News: Technical

Stories about things of a technical/geekish nature

Posted At: 6/4/2024 11:07:05 PM
Posted By: Comfortably Anonymous
Viewed: 84 times
0 Dislikes: 0
This is pretty cool. Can see if I can get my old technical memories of TRS-80 Model III to come back. All the stuff I learned in Mr Zeliff's programming class, which was just fantastic. Doubly fantastic considering it was in a small farm town in South Central Nebraska!Here's the link to download it: http://48k.ca/trs80gp.html
Posted At: 8/9/2022 9:54:28 AM
Posted By: Comfortably Anonymous
Viewed: 733 times
0 Dislikes: 0
IMO these things are best understood through the lens of Haskell's `Maybe` type.Very simply, a `Maybe Int` for example can be either `Just 5` or `Nothing`. At its most basic form, it can be used with pattern matching. For example here's a haskell function that adds 2 to a Maybe if it's there:    add2 :: Maybe Int -> Maybe Int     add2 (Just n) = Just (n + 2)     add2 Nothing = NothingYou can see we had to use pattern matching to "unwrap" the actual value of the maybe so we could add 2 to it. This is pretty inconvenient and pretty annoying especially if you're trying to do something more complex than simply adding 2. That's where `Functor` comes in.`Functor` allows you to apply a function to the value inside the functor and get back the modified functor by using the `fmap` function. Here's what that definition looks like:    fmap :: Functor f => (a -> b) -> f a -> f bThis definition is a bit complex so I'll break it down. This is saying "fmap is a function which is defined for any `Functor` `f`. This function accepts a different function from `a` to `b`; and a functor containing an `a`; and returns a functor containing a `b`." `a` and `b` can be any type. What makes something a functor at the very base level is whether or not this function is defined. You can think about it like mapping over a list in ...
Posted At: 12/30/2021 3:19:26 PM
Posted By: Comfortably Anonymous
Viewed: 7852 times
0 Dislikes: 0
As a long-time user of Dell products, and still a big fan, I should NOT have to use a secondary side keyboard just in order to be able to write code on a Dell laptop. As a software developer I heavily use both the F-Keys and the Home/End keys. On my old Dell Latitude D830, all those have their own dedicated keys. But on newer Dells, like my Precision 8510 and my work-assigned Latitude 5501, you have to resort to all kinds of ridiculous finger-twisting exercises to simply use Home and End.Look at that 5501 keyboard above. Really, Dell? You think it's acceptable to have to try and hit FN-SHIFT-END just to select a line? I use Home/End hundreds of times per day. (I just used Home/End now typing this to go back and reword part of the previous sentence - That's how often I use them!) I ended up getting so frustrated I bought the side-keyboard shown in the picture. It has dedicated Home/End keys. And it adds a comma key to the numeric keypad, something that's been needed since IBM came out with the original Model M keyboard! Plus a double-aught (00) key which comes in real handy at times.But my point is not about the comma or double-aught keys, my point is "DELL HAVE YOU EVEN STUDIED WHAT KEYS PEOPLE USE?" Put the damn dedicated Home and End keys back alredy. Tell your bean-counters to go sit down.Next Dell I look to purchase had well have the dedicated ...
Posted At: 12/13/2021 1:40:39 PM
Posted By: Comfortably Anonymous
Viewed: 1081 times
0 Dislikes: 0
Got to work today, went to log into Kronos to clock in, and nothing... Turns out Kronos' Private Cloud has been hit with a ransomware attack. They say it could take days or weeks until they are back up. Perhaps this was not something to move to (someone else's computer) the "cloud". Pop some popcorn, this is going to be "interesting"From Kronos management:“We are reaching out to inform you of a cyber security incident that has disrupted the Kronos Private Cloud.As we previously communicated, late on Saturday, December 11, 2021, we became aware of unusual activity impacting UKG solutions using Kronos Private Cloud. We took immediate action to investigate and mitigate the issue, and have determined that this is a ransomware incident affecting the Kronos Private Cloud—the portion of our business where UKG Workforce Central, UKG TeleStaff, Healthcare Extensions, and Banking Scheduling Solutions are deployed. At this time, we are not aware of an impact to UKG Pro, UKG Ready, UKG Dimensions, or any other UKG products or solutions, which are housed in separate environments and not in the Kronos Private Cloud.  We are working with leading cyber security experts to assess and resolve the situation, and have notified the authorities. The investigation remains ongoing, as we work to determine the nature and scope of the incident.While we are working diligently, our Kronos Private Cloud solutions are currently unavailable. Given that it may take up to several weeks to restore system availability, we strongly recommend that you evaluate and implement alternative business ...
Posted At: 1/21/2020 3:56:53 PM
Posted By: Comfortably Anonymous
Viewed: 1415 times
0 Dislikes: 0
Reminds me of that ancient story where Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella traveled to the peak of Kangchenjunga, the highest mountain in India, with 270 trained mules carrying suppliees for a support team of thousands of trained computer software technicians.The mountain is one of the deadliest peaks in the world and countless individuals lost their lives as they were attacked by falling rocks and captured by dragons who took their prey back to the nest so that they could be used as chew toys by their offspring.When they reached the top, they found nothing.  The survivors were suffering serious effects from altitude sickness and the members of the expedition became incredibly uneasy.  What did they come here for?  Nadella turned to his followers and informed them what they needed to hear."Behold.  The power of the cloud."The clear skies quickly turned into a violent maelstrom.  Within seconds, the living team members were envying those who suffered fatal injuries and began burrowing their heads in the snow, attempting to suffocate themselves, knowing that death was the safest way out.Nadella seemed unconcerned about the well-being of the people who had ventured up to the mountain with him, and he understood that this is what had to be done in order to run a successful business.  He took the stairs back down to the bottom of the mountain.The next day, Microsoft's stock price went up by thirteen percent, citing "the power of the cloud" and how "Xbox does everything".  On this day, nature had answered ...
Posted At: 3/15/2011 1:49:58 PM
Posted By: Comfortably Anonymous
Viewed: 1931 times
0 Dislikes: 0
The latest browsers (Chrome 10.x, FireFox 4.x, Opera 11.x, and Internet Explorer 9) are out now, and they include a cool new graphics technology called the Canvas Object, or just the 'canvas'. This adds a standardized way to do 3D graphics in your browser window using just HTML (Although you have to use the new HTML 5 specification to gain access to the Canvas object functionality, but HTML 5 is built into all the latest browsers.)For a demonstration, check out this link which shows some heavy 3D calculations being done only with Javascript and the basic canvas functionality!This is leads everyone to some pretty awesome standard abilities for web programs, without a menagerie of weird plug-ins, as it's been up until now. Native 3D as easy as standard HTML5 and standard Javascript! (Think about that for a bit! WayCool!!)Check out the Canvas support for basic effects on DOM elements in the latest version of the jQuery UI Library. [At first, it's confusing, a bunch of black graphs with different squiggles on them. It'll make sense once you click on the separate squiggles - it describes how the size of the element is going to change while the effect runs. It's just a simple effect that resizes the element, but it's a look at how Canvas is going to change the way things work in Web Apps. In a few years, I don't think we'll even recognize them any more! (Think of looking at an old HTML 1.0 page, compared to ...
Posted At: 12/9/2010 12:57:59 PM
Posted By: Comfortably Anonymous
Viewed: 1953 times
0 Dislikes: 0
A great example of a web site's privacy policy if the site's owners were forced to tell the truth:[No this is not MessageBase's privacy policy - MessageBase's privacy policy is quite simple: Any personal data you provide to MessageBase is only to be used between you and MessageBase - it will not be sold, nor are there any third-party tracking bugs in place to allow them to track your activity.]At COMPANY _______ we value your privacy a great deal. Almost as much as we value the ability to take the data you give us and slice, dice, julienne, mash, puree and serve it to our business partners, which may include third-party advertising networks, data brokers, networks of affiliate sites, parent companies, subsidiaries, and other entities, none of which we’ll bother to list here because they can change from week to week and, besides, we know you’re not really paying attention. We’ll also share all of this information with the government. We’re just suckers for guys with crew cuts carrying subpoenas. Remember, when you visit our Web site, our Web site is also visiting you. And we’ve brought a dozen or more friends with us, depending on how many ad networks and third-party data services we use. We’re not going to tell which ones, though you could probably figure this out by carefully watching the different URLs that flash across the bottom of your browser as each page loads or when you mouse over various bits. It’s not like you’ve got better things to do. ...
Posted At: 11/2/2009 9:41:28 PM
Posted By: Comfortably Anonymous
Viewed: 2232 times
0 Dislikes: 0
"It's useless to care about the pirates who would do it anyway, is a smaller group and usually dont have that much disposable income anyway. But it's the casual people and adults - your idea about piracy will change after you start getting more disposable income, like happened for me and lots of my friends and now happily buy what we enjoy (and another reason was the quality improvement and easiness of Steam and Spotify and other legit services)."Um... no. "Lots" of my friends and I have a high disposable income. But we are simply not delivered what we want in a format that we are willing to use.Frankly, the number 1 feature that "my group" looks for in a media player is a USB slot, and the ability to play xvid avi files. You know what? A lot of players now offer this. From the low-end on up. Can I go and buy a movie or tv programme in that format?I don't really think that the (in the US) RIAA and MPAA are particularly on the ball -- they should have filed suit on Samsung, etc. for producing such devices. THERE IS NO "LEGITIMATE" CONTENT FOR THESE DEVICES. Would I purchase such content? Yes, I would. Ripping CDs and DVDs is a serious pain.There may well be services like "Steam", but, honestly, I am a 50 year old, and I have never, and (most likely) will never use it. Just tell me where I can buy a copy of ...
Posted At: 10/26/2009 10:05:50 AM
Posted By: Comfortably Anonymous
Viewed: 1969 times
0 Dislikes: 0
That era was when Nvida/3dfx were first founded - the first texture mapping graphics cards came out, then full transformation and lighting in hardware, Quake, then wide screen resolutions. 450 MHz Pentium III processors seemed super-zippy fast. Microsoft introduced 'sockets' to Windows and announced that Windows NT had made UNIX legacy. SGI wanted to prove that a software based OpenGL would be as fast as custom game rendering code. ADSL broadband was becoming available in some apartments. Previously low-key student houses who just happened to have broadband connections found themselves the most popular destinations for new students. The battle between Internet Explorer and Netscape Navigator had begun. Cell phones still had a long antennae coming out the top.Just before in 1994, having a 56K modem was a major advancement, Windows 3.1 was still the main development target. Reading USENET, text based discussion boards and subscribing to mailing lists was the main method of getting news. Viewing images would require using ftp manually or using uuencode/decode to get a server to fetch a 640x480 image, encode it as ASCII, slice the file up and send it to you in chunks, which you could then reassemble manually.Now, if your cable provider goes from 50 Mbits to 70 Mbits, that isn't noticable, though laptop screen have shrunk a bit, and everyone uses LCD monitors now. Just about every mobile phone seems to look like a touchpad PDA or has a little keyboard and allows the user to play movies and music. MP3 players ...
Posted At: 2/17/2009 1:31:06 PM
Posted By: Comfortably Anonymous
Viewed: 2172 times
0 Dislikes: 0
The SQL script from the article below makes it simple to get massive performance increases in SQL Server 2005. I’ve used it religiously since they released it in the Jan 2008 issue of MSDN Magazine. You just run it against the Master DB (It just does a bunch of reads of counters within Master DB, no writes.) and it comes up with a checklist of stuff to tune. The best is the “Missing Indexes” part - Add those missing indexes and usually you see some excellent SELECT performance increases. (Also get rid of any unneeded indexes it finds, they just slow down INSERT performance.)http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/magazine/cc135978.aspx