On-line Opinion Magazine…OK, it's a blog
Random header image... Refresh for more!

Let’s Party Like 1930

Alexandra Twin, CNNMoney.com senior writer, tells us the good news: Stocks: Mixed day, brutal June

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) — Stocks struggled Monday at the end of worst June for the S&P 500 and the Dow industrials since the Great Depression, amid rocketing oil prices and ongoing financial market woes.

This is what happens when you let a Harvard MBA and oil man run the country. Since the reign of Ronnie they have been systematically removing all of the controls put on business after the Great Depression because they were “unnecessary”, “no one would do those sorts of things today”, “the market will provide its own limits”, “regulation is bad for business”, etc. Without the regulation and controls they made all of the same mistakes with exactly the same results.


1 Kryten42 { 06.30.08 at 8:36 pm }

Yep. Couldn’t agree more. And it’s happening in other countries too. Little Johnny was dismantling the system here too. We were lucky enough to get rid of him before hr could dismantle everything. But he did a lot of damage. It remains to be seen if Rudd will fix them or not.

We still have the ACCC (Australian Competition and Consumer Commission) thankfully, and Howard was unable to destroy it.

Under Howard, eBay had a plan to force sellers to only use PayPal (which they own) as the only payment method. If Rudd hadn’t won office, they may have gotten away with it.

ACCC proposes to revoke immunity for eBay’s PayPal only policy

This was just a test by eBay BTW. They planned to make it Global, and may still try it in the USA. It was also targeting buyers. The story was broken here, watch the video for a laugh! Gotta love the *seatbelt* analogy they use! LOL *shaking head*

eBay makes users only use PayPal

Cheers (from the currently one handed typist! *sigh*)

2 Bryan { 06.30.08 at 9:37 pm }

Every time they get power they use it to make life easier for their “friends” and hard for everyone else. Throw a few CEOs and corporate boards in prison and they might get the idea that the rules apply to them, but as long as minimal fines are handed out, nothing will change.

If corporations are going to be accorded the rights of citizens, it’s about time they had the responsibilities, and that includes “do the crime, do the time”.

They can’t say they didn’t know what would happen, they still teach about the Depression in schools.

Oh, sorry about the one-handed status. I’ve been cat-lapped most of the evening, which is why things came out in a burst.

3 Kryten42 { 06.30.08 at 9:47 pm }

You are right, sadly.

Ehhh… I stupidly was storing heavy boxes on a high shelf on my own. A dislocated thumb and sprain are the result. Stupidity is it’s own reward! 😉 *sigh*

What really annoys me is… I finally paid for all the pieces of my new ‘puter that I have been trying to get for a year!! I’m NOT stupid enough to try to build it single handed, and don’t trust anyone else to go near it! LOL So… I get to sit an look at them for a week or so. Life really is ironic (and it sux!)

I even got a great buy (eBay, speaking of that devil) on a 5yo (IBM badged) Sony G520 21″ high-res flat Trinitron CRT for $55! :O I had a similar one about 8 years ago, and it was about $1.2k! this one looks brand new and is in great condition, will be great for my design work. 🙂


4 Bryan { 06.30.08 at 10:55 pm }

Well, that’s a major PITA – having to look at it for a week.

I love the LCDs but they’ll never be quite as good as the CRTs for colors or definition. They are awfully close and a definitely improvement in space and weight, but things will be a little off.

I remember what the suckers weigh, so it’s going to be a while before you can move that beast around.

5 Kryten42 { 07.01.08 at 1:30 am }

Yup! LOL about 30kg!

the clarity etc was a consideration, but it was actually the resolution vs cost that was the winner. this monster does up to 2048 x 1536 @ 75 Hz (VESA GTF)! And it’s the vertical res that kills most LCD’s! They may be wide, but the vertical resolution sux, unless you pay well over $1k. I plan to use this at 1920 x 1440 @ 75 Hz. I’ve had no income (due to health) for some time. So cost was a considerable influence! I got a great deal on the ‘puter parts to. 🙂 Even got a new Samsung 750GB HDD for AU$95! I oay wholesale… It helps to know people in the biz. 😉 Especially when they owe me! LOL

In a strange twist of irony… the hand problem did me a favor! Gigabyte just announced a much better version of the MoBo I got! So, my friend will swap them since this hasn’t been opened. 😀

The swings and roundabouts of life! 😉

6 Steve Bates { 07.01.08 at 7:29 am }

“Well, that’s a major PITA” – Bryan

A dislocated thumb? Ouch! That’s a real PITH, or at least a real PITT. Hope it heals quickly, Kryten.

I wish I found assembling hardware fascinating, but I just don’t. It’s an individual preference, I think; I know an excellent tech who cannot understand why I prefer crafting code. As my hardware needs are modest, and mid-level equipment is available cheap and already assembled, I don’t spend nearly as much time with hands inside the box as I did in the old days. And the world is a better place for that. 🙂

(I have little visual taste, but I actually prefer the look of the newer LCD displays over that of CRTs. And I’m comparing this ViewSonic LCD to my old ViewSonic CRT, so it’s apples to… um, maybe I’d better phrase it differently.)

7 Kryten42 { 07.01.08 at 10:35 am }

Thanks Steve. 🙂 And yeah… It’s a real PITH! LOL (which acronym I used last Sat when chatting with LadyMin)! Great minds… etc. 😉

Before I got involved with the Military and the Intel services, then Security… I was an electronics engineer (Industrial Design) and had built my first little computer around 1977 from a kit (Altair 8800). I think for me it’s just that I was always fascinated by how things work. I even spent over a year as an Automotive Mechanic Apprentice because I wanted to know how cars worked! LOL I studied History because that fascinated me, Philosophy… etc. I’ve always had a thirst for understanding and an overwhelming and unsated(or, if you prefer, unsatiated) curiosity (that has definitely landed me in trouble more then once!) 🙂

There are certainly many reasons to choose and use LCD displays. It’s simply that there are still reasons to continue using CRT’s also. For me, the CRT was the only way to go. I suspect it will be another couple years or more yet before LCD’s will fill all the niches of the old CRT!

In the end Steve, everything comes down to personal tastes, needs and preferences of course (as I know you know). It’s what makes us fascinating I think. Sadly, there are too few of us that think that way. The USA is run by people who want complete conformity to *their* ways, and there are many in the World with similar narrow views and ideals. Personally, I think that personality type an excellent reason for mindwipes and reprogramming or, failing that, the old rope and a handy tree! LOL 😉

(Typing one handed is really a PITH!) LOL

8 Bryan { 07.01.08 at 12:19 pm }

Steve, I dealt with big Sony’s on CAD stations, not PCs, and in graphics intensive situations like multilayered designs the difference is visible. With my current LCD I had to play with the controls because the fine lines weren’t visible on my monitor.

I had the same experience when my old CRT died and I replaced it with the LCD – I had to tweak colors to get things to look right.

Scan frequency is another concern that they are starting to correct with LCDs, but many had a flicker in the early days because of the low frequency.

I get into the hardware because there’s no one left to work on things except me. The computer stores have disappeared locally, so it’s either order parts over the ‘Net and do it myself or ship to the box and hope for the best.

If you wait a little longer, Kryten, something else will get cheaper, faster, better. At some point you just build it.

9 Kryten42 { 07.01.08 at 10:40 pm }

My friend, I am simply amazed at the price drops in IT technology just this past year! It’s insane. I was talking with an old friend who was there (as I was) in the 70’s & 80’s. When I mentioned getting a 750GB, very fast and near-silent HDD for $95, he was silent himself for a time. and then Asked if I remembered the first 5.25″ floppy drive. I said sure, was made by Shugart. He smiled and said that’s it… it weighed a ton, was power hungry, stored about 360KB per disk, and cost over $1k! Look at RAM! I just got 2GB (of high-quality Corsair, not no-name stuff) DDR2 for $56 with a lifetime warranty! And then I see fools buying stuff on eBay for way above the normal street price, and sometimes above RRP! Doesn’t anyone do any basic research first? Crazy.

Heres the spec for my Development system:

1 Cooler Master RC-534-KKRB Centurion 534 +Plus Black Tower Case/460W PSU/2x 120mm variable fans
1 Gigabyte GA-MA78G-DS3H Mainboard — 4x DDR2/5x SATA RAID + eSATA/1x IDE/12x USB2/2x IEEE1394/Gbit LAN/ATI Radeon HD3250 GPU with 128MB DDR3 RAM, HDMI, DVI, VGA/106dB SNR ALC889A HD audio with DHT
1 AMD Athlon 64 X2 (AM2) 6400+ Black Edition
1 Corsair T2X2048-64C4DHX DDR2 2GB PC-6400/800 (2x XMS2 1GB) RAM
1 Samsung HD753LJ 750GB 7200RPM/32MB Cache/SATA2 Silent HDD
1 Pioneer DVR-215BK SATA DVD Re-Writer (20x/10x Dual Layer) Black
1 1.44MB Floppy Disk Drive (Black)
1 Zalman CNPS9500-AM2 Ultra Quiet Copper CPU Cooler for AMD AM2
Sub-Total: $605.00

The MoBo has a very good onboard GPU That will do what I want, and I can add a card later if I need to.

I priced a similar system a year ago, and it was about double the price.

It’s scary. *shaking head* 🙂

10 Bryan { 07.01.08 at 11:26 pm }

I paid $900 for my 10MB, 20MB, 40MB, and then my 80MB Seagates. My price on the Shugart floppy was $450. Those are dealer cost prices from the biggest retailer in Southern California.

Looks like a nice box, like you I’m not overly concerned with the need for a gamer video card, and I prefer AMD to Intel.

We won’t get into what I paid for an Apple IIe or my IBM-PC with the 64K motherboard.

11 Kryten42 { 07.02.08 at 12:04 am }

Yeah, for several reasons, I can’t stand Intel. 🙂 And I don’t care that they have the fastest CPU etc. 🙂

I remember buying an Apple II and all the extras! LOL My first desktop IBM PC XT was actually a US PC called the Sirius 1! I liked it because it had Hi-Res (mono, well, green) graphics (800 x 600 I think), and 2 x 1.2MB FDD’s! LOL And it was pretty fast for an XT! Actually used the 8086 rather than the 8088, and has an 8087 Math CP< and an 8089 I/O CP. Heh… Yeah… I was a geek! 😉 I think it was about $6k wholesale. That was when Intel was still a reasonably decent company.

Pretty much all my systems since the 80286 (a wonderful Apricot Xen from the UK) have been AMD. 🙂

People will think we are old! 😉 LOL

12 Kryten42 { 07.02.08 at 12:06 am }

Oh, I meant to say… back when Shugart was king, the exchange rate favored the USA. Anything from there was about double the US price here, especially when shipping and import duty was factored in, so $450 sounds about right. 🙂

13 Bryan { 07.02.08 at 12:56 am }

The hardware mark ups were 25 to 50% in the old days. These days everything is below 10%, which is why the stuff is so crappy – there’s no money in it.

AT&T sold an 8086 machine in the US, but I’m fairly certain it was built by Olivetti. I was use NEC V chips as soon as they became available, because they were noticeably faster than their Intel counterparts. The 8088 and 80286 were both hybrid geldings of chips. IBM insisted on them to save money on machines with huge mark-ups.

There were a lot of great machines introduced that never went anywhere, like the TI-Pro. Fabulous graphics but people wanted the “IBM standard”, it was frustrating.

14 Kryten42 { 07.02.08 at 1:27 am }

Hmmm. Actially, I think the graphics was 800 x 400! Yeah… I remembered it had a strange 2:1 aspect ratio. 🙂

Yup! You are right about all that. I used a TI Pro for some project way back when. And a DEC Rainbow. LOL

We are *definitely* old! 😉 LOL

… and I don’t care! We had some fun. 😉

15 Bryan { 07.02.08 at 12:47 pm }

In the world of “plug and play”, I’m reminded that we once simple set dip switches, plugged it in, and never had to “play” again.

It was usually fun, but there were some real aggravations, mostly thanks to Microsoft upgrades.

16 Steve Bates { 07.02.08 at 5:08 pm }

Bryan, both of my photographer friends agree with you, remarking that the first LCD displays they bought effectively rendered useless all the hard work they had done establishing color balance among their various cameras, their CRT monitors and their high-quality printers.

As I said, I don’t have needs nearly that demanding. And LCD displays have improved a whole lot in just the past two years. Mine is about a year old… a purchase forced by a failure of an old CRT that served me for quite a few years… and the colors are, to my undemanding eyes, quite acceptable.

17 Bryan { 07.02.08 at 5:34 pm }

I have a problem with bright lights which drives everyone around me nuts, because I keep turning down the brightness on monitors and lights. I have excellent night vision and pay for it on the other end of the scale.

LCDs, by design, can’t have the control available to analog devices, so you have to find the approximate settings. With a higher brightness this may not be a problem, but I have already lost a number of the brightest colors by reducing the brightness of the monitor.

18 Kryten42 { 07.02.08 at 8:56 pm }

I think I envy you Steve! 😀 And you are right. Many serious photographers and graphics designers are only just now beginning to really replace their trusty CRT’s with LCD’s. Heck, a lot of them still much prefer their old analog film camera’s to digital! 🙂

As I said, whatever works for the individual is all good. 🙂

I did say *some* fun Bryan! LOL Yeah… I was doing a lot of coding in those days. I learned the hard way about using good comments in my code. Usually, when I started on a day, my comments would be concise and to the point. By 1 or 2AM and many caffeine hits later, they became more like rants along the lines of: “This routine is here because the coders at M$ are a bunch of retarded monkeys that have no $#&@$%$ idea how to !” The number of times I had to create code to fix or replace something DOS did (or didn’t do) was amazing! There is a lot of code floating around with some very colorful comments aimed at M$! LOL

I still really cannot comprehend how Gates & M$ have managed to pull off the scam of the millennium! I am sure he could sell the Golden Gate Bridge to several suckers if he wanted too. Of course, the fact that his Mom was a senior exec at IBM helped a great deal. He had access to a lot of resources that many didn’t. If anyone ever wanted proof that the World is completely unfair, that would be it. 😉

19 Bryan { 07.02.08 at 11:21 pm }

MS-DOS 6.0 was a nightmare – it ate peoples’ hard drives, trashing disks left and right because of their “data compression” scheme which looked a lot like a beta of a small outfits first efforts at a compression utility.

Their entire disk architecture was a primitive kludge [as we said in SoCal back in the day].

You weren’t the only coder who left snide comments about Bill & Co. in their code.

I’ve heard time and again different people making the pitch “unlike Microsoft, my software works and I guarantee it.”

20 Kryten42 { 07.03.08 at 1:23 am }

I actually have the complete source code for DOS 6 if you ever want a laugh! LOL 😉

…and don’t ask! 😉

Ehhh… I had a comment in angled brackets after “idea how to”. I forgot that I shouldn’t use them in a comment. 😉 Oh well… you get the idea! 🙂

21 Kryten42 { 07.03.08 at 11:14 am }

And yeah, the DOS 6 disaster was when Microshaft stole DiskDoubler from Stac and got sued, and M$ lost (as usual). Only a moron like Gates can steal a working program and make it completely useless, or worse. And yet, people still admire the dweeb! For what? Proving that they are complete suckers? Geez!

I always said that Gates was a crook and a thief. If Gates ever had an original idea, his head would explode. It hasn’t, therefore… I rest my case. LOL

Heres the info on that suit if anyone is interested. 😉
Text of Stac Electronics’ patent infringement complaint against Microsoft

I have a folder full if patent infringement suits against M$, which M$ usually lost. Gates is the biggest pirate out there! Talk about the pot calling the kettle black!

22 Kryten42 { 07.03.08 at 11:42 am }

Check out this article in one of my fave online rags… 😉

MS-DOS paternity suit settled

The PC world might have looked very different today had Kildall’s Digital Research prevailed as the operating system of choice for personal computers. DRI offered manufacturers the same low-cost licensing model which Bill Gates is today credited with inventing by sloppy journalists – only with far superior technology. DRI’s roadmap showed a smooth migration to reliable multi-tasking, and in GEM, a portable graphical environment which would undoubtedly have brought the GUI to the low-cost PC desktop years before Microsoft’s Windows finally emerged as a standard.

But then Kildall was motivated by technical excellence, not by the need to dominate his fellow man.

Sadly, that is all too true! But then, Gates typifies *excellence* in the USA. That’s not a compliment.

Gates is an insecure, unimaginative, cowardly little control freak. He doesn’t believe he (or M$) have to pay for anything, he can take whatever he likes. Yet, he believes everyone owes him and must pay. He has the loudest voice screaming about the evil software Pirates in the World stealing all his precious money. The last I saw, I didn’t notice that he was hurting financially in any way, but many who use his products or are forced to deal with him in any way, are hurting. “He doth protest to much. Methinks!” 😉


23 Bryan { 07.03.08 at 2:43 pm }

They were finally forced to start paying licensing fees for all of the utilities that had “borrowed” over the years that actually made DOS work like a real operating system.

The real problem with between DRI and IBM was that Gary’s wife was an attorney and she wasn’t willing to give control of his work to IBM. Paul and Bill didn’t write MS-DOS, they bought it, so they didn’t care that their market would initially be limited to IBM labeled machines. CP/M was already established on a lot of different boxes, and DRI didn’t want to cut off other manufacturers.

MP/M, the multi-user version, was a pretty stable OS, and I worked with it at a couple of my clients. GEM was a nice little, unobtrusive GUI that never took off.

People forget that Windows didn’t stabilize until 3.1. The earlier versions just wouldn’t stay up long enough to be used for anything.

People don’t know/remember that the original MS Access was a communications program that didn’t work, and they used the name for their data base program to eliminate that memory.

Yeah, hearing Bill complain about piracy is hypocrisy of the first order. A lot of great little companies were destroyed because they didn’t have the money to fight the theft.

24 hipparchia { 07.03.08 at 8:27 pm }

i’ve always wondered why a database program was named access. never made sense before, so thanks for the enlightenment.

25 Bryan { 07.03.08 at 11:32 pm }

Access was back in the days before Windows 1.0, and the Microsoft spreadsheet was Multiplan, which was actually an excellent program and the first spreadsheet available for the Mac. Microsoft dumped it in favor of Excel because the name had too many syllables or something.

26 Kryten42 { 07.04.08 at 6:23 am }

LOL True Bryan! 😀

I hate to admit it… But I did like Multiplan. Even idiots like M$ get lucky occasionally (Though, the truth is probably that they stole it from someone and didn’t get around to destroying it, so they just dumped it befor someone woke up to it and sued them.) I used to use dBase II & III before M$ tokk them over and killed them, and FoxBase… M$ have a long and terrible history of destroying good software.

You are right about DRI, but also remember that Gates would still be a complete nobody if not for his mother and her control within IBM. I wonder why few if anyone have asked why one of the most litigious companies in existence (IBM) quickly dropped their suit(s) against M$, even though all the pundits were worried about IBM killing M$ because they never lost a suit and this one stood a good chance of success. Was only one reason, and it had nothing to do with IBM fearing M$ or loosing.

27 Bryan { 07.04.08 at 12:33 pm }

Gates’s mother was in IBM corporate and mainframe, and the PC division was a stepchild of the corporation. That attitude is why DEC, Data General, Sun and the rest of the mini and mainframe guys didn’t take over the field and why IBM eventually faded. They were using the wrong models and trying to sell micro’s like they were 360s or PDP 11s.

After Don Estridge died there was no “winner” to take over the micro products and the big iron people resumed control of everything. Mother Gates had pull with the big iron guys, and there was no major champion left.

The PC guys ticked off a lot of the big iron people by being successful, and there were definite losses to PCs by the System/3x group. It isn’t all that surprising that corporate dumped the suit. You can put it down to intra-corp squabbles.

PCs were gelded to some extent to be sure they wouldn’t compete with other product lines.