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What to do while stuck indoors?

4Eyes

Pinball Nudger
G'day y'all,

I dunno about where you are, but here in Australia, we're being encouraged (almost forced) to stay at home. We can go out to shop as long as it's essential. We can go to the beach, but not to lay down to catch some rays, only for exercise. And it goes on.

Anyway, my wife has come out with 2 LOL's today. Firstly, she posted on FB that she's turning into a homeless person. You know... dreesing like a slob. Today she said her goal today is to put a bra on. High ideals indeed!

I was going to buy a 2 pack of nerf guns and go all deathmatch with her around the house but she couldn't see the fun in that. Humph.

So, apart from pinball, what are you doing to fill in time. Well, apart from drinking way too much. :)

4Eyes
 

Ike Savage

Froggy like robot
Staff member
Site Supporters
Gidday, @4Eyes!

The quarantine has surprisingly helped focus and energise me a bit (Midwest USA here), and I've gotten more writing & reviews done on various projects, including my grand MAME project (long story). Also been cooking everyday due to necessity, reading more, and doing little exercise routines.

I also see now that dragging myself to the sports club twice a week, usually pushing myself too far in search of an endorphin rush, then trying to relieve the hurt via booze or whatever was taking a hefty toll on my body. As a middle-aged guy with CFS, it was just too much. Instead, the past couple weeks I've been happy to find that my lower back is much better (I used to have to ice it every day), and my energy has picked up.

Now I do miss singing karaoke at the cantina every Saturday, but on the flip side, youtube has thousands of high-quality karaoke tunes available. Here's a couple I like:

bowie heroes karaoke - YouTube
karaoke black hole sun - YouTube
karaoke touch of grey - YouTube

I also have a table and a table tennis robot to play against when the mood hits me. I wish I could say it was something amazing, but it's basically a ping pong version of the baseball (and cricket?) batting cage machines (pic 1). Now there are indeed real robotic opponents being developed at the university level, but they're not common yet, and would probably cost a fortune (pics 2 & 3).
 

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4Eyes

Pinball Nudger
Hi Ike,

That t/t robot is pretty cool.

I think I have pseudo-CFS. Just plain can't be arsed.

I've watched a lot of Youtube vid's over the last couple of days related to fixing game consoles and other stuff. I rather like this guy
as I'm a Computer Tech/Electronics nerd.

This is half-interesting too:
This guy buys returned stuff from Amazon.

Every day I read extremetech.com and arstechnica.com. This article has specs on the worlds fastest supercomputer... and no it's not your PC: https://www.extremetech.com/extreme...ies-77-compounds-that-could-fight-coronavirus To summarise the computer in question has 9,216 POWER9 22-core CPUs and 27,648 Nvidia Tesla V100 GPUs. It has a theoretical peak performance of over 200 petaflops and has demonstrated 148.6 petaflops in practice. It uses 10MW of electrical juice. 10MW!!! At local prices of around 14 cents/kwh that's $1400 per hour just to power it. I dare save it load have several cubic shitloads of air conditioning using extra juice too.

phys.org is worth a peruse too. Lotsa stuff I don't understand but what little I can pick up is worthwhile. I REALLY love Astrophysics and Nuclear physics too. https://lasers.llnl.gov/news/in-the-news is the site for the National Ignition Facility. They are doing nuclear fusion experiments. This link discusses more of the tech. I find this quite fascinating: https://lasers.llnl.gov/about/how-nif-works/beamline/amplifiers

For me, krebsonsecurity.com is interesting some of the time.

Having been heavily into the Amiga many moons ago, I became interested in malware. There are many articles around that describe the internal working of some of this stuff. Stuxnet in particular was/is amazing.

Watching SciFi, Horror, Westerns and War movies fills a bunch of time too.

That's far too much waffle.

4Eyes
 

Ike Savage

Froggy like robot
Staff member
Site Supporters
You know, for a good five+ years I was using an HP-Compaq laptop as my main PC, and every year it would run a little hotter, combined with a chronic Win System 7 bug which caused update mode to get stuck, relentlessly overworking the HDD for no good reason. Near the end, after it was beginning to fail hard, I tried taking it all apart and doing some minor fixes and component re-seating, but probably could have done with your help and/or the guy in the first video above. I think the most 'technical' accomplishment I made with that laptop was in reconstructing a tiny, copper, paper-thin square that was used as a power switch contact. Talk about a flimsy little bit of nothing.

Around the same time, I read that HP's overall quality-level and rep had dropped in the toilet compared to what it once was, directly because of an exec whose not-so-subtle aim was to slowly gut the company for money. My laptop was evidently an example of the 'new' HP's stuff.

In sum, I find this stuff interesting, but am way over my head. The most advanced use my multimeter has ever gotten was in checking connectivity or measuring a battery cell's output. :p

Btw, in that first video, in terms of the first Switch he's fixing, where would the corrosion likely have come from, do you think? Spilled drink or humidity maybe?

Every day I read extremetech.com and arstechnica.com. This article has specs on the worlds fastest supercomputer... and no it's not your PC: https://www.extremetech.com/extreme...ies-77-compounds-that-could-fight-coronavirus To summarise the computer in question has 9,216 POWER9 22-core CPUs and 27,648 Nvidia Tesla V100 GPUs. It has a theoretical peak performance of over 200 petaflops and has demonstrated 148.6 petaflops in practice. It uses 10MW of electrical juice. 10MW!!! At local prices of around 14 cents/kwh that's $1400 per hour just to power it. I dare save it load have several cubic shitloads of air conditioning using extra juice too.
That stuff is also way over my head, but I do have an old friend I see on FB building some kind of array with 20-30 Raspberry Pi's in order to help figure out the most productive way to interconnect them. Apparently the way the units are configured can make a huge difference when it comes to their efficiency. Maybe even 'overall intelligence' is the phrase. *shrug*

The malware stuff sounds pretty fascinating. Let me ask you about that later, but finish up this reply now-- I wanted to thank you for part 2 of the Pinman archive as well as have you double-check to see if we have your classic VP stuff correctly archived here. Have a look if you please:

https://pinballnirvana.com/forums/index.php?resources/authors/4eyes.23761/
 

4Eyes

Pinball Nudger
Ike,

I've never known HP to make crap. My first experience with them was an auto-ranging DMM. For some reason I opened it up to find a gold-plated PCB! Why gold-plated? Coz it will never corrode. In a lab environment this could count, although I don't think I'd like to be breathing an atmosphere that would corrode copper.

5 years for a PC is probably as much as you'll get reliably. For a laptop... I'd say less.

That's pretty cool that you fab'ed a switch contact. Again, I don't think HP would make a power switch. If it was part of the PCB then it would be small and flimsy.

Corrosion would occur from leaking batteries, spills or maybe humidity. I would think most likely a spill. A few years ago I was working at a school. The teacher was 'given' a nice laptop that she used to take home each day in her bag. One particular day she decided to put a can of Coke in their too. Fizzy drinks have CO2 in them which makes an acid in water. That was the end of that laptop.

Looking at that link to my stuff I see several not uploaded. I will review and upload shortly. I don't know if the game of Battleships is well known in the US, but I did that for VP some time ago. There's Concentration too. That was my redo of a game I used to play on a Diablo computer (I think) many moons ago. There's also Daleks/Dayteks, and a VP table launcher I made a couple of years back.

4Eyes
 

Ike Savage

Froggy like robot
Staff member
Site Supporters
From my (limited) personal experience, HP indeed had a long history of putting out quality products. And from what I've read, they had a great system internally, too, based on integrity, trust, merit, and that sort of thing. Where it seemed to go south was when Carly Fiorina got hired as CEO. Here's a small sample of how that worked, but there are vast more amounts of discussion on that online.

That said, I'm thinking I may have been in error about ascribing any particular 'gutting of the company' specifically to her. I do recall stories about that from roughly the same period, but that stuff may have been more of a consequence than anything else. In any case, from what I've read, the 'gutting' process is pretty common amongst corporations that hit a development wall-- i.e., no matter if there's no realistic way to actually keep expanding, growth and profit must be made for the shareholders at all costs, and it typically begins by lowering costs, which can easily turn in to a downward spiral over time.

But I'm hardly an expert on this stuff, and can only speak from an overview of what I've heard in the past. In terms of my specific machine, a laptop could not have asked for a more accommodating position, really. I kept it in an immobile, cool location with fans blowing on it for its entire lifetime. Later, when I opened it up, dust was not an issue. From what I researched at the time, however, this line wasn't well made, and commonly suffered from the problems mentioned earlier. Apparently even their power units could catch on fire, leading to a recall.

So that's my HP-Compaq story, I guess you could say. :s

...

Battleships is certainly well-known in the US! Sounds like a VP winner! Daleks is also a cool game, if I'm remembering the same game. I first saw it on old Mac computers in the late 80's.
 

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