Club Admiralty

v7.0 - moving along, a point increase at a time

Club Admiralty Blog

A blog about life in general, in as many languages as I can manage. Ενα ιστολόγιο περι ζωής, πολυγλωσσο - σε όσες γλωσσες εχω μεράκι να γράψω.

The gameboy - hardware autopsy

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This is a fun little video dissecting the Nintendo GameBoy.  As a kid I wouldn't have cared, however as an undergraduate computer science major this would have been fascinating to know back in the late 90s :-)  I remember programming in x86 assembly for one of my classes (and creating hardware for that same course that the code would run on!) :-)



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More humor... star trek Xtreme!

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I was listening to Earl Grey, one of the Trek.fm podcasts, this past week, and the topic of discussion was about a fictions scenario, a what if they had made an animated series out of Star Trek: The Next Generation in the 90s once the live action series was off the air.  It was a pretty funny episode to listen to, especially if you've seen the mess that is Star Trek the animated series...well...and if you grew up in the 90s and watched things like Gargoyles, the power rangers, and various assorted cartoons of the period.  I think - if I am judging correctly from the forums - that Cmdr. Flipper would be a hit ;-)  The following image is from the facebook group for Trek.fm - what George would look like in this series (look at the attitude on his face! Indicative of 90s cartoons ;-) )


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Video game music covers

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I was listening to the VG Empire podcast the other day and the subject was music from the WarCraft games.  I've only really played Warcraft II back when I had my ol' trusty Performa 635CD, but the music from that game has stuck in my  head.   Recently I came across this cover of one of the songs that exemplifies that game's music for me :-).

I remember playing a lot of this game...and the final stage being pretty frustrating.  Eventually I did end up completing the game though on my own.  I also came across some keyboard shortcuts that allowed me to click-to-win, so I could see the final victory animation without a lot of work.  I never really played Warcraft III. It came out in 2002 when I was in college and not into computer-based video games any longer.  I still have warcraft II in CD form from those days.  I'll need to fireup sheepshaver or some other emulator to play it soon.  Good times! ;-)




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Boat of love the next generation

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Something humorous found on facebook recently. A little parody of Star Trek: The Next Generation as the Love boat.  This seems like an SNL sketch (from the time before I watched it).  Look at those uniforms! ;-)


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Μια πίτα σουβλάκι παρακαλώ!

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Σήμερα το πρωί παρατήρησα πως στο google, όταν κάνεις μια αναζήτηση για το Supreme Court (το ομοσπονδιακό δικαστήριο των ΗΠΑ) το Google σου λέει πως μπορείς να υποβάλει παραγγελία μέσω foodler. Αναρωτιέμαι τι είδος κουζίνας έχουν ;-)


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Jurassic Trek files: Where's Pike?

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This comic strip of Jurassic Trek makes fun of the multiple captains of the original Enterprise...

(original archive here)

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Life sucks, and then you die

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Μια σύντομη δημοσίευση για το φιλαράκι μας, τον Otto Boos, που μας άφησε πριν περίπου έναν μήνα. Η οικογένεια Boos, στο connecticut είναι στενοί φίλοι με την οικογένεια τις Χριστίνας Τα παιδιά τους μεγάλωσαν μαζί, και η πεθερά είναι καλές φίλες με την σύζυγο του Otto. Όταν γνώρισα την Χριστίνα, όποτε επισκεπτόμασταν την μάνα της πάντα πηγαίναμε στους Boos για επίσκεψη. Ο Όττο ήταν από την Βαβαρία, και η σύζυγος του, η Ρενάτε, από την περιοχή Σλέσβιχ-Χόλσταϊν. Πάντα ήταν θερμοί και ανοιχτοί άνθρωποι και όποτε πηγαίναμε μαθαίναμε και λίγο για τις εμπειρίες του Όττο στον αμερικανικό στρατό και την εμπειρία του στα εργοστάσια τις Μερσέντες. Όταν τέλειωσε με όλα αυτά έγινε μαραγκός. Από χιούμορ, ήταν κάπως στο γερμανικό χιούμορ ο Όττο. Κάτι που έλεγε συχνά ήταν το «life sucks and then you die», ή αλλιώς «η ζωή είναι σκατά και στο τέλος πεθαίνεις», αλλά φυσικά το έλεγε με χιούμορ. Δεν τον έκοβα ως μίζερο άνθρωπο.

 Στο καλό φίλε!
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From the archive: the Apple iWalk

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I love being reminded of rumors from yesteryear :-)  Back in the early 2000s there was a site called SpyMac which, as the name suggest, was a website that posted rumors about upcoming Apple products. I think that it also encouraged people to submit spyshots of new products, and hence potentially break their NDA.  The site no longer exists, but we still have some interesting fakes around thanks to it, and other websites that reported on it.

The original iPod, aka iPod classic, was released in 2001 and due to its syncing capability (one-way sync of contacts and calendar) people saw the potential for an Apple branded PDA.  Some of the specs that were floating around at the time were: a512×256 65k color TFT screen, 128-256 MB memory, FireWire and 56K modem built-in, a lithium-Ion battery (20 hours uptime), a scaled down OS-X operating system.

There were a couple of mockups on the web.  The one above, which tied in some hardware playback buttons for the audio components (and I assume any video it could play), and a flip up screen protector.  From the look of it, this was meant to the used on the landscape orientation. This mockup (from the images I remember, but can't seem to find online) was a color screen.


Another mockup, and subsequent fake video shows an OS that looks a lot like a descendant of the Apple Newton. It has a monochrome display and it looks a lot like the Microsoft Zune in hardware design (way before the Zune was on the horizon, I think).

Interesting stuff.  I wonder what the unreleased Apple PDAs look like.  There must be an awesome museum of tech-that-never-was at Apple HQ :-)


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iPhone backdoors

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Last week in the news there was a lot of news around the government trying to strong-arm Apple into breaking into the iPhone of a terrorist shooter (the San Bernadino shooter), a device they have in evidence but it encrypted.  It seems that the government IT folks created this mess for themselves and now the government is looking for an excuse to have backdoors into our computing devices.  I think most people wouldn't care, but the things that Edward Snowden uncovered are making everyone much more cautious of 'benign' governments.

This is funny to me because it seems like only yesterday when India and Saudi Arabia were requiring Blackberry to have backdoors for their systems so that their governments could access encrypted Blackberry data.  Seems like this has come a little closer to home now.


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Voter Registration...

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Last week on "last week tonight with John Oliver" the main investigative segment of the satirical news show was on voter ID laws. For those of you abroad, in the US you don't have to prove you are who you say you are in order to go vote. You can just go, give the person your street address, and your name, and they'll cross you off as having voted.  I've always found this a little odd, that in the US we are essentially voting on the honor system. Whatever, good for us for being so trusting.

In principle I am in favor of voter ID laws, as a way of keeping honest people honest, however there really isn't any statistically significant voter fraud happening.  The only fraud (and dishonesty) that is occurring is at the political level.  People want to enact voter ID laws in order to actually prevent people from voting and basically circumventing the democratic process.  Getting an ID in the US isn't easy or cheap.  If you don't drive, if you don't travel, and if you don't drink, then you almost don't have a way of getting an ID.  Most people use a driver's license, a liquor ID, or a passport to identify themselves.  There is no general ID (which we should have), and it should be free for citizens. Obtaining a liquor ID in Massachusetts costs $25. an MA driver's license cost $50, and a passport $140. That is if you have all the paperwork you need and you aren't discriminated against (like the woman in the video).

I compare this to my experience obtaining my Greek national ID card a few years back.  After some back and forth I obtained my Greek citizenship as well, so I went to go get an ID. All I needed was my record of birth (not a birth certificate since it was a US one and not a Greek one, the record of birth confirms citizenship regardless of where you were born), and a witness that has a Greek ID card already that can basically vouch for you.  The cost is €10 ($11 as of today).  That's basically it! Getting my Greek ID card, with all the problems that Greece has with government bureaucracies is cheaper and easier compared to the US.

Sometimes it's amazing that we call ourselves a democracy ;-)


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