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Glad To Oblige

Wayne LaPierre, spokesweasel for the NRA appeared on Meet the Press and indicated that if people thought that putting armed police in schools was crazy ‘then call me crazy’. Happy to help you out, Wayne – You are crazy.

Time for a couple of ‘war stories’ from law enforcement. I will leave off the real names of the people involved, because most of those who know these guys today, don’t know, or forgot about these incidents.

A veteran uniformed police officer stopped by his bank and walked in on an armed robbery in progress. Both the cop and the robber had six-shot revolvers. More than two dozen shots were fired at a distance of less than 20 feet and neither was hit. Fortunately no one else was injured but the bank’s lobby was a mess. The robber gave up after he ran out of ammo, while the office still had bullets. The robber reloaded once and the officer twice during the incident.

An off-duty officer stopped by his favorite bar on his way home after work. Just after he sat down, two men came out of the men’s room and one of them had what appeared to be revolver in his hand. The officer drew his auto-loader and fired 14 rounds at a distance of less than 15 feet. Neither of the men was hit, and they surrendered. The weapon turned out to be a pellet pistol designed to look like a Smith&Wesson large frame revolver. The officer was a member of his department’s pistol team and a range instructor.

These were trained police officers that I personally have seen group their shots on a timed course at 75 feet. When confronted with a shoot situation, their accuracy disappeared. You have to be a stone-cold killer not to experience an adrenalin surge and a blood pressure spike in a life or death situation. You experience hearing loss and tunnel vision as your brain stem prepares the body to fight or run by diverting blood from ‘unnecessary’ systems. Training reduces the problems, but they can’t be eliminated.

Given these realities, what are the realistic chances of someone with less training and seasoning than an NYPD SWAT officer being able to make the head shot required to take out a shooter wearing soft body armor and firing an AR-15 at you? An armed guard at that school would have been the first person to die, and wouldn’t have prevented anything. The shooter knew what was going to happen, and that is a huge advantage.


1 Badtux { 01.26.13 at 1:03 am }

Yah, I’ve been using Emacs since before ‘vi’ was invented, and never saw any need to learn those new-fangled text editors :twisted:. Heh.

– Badtux the Old Timer.

2 Bryan { 01.26.13 at 9:20 am }

Before ‘vi’ I was punching and shuffling cards to ‘edit’ on the big iron, or punching a new paper tape on the the ASR-33 to feed the mini, so anything was an improvement.

3 hipparchia { 01.26.13 at 10:39 am }

i miss chalkboards, the black ones, not the new-fangled green ones.


4 Badtux { 01.26.13 at 10:58 am }

Well, before Emacs I was using something suspiciously similar to TECO on a timesharing mainframe (non-IBM, it was a mainframe that my university bought for $5M in 1975 dollars i.e. real money, that the DoD helped design which was why it was horrifically expensive and ridiculously secure, though over the years I found some interesting ways to get around that security either via social engineering or via attack strategies that the DoD had never considered such as trojans and use of accounts with overlapping permissions). But now that I look at the history of ‘vi’, it appears that ‘ex’ got a visual mode several years before I thought it did and actually predates the variant of Emacs that I learned in, hmm, 1982? But the PDP/11 Unix that ‘vi’ was originally implemented on was not IMP ARPANET-capable unlike the mainframe that was hooked up to IMP ARPANET, so I did not learn it until we got a Vax with BSD 4.x when the Great Switchover to IPv4 happened, that would have been in ’84 I guess. I guess I was confused by Bill Joy’s comment at the top of the ‘vi’ source code where he put his initials followed by a 1983 date. That is the one and only comment that Bill Joy put in the source code for ‘vi’ (I was doing work for the computing center so of course had access to view said source code, as well as sufficient access to install Emacs on the system 😉 ), the rest of the code is totally uncommented, as is most of the code that Bill Joy wrote.

His commentary on that — “my code is self-commenting”. Uhm, no. It’s amazing that someone so… idiosyncratic… managed to build a major computer company, though of course he had help from some real business types like Vinod and friends to do the actual work of managing the company. That era, late 70s/early 80s, had some real… interesting… people come out of it in the computer industry. RMS is of course another such interesting person, and it was his Emacs that I installed on the Vax when I grew frustrated with the limitations of ‘vi’. In particular, I was frustrated by the inability to look at two parts of the source code at the same time when refactoring programs by moving a piece of common code to a new function, something which I consider to be a fundamental piece of functionality in a programming text editor ever since I discovered it in Emacs, and which, alas, Emacs appears to be the only programming text editor to implement it in the modern world. Even modern “development environments” don’t implement the ability to look at two places in the same source code file at the same time, despite the fact that it was doable with 1978 technology, nevermind 2013 technology, though the “one class per file” paradigm of languages such as Java at least makes it less onerous. I say “alas” because the Emacs command set sucks major rocks, control-escape-gobbledy-gook indeed…

5 Bryan { 01.26.13 at 11:01 pm }

There’s a paint for that, Hipparchia. I know someone who used it on a wall in his kids’ room so they could draw with colored chalk, instead of markers on everything in the house.

We used real AT&T Unix on the PDP11 I ran at college, instead of Ultrix [DEC’s version] to avoid the problem of custom features. Using the standards when you are teaching is usually the best way to go, and AT&T basically gave it away for free to colleges, but DEC didn’t.

Now that you mention it, it is really annoying the way people keeping building or improving on the flawed model that is perceived to be dominate, rather than making serious improvements. They are really limiting their audience when they create a faster and/or more colorful program that doesn’t include any useful new features and continues most of the most annoying things about the old model.

I use to accomplish that feat with WordStar and Borland’s Sidekick TSR, but doing it in one program would have certainly been useful.

6 Kryten42 { 01.27.13 at 12:34 pm }

Geez! Where to start? Hmmm…

I began using PDP-11’s in College in late 70’s. Stated on a PDP-11/70, and then they got some *new* PDP-11/03’s for the lab’s (these were first computers DEC made with LSI chip technology, and these computers were often called LSI-11. The chips were fabricated by Western Digital, back when WD was a real company) 😉 😛

The OS’s we used were RT-11, RSX-11M & RSTS/E. Interestingly, Dave Cutler was the project leader for RSX-11M (you should all know who he is!) Windows NT was said to be the conceptual descendant of RSX-11M, but in truth it was really descended from an object based operating system Cutler developed for the PRISM RISC processor, which DEC decided not to release, to their eventual detriment.

Back then, and experienced systems engineer could tell a glance at the console which OS was running, and what it was currently doing because of a distinctive pattern of lights (or if indeed it had *HALTED* and probably needed a reboot). 😉

During my last year, the College was offered a VAX 11/750 in exchange for access to the top students for recruitment by DEC (Aus) whose Aus HQ was just up the road. :) The College held out for, and received, a VAX-11/780, which pissed off the Uni’s as they all had to wait for their’s. 😆 Ahhh… Institutional politics! 😀 I was one of the chosen candidates, and worked for DEC for a year which was all I could stand, so I made myself *unpopular* (simply by proving that the all-mighty Senior People were often wrong and not too bright) so that DEC would release me from my contract, which I must have signed in blood, but have no recollection of doing so!

On windoze, I use mainly Notetab++, but I also use Fooke’s NoteTab Pro (v7.1 currently), and have since v4. It’s not free, but I paid for a lifetime license years ago, so I use it. 😉 In many ways it’s similar to Notetab++, but very different in others! It has the concept of ClipBooks, which I won’t try to explain here, but you can check it at at the notetab[DOT]com website if you are curious. I generally use Notetab++ for all my day-to-day needs, but Notetab7 for specific development needs (it does have full support for HTML5, CSS3 & Bootstrap).

As far aw Windoze 8 goes… Do you know what *type* of app/utility is the most popular download for it? 😉 A Start Button changer! 😆 There are several! At least Win 8 has spawned one specific S/W industry! THere are free and paid varieties. The most common paid versions are StarDock’s START 8 (US$4.99) which has apparently passed 3 million downloads, & StartIsBack (US$3 for a 2 PC license) which has over 1.5 million downloads. There are several free versions, and they have had several million downloads! Just proves that most people don’t like radical changes either! And just to prove that they care nothing about their users, it was leaked that M$ plan to remove the ability to change the start button functionality in the next release. 😆 Can you say *Morons!!* And here’s more proof:

Microsoft Doesn’t Care About Users, All It Wants Is Money, Say Angry WLM Fans

Even one of their most rabid groups of flag-wavers is really pissed! 😆

Anyway, that’s enough about that bunch of morons. Onto the next… The USA! 😈

IN another case of the US picking the wrong guy to pick a feud with at the behest of a special interest group (Hollywood in this case), rather than anything to do with actual *law*… You may remember the DoJ/FBI went on the warpath after Megaupload and closed it down and seized all their servers in the USA and some EU countries? Well, the guy who created it is fighting back hard. He has launched his new Mega service, and it has gone more than viral!! Over 1 million people signed up the first day!

Mega hits 1 million users after one day as Kim Dotcom officially launches the service

It’s quite an interesting read! 😀

Something you may be interested in Badtux (if you don’t already know that is). Foremay has produced the first 2 TB SATA SSD in a standard 2.5″ drive form as part of their EC188 M-Series range. They also have 4 TB SSD in a 3.5″ form. PDF can be downloaded here:

I had a bunch of other stuff… but I’m still recovering and get tired easily. I wanted to chat with Badtux about current VPS hosting, as I have decided to go looking once again and put up a couple sites I’ve been toying with here, and a blog (based on Drupal 7). I may also get into reselling. Anyway, another time. :)

Oh! I have been thinking of appropriate domains, I wanted something reasonably short, but really short ones are impossible (or insanely expensive!) Some I have tested and are available are:


😆 😉

Cheers all! Be well. :)

7 Badtux { 01.27.13 at 2:19 pm }

Kryten, we got our PDP-11’s to run Bell Labs Unix, originally v6 with the Lion book (used for our OS course), later v7. Sadly Bell killed v8 before its actual release because of fear that it would compete with the steaming pile of crud that was their “commercial” Unix, System III. We originally ran BSD 4.1 on our Vaxen, later upgrading to 4.2 and 4.3. We never ran any official DEC OS on any of our DEC systems, which annoyed DEC to no end, as you might imagine :). Later we got three Pyramid 90x minicomputers running their dual-universe port of Unix, which used conditional symlinks to put you into either a System V style universe or a BSD style universe. We paid the amazingly low price of $500K in 1985 dollars to largely replace the aging $5M mainframe. A few years later we finished replacing the mainframe with a network of Sun Sparcstations running BSD-based SunOS. Amazingly we could support 30 users per Pyramid system with a whole 8 megabytes of RAM and two Fujitsu Eagle 500mb hard drives before the system started slowing down… nowadays if you don’t have at least 4Gb of memory you can’t even fire up FireFox without your system crawling to a halt. Yay progress :).

I’m still running Windows 7 on my laptop. The biggest issue I have with Windows 8 right now is driver support — there are certain things for which I need drivers, where the drivers simply won’t run under Windows 8 yet. A secondary issue is running old XP-compatible programs. For example, installing the VSphere 4.x GUI (needed to talk to our ESXi 4.x boxes) required me to explicitly run the installer in compatibility mode — under Windows 7 that’s automatically done.

As far as the start button goes, there’s a couple of nice things about the new start screen system, you can hit the Windows key and a couple of characters of the start of the name of the program you want to run, use the arrow keys to choose between the two or three selections that pop up, and then hit Enter to run it. Navigating the Start menu on my Windows 7laptop (500Gb SSD primary, 750Gb hybrid secondary drive) is pretty much impossible, it has achieved a depth of which nuclear submarines would be envious.

Regarding KimDotCom, he’s an a-hole and a serial scammer. On the other hand, it’s not usually nice people who change the world. Just a little something I’ve noticed over the years :).

Regarding domains, how about georgeorwellwasright.com or orwelliannewspeak.com or obeybigbrother.com? 😈 Oh wait, whois says the latter one is taken. Oh well. Given all the NewSpeak and disappearing of the past into the Memory Hole that I see in the news media, something Orwell-themed seems somehow ridiculously appropriate for today’s world…

8 Kryten42 { 01.27.13 at 8:03 pm }

I’m sure Kim is an a’hole and probably a crook to boot. :) But he’s not stupid (and since when is being a crook a crime in the USA anyway? Oh, right… If you earn less than a million or 2 a year.) 😉 The point is, as two international courts have found when they denied the DoJ *demand* (not request) that that particular country turn over his asset’s without any actual proof of wrongdoing, and without him actually being proven in a Court of being guilty of anything, he hasn’t actually been proven guilty of anything! 😆 (and yes, I know that matters not one iota in the USA, but thankfully it does still matter in some other countries, to the apparent incomprehension of the USA!) I can see the USA getting royally screwed (and deservedly so) over this one (in several ways!)

“1984” was OK… but I thinkThings to Come (1936) was more accurate about the future. 😉 :)

As was reported in the Newspapers here at that time:

Reprinted from “The West Australian” (Perth, WA : 20 March, 1936)

London Opinion on “Things to Come”
(By Air from Our Special Correspondent.)

LONDON, Feb. 26, 1936.—Any day during this week—and presumably for many weeks in the future—huge crowds may be seen Queuing outside the Leicester Square Theatre, from 10 a.m. onwards, in order to qualify for admission to the pre-release of London Film Productions’ most spectacular and ambitious picture, ‘Things to Come.’ It is the mose expensive film ever made in England, the cost being just over a quarter of a million pounds. No less renowned a literary figure than H. G. Wells wrote the story, dialogue and screen treatment.

The critics have almost without exception given ‘Things to Come’ the benefit of their most flattering plaudits. The point most strongly made is that this film is different from any other film yet made, being an attempt to replace ‘the pulpit, the stage, or even the printed word as the forum of the popular orator.’

“Observer”: ‘It is very easy to nag at Things To Come.’ When a thing is so big that the imagination cannot quite embrace it, there is always a picking and scrambling at the detail. At a dozen points the film is vulnerable, and I have no doubt at all that it will go out into the world stuck full of Lilliputian arrows. But not one of them will measure it’s stature nor impede its power.”

“There has never been anything in the cinema like ‘Things to Come.’ No film, not even ‘Metropolis,’ has even slightly resembled it. An extraordinary thing, a miracle, has happened in the picture house. This film has been used for the first time to state a hard and fairly complex argument, and to state it with a force and beauty that gives you no choice to follow and attend.”

“I do beg of you, whether you enjoy the cinema as an entertainment or not, to see ‘Things to Come’ and ponder on its implications. Not necessarily on its content—although we shall none of us be any the worse for a reminder of the imminence of war-madness, or worse, of war complacency—but on its potential rhetoric. I think you will agree that, for the first time in its story, the cinema has replaced the pulpit, the stage, or even the printed word as the forum of the popular orator.”

“Daily Telegraph”: “With ‘Things to Come,’ Alexander Korda has once again made film history. Here is England’s first million-dollar picture; it cost, to be precise. £260.000; its theme is the loftiest ever conceived by a producer; its visions of a world destroyed and then rebuilt are astonishing in their Immensity, power, and exciting beauty.”

“Things to Come’ makes such stories of the future as ‘Metropolis’ look like a quota ‘quickie.’ and the trick photography has given us spectacle after thrilling spectacle that must be seen to be believed.

“But with it all there is a suggestion of the class-room. Mr. Wells’s moral lessons, instead of being implicit, are a shade too thoroughly rubbed in, and this may affect the picture’s chances at the box-office. He and Mr. Korda have deliberately chosen problems few producers would nave dared, or wanted, to tackle —the problems of war and peace, of man’s relation to the State, of salvation through self-sacrifice dictated by science for the ultimate good of the species.”

“Sunday Express”: “The early part of the picture is a great film in itself. Its peace propaganda influence will be enormous, but from the point of view of film skill alone it is terrific.”

“There is a moment when over the cliffs of Dover comes, a swarm of enemy planes. The sky is thick with them, the air deafening and furious with their savage drone. The dramatic power of that scene cannot be described in words.”

“Anybody who does not see this film is guilty of a lack of Interest—not In films, primarily—but In the world, in life on this earth, and in the future of themselves and their species.”

“Morning Post”: “It is incomparably the greatest technical achievement of filmcraft to date, and in scope and sincerity sets a mark for film producers to aim at for many yean to come.”

“The heroes of the film are the technical departments. Ned Mann (trick work) and Vincent Korda (settings) have created a world of the future which everyone must see. Hubert Armstrong, and the Marchioness of Queensberry have dressad it with beauty, and Georges Perinal has photographed it with genius. Raymond Massey speaks the ponderous dialogue in which Wells expands his argument with tremendous conviction. In presence and delivery he is superb.”

I have a remastered copy and have watched it several times. :) The special effects are amazing given the time they were created! I gave a copy to my friend at the SFX company I’ve mentioned before (they did the VFX for Ghost Rider & Ted to name a couple), and they were really amazed (except for one young idiot who apparently couldn’t remotely comprehend the time the film was made.) Appropriately, my m8 gave him a smack upside his head and told him to go sit in a corner for a couple hours and reflect! 😆 Young people… *SIGH*

Anyway, I’ll do a *Windoze* rant another time. I have to go to the Pharmacy and get some more drugs. *shrug*

Oh! One bit of local news… The Farmers around here have had enough of the State & Fed Governments and have decided to sell their produce directly to the public via *Farmer’s Market’s* at what they claim are the actual prices the imported garbage from China and elsewhere should be sold for, and whill continue to do so whilst the Gov continues to allow the imports! 😆

I got a kg of cherries for $4.25 (at the supermarket they are sold for $8.60 per 500g, and have no flavor!) They are wonderful! Mmmmm… I also got 1kg grapes for $1.95! 2kg Organic Truss Roma Tomato’s for $3.20 (at the supermarket, they are $6.99 for 8 of them on a truss!), Strawberries, 1 kg for $3.90! I got jucy plums, blueberries, awesome cantaloupes for .90c! Carrot’s for $1… and so on! I must have died and gone to an alternate universe! It’s about time I had some good luck! Hell… I even got a brand new external HDD for half price at an Australia Day sale from a Store know for it’s price gouging!! Yeah… I am definitely dead! Must be…

Buffalo 2TB DriveStation USB3.0

So much faster than my older WD 2TB! I moved 1.7 TB from my 4TB NAS to the new drive in about 10 hours (as a backup). A few weeks ago, I moved 1.5 TB to my USB2 WD external, and it took 26 hours!

Yeah… Definitely dead! Hmmm… But why do I still feel like crap, and why am I typing this rubbish? *sigh* 😉 😆

9 Kryten42 { 01.27.13 at 8:29 pm }

Here’s a few stills from the movie “things to Come”, which has one other distinction, it was the first SciFi ‘Talkie’. 😉

Things to Come 1936 Still 1

Things to Come 1936 Still 2

Things to Come 1936 Still 3