The MK14 - a cheap version of the NS Introkit - was more Chris Curry's project than Sinclair's. It's said that Sinclair's lack of interest led to Curry leaving to form Acorn with Hermann Hauser.
251 posts • joined 13 Aug 2007
Back in 80s we wrote a number of programs to do "amusing" things to the screens of Sun workstations. One had a vaguely ant-like creature that would run across the screen and steal a letter. A more subtle one would displace letters up or down by one pixel - if you were actively working you probably wouldn't notice anything as the screen would get refreshed, but if you weren't doing anything after a while all the lines of text would become wavy.
A similar argument applies to radio signals. Human broadcasts from 50 years ago were easily distinguishable from noise. But modern digital transmissions are compressed, and the more efficiently a signal is compressed the more it resembles noise - any regularities indicate inefficient compression.
Yes, this is a problem. The article says "LavaBird's now-banished Android app shouldn't be confused with ZXing Team's Barcode Scanner that remains in the Play Store." But that app has lots of similar complaints. Does it really have the same problem, or have people just submitted complaints about the wrong one by mistake?
I'm very doubtful that most people can tell the difference once the resolution is over about 200ppi. Things like contrast and colour gamut are much more important. Just being able to read the display in bright sunlight would outweigh any amount of resultion for me.
"While very nearly all Scottish people speak English, the Scots language was apparently still spoken, read, or otherwise understood by nearly 30 per cent of Scotland's population according to those responding to a 2011 census."
The authors of the 2011 census realised that many people in Scotland would not know whether they spoke Scots, so they provided a number of recordings of people speaking it. If you could understand any of them, you could reasonably say you understood Scots. There was a great variation between them, and I think that most people in England would have been able to understand one of them, so I'm not convinced it was a useful question.
I've probably mentioned this before...
We had a PDP-11/40 which had originally had 32k (words) of core memory, but had been upgraded to 128k with semiconductor memory. One day some decorators accidentally pushed the big red button. When we powered it back on, the operating system came back because it was in low memory - which was core - but each process crashed in turn as it got parity errors in the semiconductor memory.
That's old wire coat hangers. He'd bend one into a diamond shape, then hang it from his finger with the hook at the bottom. Then he'd balance a coin on the tip of the hook, and start to spin the coat hanger round, with the coin staying balanced there. While doing this, he would fetch a broom or window pole, and balance it on his chin and walk around the lecture room. The point was - so he said - to illustrate the difficulty of finding a basis to simultaneously diagonalize two matrices.
Old April Fool's joke:
Get a sheet of Letraset letter transfers (remember them?)
Cut it up into individual letters
Stuff them into the serial or parallel connector on the printer
Simulate a printer fault.
When someone reports the fault, tell them it's probably a printer jam. Take them along to the printer and pull the plug out...
Easy enough to replicate in C (sorry, I don't know how to make it come out in a reasonable format here):
double nan = 1.0/0.0 - 1.0/0.0;
if(nan > 0)
else if(nan < 0)
else if(nan == 0)
.. as a schoolboy in the 1970s. We were allowed to use Birmingham University's ICL 1906A, mostly for Fortran and Algol 68 programming. I wrote a macro (= shell script) that recursively created subdirectories, just to see how many could be created. Apparently the operating system only allowed a limited depth of directories - 64 perhaps - and the macro exited with no harm done. Until the overnight accounting program ran, which had a much smaller limit on the level of nesting it could handle, and crashed.
When I got to school the next morning I was summoned by a teacher who had been contacted by the university, and was sent to the university computer centre to explain myself. Their main interest seemed to be in why I had done it, and they accepted my explanation of innocent curiosity.
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