atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#1581: 3.5" disk drive

I already did that once and it wasn't funny then, damn it....

The Commodore 1581 was the C-64-compatible 3.5" floppy drive. As I recall it stored something like 720 or 800k per disk. It had mainly been designed for use with the C-128.

* * *

Danica! Patrick! apparently does not understand the meaning of the word "cheating".

Let us, for the sake of argument, say that one of her opponents managed to install a hidden nitrous oxide system in his car, so that at opportune moments he could get a burst of speed no one else on the track could have. Let us then say that this man uses this system such that he edges her out of winning a race, and that she catches him at it but can't prove it to anyone, thus his victory is allowed to stand. Would she consider that cheating because he didn't get caught? (At least, not by anyone who mattered?) Of course she would. The fact is, if you cheat, it is cheating regardless of whether or not you get caught doing it.

With racing there has always been a gray area. I forget which notable racer it was who did this: the rules said you couldn't have removable fairings over your wheels. The rules did not say you could not have fairings over the wheels, though. So what did he do? Built the car with fairings over the wheels. The first time a tire change was required, the pit crew would buzz the fairings off with powered metal shears, then replace the tires, and send the now non-faired car onto the track. The ruling body promptly made a rule prohibiting this action, but could not penalize him at that race for doing it.

But performance-enhancing drugs? That's a no-no.

Best comment: "But she would get caught. People would start asking questions if she actually, you know, won something."

* * *

I must have this shirt.

* * *

Ann Coulter on the Tiller murder. What an excellent read. 49 million aborted babies versus five "aborted" abortionists.

Five dead abortionists versus 3,000 people dead due to islamic terrorism.

The Anchoress, Elizabeth Scalia, discussing the discrepancies between Obama's reaction to Tiller's death and the islamic terror attack (however minor) on a military recruiting station in Arkansas.

Michelle Malkin on the attack.

Michelle Malkin on Obama's tardy, tepid response to the attack.

* * *

But you see, Obama's response was flaccid because The US is "one of the largest muslim nations in the world". Yeah, that's right. There are about eight million muslims out of 290 million people, but we're now "muslim" because the pretender-in-chief says so. Never mind the 150-odd million Christians in the country.

Obama might as well step out of the closet and just tell us he's a muslim. Or will that wait until he's stolen the 2012 election?

* * *

A brilliant analysis of what went wrong with the GM bankruptcy.
...[T]he Obama administration overtly played favourites to get the United Auto Workers protection it would not have received under Section 1113, probably elevating costs in a way that will damage prospects for a successful reorganisation. It made and imposed business judgments on GM about what cars to make and what plants to close (and perhaps about suppliers and distribution) that no one in the government or on the task force had the experience to make and for which no one would be financially accountable. Worst of all, despite Sunday’s desperate attempt to distance itself from GM’s future decisions, it left its fingerprints all over the new plan. Inevitably the White House will take political and hence financial responsibility for its success, relieving pressure on management and labour to succeed. Ultimately it elected to adopt an industrial policy toward the industry that failed utterly in the UK, and has worked out badly and expensively in France and Italy.
See why I want that shirt so badly?

* * *

Brian Dunbar commented on yesterday's entry:
Looking at that video card I was struck by something.

It looks nice.

For all of the troubles we've got, we're a rich enough culture that we can pay attention to the visual details of a device that is going to be entombed in the guts of a machine, and will never be seen again.

He's got a good point about our culture, there, but I had to add a few dimes' worth of my two cents about that.

See, this video card was made with the expectation that it would be bought by some hardcore gamer geeks. That's why it's got the "flame job".

It even lights up, though I'm not sure what makes it do that. All I know is that when I first turned the computer on with the card installed, the inside of the case was briefly bathed with a sinister red glow, and it had never done that before.

But you see, some guys are into serious case mods, and you can actually buy a computer with a clear cover so everyone can see the interior of the case. You can get all sorts of lighting for the things--neon, electroluminescent wire, LEDs--you can get fans with lights. Guys with serious hardware want that hardware to have--for lack of a better term--geek bling, LEDs that flash in patterns and do cool things.

I have no idea if this thing has blinkenlights on it or not; I left the cover off the computer just long enough to make sure the new card was installed correctly, that the computer would boot, and that the new card wouldn't go up in a deafening explosion of flames and horror.

I do occasionally entertain thoughts of doing case mods. My first idea came to me in 1987, when I thought of making a new case for the C-64. I foundered on, well, just about everything, because I wanted to build a detached keyboard and didn't quite know how to do that in a way that wouldn't result in having a huge ribbon cable between keyboard and computer. The case would have been wood, but considering how little experience I actually have/had with woodworking, it would have probably ended up looking like it had been built by a fifth grader.

Other thoughts included painting the C-64's original case. I thought a nice flecked stone paint would look cool. Fortunately I never got around to that, either. Besides, the paint would have worn away where I rested my hands on the keyboard.

I could probably buy a hypernifty case for this machine and install all the guts into it. It'd still be the same computer, only with a different skin, and perhaps that case would have enough hard drive bays in it.

Unfortunately, I live in a dusty house.

Anyway, doing a Google search for computer cases turns up some weirdies, including some guy who immersed his computer in mineral oil. Granted: mineral oil doesn't conduct electricity and does have a nice high specific heat capacity, which is why it's used to good effect in power line transformers. (They used to use PCBs. Problem: PCBs break down when heated for long periods of time, and the byproducts are poisonous and carcinogenic.)

I would not recommend immersing one's hard drive in mineral oil, though.

I saw a neat machine encased in the drum from a washing machine; that's pretty cool. Heck, just do an image search on Google for "computer case" and see what pops up.

Every so often I think about it; then I consider the practical details and realize that I have better ways to spend my time and money. Oh well.

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