Something for the photo-oriented OS X user

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I have released the beta of DTank, a non-destructive image manipulation system. It’s free; if it sounds interesting, by all means check it out.

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New SW station in West Australia up and testing

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A new SW station is presently running test transmissions between 11:00 – 14:00 UTC. The transmitter is located near Perth, Western Australia, on 5,045 kHz, and is running 75 watts (300 PEP.) You can send listener reports to 77400fm@gmail.com.

At present, the station is ghosting the audio from sister station http://www.77400.fm/, so you can use that to confirm what you’re hearing.

It’ll likely be a tough catch here in the USA, but that’s the fun of it!

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On the likely inevitability of AI and AC

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We can (if we are honest) observe that progress, and the potential it unleashes in many cases, is not all that closely linked with what’s commercially available or common around the time of the fundamental invention. In the first decade after lasers were invented, for instance, there was no significant commercial application. When the integrated circuit was invented, it wasn’t much to look at and functionally speaking, for decades, it was outright pitiful compared to ICs today. We’re still dealing with developing a full understanding of how neurons do what they do. In laser parlance, in 2017 we are yet pre-laser, and in my opinion, anyone who tries to tell us that lasers, figuratively speaking, can’t do X at this point should be considered, at most, a hand-waver in the grips of a fit of profound hubris.
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2009 Mac Pro with DVI and HDMI displays – restart problems

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So I bought a new (old) Mac Pro; late 2009, 12/24 core, 64GB, NVIDIA GeForce GT 120 512 MB. It’s running macOS 10.12.3 Sierra. I hooked up one monitor to the HDMI port, and one to the DVI port. Seemed to work fine.

Until I rebooted the machine.

Then it refused to show the mouse pointer (Apple magic mouse), although It would warn of the mouse’s disconnect and reconnect if I powered the mouse up and down. Likewise, there was no response to the keyboard. It just sat there showing login options for me and a guest; it wouldn’t respond to anything at all I did with mouse or keyboard.

After trying power downs, pulling the plug for a while, pounding on the keyboard, powering the mouse up and down, I finally thought to pull a connection to a monitor. Specifically, the DVI-connected monitor. Immediately the mouse pointer showed up, and I was able to log in.

Up to this point, I had the machine set up so that the HDMI monitor was on the left, and was my home (boot screen) monitor. That’s the one you drag the menu bar to in the Prefs / Displays panel. But I noticed when the machine booted, it showed up on the DVI monitor first, then the HDMI monitor, and then it locked up.

So, still booted up after all this screwing around, I swapped monitor cables, then set the DVI monitor to be the home monitor, as the left monitor was now my DVI-connected monitor instead of my HDMI-connected monitor.

Now the machine restarts cleanly, or at least, it has a few times in a row.

So if you’re having this kind of problem, after the login screen shows, try pulling one or the other or both of the monitor cables to see if it will unlock the mess. And make sure the DVI monitor is your home monitor once you get things running again.

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Should a new programmer learn Javascript first?

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If you want to be a webmonkey / script-kiddie, sure, learn Javascript first and to heck with a quality skillset. But is that what you want?

On the other hand, if you want to be a quality programmer, that is, a good programmer?—?and not just hope or falsely claim you are one, because hey, you can actually write one— what you have to work through is a six-step language set:
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Star Wars

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Here’s how the Star Wars franchise has hit me over the years; I saw each movie when it came out. I consider myself a fan. I almost never see a film in the theater; but I saw every Star Wars film the first day I could get to the show.

☆☆☆☆☆ 1977 Star Wars ep. IV “A New Hope” Wow!
☆☆☆☆☆ 1980 Star Wars ep. V “The Empire Strikes Back” WOW! Again… WOW!
☆☆☆ 1983 Star Wars ep. VI “Return of the jedi” Wait, what? Ewoks? Who stimulated that think? When did the target audience become drooling three-year-olds?
☆☆ 1999 Star Wars ep. I “The Phantom Menace” Jar-Jar, “Gungans” featured, the spirituality-diluting idea of the “midi-chlorians”, Darth Maul, a great character, barely a cameo… this is not good…
☆☆☆☆ 2002 Star Wars ep. II “Attack of the Clones” Overall better, Jar-Jar nearly vanished, thank the force. Meesa thinks someone needs to kill him. Horribly.
☆☆☆☆☆ 2005 Star Wars ep. III “Revenge of the Sith” Okay, we’re back to Wow!
2015 Star Wars ep. VII “The Force Awakens” Disney grotesquely fumbles the ball. BB8: Sigh… 3y/o-level (attempt at) cute (but only achieving ridiculous.) Again. Ex-stormtrooper Finn is a monumentally weak character, and the poor acting of that character helps the film out not at all. Then there’s the very lame “monster on a freighter” scene with Solo and Chewbacca. Darth Angst… is angsty. Then Solo dies, poorly, at the hands of Darth Angst. Can you say “sucks”? The only redeeming major character in the entire show is Rey.
☆☆☆☆☆ 2017 Star Wars ep. VIII “Rogue One” Ooo, much, much better. Damn, these movies are so variable. It keeps me going back, though, so there’s that.

R.I.P. Peter Cushing
R.I.P. Carrie Fisher
R.I.P. Alec Guinness

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SdrDx 2.17a for OS X and Windows released

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You can learn more and/or download the new SdrDx from this page.

New Features

  • 14 user-configurable, band-stacking VFOs
  • Old-time radio style station labeling
  • Dual-antenna phasing & noise reduction with AFE822 SDR
  • SwDb application to edit custom freq database
  • Deeper integration w/Dx Toolbox 4.7 and up
  • SITOR demodulator added
  • C-QUAM AM stereo demodulator added
  • Vector scope auto-set w/RTTY, SITOR
  • 10 RF notches added
  • DNR now fully configurable
  • 4 span memories added
  • 100% re-mappable keyboard commands
  • Comprehensive keyboard locking; time, codes, more
  • Integrated comprehensive key command reference
  • Two new spectrum / waterfall DSP processes
  • Stereo VU meter for stereo FM
  • Stereo Reverse added
  • Direct frequency, demodulator entry
  • Sideband demodulation extended to 20 KHz
  • FSK and CW carrier offsets
  • CB channel info for US, Euro, Down Under
  • Passband center indication
  • Auto-adjustment of waterfall
  • Bandwidth memory spread from BW1 to BW7
  • Mouse snap control
  • DGPS band added

Improvements

  • RTTY demodulator improved
  • File dialog improved
  • AFEDRI SDR handling improved
  • Memory tooltips improved
  • Bandwidth tooltips improved
  • Zone memset / drawing now optional
  • Audio waterfall improved
  • Anti-ringing improved
  • Bandwidth memories now include “-Ri”
  • Grid spacing and control improved
  • Audio scope spectrum improved
  • Audio scope vector improved
  • Various bug fixes

Goodies for the technical crowd

  • New TCP / UDP commands
  • Integrated network debugging for scripting, apps
  • Remote marker designation for scripting, apps
  • Improvements aimed at next beta test series
  • BUG button for instant bug reports
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Why Farenheit is better for people

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Scale 25º 50º 75º 100º
Celsius Cold Warm Dead Dead Dead
Fahrenheit Really Cold Cold Meh Warm Really Hot
Kelvin Dead Dead Dead Dead Dead
Rankine Dead Dead Dead Dead Dead
Réaumur Cold Warm Dead Dead Dead

Also, look. At -40ºC, it’s actually -40ºF. Isn’t that cute? Celsius trying to be reasonable, and all. Sorry, Celsius. Too low, too late. Back across the pond with you.

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