Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Scott Adams Thank you

One of my most favourite managers tasked me a very cool daily job.

Go to the internet, Find todays Dilbert. Print it out and attach to the team door.

How cool a manager was that! In his honour I have found a collection of Scott Adams Dilbert quotes that should keep you smiling all day

2004-01-30 The goal of public relations is to taint the jury pool. We’ll show that the victims had it coming.
2004-02-02 Excuse me while I beat myself with my keyboard.
2004-02-04 Whenever I talk to you, I feel like I should be wearing a wire.
2004-02-05 Never listen to your customers. They were dumb enough to buy your product, so they have no credibility.
2004-02-12 I’m a writer for “Morons on Parade” magazine.Do you mind if I ask you some questions?
2004-02-13 You made the cover of “Morons on Parade.”
2004-02-22 GAAA!!! My despair has turned into a searing psychological pain!!! OW! OW! OW!
2004-03-04 The new dress code is “winged monkey.”
2004-03-08 This week I achieved unprecedented levels ofunverifiable productivity. I made phone calls, builtconsensus, displayed leadership, attended meetings and set priorities.
2004-04-07 I’ve added mumbling and peevishness to mywork-avoidance arsenal. I get the benefits of appearingknowledgeable without the burden of sharing.
2004-04-12 The association of doughnut makers asked me toprove that skinny people can’t go to heaven.
2004-05-09 Man-duh-tory
2004-05-24 Our office was designed with the science of fengshui.
2004-05-29 If we skip design, prototype, testing and manufacturing, we can afford the product recall.
2004-06-03 The Fertiliar
2004-06-04 I summon the dark demon of ineffectivemanagement to smite the person who wants this decision!!!
2004-06-07 I declare this a pants-optional zone.
2004-06-11 May I point out that he has never producedanything except arrogance and noise?
2004-06-19 A death spiral goes clockwise north of theequator.
2004-06-20 The whatchamacallit has to be whatever or else the whosits will go hey-hey.
2004-06-20 I love my coworkers, until they talk.
2004-07-13 You’re not allowed to lie, but I expect plentyof omissions, misdirections, exaggerations, unjustified optimism, lost documents, unclear explanations, gray areas and tactical ignorance.
2004-07-19 Allow me to respond by hacking a hairball inyour direction.
2004-07-27 It’s multi-level marketing plus a diet plan suggested by the bible!
2004-08-05 My voice mailbox is full, and my spam filter rejects all incoming e-mail. As soon as I build up a goodload of ear wax, I’ll be off the grid.
2004-08-14 Were you correct that your superior intelligence makes you a superb negotiator?
2004-08-15 That’s our insurance company. They’ve beenjumpy lately.
2004-08-22 M.T.T.S.F. — Mean Time To Story Failure
2004-08-26 I always wondered what efficiency looked like.
2004-08-27 When I said cheaper, I meant more fun.
2004-08-28 Now if you’ll excuse me, I feel a nap coming on.
2004-09-06 Before you decide, look at this DVD titled, “Is Bribery Right for You?” The narrator might refer to you by name when she dances.
2004-09-16 If you hire me, I will use my enormous brain to develop world-changing products. I require no pay and nocubicle. I will eat used paper, and cling to the ceiling.
2004-09-18 I’m having an unpleasant realization.
2004-09-23 Sometimes I have naughty thoughts during workhours. Should I reimburse the company for lost productivity?
2004-10-19 Is it possible that I’m oblivious to my effecton others?
2004-10-20 I’ll pair you with someone whose social defectwill cancel out your own.
2004-10-22 Can a business-led project management process optimize our strategic core issues?
2004-10-23 It’s his own fault for not paying me enough toafford entertainment.
2004-10-27 Do you want the simple but misleadingexplanation or the one you won’t understand?
2004-10-28 Something that you could never comprehend conflicts with something that you’d never understand.
2004-11-01 How about a nanotechnology stem cell forfighting terrorists?
2004-11-03 My philosophy is that anything worth doing isworth delaying.
2004-11-08 Once you embrace the idea that your customersdeserve to die… it frees your mind to invent splendidlyprofitable products.
2004-11-09 Warning! This product will kill you but that’sokay because it tastes great!
2004-11-12 Now rationalize your decision, you mindless pinkrobot!
2004-11-14 This one goes in the scrapbook.
2004-11-20 Your biggest defect continues to be your inability to handle criticism. And you argue with people who are much smarter than yourself.
2004-11-21 I wonder if it’s called whistling when only aircomes out.
2004-11-29 Call me shallow, but I enjoy getting paid forother people’s inventions.
2004-12-13 I’m going to ram my fist down your throat, grabyour pants and turn you inside out.
2004-12-25 Do you want the ten-minute explanation of whythe data are useless, or a simple “here you go”?
2004-12-27 My philosophy is that anything worth doing istoo hard.
2004-12-27 A character flaw isn’t a philosophy.
2004-12-30 Do you have any more questions like that one?

Monday, October 29, 2007

Thinking of Kids

Lesson 1: Preparation
  • Go to the grocery store.
  • Arrange to have your salary paid directly to their head office.
  • Go home.
  • Pick up the newspaper.
  • Read it for the last time.
Lesson 2: Research

Advice before you finally go ahead and have children, find a couple who already are parents and berate them about their...
  • Methods of discipline.
  • Lack of patience.
  • Appallingly low tolerance levels.
  • Allowing their children to run wild.
  • Suggest ways in which they might improve their child's breastfeeding, sleep habits, toilet training, table manners, and overall behaviour.
Enjoy it because it will be the last time in your life you will have all the answers.

Lesson 3: A really good way to discover how the nights might feel...
  • Get home from work and immediately begin walking around the living room from 5PM to 10PM carrying a wet bag weighing approximately 6 kilos, with a radio turned to static (or some other obnoxious sound) playing loudly. (Eat cold food with one hand for dinner)
  • At 10PM, put the bag gently down, set the alarm for midnight, and goto sleep.
  • Get up at 12 and walk around the living room again, with the bag,until 1AM. Set the alarm for 3AM.As you can't get back to sleep, get up at 2AM and make a drink and watch an commercial.
  • Go to bed at 2:45AM.
  • Get up at 3AM when the alarm goes off. Sing songs quietly in the dark until 4AM.
  • Get up. Make breakfast.
  • Get ready for work and go to work (work hard and be productive)Repeat steps 1-9 each night.

Keep this up for 3-5 years. Look cheerful and together.

Lesson 4: Can you stand the mess children make?

To find out...Smear peanut butter onto the sofa and jam onto the curtains.
  • Hide a piece of raw chicken behind the stereo and leave it there all summer.
  • Stick your fingers in a flower bed.
  • Then rub them on the clean walls.
  • Take your favourite book, photo album, etc.
  • Wreck it.
  • Spill milk on your new pillows.
  • Cover the stains with crayons.
How does that look?

Lesson 5 Dressing small children

  • Buy an octopus and a small bag made out of loose mesh.
  • Attempt to put the octopus into the bag so that none of the arms hang out.

Time allowed for this - all morning.


Lesson 6: Ingenuity

  • Take an egg carton.
  • Using a pair of scissors and a jar of paint, turn it into an alligator.
  • Now take the tube from a roll of toilet paper.
  • Using only Scotch tape and a piece of aluminium foil, turn it into an attractive Christmas candle.
  • Last, take a milk carton, a ping-pong ball, and an empty packet of Cocoa Puffs.
  • Make an exact replica of the Eiffel Tower.
Lesson 7: CARS
  • Forget the BMW and buy a mini-van.
  • And don't think that you can leave it out in the driveway spotless and shining.
  • Family cars don't look like that.
  • Buy a chocolate ice cream cone and put it in the glove compartment.
  • Leave it there.
  • Get a 50p coin.
  • Stick it in the CD player.
  • Take a family size package of chocolate cookies.
  • Mash them into the back seat.
  • Sprinkle Sugar Puffs all over the floor, then smash them with your foot.
  • Run a garden rake along both sides of the car.
Lesson 8: Going out
  • Get ready to go out.
  • Sit on the floor of your bathroom reading picture books for half an hour.
  • Go out the front door.
  • Come in again.
  • Go out.
  • Come back in.
  • Go out again.
  • Walk down the front path.
  • Walk back up it.Walk down it again.Walk very slowly down the sidewalk for five minutes.
  • Stop, inspect minutely, and ask at least 6 questions about every cigarette end, piece of used chewing gum, dirty tissue, and dead insect along the way.
  • Retrace your steps. Scream that you have had as much as you can stand until the neighbours come out and stare at you.
  • Give up and go back into the house.
You are now just about ready to try taking a small child for a walk.


Lesson 9: Repetition

Repeat everything you have leaned at least (if not more than) five times.

Lesson 10: Going to the Supermarket
  • Take with you the closest thing you can find to a pre-school child. (A full-grown goat is also excellent).
  • If you intend to have more than one child, then definitely take more than one goat.
  • Buy your week's groceries without letting the goats out of your sight.
  • Pay for everything the goat eats or destroys.

Until you can easily accomplish this, do not even contemplate having children.

Lesson 11: Feeding
  • Hollow out a melon.
  • Make a small hole in the side.
  • Suspend it from the ceiling and swing it from side to side.
  • Now get a bowl of soggy Sugar Puffs and attempt to spoon them into the swaying melon by pretending to be an aeroplane.
  • Continue until half the Sugar Puffs are gone.
  • Tip half into your lap. The other half, just throw up in the air.
You are now ready to feed a nine- month old baby.


Lesson 12: Television

  • Learn the names of every character from Pingu , Barney, Disney, the Teletubbies, and Pokemon.
  • Watch nothing else on TV but the Kids channel, the Disney channel or Noggin for at least five years.
  • (I know, you're thinking What's "Noggin"?) Exactly the point.

Lesson 13: Smells
  • Move to the tropics.
  • Find or make a compost pile.
  • Dig down about halfway and stick your nose in it.

Do this 3-5 times a day for at least two years.

Lesson 14: Mummy
  • Make a short recording saying "mummy" repeatedly.
  • (Important: no more than a four second delay between each "mummy"; occasional crescendo to the level of a supersonic jet is required).
  • Play this tape in your car everywhere you go for the next four years.

You are now ready to take a long trip with a toddler.

Lesson 15: And finally
  • Start talking to an adult of your choice.
  • Have someone else continually pull  on your skirt, shirt- sleeve, or elbow while playing the "mummy" tape made from Lesson 14 above.
  • You are now ready to have a conversation with an adult while there is a child in the room.
This is all very speculative; anyone who is parent will say "it's all worth it!"

Sunday, October 28, 2007

FaceBook Surrender

In my humble opinion keeping a Website and a blog running is a non trivial task. But it is with a deep sense of trepidation that I have finally capitulated, surrendered if you will and joined FaceBook.

There were many reasons for continued resistance, to name some of them: the flghtly nature of the social networking scene (myspace), the promise of benefits never realised (linked in anybody), the ability to fritter away hours in a pointless way (twitter).

But when enough of your friends and colleages are there it seems somehow rude to continue saying no to those hand crafted please join invitations.

Registration was indeed easy but my homepage or whatever it is called seems to be quite blank. Really I need a FaceBook Personal Assistant (where is that enthusiastic Chennai outsourcing representative when you need them?) to keep my personal page up to date, interesting and topical.

So no more time to blog this morning I have to facebook (is that a verb yet?). Hmmm.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Marathon wahoo Marathon

I am so delighted and proud to report that both Agata and Marcus completed the Lausanne marathon this Sunday morning without any problems whatsover.

This was Agatas first marathon and she has been following an intensive Runners world training plan for the last four months. I can now say goodbye to a steadily increasingly long Sunday jaunt, 2 weeks ago we had to do 35Km! So in fact the 42.something Km we sauntered through was a piece of cake.

I swanned around in less than 4 hours as usual and Agata about 15 minutes later.

The weather was both cold and windy. As we got to the start the termperature fell to a paultry 2 degrees centigrade. The wind started about 3 days ago and was so severe that I was grimly hoping those really hoping those tall trees that partially obscure our Lake at home view might fall down. Of course that didn't happen but the wind has persisted.

As usual the Lausanne organisation was exemplary.
  • You can book online or sign up in person
  • You can park just 200 metres from the start!
  • Plentiful water stops and medical facilities
  • A beautiful route along the lake road to Vevey and back, completely sans auto fo the the duration
  • Facilities to store all your valuables, and free showers and changing facilities

Agata had tipped me off that there were video cameras towards the end, so with this in mind I tried my best to smile the last 500 metres. Here is the grusome marcus finishing video. Here is Agatas finish


So now all that bothersome exercise is over it is time to for marcus to take a rest, have a little sit down and eat a few nuts.




Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Archers Archers Podcast Archers

So if you are enraptured by Podcasts and believe in a Silicon heaven (otherwise where would all the calculators go to?). Well surely then you can respect the notion that in times to come my first edition cover, digital download image that I present is significant ...



This image might appear blurred and almost totally unreadable, but then that seems to be par for the course for old important documents. So in times to come I 'd like to believe this digital print will be truely valuable. Yes this shows my first day download of The Archers, the famous English soap that is now going International.

There are few other series that clutch at the hearstrings of the exiled, banished, or otherwise absent British man or woman abroad. And for everybody else, well just start to listen and find out why this enduring tale of country folk is firmly placed in the hearts and minds or British people everywhere.

iTunes Subscription here

Sunday, October 14, 2007

It was acceptible in the 80's

Well work maybe busy but the home Cromemco computer restoration project is busier still. So I booked a full days holiday on Friday October 12th.

But first I was supposed to migrate our website from Microsoft Frontpage to either Microsoft Web Expression or Adobe CS3 DreamWeaver. DreamWeaver would be best since it is more universally used, however to my horror when I loaded up the website it was totally full of errors and it did not render correctly.

I backtracked to Microsoft Web Expression but of course that's not too easy. First Microsoft Action pack supplies this as a Microsoft Virtual PC image. So first I had to update my existing Virtual PC installation, then load up the Windows 2003 R2 Server which they have pre-loaded with Expression Web. Having a Swiss French Keyboard and a Microsoft Vista Base system, loading the 2003 R2 Server made things more complicated.

Finally I loaded our website and thankfully it rendered correctly. My Athlon 64 system is not compatible with Virtual PC "Hardware-assisted" virtualisation so the emulation was sluggish. Next the maximum VPC emulation is 1600x1200 so it sits rather small inside the native 2560x1600 display.

Worse was to come, my original HTML now resounds to the comments thus: "The World Wide Web Consortium now regards the attribute xxx as outdated. Newer constructs are recommended". Does anybody know a web guru that can help me?

Having suffered this defeat I went back to Cromemco restoration. This was wildly successful. By the end of the day the Cromemco 250 was fully up and running and running Z80 programs, here is how


  • The 68020 processor card is unusual for Cromemco in that is does not contain a companion Z80 processor. Without that certain programs like cdoscopy won't run since they are written in Z80 code.

  • SO how to run such programs?

  • First you will need a slave Z80 processor card: An Octart (8 port serial), Quadart (4 port serial) or IOP (IO Processor) card is required. You wont use that card except to run Z80 programs, i.e. it can't be use for its normal communications tasks

  • For my Octart card I set it to a base address of 0x9E via the manual

  • In the /gen directory edit the sysdef file and included the zio device driver thus

d /gen
ce sysdef ; make the edit shown in the next line
zio 4
crogen 20071013cromix
boot /gen/20071013cromix.sys



  • The last line boots the newly generated OS. When you are convinced it is good you can move it to /cromix.sys so that a regular boot will find it. For more information read the Administration Guide

  • And that was it, now I shutdown the 250 and connected up the 3 disk, YE data 8 inch disk cabinet I built in 1979, and crossed my fingers.

  • It worked!

cdoscopy -l /dev/disks/fdc ; list the files on disk c
d /u; cdoscopy -bv /dev/disks/fdc ; write the files to /u


And so with this great level of success I sat down, loaded up Calvin Harris's Acceptible in the 80's and fondly remembered the days when a 1.2MB 8" formattted floppy was something to boast about




Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Describe how to determine the height of a skyscraper with a barometer


One student replied: "You tie a long piece of string to the neck of the barometer, then lower the barometer from the roof of the skyscraper to the ground. The length of the string plus the length of the barometer will equal the height of the building."

This highly original answer so incensed the examiner that he failed the student who immediately appealed on the grounds that his answer was indisputably correct.
The university appointed an independent arbiter to decide the case.

The arbiter ruled that the answer was indeed correct, but did not display any noticeable knowledge of physics. It was decided to call the student in and allow him six minutes in which to provide a verbal answer which showed at least a minimal familiarity with the basic principles of physics.

For five minutes the student sat in silence, forehead creased in thought. The arbiter reminded him that time was running out, to which the student replied that he had several extremely relevant answers, but couldn't make up his mind which to use.

On being advised to hurry up the student replied: "First, you could take the barometer up to the roof of the skyscraper, drop it over the edge, and measure the time it takes to reach the ground. The height of the building can then be worked out from this formula I have worked out for you on my text paper here."

Then the student added, "But, Sir, I wouldn't recommend it. Bad luck on the barometer."

"Another alternative", offered the student, "is this: If the sun is shining you could measure the height of the barometer,then set it on end and measure the length of its shadow. Then you measure the length of the skyscraper's shadow, and thereafter it is a simple matter of proportional geometry to work out the height of the skyscraper. On the paper is the formula for that as well."

"But, Sir, if you wanted to be highly scientific about it, you could tie a short piece of string to the barometer and swing it like a pendulum, first at ground level and then on the roof of the skyscraper. The height is worked out by the difference in a gravitational formula, which I have determined here this time on a long sheet of paper with a very long and complicated calculation."

"Or, Sir, here's another way, and not a bad one at all. If the skyscraper has an outside emergency staircase, it would be easier to walk up it and mark off the height of the skyscraper in barometer lengths, then add them up."

"But if you merely wanted to be very boring and very orthodox about the answer you seem to seek, of course, you could use the barometer to measure the air pressure on the roof, and on the ground, and then convert the difference in millibars into feet to give the height of the building."

"But since we are constantly being exhorted to exercise independence of mind and apply scientific methods, undoubtedly the best way would be to knock on the janitor's door and say to him 'If you would like a nice new barometer, I will give you this one if you tell me the height of this skyscraper'."

The student was Niels Bohr, the only Dane ever to win the Nobel Prize in physics.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

500K dollar husband

THIS APPEARED ON CRAIG'S LIST

What am I doing wrong?

Okay, I'm tired of beating around the bush. I'm a beautiful (spectacularly beautiful) 25 year old girl. I'm articulate and classy. I'm not from New York. I'm looking to get married to a guy who makes at least half a million a year. I know how that sounds, but keep in mind that a million a year is middle class in New York City, so I don't think I'm overreaching at all.

Are there any guys who make 500K or more on this board? Any wives? Could you send me some tips? I dated a business man who makes average around 200- 250.

But that's where I seem to hit a roadblock. 250,000 won't get me to central park west. I know a woman in my yoga class who was married to an investment banker and lives in Tribeca, and she's not as pretty as I am, nor is she a great genius. So what is she doing right? How do I get to her level?

Here are my questions specifically:

- Where do you single rich men hang out? Give me specifics- bars, restaurants, gyms
- What are you looking for in a mate? Be honest guys, you won't hurt my feelings
- Is there an age range I should be targeting (I'm 25)?
- Why are some of the women living lavish lifestyles on the upper east side so plain? I've seen really 'plain jane' boring types who have nothing to offer married to incredibly wealthy guys. I've seen drop dead gorgeous girls in singles bars in the east village. What's the story there?

- Jobs I should look out for? Everyone knows - lawyer, investment banker, doctor. How much do those guys really make? And where do they hang out?
- Where do the hedge fund guys hang out?

- How you decide marriage vs. just a girlfriend? I am looking for MARRIAGE ONLY


Please hold your insults - I'm putting myself out there in an honest way.
Most beautiful women are superficial; at least I'm being up front about it.
I wouldn't be searching for these kind of guys if I wasn't able to match them - in looks, culture, sophistication, and keeping a nice home and hearth. It's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests


PostingID: 432279810


THE ANSWER


Dear Pers-431649184:


I read your posting with great interest and have thought meaningfully about your dilemma. I offer the following analysis of your predicament.

Firstly, I'm not wasting your time, I qualify as a guy who fits your bill; that is I make more than $500K per year. That said here's how I see it.

Your offer, from the prospective of a guy like me, is plain and simple a crappy business deal. Here's why. Cutting through all the B.S., what you suggest is a simple trade: you bring your looks to the party and I bring my money. Fine, simple. But here's the rub, your looks will fade and my money will likely continue into perpetuity...in fact, it is very likely that my income increases but it is an absolute certainty that you won't be getting any more beautiful!

So, in economic terms you are a depreciating asset and I am an earning asset. Not only are you a depreciating asset, your depreciation accelerates! Let me explain, you're 25 now and will likely stay pretty hot for the next 5 years, but less so each year. Then the fade begins in earnest. By 35 stick a fork in you!

So in Wall Street terms, we would call you a trading position, not a buy and hold...hence the rub...marriage. It doesn't make good business sense to "buy you" (which is what you're asking) so I'd rather lease. In case you think I'm being cruel, I would say the following. If my money were to go away, so would you, so when your beauty fades I need an out. It's as simple as that. So a deal that makes sense is dating, not marriage.


Separately, I was taught early in my career about efficient markets. So, I wonder why a girl as "articulate, classy and spectacularly beautiful" as you has been unable to find your sugar daddy. I find it hard to believe that if you are as gorgeous as you say you are that the $500K hasn't found you, if not only for a tryout.

By the way, you could always find a way to make your own money and then we wouldn't need to have this difficult conversation.

With all that said, I must say you're going about it the right way. Classic "pump and dump."

I hope this is helpful, and if you want to enter into some sort of lease, let me know.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Vintage Restoration ... peu a peu

Agata and many other people wonder why long periods have been spent in the basement cave (technically not a cellar although it is pretty full of wine!). Well the Cromemco restoration project is still underway, though things are going pretty slowly.

To start with the low points: if things we to move any slower than I think I would be going backwards. In the process of trying to get a Cromemco Z2 system with hard disk started, I was intent on making a copy of the 23 year old, 40M Byte hard disk. In fact 1 day after making a copy the original failed. Therefore of course it now became 100% vital to have another copy. This currently working hard disk could fail at any moment.

If this happens the 15M Bytes of nicely organised programs would be practically impossible to put back from floppies. 23 years ago I had totally optimised this system for the fastest most efficient multi-user use and I could not get it back to such a state from initial loads.

In so doing I stupidly plugged in another IBM Type 0663 hard disk into my test computer. There was a pop / bang and the drive and the computer fell silent. Looks like a dead short on the drive had blow the power supply on my test computer.

So, I blew up my test computer, and still had no spare drive. So many eBay sessions later I have tried to buy about 10 MFM hard disks of varying sizes. So far, only one, yes the number above zero and below two has worked. At about 30 GBP pounds a go that means I have spent about 300 GBP on a single working 20MByte hard disk.

Still the good news this weekend is that there has been some progress ...

  • The primary system is now running from the original 20MByte hard disk. It is using RDOS 3.12 meaning that it can use the bootstrap ROM on the floppy disk controller to pass control directly to the STDC hard disk controller without needing a boot floppy.

    Then the STDC controller reads its boot block and loads the /etc/stdboot program previously copied into that area with the wboot command. stdboot then reads from the Cromix filesystem /cromix.sys and starts cromix.

    Since Cromix is not swap based and runs entirely in memory it loads in about 5 seconds. Ah wonderful!
  • The backup system now has the copied hard disk connected to its own STDC controller and an older DPU (68000 / Zilog Z80) card. The purpose of the backup system is to try and get the 8" floppy disks reading.
  • To make the backup disk you have to mount both disks on the primary system. Then make target directories on the new disk. The for each directory cptree the contents. For example cptree -tv /bin /hd33/bin, where the new disk was mounted using commands: create /hd33; mount std33 /hd33. Finally you would wboot std33 the disk to make it bootable. Actually each disk has 2 partitions, a small emergency maintenance partition std32 and the larger work partition std33
  • Now another problem .. reading the 8" floppy collection. Previously on the primary system such disks were being read fine. Then one day it just stopped working. Honest! I did suspect dirty disk heads, and 6 weeks and an expensive US eBay auction later I cleaned the heads confident that it would all be well. It was not!
  • So this weekend when the backup system became active I connected another 3, 8" drive chassis to this second system and tried to read some disks. Still no good!
  • After much trial and error it seems the backup system cannot format or read any disk that is double sided, nor can the primary system. I have no idea what I can possibly doing wrong. It seems impossibly unlikely that 2 different systems, with differing 64FDC and CPU board levels, with 6, 8" drives between them , all have difficulty reading a double sided floppy disk. Surely I am doing something stupid, I just can't say what it is yet.

    I have double checked that the diskette is in the right way around, which for this single hole diskette must be true, otherwise the index hole would not be read at all, and this is confirmed when the wrongly oriented diskette gets the error from initlop that "no index pulses are being received". If it is the correct way around then the RPM displays at about 361, which is 1RPM over the nominal 360.

    So the mystery continues.

To conclude, on the positive side; both systems are now up and running. They are able to format single sided CDOS, Cromix and Uniform format 5" and 8" diskettes. Nothing has blown up in the last week! The main system is almost (physcially) clean enough to escape the basement and move up into the study.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Have you tried turning it off and on again?



Remember how IT used to be?











This is the boot screen !

iBRICK ho ho ho

In sophisticated Europe you can buy a mobile phone in 2 ways
  • With a payment plan (typically 1 year or longer) where you get a mobile at a reduced price because the phone operator gives money back to the airtime provider. Typically this mobile phone will be locked to your selected carrier
  • Buy just the phone only, unlocked and without any carrier. Then you can goto any carrier and ask to join, or just use prepaid SIM cards. The phone is naturally more expensive. In fact 600 GBP from Amazon UK

It is therefore a tradeoff. You can have the freedom of the unlocked phone without any ties but it costs more.

I am not totally sure what sort of dim-witted system exists in America, but lately many people have found out that their (by design closed platform) iPhone does not react too well to firmware updates when they have expressely unlocked the phone either for anySIM calls or applications.

Here it is in pictures