atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#6333: What it's like under socialism.

This AoSHQ "Morning Report" post contains links to a former Romanian citizen's tweetstorms about life in Romania under communist rule. There were no surprises in that discussion for me because I know what socialism does.

But if there are any doubts in your mind, go read them.

* * *

"Shelter in place"? Seriously? It's an old WW2 mine, not a thermonuclear warhead. But:
Bring family, pets and yourself inside, close and lock the doors and windows, stay away from windows and open areas. STAY OFF THE PHONE unless it is a life threatening emergency. If outside, stay away from the beaches and seek shelter or leave the vicinity of the marina.
Why? Are you afraid the mine is going to release an army of NINJAS who will attack people unless they lock themselves inside their homes?

What the fuck.

* * *

So you may recall, a few months ago, in the comic strip "JumpStart" Marcy, the female lead, was offered a job teaching other nurses for some huge raise and more time off, which she refused because I love working with patients!

So, it's not about the money, right? You love working with patients, so no amount of money can replace that, right?

So, what's happened is that the person who built that new pavilion was one of Marcy's patients, and she turned out to have a daughter who defiantly chose to be homeless rather than have anything to do with her mom's filthy money--anyway, long story short, daughter came around about the time her mom died and now she's inherited everything, and is going to make the medical pavilion into a huge free clinic. And she offered Marcy a job helping to run the place at a fat raise.

Take a look at today's strip:

My first reaction: "Bitch, they offered you a raise, and you TURNED IT DOWN."

My second reaction: "Bitch!"


* * *

Yes, it's true. 1986, the Cray 2 could not be beat. These days I can put a computer in my pocket that has more processing power and memory than the best computer money could buy 32 years ago.

"And [it's] also a telephone."

The graphics in World of Warcraft--generated in real time--could only be done frame-by-frame in 1986. Which is to say, instead of a 60 Hz frame rate, you might render a couple of frames in an hour.

I remember fiddling with a program to generate ray-traced images on my Atari ST: reflective spheres hovering in a box. Depending on the complexity, it took six to twelve hours to generate an image in 16-color 320x200 resolution. That was 30 years ago, on a computer with an 8 MHz processor and half a megabyte of memory. My current machine has 8 GB of RAM and a clock speed some 300x faster, but that alone isn't enough; it also has a graphics coprocessor with 4 GB of dedicated RAM, and the processor is optimized to do certain calculations extremely quickly--thus giving me a 60 Hz frame rate at HD resolution.

Now NVidia is about to release a graphics card which can do ray tracing in real time. It does not do the entire frame--that's still out of the question--but the GPU is smart enough to know which parts of the frame need ray-tracing, and apply it there, in real time.

Granted, this video card boasts an MSRP of $1,000. But it's almost on the market now.

TL;DR what an amazing thing is the advancement of computer technology since the 1980s.

* * *

That's about all I've got for right now. Oh well.

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