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Sir_Substance
Dec 13, 2013


Lowen SoDium posted:

Yeah, I remember using that in the 90's when I was in highschool. I think you could only do it if you could do your taxes on the E-Z form.

I knew they shut it down, but I thought it was more resent.

The concept isn't dead at least. The Australian tax office has for quite a few years now released each year a program which takes the entire Australian tax code and turns it into about 30 minutes of "click next and occasionally fill in boxes". The thing is amazing, if you give it your tax file number and your total income for the year, it will pre-fill 99% of the forms for you anyway, so all you really need to do is put in all the expenses you want to get refunded from your tax balance

I look forward to the day when I can legitimately post this (and all other government paperwork) in this thread:

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Sir_Substance
Dec 13, 2013


My parents at one point had a laptop that was terminal only, with a blue-or-off LCD screen. By the time I got to it it was pretty dead, no backlight, battery long since lost. But I remember the keyboard was a dream to type on. The keys had just the right travel distance and just the right amount of click.

Of course, my fingers have gotten longer since then, so it might be a lot more like a standard laptop keyboard then I remember.

Sir_Substance
Dec 13, 2013


Humphreys posted:

Like IBM Model M's? I really gotta get around to buying a decent keyboard with cherry keys.

Nah, wasn't buckling spring on a laptop. Some kind of scissor switch system, I think.

Sir_Substance
Dec 13, 2013


Speaking of old kids toys, here's what I really want to know:

The original digimon handheld things had two metal plates at the top that you pressed togather to start battling. I seem to recall that once the battle started, you could separate them.

Do I remember correctly? If so, what kind of wireless did they use?

Sir_Substance
Dec 13, 2013


WebDog posted:

PayWave in recent times has pretty much filled the desire to not run around around with tons of shrapnel in your wallet.

My bank wouldn't disable paywave, I had to take a stanley knife to my card to solve that issue.

Am I the only one who thinks passive wireless access to credit accounts is pretty much the worst idea ever on the face of it, no matter what the technical implementation looks like?

Sir_Substance
Dec 13, 2013


DNova posted:

No, but there are lots of needlessly paranoid people in the world. The onus is on the bank, not on you, to protect the cards and the money they represent (in the US).

edit: If you want to destroy the RFID chip in your credit cards, I fully support your right to do so. A few seconds in the microwave will obliterate the chip. You can probably also shatter it with a hammer inside the card. You can find the location of the chip with low-angle light.

I don't want to destroy the chip, that's a far better way of paying then the magnetic strip, it's only the RFID I don't want.

As for the onus being on the bank, you need to read your T's&C's carefully. My banks states that they'll only cover paywave based fraud once the card is reported stolen, so if you don't notice for a few hours...

Better to get rid of it. Both the chip and magnetic strip require pins for everything, it's only paywave that is pinless.

However, that's a legal and technical setup issue. I'll happily continue to argue with you until I'm blue in the face that wireless access to credit lines is, at it's most basic level, a terrible idea you have to work to improve and secure, rather than a good idea that is secure in the first place.

Sir_Substance
Dec 13, 2013


Ron Burgundy posted:

Depends on the implementation I suppose, seems like it forces PIN verification here for amounts over $100 (Australia)

It depends on the store I think. IIRC it's something like $99 at bunnings, $50 at woolies and $35 at maccas. There must be a default, it's probably something like $50.

However, that's per transaction, not even per store. There's only employee attentiveness stopping someone from just buying several things in different transactions from the same store and nothing stopping someone from just going on a spree through the mall. I could easily rack up 2k in damage given an hour with your card.

Sir_Substance
Dec 13, 2013


Collateral Damage posted:

Ha, you think that because it says Nokia, but the 100 is just a really basic feature phone made from cheap plastic. To its credit it's small and lightweight, which does prevent phone-bludgeoning.

The Nokia 100 is a good phone it's twin, the 101, is dual sim quadband. No more cost effective phone for going overseas.

I like featurephones, I get very little mileage out of smartphones. The only thing I do with smartphones that I can't do on a feature phone is google maps for the bus timetables and internet banking.

Sir_Substance
Dec 13, 2013


Tiny Brontosaurus posted:

but I forgot that I automatically don't know anything about my own life because I dared ask a technology question to goons.

You are a strange and angry man.

Sir_Substance
Dec 13, 2013


Base Emitter posted:

No, it works on the principle that GUIs weren't invented yet and your editor needed to fit into like sixteen loving kilobytes and be backwards compatible with the editor that runs on teletypes. The rest is retcon bullshit.

and emacs is better

Sir_Substance
Dec 13, 2013


Zopotantor posted:

You're right of course, but please keep it out of the obsolete and failed technology thread.

Sir_Substance
Dec 13, 2013


If I'm honest, I use emacs rather then vi because gently caress pressing colons and typing obscure sets of characters. People made meta keys for a reason dammit, what is wrong with the vi developers?

Which brings us to another piece of obselete technology.

Bask in the glory that is the space cadet keyboard:


From the days when men were men, and a keyboard that didn't have an infinity and all the equality symbols on it was a diabolical inconvenience.

Sir_Substance
Dec 13, 2013


Dewgy posted:

OK, really? A can opener?

Guys check out this piece of poo poo:



It's like looking into the loving stone age!

Is the screwdriver older than the can opener?

I'm not going to look it up just yet, anyone care to throw their thoughts in?

Sir_Substance
Dec 13, 2013


sirbeefalot posted:

An impact driver makes Phillips head screws about a billion times easier to drive in without the bit camming out. You need much less pressure down on the head than with a typical driver drill. Still far from perfect, though. I'd much prefer it if Robertson was more prolific.

It's people using impact drivers to insert phillips heads and holding the trigger down "just to make sure" after they're well in that strips phillips heads in the first place. I would like to impact drill more then one persons hands, because it's always me that has to undo their hamfisted work to extract a switch from a rack or open a case. It's a pre-threaded hole you grubs, use a hand tool.

Sir_Substance
Dec 13, 2013


sirbeefalot posted:

I'm talking about thread forming screws only, sorry. Driver drill with a clutch or a hand tool are better for machine screws, of course.

To be honest, I've never had a problem hand-screwing self-tapping screws either, but I can understand that if you did it all day that poo poo would get old real fast. Provided you're doing it into wood or something else that can deform to take the power of the driver, it's not such a big deal, but any situation where you are screwing into something non-deformable please pay attention to what you're doing, don't just hold the trigger down till it starts slipping.

Sir_Substance
Dec 13, 2013


Aurora-Capitah posted:

Webcam is often the exception here.
Went to download hp webcam driver the other day. 367mb.

Idiot company.

I downloaded a 500mb bluetooth driver the other day

Sir_Substance
Dec 13, 2013


Drone_Fragger posted:

A lot of games are also not getting updated, despite being maybe only a year old or less, and hence when the GFWL servers shut down they will cease to work at all. Microsoft is basically an EA esque villain at this point with how badly they hosed up GFWL and the xbone.

The thing I'm most looking forward to is that in the wake of facebooks inevitable shutdown 5 or so years from now, all the games and services that have rushed to implement "log in from facebook" buttons will stop working.

DrBouvenstein posted:

The laptop has an N wireless card, it's configured to use N, the router is N, EVERYTHING ON THE NETWORK CAN USE N, so why does it drop to slower than "a" speeds? And only when doing things internally on the network? No clue.

Are any of them "draft N"?

For a while there was a legal spat about who owned the N specification and thus got the delicious patent-bux, and devices were being sold with "kinda-sorta N but not really" support. They didn't always play nice, and not all of them worked properly with the proper N specification.

Sir_Substance has a new favorite as of 13:25 on Jul 2, 2014

Sir_Substance
Dec 13, 2013


Cat Hatter posted:

Don't most boomboxes have two cassette decks for dubbing? Or are you just excited that they freed up more room up front for extra buttons/sliders at the expense of having to stop the tape you're listening to so a second can be loaded?

I was impressed by how they have the casettes in the same drawer. I've seen two-drawer models, but that one is new. Are the tapes both driven by one wheelspike? (is there a technical term for these?) What happens if the tapes are different lengths, does it stop early or does it murder one tape to continue playing the other?

I must know!

Sir_Substance
Dec 13, 2013


SybilVimes posted:

I think the general trend was to try and make cassettes seem as much like CD as possible, to try and make it look less 'antiquated' than it was.

Eh, I wouldn't go that far. Lots of people had big tape collections, and there was demand for things like changers (modern convenience) and robust yet gentle mechanisms (to prolong the life of the tapes). It's not like it was a conspiracy to hide the format change from the public, people had invested money in tapes and were willing to pay to have high quality feature filled equipment.

Sir_Substance
Dec 13, 2013


Last Chance posted:

Actually, I think the most impressive part is how they were able to get the CDs and tapes to automatically load themselves into the player. I'd pay top dollar for that feature, even now!

I donno, tractor beams are pretty outdated as a loading mechanism these days. Most players since ~2010 use transporters to beam the cassettes into the player, saves having a hinge for the door.

Sir_Substance
Dec 13, 2013


Jerry Cotton posted:

Thanks to stupid limits on e-mail attachment sizes, mostly.

Speaking of obsolete technologies, why is this still a feature on modern email systems?

Things I have never heard anyone say:

"Thank god we have an attachment size limit, it would make my life so much harder if it weren't there".

Sir_Substance
Dec 13, 2013


Lowen SoDium posted:

File size limits on email are a good thing given how emails are delivered, processed, and stored.

Email as a whole is another technology that is really out of date. I wouldn't go so far as to say it is obsolete, but it has a lot of limitations due to how it is implemented.

Maybe it's just me, but it seems to me that given how cheap storage space and bandwidth are these days, it would be totally practical for most places to just give everyone a 1/5/10GB mailbox limit (whatever you like based on org size) and let them manage it themselves.

I'd like to see email go away. Something like XMPP, but with better old conversation storage and retreval options, might be viable, but you'd have to start moving the whole world over to it, annoyingly.

Collateral Damage posted:

I'd say HTML is a failed technology, and CSS is just a band aid on a fundamentally flawed technology.

I find it pretty disgusting that the standard method of building a website requires five different languages (HTML, PHP, CSS, SQL, Javascript). What a god drat headache. The only positive thing I find in the current app craze is people making apps to replace their websites. I am no fan of Objective-C, but writing it once using Objective-C and nothing else makes a lot more sense then the standard website setup.

What we really need is a new kind of browser, designed as basically an app container.

Sir_Substance has a new favorite as of 06:59 on Jul 15, 2014

Sir_Substance
Dec 13, 2013


dissss posted:

That isn't really the case though - chances are your app still relies on something running on a server with a database behind it.

Depends on what you are doing, of course. Websites run the spectrum from things that could just as easily be a PDF file to things that really should have been implemented in C++. I guess my comment was mostly targeted at the "webapps" market, things like webmail and so forth.

You're right, they do still have a backend, but you've have more flexible choices on what the backend was written in, the interfaces would be simpler and more secure then working with PHP. You'd probably still end up using SQL, but if you could reduce the problem by two languages, that'd be a start.

Getting rid of PHP is, of course, merely icing on the cake

Sir_Substance
Dec 13, 2013


Computer viking posted:

At a guess, they are completely sealed, and the bodies are rigid enough that the volume (and thus pressure) inside is near enough constant?

Dan says not, and he's pretty good at this stuff. Of course, that article is pretty old, so if we're making helium drives now they probably do have to be sealed.

Since we're now talking about old forms of computer memory, may I take this opportunity to remind you all of the peak of computer memory.



Acoustic Delay Line Memory

Basically you have a big drum filled with a liquid that suits the properties of the equipment you are using, mercury is a good candidate (isn't it always?). You stick transducers on each end, and fire the bit sequence into one transducer.

WUB-WUB-WUB-WUB-WUB

The pulses travel down the tube, hit the other transducer, fire around to an amp which sends them back to the first transducer, repeat. When you want to read the memory, just strip the amp signal off on the way through.

Truly, no finer form of memory has been known.

Sir_Substance
Dec 13, 2013


Pilsner posted:

So on that website you pay to buy a 3D Printing scheme? Everything there seems comically overpriced. $29 for a coffee cup, pointless doodads for 10-20-30 dollars and up.

I'm working on a bespoke construct for my university, which allows us to calibrate our augmented reality projection systems. Think giant tinker-toy, with special targets for known locations in space. The 3D printers we use are good enough for prototypes, but we want to make a solid kit-in-a-bag type system so we can calibrate in arbitrary locations.

Shapeways will print higher quality and better plastics then we can do, so once we have the final design we'll have them print it.

So yeah, there's no point going to shapeways for something you can buy at the shops, but if you need a small number of bespoke plastic objects, it's far more cost effective then making moulds, especially if you don't have your own 3D printer.

Sir_Substance
Dec 13, 2013


drrockso20 posted:

Okay since today's my birthday, I think it'd be a reasonable request for everyone to tell me all the interesting things you can about the Commodore 64, 128, and Amiga family of computers, since I think they are really cool and want to know more about them

Hold-and-modify

Obsolete? oh yes. Failed? I think not!

Sir_Substance
Dec 13, 2013


To be fair, you can do that today, it's just you have a lot more memory to sort though and it tends to excite your AV.

Sir_Substance
Dec 13, 2013


Cat Hatter posted:

As for being overpriced, a cheap android device and Netflix license would be required for every seat and then require an air-to-ground datalink capable of sustaining bandwidth for up to 660 simultaneous streams on a 747.

On some of the longer qantas flights, you can rent a modified ipad that alleges it won't work outside the plane. It connects to a fileserver inside the plane and streams content.

They were letting you do this for around a year before they started letting you leave your electronic devices on during takeoff.

If there is a god, obsolete technology soon: aeroplane mode.

Sir_Substance
Dec 13, 2013


mrkillboy posted:

Maybe this is a mostly American thing because I distinctly remember watching The Devil's Advocate on a Singapore Airlines flight to Australia in 1997 and it was completely uncut as far as I know (it was through the in-seat system though).

I also have seen films with tits on singapore airlines flights. The SA in seat systems use a privacy screen so you can't see your neighbors screens, but it's not good enough to stop yous seeing the screens of the people in the row in front of you.

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Sir_Substance
Dec 13, 2013


Pham Nuwen posted:

I don't know what's wrong with just writing "save" on the button, there's nothing worse than trying to guess what the gently caress that little 25x25 scribble is supposed to represent.

It's hard to pick out one textual button among lots of other textual buttons. Tooltips are the correct solution to the problem you are having.

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