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KozmoNaut
Apr 23, 2008

Happiness is a warm
Turbo Plasma Rifle


Grimey Drawer

Killer robot posted:

Hardware pricing techniques have a lot of tricks to them.

Software pricing techniques can be pretty hairy as well.

At my company, we're using mainframe software where the pricing is calculated per hour of usage. And we're talking quite a significant outlay for just one hour. On another piece of software that's tightly integrated with its mainframe, we're billed by MIPS; more money equals higher speed of execution. Brilliant.

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KozmoNaut
Apr 23, 2008

Happiness is a warm
Turbo Plasma Rifle


Grimey Drawer

TShields posted:

I remember a phone that was out while I was still trying to sell phones, back in 2008-2009ish. I want to say it was by Pantech, and it slid both directions- up for numbers, over for keyboard. That was a thick loving phone, and I don't think we could ever successfully sell it.

Was it the Pantech C810?

I seem to remember there being a handful of phones that did as you described. Nokia also made a couple of phones (including the N95) that slid one way for numbers and the other for media controls.

KozmoNaut
Apr 23, 2008

Happiness is a warm
Turbo Plasma Rifle


Grimey Drawer

spog posted:

I am pretty sure I can remember an anecdote about some server software that had two versions available.

If you paid for the upgrade, their techs would flip a software switch that disabled a subroutine that ran for the pure reason of slowing down performance.

Of course, my memory might be wrong, but it does sound plausible, doesn't it?

I definitely wouldn't put it past a company like IBM or Oracle to do this.

KozmoNaut
Apr 23, 2008

Happiness is a warm
Turbo Plasma Rifle


Grimey Drawer

GWBBQ posted:

edit: my house has cloth insulated wiring and it does literally disintegrate if you touch it or look at it for too long. At least it's in grounded conduit, although that may explain the stray voltage on the ground throughout the house.

As does most of my apartment. Cloth-insulated wires running through metal tubes. I had to change a light switch last year, and the insulation would literally crumble at the slightest touch. After that, I vowed never to touch it again until I've had a professional replace every last wire.

KozmoNaut
Apr 23, 2008

Happiness is a warm
Turbo Plasma Rifle


Grimey Drawer

Parallel Paraplegic posted:

This thing's pretty neat, but I'm really curious as to what the hell "industrial" sounds like.

I'm imagining something like this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zSRcFxZVAA

KozmoNaut
Apr 23, 2008

Happiness is a warm
Turbo Plasma Rifle


Grimey Drawer

Benly posted:

Well, according to the wikipedia article he linked to: "The Industrial library consisted of lively, medium- to quick-tempo music to induce workers to be more productive. This was perhaps the most varied and adventurous of the libraries; it contained polkas, mariachi music, twangy guitar, Hawaiian songs, and occasionally synthesizer."

So basically exactly what Manfrompoot posted.

KozmoNaut
Apr 23, 2008

Happiness is a warm
Turbo Plasma Rifle


Grimey Drawer

Sagebrush posted:

I thought that GameCube discs were CAV, meaning that all CLV readers and burners (anything available to the consumer) were incompatible?

They are CAV miniDVDs. Wii discs are CAV as well, based on standard DVDs. Dreamcast GD-ROMs were CAV, but people managed to copy those just fine.

There were a couple of anti-copying measures, such as a unique key in the burst cutting area. DVD burners are unable to write in that area, you need commercial DVD duplication hardware to do it.

KozmoNaut
Apr 23, 2008

Happiness is a warm
Turbo Plasma Rifle


Grimey Drawer

Parallel Paraplegic posted:

Also, one of the best old ways to make orange ceramic glaze was with uranium compounds


One of the best ways to make vivid red ceramic glaze these days is to still use a heavy metal, only cadmium is used instead.



I have a number of red Le Creuset pieces and they look really good. They also come with a little warning to only cook food on the inside, on the off chance that small amounts of cadmium leach out into acidic foods.

I've seen a couple of old pieces of cookware glazed with uranium yellow. The color is amazing.

Another area is paint, where cadmium is used to make vivid reds and yellows that are hard to get by other means. They specifically warn you against licking your brushes or using them in an airbrush.

KozmoNaut
Apr 23, 2008

Happiness is a warm
Turbo Plasma Rifle


Grimey Drawer

Parallel Paraplegic posted:

I honestly thought I included that for some reason but I guess I missed it. Thanks!


Wait how can you even cook food not on the inside

I've cooked pizza on an upside-down enameled cast iron pan before I got a proper pizza stone. That's not really acidic though, so I guess it's not the best example.

KozmoNaut
Apr 23, 2008

Happiness is a warm
Turbo Plasma Rifle


Grimey Drawer

Regarding fighting sticks, some people build their own with parts from companies like Ultimarc.

Components for a basic 8-button (plus start button) stick will cost about $50-60 bucks if you gut a gamepad or USB keyboard for the electronics. Then you have to make some kind of box for it, but if you do it right you'll have an arcade-quality stick that will last for a long-rear end time and be perfect for that 10000-game MAME collection.

This is all-digital controls, though. For fancier games that require analog sticks, things get a lot harder.

KozmoNaut has a new favorite as of 13:41 on Nov 22, 2012

KozmoNaut
Apr 23, 2008

Happiness is a warm
Turbo Plasma Rifle


Grimey Drawer


Similarly, my mechanic still uses a bunch of T2x Thinkpads to run Peugeot Planet 2000 () for the same purpose. They're reliable and can take a beating. Perfect for mechanics.

KozmoNaut
Apr 23, 2008

Happiness is a warm
Turbo Plasma Rifle


Grimey Drawer

wipeout posted:

A friend bought a cheap PC Chips 486 motherboard back in the 90's, and the onboard cache ram was fake, empty, plastic "chips". The BIOS must have lied about them being present.

What happened to PC Chips?

They're still around: http://www.pcchipsusa.com

You won't be surprised to know that they've been involved in numerous incidents regarding bad capacitors blowing up.

KozmoNaut
Apr 23, 2008

Happiness is a warm
Turbo Plasma Rifle


Grimey Drawer

WebDog posted:

1997 - Portable CD recorder + player
At the then cost of $2,500 this was a luxury item. The article mentions the fact DAT tape prices were kept high to slow down accessibility and prevent bootlegging and suspects the same for CDs and DVDs to come.
My first CD burnt was in 2001. A straight dub of music tracks, done in real-time and you having to manually mark each track. This was done with a professional CD-recorder used in live recordings. CDs in 2001 were roughly at a cost of 0.70c per disc.

I still have my very first burned CD around here somewhere. It's marked "December 1995" and contains a ton of , including Timon & Pumbaas's Jungle Games (which was friggin awesome), a sheet-music based midi sequencer and a bunch of other random stuff. I can't remember where it came from, but considering the price of CD burners and burnable media in 1995, it must have been a dedicated warez outfit of some kind.

KozmoNaut
Apr 23, 2008

Happiness is a warm
Turbo Plasma Rifle


Grimey Drawer

movax posted:

broken stick buddy

You can get pills for that.

KozmoNaut
Apr 23, 2008

Happiness is a warm
Turbo Plasma Rifle


Grimey Drawer

I'm left-handed and I use the mouse with my right hand when I'm at work or I have to use someone else's computer.

But at home I use the mouse with my left hand, because I can only use the movement keys in FPS games with my right hand. I blame years and years of playing PC games with the arrow keys.

KozmoNaut
Apr 23, 2008

Happiness is a warm
Turbo Plasma Rifle


Grimey Drawer

UltimoDragonQuest posted:

I've heard the Sonic ring sound. I think it was Virginia.


Wired remote control car.
This technology must have been obsolete when I got it in ~1989. The cable was too short and you had to walk around and follow the car. It was terrible.

At least it wasn't one of those cheap-rear end ones that could only turn by going backwards. Stupidest RC car ever.

KozmoNaut
Apr 23, 2008

Happiness is a warm
Turbo Plasma Rifle


Grimey Drawer

Pilsner posted:

It works, but everything related to phoning was just easier, faster and more comfortable on my old regular Sony Ericsson phone, so to speak. Maybe it's just the iPhone that's poo poo.

Specifically, just making a call was a matter of pressing a few buttons which could be done blindfolded. On an iPhone, you have to tap tap drag drag tap tap just to make a call. The iPhone 4 also sucks to hold against your ear, fits poorly in the hand and has crap sound quality.

Nah, all smartphones are poo poo phones.

At work, I have a Samsung Galaxy III Mini. It's decent enough, great for email and browsing. It still can't match my own Sony-Ericsson at being a phone.

KozmoNaut
Apr 23, 2008

Happiness is a warm
Turbo Plasma Rifle


Grimey Drawer


Oh man, I had this one on VHS and watched it like a million times

KozmoNaut
Apr 23, 2008

Happiness is a warm
Turbo Plasma Rifle


Grimey Drawer

That is so painfully 90s.

KozmoNaut
Apr 23, 2008

Happiness is a warm
Turbo Plasma Rifle


Grimey Drawer

That is the nostalgic sound of science fiction, right there

KozmoNaut
Apr 23, 2008

Happiness is a warm
Turbo Plasma Rifle


Grimey Drawer

DesperateDan posted:

C&C Red Alert ran like hot poo poo, even with a buddy connected with a LAN cable and an edited .ini file allowing nuclear attack dogs.

Yesss! RA .ini file editing was the poo poo.

My grenadiers shot lightning from their hands.

KozmoNaut
Apr 23, 2008

Happiness is a warm
Turbo Plasma Rifle


Grimey Drawer

It would only work on a perfectly smooth road surface, and the pitifully small amount of suction wouldn't make any difference either way.

KozmoNaut
Apr 23, 2008

Happiness is a warm
Turbo Plasma Rifle


Grimey Drawer

Axeman Jim posted:

I would have no less difficulty in finding examples of terrible British cars and aircraft from the same period, victims of the same malaise.

Oh, yes please

KozmoNaut
Apr 23, 2008

Happiness is a warm
Turbo Plasma Rifle


Grimey Drawer

Boiled Water posted:


It doesn't have to be. The Danish IC3 series has been in service for 15 years and going strong. Made by Bombardier Transportation in the late 80's and introduced in 1991 and still going strong. Together with the S-trains they form the backbone of Danish rail transportation. The best bit though is that they are made for comfort as seen in the interior:


Well, apart from the vibration issues above 100km/h, the troubles with getting the four automatic gearboxes in each trainset to shift in unison, the massive troubles with getting the advanced (for the time) computerized control system to actually work, the toilet doors that randomly locked and unlocked themselves and the tendency for connected trainsets to refuse to communicate with each other.

All of these issues were solved by 1991, thankfully, and they've actually been in full service for 22 years now, not 15. I've traveled tens of thousands of kilometers on IC3 trains and only very rarely have there been any issues.

As for the IC3's replacement, the IC4? Oh boy, that's a clusterfuck of gigantic proportions. Basically everyone hosed up on that one. Danish State Railways, two different governments, the manufacturer, everyone. The end result is that the trains are now over 7 years late for the original 2006 deadline, not a single IC4 is in regular service yet. Currently, the project is ~$175 million over budget and the current "solution" is for AnsaldoBredo to deliver the unfinished trains and a small compensation for each unfinished trainset, so that they can be finished at the same company that originally built the IC3 trains.

The word "clusterfuck" really doesn't do the IC4 justice.

Here's the Google translated Danish Wikipedia page for the whole thing:
http://translate.google.com/transla...4-sagen&act=url

KozmoNaut has a new favorite as of 16:00 on Jul 4, 2013

KozmoNaut
Apr 23, 2008

Happiness is a warm
Turbo Plasma Rifle


Grimey Drawer

longview posted:

At first glance that sounds like a healthy case of the second system effect, which probably applies to a lot of the things being discussed in this thread.

Surprisingly, the IC4 doesn't really have that many additional features over the IC3. Mostly it's just stuff like a power outlet for every seat, a slightly different seating layout and a dedicated bistro area instead of the current trolleys. On the other hand, the Danish State Railways did insist on a custom configuration instead of going with an off-the-shelf configuration, so there was at least some second-system effect going on. After all, they did spec four 20L diesel V8 engines for each trainset (3000hp total). I don't know much about trains, but it sounds pretty excessive considering the IC3 does just fine with 1600hp total.

One of the flaws of the IC3 that the IC4 does adress is the lack of platform-level entry. Every station needs to have a wheelchair lift and you have to call in advance if anyone in a wheelchair or using a mobility scooter needs to enter or exit an IC3. The IC4 has one platform-level entry per trainset. So I guess that's one good thing about it

KozmoNaut has a new favorite as of 18:34 on Jul 4, 2013

KozmoNaut
Apr 23, 2008

Happiness is a warm
Turbo Plasma Rifle


Grimey Drawer

Jasper Tin Neck posted:

To top it all off, one of the missing train sets was found in Libya, with the inscription "for 40 years of achievement", coincidentally a bit after the 40th aniversary of Muammar Gaddaffi's coup. (Link in Danish, chosen for the pictures of the swanky interior.) Bizzarrely, instead of cancelling the whole order and suing the pants off AnsaldoBreda, DSB took over the unfinished train sets, intending to finish them themselves.

Ah yes, the Gaddaffi train, one of my favorite parts of the whole drat mess

Never do business with the Italians. Eat their food, drive their cars, admire their women, but never ever do business with them. Especially not if they're in the pocket of Berlusconi, which most of them are.

KozmoNaut
Apr 23, 2008

Happiness is a warm
Turbo Plasma Rifle


Grimey Drawer

Goldskull posted:

Obselete Train/Plane chat has been amazing in this thread, but I'm going to take it to a Bus tip: The Saverstrip.

Saverstrips were purchased from Newsagents by Mums in West Yorkshire for schoolkids. I've tried Googling it but basically they were limited run cardboard strips you bought for coming/going to school in the late 80s/early 90s. Kept in a vinyl holder, you slotted them into the slot by the driver and got on, with a satisfying 'KER-CHING' noise, that stamped the bus number on it (see above) and clipped a square off the side. The saver bit came from it was always 12 for the price of 10, depending on how far you were going, ranging from 5p a trip upto the high end £1.50 a go (possibly more, mine was always 15p a go)

Kind of a proto Oystercard really. I think they became obsolete by 92/93? The buses removed the mechanical payslots and it was all cash from then on, which was obviously a good idea increasing the time for 50-60 kids to get on a bus by x3. An idea ahead of its time but also open to abuse by the fact of Bus Drivers not caring about the kerching ching ching when 30 odd all get at once in the school bus park.

Much like Oyster on certain buses in London in fact.

Link to the machines that did them:
http://www.ticketmachinewebsite.com...hotoid=41334404

We still use those (same format, different design/coloring) in Denmark, they've been in use for at least 40 years now. Mostly because they just work.

In fact, I've got one right here on my desk at work, for 10 trips between Helsingør and Aarhus. It's a strip of cardboard worth ~$550 and you don't want to cut two squares by accident. No refunds.

There is an electronic replacement, similar to the Oyster card. Unfortunately, due to a characteristic Danish insistence on doing everything custom-made our own way (see the posts on the IC4 debacle earlier in the thread), there have been massive issues with it, including such basic ergonomic failures as the check-in and check-out spots being almost indistinguishable from each other. It's so bad that they've had to delay the phasing out of the old punch card system by two years.

KozmoNaut
Apr 23, 2008

Happiness is a warm
Turbo Plasma Rifle


Grimey Drawer

Loomer posted:

What, you never heard of Gaylord Industries?

I think he wanted a name change.

KozmoNaut
Apr 23, 2008

Happiness is a warm
Turbo Plasma Rifle


Grimey Drawer

DNova posted:

It makes me wonder what we do today that in 50 years will seem too stupidly absurd to be true.

Probably wi-fi or cellphones.

KozmoNaut
Apr 23, 2008

Happiness is a warm
Turbo Plasma Rifle


Grimey Drawer

Fozaldo posted:

Speaking of these why has it taken so long for cordless charging to come about? Induction has been understood for a very long time so what is so hard about using a coil to induce a current in another coil in a phone to charge a battery?

It's rather inefficient.

KozmoNaut
Apr 23, 2008

Happiness is a warm
Turbo Plasma Rifle


Grimey Drawer

He even predicted modern fast food.

"You'll eat food from sawdust!"

E: "Discarded paper 'linen' and rayon underwear are brought to chemical factories and converted into candy."

E2: Oh god, an "inches deep lake" on the roof to cool your house. Imagine the mosquito problem!

KozmoNaut has a new favorite as of 07:33 on Jul 18, 2013

KozmoNaut
Apr 23, 2008

Happiness is a warm
Turbo Plasma Rifle


Grimey Drawer

I just found this video in a Slashdot discussion. It is simultaneously the most old-school and the most sci-fi thing ever. Storage tube displays!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tpD1QXvtlcg

It's like an electronic etch-a-sketch and I'd love it if someone could give us some more details and perhaps examples of how they were used.

KozmoNaut
Apr 23, 2008

Happiness is a warm
Turbo Plasma Rifle


Grimey Drawer

Yond Cassius posted:

Kensington still makes a (slightly updated) version. Just like regular mice it got updated with optics and a scroll wheel.

I had one, and while the scroll ring was absolutely terrible, the ball and buttons worked well. The size and weight of the ball lent itself well to precision movement.

They make an even more updated version now, instead of the stupid scroll ring, you spin the ball itself to scroll. Pretty nifty and it looks so cool.

KozmoNaut
Apr 23, 2008

Happiness is a warm
Turbo Plasma Rifle


Grimey Drawer

ubergnu posted:

Two questions: a) Can you just pick up the ball from the socket? b) Can you replace it with a cue ball?

A) Yes.

B) Yes, but only on the older mechanical versions, like the one in your picture. It won't work with the newer optical ones. Also, 8-ball for maximum cool.

KozmoNaut
Apr 23, 2008

Happiness is a warm
Turbo Plasma Rifle


Grimey Drawer

Silmarildur posted:

In the theme of the thread I'd bring up trunk mounted 6 disc changers, quite common in 90s German cars. Granted you have 6 CDs to choose from, but with buffering being virtually non-existent they tended to skip like crazy and the concept of pulling over and opening the trunk to access new music is pretty hilarious.

My car had this as an option as well, by virtue of being a late 90s facelift of a mid 90s design.

I use it as an AUX input for my MP3 player by virtue of a converter box, which simulates the original CD changer. As a consequence, it just keeps repeating CD 1 track 1 endlessly on the display. I can change "CDs" and "tracks" as much as I like, but it just reverts back to CD 1 track 1 after a second or so. It's wonderfully janky, but it allows me to have an AUX input on the OEM radio and use the stalk on the column to control volume.

KozmoNaut has a new favorite as of 12:21 on Oct 9, 2013

KozmoNaut
Apr 23, 2008

Happiness is a warm
Turbo Plasma Rifle


Grimey Drawer

Yond Cassius posted:

I've used one, and I thought the ring was perfectly acceptable, once I tuned it in the drivers to behave the way I liked it. Out of the box, yes, it was pretty bad.

My issue with it had more to do with how ridiculously cheap it felt. The ball itself and the buttons were great and felt high-quality, but the scrollring just felt like a piece of low-rent bargain-bin gimmick hardware.

KozmoNaut
Apr 23, 2008

Happiness is a warm
Turbo Plasma Rifle


Grimey Drawer

Pilsner posted:

However, I've just bought a device that can play MP3s from an SD card and replaces the CD changer, so yeah, obsolete. gently caress optical discs.

Which one did you get? If I could get a SD card MP3 player instead of my AUX in, that would be awesome.

KozmoNaut
Apr 23, 2008

Happiness is a warm
Turbo Plasma Rifle


Grimey Drawer

Pilsner posted:

http://www.maintronic.de/en/product...mp3-player.html

It's €230 (on ebay.de), so pretty expensive, but from what I've read, it's also by far the best MP3 solution. It emulates the CD changer, and allows 6 main folders with endless subfolders. You can navigate the music as you please, play random, configure it to show track titles on the navi screen, your MID/radio, even in the instrument cluster. It's configurable to all hell, but in its default state it's just plug and play.

I just received mine yesterday, and I'm still in the process of re-organizing and tagging a lot of the music I'll be putting on it, so I can't give a real review yet, but I can't wait.

Very snazzy, but from looking at the list of supported vehicles, my OEM radio is way too old-school. Basically all of the logic is in the radio, it more or less only sends "change CD" or "change track" to the changer, no titles or anything in the display. I guess a dumb AUX port is the best it can do.

KozmoNaut
Apr 23, 2008

Happiness is a warm
Turbo Plasma Rifle


Grimey Drawer

DrBouvenstein posted:

So did Nintendo just agree to do that as some sort of last-ditch middle finger to Sony after their planned "BFF" console from the mid 90's fell through?

"Oh, you didn't want to partner with us and made a kick-rear end console? Well, we found someone else who will partner with us to take our already mediocre console and turn it into a mediocre DVD player! Take THAT!"

The Gamecube wasn't mediocre, it was hella awesome. Xbox-beating graphics quality in a form factor 1/4th the size, arguably one of the best and most ergonomic controllers ever (the button layout alone is genius), and built from 100% pure super-durable Nintendium.

The hardware was awesome and brilliantly designed, but Nintendo hosed it up by not getting enough third-party developers on board. Despite that, the game library spans over 600 games, and Wind Waker and Super Mario Sunshine are still among the best games I've ever played.

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KozmoNaut
Apr 23, 2008

Happiness is a warm
Turbo Plasma Rifle


Grimey Drawer

death .cab for qt posted:

The Gamecube was obsolete out of the gate because of its minidisc format. It wasn't an issue of being short on third-party developers, it was the third-party developers not wanting to play ball with Nintendo's special discs when the Xbox and PS2 were identical.

It also ensured that there was basically no piracy on the GC until some crazy-rear end scheme was developed, using a bug in Phantasy Star Online and the network adapter to stream games onto the GC. It never really worked though, as the game rips were incomplete and buggy, and the network link was 10mbit only, leading to severe lag and loading errors in the games. So effectively, piracy was way too impractical and involved on the GC.

Compare this to the PS2 or the Xbox where you could more or less force them into playing pirated games with nothing but a stern look.

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