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Thread: xkcd

  1. - Top - End - #181
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    Default Re: xkcd

    How many of these problems can be solved by the XKCD Phone 6, VIII, 10, X, 26, or 1876?

  2. - Top - End - #182
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    The best thing for putting out an oil fire is more oil. Only the vaporized oil burns, and adding cool oil will bring the average temperature back under boiling. I saw this demonstrated spectacularly at a cookout once, where the deep fryer caught fire, and started spewing a 12 foot column of flame. As everyone else was freaking out, the owner of the fryer just wandered over and threw a splash of cooking oil in. no more fire. The stuff he was frying turned out delicious too.

    *do not try this with gasoline, alcohol or liquid oxygen.
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  3. - Top - End - #183
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    Default Re: xkcd

    In response to the gun to a knife fight, has anyone else ever seen the 1967 film El Dorado?
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  4. - Top - End - #184
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    What I'm getting out of this is that by game theory, it's the optimal strategy to use a gun for everything.
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    I don't know. I think a lid is not such a terrible thing to bring to a knife fight. I mean, you're not likely to kill the other guy, but you should be able to defend yourself pretty well.
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  6. - Top - End - #186
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    Default Re: xkcd

    If I have a large metal shield, I can use it to win the knife fight, to cook something over the wood fire, and as a lid. Three out of four ain't bad.

  7. - Top - End - #187
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    I think the key here is that he's not using it as a metal shield- he's using it as a lid. Lids go on top of things, just likes knives stab and cut things, guns shoot things, and water splooshes things.
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    I think my favorite part is the little "ow"s as he tries to stab the fires...


    As for today... Well, I guess there might be justification for using DOS once in a while but... seriously? I mean, I have seen some places still working with ancient computers but even then, aren't there better options by now? I don't feel like encouraging using old methods "because they work".
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  9. - Top - End - #189
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kato View Post
    I mean, I have seen some places still working with ancient computers but even then, aren't there better options by now?
    Not necessarily better. And it can be quite expensive to move to a new system. At some point, maintenance of the old one can become prohibitive, but if the system runs solidly, and there are still people that know what it does and how to tweak it, then there is no reason to upgrade to something shiny and new.

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    Last edited by Grey_Wolf_c; 2017-09-18 at 12:29 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by woweedd View Post
    I would say that's the dumbest theory Grey Wolf's heard, but, let's be honest: It's Grey Wolf. They've probably heard dumber theories today. Point is, neat idea, but it's a real stretch.
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  10. - Top - End - #190
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    Then encourage old methods because they can be cost effective and less risky. If an old computer works and you have a lot of them then it can be really expensive to replace them all. It just is not worth the time saved and it may even be dangerous to replace them if you have to use new software.

    For example, the US air traffic control used to be run by a 40 year old system. When they started replacing it, it took forever and was extremely expensive due to several bugs. The bugs included one where a jet flying too high overloaded the system and one where it randomly switched planes flight paths around. Similarly France used to use Windows 3.1 for its air traffic control (the system broke down once leading to massive problems as they couldn't find any one who could fix such an old computer). The article I read about it said they would have it updated by this year though after that issue occurred.
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  11. - Top - End - #191
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    The computers at Orly Airport in Paris apparently still run on Windows 3.1 (including the then-cutting-edge game of Minesweeper). They were scheduled to be replaced this year, but I can't find any evidence as to whether or not the project happened on time.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Red Fel, on quest rewards View Post
    "Is a stack of ten pancakes too many pancakes to give to the party, even if most of them fell on the floor and one or two were stepped on? I wanted to give my party pancakes as a reward but I'm unsure if it's too much. The pancakes are also laced with blowfish poison so the party would have to get an antitoxin before they could eat the ones which weren't pulverized by shoes."

    I don't think anyone would want those pancakes even if you paid them to eat them.

  12. - Top - End - #192
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    Modern computers and modern OS also come with a large number of unwanted features, some of which can and already have introduced massive security holes into systems. Computers that predate the Internet can be a lot harder to hack, as it turns out, because they do not make it easy or automatic to get on the Internet through them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by woweedd View Post
    I would say that's the dumbest theory Grey Wolf's heard, but, let's be honest: It's Grey Wolf. They've probably heard dumber theories today. Point is, neat idea, but it's a real stretch.
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  13. - Top - End - #193
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grey_Wolf_c View Post
    Modern computers and modern OS also come with a large number of unwanted features, some of which can and already have introduced massive security holes into systems. Computers that predate the Internet can be a lot harder to hack, as it turns out, because they do not make it easy or automatic to get on the Internet through them.

    Grey Wolf
    And we also made lightbulbs that last for hundreds of years, at the expense of having them barely function as lightbulbs.

    Its not like modern computers need all of these new unwanted features all the time. Its just a matter of getting our collective heads out of our butts enough to actually, you know, make newer computers without them.
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  14. - Top - End - #194
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    The real reason that we don't use neutrino beams to transmit data through stuff is that the same ability to go through walls, planets, etc, also lets it go through receivers.

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  15. - Top - End - #195
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    Technology is never obsolete so long as it does what the user needs it to do at costs (time, money, financial, maintenance, training, etc) that make sense for the user.
    It is one thing to suspend your disbelief. It is another thing entirely to hang it by the neck until dead.

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  16. - Top - End - #196
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    I'm actually right now emulating DOS under Linux. So that I can play all the early-'90s games I have kicking around.

    On a 2.8GHz dual-core 64-bit CPU, many DOS games run in emulation better than they did natively on contemporary hardware.
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Campbell View Post
    I'm actually right now emulating DOS under Linux. So that I can play all the early-'90s games I have kicking around.

    On a 2.8GHz dual-core 64-bit CPU, many DOS games run in emulation better than they did natively on contemporary hardware.
    Unfortunately, some of those games run too well. I.e. they were counting on only being able to run X instructions per second, and never thought to put in code to slow down the program if the CPU would allow 100X per second.

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    Quote Originally Posted by woweedd View Post
    I would say that's the dumbest theory Grey Wolf's heard, but, let's be honest: It's Grey Wolf. They've probably heard dumber theories today. Point is, neat idea, but it's a real stretch.
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  18. - Top - End - #198
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grey_Wolf_c View Post
    Unfortunately, some of those games run too well. I.e. they were counting on only being able to run X instructions per second, and never thought to put in code to slow down the program if the CPU would allow 100X per second.

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    Which is why DOS emulators, some of them at least, have options to emulate having a much slower CPU.
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  19. - Top - End - #199
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grey_Wolf_c View Post
    Unfortunately, some of those games run too well. I.e. they were counting on only being able to run X instructions per second, and never thought to put in code to slow down the program if the CPU would allow 100X per second.
    That was a problem on the original hardware, where a lot of early games were timed for the IBM PC (XT), and were unplayably fast on ATs, or were just designed to run as fast as possible without any notion that that would ever become a problem, but it isn't in emulation. dosbox can throttle the emulated CPU speed.

    Ultima II was easier in dosbox than on the 286 I originally played it on, because there's a bit in the critical path to victory (landing the spaceship on Planet X) that was basically instant-death roulette on my 286, but is much more manageable with dosbox throttled down to XT speeds.
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Campbell View Post
    I'm actually right now emulating DOS under Linux. So that I can play all the early-'90s games I have kicking around.

    On a 2.8GHz dual-core 64-bit CPU, many DOS games run in emulation better than they did natively on contemporary hardware.
    I've found that games designed in the 90's, or any others designed to be usable with a 16 bit operating system, are difficult to use on a 64 bit OS. I read somewhere that this is because you generally can't run programs more than one "bit level" behind your OS. So 16 bit programs won't work on a 64 bit OS, 8 bit programs won't work an a 32 bit OS, etc.
    Last edited by Tetrimino; 2017-09-20 at 11:22 PM.
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  21. - Top - End - #201
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    Actually, I am *not* running those old games. They're too addicting, and I'd never get anything done :-)
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  22. - Top - End - #202
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    Quote Originally Posted by keybounce View Post
    Actually, I am *not* running those old games. They're too addicting, and I'd never get anything done :-)
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    There's other issues that can arise besides CPU speed. I've been soothing my nostalgia lately with Ascendancy, an old 4X strategy game, but I've discovered that owning more than 256 planets causes the game to crash if you open your planet list.
    Quote Originally Posted by Red Fel, on quest rewards View Post
    "Is a stack of ten pancakes too many pancakes to give to the party, even if most of them fell on the floor and one or two were stepped on? I wanted to give my party pancakes as a reward but I'm unsure if it's too much. The pancakes are also laced with blowfish poison so the party would have to get an antitoxin before they could eat the ones which weren't pulverized by shoes."

    I don't think anyone would want those pancakes even if you paid them to eat them.

  24. - Top - End - #204
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Glyphstone View Post
    There's other issues that can arise besides CPU speed. I've been soothing my nostalgia lately with Ascendancy, an old 4X strategy game, but I've discovered that owning more than 256 planets causes the game to crash if you open your planet list.
    A kill screen counts as victory. You Win!
    That game is great, especially with the mod that upgrades the AI.
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  25. - Top - End - #205
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spojaz View Post
    A kill screen counts as victory. You Win!
    That game is great, especially with the mod that upgrades the AI.
    Even with the AI mod (which really just gives them a resource spike and makes them all irrationally hate you), it's hardly anything approaching difficult. Still immense fun though, if you have the patience to try and max out your score by achieving every victory condition simultaneously.
    Quote Originally Posted by Red Fel, on quest rewards View Post
    "Is a stack of ten pancakes too many pancakes to give to the party, even if most of them fell on the floor and one or two were stepped on? I wanted to give my party pancakes as a reward but I'm unsure if it's too much. The pancakes are also laced with blowfish poison so the party would have to get an antitoxin before they could eat the ones which weren't pulverized by shoes."

    I don't think anyone would want those pancakes even if you paid them to eat them.

  26. - Top - End - #206
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    Quote Originally Posted by BannedInSchool View Post
    Mine that iron, gold, and coal. Tote those bags. Train those knights. Attack!
    I was thinking of the original XCom, and Magic the Gathering / Shandalar, back in the day of the 5th set, before M:tG went all crazy.

    I'm not sure why, but the whole "resource management / turn-based tactics / cycle back over again" thing really got to me, and kept me coming back.

    EDIT: In fact, it goes back more than that. On the Amiga, there was a Mech combat game modeled after FASA's stuff, but converted to a real-time model. It was still implemented as turn-based, but you took your turn based on the time of the clock. In the FASA system, if you generated 16 points of heat, and had 10 sinks, you only had 6 points of heat and were still green. Here, you would be up to 1600 temp, and have to shed 1000 degrees before you were back to cool, and that took time.

    Turns out that NONE of the FASA designs was a good design in this system. Add in the issue of ammo explosions, and suddenly a ton of machine gun ammo was more dangerous to you to carry than to the enemy you were trying to shoot.

    So, add in at least the start of a campaign system into this model, and now you've got the issue of building up a team, dealing with money/resources, going into a fight, healing/recovering/prepping for the next.

    It was a *LOT* of fun. Sadly, the developer stopped work, and never released their code.
    Last edited by keybounce; 2017-09-22 at 08:04 PM.
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  27. - Top - End - #207
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    Hm. Unexpected reference. I always saw F'lar as the Thread zealot.

  28. - Top - End - #208
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lethologica View Post
    Hm. Unexpected reference. I always saw F'lar as the Thread zealot.
    Which one tried to visit the red star and came back mostly dead as a result?
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    Rockphed said it well.
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  29. - Top - End - #209
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rockphed View Post
    Which one tried to visit the red star and came back mostly dead as a result?
    That was F'lar

    Mind you, zealot is a pretty strong word for someone opposed to a mindless mankiller.
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    Quote Originally Posted by halfeye View Post
    That was F'lar
    No, that was F'nor and Canth. It's what snapped Brekke out of her fugue after her "accident"
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