* Posts by Ron 10

15 posts • joined 8 Sep 2009

Another Floppy tale.

Ron 10

Another Floppy tale.

In the same league of the magnet holding the diskettes; But I will ramble.

Back in primitive times, (this will establish that I am really quite old) I too had issues with the user concept of a floppy disk. I was running a networked system of PC and printers. The secretaries (obsolete terminology) all had PCs carved out of bits of silicon and other stuff and were used for all the "management's"document generation and preservation.

I was a techie with nothing to do between consulting and designing systems for customers. I was bored and the little network things looked useful. At this point the idea of Ethernet involved thick yellow cables and big ugly boxes. So I scrounged some PC's for a server, used a very early piece of software that was supposed to work as a server. I kind of became the system architect/administrator as a hobby. I did some scavenging for bits and pieces from the real development people and the junk warehouse. So I also had a bunch of the super compact 8" diskettes.

One of the secretaries asked me to get her some more diskettes. It was hard then, but I got her a box and went over to give it too her. I noticed she had a wastepaper basket full of diskettes. I asked her what was wrong with them. She explained she had a lot of work to do and all the diskettes were full. I embarked on a low profile crusade to talk the people in the area about how diskettes worked.

I was also asked to evaluate a very early example of a network product. Done by a startup with essentially no idea what they were doing. The hardware was seriously flawed. A board would fail/ replace/ fail/ stuck in the original and it worked fine. I took one apart and looked at the board.

Unshielded wire. No twists. But most interesting was the fact that nothing in their little boxes or "network wires" were isolated from ground. Including the line voltage powering them and the cables. I told the guys that had asked me to evaluate the system that it was a completely unstable and unusable system, and if they managed to get two of their little boxes plugged into two power outlets connected with a different leg on the building power transformer there would be a visible and energetic release of the magic smoke. The "real" development people decided I was not only crazy but inept. They went ahead with productizing the network. Unfortunately, at one point they happened to plug in one of the network boxes to an outlet being served from another transformer leg. Literally blew holes in every device on the network. And anything connected to them, because everything shared a common distribution within the pervue of the little boxes. Some really expensive test equipment died that day. And they went on to actually sell it to poor ignorant customers.

$200bn? Make that $467bn: Trump threatens to balloon proposed bonus China tech tariffs

Ron 10

One problem is that a huge number of US citizens do not understand that THEY (and US manufacturing, etc.) are the ones paying the tariffs. The same group that kept screaming for killing Obama care; and never realized that that was essentially Medicare. Nor do they understand the concept of an insurance pool. I don't have days to list everything.

You are the one per cent if you read Firefox's privacy spiels

Ron 10

Why do we care? We will all be dropping Firefox in the fall.

EFF dinks HP Inc finks in rinky-dink ink stink

Ron 10

They leave out some points I consider an important factor - breaking and entering, destruction of private property, theft of the money spent on non-HP cartridges, time and effort lost to cause the machine THEY OWN to fail.

Much of these things also need to be slapped up against Microsoft by federal regulators. MS has decided you computer no longer belongs to you by depriving owners of control and access to their own property and use of the property as they choose.

Much as I dislike Federal meddling, HP, MS, and many others need to be stopped. We are having our rights stomped on every day by usurping and altering the manner in which we use our private property.

It is essentially breaking and entering and the taking of property. The idiotic law preventing people from seeing manufacturers code for any purpose, seems to be decidedly oriented to companies rather than consumers (wow, what a surprise that lawmakers only seem to favor big money).

Show us the code! You should be able to peek inside the gadgets you buy – FTC commish

Ron 10

I had another comment to the Commissioner. But about 20 minutes of going around in circles, I appears the agency only allows mere citizens to comment on a specific list of current business. So if they are not already working on something, you can't suggest anything. Filed under Open Government.

I did finally find a staff list hidden in an obscure corner. I have provided the online information for Commissioner Mc Sweeny below. It would appear that the FTC is not aware of email or its position in modern business. Like she would take my call. Of if a call would be a suitable mechanism for explaining a moderately complicated point.

McSweeny, Terrell .......................... (202) 326-2606 ................ H-528A ............. 0105 ......... H-526

I did, of course, think about ringing up Obama to ask him to have them provide better public contact information. Nah. At least he has an email address.

WIN a 6TB Western Digital Black hard drive with El Reg

Ron 10

Aah! Those hornets aren't in the video.

Ron 10

Be careful what you say. That tree is listening.

Cunning Reg reader cracks LOHAN hot coupling condundrum

Ron 10

Treating tubing

This may be quite unnecessary, but:

Improved connection contact behavior, if necessary. Clean the inside of the copper with a mild acid or cleaner of choice. Maybe a bit of abrasion.

Coat wires to be inserted and the inside of the copper tubing with a material called Stabilant 22. This improves the contact between the materials and protects from oxidation/corrosion. Plain copper generates an oxide film fairly quickly. This insures max current flow for the circuit. The Stabilant actually conducts under pressure.

This may change retention force to a bit lower.

I use this stuff on any electrical connections. PC connections to power connectors. It is similar to magic.

No spinning rust here: Supermicro's cold data fridge is FROZEN

Ron 10

How does system pricing compare to the high capacity tape systems? I view this as their actual long term market. A solid state device would be better, but disk is probably ahead on retention length at the moment.

It is clearly not as easy to pull a tray as a tape cartridge. On the other hand, tape (optical) machine formats and drives tend to go away after a bit as new versions appear or companies go out of business. The formats of the standard hard disk should survive much longer. Or, since they are well known and public, can be easily addressed in the future. Worse comes to worst, you can probably find something to read a current hard disk pretty far into the future.

Let us ignore for this discussion the actual need to keep many of these records forever. Tends to be driven by logically faulty laws.

When I was working, I did document imaging systems for the last 10 years or so of my working life. A really big issue (generally not shared by sales with the customers) is the obsoleting of optical disk formats. Some were proprietary formats or actual proprietary single source hardware. Your system breaks, company has gone out of business or no longer supports this stuff - your store of data to keep forever; ain't there any more.

Micro-(insert name of level of technology) film records are the only things that tend to be immune to format changes. They have some longevity issues; but can be minimized by expensive storage. Generally you can still read a microfiche from the late Roman empire if you can get a viable copy. No hardware or format issues.

This is one of the areas that I do not see being addressed in a rational way. Get past the stupidity of saving much of this stuff forever, there needs to be a way to deal with things that really need to be preserved. We can safely start deleting the building entrance logs from the 20's by now. How many billions of these things are eating trees and some form of electronic storage and accomplishing nothing. Particularly under the normal circumstances of not validating ID. Damn I hate the public perception of pretty much everything (e.g., making you sing in makes everyone so much safer). Particularly those things propagated by the government and large corporations.

Disable Java NOW, users told, as 0-day exploit hits web

Ron 10

Unfortunately many things require java runtime. Many things. I certainly hope Oracle will see their way clear to temporarily ignore their policy at being against the world, and release a patch asap. You just can't hold the keys to something like java and take a few months to patch an existing exploit.

Barnes & Noble files official complaint over ebook settlements

Ron 10

What a noble and stalwart protector of the good of the people B&N has become.

They want to protect us from paying the same price for an e-book, with close to zero distribution costs, as a paper copy. Clearly, without the costs of printing (raw materials, transportation, labor, facilities), distribution, and trashing the value of unsold copies, they must have our best interests at heart in maintaining the same prices for both media. And to make the ambiance of buying books up to historic levels, it is certainly reasonable to charge the same for an e-book as the hard cover version of the book. Sometimes even after the paperback is out - ah the nostalgia.

And then there is the BS they are trying to implement to screw libraries. Much higher prices, e-books "wearing out" after a certain (low) number of times they are "checked out". Perhaps they should also implement a random required feed to properly simulate the historic losses from chew crazy dogs, lost books, spilled grape juice, and stolen copies. This would most completely preserve the wonders of commerce we have so long been able to enjoy.

And then, of course, there is DRM and some distributors tying the book to only their reader.

Thank you B&N. You are a selfless bastion for our rights.

Save the planet: Stop the Greens

Ron 10

Actually it does not really work that way

Actually it does not really work that way. The overall power grid needs to be designed to handle "peak" loads. There must always be enough instantaneous capacity to meet demand; thus there needs to be enough capability from another fuel to keep the world running when wind is low (or it is night or cloudy for solar).

Therein lies the real problem. Most sources of electricity can not make quick changes from idle to producing power. Whereas wind has essentially instantaneous changes.

Solar and wind really don't work as a significant fossil fuel replacement unless there is an economical way to store power to meet peaks. Basically there is none and no really good prospects.

There is also recent information that wind farms are causing significant climate disturbance downwind of the sites.

Nuclear is really the only essentially zero carbon stable source. And can be made much safer if the greens of the world had not stopped reactor development in the US and some other areas a decade or two ago.

Microsoft patches Freetard-by-design bug

Ron 10

And you install it how?

And how do you apply the fix? I try to unzip (double clicking to let MS do it or 7-zip) and it wants a password. WTF?

ICANN condemns registry DNS redirection

Ron 10

Comcast still does it

First they did it without telling us. Then when people got pissed they set up a convoluted way to turn it off for your mail accounts. And then ignored the request. Try again you say; maybe you did it wrong. Nope. Still turned on.

People were not pleased so they set up a new simplified. First time I tried it; simply broken. Waited a few days and the process worked. Unfortunately they still redirect the damn misspelled links.

It is also always a joy when you are downloading a large file (e.g., installing .net) and the speed drops by half after a few minutes. But of course they are managing the network.

Intel's nine-piece Lynnfield band takes the stage

Ron 10

L3426 turbo

Since the L3426 is, I believe, under-clocked to get the power down, the turbo speed would just seem to me to be about the full high power speed plus the normal range of turbo boost over that.


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