December 30, 2008

semi antique

Kids grew up with computers, mention they miss playing some of the old DOS games. Finally got around to fixing up a antique, or rather a semi-antique.

It's an old Dell, a PII-450 with 128M RAM, pitiful by today's standards. It sits in a corner of the patio room doing web server duty, Windows XP and Xitami. I have four physical drives in the case: primary IDE has a 2 and 20 Gig drives, the secondary has a 7 and an 8. The system boots XP off the 2 gig, runs my Xitami server off the 20 gig.

Reboot, hit F2 to configure the hardware, tell the box that the drives on the primary don't exist. It then boots off the secondary controller:

The master on the secondary controller boots up DOS 6.21! The two drives are sliced into eight 1.5 to 2 gig partitions, which is the most DOS 6.21 will handle. Loaded Windows for Workgroups on as well. Windows for Workgroups will join the network as soon as I can locate drivers for the on-board Ethernet; or a card that I can configure WFW to handle. Meanwhile, if you want to get out on the net you simply:

reboot, hit F2 and tell the box that it does have drives on the primary controller and you return to the 21st century.

Posted by Paladin at 09:34 PM | Comments (1)

December 22, 2008

Rotary Dial

uploaded old pictures from my cell phone, including:Key Telephone with Rotary Dial

A week or two ago I had a 'work request' over at Gardena Toll, something about a dumb terminal (basically a computer running hyperterm without the use of the computer, just enough hardware to link screen and keyboard to a serial data line. Back in the '60's this was the way people talked to computers.) Problem was the AT&T branded box, to which they had no documentation and which was so old/obsolete that there was nothing on the web. Sorry Charlie, but that's CPE (Customer Provided Equipment) and you can replace it or find me some documentation on it but it appears to be broke, may be an option thing but without documentation I cannot check that.

That was when I noticed the above telephone set. A Rotary Dial, STILL in daily use. Probably dates back to when the building was built, the '60's if memory serves. But then, this is the shop that is still using AT&T 4500 teletype gear.

Posted by Paladin at 08:34 AM | Comments (1)

December 21, 2008

Annual "Rub it in" pix

Riding at YuleLast year, on December 23rd, I took a picture of me riding off to do some last minute Christmas Shopping.

Might as well make it a yearly tradition, although I will admit that this year it was one of a pair of nice days in a rainy week. Still, it is rather nice to be able to ride in just a light t-shirt.

Posted by Paladin at 11:40 AM | Comments (1)

December 07, 2008

Clark's Third Law, Corollary

Clark's Third Law: Any Sufficiently Advanced Technology is Indistinguishable from Magic.
Niven, and others, state as a corollary: Any Sufficiently Advanced Magic is Indistinguishable from Technology.

However, this isn't quite true. With technology we, or someone, knows HOW it works, even if the lower technological people view it as magic. Magicians, however, are more of the trial and error and what works without knowing the whys and wherefores, hence it's Magic! Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry teaches HOW to do magic, but doesn't delve into the underlying principles.

The Foglios have created the Girl Genius Universe, where Mad Science rules. Mad science is taught at the Transylvania Polygnostic University -- it is SCIENCE, where the underlying principles are known, if slightly warped. The Foglios, through their comic character Agatha Hetrodyne, Girl Genuis, have properly stated the corollary:

Once you have ANALYZED the magic and understand the underlying principles it then indistinguishable from Science and Technology.
(this is my wallpaper, not for others as I has to wait until I have the dead tree version so I can scan at high resolution.)

Posted by Paladin at 11:52 AM | Comments (0)

December 04, 2008

Girl Genius

Someone linked to a page with the first chapter of the "Revenge of the Weasle Queen" and got me hooked. The Foglios are now doing the Girl Genius version of Cinderella.

"Any sufficiently analyzed magic is indistinguishable from Science!"
-- Agatha Hetrodyne, Girl Genius.

Posted by Paladin at 10:43 PM | Comments (0)