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51  Special User Sections / Activation/License/Language Help / Re: About signing up to download freeware license keys - READ IN PLEASE on: December 13, 2014, 06:19:11 AM
I always appreciate the "lost donation" kicker some people feel obligated to add before flouncing off. undecided

@IainB - probably be best if we all just leave any responses on this thread to Mouser and the moderators. Cool
52  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: We Are the Idiots on: December 12, 2014, 03:02:35 PM
^+1 on trusting that type of hunch. I've learned I ignore them at my peril. My track record for them being correct is pretty good. I don't think it's anything psychic. I just think it's experience combined with backburner analysis of your environment coupled with some half-conscious odds calculations. "Educated anticipation" I guess you'd call it.

Whatever. Works for me. And I've learned to trust it. Thmbsup
53  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: We Are the Idiots on: December 12, 2014, 01:31:07 PM
Do they allow lane splitting in CT?? ...Remember I'm on a motorcycle.

No. (I think CA is the only state that does - or used to if my biker day memories are correct.) But people do it here anyway. Unfortunately, in slowdowns where I am we have an uncommonly large number of lane switchers and breakdown lane runners. They cause more than their share of accidents. They smear more than a few unfortunate lane splitters too. Problem here is the splitters tend to fly in order to get through as quickly as possible. In the meantime, almost anybody can be expected to suddenly lug out of their lane at any time without signalling. They do this to "get a better look ahead" because they're stuck behind an 18-wheeler; switch to a lane they think is moving faster; or they're just trying to get off one of the too many exits we have to take local roads. In a dinky state like CT nothing's that far away from anything else so local roads aren't anywhere near the hassle they are in some places. And with entrances to '95 only (at most) a few miles apart, it's easy to get back on if you change your mind.

FWIW, if I were still riding I wouldn't take my bike up on I-95 around here. Not even on a bet. In the 70s, my buddy and I would ride our bikes all the way up to Boston for school in September, and back home again in May, and not think twice. But these days? I wouldn't even consider trying it. tellme
54  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: We Are the Idiots on: December 12, 2014, 12:10:20 PM
If you have enough time to average 50,000 miles a year...that traffic can't be that bad.. Wink

Beg to differ. Come up here and give it a try. Or just google for info about I-95 in CT. Grin
55  Main Area and Open Discussion / Non-Windows Software / Re: A little CentOS 7 help please :) on: December 12, 2014, 11:32:04 AM
Oops. *never mind. smiley
56  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: We Are the Idiots on: December 12, 2014, 10:33:31 AM
That's totally within the normal if those are highway miles.  Stop and go around town is much tougher on everything than get on the highway and engage cruise control type driving.

Good point! Thmbsup However, where we are (SW-CT) our highways are so congested that stop & go and highway crawl (typically between 5 and 40mph) is the rule rather than the exception during the work week. Poor planning, too few lanes (three on average), never-ending road work, and far too many entrances for a highway makes I-95 one of the worst routes in the country. CT is almost famous for it.


On I-95, the main N-S route through the state, traffic crawls from Porchester on the New York state line all the way through and past New Haven CT. That's roughly 55 miles of unpredictable speeds. On a Sunday morning I can easily go from where we live to Stamford in 22-23 minutes doing the speed limit. On a weekday between 7:00am and 8:30am, or 4:00pm till about 7:00pm, it takes at least an hour.

And cruise control? We don't get to use that much on the roads around where we live. I usually only engage it once we enter Massachusetts, Rhode Island or  New York north of The City. Grin
57  Main Area and Open Discussion / Non-Windows Software / Re: A little CentOS 7 help please :) on: December 12, 2014, 06:11:47 AM
Odd.  Grep is usually in /bin/grep rather than /usr/bin/grep from my experience.
58  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: good Videos [short films] here :) on: December 11, 2014, 08:01:33 PM
An interesting video that went viral awhile ago entitled Our Drone Future.

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CgLkWT246qU" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CgLkWT246qU</a>

 Thmbsup Thmbsup
59  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: We Are the Idiots on: December 11, 2014, 07:01:06 PM
@SJ - can't say my personal experience with Fords, Buicks, Toyotas, and Nissans over the years syncs with what you're saying. My GF's job puts at least 50k miles on a car each year, and we're both shocked if we don't get at least 250k miles out of whatever we buy before we decide to retire it. But I'm not a mechanic. So if you're correct in your analysis, I guess we've just been far luckier than most car owners.

And if so - Yay! Grin
60  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: silly humor - post 'em here! [warning some NSFW and adult content] on: December 11, 2014, 04:34:24 PM
61  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: We Are the Idiots on: December 11, 2014, 04:26:03 PM
Not to mention the fact that "lean burn" burns up your system by running at high temperatures instead of just tuning the fuel mixture.

If that's the case, why do modern engines perform more reliably and last longer on average than those classic engines? And with far less major repairs?  huh
62  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: How many germs are living on your keyboard? on: December 11, 2014, 01:05:27 PM
I'd be less concerned with "how many" than I'd be with which? Wink
63  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: We Are the Idiots on: December 11, 2014, 01:00:35 PM
But there's no reason a points plugs and condenser ignition can't operate a clean running car.

No reason they couldn't. But they usually didn't really. They were manual systems engineered to "good enough" standards. Usually as little as the law would allow. And they either had had no - or no reliable - feedback mechanisms or fault self-correcting capabilities.

Whenever you have a system that needs time and/or money to maintain optimal performance, said maintenance doesn't get done.

Prior to the advent of fuel injection, it was amazing what many people would put up with (stall-outs, backfiring, etc.) as long as their car still started up and stayed running. The fact it required some voodoo starting procedure or idled rough, and always had this weird foul smelling cloud following it around town, made no difference. It wasn't against the law back then. And it was sure better than surrendering your car for a day or two to your local garage mechanic. And then gritting your teeth while waiting for that always larger than expected bill you'd need to pay to get it back. No wonder people put off maintenance as long as possible. And the gravity well of "good enough" is inescapable if people have to actively do something (or pay additional money) to get something better.

Enter fuel injection. The chip and firmware handles everything. Add that to modern materials and engineering and now you average far better mileage, reliability, and engine life than you did with an old car. The fact cars routinely hit a 250K+ mile useful service life would have been inconceivable in the 60s and 70s. Hitting 70K was a milestone. Rolling the odometer over at 100K was a major life event. The big difference today is that while cars generally need to be fixed far less often than they used to, they're significantly more expensive to fix when they do.

It's a trade-off. But I think we can all mostly agree today's cars are far better and more reliable than the classic models used to be.

Not all change is bad. Grin
64  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: The Pirate Bay and EZTV down on: December 11, 2014, 12:31:48 PM
As has been said by many others, the issue isn't that it was taken down. What's far more important for proof of concept is IF (and how quickly) PB reappears. Pirate Bay has declared itself to be the undefeatable hydra of the Internet.

Now it has been handed a golden opportunity to prove it.

"This is not a setback. It's an opportunity to excel." Wink

65  Other Software / Developer's Corner / Re: Experimenting with Other Programming Languages on: December 11, 2014, 09:44:38 AM
Why not LISP?

I've started working my way through Clojure for the Brave and True.  Pretty nice so far.

That one looks very interesting. I think I'm going to give it a whirl. Thmbsup
66  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: We Are the Idiots on: December 11, 2014, 09:17:35 AM
The book Silent Spring (1962) merely suggested that DDT and other pesticides may cause cancer and that their agricultural use was a threat to wildlife, particularly birds.
It offered no scientific proof - which is why the UK and USAID continued to use the stuff until 1984 and later, and until it became politically incorrect to continue to use it - i.e., not scientifically incorrect.

I'd chalk at least some of that up to the relative innocence of most civilians in America at the time. There was a good deal more trust in the FDA and other government agencies to safeguard the general public without regard to financial inducements or political interference back then. It was also coupled to the firm belief that should such interference be discovered, it would also be firmly and swiftly be dealt with - and corrected.

There was also the general belief that American businesses had the best interests of Americans at heart. To do something deliberately harmful to people was almost inconceivable to most people. Sure, there were the bad old days back at the beginning and turn of the century. But didn't those New Deal agencies and legislation put that nonsense to bed once and for all? With the government, the unions, and the "men of goodwill" at the helm of American business - why should we be worried? This was America! Land of the Free! And we were all working together to keep it so.

Ahh...those were the days.

I think Rachel Carson didn't think to independently test her claims because she didn't think she would have to. By sounding the warning she (like most people at the time) likely assumed that the government would step in and quickly get to the bottom of it. Or if not, the manufacturers of DDT would rapidly mend their ways.

Like I said, not so much idiocy in her case. We were all Americans, with a good government and responsible businesses running the show, after all. That was more a case of our innocence I think. Or naivety if you want to be uncharitable.

But what followed after wasn't idiocy either. It was flat out lying and criminal stonewalling and political pressuring until the situation became too difficult to spin and the powers that be were forced to take action. Which they did in a minimalist manner that allowed parties responsible to escape culpability, prosecution, or punishment.

And please remember many were implicated. Uncle Sam himself via the USDA had blessed off on it. Jails routinely sprayed or generously dusted incoming prisoners with DDT as a"delousing" measure. Farmers sometimes dusted fields that were loaded with farm workers. Even schools would quickly send a janitor in to spy insecticide (in a classroom full of kids) the minute any ants or roaches were spotted by the windows or trashbins. Nobody was worried. We kids thought that weird odor that hung in the air for the rest of the day was just something to make jokes about. Those kids who got a headache or felt ill were merely told to "sit quietly by the window for a few minutes." And those unfortunates were bound to be ragged on as "sissy" and "candy ass" for days to follow. The same attitude surrounded all the other harmful aerosols my generation was exposed to growing up. (The 50s and 60s were the golden age for aerosol manufacturers.)

So yes, perhaps idiocy. But mainly in retrospect if you want to be completely fair when tossing "we" around so freely. Cool Thmbsup

[attachthumb=#]  [attachthumb=#]  [attachthumb=#]

re: smell

It was not really much like anything else IIRC. It had a heady perfumey but still noticeably "chemical" odor. It was probably added to make it a little more appealing. Once you got a whiff however, you immediately tagged it as insecticide! forevermore. Which also might have been part of the plan. It was a very persistent odor however. Good for at least an hour or more depending on how heavy-handed the application was.

No worries! undecided


67  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Do we have any musical people on DC? on: December 10, 2014, 07:43:37 PM
There are few music videos that have made me happier or feel more vindicated about something than this one. Capacitor types are something I have gotten into more pointless arguments over than anything else. The conclusion Joe Gore reaches is the same conclusion that I had reached years ago when it came to the tone capacitor type when used in passive guitar wiring.

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dEr-66DR8PM" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dEr-66DR8PM</a>

Some interesting comments on the video can be found on Joe's webpage here.

68  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Windows 10 Package Manager vs. Chocolatey on: December 10, 2014, 04:56:26 PM
Got a client working with the currently available version for a proof of concept project. If you're maintaining your own private software repository, some of those pro features possibly aren't as important.

It all looks good so far - but the jury is still out. Cool

re: Community vs Pro

My feeling is "however the developer wants to structure it." They did the work - they get to decide how to distribute/sell it. That's only fair. If the community edition is so crippled it doesn't work in a real world setting, or their Kickstarter tries to pull a bait & switch, word gets around fast. If that is the case, the community input (and free QC and bug hunting) soon dries up. It's a self-correcting relationship.
69  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Decibels, loudness, amplifiers, formulas...complete confusion! on: December 10, 2014, 04:47:06 PM
For louder headphone levels there are three basic options:

  • a headphone amp that provides more boost - although +24dBm seems to be the standard
  • a more efficient, different design, or different freq response and range set of headphones
  • better ears

FWIW, most of the better headphones strive for a flat (or relatively flatter) frequency response compared to your average speaker system. Most people are so accustomed to "sweet spot" sound that they they think "odd" or "too soft" when they first start using good headphones. (Unless they're those ear-damaging 'ultrabass' variety.) Same goes for studio mastering monitors. You can make the overall level in a headphone sound significantly louder just by boosting frequency bands in the 2khz and 4khz range. So it's not just the overall level, but the frequency ranges themselves that also contribute to your perception of how loud they sound.
70  DonationCoder.com Software / Post New Requests Here / Re: IDEA: File collection manager on: December 10, 2014, 11:53:25 AM
@ Wraith - Thx. I guess I didn't completely understand. But wouldn't some of the more powerful third-party file managers let you do that?
71  DonationCoder.com Software / Post New Requests Here / Re: IDEA: File collection manager on: December 10, 2014, 11:08:53 AM
That looks like it's about 20 different apps mashed together into one - a jack of all trades and master of none.

Am I missing something? To my mind that seems to be pretty much what you're asking for. Except in this case, you want a single jack-of-all-trades app that's master of none. Truth is, with a database, there's no such thing as a "simple" solution. Or a universal one either. smiley
72  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Decibels, loudness, amplifiers, formulas...complete confusion! on: December 10, 2014, 10:24:32 AM
Wouldn't the SPL be a function of the frequency weighting and the transducer as well?

For example, my vintage Acoustic 18" folded horn bass enclosure has a sticker with a warning that it can produce ear damaging levels at even relatively low volume settings. That's because the folded horn increases efficiency by almost behaving like a focusing lens.

When tested with a sound level meter it showed the ability to produce dangerous sound levels with as little as 100 watts pushing it. Since the average stage bass head packs  200 watts and up, it's something you need to be aware of if you're using one.
73  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Decibels, loudness, amplifiers, formulas...complete confusion! on: December 09, 2014, 07:08:11 PM
The big difference with analog is that distortion increasingly creeps in with increased loudness. So the name of the game was to saturate (we're talking tape here) your audio track with the levels just at the threshold where clipping began to occur. That got as much music as possible as far above the noise floor as possible without introducing too much perceived distortion. (Our ears actual seem to like a little grit with our music - so a hint of distortion is not automatically a bad thing.) With digital, we're talking digital "distortion." It's really not the same thing as analog distortion - but it sounds a lot like it. Digital distortion is fixed. IIUC it's a function of the quantization error whenever you attempt to mimic a complex natural sine wave with a calculated staircase wave. So with digital, you want to be as far above the fixed distortion floor as possible because - if you lower the level - the perceived distortion in the track actually seems to increase. Louder in this case better hides the distortion. And unlike analog, softer becomes more distorted sounding. That's a bizarre effect that doesn't occur in nature - so our ears and brain go nuts trying to deal with it. Apparently on some subconscious level we know what we're hearing is just plain wrong when it comes to digital sound.

Or so it was explained to me.
74  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Decibels, loudness, amplifiers, formulas...complete confusion! on: December 09, 2014, 04:27:09 PM
It gets crazy because the human ear doesn't perceive loudness in a linear or strictly physical manner. Check out this article if you want to really start pulling your hair out. As one EE from MIT who was the most knowledgeable sound engineer and circuit designer I ever met told me: It's not just science, It's psychology.  tellme
75  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Dopus file names are cut on: December 09, 2014, 03:01:12 PM
FWIW, the concluding comment in DO's FAQ about it struck me as being rather defensive and somewhat accusatory. But that's probably just me. Wink

DOpus is one of the most powerful file managers available & I'm a satisfied legal user of v11. Having said that, anytime any questions regarding pricing of their program, paid upgrades, or license checks come up everyone connected to the company gets defensive and their hair bristles.

I've got no problem with what they do & I'm sure you can only remain calm in the face of criticism for so long before you start losing patience. I try not to let it color my experience with, IMHO, is an excellent application.

@Innuendo - Must be good considering they have at least one apologist here. And one I respect to boot.  smiley

So...ok. Fair enough. It must be me then.  embarassed
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