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


Russia backs Trump because he causes chaos and Putin can control him to a certain extent. That’s essentially what Putin said in the Helsinki conference.

The Soviet/Russian doctrine was to cause chaos in order to disrupt any united effort to contain their actions. They would support groups that hated them and their politics if the GRU/KGB felt the groups would never get powerful enough to gain any real power, but would be capable of causing dissension in ruling circles.

Some of the “Bernie Bros” on social media will be using their second language, English, to be really obnoxious. Not all of them, as Bernie has some real jerks among his fans, but there will be a marked increase in that number who cannot vote in US elections. That creates chaos and will suppress the vote if Bernie is the candidate.

Trump believes that Bernie is the Democrat that will be the easiest for him to beat, so the Russians will push for Bernie in the primaries.


1 Badtux { 02.25.20 at 9:48 pm }

The latest from the Russian Bernie Bros (I follow their twitter feeds just so I know what the Russians are doing) is that Bloomberg is “worse than Trump.”

No. Bloomberg does not support ripping children from their parents’ arms and placing them into kiddie concentration camps. It’s against everything he’s ever stood for, and his positions and directives as Mayor of NYC were completely against that kind of thing (stop and frisk nonwithstanding, stop and frisk still was less evil than kiddie concentration camps).

Any candidate who doesn’t support kiddie concentration camps is better than Trump. Full stop.

Not that I support Bloomberg (I am a Warren enthusiast), but the Russian trolls are just obnoxious — as are the Americans repeating their nonsense as if it were the gospel truth.

2 Bryan { 02.25.20 at 10:57 pm }

Bloomberg is actually a self-made billionaire with a successful business empire, unlike Trump. He can read, has previous government experience, and some regard for the law and science. I don’t want to vote for him, but he is definitely a step up from Trump.

I’m voting for Warren in the primary and a Democrat for President.

3 Badtux { 02.26.20 at 9:37 am }

Any time any of those trolls suggest that a Democratic candidate would be worse than Trump, I have a simple test — does that Democratic candidate propose ripping toddlers from their mothers’ arms and putting them into kiddie concentration camps? No? Then that Democratic candidate is 100% better than Trump.

Which currently applies to 100% of the Democratic candidates running from President, all of whom express horror at the notion of kiddie concentration camps for toddlers.

4 Kryten42 { 03.07.20 at 5:02 am }

None of the agitprop is unexpected by people like us Bryan, or those like badtux (those who have a broad range of experience & understand how Human’s & the World generally, work). Some outside of our experience understand that the Russians (and other Nations) want the USA to fail but don’t understand how far they would go to ensure that happens. Most people also fail to understand how easily manipulated someone like Trump truly is. And that is the perfect reason why anyone who is nominated as a candidate for a leadership or high-ranking position (in any Nation) should be thoroughly vetted, including a full psych eval. Something like that was always bound to happen & has happened before to a somewhat lesser degree. Unless that is addressed, this will happen again, or the USA will cease to exist, or WW3 will erupt. At the moment, my money is a combination and the third option especially.

And yes, pretty much any Democrat candidate is to be prefered. But unless the GOP Senate majority is severely weakened, nothing much will change.

5 Bryan { 03.07.20 at 9:50 pm }

I remember when people were complaining that the Soviets wouldn’t give money to fascists and I would remind people that we were giving money to Franco, the Colonels in Greece, and the Shah, so why wouldn’t the Reds give money to their own selections of “nazis”.

The problem of working in intel is that all of the filters are removed and the hypocrisy is obvious. You can’t pretend the “emperor isn’t naked as a jaybird” because your job is to find the truth to the best of your ability.

Modi in India is just the latest world leader to figure out the key to Trump. Modi arranged some crowds and ceremonies and “played Trump like a cheap fiddle.” Trump rates the importance of everything by the size of the crowd.

6 Kryten42 { 03.10.20 at 10:38 pm }

Working Intel was mostly frustrating as hell for me! Far too many *artificial* roadblocks, detours and shenanigans! And that was just from my own *side*! I learned quickly, the real name of the game was “scoring points”!

I suspect you had your share also, probably for at least some similar reasons. But, it wasn’t all bad. that’s life, I suppose.🤷‍♂️😏

looks like Biden is pulling ahead of Bernie. Biden definitely wouldn’t be my preferred choice (you know I like Warren, I’ve said so many times the past Decade). I liked her interviews on TDS with Jon. 😀

I quoted this thread in a tweet about it earlier:

And… Aussie kids are as awesome as US & EU kids (no surprise really). 😉 Watch these two NAIL the neo-CON’s arses! Sooo proud! 👍😊🤗

7 Kryten42 { 03.11.20 at 1:32 am }

Ummm… Wow! Seems Biden has a clean sweep today (or I should say tonight in the USA).

Joe Biden just got even more good news

I have to say… I am surprised! Now, question is… Will Bernie and the DNC declare & support him? I suspect the former is a no, latter is a yes. I guess we’ll see.

He should choose Warren as his 2nd. But I doubt he will.

8 Kryten42 { 03.11.20 at 3:32 am }

I think James Carville is correct. But Biden needs to name his 2nd ASAP!

I’ll post the Twitter thread, because the comments are interesting I think. What say you? 😉 😀 (And Bad Tux! I know you have something to say m8!) 😉 😆


And I doubt Bernie “will do the right thing”! But, maybe I’ll be surprised.🙄🤷‍♂️

On my home front… In a (kinda) surprising move, it’s being *leaked* that #Scummo & the LNP are planing a one-off payment of A$500 for Pensioners & NewStart recipients (which most sane commentators are saying is a stupid idea!) It IS a very short-term gain “I need to be seen doing something to stimulate the economy!” Because the ALP gave a one-off payment of A$900 during the GFC. An A$75/wk increase would be a lot better long term!

Anyway, if it happens… That’s my replacement Graphics Card sorted! With some extra I have saved for that. 😉 😀

I’m kinda planning on this one. It will last me 2-3 years at least. I don’t plan on building a complete new system any time soon. And looking at *real world* tested reviews, it’s about twice the performance of my dead card, so should be good for a couple years for what I would use it for.

ASUS ROG Strix Radeon RX 5700 XT OC 8GB

Curiously… It’s the highest performance factory tuned card out of all the Manufacturers, yet is also the cheapest @ A$729. Most other stores are selling it from A$750-A$785. It’s also currently the best AMD based card available (like my 390X was at the time).

That’s what happened when I got my old 390X! “Right place, right time” I guess. Also, I need to get a replacement soon! Supplies are starting to get tight, which means prices will increase soon!

9 Badtux { 03.11.20 at 5:00 pm }

Elizabeth Warren would not be a good fit as VP for Biden because a) she’s from a safely Democratic state that will go Biden big in the general election, and b) is roughly a stone’s throw away from Biden’s home state. She also doesn’t get black voters enthusiastic. Same reason why Kamala Harris is not going to get picked as VP, Biden needs no votes from California in the general, California will vote for him in overwhelming numbers already. Also Harris doesn’t get him as many black votes as you’d think — there’s a lot of black people suspicious about her history as a prosecutor and how many black people she put into jail for low level possession of marijuana.

A name I’ve heard repeatedly is Stacey Abrams, who was narrowly defeated for governor of Georgia in a corrupt election that was overseen by the same man who was running against her for governor in a race that was tarnished by purging hundreds of thousands of black people from the voter rolls a few weeks before the election. The thought is that she would bring out the black vote in numbers similar to Obama, numbers sufficient to win in battleground states, because black people already know her and like her and are pissed about the fact that she was ripped off and denied her governorship by Jim Crow in Georgia.

The other name I’ve heard is Cory Booker. He doesn’t get the black base as fired up as Stacey Abrams though, and again is from a safely Democratic state.

10 Bryan { 03.11.20 at 9:37 pm }

I’ll comment tomorrow. I’m working on an apartment in addition to watching the puppies play in the snow…

11 Kryten42 { 03.12.20 at 3:28 am }

No stress Bryan! I know you’re busy. Any time is fine & you don’t actually *have to* reply you know! I’m just rambling… 🤷‍♂️😁

One update (actually, make that two): Seems Scummo was pressured into increasing the on-off payment from A$500 to A$750 (and you can bet it’s because ALP were calling them out & laughing about how stingy they are with OUR money. They gave a $900 stimulus payment during the GFC).

Second: I think I’ll change my mind on that ASUS card & get an MSI version (otherwise similar spec’s, but clock is a little faster. main reason is that it’s A$680. So the $750 payment will cover it & leave me over $580 for *just in case* (like covering rent for 2-4 weeks & groceries).

As soon as all the medical stuff is dealt with (about a Month I think), I’ll go ahead with the lawsuit for the accident. Lawyer asked what amount I’d settle for, for an out-of-court settlement. He made a suggestion, I’ll think about it. And then, on to VCAT. NOT going to count my chickens! 😉 😀

12 Badtux { 03.12.20 at 11:53 am }

On the technology front, my Supermicro NAS / virtualization server currently has two 120 watt hexacore Westmere processors that serve double duty as heaters. My latest eBay troll turned up a good find to replace it. I’m replacing it with another Supermicro with a single 55 watt Haswell octacore processor. I’m giving up four processor cores, but I’m also giving up $50/month in electricity usage at PG&E rates between the low consumption processor and low consumption motherboard. Plus a two generations newer IPMI baseband that uses HTML5 rather than Java for its console display, and a two generations newer BIOS that does UEFI and can boot off of large disks or large RAID volumes.

Other than that all is stable on the technology front at my home data center…

13 Kryten42 { 03.12.20 at 11:07 pm }

Hi Badtux… Yes, no tech lasts forever. Sounds like a very useful & worthy upgrade BT. I hear you about the increase in electricity bills! The 390X was a good card, but being built on TSMC’s 28mn process it was power hungry! It was pretty good @ idle, but at full load was between 280W to 320W tdp. The RX 5700 XT is 7nm. According to trusted reviews, the measured power draw @ max for the MSI card is 254W peak.

Which is why the 390X finally died when running @ max for over 3 weeks whilst I was in hospital. It was actually a good card all things considered. Still, my power bill for Jan was $126 and my current one for Feb. (no GPU card) is $87! That includes my Gov. electricity concession & “pay-on-time” discount from the supplier.

In other news… Looks like Intel will be playing catch up with AMD for awhile! report is that the Intel 7nm plant will be ready end of 2020. AMD/TSMC will have their 5nm plant ready by mid 2021 (it’s being built now). TSMC announced to investors the design of the 3nm plant is finished and funding is in process & on track for being built in 2022. That’s a pretty fast track!

Another “speculative execution vulnerability” security flaw has been discovered in the Intel base CPU’s & it can’t be fixed with firmware, BIOS or software. However, it does require physical access to the system to exploit, at least for now. Annnnd… Another flaw has been discovered that impact’s Intel Data Center CPU’s.
Intel’s data center CPUs vulnerability could lead to “devastating” attacks

Intel really can’t win these past few years. AMD market share has been steadily increasing & they have fixed the Meltdown/Spectre flaws @ the hardware level for their next gen CPU’s later this year. So no system slowing BIOS/OS patches required.

I’ve been watching some tech YT vid’s while searching for a replacement gfx card 7 others out of curiosity. I came across this one about an all SSD NAS (called the Storenado — Ahhh… US marketing!) that had me drooling, just a little bit. 😉 😆


I started playing Warframe yesterday a “free-to-play action role playing third-person shooter multiplayer online game developed and published by Digital Extremes”.

Launched in 2013, it had a very rocky beginning and almost died. But the developer kept working hard & the past few years it’s evolved into a highly rated game (though it is complex as hell in many ways as I am discovering! Yet, still fun!) And unlike EA Blizzard/Activision & Bethesda, they do mean free! You can buy kits & in-game special currencies (like Platinum) at reasonable prices if you want to get a fast start or just can’t be bothered farming for them & just want to run around killing monsters… But you don’t have to! It’s one reason I decided to finally play it, and after about 8 hrs in game, I like it. 😀 I just bought the Starter Kit as it’s quite good value @ A$26 and the developer deserves it! This game is worth paying for.

Hah!! I was thinking whilst working on this lengthy comment that you might comment at the same time Bryan! 😆

Yeah, I think you’re right about those choices.

And yes, I know what DT *doesn’t* think! He is a moron & total ignoramus.

I was followed by a film maker on T & I watched a few of their short films! I am impressed!! See what you guy’s think:


14 Bryan { 03.12.20 at 10:55 pm }

Stacey Adams is a good choice for VP, Warren for Treasury, Harris for Attorney General, Sanders for Health & Human Services. Warren will probably decline, so take her student, California Congresswoman Katie Porter.

Carville hasn’t gotten anything but older in the last decade. There are a lot of votes left and Biden isn’t even half way to the prize.

Damn, Badtux, your old system draws more power than my bathroom heater.

I’m going to hang on for a bit to see what happens in the election before spending money on anything but canned food and camping supplies. At this point I’m thrilled that I’m not in the market.

You realize Kryten, that according to Trump Australia can’t have the COVID-19 virus because it’s warm and warm weather stops the virus, just like the flu. The fact that you and Singapore have the virus would tend to put that conviction of Trump’s to the test.

15 Kryten42 { 03.13.20 at 12:30 am }

I was trying to find a video of Nicole Wallace & Chris Hayes discussing Biden & Sanders (and trump) I saw a few day’s ago. Nicole gets it right I think & pretty much shuts down Hayes in the process. 😉 😀

MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace on Biden’s Win: ‘Trump Got Himself Impeached So Tonight Wouldn’t Happen’

16 Kryten42 { 03.13.20 at 1:11 am }

Erratum! The Warframe starter kit was A$22. Don’t know why I said $26! Brain fade… *shrug*

17 Kryten42 { 03.13.20 at 1:49 am }

So… JP Morgan just called a Global recession. But only (somewhat) coincidentally because of COVID-19. A large group of financial institutions/Corp’s predicted a 2020 recession in 2018.

JP Morgan today: “We now see a 1H20 contraction in GDP that is both significant and spreads across nearly all of the global, we believe that our forecast represents an event best characterized as a recession.”

2018 Prediction:
The Predicted 2020 Global Recession

18 Kryten42 { 03.13.20 at 8:56 am }

Just a quickie before bed! I came a cross an article whilst checking reviews. It had me curious! And now, i know what to do with my Pi Bryan! 😉 😆

See what you think:

Pi-hole Network-wide Ad Blocking

And it seems, RISC is back with a vengeance! And is Open Source with a big list of supporting companies (325 members currently).

RISC-V Foundation

Apparently, this began because microcode on all current CPU’s based on the old x86 instruction set (Intel & AMD primarily) has grown to over 3,000 instructions! That’s insane. With more being added. It was fine whilst clock speeds increased at a fast pace, but Moore’s Law has coughs up with current technology limits.

(Just finished playing Warframe for a few hours. Still fun!) 😉 😆 Bedtime for this li’l black duck… G’night all! Stay safe!

19 Badtux { 03.16.20 at 12:49 pm }

RISC-V is more a response to ARM licensing fees rather than a response to the increasing complexity of x86 processors. In the end RISC-V, like ARM, is going to run into the issue that decoding complex instructions into microcode at the CPU chip level uses less precious main memory bandwidth than fetching what is basically microcode from main memory.

We’re pretty much on lockdown here in the SF Bay area due to COVID-19. Bars and nightclubs have been ordered closed, restaurants have been ordered to operate at 50% capacity to give a minimum of 6 feet between patrons, and any gathering of more than 100 people is prohibited. The Catholic diocese here is now conducting mass via Internet video sharing and has granted a dispensation regarding receiving Communion. The streets are eerily quiet, especially now that the schools have all shut down. People are taking this pretty seriously here, unlike the spring breakers down on Bourbon Street, who are still partying in crowds despite constant attempts by the NOPD to break up the crowds. My guess is that New Orleans is going to be the epicenter of the next pandemic spread, as the spring breakers then carry the coronavirus back to whatever cities and towns they came from….

20 Badtux { 03.16.20 at 2:05 pm }

Bryan, my entire tech stack, including PoE switches, security cameras, and that NAS / virtualization server, sucks an incredible 650 watts of power. That’s without me firing up my desktop. This is ridiculous and expensive, and I am attempting to reduce this significantly by replacing some of the older hotter cameras and that NAS.

21 Bryan { 03.16.20 at 9:04 pm }

You are definitely making PG&E happy campers. I go lowest wattage available which means LEDs and Energy Star appliances. Gulf Power just got bought by Florida Power & Light, so rate increases are on the horizon. It’s almost as if you were running a microwave full-time.

There is always a trade off. RISC requires better coders and more time. It can speed things up if the problem isn’t overly complex, but doubling the lines of code doubles the fetching. My experience with RISC is limited to scientific settings.

Florida has pulled in the “Welcome mat” for Spring Breakers even before COVID-19 became an issue. It was out of hand – too much destruction, too many deaths, too much bad press – it scared off families and snowbirds. New Orleans actually cancelled St. Patrick’s Day events, but they waited too long and teens/college students think they are immortal.

We have closed the schools and cancelled sports, but too many people are not taking things seriously. I have a tenant whose son had a heart transplant and is taking immune system suppressors, so I’m more careful than many. There are reports of people who are asymptomatic but contagious. Now that is alarming given they won’t test people without symptoms in the US.

22 Badtux { 03.16.20 at 11:44 pm }

I have dealt with RISC a lot more than you, Bryan. It’s what’s in that WiFi router (almost all of them are based on a MIPS RISC chipset), and it’s what’s in your cell phone (an ARM RISC chipset). The reason RISC is used in these is because reduced transistor count means lower power consumption and less cost, not because of performance. Every processor currently extant can process instructions faster than they can be fetched from main memory. They rely on prefetching and instruction caches to try to get around that, but CISC instructions simply require less bandwidth to fetch from main memory. Thus why nobody seriously considers using ARM to replace Intel Xeon processors in servers, other than a few loons whose every attempt has failed. Sure, you can put 128 ARM cores on the same size die as a 16 core Xeon processor. But you still can’t fill its caches from main memory any faster.

23 Badtux { 03.16.20 at 11:51 pm }

The health departments in the 6 Bay Area counties have issued a mandatory stay at home quarantine for almost everybody now. All bars and clubs ordered closed, all businesses other than health related businesses and grocery stores ordered closed, all restaurants ordered to only do takeout and delivery. All of which is enforcible under state laws dating back to the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918, which allow enforcing it at gunpoint, yanking business licenses and arresting people as necessary. Any business serving liquor, for example, will lose its liquor license if found doing business during the quarantine.

Kaiser-Permanente has cancelled my allergy shot appointment and all non-emergency appointments for the next thirty days, and I’ve been told that all health related personnel are being retrained on pandemic response even if they are an allergist or a technician that administers allergy tests. They’re also pulling in ventilators and ICU equipment wherever they can find it and preparing to convert regular hospital beds to ICU beds, and clinic rooms currently serving allergists and such into hospital rooms.

People here in the Bay Area are starting to take this very seriously. The only real question is whether it’s too late to avoid a lot of dead bodies.

24 Bryan { 03.17.20 at 7:55 pm }

I was working with devices that detected various things like certain particles and recorded hits for analysis. These were experiments that could run for decades. The biggest challenge was wiring interface cables as most of the ‘detectors’ claimed to output to a RS-232 port. Fortunate I had some tools to find the active lines and a jumper block to figure out what the cable required. Programming the EEPROMs was the least of my problems as these were devices more dependent on the chemistry and physical characteristics of the probe than the program.

25 Bryan { 03.17.20 at 8:20 pm }

Florida is getting there but slowly. The date of the primary is set by law, and the legislature isn’t in session, so it was today, but there are beaches, bars, nightclubs being closed. Schools are closed until April 15th. We will definitely be screwed locally if there are a rush of patients. We have a lot of doctors, but not many hospital beds.

26 Badtux { 03.18.20 at 1:36 am }

Kaiser has rented large party tents from all the local party supply rental places and is setting them up in front of their emergency room doors at all their hospitals to serve as triage centers for the expected crush of patients who will be showing up. . This is the closest I’ve seen to panic on the faces of medical personnel in my lifetime. Kaiser is probably best situated of all local healthcare providers in that they have extensive facilitiies that can be repurposed, large numbers of personnel who can be repurposed, and people on staff who have first hand experience with epidemics, and even they are looking really, really grim right now. Maybe because of a paper that said that 2.2 million Americans could die in this epidemic if the health care system collapses — and the health care system in the United States is already close to collapse on a normal day.

27 Bryan { 03.18.20 at 12:34 pm }

With the flu two years ago the local hospital set up a separate area and handed you a mask when you walked through the door without even asking for your insurance card. K-P is better off dealing with the triage outside where you can steam clean at regular intervals.

Kaiser is one of the best systems in the country, but they have gotten a bit “too efficient”, like most of the systems in the US and have no reserves. We have hospitals closing every day in rural areas that we could use for the extra beds.

28 Kryten42 { 03.18.20 at 7:10 pm }

I wish you well Badtux! And I understand. I’ve been getting call’s from my Hospital cancelling appointments I had over the next few weeks or changing a couple to phone appointments. Getting to see my GP is very difficult. He’s only at the clinic 2 days per week new.

I worked on MIPS R2000A & R3000 CPU’s from the 80’s to 90’s. First in my Engineering company during R&D for the new control system (but we went with the Transputer T400 & 800). Then with DEC & SGI & HP’s PA-RISC.

Oh! And Pyramid Technology used RISC too. Though, that was a curious case. Whilst based upon the Berkeley RISC processor, it was also micro-programmed. It was really more of a hybrid. But it worked well. I remember working on their 98x (9845 – quad CPU’s) driving graphics display terminals in late 90’s. The system ran at ~ 25-26 MIPS. Pretty damned good at the time! We used it to drive SGI systems as GDU’s. Worked well and it was eventually sold as a graphics design and CAD solution. Mentor Graphics CAE2000 ECAD system was easily ported to it. But nothing lasts forever, Pyramid and SGI had a falling out. *shrug* Greed is it’s own enemy usually.

Pyramid hurt DEC’s VAX 11/780 because even the base 90x was twice the performance for slightly less price, and ran both BSD & Sys V at the same time. They came with 4MB RAM (in four boards I think) & in the early 90’s could be upgraded 16MB (either swapping the socketed DRAM chips or just swap boards). I used to think that was a LOT of RAM! 😆 One of it’s biggest selling points was it’s 16-port ITS (Intelligent Terminal Server) serial port controller based on a 16-bit bit-slice processor. I remember it for a number of reasons. Mainly, it gave me ideas for our R&D in the late 80’s. It had a 68k admin CPU. Pyramid offloaded everything from the main CPU so it could just do the work it needed to, run OS & app’s. I will forever remember the name the Pyramid dev’s gave to the remote Admin s/w, Totally Unrealistic Remote Diagnostic. Some companies/people had no sense of humor, so they had to change that name a few years later! 😆 It came with a modem, I designed an AU version of their US Bell modem – & started Modem Technology in the process – we had to design the first dual standard (ITU & Bell) modem to support the Pyramid.

Oh well… Thanks for the walk down Memory Lane! 😀

Take care all! Be safe.

29 Kryten42 { 03.18.20 at 8:06 pm }

*sigh* Erratum:
“graphics display terminals in late 90’s” –> “graphics display terminals in late 80’s”

30 Badtux { 03.18.20 at 9:15 pm }

Kryten, I even have the architecture / assembly language manual for the Pyramid 90x somewhere around here. We could basically run 30 user sessions on a 90x and 20 on a Vax 780 before the minicomputer became unusably slow (25 / 15 for comfort), so the Vaxen were delegated to the graduate studies department for research use, while other students got to use the Pyramids. Other fun toys I got to work with there were a Multics installation ($6M in 1977 money when that was real money) and an IBM 3090 (which I despised). Comparing Unix with the system that inspired it (Multics) was fascinating. The Unix philosophy was that everything is a file. The Multics philosophy was that everything is memory. They were like mirror universe versions of each other, where the opposite was done at each point. Multics was incredibly secure, but crippled by Honeywell internal politics. Too bad, it could have adapted well to the modern world, I observed of the 80286 at the time it was introduced that “it looks like a Multics CPU designed in the USSR!”.

SGI got its due in the end — its bankrupt remnants got gobbled up by a Linux supercomputing company, and now is just a name attached to Linux systems. Too bad, they had good technology in their day, but they made a series of incredibly bad decisions that destroyed confidence in the company and that was that.

I think two of our Pyramids had a 4MB RAM setup and one had an 8MB RAM setup. We all wanted to be on the one with the 8MB RAM of course!

31 Badtux { 03.18.20 at 9:58 pm }

Kaiser’s a not-for-profit so they didn’t do the cutting of the for-profit hospital chains. Their biggest problem has been keeping up with population growth in their service area, compounded by the fact that they had to tear down multiple hospitals and build new ones due to California earthquake laws. This put a crimp in their expansion program because they were replacing existing beds instead of adding beds.

That said, they’re still the best situated health care system in the Bay Area right now, because of their ability to “surge” personnel and facilities since they’re a full spectrum health care system and not just a hospital chain. Still, this isn’t the kind of disaster they were prepared for. They were prepared for an earthquake, where simple trauma treatment is what most people would need. They weren’t prepared for an epidemic. Especially one requiring massive amounts of special equipment. Epidemics are so…. 20th century, right?

32 Bryan { 03.18.20 at 11:43 pm }

We shall forget about the South West Technical Products M6800s and the later versions running MPM on 8-inch diskettes, or the ASR-33 Teletypes accessing the TymNet DEC 10 with a Bell 103 at 10 CPS. My “serious” initial systems were a Data General Nova 3 using RDOS, a PDP-11 with AT&T Unix, and an IBM 360 with DOS/360. The Nova and the DEC could use anyone’s serial terminals, while the IBM wanted 3270s. I’m still text oriented for business and scientific applications.

You guys got to use the glamor hardware while I was mired in the prosaic. There is nothing fun about accounting programs, but it does pay the bills. The scientific stuff was basic research that could take decades to produce a result that would only have meaning to a few dozen people around the world, but it beat being in aircraft that some people wanted to shoot down.

That said, seeing the demos on the SGI stuff when I was in SoCal was definitely awesome. It was more amazing if you understood what the hardware was being instructed to do and the speed at which it did it. Even though I have “looked behind the curtain”, I’m impressed with the CGI effects that are possible today.

I would be a lot happier if we had Kaiser instead of HCA running the local health care facilities. Kaiser doesn’t do things for profits, but they exist by watching their boundaries. The Federal government should be providing the extra facilities and equipment required, but those capabilities were sacrificed for “privatization”.

33 Kryten42 { 03.20.20 at 8:22 pm }

I used a KSR-33 in the late 70’s. I think my favorite machine at the time was the PDP-11/70 & PDP11/03 (it was about the size of a 2-drawer filing cabinet). We nicknamed it the Angel (though I no longer remember why). I had a lot of fun programming that system in everything from machine code to Fortran. I created some routines for the OS to make it more efficient & for fun (RSX-11M, though the Admin allowed me to use RT-11 after hours). Created an ASCII gfx callable subsystem, so we could more easily make games. 😆

I helped sell Pyramid/SGI system’s to Uni’s here. Mainly graphics departments (of course) & Engineering in the early 90’s. I was paid some very good commissions.

I remember the DG Nova too.

I used to have boxes of manuals & printouts of code & tapes on everything from reel’s to 80MB Cartridges & a dozen HP DAT tapes from the early 90’s (they survived being in small tightly sealed plastic cases). Lost most in the flood in ’09. That reminds me, the Mentor Graphics CAE2000 s/w was delivered on 80MB Cartridges, in 3 boxes! Over 30 cartridges! Most were the component libraries for the simulation suite & circuit design s/w. We’d get 1 or 2 cartridges per Month with updates. Took day’s to install on our Apollo DNS-4000 server (it was the first sold in AU, shipped from the factory). Good times.

Anyway, back to today… You’ve probably een this one from the diaster-in-chief:
‘God help us’: Viewers horrified after watching Trump repeatedly undercut Fauci at COVID-19 briefing

34 Bryan { 03.20.20 at 10:16 pm }

One of the big uses of DG Novas was as the switch for PBX phone systems.

I still have boxes of DEC, SUN, etc probably eaten with mold in storage. I made need them if the toilet paper supply problem isn’t resolved. The local newspaper don’t have enough pages to be useful.

35 Badtux { 03.21.20 at 3:34 am }

The part of the video where Fauci is face-palming as Trump spews word salad has become a GIF meme. Hmm, let’s see if I can find it…. https://media.giphy.com/media/JmD9mkDmzvXE7nxy7j/giphy.gif

36 Kryten42 { 03.21.20 at 9:26 am }

Hey Bryan, just sent you an eMail about a friend that I’d like your input on. Thanks mate.

(You can delete this. Up to you).

37 Kryten42 { 03.21.20 at 8:11 pm }

A lot of people around the World, are going to die. Because of stupid, selfish people like Trump & Scummo and on down and greedy corporations (especially those in the Medical industry now).

I found a tweet that explains it quite simply:

38 Bryan { 03.21.20 at 8:24 pm }

I replied.

39 Bryan { 03.21.20 at 8:41 pm }

Trump will want to fire him if he sees it. The Doctor is grimacing in the effort not to tell Trump to STFU.

40 Bryan { 03.21.20 at 9:15 pm }

Just do the math! That’s what her sister, Katie, does and utterly destroys CEOs and Trump toadies in Congressional hearings. Trump & Scummo depend on people not being able to “do the math”, so they don’t realize what a con they are selling.

Trump’s hype of that anti-malaria drug,Chloroquine, has caused people in Nigeria to OD on it. The Nigerian government withdrew its use for malaria because it was no longer effective against the parasites. Trump wants people to believe that the pandemic is almost over and he is a hero. He also wants the markets to go up and the states to stop reporting the disastrous unemployment numbers. They are “harshing his mellow” and hopes for reelection.

41 Badtux { 03.21.20 at 11:38 pm }

Trump reminds me of late-era Roman emperors who spent their time on political intrigues and palace coups while barbarians rampaged through the empire. His reality is so far divorced from the actual reality of the country that he not only has no idea of what it would take to save possibly millions of lives, he has no idea that there are millions of lives in the balance. It’s still all about Trump in his mind, not about what’s good for America and Americans.

There is apparently some small possibility that Chloroquine could work against the SARS-CoV-2 virus. It would work by altering the chemistry of cells such that the virus could not break through the cell walls. But we don’t know this yet, trials have only just begun, and the only “study” was so badly conducted that random chance could account for its results. Way more work needs to be done before we can conclude that this is a magic bullet — if there even is a magic bullet. As with AIDS, it might end up taking a whole cocktail of drugs to swat the virus down. We have the experience of AIDS to help us here, but the reality is that we’re still months away from any effective treatment for COVID-19.

42 Bryan { 03.22.20 at 9:30 pm }

Trump is running the country like one of his businesses – into bankruptcy. He is a salesman, a con artist. He has never been a supervisor or manager. He needed a few years at McDonalds to learn the basics but I doubt he could hack it.

The problem with Chloroquine is that it is dangerous and does not nice things to your body if you take too much. It worked against the malaria parasites for a while, but you have to go slow with it. COVID-19 may require a ‘cocktail’ to control it, like HIV/AIDS.

In local news, the City of Fort Walton Beach has locked all of the public bathrooms because people were stealing the toilet paper and breaking the toilet paper dispensers. I’m waiting for the first toilet paper related shooting.

43 Badtux { 03.22.20 at 10:09 pm }

It was already reported on the local Nextdoor that there were some thieves who were waiting in the parking lot of the local Safeway to mug people walking through the parking lot in order to steal their toilet paper (amongst other things). The only reason it didn’t turn into a shooting is because it’s so darn hard to get a gun here in California and even harder to actually legally carry it. If this had happened in Florida it would have been a shooting, I’m sure.

I scored a 6-pack of paper towels today! I only had two rolls of paper towels left in the garage, and I’m using paper towels way faster now that I”m cooking most of my own meals, so I was worried about running out. I’m set for a couple of weeks now though I think.

No sanitizer or wipes though! But I have sufficient sanitizer for now and plenty of bleach. I can wear dishwashing gloves and wash them off with a bleach solution if all else fails. The bleach solution also suffices as a sanitizer, we used it when washing dishes when I worked at the pizza place in college to sanitize them.

The local grocery stores have plenty of stuff now, other than a few things in very high demand like paper towels and …. bakers’s yeast? Yep, baker’s yeast is in short supply! WTF? I guess I’m going to have to start up a sourdough starter, lol.

44 Kryten42 { 03.23.20 at 7:15 am }

Thanks Bryan. I fwd your eMail. I asked that if she replies to either of us to CC the other, I’ll do the same.

I wanted to reply to you & Badtux’s comments above, but I’m honestly exhausted. I have so much going on right now…. never mind. We all have crap to deal with. *shrug*

Take care & be safe. I know you will both be smart & you are probably two people I’m least concerned about (in good ways that is). You know what I mean. 🙂

“Expect me when you see me.” [Name that (sadly short lived) TV Series!] 😉 😆

45 Bryan { 03.23.20 at 9:42 pm }

I wish her well and know that she will react differently than we would, because almost anyone coming after us is in for an unpleasant surprise, while she lacks the training to be a threat to others. That is not a bad thing as I would be very uncomfortable in a world inhabited by too many who had been given your training or mine.

Alas your country is just as much at risk as the US which means this isn’t a seasonal disease 🙁

46 Bryan { 03.23.20 at 10:06 pm }

If it had been a Winn Dixie instead of a Safeway there would have definitely been a gun battle as people “stood their ground” to protect their Charmin.

They had some paper towels in Sam’s Club today and I worry that people are going to use them when the TP runs out. The sewers will clog with “strong when wet” paper towels get pitched in the loo. I’m fortunate that before this started I bought a large pack of my preferred Viva select-a-size paper towels. I also scored four containers of Clorox wipes and had a new container of Purell. I also had a box of masks from my bout of flu and lots of nitrile gloves for painting and plumbing. I have given a box of gloves to a tenant with a son who has had an organ transplant and has to take immune system depressants as a result. I gave the masks to a friend in the health care sector to place where necessary as they cause breathing difficulties for me when I wear them. Clorox is generally good and I have long cuff neoprene gloves for messing with chemicals and I don’t sweat in them like the nitrile.

The problem I have is other people who won’t take the minimum precautions. Six feet of separation is not unreasonable at any time. The problem with ‘culling the herd’ is that many of the best people will be taken while many of the worst won’t.

47 Kryten42 { 03.24.20 at 9:24 am }

True Bryan. in the end, I am glad I chose to do the work I did. We know the World & the Humans for what they are. And that makes us what we are. Unlike many, we have no blinders on. But we know there are good people worth fighting for & I have done so many times. many, typically cynics, think I am either a *romantic* or naive when I speak of saving the innocent. Many believe there is no such thing. I could almost feel sad for them, but I don’t. I save that for the innocent that deserve it. I would have been naive if I’d ever thought I could *save them all*! But I, like you, are a true realist. I can only do what I can & I did try to do all I could. I may not be able to work at the level I once did, but I continue to do what I can. 🙂

Here’s the latest about the epidemic here & our morons-in-charge pitiful & inadequate responses. Paul Kelly is correct I believe:

And my comments on this thread to clarify things a bit for the unemployed etc.

48 Kryten42 { 03.25.20 at 6:51 am }

Another Hydroxychloroquine trial has been published via Twitter Dr Gaetan Burgio, MD, PhD:

“Another clinical trial for Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) treatment for #COVID19 versus control (Randomized trial) -> 30 patients, non severe #COVID19 at hospital. HCQ treatment (400 mg/day 5 days). No ≠ in viral load + clinical outcome after 7 days.

The sample size is small but the trial is randomized. Randomized clinical trial with larger sample size is warranted. From these published data, NO evidence HCQ treatment for #COVID19 improves clinical outcome and reduces viral load.”

English version:
Journal of Zhejiang University (Medical Science) Feb. 2020, Volume 49 Issue 1

49 Badtux { 03.25.20 at 12:18 pm }

Interesting. HCQ does have antiviral effects but it appears not ones that affect the SARS-2 virus, at least not in and of itself. My suspicion is that we’re looking at a cocktail of drugs like for AIDS. Looking at the genome sequencing of the virus (there’s a project underway to do that, where doctors send samples of COVID-19 positive patients to a university lab that then sequences the samples and publishes the results), it appears to be mutating too fast for any single drug to really be effective.

50 Bryan { 03.25.20 at 11:37 pm }

Kryten it’s called morality. We were raised to do our best to make the world a bit better for those who came later, rather than grab everything we could.

Conservatives may not all be greedy but the conservative parties seem to attract greedy people. Which is a paraphrase of what John Stuart Mill said about stupid people and the Tories.

I just posted about a man in Arizona who died from taking HCQ at Trump’s recommendation. Nigeria is dealing with a number of deaths and overdoses from taking the drug. It might have some effect, but someone need to conduct studies to find the safe and effective dose.

The viruses seem to be better at avoiding death than we are at killing them. A vaccine is our best hope, but we still don’t have an AIDS vaccine, and the annual flu vaccines don’t always work against the annual virus.

New York is using the serum from people who have recovered in hopes of at least reducing the effects of the disease. This is something that has nothing good in store for me. The Feds should be taking the lead on the medical supplies to control the prices. Health care doesn’t work under the rules of the market and never has.

51 Bryan { 03.25.20 at 11:40 pm }

The comments on this post will be locked in a week. Just so you know. I just had to extend the time limit to post my reply.