental insurance rates if I don't)? Surely I'll deserve it. Maybe my WiFi enabled light bulbs will be turned off from Washington when they figure if there are three of us in the house but lights are on in four rooms one has to go. (One of us or one of the lights? Cost/benefit ananlysis leans in favor of one of us getting disappeared the next time we get a flu shot at the government overseen dispensary. Just sayin'.
about a year and a half ago
top What IT pioneer do you respect the most?
She probably did more for bringing computing from assembler and machine language into the then-modern world of COBOL and beyond. Not too long ago there was a distinction between "Computer Science" and "IT", and a lot of the people listed here have very little to do with IT and more with computation and computer science. Either way, Grace Hopper rocked.
top Write Bits Directly Onto a Hard Drive Platter?
I think the original question is valid and shouldn't be dismissed, as well. During the 1980's in the peak of mainframe development, a few of us were writing channel programs, small but really cool pieces of "machine code" that would be executed on a disk controller. We did this to add a big performance gain to our software. Remember, back then memory was expensive and a resource shared by possibly hundred of concurrent jobs (programs).
With a channel program one could directly control the reading and writing of consecutive blocks, cylinders, and tracks. If you could get cylinder allocations to meet your needs, then all the read/write heads are aligned and you could write to (read from) as many platters the disk had simultaneously. If a disk had 11 platters, you would chain up the commands to point to the data and do a DMA 'blast" of data out to 11 tracks in parallel. Then, you would step out to the next consecutive track and blast another string of data, and so on.
The neat thing of channel programming is that these systems would also allow you to query the drives capabilities and you could write them dynamically. So no matter what, your software could adapt to the connected hardware. And, since the disk controllers were small computers themselves, once the channel program was set up (and they were just sets of descriptors - commands and addresses, not unlike any other machine code) the work was done asynchronously with your application code. Or you could wait if you couldn't figure out how to do that.
I think the inability to control disk I/O programatically is a serious deficiency in modern PC's, whether they are desktop or rack-mounted. Remember, the operating systems of today are not meant for people who read IBM's Principle of Operations and Supervisor Services and Macros. They are designed for the least common denominator.
top Suggestions For a Coax-To-Ethernet Solution?
sorry, I realize my post contributed nothing.
top Suggestions For a Coax-To-Ethernet Solution?
I have AT&T's Uverse for phone/TV/internet and its set-top boxes communicate over coax. They are using IP over coax, since the router shows the boxes' IP addresses as though they were on a an Ethernet network. The boxes run Windows Media Edition, for what it's worth.
top Distance, in multiples of my height, from my birthplace:
From Cranston, RI to Little Rock, AR: 147302 Eds, give or take.
top Recipient of First Software Patent Defends Them
Right or wrong (and by a matter of degree and your point of view), we
all owe a lot to Marty for making it possible for us to code. Marty broke software free from the monastery and the monks of IBM. He created the entire software industry as we know it. (Of course he is human, and indirectly helped destroy mainframe software by selling ADR to Ameritech, which then sold it to Charlie "The Craw" "Not Wang, Wang!" Wang and CA.)
Marty is one cool cat, and let us play ping-pong in his luxurious office. Even if he was there working! As far as I am concerned, what Marty wants, Marty Goetz!
top Total number of conventional, paid positions I've held:
Yes, but would you be willing to be paid in Filo Dough?
Good luck, there should be a lot more jobs in the Delaware Valley than down here in Little Rock.
top NSA Email Surveillance Pervasive and Ongoing
Which of our former classmates and colleagues (and/or professors) work on these kinds of systems? Thirty-something years ago I never would have imagined my peers working to undermine our freedoms by writing such code. I just don't get it. We were taught in classes such as "Computers in Society" things like ethics. This was before the year 1984, and most of us had read (or were aware of the premise of) Orwell's "1984." This would never happen, we thought.
Unfortunately this, and other data mining crap has been created and 1984 is alive and well and it can't be undone. All because some people - some programmers - thought that getting paid was better than doing what is moral and ethical in a free state. We are no longer free, ladies and gentlemen.
top Obama Administration Defends Warrantless Wiretapping
Between the promise to not hire lobbyists, the parade of appointees who have had problems paying their taxes, the proposal floated to have soldiers provide their own insurance for battle injuries (since rescinded), and now this, I hope people start to realize they voted for Obama for the wrong reason. It was more of a vote against Bush and his party than anything. and it was also a fantastically executed marketing campaign. More money was spent on the Obama campaign than any other election. They tapped into what their target audience wanted, hired the best speech writers, and pulled it off.
top UK Cops Want "Breathalyzers" For PCs
As I've been spending more and more time on firearm-related sites (and sights) and less on Slashdot, I have seen an amazing amount of UK chatter. First guns were taken away, now knives, and this. None of it comes as any surprise to me or any one else who is keeping an eye on 2nd Amendment rights.
While a lot of people in the US fear guns (because we've been taught to), if we let our Constitutional right to keep and bear arms be taken away, just wait for all the other freedoms granted us to be eroded (even more), as well.
Why the British people are just rolling over and letting their rights be taken away from them is mind boggling.
top Obama Launches Change.gov
Why not be more informative and point out that 32,691 died from poisoning and another 33,541 from drugs. And that over 50% of the firearm deaths were suicides? And that people who are going to kill themselves are going to find a way, whether it is guns, razor blades, ropes, etc.?
If you are going to post stats, don't cherry pick them. At least you put the link to the PDF so others could see the fuller picture.
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