Visit to a scrap yard

Ned Simmons on Sat, 14 Jan 2012 13:37:07 -0500 typed in rec.crafts.metalworking the following:
I probably over spoke, but that does seem to be - if not a stated goal, an unspoken one. (Yes, IOW: I have no cites for such a position, other than Rhetorical) But, there does seem to be a enough documented nuttiness by the EPA, that one could believe they do insist on such a goal for industrial remediation.
I recall a case where the EPA was after the mining company for their failure to file a remediation plan a for patch polluted by spilled fuel on their property. The reason no plan had been filed was that the fuel spill had been in the open pit mine, and the patch which had been so polluted was now fifty feet in the air, the "soil" having been dug up and run through the smelters.
Reply to
pyotr filipivich
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What's your point? The average software project ends up at something like 190% of budget.
Best regards, Spehro Pefhany
Reply to
Spehro Pefhany
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That's 'cuz we software guys had to wait until there was something to actually work on (or build complete emulators including timing and builtin bug^h^h^features of the underlying fabbed hdwe) and generally had to make up in software patches for all the oversights or troubles in the delivered hardware... :)
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Reply to
dpb
Not where I worked. They were given several complete hardware prototypes, along with all the specifications. One programmer really screwed us up when he insisted that 9600,8,N,1 was more than capable of handling the data to a spectrum display in an $80,000 telemetry system. There were multiple high speed parallel I/O busses that were unused and would never exit the chassis, but they decided to add an eighth serial port to the PC104 controller. they also screwed up the process to load the firmware to the various subsystems. It took two days to load one system with serial cables or JTAG loaders that failed quite often. they kept putting off finishing the install package, until upper management mentioned removing all the personal crap from their offices, and holding their pay until the application was ready. A week later, it was ready. Plug a 1.44 drive into the FDC port, and network cable. Insert disk. Power up the equipment and it autoran the format program for the 40 MB M-Disk solid state drive. Install Win CE. Download the application software for that model, and run the installer. It took about 10 minutes, or twice as long as it took to do the paperwork. Threats of unemployment can stop all the stupid games & delays.
Reply to
Michael A. Terrell
"Michael A. Terrell" wrote in message
Sometimes.
I built a custom data acquisition system for a Mac and asked the company "Apple Certified Programmer" to estimate the time to write a driver for it. He came back with three months. Not long after the company laid off the lazy bum so I had to write the driver myself. I did it with four lines of assembly code generated by LabVIEW.
jsw
Reply to
Jim Wilkins
I had a very flaky automated test set on of the engineers dumped on manufacturing without finishing the software. He 'was too busy to fix it' and said 'Fix the damn thing yourself'. There were no schematics, and it was written in Quickbasic, so I had to find and fix all his mistakes. Then I added real error messages that pointed to possible causes for the failures. Since it was fully automatic, I added two sound effects: If the board failed, it sounded like a fog horn. If it passed, it sounded like an early video game. The head of test wasn't amused, but I could fill out most of the paperwork for each board while it ran. That more than doubled production throughput. :)
Reply to
Michael A. Terrell
"Michael A. Terrell" wrote
I found QB code to play various themes of imminent doom from operas etc, but no one else caught on. They didn't get my "Matrix" random character waterfall screensaver either.
The good one (not completely my idea) was based on an analog noise level sensor that detected people approaching and flashed REPENT! THE END IS NEAR!
jsw
Reply to
Jim Wilkins
I wrote these, using the few sound commands to change the frequency, and at what speed. I used the 'Ctl G' at first, but it would get lost in the noise of other test equipment. It only took a few minutes to get the first sound, and the arcade sound was a set of fast changing tones. I did it all in one 15 minute break period.
You could have alternated that with things like 'Duck and cover!' 'Head for the hills!' 'Judgment day is nigh, sinner!' or even something completely silly like 'Eat at Joe's!' :)
Reply to
Michael A. Terrell
The nastiest thing I put on screen was nothing; a thousand(?) form feeds instant messaged to people tying up the VAX with "Empire". Their VT100 screen stayed blank for about ten minutes as the form feeds scrolled through. They had changed the name of the program to hide it but not the size. In extreme cases I ran a calculation of pi by Leibniz' tedious formula until everyone gave up.
I don't know if he invented the ideas, but one programmer there wrote The Grinch That Eats Programs in which a PacMan sprite wandered around your screen leaving a trail of blank spaces, and a Tired Monitor routine that made characters slide to the bottom of your screen. This was in the early 1980's.
jsw
Reply to
Jim Wilkins
I was working with oddball systems back then. Like a pair of MC6800 based Metrodata computers with six NTSC video channels, each. One had 32K of RAM, while the other had 48K, and a pair of 8" floppy drives to store the CATV system's program guide. That was made by SMS (Scientific Memory Systems), and failed quite often. The boss was a cheap SOB who refused to replace floppies till they died. That destroyed the heads in the Shugart 801 drives on a regular basis. Once, we lost both disks at the same time. There was no operating system on the disks, but the configuration for all six channels were lost. I had to go through eight full boxes of failed floppies to find one line here and there to reconstruct the files. I also learned a lot of hidden and illegal commands in the process. Like how to open the AP newswire and post messages on what was supposed to be a RO function. I resisted the temptation, but it wasn't easy. :)
I made him buy two boxes of new floppies, and copied the configuration file to every disk, and made damn sure no disk was used more than a month, until I quit that company. Those 801 drives were configured to run constantly, so the media wore out a lot faster than it should have.
The last I heard, they scrapped the two systems and replaced them with 12 Commodore 64s and a floppy drive. The company owned EPG (Electronic Program Guide), so corporate made them switch when the Metrodata systems died one last time. I wish they had replaced them while I was there. It was no fun repairing circuit boards with no schematics, from a company that was out of business.
Reply to
Michael A. Terrell
I put a screen saver on a friend's computer:
C DRIVE FAILURE
which had him going, for a few seconds.
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus
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Reply to
Stormin Mormon
Now, THAT sounds fun. I bet Scott Adams would like that kind of thing.
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus
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.
I don't know if he invented the ideas, but one programmer there wrote The Grinch That Eats Programs in which a PacMan sprite wandered around your screen leaving a trail of blank spaces, and a Tired Monitor routine that made characters slide to the bottom of your screen. This was in the early 1980's.
jsw
Reply to
Stormin Mormon
I used to have a piece of lint stuck on the point of the cursor, kept telling people that I needed to get my monitor open to clean it.
Reply to
grmiller
"Michael A. Terrell" wrote in message
I've written something similar into QBasic programs for when some joker presses Shift in response to Hit Any Key. It redefines Black's RGB value to rapidly changing random shades of red.
Their key-pressed status is at PEEK(&H0417) and PEEK(&H0418).
Just saw a suggestion that Python is a good replacement for QB. Comments?
jsw
Reply to
Jim Wilkins
I've never worked with Python, or most of the newer languages. There is Freebasic that some people like aas a replacement, and others push Powerbasic. I've been 100% disabled for about six years now, and can't afford expensive new toys these days.
BTW, do you ever use the TI MSP430 series? they are selling their Valueline launchpad development system for $4.30, including two 18 pin processors. Free software, USB inteface and some other goodies:
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Reply to
Michael A. Terrell
"Stormin Mormon" on Sun, 5 Feb 2012 19:47:16 -0500 typed in rec.crafts.metalworking the following:
There are a large list of stories of the weird stuff people have done.
One I recalled was the British institution which had the program file "Bogroll". You ran it, and it told you that the output was at the desk. Several hundred pages from a line printer, with toilet paper size squares "stamped out". > >Christopher A. Young >Learn more about Jesus >
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> >I don't know if he invented the ideas, but one programmer there wrote The >Grinch That Eats Programs in which a PacMan sprite wandered around your >screen leaving a trail of blank spaces, and a Tired Monitor routine that >made characters slide to the bottom of your screen. This was in the early >1980's. > >jsw > > >
Reply to
pyotr filipivich

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