COMPUTERS, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

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Re: COMPUTERS, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

Post by Stanley » 19 Jul 2020, 02:50

I had one problem with Paypal in the early days and it put me off them. I have since gone back and use the new systems whenever I have an option. Seems to work seamlessly.
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Re: COMPUTERS, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

Post by plaques » 19 Jul 2020, 08:41

My last PayPal payments involved having to navigate through options of their credit payment system. finally arriving at the 'Pay Now' button. Even then I felt that I could have made a mistake and paid through the plan. I hate it when they try to do this sort of thing.

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Re: COMPUTERS, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

Post by Stanley » 20 Jul 2020, 03:13

Was that because you were converting to the new one click payment? If so, you'll find that all you have to do is log in to Paypal and that's it. That's what happened to me and now it's just one log in and that's it. So far no problems with it.
Computers and peripherals are funny aren't they. For some reason I started this morning by having loads of drop outs from the keyboard. Eventually I saw the light and took out the two AAA generic batteries and put two Duracells in. (the ones from my old keyboard actually) That seems to have cured it. Could have been just a bad contact of course but there you are. Whatever it was, problem solved.
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Re: COMPUTERS, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

Post by Tizer » 21 Jul 2020, 10:20

Talking of batteries, I bought that RNIB alarm clock and it's very good. A big, clear, easy to read dial and simple controls (and that's a novelty these days!). The face is automatically lit in green during darkness but there's a good adjustment knob that takes it all the way from very bright to off. Delivery is free and it arrived in a couple of days. LINK

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Re: COMPUTERS, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

Post by Stanley » 22 Jul 2020, 02:41

"simple controls (and that's a novelty these days!)."
Couldn't agree more!
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Re: COMPUTERS, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

Post by Tizer » 28 Jul 2020, 08:46

This is the emergence of international data cables owned by a single powerful company. They are so expensive that they've usually been built and owned by consortia of companies with an interest in communications. Now the biggest tech companies have reached the stage where each can build and lay its own cable. They will own not only the data but the international cable carrying it.
`Google's new transatlantic data cable to land in Cornwall' LINK
`Google has announced plans to build a new undersea network cable connecting the US, UK and Spain. The tech giant says it is incorporating new technology into the cable, which it claims is a significant upgrade to older existing lines. The project is expected to be completed by 2022. Underwater data cables are vital to global communications infrastructure, carrying some 98% of the world's data, according to Google's estimate. The cables are usually built by communications firms - typically a group of them pooling resources - which then charge other companies to use them..'.

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Re: COMPUTERS, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

Post by Wendyf » 28 Jul 2020, 09:07

Facebook laid a cable past us a couple of years ago, it was heading to Harrogate from Blackpool.

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Re: COMPUTERS, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

Post by Tizer » 28 Jul 2020, 09:41

The type referred to in the article are the underwater cables linking continents around the world.

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Re: COMPUTERS, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

Post by Wendyf » 28 Jul 2020, 10:26

This one came ashore in Blackpool, part of a worldwide upgrade of their data network.

https://www.datacenterdynamics.com/en/n ... ine-cable/

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Re: COMPUTERS, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

Post by Stanley » 29 Jul 2020, 02:38

If, by installing their own dedicated cables, they can move information faster than their rivals it is a business advantage. Big Harry once did that for the large trading bank he worked for, Salomon Brothers, they made millions with it. He improved the speed they converted data into graphics by a fraction of a second and that did the trick.
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Re: COMPUTERS, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

Post by plaques » 29 Jul 2020, 07:35

I thought all these satellites were supposed to speed up communication? Its beginning to look like they are really backup systems should the main cables go down in event of war like activities. Another round of porkies from the Pentagon?

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Re: COMPUTERS, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

Post by Stanley » 29 Jul 2020, 08:04

I think it's just the speed and reliability of fibre optics cables Ken. If privately owned they are totally secure as well, that could be attractive.
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Re: COMPUTERS, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

Post by Tizer » 29 Jul 2020, 09:20

Wendyf wrote:
28 Jul 2020, 10:26
This one came ashore in Blackpool, part of a worldwide upgrade of their data network.
https://www.datacenterdynamics.com/en/n ... ine-cable/
They couldn't have done that in the 1950s, we kids would have dug it up on the beach as fast as they laid it! :smile:
-------------------------------------------------------

`Tech giants Facebook, Google, Apple and Amazon to face Congress' LINK
`Unprecedented is a dangerous word in journalism, but this really hasn't happened before. On Wednesday, four of the biggest names in tech will give evidence to members of the US Congress. Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook), Sundar Pichai (Google), Tim Cook (Apple) and Jeff Bezos (Amazon) will all be grilled. Jeff Bezos - the world's richest man - has never testified before either house. They have never all been quizzed together. How these tech bosses do, how they stand up to scrutiny, could be a defining moment in their future relationship with government. .'.

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Re: COMPUTERS, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

Post by Stanley » 30 Jul 2020, 02:43

Peter. It was the Robber Barons who triggered the US Anti Trust legislation a century ago and the same might be happening again. (Particularly if Trump loses the Presidency which is beginning to look like a possibility.)
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Re: COMPUTERS, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

Post by chinatyke » 01 Aug 2020, 14:19

Today my wife got the internet connected in our new apartment in Nanning. 200 Mbps for 68rmb pcm= £7.50 pcm. I'll take my laptop and run a speed test when I go there next. We take these speeds for granted now and it makes you wonder how we coped with 56 kbps?

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Re: COMPUTERS, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

Post by Stanley » 02 Aug 2020, 03:10

Indeed China, not only the speed but the wait for the phone line to connect! Happy days....
I remember upgrading the memory on my Amstrad from 250k to 500k.....
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Re: COMPUTERS, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

Post by PostmanPete » 02 Aug 2020, 07:50

Stanley wrote:
02 Aug 2020, 03:10

I remember upgrading the memory on my Amstrad from 250k to 500k.....
I bet it cost you a pretty penny too - look at how the prices of memory have fallen over the years.

I remember 'upgrading' my Amiga by 1Mb and thinking how I had a world beating machine.....! :laugh5:

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Re: COMPUTERS, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

Post by PanBiker » 02 Aug 2020, 09:35

BBC Model A, 16K, Model B 32K.. Back in the early 80's I ran all my amateur radio software in 32K. RTTY, Amtor and Packet Radio terminal software, contest logging, tracking for the OSCAR amateur radio satellites. It's all relative to how good the coding is. :extrawink:
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Re: COMPUTERS, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

Post by Tripps » 02 Aug 2020, 22:00

PostmanPete wrote:
02 Aug 2020, 07:50
I bet it cost you a pretty penny too - look at how the prices of memory have fallen over the years.
Not half. . .
I made a note of the price of digital SD cards for cameras in May 2002. like you do.
I had the info on a Sharp electronic organiser. Quite a search for it - then new batteries - then amazed it still worked - the info was still available.

8Mb £6, 16Mb £15, 32Mb £15, 64Mb £19, 128 Mb £40.

That Mega not Giga :smile:
Born to be mild. . .

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Re: COMPUTERS, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

Post by PanBiker » 02 Aug 2020, 22:22

Huge, compared to what was available in the 1970's for space exploration. The Voyager spacecraft, (launched in 1977) are controlled by six onboard computers two each of three different specification devices Total memory usage for all six computers combined is 68Kb. The microprocessors control all the onboard experiments and the navigation. You will see the current mission clock for Voyager 2 which is now having toured our own solar system and is now way beyond. Mission duration now just short of 43 years and ongoing, still returning data to earth.

Nasa Science - Voyager 2
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Re: COMPUTERS, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

Post by Stanley » 03 Aug 2020, 02:10

I was once on a visit to UC at Berkeley to talk about Oral History and I was shown an IBM Golfball typewriter chattering away to itself running on punched tape, it was printing out Nixon's White House tapes. That was spooky enough but then the lady took me into a small room and showed me a small TV monitor with a keyboard and she demonstrated word processing to me. I was blown away when I realised you could edit without Tippex! It was an Apple computer of course, I think this was in about 1983. When I came back I told the Steering Committee of the LTP we had to stop transcribing immediately, get a computer and start digitising. There wasn't a dry seat in the house but many years later a senior civil servant I was working with said that when he went back to London he mentioned it to his department boss and he didn't laugh. They were already looking at it themselves but Peter didn't know about it.
They never did it of course, it was left to me 20 years later and it took me three years.....
I think they still used the term 'cut and paste' in computing in those days.
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Re: COMPUTERS, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

Post by PanBiker » 03 Aug 2020, 08:55

Stanley wrote:
03 Aug 2020, 02:10
It was an Apple computer of course, I think this was in about 1983.
Could possibly have been the Apple Lisa, one of the first computers with a GUI, (graphical user interface).

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Stanley wrote:
03 Aug 2020, 02:10
I think they still used the term 'cut and paste' in computing in those days.
Not just in those days Stanley, cut and paste are standard tools of most text editors today along with copy of course. Most GUI's also have the functions on right click. :smile:
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Re: COMPUTERS, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

Post by Tizer » 03 Aug 2020, 09:36

Am I right in thinking that with computers `print to screen' preceded `print to paper'?

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Re: COMPUTERS, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

Post by PanBiker » 03 Aug 2020, 09:45

Not too sure about that Tiz. Print Screen only became available with the advent of the GUI. All computers before that development were text only and had direct output print commands either via serial (RS232) or Parallel (Centronics) interface.

BBC and other variants of BASIC : Print "text string" or (variable or procedure).
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Re: COMPUTERS, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

Post by Stanley » 04 Aug 2020, 02:21

I remember bottles of Gloy, a brush and a pair of scissors cluttering my desk. I went 'improved' and still have the old cast iron guillotine I acquired from somewhere.
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