Tag: computers

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We live in an age of information overload (however muddled by misinformation). With each decade, the potential for individual persons to learn about distant things improves. Books, radio, telephones, automobiles, television, internet, and many other innovations combine to provide access to pictures, stories, and people around planet Earth. Among the most recent technological advances are […]

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Computing in the Old Days

 

No, not back to Babbage, but some vignettes from the mid-’60s.

When registering for classes in college, after lining up all your classes, you were sent to the “computer” to have the tuition calculated. The “computer” was an upper-classman with a calculator sitting under a large banner which said “Computer.”

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We’ve all heard the stereotypical “They all look alike” comments from us white folk in regard to recognizing different black faces. Sadly, blacks do tend to look similar (at least to me for blacks I don’t know personally), because I believe our genetics make us more sensitive to recognizing others of our own genetic makeup. […]

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. The Hole I’m Writing This On

 

Amy and I both play World of Warcraft. As the game progressed, we had to use lower settings and had reduced frame rate as our systems aged. So, on Black Friday, we saw some Graphics cards on sale, so we bought a couple. I swapped Amy’s card out in 10 minutes. Old one out, new one in, no problem. For my computer, I had two problems — perhaps you can see one.

Old Case

If I removed the hard drive, then I might have gotten it to fit, but the power supply would not have been enough.

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Member Post

 

I’d be mighty grateful if some of you folks who are expert at computers would tell me whether the use of the “images” of the Democrat computers are, or were, as reliable as examination of the servers themselves for the purposes of discovery of and analysis of “hacking” efforts (as opposed to “leaking”). My understanding […]

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. How to Build a Computer 4: Diodes and Transistors

 

We all love blasting things with ions, and most of us could spend all day shooting at wafers, but eventually someone is going to ask you to build something useful. What am I doing with all this mess of silicon anyhow? Here’s where we see the use of all that stuff. What do you suppose happens when you put a p-doped chunk of silicon next to an n-doped chunk of silicon?

One last cookie photo, then I’m going on a diet. Swearsies.

Diodes to Kill For

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. How to Build a Computer 3: The Hows of Doping

 

First you gotta find a dealer. Right, not that kind of doping. Today we’re going to discuss how to how you mix your dopant atoms into your silicon wafer so you can make transistors.

How Do I Dope My Wafer?

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. How to Build a Computer Part 2 of N: Crystallography

 

Last week we saw how to turn sand into silicon. This week I was planning on showing you how to turn silicon into a semiconductor. I mean more of one than it already is. Unfortunately my brief notes on crystallography went long. This week we’ll discuss crystals, next week we’ll do doping, and the week after that we’ll finally get to transistors. Unless I wax even more loquacious, which is the way the smart money is betting.

In a crystal every atom is slotted neatly into an ordered lattice, and every spot in the lattice has an atom in it. With some exceptions. Actually those exceptions are most of what we’re going to talk about today. Let’s assume this is a perfect silicon crystal:

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Since I got Windows 10 over a year ago, my computer won’t tolerate having multiple Chrome tabs open. The frequent low memory messages are not only seemingly random and very annoying, but get in the way of my work. This morning I couldn’t even have my Gmail inbox and Drive open at the same time. That […]

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The drive (pun intended) to get driverless vehicles on the road is going full speed ahead (I started thinking about them after reading Jim Pethokoukis’ post and comments on the subject). It may or may not be a good thing, but I lean towards “not”. I’m an engineer, and I have a set of engineering […]

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News is pouring in from this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES). What has caught the interest of Ricochet’s tech junkies? All my links below are to YouTube videos. After enjoying many technology conferences over the years, I have developed a rule of thirds to temper my enthusiasm. A third of what is shown might actually […]

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A recent Daily Shot included a story about the US. Government’s use of outdated computers. This was the first I had heard about it and it’s not exactly a small thing. The Government Accountability Office issued a large, detailed report stating that it has been a “concern” that more than some of our main government […]

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If you read today’s Daily Shot, you saw Fred Cole’s recommendation of William Gibson’s 1990 retro-futuristic novel The Difference Engine, an alternative 1885 in which Charles Babbage has actually built his planned Analytical Engine (the title gets the name of the machine wrong; Babbage’s Difference Engine was more of a calculator for printing mathematical tables, while […]

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After almost 4 years and several thousand Photoshops I had to go out and buy a new PC today. (Hold your fire Mac Daddies, TV trucks don’t always play nice with Apple.) Anyway, it’s a new box with a new operating system and all the inherent problems of re-configuring one’s computing life. If you don’t […]

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Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. Post-Holiday Shopping Advice: Coke vs. Pepsi

 
Hi, I’m Coke. And I’m Pepsi.

Which do you prefer? Me? I like root beer; any kind will do. I am sure that someone can give you reasons why Coke is objectively better than Pepsi, but they won’t actual be objective. They will be observations the person uses to convince you that their choice is based in objective fact, but will actually be based in their own preferences and biases.

So it is with the Apple vs. Microsoft debate. Now, before I go in to this, let me lay out two groups of facts, and one opinion, so you will know where I’m coming from.

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I’ve been talking with someone who manages cybersecurity operations. He tells me one of the most effective security measures for consumer and employee PCs is also the simplest. If you’re just browsing the internet or using common programs, log into a user account without Administrator privileges, such as a Guest account. Whatever authorities your active […]

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We have software, we have hardware. We have firmware, and we have underwear (okay, just kidding about that last one). However, there is one “-ware” that ranks down in the sewer with Spam, popup ads, telemarketers, and political robocalls: Nagware. More

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I am in total disagreement with Tim Cook: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/apple/11984806/Apples-Tim-Cook-declares-the-end-of-the-PC-and-hints-at-new-medical-product.html More

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Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. Five Things Your IT Guy Wants You to Know

 

shutterstock_2581956531. You aren’t an auto-mechanic, either…

… but you know how to drive your car. That’s why we call you “users”: because you use the computer and that doesn’t mean you have to be a computer expert. Some things you should know how to do: find an application that isn’t on your desktop, create a shortcut, know the difference between copying files and moving files, clear jammed paper from a printer. It isn’t our job to teach you to use Excel. If you don’t know how vlookup works, consult Google. We don’t use excel, except once a year to calculate 1.5% of $21.

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