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post #3951 of 4359 Old 10-03-2018, 01:55 PM
Rod
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SueC View Post
Ooooh, I'd love some stories about Japan! Pretty please with cherries on top!
I spent two years in Japan in the early '70's. I loved it. The country, people and culture. I became proficient in the language although it was not an easy thing for me. For a kid that grew up in an area where recorded history was less than a hundred years, to go to a place where you could see art, artifacts and history from dynasties thousands of years ago pretty much blew my mind.

I was there serving a mission for my church, and was able to go on a 'special' tour of a Shinto temple where I got to view paintings, murals, and tapestries that were hundreds of years old depicting the Shinto creation, earthlife and afterlife which was an incredible experience for me.

I've been searching for a word, haven't quite got it, maybe it's mystic(al). A Japanese man said it thus- Japan is so densely populated and so many people have died there that there is not enough room for all their spirits- so some spirits just have to hang out with the living.

As you know, Japan is very modern, has embraced technology, but has also kept strong ties to the past. And as has already been mentioned- the Japanese people are extremely polite. It is a cultural emphasis. Here is a story that in a small part sums up my experience there.

I had to travel across the island of Hokkaido, from Kushiro to Sapporo, an express train ride of about 4 hours. The express train is very fast and smooth and only stops at the main stations in the largest cities. It is also pretty expensive. On the way back to Kushiro I decided to save some money and ride the futsu (regular) train. The futsu was old, very cheap and slow- it only traveled 20 miles an hour and stopped at every dinky stop and siding along the way. You heard and felt every joint in the track as the car swayed back and forth. The same trip took 10 hours.

I boarded in the afternoon and the train was packed with students and workers returning home from Sapporo. The train soon cleared out as we reached the rural areas and there were only a few people in the car. About 12:00 am a heavily tattooed man got on and sat across the isle from me. Tattoos were rare (at least in the 1970's), in fact the only people with a lot of tatts that I had met were yakusa (gangsters). I was wondering if I should have taken the express.

An hour later an older man boarded and staggered up the isle. He stopped when he got a couple seats away and stood there swaying (not in time with the movement of the car) staring intently at me. I should add that Caucasian foreigners are common in the cities in Japan but are very rare in the rural areas.

After a good five minutes of staring at me he finally spoke, and loudly, "Have you come to take me?"
I said, "No."
"Are you a spirit?"
Again I replied, "No."
Emboldened, he stepped in front of me and said, "I killed a guy that looked just like you in the war. I thought you were his spirit coming back to get me."

At that point the tattooed man jumped up, roughly grabbed the man by the arm, told him he was rude, escorted him past me and said to leave me alone if he knew what was good for him. Returning to his seat the guy with all the ink apologized for himself, for the old man, and for his country. He ended by saying, "That's not the way we act in Japan!"
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post #3952 of 4359 Old 10-04-2018, 07:57 AM
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@Rod , that's a wonderful story which we much enjoyed, thank you very much. One day we would like to go. Meanwhile we are amusing ourselves with Miss Sherlock, and other Japanese books and TV.



Since you learnt the language, you may enjoy watching this...and if you've not seen it, I pretty much bet you'd enjoy the film Departures:



It's a very beautiful film I would recommend to everyone, as we are all going to lose people, and as we are all mortals.

The Miss Sherlock is not nearly as gory as the trailer suggests; I think they just packed it into the trailers to attract an action audience. It's very good drama, and a really interesting comparison to the recent BBC Sherlock with Benedict Cumberbatch. Not just the gender switching, which works so well and is long overdue for all sorts of male-focused genres, to make things more egalitarian, but also the cultural comparison. Sherlock's emotionally unempathetic, left-brain-driven personality already ruffles feathers in the British setting; now try it on in Japan, where politeness is so much more important! People are literally gobsmacked by the protagonist; the police chief seems to find it all oddly entertaining, especially since it makes his serious offsider so uncomfortable. Miss Sherlock and Wato-san () are both so endearing in their own ways; the former despite her insensitivity; she's so feline and often so funny, and kind of refreshing in some situations where everyone else is beating around the bush - sort of like in the British series Doc Martin. Wato-san (really!) is almost overly empathetic, and quite naive, and so lovely and friendly and lovable. She's not the sidekick here, she's an equally leading character, and her continuous embarrassed admonishing of Miss Sherlock is hilarious.

Also I love the housekeeper in this; the three women just make a lovely group of very different but oddly complementary humans. They're all equals actually (unlike in the British series where Watson and the housekeeper are just sidekicks and sort of let themselves play second fiddle); not that they have exactly the same skills and gifts obviously, but that they are all very strong characters with lots to offer. And the police chief and his offsider are also such fun to watch. The human interactions here take such precedence over the puzzles of the cases they are trying to solve.

Brett and I are sending good vibes for your eye healing. We hope you are feeling more comfortable!
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post #3953 of 4359 Old 10-04-2018, 08:25 AM
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Originally Posted by george the mule View Post
One app that I have found to be very useful for an Android device is called "Hackers Keyboard", which adds a lot of functionality to the basic touch-pad keyboard.
Brett says he uses that too.

But...have you seen this one?




Quote:
I have never been happy with iOS. And don't take that wrong; iOS is a great operating system, very secure and stable, and it very rarely, for all practical purposes _never_ breaks. However, it is very tightly "sandboxed" and even if you take the trouble to "Jailbreak" it, you never escape from the sandbox/prison My primary gripe is the difficulty/impossibility of accessing the iOS file system, and moving files off of and particularly on to the device. You have to use iTunes, or iPhoto, or iCloud to accomplish this, and even then it works the way it works, and no other way.
Yeah, that's something no geek I know likes; Brett completely agrees with you (and says hello ). The Unix based operating systems allow for more flexibility and creativity. Funny that Apple tries to sell itself as the creative person's choice, but do this sort of railroading.

Brett and I agree that really creative stuff doesn't involve packaged-up IT. As a person who spent over 15 years working as an educator, I don't think it belongs in the classroom before high school, and even there I think it's vastly overused and is actually killing people's creativity and imagination, while costing ridiculous amounts of money in the process which robs other budgets and far more cost-effective and educational resources. Brett says that if they want to give kids computers for truly educational reasons, then they should give them Raspberry Pi computers.


Quote:
(Kinda reminds me of George, now that I think about it, maybe he is an iMule
Now that is hilarious - an iMule! How is His Highness?




Quote:
And since I am stuck in this groove; I started my relationship with computers back in the late '80s, on a surplus DEC Microvax. I had an early i286 PC, running DOS, and Windows 1.01. (Seriously. Complete with 16 color graphics at VGA resolution . . . "Ooooh, Aaaah!!!")(I still have the install disks; 5 X 5&1/4 floppies. Remember those?
Oh yeah! I guess that makes us fossils. Brett started on a Commodore 64 back in 1983 when he was just 10 years old - dabbling in programming and playing Pac-Man type games and getting into interactive fiction. At around the same time I sometimes played "Moon Landing" which was so funny; it was all white writing on black screens and asking you to put in values for various variables for your landing, and if you got it wrong then at the end it would tell you how deep the crater was, send you condolences on not surviving, and console you that they would name the crater after you. Also I played with ELIZA, trying to make it unable to reply meaningfully, and often succeeding. I definitely wasn't into programming though, that's Brett's thing!

Since we are playing "fossils being nostalgic" - do you remember mono cassette recorders? That was my first musical playback device.


Quote:
I moved to Linux when it became available on a PC, and mostly used that until Windows XP came along. XP was, and remains a very good operating system, and I used that until OSX 10.6 came along; a really beautiful GUI running on top of a Linux kernel (Net BSD actually, but only a serious Geek would argue the difference.)...
Brett says, "Hello, pleased to meet you, I am that geek!" Bwahahaha!

Our best wishes to you and The Children! What does George think of all this IT?

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post #3954 of 4359 Old 10-04-2018, 09:39 AM
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Love that story @Rod . Like many his age, our son has a lot of tattoos. He says he has gone into the gym with his equally tattooed friends, and the other patrons just quietly left.

@george the mule and @SueC I have not a clue what y'all are talking about. But I'll tell you about my first experience with computers.


My first military assignment was as a warehouseman in the mid '70s. I was fresh out of the Virginia hills. My platoon sergeant showed me around. Said he was going to show me the brains of the operation. We went deep into the admin section of the warehouse, through a double airlock door, into an air conditioned room. The wall with the doors had some kind of control panels. All three of the other walls were lined, floor to ceiling, with mainframe computers. They all had big reels of tape ticking along at uneven intervals. It looked like the liar of a super villain from the James Bond movies of the era. Scared. The. Crap. Outta me!


Every morning, someone from the computer room would bring stacks of cards with holes punched in them to a guy on the warehouse floor. He put them into a little machine that translated them into printed instructions for us warehousemen. If I had a question about any of my orders, I went to a sheet metal pedestal built into the floor. It had a typewriter type keyboard, and a plexiglass bubble top. I typed in the word query and a bunch of numbers, and it spit out printed information for me. It was like outer space to me.
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post #3955 of 4359 Old 10-05-2018, 09:23 PM
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We had snow this morning and will get more this weekend. But this afternoon we had sun!

I had a funny cowboy hat experience when I was in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan last week.

I stopped at a little diner. It was raining so I kept my hat on. A fellow even older than me asked if my hat was "a real cowboy hat." I told him it was when I was in Wyoming, but in Michigan I'd call it my "personal weather diversion device.". He asked if he could try it on. Not something that is done. I told him that was pretty personal like borrowing a toothbrush. Or even sex! He turned six shades of red and his two friends about fell off their chairs, laughing. Then he said "Now I'm afraid!"

But I assured him he'd be okay. He tried it on and his buddies and another gal took pictures of him in it.

Then the waitress insisted I take a piece of pie. For being the first person they had in from WY.

KIMG0641.jpg

Well, doo doo that photo was taken in portrait orientation.
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post #3956 of 4359 Old 10-06-2018, 09:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boots View Post
We had snow this morning and will get more this weekend.
~
A fellow even older than me asked if my hat was "a real cowboy hat."
~
Well, doo doo that photo was taken in portrait orientation.
Supposed to have snow here as well, but we'll see.
I have a beat-up old straw hat, kinda half way between a traditional "cowboy hat", and a Sombrero. It was a cheap hat, got it from a vendor at Frontier Days years ago, but it has withstood the rigors of being around horses; it has been chewed on, stepped on, drug thru poop (and worse), sweated in, rained on, snowed on, hosed off a time or three . . . and that old hat just keeps on goin'.
I was wearing it in town one day, and this lady sez admiringly: "Wow, look at that hat! You must be a _real_ cowboy . . ." "Well, no ma'am; no cows. Actually, I'm more of a Mule-boy." :-D

I took liberties with yer foto:
Attached Images
File Type: jpg KIMG0641.jpg (47.0 KB, 18 views)
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Steve Jernigan KG0MB
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post #3957 of 4359 Old 10-06-2018, 10:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SueC View Post
But...have you seen this one?
Arrrh! :-D

Quote:
Originally Posted by SueC View Post
Funny that Apple tries to sell itself as the creative person's choice, but do this sort of railroading.
Well, I have mixed feelings on that. Being creative doesn't necessarily imply being good with computers. Consider that:
"There are three kinds of computer users.
"Mac users just _know_ that everything is always gonna work just as Jobs and God intended, and never give it another thought.
"Windows users expect things to work like they do on a Mac, and get angry and stressed when they don't.
"Linux users expect that they will have to fiddle with every new thing to get it to run, and are unreasonably pleased when they finally get that new driver to compile and load . . ."

Being a tool-user, I do like to understand how my tools work, but it's more important, and really more useful in the long run that they work, and work the same way, every time you pick them up. Good tools allow you to be more creative in your application of them. My $.02.

I have been cursing the iOS on my new phone for a week or so now, but as I learn to move around in the OS, I'm finding that most necessary tasks are accomplished w/o much fuss. It's just different, and sort of like an overly protective nanny at times. iTunes is your friend as far as interfacing with iOS; I never made that association with the iPad I used to have.


[quote=SueC;1970609111]As a person who spent over 15 years working as an educator, I don't think it belongs in the classroom before high school, and even there I think it's vastly overused and is actually killing people's creativity and imagination, while costing ridiculous amounts of money in the process which robs other budgets and far more cost-effective and educational resources. Brett says that if they want to give kids computers for truly educational reasons, then they should give them Raspberry Pi computers.

During my time at the University, I was not specifically an instructor, but I did do a number of lab classes. And yes; it's true; you don't learn by being spoon-fed information, you learn by trying, making mistakes, fixing them, and hopefully arriving at some kind of solution.
I always tried my level best to put my students in this position. "OK gang, today we're gonna build a B*&l45ga today. Here are your tools, and here is a box of parts. Go to it."
And I would kick back and supervise the chaos, only intervening where necessary to prevent mass destruction. But after the smoke settled (often literally), my students had learned something, if only that things rarely work out the way you think they should. But the exercise of trying, having it blow up in your face ("Letting the Magic Smoke Escape"), trying again, and eventually experiencing some measure of success (even if it's just getting the B* part of the thing working), _Teaches_. I think that most of my students agreed; at the very least, my classes were popular. (And besides, how often does your instructor encourage you to blow things up?)
But I used to have huge arguments with the departments "real" professors. One major argument involved computer simulation. Simulation can be a wonderful tool, but it is not an end unto it's self. Eventually, you have to "experience" the results of your simulation, and plug that data back into your next go. After n+1 iterations of this process, simulation and reality will converge, but without the n+1 effort, the simulation is just a computer game, and doesn't necessarily mean a thing.




Quote:
Originally Posted by SueC View Post
Now that is hilarious - an iMule! :rofl: How is His Highness?
His Mulishness is as well as can be expected, I guess; The Vet has determined that George has metabolic issues; either PPID, or IR, or most likely some combination of both. A drug to increase the blood flow into his feet seems to have helped with the soreness, but he has been put on a diet, and he isn't pleased. Not. At. All. I plan to put his saddle on him next week to evaluate his state of readiness.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SueC View Post
Since we are playing "fossils being nostalgic" - do you remember mono cassette recorders? :rofl: That was my first musical playback device.
I had an 8-track recorder/duplicator. What a POS; 'nuff said about that.
I used to maintain a German-made electron microscope that had an X-Ray Fluorescence tool. The XRD used a PDP-11 computer running some flavor of FORTRAN. That thing used 8" floppies, and it had a 20MB hard drive that was about the size of a conventional microwave oven. The microscope died from a chronic unavailability of parts, but I kept the PDP-11 for a long time, finally passing it on to a friend who maintains a vintage computer shrine.



Quote:
Originally Posted by SueC View Post
Brett says, "Hello, pleased to meet you, I am that geek!" ;-) Bwahahaha!

Our best wishes to you and The Children! :-) What does George think of all this IT?
Thanks. George doesn't get to go on-line any more, after breaking my iPad trying to touch-type on it ;-)
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University of Colorado
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post #3958 of 4359 Old 10-06-2018, 05:36 PM
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Oops ↑↑↑.
Not an XRD (X-Ray Diffractometer), altho we had one of those to play with as well. The thing attached to the microscope was called an EDAX. An XRD looks at how X-Rays are bent (diffracted) by the atoms in a crystal lattice, which gives insight into the crystal structure, and also to some extent the type of material involved. The EDAX actually measured the spectrum of the X-Rays resulting from the collision of the microscopes electron beam with the sample, and attempted to match this to a database of spectra from the known elements. When working as intended, it would give you a pretty good idea of the elemental make-up of the sample you were looking at. This ~1980 tool set was primitive as compared to similar instruments available today, but it was what we had, and it's loss was mourned by many.
This is beyond Geek; well into Science-Nerd, but now you know The Rest of the Story :-)
A large part of _my_ job at The U. was keeping these, and various other exotic tools working, and in training researchers to use them effectively. I used to say "hand-holding", but it was more than that, really. Especially on the older tools, knowing how they worked, and how to discern real data from background noise was as critical as having access to the tools at all. Fortunately, most of my interaction was with Graduate, and Post-graduate individuals; the "cream-of-the-crop" if you will, so I wasn't starting every session at ground level.

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post #3959 of 4359 Old 10-06-2018, 06:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SueC View Post
Funny that Apple tries to sell itself as the creative person's choice, but do this sort of railroading.

Quote:
Originally Posted by george the mule View Post
Well, I have mixed feelings on that. Being creative doesn't necessarily imply being good with computers.
That was not my intended meaning! It's just, back in the 90s there was this sort of "IBM compatibles are for geeks, Apples are for artists" idea going on. And granted, the Apples made really endearing "oh-oh" sounds when you did something you shouldn't. Still, it was a bit of a false dichotomy. The point I was trying to make is that it's ironic that something that was branded as pro-creativity is actually really restrictive with how it lets you operate its technology, as you pointed out with your examples before. I completely agree that creativity and computer geekiness are not synonymous. The latter is a subset of the former; there are so many ways to be creative.


Quote:
;Consider that:
"There are three kinds of computer users.
"Mac users just _know_ that everything is always gonna work just as Jobs and God intended, and never give it another thought.
"Windows users expect things to work like they do on a Mac, and get angry and stressed when they don't.
"Linux users expect that they will have to fiddle with every new thing to get it to run, and are unreasonably pleased when they finally get that new driver to compile and load . . ."





Quote:
Being a tool-user, I do like to understand how my tools work, but it's more important, and really more useful in the long run that they work, and work the same way, every time you pick them up. Good tools allow you to be more creative in your application of them. My $.02.
This is an excellent point!

Interestingly, I've always had IBM-compatibles from way back when PCs became affordable - and found them more straightforward to use than the admittedly cuter Apples. I'm not an IT geek by any stretch of the imagination, just married to one (please note that "IT geek" is just one of many aspects of his multifaceted personage; other aspects include "cultural repository", "intrepid mountain walker", "maker of the best stir fry in the known universe", "he of the fabulous telephone manner and BBC radio announcer voice", "ultra snuggly husband", "fount of amazing conversations", "consistent dishwashing volunteer" and "endearing growly bear" ). I had no idea what Linux was before I met him.

I think it's like any other tool; what suits one person doesn't necessarily suit another. The hammer that balances fine for me won't be so ideal for someone with different wrist and hand bone dimensions.

(have to chop this post, exceeded emoji allowance )

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post #3960 of 4359 Old 10-06-2018, 06:57 PM
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And I would kick back and supervise the chaos, only intervening where necessary to prevent mass destruction...


This reminded me of a cartoon I can't find, where this person is saying, "I wonder what happens if I press this function key?...nothing..." and behind them, through the window, you can see a building collapsing.

But I did find this one:





Quote:
But after the smoke settled (often literally), my students had learned something, if only that things rarely work out the way you think they should. But the exercise of trying, having it blow up in your face ("Letting the Magic Smoke Escape"), trying again, and eventually experiencing some measure of success (even if it's just getting the B* part of the thing working), _Teaches_. I think that most of my students agreed; at the very least, my classes were popular. (And besides, how often does your instructor encourage you to blow things up?)
Yeah, as a science teacher I also had that opportunity. There is a certain laboratory which still has marks on the ceiling from when the shoe was on the other foot, and the students (who were standing right at the back of the room as instructed) egged me on to add increasingly larger pieces of sodium and potassium metal to the water basin. Wonderful fireworks colours; indeed, these highly reactive metals with excitable electrons that release all sorts of pretty lights as they return to ground state are the basis for fireworks...

Isn't teaching fun!


Quote:
But I used to have huge arguments with the departments "real" professors. One major argument involved computer simulation. Simulation can be a wonderful tool, but it is not an end unto it's self. Eventually, you have to "experience" the results of your simulation, and plug that data back into your next go. After n+1 iterations of this process, simulation and reality will converge, but without the n+1 effort, the simulation is just a computer game, and doesn't necessarily mean a thing.
I have a similar argument when the silly people who run the show think IT is more important than hands-on experimentation in the science classroom. IT is largely unnecessary in a science classroom, especially for the actual learning part. It's just a bunch of sizzle that gets in the way, and no actual steak.


Quote:
His Mulishness is as well as can be expected, I guess; The Vet has determined that George has metabolic issues; either PPID, or IR, or most likely some combination of both. A drug to increase the blood flow into his feet seems to have helped with the soreness, but he has been put on a diet, and he isn't pleased. Not. At. All. I plan to put his saddle on him next week to evaluate his state of readiness.
I hope George gets better soon. How old is he? Sunsmart is 21 now, and I'm suspecting he might be running a pituitary adenoma because he got ultra hairy this winter and was shedding out patchily. He's riding just fine and is his usual self, but I've asked the vet to blood test him for PPID; still in the queue. We had to put down his mother a year ago, just shy of 28, because the pituitary adenoma she grew was a massive one that impeded her quality of life very quickly and unacceptably. I'm hoping he won't have a rapid downhill like that; PPID cases are generally more manageable than what we saw with that mare. And I'd really like to get in early here... I'm hoping for at least another five years of quality life for him, anyway.


Quote:
I had an 8-track recorder/duplicator. What a POS; 'nuff said about that.
That is so historical!

Did you have one of these too?



Quote:
I used to maintain a German-made electron microscope that had an X-Ray Fluorescence tool. The XRD used a PDP-11 computer running some flavor of FORTRAN. That thing used 8" floppies, and it had a 20MB hard drive that was about the size of a conventional microwave oven. The microscope died from a chronic unavailability of parts, but I kept the PDP-11 for a long time, finally passing it on to a friend who maintains a vintage computer shrine.
Great story!


Quote:
George doesn't get to go on-line any more, after breaking my iPad trying to touch-type on it


You could teach him to use a mouth-held stylus. Demonstrate to him first, of course!

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