Interesting findings on the internet

The place to be when you have TEA. Discuss all kinds of test equipment.

Important: Use tags for the type of equipment your topic is about.
Forum rules
Use tags for the type of equipment your topic is about. Include the "repairs" tag, too, when appropriate. If a new tag is needed, request one in the TEAdministration forum.
User avatar
bd139
Posts: 1012
Joined: Sat Oct 22, 2022 7:29 pm
Location: AWOL

Re: Interesting findings on the internet

Post by bd139 »

tggzzz wrote: Sat Jun 01, 2024 9:28 am Move over obfuscated C, there's competition in town.
This is a proof by construction that the Intel MMU's fault handling mechanism is Turing complete. We have constructed an assembler that translates 'Move, Branch if Zero, Decrement' instructions to C source that sets up various processor control tables. After this code has executed, the CPU computes by attempting to fault without ever executing a single instruction.
https://github.com/jbangert/trapcc
That's actually quite impressive in the wrong sort of way :lol:
User avatar
bd139
Posts: 1012
Joined: Sat Oct 22, 2022 7:29 pm
Location: AWOL

Re: Interesting findings on the internet

Post by bd139 »

tggzzz wrote: Fri May 31, 2024 10:58 pm
bd139 wrote: Fri May 31, 2024 9:58 pm This is a fun article: getting a file off a 30 year old Mac.

Involves electronics, hackery and some interesting ideas


https://www.unterminated.com/random-fun ... old-laptop
What's the problem? My Macs are almost 40yo.

You do still have 3.5in floppies and drives around, don't you. (And an 8" drive)
I don't even have anything that can read CDs these days!
tggzzz
Posts: 1314
Joined: Sat Oct 22, 2022 8:17 pm

Re: Interesting findings on the internet

Post by tggzzz »

bd139 wrote: Sat Jun 01, 2024 10:00 pm
tggzzz wrote: Sat Jun 01, 2024 9:28 am Move over obfuscated C, there's competition in town.
This is a proof by construction that the Intel MMU's fault handling mechanism is Turing complete. We have constructed an assembler that translates 'Move, Branch if Zero, Decrement' instructions to C source that sets up various processor control tables. After this code has executed, the CPU computes by attempting to fault without ever executing a single instruction.
https://github.com/jbangert/trapcc
That's actually quite impressive in the wrong sort of way :lol:
It is up there with valid C++ programs that can never finish compiling. All you have to do is play with templates so that the compiler emits the sequence of prime numbers during compilation in the form of error messages.

Unsurprisingly the C++ committee refused to believe that was possible, until Erwin Unruh famously rubbed their noses in it.
User avatar
bd139
Posts: 1012
Joined: Sat Oct 22, 2022 7:29 pm
Location: AWOL

Re: Interesting findings on the internet

Post by bd139 »

tggzzz wrote: Sat Jun 01, 2024 10:09 pm
bd139 wrote: Sat Jun 01, 2024 10:00 pm
tggzzz wrote: Sat Jun 01, 2024 9:28 am Move over obfuscated C, there's competition in town.


https://github.com/jbangert/trapcc
That's actually quite impressive in the wrong sort of way :lol:
It is up there with valid C++ programs that can never finish compiling. All you have to do is play with templates so that the compiler emits the sequence of prime numbers during compilation in the form of error messages.

Unsurprisingly the C++ committee refused to believe that was possible, until Erwin Unruh famously rubbed their noses in it.
Not surprised at that at all. Many things are Turing complete which shouldn't be!

I actually found a bug in the early .Net C# compiler that was fun. It didn't have generics at that point, so if you did a cast and hit < instead of ( and then terminated it with a ), it'd get stuck and use 100% CPU. Of course I pushed this into the VCS of the hour (SourceSafe) and it was pulled down by the dev team at the company who wondered why their systems couldn't compile anything :lol:. That was back when you could actually phone Microsoft and they actually fixed it the next day!
User avatar
bd139
Posts: 1012
Joined: Sat Oct 22, 2022 7:29 pm
Location: AWOL

Re: Interesting findings on the internet

Post by bd139 »

Computational related.

Covers system abstractions and concurrency rather interestingly...


Kick in the teeth on AI as well...
User avatar
BU508A
Posts: 247
Joined: Fri Nov 11, 2022 10:40 am

Re: Interesting findings on the internet

Post by BU508A »

Guys, if you haven't done it already: patch your windows computers.
Today is patch day at Microsoft and they fix some issues where at least one is considered as "critical"

Critical:
https://msrc.microsoft.com/update-guide ... 2024-30080

Ugly (and critical, imo):
https://msrc.microsoft.com/update-guide ... 2024-30078


High:
https://msrc.microsoft.com/update-guide ... 2024-35254
https://msrc.microsoft.com/update-guide ... 2024-35249
https://msrc.microsoft.com/update-guide ... 2024-30102
https://msrc.microsoft.com/update-guide ... 2024-30103
User avatar
mnementh
Posts: 1150
Joined: Sat Oct 22, 2022 7:32 pm

Re: Interesting findings on the internet

Post by mnementh »

https://archive.org/details/softwarelibrary_msdos_games

This section of the IA has oodles of MS-DOS games and launches with appropriate emulator right in your browser. :o

https://archive.org/details/hitchhikers ... laxy-bbcr4

https://archive.org/details/The_Hitchhi ... r56-841221

https://archive.org/details/H2G2_HyperCard

This last one is interesting because it not only runs on a Macintosh emulator in your browser, but also because it contains two forwards the poster states don't exist elsewhere.

Cheers!

mnem
Hitchhikers.jpg
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
tggzzz
Posts: 1314
Joined: Sat Oct 22, 2022 8:17 pm

Re: Interesting findings on the internet

Post by tggzzz »

Article headline: "Low-leakage tantalum capacitors for detonating explosives"

To everybody here that headline to an article states the blindingly obvious.

The only surprise is that it hasn't been suggested before :-DD

Even after reading the article, I like the concept :)
User avatar
bd139
Posts: 1012
Joined: Sat Oct 22, 2022 7:29 pm
Location: AWOL

Re: Interesting findings on the internet

Post by bd139 »

I'm disappointed now I've read it but it makes me think of Wile E Coyote...

"The detonator exploded, but the explosive did not"
User avatar
mnementh
Posts: 1150
Joined: Sat Oct 22, 2022 7:32 pm

Re: Interesting findings on the internet

Post by mnementh »

bd139 wrote: Fri Jul 05, 2024 11:07 pm I'm disappointed now I've read it but it makes me think of Wile E Coyote...

"The deton operator exploded, but the explosive did not."
As Wile E is the subject, I feel this is much more correct. ;)

mnem
Image
Zenith
Posts: 811
Joined: Sat Oct 22, 2022 9:06 pm

Re: Interesting findings on the internet

Post by Zenith »

I've had equipment where tants looked as if they had exploded but hadn't done any impact damage.

I've seen them glow red hot on a few occasions

I've heard the odd report of tants exploding and the remains embedding themselves in ceilings.

I once heard a tale of an electrolytic exploding and embedding itself in someone's forehead, mind you the person who told me that had a reputation for tall tales, which usually involved someone dying horribly. One story was about a bloke working on a microwave mast and having his guts fried by standing too close to one of the dishes. It took him three days to snuff it. Then there was the prankster who rolled his own cigarettes. He was called away when he was in the process of rolling one and left the paper and tobacco on his bench. Someone played a prank by putting some PTFE shavings in the baccy. He came back, finished rolling up and smoked it. He died horribly.
User avatar
Specmaster
Posts: 1101
Joined: Sat Oct 22, 2022 8:13 pm
Location: Chelmsford, UK

Re: Interesting findings on the internet

Post by Specmaster »

Zenith wrote: Sat Jul 06, 2024 10:03 pm I've had equipment where tants looked as if they had exploded but hadn't done any impact damage.

I've seen them glow red hot on a few occasions

I've heard the odd report of tants exploding and the remains embedding themselves in ceilings.

I once heard a tale of an electrolytic exploding and embedding itself in someone's forehead, mind you the person who told me that had a reputation for tall tales, which usually involved someone dying horribly. One story was about a bloke working on a microwave mast and having his guts fried by standing too close to one of the dishes. It took him three days to snuff it. Then there was the prankster who rolled his own cigarettes. He was called away when he was in the process of rolling one and left the paper and tobacco on his bench. Someone played a prank by putting some PTFE shavings in the baccy. He came back, finished rolling up and smoked it. He died horribly.
In my teens when I was building myself an amplifier, I remember I connected a pretty large smoothing cap in backwards accidentally and upon switching it on it promptly exploded and parts of it were embedded in my parents freshly polystyrene tiled ceiling (they were the in vogue thing at the time) and it looked line someone had fired a shotgun at it and the black innards were all over the freshly wallpapered walls. Needless to say, they were not impressed, and I had to redo the entire room again.
Who let Murphy in?

Brymen-Fluke-HP-Thurlby-Thander-Tek-Extech-Black Star-GW-Advance-Avo-Kyoritsu-Amprobe-ITT-Robin-TTi-Heathkit-Duratool
Zenith
Posts: 811
Joined: Sat Oct 22, 2022 9:06 pm

Re: Interesting findings on the internet

Post by Zenith »

I've nothing so impressive to report, although I do recall at the age of 14, setting off gunpowder charges from the domestic lighting circuit and finding the lights didn't work after. The parents' response would be severe. So I applied what I knew from O Level physics, and basic common sense, and used the handy fuse wire card and screwdriver to fix it, successfully as it happened. It was the first time I fixed a fuse.

When the parents arrived home, the lights worked and all signs of the crime had been removed.
User avatar
mnementh
Posts: 1150
Joined: Sat Oct 22, 2022 7:32 pm

Re: Interesting findings on the internet

Post by mnementh »

Pretty sure your dad could count the fuses left in the box, just like my grand-dad did. He probably decided to just let it slide. ;)

mnem
Thank Ifni for circuit-breakers... :mrgreen:
tggzzz
Posts: 1314
Joined: Sat Oct 22, 2022 8:17 pm

Re: Interesting findings on the internet

Post by tggzzz »

mnementh wrote: Tue Jul 09, 2024 8:51 pm Pretty sure your dad could count the fuses left in the box, just like my grand-dad did. He probably decided to just let it slide. ;)

mnem
Thank Ifni for circuit-breakers... :mrgreen:
That long ago it would have been merely a piece of wire like this

Image

That's what I have in my house. Makes it easier to use nails :)
tggzzz
Posts: 1314
Joined: Sat Oct 22, 2022 8:17 pm

Re: Interesting findings on the internet

Post by tggzzz »

https://www.technologyreview.com/2024/0 ... ive-guide/

An interesting article about AI and GOFAI. The article doesn't have any position to push, simply notes the puff and doomsaying but doesn't fall for either. The overall tenor is more "this is where we are, how we got here, are we where we think we are?". Overall: long and wordy, but worth it.

Mentions a radio panel discussion in 1952 in which Turing offered his opinions. And notes we are still wresting with the concepts discussed.

Has quotes like
  • “For the life of me, I don’t understand why the industry is trying to fulfill the Turing test,” Skuler says. “Why is it in the best interest of humanity for us to develop technology whose goal is to dupe us?”
  • ...is betting that people can form relationships with machines that present as machines. “Just like we have the ability to build a real relationship with a dog,” he says. “Dogs provide a lot of joy for people. They provide companionship. People love their dog—but they never confuse it to be a human.”
  • It’s no surprise that “sparks of AGI” has also become a byword for over-the-top buzz. “I think they got carried away,” says Marcus, speaking about the Microsoft team. “They got excited, like ‘Hey, we found something! This is amazing!’ They didn’t vet it with the scientific community.” Bender refers to the Sparks paper as a “fan fiction novella.”
  • Margaret Boden was asked if she thought there were any limits that would prevent computers (or “tin cans,” as she called them) from doing what humans can do. “I certainly don’t think there’s anything in principle,” she said. “Because to deny that is to say that [human thinking] happens by magic, and I don’t believe that it happens by magic.”
The article doesn't mention "plausible word salad" nor "bullshitter", nor whether that passes the Turing test because that's what too much wetware emits.
User avatar
AVGresponding
Posts: 330
Joined: Sat Oct 22, 2022 7:30 pm
Location: The Yorkshire

Re: Interesting findings on the internet

Post by AVGresponding »

tggzzz wrote: Tue Jul 09, 2024 11:52 pm
mnementh wrote: Tue Jul 09, 2024 8:51 pm Pretty sure your dad could count the fuses left in the box, just like my grand-dad did. He probably decided to just let it slide. ;)

mnem
Thank Ifni for circuit-breakers... :mrgreen:
That long ago it would have been merely a piece of wire like this

Image

That's what I have in my house. Makes it easier to use nails :)
Let's hope you don't have reason to get an electrician in; that's a C1 these days. I don't agree, but that's the current (sorry, not sorry) guidelines.
nuqDaq yuch Dapol?

(╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻
tggzzz
Posts: 1314
Joined: Sat Oct 22, 2022 8:17 pm

Re: Interesting findings on the internet

Post by tggzzz »

?C1?
Zenith
Posts: 811
Joined: Sat Oct 22, 2022 9:06 pm

Re: Interesting findings on the internet

Post by Zenith »

They were wire fuses. I think in the 1970s they switched to Consumer Units with miniature circuit breakers rather than fuse boxes with wire fuses. My house still has wire fuses. UK domestic plugs and distribution bars have 13A (or 5A or 3A) cartridge fuses.

I don't believe fuse wire is anything special, but is tinned copper wire of a particular diameter. It's sold on cards with a couple of feet of each rating; 5A, 15A and 30A.
Zenith
Posts: 811
Joined: Sat Oct 22, 2022 9:06 pm

Re: Interesting findings on the internet

Post by Zenith »

tggzzz wrote: Wed Jul 10, 2024 5:13 pm?C1?
Not entirely sure but I think it refers to the Part P Building Regulations, where basically you're supposed to have a sparky in to do any electrical work more demanding than changing a light bulb. You might be OK with a degree in electronic engineering, because I recall there's an exception for 'naturally competent people".

I know it caused problems for people like kitchen fitters, who had to do a limited amount of electrical work in the course of their job. You can still buy all the materials easily enough, so I'd guess a lot of people just ignore it.
tggzzz
Posts: 1314
Joined: Sat Oct 22, 2022 8:17 pm

Re: Interesting findings on the internet

Post by tggzzz »

Not sure when they switched (ho ho), but my house electrics haven't been touched since the late 80s.
tggzzz
Posts: 1314
Joined: Sat Oct 22, 2022 8:17 pm

Re: Interesting findings on the internet

Post by tggzzz »

Zenith wrote: Wed Jul 10, 2024 5:48 pm
tggzzz wrote: Wed Jul 10, 2024 5:13 pm?C1?
Not entirely sure but I think it refers to the Part P Building Regulations,
That's my (ignorant) presumption too.
where basically you're supposed to have a sparky in to do any electrical work more demanding than changing a light bulb. You might be OK with a degree in electronic engineering, because I recall there's an exception for 'naturally competent people".
ISTR there being such an outcry.

I don't think my EE degree makes me competent with mains electricity, per se. I regard myself as naturally incompetent. I think it is a typical UK "don't look until after a problem has become apparent" fudge.

I've seen some weird things. My parents 1850 house had its mains cable emerge in the centre of the property. The next owners discovered it was a 3 phase supply! The round-pin 13 amp wall sockets were all disconnected; just as well since the vulcanised rubber insulation had disintegrated.

Their previous house's internal wiring had lead sheathed 2 core cables; dog knows how (in)effective the ground connections were at joints. The earlier wire was single insulated wires laid in wooden E-shaped conduits. Neither types were in use, but I wish I'd kept a section or photograph.

Then there was the house rented by daughter at university. Electrician wouldn't go near where the supply emerged from the ground. Neither would the first-level distribution supply engineer; said replacing rusted connections would be a major job! Don't know what, if anything, was the resolution: daughter moved out at end of the academic year.
I know it caused problems for people like kitchen fitters, who had to do a limited amount of electrical work in the course of their job. You can still buy all the materials easily enough, so I'd guess a lot of people just ignore it.
I'd really like such people to be Part-P qualified.
User avatar
Cerebus
Posts: 247
Joined: Sun Oct 23, 2022 5:19 pm
Location: Palinau

Re: Interesting findings on the internet

Post by Cerebus »

tggzzz wrote: Wed Jul 10, 2024 5:13 pm?C1?
A failure code as would be reported on an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR). Specifically

Classification code C1 (Danger present)
Where an observation has been given a Classification code C1, the safety of those using the installation is at risk and immediate remedial action is required.
The person responsible for the maintenance of the installation is advised to take action without delay to remedy the observed deficiency in the installation, or to take other appropriate action (such as switching off and isolating the affected part(s) of the installation) to remove the danger.
Zenith
Posts: 811
Joined: Sat Oct 22, 2022 9:06 pm

Re: Interesting findings on the internet

Post by Zenith »

tggzzz wrote: Wed Jul 10, 2024 6:18 pm
Zenith wrote: Wed Jul 10, 2024 5:48 pm
where basically you're supposed to have a sparky in to do any electrical work more demanding than changing a light bulb. You might be OK with a degree in electronic engineering, because I recall there's an exception for 'naturally competent people".
ISTR there being such an outcry.
It was condemned as a "Jobs for the boys" scheme. There wasn't enough time to allow people like kitchen fitters to qualify to the extent necessary, and so that was a mess. I believe the stats showed that about five people a year had been killed by contact with wiring. Some of those were probably trying to bypass the meter. It wasn't solving a pressing problem.
tggzzz wrote: Wed Jul 10, 2024 6:18 pm
I don't think my EE degree makes me competent with mains electricity, per se. I regard myself as naturally incompetent. I think it is a typical UK "don't look until after a problem has become apparent" fudge.

I've seen some weird things. My parents 1850 house had its mains cable emerge in the centre of the property. The next owners discovered it was a 3 phase supply! The round-pin 13 amp wall sockets were all disconnected; just as well since the vulcanised rubber insulation had disintegrated.

Their previous house's internal wiring had lead sheathed 2 core cables; dog knows how (in)effective the ground connections were at joints. The earlier wire was single insulated wires laid in wooden E-shaped conduits. Neither types were in use, but I wish I'd kept a section or photograph.............
When my parents moved into the house in 1958 the previous owner had been a keen DIYer. There was a switchboard at the top and bottom of the stairs with about a dozen switches on, and a cable bundle going up the banister rail. Lights to the conservatory, the coal shed, the garden shed, the greenhouse and some outside lights, could all be controlled from the top or bottom of the stairs. Electrical connections were made by wrapping the ends of wires around wood screws and screwing them into a block of wood. He was also an inventor and made a chick incubator, which was powered from gas supplied by a rubber tube attached to a gas bracket. It had malfunctioned and burned the chicks to death. Some of the floorboards had been replaced, but there was charring on the ones that weren't.

A great uncle was an electrical engineer who qualified about 1920 and became the electrical engineer for a large rolling mill, a position he held until the 1950s. In their house there was no actual power circuit, just lighting. There was a huge industrial 15 A socket, powered by a thick piece of cable running across the threshold of a door and being trodden on. It connected to a three pin 5A socket on the other side. They used that for the vacuum cleaner. The ironing table was a gas. There was another huge 15A socket into which the iron was plugged. It was screwed to the leg of the table. It was powered by one of those bayonet plugs that fits into a light socket.
Post Reply