* Posts by Jeremy Bresley

12 publicly visible posts • joined 7 Aug 2009

That old box of tech junk you should probably throw out saves a warehouse

Jeremy Bresley

Re: Sun box

The Ultra5 would have shipped with a Type 5 or Type 6 keyboard and mouse. These used an 8-pin Mini-DIN connector (PS/2 was 6-pin). The mouse was attached to the keyboard. Not to be confused with the older Type 4 keyboards which also used the same interface but didn't have a gap between the FN keys on top (all these I've seen shipped with optical mice with the blue grid metal mousepad). And easily distinguished from the Type 3 keyboards which connected to a DB-15 port and use the older optical mouse. I think I got rid of my Type 3s along with the 3/50 and the 2 4/260s (and the ELC) before the last cross country move. Still have at least 1 Type 4 and a Type 5 or two in the box of useful things.

And it's ironic the timing of this post as I just bought a dozen clear storage bins and 30' of hook and loop tape to start going through and sorting my collection of old cables and sort them by type a few weeks ago. Making it much more likely I'll be able to FIND that super special cable when I need it later. I think I'll be good on NEMA 5-15P to C13 power cables for a couple lifetimes though. Some of those are certainly headed to the metal recycler to buy some drinks instead.

A time when cabling was not so much 'structured' than 'survival of the fittest'

Jeremy Bresley

Re: They had it coming.

You've obviously never seen the work of old union telco guys doing waxed twine lacing. Bundle of wires running all the way across the room and we need to run a couple more, step 1 cut off all the waxed twine all the way down, step 2 run the new cables, step 3 spend hours lacing them all into one nice tight bundle. Beautiful to behold, but velcro wraps were such a massive time saver, it's pretty much a lost art these days.

Check your bits: What to do when Unix decides to make a hash of your bill printouts

Jeremy Bresley

Re: HP LaserJet 4

Actually, Canon guts. Both Apple LaserWriters and HP LaserJet II/III series were Canon engines. The biggest difference between them was the LaserWriters all had Postscript built in rather than PCL used on the HPs.

If you want to try to get one that requires minimal work to get talking, the LaserWriter IIg's had built in Ethernet, so no requirement for an external Localtalk to Ethernet bridge (aka Gatorbox).

New and remanufactured toner cartridges for these are likely still available at every office supply place in the world, and usually cheaper than the ones for most modern lasers.

Things that needn't be said: Don't plonk a massive Starlink dish on the hood of your car

Jeremy Bresley

Weird Al from 1985

Weird Al's Dare to be Stupid album, song Cable TV:

I got a satellite dish on the trunk of my car

So I can watch MTV while I drive

Life imitating art, just a little slow (like the driver in this story)

SpaceX's Starlink: Overhyped and underpowered to meet broadband needs of Rural America, say analysts

Jeremy Bresley

The US is big

For all the right pondian folks suggesting 5G that need some perspective for scale, go to your favorite map app and ask it for directions from Miami, FL to Atlanta, GA. Driving directions will be a touch over 600 miles. That's to get from close to the southern end of one state to about 2/3 of the way up the next state. (And not even the largest ones, 22nd and 24th by area.) That's like driving from Plymouth, UK to Inverness. That drive only made it through 2 of the 48 contiguous states.

And there's large portions of the middle of the country that are uninhabited or look like central Scotland in terms of density. 2/3 of the US population lives within 100 miles of the border. The continental US has about 5000 miles of coastline. That gives us about a half million square miles that 2/3 of the population lives in. The other 1/3 are spread out on the other 3.2 million square miles.

Up until about 6 months ago my parents lived in a rural house on a couple of acres in a very built up state with spotty cell phone service and only Hughes or other geosync satellite as an option. They finally got Internet due to the local electric utility deciding to offer service over the fiber they had run along their poles several years ago when building out the former farmland. And that's in an area between two 100K+ population areas 45-50 minutes either direction in a state averaging 160 people per square mile.

The US is big. Anything that relies on X people per mile is going to leave a LOT of the population outside major/minor cities out of luck. And I know I'm working to hopefully buy a few acres away from people before the Y2038 happens and we're all using abacuses again.

You only live twice: Once to start the installation, and the other time to finish it off

Jeremy Bresley

ESD Bags

The silver esd bags are especially fun to fly with. They block the x-ray machines and whatever is inside just looks like a black blob. It's even more exciting when the bag is filled to capacity with a bunch of SFPs, which to a TSA agent look very malicious. Next time I'm putting them in my checked bag instead.

GitHubber wants to revive the first Unix in a PDP-7 emulator

Jeremy Bresley

Distributed recreation?

Is there a reason they can't scan and post a high resolution image of each page of the code and have multiple people retype it based on what they see? Send out 3-5 copies of each page and diff it to see if everybody agreed on it when they submitted the text, if not, take the answer with the most in agreement. I believe Ancestry was doing something like this for old immigration records that were originally hand-written and weren't able to be OCR'ed. I'm sure a lot of geeks would be happy to retype a page or two in exchange for a mention in the revival documentation for the project.

PROVEN: Violent video games mess with your head

Jeremy Bresley
Thumb Down


So they picked people with little to no experience playing "violent video games" for this study. Had they had extensive exposure to other types of video games, just CHOSE not to play FPS titles? Choosing a bunch of non-gamers, and having them play video games 2-3 hours a day when they previously didn't play games will likely result in SOME kind of change in their brain activity. Whether that activity is positive or negative is a completely different question. Repeat this study with a random sample of gamers and non-gamers included, and see if the effects are the same on people who had done extensive game playing previously would be a good place to start.

Tablet fever cools as e-readers heat up

Jeremy Bresley


E-Reader prices have continued to drop. What was a $250-300 device 2-3 years ago is now rapidly approaching the $100 price point. Once they break that 3 digit price tag, I think you'll see E-Readers REALLY start to take off. What's the least expensive tablet available from a brand you've heard of? $350-400? That's still in the "do I get this or do I eat for the next two months" category for a lot of people. $99 is a lot smaller piece of the budget for most people.

Of course, I'd love to see a lot more $0.99-2.99 ebooks be available for these platforms. There's no reason an existing book that has been out for a few years should require it to be sold for $5-10 for an Ebook. The publishing costs are already covered by the paper version, just ship an inexpensive ebook version and people will snap it up. This goes double for technical books that by the time they're more than 2-3 years old are next to worthless. Give me Pratchett's back catalog in Ebook form for $2-3 each, and I'll grab every one of them. If I have to spend the same amount as buying a paperback, I'll just get the paperback that I can hand off to a friend or sell on Ebay. Digital costs the producers significantly less, but they are still under the impression that it's worth as much or more than the dead tree version.

Vote now for the best sci-fi film never made

Jeremy Bresley
Thumb Down


I'm disappointed Reg. Not a single Pratchett title on the list? The entire Discworld series would be my first choice to be made. Give it the LoTR treatment and release the director's cut to the theaters.

Google's 'instant' search springs keyboard controls

Jeremy Bresley

No keyboard scrolling

Am I the only one who frequently uses the arrows/page up/page down to scroll a page? How soon is this option going to have a checkbox to disable without completely disabling instant search?

Cisco claims unified computing is taking off

Jeremy Bresley


The ASR1000 line is a series of Cisco routers intended for WAN/Edge roles. The Nexus 1000V is their software switch which replaces the VMWare switch with a Cisco one.

Both good products, but totally different designs and intended roles.