> chat > Sat 2002-03-30

Chat for Sat 2002-03-30 14:57:53

rich-c: test
rich-c: refresh
rich-c: refresh
moved to room Meeting Place
changed username to Dr.D.
rich-c: hi rich
Dr.D.: Hello Richard.
rich-c: just aboput to give up hope and sign off
Dr.D.: Saturdays have been working out for me better than Wednesdays...
Dr.D.: haha Re: signoff
rich-c: that can happen, especially when a long weekend is involved
Dr.D.: Just back from watching news about the Queen Mum's death.
rich-c: yes, Pam told us about it, but we were preoccupied
rich-c: did take a quick peek at CBC newsnet tho
Dr.D.: Trying also to find out if the Israelis have accidentally killed Arafat yet.
rich-c: I don't think they see that as politically expedient yet
rich-c: not sure they would gain from a total power vacuum
Dr.D.: Well Arafat certainly isn't too different from a vacuum.
Dr.D.: Not that Sharon is any prize-winner either.
rich-c: no, the current administration definitely makes it difficult for me yo sympathize with Isreal
Dr.D.: Both sides share the Semitic heritage of never letting go of a grudge, even after n thousand years.
Dr.D.: Personally I think that they are all terrorists.
Dr.D.: They won't be happy until the other side is exterminated.
rich-c: yes, so much in common - especially bloody-mindedness
rich-c: which other side? Sunnis? Wahhhabis? Shiites? Jews?
Dr.D.: Each faction wants all the others dead. That hatred is all they have in common.
rich-c: they really seem to be equal-opportunity haters
rich-c: they'll bomb a dissident mosque as happily as a church or temple
Dr.D.: Take away their bogey-man and they have nothing to hold them together.
rich-c: yes, just like the fundamentalist Christians
Dr.D.: haha, don't get me started on them...they and their intelligent-design patsies are trying to change the definition of "science" in Ohio to include supernatural phenomena.
rich-c: yes, seems there will yet be another Scopes trial
rich-c: unfortunately superstition remains rampant even in so-called civilized countries
Dr.D.: It's a tribal thing, a way to define an "us" and "them".
rich-c: check it out - the only column editors don't dare leave out of the paper is astrology
Dr.D.: Haha, I could write a SmartBASIC program to write random horoscopes...who could tell the difference.
rich-c: no one - it's just a snow job like all con games
rich-c: make it vague enough and e ery dimbulb will say, gee, that fits
Dr.D.: Roll my 20-sided die and choose an answer, just like a D&D game :-)
rich-c: essentially, yes
Dr.D.: "You will have an interesting day."
rich-c: saw a beautiful send-up of astrology many years ago
Dr.D.: "Watch finances today."
Dr.D.: Never "Put $200 on Sea Biscuit in the 7th at Thistledown." :-)
rich-c: it was a book about Arachne - the thirteenth sign of the zodiac
Dr.D.: Spider lady...
rich-c: pointed out the lunar year really "required" a 13th sign, but it had mysteriously got lost
rich-c: and therefore all horoscopes based on a 12-sign zodiac were invalid - neatly done
Dr.D.: Well, since the zodiac was invented, precession of the Earth's orbit has moved the signs all more than a full twelfth from their original positions.
Dr.D.: Wonder if Jean Dixon et al. take that into account.
rich-c: yes, I recall having that pointed out too
Dr.D.: The north star back then was Thuban in Draco, the Dragon...a tiny 5th magnitude thingy.
rich-c: not mind you that that or anything else cut any ice with the True Believers
Dr.D.: In a few more thousand years it will be Vega, a super-bright one.
rich-c: other than what I pick up from Discover, astronomy isn't one of my central subjects
Dr.D.: But by then, the Big Dipper will have turned itself inside out, due to different motions of the component stars.
rich-c: pity we won't be around to see it
Dr.D.: I read a lot when I was a kid, my great uncle gave me a textbook when I was about 10, and I inherited his 6" reflector telescope.
Dr.D.: If it's clear sky tonight, there is a comet in the NW sky to see at about 8 PM, our latitude and longitude.
Dr.D.: Been hoping for clear skies all week.
rich-c: yes - Russell is a great astronomy fan - he takes his telescope up to the trailer in summer
Dr.D.: Your latitude, it won't get very far above the horizon before's supposed to switch to the morning sometime next week.
Dr.D.: No places around here any more without bad light pollution.
rich-c: right, that's teh one with the 341-year orbital period, isn't it?
Dr.D.: Yes, some hypenated Japanese name.
Dr.D.: oo, hyphenated.
rich-c: actually, one Chinese, one Japanese, as it happens
Dr.D.: Oops!
rich-c: naked eye visible, but binoculars needed to see the tail, I believe
Dr.D.: The place in the sky it is here is right in all the trees in our back yard.
Dr.D.: I lucked out with Hale-Bopp, it was right in the clearing in the center of our back yard.
rich-c: well, when it comes to light pollution, I fear we have you beaten hands down
Dr.D.: Hyakutake, we had to drive 20 miles out of town to a park.
Dr.D.: Halley was a real bust, just a faint fuzzball just before daybreak.
Dr.D.: And I froze my feet in February 1975 looking in vain for Kohotek.
rich-c: what was the last one with a naked-eye visible tail - was that Halley's?
Dr.D.: Hyakutake had a really long tale.
Dr.D.: Oops, tail.
rich-c: ah, ok, that one we could see clearly from our front porch
Dr.D.: H-B had a little tail visible to the naked eye, but it was definitely better in binoculars.
rich-c: yes, I think we managed a glimpse of that too
Dr.D.: Halley was like a chalk smear on the blackboard.
rich-c: but with the short tail it was a bit of a disappointment
rich-c: looked more like a fuzzy star
Dr.D.: Sun is still shining bright here, after torrential rains last night which melted our 4 inches of snow.
Dr.D.: So here's hoping for a starry night tonight...
rich-c: yes, the rain is supposed to hit us later this afternoon or evening
rich-c: and all of our snow is gone too, but then we had rain overnight
Dr.D.: It made the grass really green...our guinea pig is happy, it means he can get fresh grass from outside instead of supermarket lettuce.
rich-c: by the way, found a nice Windows freebie day or two ago
rich-c: it's an office suite, though no database (the spreadsheet can be so used, of course)
rich-c: anyway very friendly and has a lot of interesting-looking file handling capabilities
rich-c: downloaded it onto the laptop - 44 MB, 3-1/2 hours
Dr.D.: My new toy is waiting for a shipment of boot disks to arrive for it.
Dr.D.: Wow Re: long download.
rich-c: what is your new toy? one of the new iMacs?
Dr.D.: Me with a truly new computer? Nah.
Dr.D.: It's a TRS-80 Model 12.
rich-c: what, then?
Dr.D.: Gift of a student in the robot class this semester.
Dr.D.: Seems to work perfectly, but it has no boot media.
rich-c: right, one of your historics for your collection
Dr.D.: Has dual half-height 8-inch floppy drives :-)
Dr.D.: Looks sorta like a horizontally-elongated iMac or old-style serial terminal.
rich-c: saw a Commodore 64 with floppy drive at Value Village yesterday
Dr.D.: Keyboard is separate, but monitor is built-in.\
Dr.D.: Has 2 serial ports, 1 parallel port, at least 64K RAM, maybe a second bank of 64K (not sure, didn't recognize the chip numbers).
Dr.D.: Has a video card which may be capable of graphics.
rich-c: I have to get another Adam together - chap says he has an order on the way
Dr.D.: Expansion slot for an Arcnet network port, and a place for a daughter card with a 68000 CPU so it could run XENIX.
rich-c: well, Tandy had some sense of graphics - remember the CoCo?
Dr.D.: The CoCo was a 6809 machine, I think. This one is Z80 all the way (Z80 PIO, Z80 SIO, Z80 DMA, etc.).
rich-c: anyway, obviously a serious business computer for its time
Dr.D.: List price $3195 US in 1983 :-)
Dr.D.: Now a boat anchor.
rich-c: which reminds me, are Z80 chips worth salvaging?
Dr.D.: I'm pretty sure Zilog is still making them, even though in the past they tried hard to pretend that they didn't.
Dr.D.: You have a stash?
rich-c: I have a bunch of modems (2400/9600) that were part of a network setup; the cards I noticed are run by Z80 chips
rich-c: they were used to run an internal network in a travel business, I think
Dr.D.: I have been devoting some back-burner brain power to trying to figure out how to implement ADAMnet inter-ADAM networking.
rich-c: there is also software to go with them
rich-c: something like the Windows Direct Cable Connection? although that uses serial or parallel ports
Dr.D.: No, it would be all ADAMnet. A box that you could connect a bunch of ADAMs to via ADAMnet cable.
Dr.D.: To each client ADAM, a device 15 (gateway) would appear.
rich-c: well, in theory it can be done - doesn't the Adamnet support about 32 devices, or something?
Dr.D.: Probably that means that each port on the Gateway box would have to have a 6801 in it, and some kind of supervisor to act as a router.
rich-c: there, you are getting beyond me - nuts and bolts are not an area of expertise
Dr.D.: I haven't really thought it through...but the idea is tempting, a box into which you could plug 8 or 16 ADAMs and be able to talk to them.
Dr.D.: Rather, each connected ADAM able to talk to each other connected ADAM.
rich-c: even two would be an asset
Dr.D.: I haven't figured out if that means you'd have to implement TCP/IP as the networking protocol.
rich-c: again, you've lost me
Dr.D.: TCP/IP = how computers talk on the Internet.
rich-c: anyway, I still haven't even figured out how Adamserve works
Dr.D.: This would be different from ADAMserve, because all the connected computers would be equal.
Dr.D.: Someone told me once that Chris Braymen had done something like this already.
rich-c: a peer to peer network then - those are harder, aren't they?
Dr.D.: I never got any details, so I don't know if it's true.
Dr.D.: Yes, this would be P2P.
Dr.D.: So each machine would have to have a network address of some kind.
rich-c: that could create some programming difficulties, I suspect
Dr.D.: Yes.
Dr.D.: Master-slave is easier. ADAMserve is master-slave.
rich-c: or, these days, client-host?
Dr.D.: Yes, those are pretty much equivalent statements.
rich-c: just a matter of political correctness
Dr.D.: haha
rich-c: by the way, when I saw your email and tuned into the Legocam t'other night
rich-c: did you have a "hit" notification set up? that why you waved?
Dr.D.: I had a connections monitor set up on coleco. It showed all current connections and their IP addresses. So, I waved when I saw some new connections start up.
Dr.D.: Was one of them yours? I didn't look up the numeric IP addresses to find out the hostnames.
rich-c: yes, didn't you get my email after?
Dr.D.: I got the E-mail, but I wasn't sure which connection was yours.
rich-c: that means you got a number of hits - how many?
Dr.D.: It's all logged, so I could go back and look up the names. Yours would be something with in it, right?
rich-c: tamcotec is a .com, but yes
Dr.D.: Golly, 30,40 at least that first night. Not all simultaneous...maybe 5-6 simultaneous at max.
rich-c: did you send out any other notifications than the one on the Coleco list?
Dr.D.: The camera will be up 24/7 until the Egg Hunt on the 28th...feel free to peek in any time. You can see the extra session schedule on the main course webpage, to see if there is a scheduled extra session some night. Class hours are Tue and Thur 8:30-11:15, so you can always spy on us then.
Dr.D.: Class mailing list, my fraternity's mailing list. Class list has 27 students and 20-odd staffers.
rich-c: OK, I now have the latest Real player - Real 1 - seems less clunky than the earlier ones
Dr.D.: Did you use the link from the Legocam webpage? It is new compared to the former link.
rich-c: also seems a great deal more pushy - I just tell it no to everything and let Zone Alarm keep it out of mischief
Dr.D.: haha, it keeps wanting to download all kinds of content garbage updates...I turned all that off on my desktop PC, too.
rich-c: I just used the link in your email
Dr.D.: I mean for getting the freebie RealPlayer.
rich-c: oh, no, when I got the new computer I had to get Real for it and the new one was out
rich-c: just went down the download page and unchecked all the boxes
rich-c: then went through all the prefs in the program and did the same
Dr.D.: I see. had changed their link for getting the freebie RealPlayer, so I had to update my webpages.
rich-c: I would imagine that created a hassle for a lot of folks - lot of those links out there
Dr.D.: Real goes to great lengths to bury the fact that there are freebie versions of all their programs available (RealPlayer, RealServer, RealProducer).
Dr.D.: If you didn't know, you can't easily wander into the place where you can download them.
rich-c: yes, and others are getting into that act, too
rich-c: McAfee is making it very hard to find where the virus file updates are
Dr.D.: But $2K is too much for a full-featured RealServer, when the freebie with 2 streaming speeds max and 25 simultaneous connections max is all I need.
rich-c: yes, if they weren't so greedy on their pricing they'd sell a lot more
Dr.D.: Of course the license is only 1 year, and it expires by self-destructing the program. I have to renew our RealServer by 11 April.
rich-c: take the free lunch, even if you have to do your own table-setting
Dr.D.: If they sold the "free" one (features-wise) for $50, I'd buy it.
Dr.D.: Speaking of many unsold copies of SB1.x do you still have?
rich-c: hold on a sec while I go check
rich-c: still have two of the original three
Dr.D.: When was the first one sold?
rich-c: couple of years back - again, hold a sec
rich-c: March 26, 1993 - it's not one of my hot-selling items
Dr.D.: More than a couple years...
rich-c: at my age, they sort of tend to run together after a while
Dr.D.: Okay, what would you say to my buying them back? I am contemplating making one last set of bugfixes and reassembling it, and then releasing it as freeware.
rich-c: I consider my 1995 truck to be virtually new
Dr.D.: I wouldn't want to do this with you still holding stock that couldn't then be sold.
rich-c: that's an honest approach that I would much appreciate
Dr.D.: I haven't started any bugfixing yet...but I've thought about it.
Dr.D.: Mostly to get the source out there so someone smarter than me can make improvements.
Dr.D.: You can pretty much name your own price for it, figure in inflation/interest for how long you've had the $$$ sunk in them.
rich-c: trouble is, I only have my cost is $CDN - don't know what I paid for them in $US
Dr.D.: I think the vendor's price was $20 US per copy, right?
Dr.D.: It was to sell for $35 US.
rich-c: can't tell - might have been
Dr.D.: Somewhere I have your invoice...I know that the ones I sold personally were $35.
Dr.D.: Gotta see if HLM-GMK have any actual inventory that they bought up-front, I don't think they did, but if so, I would buy them out, too.
rich-c: actually I think I offered it at a lower price, but with the exchange I had to give up some margins
rich-c: anyway when you find out, if you want to buy them back, they're yours
rich-c: unless of course some raqbid buyer demands them first ;-}
Dr.D.: I don't think I have any more of my $CN bills from the last Canadian I'd have to send you a check or else just some $US well-hidden.
Dr.D.: Or wait 'til ADAMcon and do it in person. You could keep the actual stock if you like.
rich-c: no problem - a cheque is just fine - you're trustowrthy and I even have a $US account with one of our banks
rich-c: no problem either with physically bringing them to Adamcon, which might be useful
Dr.D.: But as for fixes, I can probably trim 2-3K out of the binary size. I had finally reverse-engineered it all into assemblable source, with the hope of doing just such optimizations, and then never did it.
rich-c: maybe you could use them to enlist some cooperation
Dr.D.: Haha, they could always be autographed giveaways at the banquet :-)
rich-c: or if you like, you could tell me where to send them if you get some nibbles
rich-c: anyway, I will be more than happy to have my inventory reduced
Dr.D.: The hard part is not to break it while doing all the cleanups. Many small steps...
rich-c: even though of late I am actually selling some Adams
Dr.D.: See, if it were finally freeware, you could bundle it with your machines at media cost, and it would be a superior programming environment.
Dr.D.: Hardest thing will be the HD versions....oy vey, the patches were very memory-map-specific.
rich-c: not sure actually that the customers would be all that enthusiastic
Dr.D.: Well, value added...include an extra DDP for an extra $2 or so and see what happens.
rich-c: Ed Snow would likely enjoy it, he teaches computers
Dr.D.: At worst, they never use it and reformat the tape :-)
rich-c: but the Adam I shipped out Thursday went to the backwoods ofPA
Dr.D.: At best, any other ADAM hardware they buy is automatically supported.
rich-c: the buyer doesn't have an email address and bought ten printer ribbons
rich-c: so I think he's using it as a backup to an original
Dr.D.: Sounds like it.
rich-c: the order said to be coming in is from someone who lost his Adam in 1989
Dr.D.: Poor-taste jokes about the late Queen Mum are around already...just read this gem:
Dr.D.: (appended to a real press release that ended with her dying peacefully in her sleep) "Rumors that we had to fill her mouth with garlic and shove a wooden stake through her heart to stop the damned thing from finally beating, are largely exaggerated, or at least presented without adequate delicacy" a Palace spokesentity reported.
Dr.D.: Rather Pythonesque...
rich-c: no, just inddecent, really
rich-c: I only saw her once, when she was still Queen
Dr.D.: She certainly was more loved than any of the younger royals.
rich-c: she came on the Royal Visit to Toronto in August 1939
Dr.D.: Not sure any of them can fill her shoes.
rich-c: no, I don't th9ink they can
Dr.D.: I imagine that there will be an enormouse State funeral sometime next week.
rich-c: our Queen now is too cold - overburdened with duty - and getting no younger
Dr.D.: Any chance/precedent that she could just abdicate to Charles?
rich-c: yes, and it will be a fantastic spectacle, the Brits are SO good at such things
Dr.D.: The Victoria/Edward parallels are getting too close.
rich-c: I have the feeling that she'll stick on till Charles' sons are close to inheriting
Dr.D.: Too much time on his hands waiting around for the throne leads to mischief.
rich-c: Charles is far too bright to ever be popular
Dr.D.: Could she sidestep Charles completely?
rich-c: not sure - that would be a very sticky constitutional wicket
rich-c: have to see how the legislation regarding the inheritance works
Dr.D.: Monarchy and constitution are already a contradiction :-)
rich-c: here, we don't see it as contradictory at all
Dr.D.: Well, I mean in the case where the monarch actually has legislative or governing power.
rich-c: the importance of the monarchy is not in the power it has but in the power it denies to the others
Dr.D.: The current British monarchy has no power to govern, do they?
rich-c: on paper, the Queen has effectively all of the power
rich-c: she can theoretically dismiss the government at will, and is commander of the armed forces
rich-c: she owns the apparatus of government too - hence the Royal Mail
rich-c: in practice and by precedent of course she may not use those powers
Dr.D.: But any attempt to wield this power would result in riots...
rich-c: but say given the rise of a power-mad dictator, these things would become significant
rich-c: just the fact that there is an impartial body in teh way of overweening madness is a comfort
rich-c: as one expert put it, the Queen reigns, she does not rule
Dr.D.: Well, some of the English monarchs have not been so impartial...
Dr.D.: ...and a few have been mad.
rich-c: that's where the limiting precedents have come from
rich-c: so much of the British constitution is unwritten
Dr.D.: Wish we could get some limiting precedents for our Chief Executive...
Dr.D.: he is an embarrassment IMHO.
rich-c: Canadians at the moment are not nearly so charitable to Shrub
rich-c: slippery and hypocritical are some of the milder adjectives
Dr.D.: It's painful to talk politics with my friend from Finland, I have no defensible answers for our foreign and domestic policy.
rich-c: the way Shrub is going, it will be embarrassing to talk to any non-American
Dr.D.: Well, he certainly is the impetus for Europe to unite to form its own competing superpower.
rich-c: and if he doesn't get off the Iraq kick pretty soon, America may just run out of friends awfully quick
rich-c: I don't think Europe wants to compete militarily, just hold their own economically
Dr.D.: Economics is the new warfare. Compete or be assimilated.
rich-c: yes, Canada has heard a lot of that lately
rich-c: of course, competing is hard when the playing field isn't level
Dr.D.: American economics is causing global cultural extinctions.
rich-c: ask the world steel producers
Dr.D.: I think I would rather have every country trying to be self-sufficient than for there to be just one or two global "countries".
rich-c: it's a nice theoretical ideal - but so is trading in the goods each area has an advantage in
Dr.D.: If we had to get our oil, gas, steel, semiconductors here at home, rather than in whatever 3rd-world no-labor-cost nation is cheapest, then things would be better for the long run.
rich-c: for instance, did you know that 90% of the world's mustard seed is grown in Manitoba?
rich-c: or the biggest single production area for lentils is Saskatchewan?
rich-c: or that within five years Canada will likely be the world's largest diamond producer?
Dr.D.: If you outsource everything, then you will have a population of 300 million for which there is nothing for 275 million of them to do.
rich-c: oh, the US is hugely rich in natural resources
rich-c: and there is the infrastructure to provide so much others cannot possibly make for themselves
Dr.D.: Nobody is developing economics of a steady-state; everyone tries to outgrow their competitors to survive. But there are no more frontiers, unoccupied places to expand to over the horizon.
rich-c: but for instance, did you notice that the manufacture of the world's supply of Life Savers is mov9ng to Ontario?
Dr.D.: Exponential grown is followed by exponential crash...
Dr.D.: Life Savers in Ontario, no I didn't know that.
rich-c: yes - it's because of American blatant protectionism
rich-c: you have a bunch of sugar cane producers down in Florida
rich-c: thay can't supply more than a tiny fraction of your market, but they have a voting bloc
rich-c: so you have incredibly high tariffs on sugar
rich-c: us, we'd rather pay world market price, import it from Cuba, and sell them wheat
rich-c: that means it's far cheaper to make them here
Dr.D.: haha.
rich-c: yes, protectionism can really blow up in your face
Dr.D.: So they lose the company and the company's business...bright move.
rich-c: most Italian pasta is made from Canadian wheat
rich-c: not that Europe doesn't grow it, but the best pasta strain comes from Canada, and the Italians are fussy about that
rich-c: but you can't have it becuase even though your West can't grow it, as far as they are concerned "wheat is wheat" so they want tariffs
Dr.D.: I've decided that I prefer lots of local diversity to a few global optimums.
Dr.D.: Speaking as a biologist, that is the key to maximal long-term survival.
rich-c: it's a very tough balancing act
rich-c: but I guarantee, we will continue to buy our oranges and bananas and coffee offshore
Dr.D.: I remember as a boy, driving 30 miles away from home was a completely different environment: different stores, different restaurants, different gas stations. Now, it's all the same everywhere...and it's spreading to the big cities in Europe.
Dr.D.: I guess I think that diversity is good for its own sake.
rich-c: yes, the efficiency valued by economics can be a deadly enemy of other survival traits
rich-c: and I agree that the same answer isn't the right answer for everyone
Dr.D.: No point in travel or talking to anybody else if things are the same everywhere...this is what's made Americans insular in the last 30 years.
Dr.D.: No more draft to send a few million boys overseas to see how other people live, too...not that wars are good things.
rich-c: well, really, all they have to do is cross any international border and keep their ears open
rich-c: yes, I don't think Vietnam or the Gulf or now Afghanistan contribute much that way
Dr.D.: Well, you see it even at ADAMcon...the people who want coffee with their meal (American) get all huffy when in Canada and it's not served until the end (European style). Jeez, just go with the flow.
rich-c: oh, our shops will serve it, but you just have to ask - unless they spot you as a Yank, of course
Dr.D.: How can you not spot the Yank: loud, obnoxious, wearing "God Bless America" T-shirt...
rich-c: believe it or not (and it may be hard) many of your compatriots can be quite civilized
Dr.D.: Well, I try not to be any bad stereotypes...feel free to critique me on my demeanor :-)
rich-c: no, and there are places in the country that are fine models for anyone, anywhere
rich-c: even the places that have a pretty low grade of people have some sterling exceptions
Dr.D.: I have just been besieged by the younger 3 girls...they are all asking when supper will be served.
Dr.D.: Joan's at work and Christina's at a friend's house, so that leaves me as the cook.
rich-c: not surprised - Frances just got back from the library and is making dinner noises
Dr.D.: I should probably adjourn to the kitchen soon.
Dr.D.: Glad I caught you today.
rich-c: OK, great chatting with you, and we'll let you go make like Poppa
Dr.D.: Iron Chef ADAMnet!
rich-c: bye for now
Dr.D.: Bye.
Dr.D. left chat session
rich-c left chat session
moved to room Meeting Place
left chat session
moved to room Meeting Place
changed username to George
George left chat session
moved to room Meeting Place
changed username to Dale
Dale left chat session
moved to room Meeting Place
changed username to rich-c > chat > Sat 2002-03-30
Send comments to I am Dale Wick