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About CraigHB

  • Birthday 04/15/1960

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    Sparks, Nevada

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  1. I think Microsoft is probably more concerned with falling sales of personal computers than Linux overtaking any share in the desktop market. As mentioned above, other devices are replacing the desktop. I think that's probably a good thing. As much as MS has tried to make it not so, personal computers are just too complicated and unreliable for the average person to deal with. I can't tell you how many times my relatives have had to shell out money to have someone work on their PC, it's just not worth the trouble for them. Comparing a personal computer to any other consumer appliance, it's really a horrible product when it comes to cost of ownership in time and expense.
  2. Showing the Obama speech is okay for the seniors, maybe for kids in a social studies class that makes the speech applicable, but otherwise, inappropriate for the whole student body. They should be spending that time on their normal studies. Kids don't need to be involved in these matters at this point in their lives. That's why there's a voting age.
  3. I don't use spell check unless I'm writing a long document. I've never used a grammer checker. As far as school goes, that was a long time ago for me, but college pretty much cured me of any grammer or spelling deficiencies. That's what it takes to learn how to read and write well. Otherwise, it takes some amount of reading and writing on your own. If a person isn't motivated to read and write and well, I don't think a spell checker of grammer checker is going to make much of a difference. As far as basic math, I do simple things mentally. I'll never forget basic addition and mulitiplication. I only break out the calculator for more involved math. I can't imagine people so lame they can't do any math without a calculator. Writing is more of a skill so I can see where people might have trouble there. Handwriting has always been my weak point. My script is terrible so I usually print. I'm from the pre-word processor generation so I was quick to adopt it as soon as it became widely available. I'm very dependent on my computer for writing documents. I'll even write simple notes on the computer. As a result, my typing is pretty good. That typing class I took in high school was the most useful class of any.
  4. I don't thinks it's a matter of advancing technology. Most scientists are simply motivated by age old questions. Sometimes the things they discover advance technology, sometimes they don't other than to broaden awareness. I haven't seen many scientists specifically out to debunk religeon. Most operate within the bounds of scientific process which has little to do with faith. If that process has come up with a different explanation of the world, it's not the scientitsts' fault, it's just where evidence and experimentation has directed them.
  5. I've seen that theory before, explains where some of our characteristics come from. Interesting, but I dont' see it ever gaining any real credibility in the scientific community. Would be kind of cool though, being evolutionarily closer to water. I like the idea.
  6. That's exactly why assembly is rarely used industrially. C and its variants are the industry standard because they're compact, modular, and porting to a hardware variant often requires only specification of the correct compiler/linker. I use C sometimes and it's really nice just plugging in a few canned libraries and having access to a wide array of functions. Possible, but not practical with assembly. I still enjoy using assembly and prefer it for my own projects, but C is industry standard for good reason. With assembly, I have to go through the whole program line by line to switch to a different microcontroller or embedded processor. That's unacceptable in an industrial environment where these components can change simply because a new part comes out that costs a few cents less per unit.
  7. Yea, you get can get rid of some fluff that way. Most compilers generate pretty efficient machine code, but with assembly, you know the only machine code there is what you put there yourself. With any high level language, you can run into compiler related issues which can be hard to track down. That's something you'll never see with assembly. It has a few advantages, but it's generally not worth the tedium and isn't used much industrially. Lack of portability is probably the bigger issue. In any case, it's great for learning the nuts and bolts and a great place to start programming.
  8. I do stuff with assembly a lot, mostly embedded, but as tedious as it is, I enjoy it because you're right down in there with the nuts and bolts of things. Really gives you an understanding of what's happening machine wise. C is good for getting things done fast and it's pretty much the industry standard for embedded stuff, but it's rewarding when you put together a nice tight assembly routine. It's like something you've built yourself from scratch.
  9. Man, I've been shocked more times than I can count, capacitors, ignition systems, power supplies, utility power. The worst one I ever got was when I was changing out an electric water heater (220V) and failed to verify the power had been shut down. I flipped the breaker and was sure it was the correct one, but it wasn't. Fortunately, the current path went only through my hand. If it had gone accross my heart, it probably would have been very bad if not fatal. That shock was so intense, it felt like someone hit me upside the head with a baseball bat. It was really scary and taught me a lesson. I was lucky I didn't suffer any real injury. My hand hurt for a few days and that was about it. I'm always real careful with utility power, but don't get too concerned otherwise. Unless I'm dealing with a pretty large, highly charged capacitor, the amount of current that's going to flow through me is not enough to cause any real damage. The only comsumer electronics capacitors I know I need to be real mindful of are the ones used on CRT's. They're pretty big and charged to around 20KV.
  10. I'm a recent member of the Hak5 audience. I've been watching the new shows as they're released, but have also been viewing the earlier shows as I can get to them. I enjoy the newer shows much more simply because the production quality is so much better. The season 1 shows are really raw production wise, it makes them hard to watch. Even the audio quality is hard to endure. I don't have any real complaints about the content. I'm not interested in everything they cover, but there's definitely enough to make the show worth my while. I'm amazed at the amount of content they can come up with every week. I really like the regulars they have now. I'm hoping Matt doesn't fall off the grid. I think He and Darren are really good together and my favorite shows are the ones with both of them. Snubs is great too. She doesn't seem to miss any shows, but I hope she doesn't go anywhere either.
  11. Call me a freetard, but what's the point of a torrent site you have to pay to use. If I'm going to buy something, why would I download it using a torrent unless I don't have a choice. Torrents are great for what they're good for, but I don't think they're worth the trouble otherwise. You have to open a dedicated client instead of clicking on a link in a web browser. Then you have to set up your router or firewall for it, PITA. I'm sure I'll get flamed for this because everyone here seems to love it, but I think Steam is the biggest PITA of them all. I ran it when Half-life first came out and again when the Orange Box was released. Both times I got fed up with it and bailed. The Orange Box ended up in the circular file, what a waste of money. Steam is a steaming pile. To hell with Valve and their stinky Steam games. Maybe Valve games are okay on a console, but I don't run one and never will. Consoles are for pimply faced kids who do nothing but smoke pot and play video games all day. Wait...give me a second to put on my fireproof suit here.
  12. Emergency treatment is at the root of the problem. What's happening is the costs hospitals incurr providing emergency services to people who can't pay are getting passed on to those who can, either out-of-pocket or through their insurance plans. As more people receive services without paying, costs go up for those who can. As costs go up, insurance becomes less accessible. More people go without it. The uninsured end up in emergency rooms because they can't afford preventative care. It's a self-destructive cycle. Our government is trying to break the cycle by making insurance available to everyone. It's not really socialized medicine, it's socialized insurance. A lot of people have a problem with that for various reasons, but I don't think there's a choice. Something has to be done. I need a decent health care plan and I can't get one right now.
  13. As someone who is directly impacted by the US health care situation, I'm in favor of reform. I have to pay through the nose for private insurance and it's not even a decent policy. My rates go up twice a year and I can be cancelled at any time without recourse leaving me with no insurance. If that's not sucky enough, it's an "indemnity" plan meaning it only covers large medical expenses. If I want to see a doctor, I have to pay full tilt. It's all but worthless aside from keeping me out of bankruptcy court if I end up in the hostpital. You don't even wanna know what the rates are for a proper private health care plan, if I could even get one. All I want is a government sponsored insurance plan that gives me full coverage at an affordable price without concern over cancellation or rejection. This is what our president is trying to accomplish. I honestly don't understand what all these people are up in arms about. There's no doubt the current system is not working. So, according to these people, we should just leave our heads in the sand while more and more people go without health care and costs continue to sykyrocket. It's ridiculous that a nation, supposedly a world leader, is not able to provide affordable health care to the vast majority of its citizens. I honestly believe the resistance is a ploy backed by those who stand to lose a lot of money if anything changes. If that's not the case, there are a lot of seriously mislead people in my country. I can understand the resistance to "socialized" medicine. The US has always been strongly anti-socialist for good reasons and I tend to agree with those. However, I believe this is a situation that may require some compromise. Idealism and reality don't often have a lot in common.
  14. Wow, interesting comments in this thread. For backups, I use a trayless mobile hard drive rack installed in one of my front bays. I was using optical before. It's *way* faster and simpler with a drive. I'm looking forward to when solid state drives become more affordable. Then I can replace the mechanicals with those nice little 2.5" jobs. That would be similar to plugging a thumb drive into a USB port. I prefer SATA over USB. On my machine, SATA is like 3Gb/s and USB is like 500Mb/s. Although, SATA III and USB 3.0 put speeds on equal footing for future machines. In any case, SATA drives are a lot faster than USB drives right now. Unless something changes, I don't see cell based solutions ever gaining much ground over the status quo for internet access. The problem is everything involving cell phones is totally closed and proprietary. That wouldn't be a problem so much, but providers charge a premium for their services and features. For example, a basic data plan is $15 US per month with my provider (AT&T) which, based on my research, is the cheapest game in town. If you go with something like an iPhone, Blackberry, PDA, or tethered solution, the plan ranges from $30 to $60 per month. This is for a connection that tops out around 1Mb/s and can drop down quite a bit with lower reception. Unless speeds go up and prices come down quite a bit, I just don't see it drawing the masses. It's a drag that portable consumer electronics makers have gone with a myriad of memory card technologies. It would be so much better if it was all USB. I'm sure it can be done now, but when memory cards were first introduced, USB wasn't even around yet. I think memory cards have become a paradigm for consumer electronics. It sure would be nice if I could use the same thumb drive in my computer, camera, cell phone, and camcorder.
  15. I use Windex and a soft towel. Haven't damaged anything that way, but I clean the screen as infrequently as possible.
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