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twosideddice
Jan 7, 2009



mrkillboy posted:

Imagine yourself in 1993. What could be better than a PC you can play games on? How about a PC that plays Sega Mega Drive games as well?



I remember seeing this in a catalogue when I was about 12, and I really, really wanted one because I thought the whole concept was mind blowing. It's basically an Amstrad PC running MS-DOS with a Mega Drive (Genesis) stuffed inside; however they didn't share any hardware except for the monitor, and it was designed so that you couldn't use both at the same time. It did come with a white gamepad for the Sega games though.

It was released only in Europe and Australia, and set you back 999. Interestingly enough, this was actually preceded by another PC/Mega Drive hybrid called the TeraDrive which was only released in Japan. Unlike the Mega PC you could actually play Mega Drive games at the same time the main PC OS was being used.

Yeah, a friend of mine had one of these, the panel on the front next to the mega drive cart in the picture slid across from side to side to either expose the mega drive or the PC side of the controls. I was so jealous of this piece of hardware!

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twosideddice
Jan 7, 2009



Lowen SoDium posted:

For a very brief moment in PC history, some computer case speed displays and turbo buttons actually did do something. I built a few 486 systems that the turbo button effectively turned on and off the 2x multiplier for the BUS speed and switched the system from 33Mhz to 66Mhz or from 25Mhz to 50Mhz. And the LCD display would actually show the selected speed.

The turbo button really should have been labeled "Slow Down" because it idea was not to turn it on to make your system go faster, but to turn it off to make your system run slower. Some programs back then did not use any kind of rate or clock limiting and would run as fast as they possibly could. Imagine trying to play a game that ran at full speed on a 25Mhz CPU on a computer that ran at twice that speed.

Most systems that had the LED displays I saw or built by the time Pentiums were running around 133Mhz, where pre-set with jumpers and often didn't do anything with the Turbo Button.

Yeah. I remember a versions of space invaders and missile command that needed this. If you didn't use the turbo button you'd hit new game, the screen had a fit and then game over flashed as the game ran so fast it was impossible to play.

twosideddice
Jan 7, 2009



Sunshine89 posted:


UP had a solution: the gas turbine locomotive. It was essentially a jet engine on rails. Three generations were developed between 1954 and 1959.

The third generation was the most powerful locomotive ever built in North America. It was factory-rated by General Electric for 8500 hp, and Union Pacific often uprated them to 10 000 hp. Look at this monster:



The front unit contains the cab, a diesel engine for reversing and maneuvering in the yard, the generator and the electronics. The middle section is the gas turbine, and the rear section is the fuel tender, a former steam locomotive water canteen tender filled with heavy fuel oil. They generated a lot of heat and noise, and were banned from Los Angeles after UP left one idling under a bridge- and melted a hole in it with its exhaust! There was also an experiment with running two of the earlier turbines back-to-back, which caused the rear one to flame out. In the rare instances extra power was needed, regular diesels were added to the train.

They operated until 1970, by which time diesel locomotives became more powerful and efficient, and the high maintenance costs and fuel consumption of the turbines outweighed the benefits they offered.

They also tried a coal fired turbine, but this exacerbated the problems with wear on the turbine blades the fuel-oil powered turbines had, and was less efficient and powerful than any of them

That's pretty fascinating. Have you got any links for how one of these engines actually worked? As far as I understand the way turbine engines work, they rely on shooting air out the back of them at high speed, which wouldn't really work on a train. So obviously it's something else and I'm pretty curious.

twosideddice
Jan 7, 2009



Brother Jonathan posted:

He is supposed to have once said, "If you were plowing a field, which would you rather use: Two strong oxen or 1024 chickens?"

Yeah, that made me chuckle, that quote is in the opening chapter of a book on game physics along with other classics like:

"640k ought to be enough for anybody" from Bill Gates.

"I think there is a market for maybe five computers" By a former chairman of IBM

"There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home" Ken Olsen

It just makes me laugh that these aren't people who are just looking at computers and not understanding their potential. These are the people who were supposed to be championing computers and yet they still got it so wrong.

twosideddice
Jan 7, 2009



Crikey, get down off of your peddle stool

twosideddice
Jan 7, 2009



TinTower posted:

Roaming fees particularly in Europe are also going to be obsolete in a year's time, after the European Parliament voted in April to abolish them all as of December 2015.

Unsurprisingly, UKIP voted against this.

Coming over here, using our phone signal...

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twosideddice
Jan 7, 2009



minato posted:

This is a Stewart Lee reference, isn't it?

It wasn't meant to be, but now you mention it, those bloody Huguenots coming over here from medieval France and questioning the Eucharistic symbolism.

For those who haven't seen it.
http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x2...ll-and-ukip_fun

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