Tim McCaffrey

Tim McCaffrey

  • Commented on Crib Notes: Empire Games
    Well, you only actually need machine language :) In fact, the early CDC OS's were written in octal. They disassembled them later when they got an assembler working.......
  • Commented on Crib Notes: Empire Games
    There were other mainframes than IBM and other terminals than 327x. e.g. VT52 on a DEC-10 (and lots of others)...
  • Commented on Crib Notes: Empire Games
    The 8900 resembled (very closely) a Data General Nova. > As for being a "dead end", the 6502 is still around as a microcontroller core. Well, it was always a microcontroller. It just barely worked in early personal computers. As...
  • Commented on Crib Notes: Empire Games
    Re: rotodyne When I found out what this was, I immediately remembered the failed Rotary Rocket SSTO project. (not sure it wouldn't have worked, they just ran out of money)....
  • Commented on Crib Notes: Empire Games
    Mainframes could not really do "what if" spreadsheet operations as batch jobs and they were not really amenable to run on multitasking OSes, Er, no. Mainframes were quite capable running spreadsheets, but a combination of politics & economics actively discouraged...
  • Commented on Crib Notes: Empire Games
    C has it problems (a bad programmer can write bad code in any language...) But the language the send chills down my spine these days is Javascript. What a nightmare....
  • Commented on Crib Notes: Empire Games
    I haven't read the book(s) as yet, but if you were going to start the computer revolution, you wouldn't start with desktops, you really do need to build discrete component systems first. You need the compute power in order to...
  • Commented on Crib Notes: Empire Games
    If I had the chance to do the microprocessor revolution over again, I wouldn't start with the 6502, which you pretty much had to assembly language program. You want to start with a simple, but relatively powerful, architecture that takes...
  • Commented on Crib Notes: Empire Games
    >Anyone starting from scratch to design CPUs that are useful for general-purpose computing will go CISC since a complex instruction that takes 8 cycles at 1MHz will take four RISC ops in 20 cycles at the same clock rate along...
  • Commented on Crib Notes: Empire Games
    Trump just leveraged what the Republican party setup. See: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/03/us/politics/gerrymandering-supreme-court-wisconsin.html (Or just google "Wisconsin Gerrymandering"). The Republicans hired a firm to come up with a re-districting plan that makes it practically impossible for the Democrats to win the state. It...
  • Commented on Crib Notes: Empire Games
    The biggest problem is that gerrymandering has been allowed to get out of control. States are so gerrymandered that it is basically mathematically impossible for Democrats to get elected. I think this has allowed the fringe element to take control...
  • Commented on Excuses
    The tankage might be cheap, but integrating it with the engine isn't. Since SpaceX wants to eventually land the rocket, and fly it again in 24 hours that integration time gets *really important*. You see, this is what happens when...
  • Commented on Excuses
    Wow. Gas is really expensive there. It is about 1/2 the price in the US. Hybrids will get 40 MPG reliably (I speak from experience), so your numbers might be just a bit different in the US for somebody driving...
  • Commented on Excuses
    Sure. I find it interesting that they have changed the rules this year reducing the amount of solar cells they can use. I take this as a sign that these might actually be practical at some point (i.e. a car...
  • Commented on Excuses
    How about Darwin to Adelaide in Australia? Oh, and you don't get to re-fill your petrol tank... https://www.worldsolarchallenge.org/dashboard/map...
  • Commented on Excuses
    My guess is the combination of electric self-driving vehicles and Uber/Lyft will pretty much kill car ownership. Not only do you not have to drive the car, you don't even have to maintain it! If Uber/Lyft can keep the cost...
  • Commented on Houston: what are the long-term consequences?
    Jerry Pournelle died Sept. eighth....
  • Commented on Paging Agent 007
    If only there were a device that could locate where you are and display it on a map. Wow. What a great Sci-Fi idea!...
  • Commented on Laundry summer madness sale!
    I have not read the study, but I can see the reasons for the flip. The car insurance industry charges probably approx. (within say x4) the same amount as you pay for gas. That is a big money, and a...
  • Commented on Theme, Fiction, and Empire Games
    I read the first 6 books when they first came out in PB, and have not read Empire Games (yet) :) It seemed in the first 6 that the timelines seemed to diverge just about the time that the world-walkers...
  • Commented on And the Rabid Nazi Raccoons shall inherit the Earth
    Time to re-watch "The Man in the White Suit"...
  • Commented on And the Rabid Nazi Raccoons shall inherit the Earth
    You're thinking of The Gumball Rally ( Michael Sarrazin, Raul Julia ) vs. Cannonball Run ( Burt Reynolds, et al). Very similar, but Gumball Rally was actually out first (by 5 years)....
  • Commented on What else can you do with a Big Dumb Booster?
    Interesting that people have been dancing around this idea, but not mentioned it: Blockbuster movies filmed on location in SPAAAACE!!!! With budgets in the 100-200 million dollar range, sending the cast & crew up to film stuff in extended zero...
  • Commented on Evolver
    Charlie, I'm sorry, Disney already figured out the answer to this scenario. See "Zootopia". :) (As for the venom thing, "Night Howlers") :)...
  • Commented on Sometimes I don't know why I bother!
    Merian Caldwell Cooper (October 24, 1893 – April 21, 1973) was an American aviator, United States Air Force and Polish Air Force officer, adventurer, screenwriter, film director and producer. Cooper was the founder of the Kościuszko Squadron during the Polish–Soviet...
  • Commented on The iron law of development
    To me there are two different alternate timeline scenarios here: 1) There is an event/person/situation that suddenly requires an extraordinary result and technology is pushed to the limit, but all the pieces are there to accomplish it. All that is...
  • Commented on The iron law of development
    Depending on the minimum size/output of the FiaC, lots of things could change: Obviously, ships (freight ships, cruise ships, etc.) potentially become much more efficient. A bit smaller and you can put one in a train engine. A bit smaller...
  • Commented on The iron law of development
    Early tubes were indeed unreliable. So were the ones that were used for the first computers, but since they needed to be more reliable the investment in research was made to create what was needed (it was silicon poisoning). Eniac...
  • Commented on The iron law of development
    I think it is interesting that many things are possible to get invented are delayed because nobody perceives a need. For instance, digital computers were possible as soon as the vacuum tube was invented (1901), but didn't really happen until...
  • Commented on What are you reading this summer?
    Coyote by Allen Steele - Uncomfortable predictions of the future with the current Presidential campaign. Octagonal Raven by L.E. Modesitt - Media controls the world in the future. Boy, is that far-fetched (Both of these written near 2000) Old Man's...
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