David Thompson
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March 10, 2017

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Hal

Robot pianist.

Well, that's all very nice, but can it play using its feet?

Hal

And finally, reassuringly, a bedtime tale.

Absolutely unbearable, that.

PiperPaul

An engineer friend contacted ANSI to find out more about that Dry Martini Standard which was posted in last week's Ephemera. It was actually listed at the ANSI website (it appears they've since taken it down). The document was apparently used as an example in a 2005 conference slideshow presentation on standard creation and copyright. Here are some pages from that document with some non-relevant pages removed:

http://spedweb.com/funny/ansi_dry_martini_standard_origin.pdf

Sporkatus

I tried to post something droll in the last thread from Real Peer Review by way of Ace of Spades - anyone interested can look it up. Men are alleged in a paper not to lactate because it's not expected of them. The patriarchy, you see.

Caught in the spam filter, I think, hence no link.

Sporkatus

Title at Ace is "trust your elite expert class".

sH2

Headline of note.

Perfect.

John D

Phones from antiquity.

Still got my old Nokia 3310 in a junk cupboard. My kids think it's funny.

David

My kids think it's funny.

Owning one or keeping it? I did in ancient times own the Motorola Razr and the Blackberry Curve. Clearly, I was more sophisticated.

David

Ooh. System update.

[ Fiddles with phone excitedly. ]

David

I’m now rocking Android 7.0.

I feel so badass.

Hal

Still got my old Nokia 3310 in a junk cupboard.

Sometime mebbe 2012 or so I strolled into a phone company store and commented that I'd like to get a cell phone.

The staff eagerly announced Oooh!! You want to update your phone!!

I replied that No, I'd like to get a cell phone. After an hour or so of going over details and variables, I strolled out with a flip phone.

By sometime mebbe 2014 or so I'd made three or four or so phone calls with it, and had to deal with texting a couple of times, and at that point got around to getting a tablet phone so that I could have a much more sane version of typing texts on the random occasion that they turned up.

Some while later, a couple of someones have nearly passed out upon realizing that the tablet phone remains more or less in its original condition, because after all, it is indeed merely a phone, where there is an added advantage that I can pull things up from the WWW to look up, such as subway and bus schedules, but that tends to be all of interest for quite merely a telephone . . . .

Why yes, quite as contrasted with hipsters and other zombies, I do have a life . . . .

Hal

I’m now rocking Android 7.0.

Oh, right. Every once in awhile I'm informed that something OS related is going on with the phone. I permit it to.

Sam

At last, an assault trombone.

I want one.

David

Every once in awhile I'm informed that something OS related is going on with the phone. I permit it to.

I confess, I do feel a faint tingle of anticipation when I get a major system update. The subsequent retentive faffing with menu changes and tiny interface tweaks is hard to resist.

As vices go, it could be much worse.

lovegoats

Assault tubas.

http://mashable.com/2015/02/16/war-tubas-radar-wwi/

All interpersonal conflict should be conducted this way.

David

Assault tubas.

Speaking of which.

Hal

As vices go, it could be much worse.

Oh, Bloody Well Yes . . . .

I confess, I do feel a faint tingle of anticipation when I get a major system update.

Yesssss, weeelllll . . . . .

About twenty years back a cousin of mine started up his own small Internet Service Provider, and currently uses it as the base for his network and assorted computing support career. A few weeks back I sent 'im the following, to see what reactions and recommendations he might have.

Hullo, how goes . . .

I've been running PCBSD for most of a decade, where I get to have a FreeBSD install where there is full windowing and Stuff right from the install, do the latest install, keep going. Recently, I've had PCBSD 10.2 installed for awhile, FreeBSD is currently at 11.0, and working on 12.

And then the PCBSD people got on a hobby horse, and apparently back in September or so proclaimed that all traces of Linux were to be purged proactively, or something like that. So instead of PCBSD based on the latest FreeBSD release, there would be TrueOS, an ongoing rolling release based on a purified absolute current development of FreeBSD 12 and counting, minus that horrible Linux code, the glorious advantage of something called Lumina for windowing, Firefox and Thunderbird tossed in, and Ehn, who needs features for a file manager, a graphical version of ls is all one will ever need!!!!

Regarding the Glorious New Future, in the last few days I've already been finding pointed commentary amounting to Screw This, I'm going back to pure FreeBSD, with the extra Linux bits, because it gets things done and I don't have to suspect the admins are loons.

And that research got triggered because more and more in the last couple of weeks I tried to do a bit of upgrading on my current install and then watched this, that, the other, and all in the vicinity come up broken---a main pain in the ass is that the X resolution is fried because evidently Nvidia is, gasp, Impure, and where apparently the Nvidia development also just did some spasm of upgrading and also has rather broken things.

Apparently the reason for the across the board breakage is that the jump over to TrueOS particularly involved dumping all of their old libraries so that they could have Only The Pure on hand. Never mind having standby PCBSD development for people to use during the time that the Great New Vision could incrementally start getting around to commencing to begin to resemble something that might get mistaken for something usable, someday . . . .

Sooooo, at this point, on the secondary computer I've confirmed that reinstalling PCBSD 10.2, seeing of 10.3, is no use. The basic install will go in just fine, and then as soon as one starts picking up extra bits and pieces, well, such and all related file interconnections and support no longer exist.

On that secondary computer I currently have an install of bare Freebsd 11.0 in place, and am starting to pick my way through the FreeBSD Handbook to see if that will actually guide through getting KDE up and running, but I do have to schedule that around the irregular bouts of the paycheck I'm currently eking.

At the moment I'm doing a download of Kubuntu, as a fallback if the Handbook instructions turn out ill vetted, but while that ostensibly will get me quickly back up and running with a windowed desktop system, that's going to be on Linux. I think that my Thunderbird and Firefox configurations and filtering and whatnot else files should be able to transfer over to a Linux system just fine . . . but of course rather lack the certainty unless everything actually does carry over just fine . . . If that works out, I can get that set up on the primary system, and then on the secondary system, go back to trying to pick through basically doing a one person recreate of what PCBSD 11.x would wind up being, In Time, depending entirely on what quality docco there is . . .

In short, _)#&$_**)(#$&%+)*$#&%_+)*#^&$_+()*@^#_$(*#^&$^_(*@#^$_( . . . . .


At this point, with what you've been or may have been working on and with over time, any general or particular recommendations, suggestions, observations?

Thank you!

In time, by a few days after that email, I did sort out the procedural steps to get FreeBSD 10.3, with full X windows set for the correct screen resolution, KDE as well, all up and running on the primary computer hardware.

---Yes, by the way, there was some sort of issue with the way that FreeBSD 11.0 was released, therefore the resulting data disc installs just fine on the secondary computer hardware, but can't even get detected by the primary computer hardware, so for the moment I'm running FreeBSD 10.3 and will see of 11.1 when that's released . . .

---Also yes, by the way, I am not a computer tech, I have basically zero capability to be someone's Unix admin, I'm basically a somewhat experienced hobbyist by this point who can only build a computer from selected parts and install an OS when following instructions, so all of this is written quite as strictly a layperson . . .

Ted S., Catskill Mtns., NY, USA

Will a euphonium do?

Hal

Will a euphonium do?

There's always the tromboon . . . .

Farnsworth M Muldoon

Arpeggio, A Robotic Player Piano System That Flawlessly Plays the Instrument Like a Human

No, clever as it may be, it plays it like a player piano on steroids because it is incapable of spontaneous inflection or improvisation.

Phones from antiquity.

I tried a "smart" phone only to find out that that they are all lousy phones, lousy cameras, lousy video cameras, lousy computers and for toting around almost as ergonomic as a cinder block. Of course then there was the problem of the stock ROM being fully googlized and the asinine permissions on the apps. Sure makes perfect sense that the "flashlight" (another thing it is lousy at) has to have access to the camera, the contacts, and be able to read/write to anything. Being a techno geek, even wiping the stock Android and installing a custom ROM to get rid of all stock Google spyware and crappy apps didn't improve things. Back to the Razr which actually works as a phone and fits in a pocket. Anyone wants to text me, I point out that as I am not a teen aged girl, don't.

New is not always better, and get off my lawn.

David

Anyone wants to text me, I point out that as I am not a teen aged girl, don’t.

Someone fetch grandpa a cup of tea.

Farnsworth M Muldoon

Someone fetch grandpa a cup of tea.

Coffee with a shot, and you have a deal. Meanwhile, this is not exactly an improvement, and yes, I am old enough to remember being in the Louvre back in the dark ages in the late 1990s when people actually looked at the paintings.

David

Touché.

Lancastrian Oik

The Abbey Road recording desk used to record Dark Side of the Moon is up for auction.

Spiny Norman

Sporkatus,

Caught in the spam filter, I think, hence no link.

I have found that the spam filter really, really doesn't like links to Ace of Spades HQ. I've never had a comment eaten by the spam filter except when posting a link to AoSHQ, and then, it does every single time I do post a link to that site.

David

the spam filter really, really doesn’t like links to Ace of Spades HQ

Just tried it and you’re right. I have no idea why she’s taken such exception to Ace.

Sporkatus

@Spiny Norman: Most likely Typepad's default is to regard anomalous domain extensions as suspect. Which is rather droll, as Ace *is* on David' blog roll.

David

If I can just… get the back panel off... and then maybe… cross-connect the circuits...

Hal

cross-connect the circuits...

Y'mean this way?

Jonathan

At last, an assault trombone.

" Hold your fire until the first man toots."

I'll get me coat.

Trevor

“Mr Estala appeared to be intoxicated.”

Is this what is meant by 'transgressing boundaries'?

David

Ba-dum tiisshh.

R. Sherman

If I can just… get the back panel off... and then maybe… cross-connect the circuits...

Typepad Spam Filter: "I'm sorry Dave. I'm afraid I can't do that."

Spiny Norman

Farnsworth,

I tried a "smart" phone only to find out that that they are all lousy phones, lousy cameras, lousy video cameras, lousy computers and for toting around almost as ergonomic as a cinder block.

[ looks over at the Samsung Convoy flip phone sitting on the desk ]

[ smiles at the chiding I get from smart phone people ]

Hal

Dutch prime minister: Voters must stop Trump-style 'chaos' from coming to the Netherlands
Washington Post - ‎7 hours ago‎

Um. Trump style chaos. So would that consist of, basically, voters vote, some candidate wins?

Spiny Norman

Yeah, but the "wrong" candidate wins.

Was this a dig at Geert Wilders?

Spiny Norman

Saturday ephemera: Pretentious showbiz celebrity Shia LaBeouf, upset at the vandalism of his pretentious "He Will Not Divide Us" stunt, moved his "installation" to an undisclosed location. 4Chan /pol/lacks took it as a challenge, and well, take a look .

PiperPaul

"Trump style chaos"

Progressives losing their minds?

Leftists rioting in the streets?

Media heads exploding?

Daniel Ream

I tried a "smart" phone only to find out that that they are all [...] lousy cameras, lousy video cameras, lousy computers and for toting around almost as ergonomic as a cinder block.

I really have to disagree with this. If you had an older phone, then the camera CCDs probably were sub-par; CCDs have improved by literally orders of magnitude in the last three years. Smartphones have completely destroyed the point-and-shoot camera market.

The smartphone currently at my hip is more powerful, easier to use and to write custom software for than the first dozen computers I owned. It's only slightly larger than the Palm/Pilots I owned from 1997 to 2004, and it makes me vastly more productive.

Does everyone need a powerful, easy to use hand computer? Probably not. But very few people needed a home PC or a laptop either, and since you get a phone as part of a cellular plan that's cheaper than a housed landline in most markets, where's the harm?

David

4Chan /pol/lacks took it as a challenge, and well, take a look.

Heh. I suppose you’ve got to respect the doggedness. But I do wonder if all this amusing torment will be seen by future historians as what started Mr LaBeouf on his spree of shooting up shopping malls.

Liz

this amusing torment will be seen by future historians as what started Mr LaBeouf on his spree of shooting up shopping malls.

That. :-)

David

That. :-)

Well, he doesn’t strike me as the most even-keeled person walking the Earth. I don’t think he’s wired properly. Maybe that’s why he looks so at home among the “social justice” contingent. And if you were compiling a list of faded celebrities most likely to take hostages and die in a hail of bullets, Mr LaBeouf would have to be in there somewhere.

WTP

What Daniel Ream said.

Farnsworth M Muldoon

I really have to disagree with this. If you had an older phone, then the camera CCDs probably were sub-par; CCDs have improved by literally orders of magnitude in the last three years.

You are comparing old with new, (it is as if comparing a C-47 to a C-17), the point is comparing the "camera" in a phone with a real camera.

A phone has a sensor about 5.7X4.3mm. A cheap point and shoot will have the same size, a good point and shoot one 7.6X5.7mm, a real camera, full frame 35mm (24X36mm) (unless you go crazy and get a large format device). Most people confuse number of pixels with image quality, but the real issue is pixel size, and 16 million crammed into 25 sq mm are smaller than the same number in 43 sq mm, or 864 sq mm. The result is that the smaller ones are less sensitive (think of them as tiny buckets you are trying to throw photons into) and have inherently less resolution. Couple this with a fixed usually single element "lens" and you have a disaster compared to anything other than the cheapest point and shoots. That they have killed the cheapass point and shoot market is only a testament to laziness and the fact that people don't give a damn, as long as they get a vague image of Aunt Ralph that they can show someone else on another phone. The same is true of the video functions.

I may be a fossil, but I am a fossil that likes technology that works. I really wanted to like the "smart" phone (a top of the line 2015 model), not the least because it was essentially free, but it really does nothing well except play MP3s because after rooting the thing and installing a custom ROM, the file system made sense and is easier to use than an iPod.

Farnsworth M Muldoon

...where's the harm?

Look around, an entire new breed of essentially autistic lotus eaters with their faces buried in the things who get shpilkes the minute they are denied the instantaneous gratification of not being able to text/tweet/farcebook/ their alleged friends, watch YouTube videos, play games, or take pictures of their lunch.

Hal

. . . an entire new breed of essentially autistic lotus eaters . . .

Errr, no. Not new. The phones are a recent arrival, the current debacle of fails---regardless of the age of the individual example---that are holding the phones date back to at least the early nineteen-empties . . . .

Farnsworth M Muldoon

Errr, no. Not new.

OK, then they are the 110 octane leaded on the dumpster fire.

Hal

. . . debacle of fails---regardless of the age of the individual example---that are holding the phones . . . .

Oh, and as a general observation from notes specifically written regarding making movies, see also Juniors And Heavies.

Jonathan

Aren't communists just adorable?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iAZC8RIX554

He totally formed his own opinions and wasn't indoctrinated by his Dad at all.

David

He totally formed his own opinions and wasn’t indoctrinated by his Dad at all.

According to several commenters, he’s “beautifully woke.”

Daniel Ream

the instantaneous gratification of not being able to text/tweet/farcebook/ their alleged friends, watch YouTube videos, play games, or take pictures of their lunch.

Yes, the twin evils of gin and jazz are surely corrupting our hitherto pure-souled youth.

Smartphones destroyed the point and shoot market because they take pictures that are good enough for the people who would have bought a point and shoot, and they combine several such devices into a single easier-to-carry form factor. One of the original use cases for Bluetooth, the PAN, has been quietly forgotten because it's unnecessary when everything that would have used a PAN exists in the same handheld device.

the point is comparing the "camera" in a phone with a real camera.

That's irrelevant; the 35mm DSLR market doesn't compete with point-and-shoots or smartphone cameras, and is perfectly healthy. Of course a smartphone isn't comparable to a "real" camera. Point and shoots weren't "real" cameras either.

Farnsworth M Muldoon

Of course a smartphone isn't comparable to a "real" camera.

Neither is a "smart"phone camera comparable to but only the cheapest kid's toy point and shoots, a $90 Sony, $110 Nikon or Canon will have a bigger sensor, and real optics, not a generally lens shaped piece of plastic. You are right, however, that people are willing to accept rubbish, because rubbish, as many of David's links bear out, is becoming the standard.

Yes, the twin evils of gin and jazz are surely corrupting our hitherto pure-souled youth.

The phones are surely not making the youth (and most adults) any better. 10 years ago one could go to a restaurant, concert, or movie and not be surrounded by addled idiots spending more time playing with their phones than either eating or talking to their companions, listening to the music, or watching the film regardless of how much jazz they listened to (not that they would), or how much gin they swilled.

Trevor

Aren't communists just adorable?

Forgive me Father, for I have had dark thoughts about 46th-trimester terminations.

Geezer

... regardless of how much jazz they listened to (not that they would), or how much gin they swilled.

I ain't the guy who said "gin and jazz," but I thought it was allegorical, rather than literal.

Ben

people are willing to accept rubbish

People are willing to trade off quality for convenience, which is completely rational. I take a picture, maybe, once a week. That picture is usually promptly shared in some manner (e-mail, SMS, etc.).

You're suggesting I'm some sort of philistine for not lugging around my Canon point-and-shoot on the off-chance I'll want it. I'll then need to get the pictures off said Canon - card-reader, perhaps, or maybe I've got that special cable. Maybe a nice fanny-pack to hold all that nonsense. Plus I'll need my laptop to actually transfer it and share it out; though maybe that can wait a few hours until I get home.

It's not that those pictures would be so much better if I used a point-and-shoot - the vast majority of those pictures would just never be taken, period.

The best camera is the one you've got with you.

WTP

What all said above re the positives of smart phones. However should FMM wish to make this exact point regarding iOS8 or numerous other OS and similar upgrades, I'm behind him 100%...ok, 89.5%.

WTP

Re "I'm a Communist"...Clean your room.

TimT

I'm not quite sure how the robot pianist is a significant advance on the CD player, the record player, or, for that matter, the magnificent Player Piano of yore. Player piano rolls are in existence recording the finer nuances of Chopin and Lizst, for instance!

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