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Author Topic:   Saying Goodbye to Keurig
dwise1
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Posts: 5055
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 2.9


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Message 2 of 46 (889950)
12-17-2021 4:57 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Percy
12-17-2021 4:04 PM


I've never owned a TiVo, though my Spectrum DVR serves that purpose.

During the pandemic lockdown, I've stockpiled a number of movies that I want to rewatch (and delete afterwards) and some that I want to keep (eg, "The Big Short", "In Harm's Way". "Forbidden Planet", Classic New Doctor Who like "Blink" and "The Girl in the Fireplace"). Though of course the moment your box malfunctions and you need to replace it, then those recordings are all gone. But then if you had a TiVo and it failed, wouldn't the same thing have happened?

Plus, if you are relying on a streaming services always supplying you your shows, what about that incredible show, Sherlock, which is now only available for sale at $2 per episode? Streaming services are ephemeral. There are epic foreign movies I want to refer my friends to, but they are now no longer on Netflix.

As for Keurig (for which I only use the, to me personally, properly Germanic pronunciation which differs entirely from the common English who the hell knows where they got that from? rendering), I've never used it to my knowledge -- CAVEAT!!. My friend opposed the very idea as being very environmentally unsound, what with dumping those disposable cartridges, though some versions (eg, ¿Nespresso?) have emphasized recycling.

At home, I use a Bialetti Moka Express -- one time at Total Wine and More I saw a coffee liqueur or the like in a bottle shaped like a Moka pot. Advice to anyone shopping for one, the capacity is in espresso cups, so a "three cup" pot will yield a single 6-7 fluid ounce serving. My friend had given me a drip-coffee setup, but I've never been able to figure it out.

 
As per that CAVEAT above. My sister up in WA has a coffee thingee that might be a Keurig. It was finicky about its feeding tubes or whatever. All I can say is that I am so very glad to not be dependent on coffee.


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dwise1
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Posts: 5055
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 2.9


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Message 8 of 46 (889998)
12-20-2021 2:00 PM
Reply to: Message 6 by ringo
12-20-2021 11:34 AM


Right at this minute I'm downloading The Silver Fleet(1943). Does Netflix have that?

I just did a search on my Roku. That movie is on "TV Time", a free streaming service I hadn't heard of before.

They even have Captain Midnight! But still no Navy Log nor Hennesey.


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Replies to this message:
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dwise1
Member
Posts: 5055
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 2.9


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Message 11 of 46 (890008)
12-21-2021 11:33 AM
Reply to: Message 9 by ringo
12-21-2021 10:56 AM


In the mid-60's Hennesey was re-run in the afternoons. I had just discovered my father's 1944 Bluejackets Manual and used the show to practice reading the characters' ranks. Decades later in the opening shot of Star Trek: The Next Generation the moment CAPT Picard came into full view I said to myself, "They're just using the same system as ours." Though why O'Brien, who wore the two pips of an LT, would be referred to as a CPO made no sense (after several seasons, they finally came up with a CPO pip (though it could have been CWO) -- Star Trek never did do right by their enlisted).

As for Jackie Cooper's role in Little Rascals, there's that film where he meets their new teacher, Miss Crabapple -- he expects an ugly old woman but she's young and beautiful. That character was the source for the name of Miss Krabappel in The Simpsons.

Another TV show that's MIA is Men Into Space (1959-1960), which was based on USAF plans for space exploration from going to the moon to a Mars mission.


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dwise1
Member
Posts: 5055
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 2.9


(2)
Message 19 of 46 (890019)
12-21-2021 9:19 PM
Reply to: Message 15 by Percy
12-21-2021 12:06 PM


Re: Pullbacks in the name of the almighty dollar
Apps and their cryptic UIs are nothing short of insanity. My phone came bundled with apps whose function is not indicated. All you see is a say-nothing name and a meaningless icon. No way in hell would I run one just out of curiosity! Even the standard apps that should come with every phone are ill-defined and too often turn out to be third-party apps that turn into nag-ware ("free" programs that then bug you to death with requests that you pay for a full version).

I had bought an iPod (2nd or later generation) and liked it, making it the only Apple product I have ever liked ... with the exception of my iPod Nano which I liked even more. The track wheel control was one of the best parts. I even felt very disappointed when my new cable TV remote didn't have one (it was great for quickly positioning to any point in the content). When it was replaced by the useless iTouch (which had to control wheel), I just kept my Nano (which I used all the time at work -- very handy being able to control it by touch, a sentiment shared by a co-worker who would listen to his while riding his motorcycle where you don't dare take your eyes off the road -- but which I haven't used since retiring four years ago).

My utter disgust with user interfaces stem from trying to figure out how to do something on my Nano. I used its video camera function, but I wanted to delete a couple of the videos. No menu option for that and all the "documentation" that Apple had provided did nothing more than show you how to plug it in and turn it on. I ended up having to use Google to find a third-party user's guide which gave instructions for doing everything on a Nano.

When I complained about that on-line, somebody had the gall to say that there was no need for a user's guide because the main purpose of these devices is the experience of exploring and discovering how to do things. And that I was making a big mistake by depriving myself of the joys of that experience. F**k that s**t!

But that's the attitude: it's all just a game! Don't expect to be able to do anything useful in anything approaching a expeditious and productive manner.

In a similar incident, the dance teacher I assisted kept her music on an iTouch, but then somebody stole it so she resorted to playing the music on her iPhone. We're both in the same generation, so her adult daughter had to set up the music app for her. But then she would either accidentally touch the wrong secret invisible control or the phone just simply decided to do something random and then it was a struggle to try to return it to normal. To assist, I turned to Google to locate yet another third-party user's guide for the iPhone and then print out pertinent pages with instructions.

It makes me really appreciate the truth and great wisdom Steve "The Woz" Wozniak offerred:

quote:
Never trust a computer you can't throw out a window.

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Replies to this message:
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dwise1
Member
Posts: 5055
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 2.9


(2)
Message 20 of 46 (890020)
12-21-2021 9:27 PM
Reply to: Message 18 by xongsmith
12-21-2021 2:57 PM


Re: "just keep clicking until something works..."
...or another favorite is "have you tried cycling the power?"

Which is sadly impossible to do when the battery is encased in the device and there is no reset button.

Well, on my phone there is a power-volume sequence to force it to reset, but every single time I do it the phone does a complete factory reset, erasing and resetting everything. OK, eventually contacts and calendar data returns, but all the really useless apps that I had deleted or shoved into a memory hole return and I have to download anew all the useful ones I had downloaded. Plus I have to set everything up again, including all the system settings. That all gets extremely tiring very quickly.

So when the phone crashes and reboots, then it comes back up. But when it freezes again right in the middle of a reboot, then it's stuck. Since I cannot power cycle it by removing and replacing the battery, all I can do is leave it alone until the battery runs down completely. Takes all day, but it's much better than to have to recover from yet another factory reset.

Why did Microsoft leave the smartphone market. My Windows phone was the best one I ever had.


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dwise1
Member
Posts: 5055
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 2.9


Message 22 of 46 (890039)
12-22-2021 10:36 AM
Reply to: Message 21 by jar
12-22-2021 8:30 AM


Re: "just keep clicking until something works..."
I still keep my Windows phone handy for its apps (it's literally within arm's reach right now). The only problem with it, besides finding replacement batteries, is that when the product was discontinued all the services dropped support for it (eg, no Lyft app for it).

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dwise1
Member
Posts: 5055
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 2.9


(2)
Message 26 of 46 (890088)
12-24-2021 11:04 AM
Reply to: Message 25 by ringo
12-23-2021 10:53 AM


Re: Pullbacks in the name of the almighty dollar
"It's not a bug, it's a feature."

We actually used that once professionally.

I was sole programmer for a company that designed and installed computerized greenhouse control systems. The original programming was in 8048 assembly for the sensor and control devices and apparently a BASIC program running on an Apple II that took readings from the sensors and sent control signals to the controllers (eg, open/close vents, turn fans/heaters/lights on/off). By the time I was hired, an actual programmer had written the control program in Turbo Pascal for an IBM XT -- he had wanted to do it in FORTH, but management wouldn't let him.

The original programmer was a EE who tried to be far too clever. No UARTs for the RS232, but rather the code emulated one (which meant that all the branches in the code had to have just the right timing; ie, lots of NOP instructions). No symbolic names for anything -- I had to go through the code, decipher what what supposed to be what (he did leave a few handwritten notes on file), and name them with EQU statements (similar to C's #define). BTW, the microprocessor was of the 8048 family, which did all memory access through two address registers that you had to load explicitly, so if you were working with more than two memory addresses you had to keep reloading them. I guess was one reason why there was no C compiler for it (the lowest processor with a C compiler was the 8051). The 8048 was so underpowered that the original IBM PC used it to run the keyboard, scanning the key matrix and sending character codes to the PC. In programming the 8048, I took to writing the comments as lines of Pascal code following which was my hand-compiled assembly code -- it not only streamlined the process, but the comments were far more informative than mere prose would have been.

Then later in my time there I was given the task of making a few minor changes to a massive single-box product from their earlier days. A massive 8048 assembly program which ran an enormous loop, setting/resetting/testing flags, no symbolic names, hardly any comments (as I seem to recall 30 years later). In order to understand what it was doing, I had to flowchart it (an arcane art that we abandoned after our first programming class in 1977, because structured programming ... though I still have my templates stuck away somewhere). I forget how many pages that flowchart took. Fortunately, the code was not total spaghetti (like far too many BASIC programs), but rather it divided itself into a series of modules (each of which was very intricate) with one entry point and one exit point.

I was finally able to understand enough of it to see what I needed to do so I made the fix. And it worked ... almost. One very minor thing that didn't quite work as they wanted it to. We couldn't figure it out and nothing we tried to fix it worked. But what it did do seemed to be useful anyway, so we decided to call it a "feature."

 
A friend in our skeptics brunch meetings had worked his entire career at IBM starting in the 50's, I think. Something he saw happen many times was that they would find a bug in the mainframe software, one that had been there for several years. So they'd fix it. Then many of the programs suddenly stopped working. That generation of programmers was a very inventive lot and as they found those bugs on their own, they wrote their code in order to either work around the bug or else to exploit it to do something useful. I think I see an analogy to evolution's interplay between mutations and natural selection.

 
At Ford Aerospace, my first software job (1982), we were using a VAX-11 to design embedded software meant to run on an 8086 processor. So we used a Pascal cross-compiler and cross-assembler. The cross-compiler was a bit buggy -- I will not name it since the company still exists, but we would refer to it as "Bozo Pascal." The only bug I can remember 40 years later is that the BOOLEAN operation in the REPEAT..UNTIL structure was reversed, so that a TRUE evaluation would be interpreted as FALSE and vice versa. Therefore, we had to write our code to get around that bug. Which also meant that if that code were ever ported to a compiler that didn't have that bug, then the program would not work.

It also didn't help that the cross-compiler/assembler suite had been written for the PDP-11, so the VAX-11 had to go into emulation mode to run it, which slowed the VAX down to a crawl. Doing a complete build (compile-assemble-link) would literally take a couple hours, during which time there was nothing else for us to do than sit and wait. Our supervisor understood the situation, but he would still look at us with suspicion. "What are you doing?" Looked at the display, "We're still compiling." An hour later, "What are you doing?" "We're linking now."

Those were the days!


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dwise1
Member
Posts: 5055
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 2.9


Message 30 of 46 (890151)
12-27-2021 8:40 PM
Reply to: Message 29 by xongsmith
12-27-2021 7:36 PM


Re: Pullbacks in the name of the almighty dollar
As I recall this was from the late 70's with the growth of the "home computer" market. I seemed to recall that this happened on the Apple II, so I looked up the keyboard layout and this is what I found.

The power key was in the bottom left-hand corner right beneath the left shift key. In addition, the reset key was in the upper right-hand corner right above the return key. Since touchtyping means not having to look at the keyboard, hitting the power or reset button unintentionally was apparently a rather common mistake to make. Kind of like accidentally hitting the Caps Lock key on a Windows keyboard when going for the left shift key.

I saw a third-party piece of hardware for the Apple II which I recall hearing was very popular. It was a key guard that you could place over the reset key but that would hinge up out of the way when you actually wanted to hit reset. I assume that there was another one for the power key.

It looks like on the Apple IIe they moved the reset key to the right making it separate from the keyboard and removed the power key altogether.

Google on apple ii keyboard layout .


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dwise1
Member
Posts: 5055
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 2.9


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Message 34 of 46 (890459)
01-06-2022 2:14 AM
Reply to: Message 32 by Phat
01-06-2022 12:45 AM


Re: Watching some reruns via our streaming service
I had to see what intrigued you. It's all so science-fictiony. But it had a touch of humanity amidst the aliens.

That's the entire idea of science fiction. It allows us to step back and observe humanity more objectively.

Or didn't you realize that before?


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dwise1
Member
Posts: 5055
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 2.9


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Message 36 of 46 (890507)
01-07-2022 1:07 AM
Reply to: Message 35 by Tanypteryx
01-06-2022 11:15 PM


Re: Watching some reruns via our streaming service
No other science fiction series or movie has come up with a more clever solution to all the aliens being able to understand each other, translator microbes injected at birth by all advanced galactic species, that colonize the base of the brain, .obviously!

It's either that or stick a Babel fish in your ear. But communication past language barriers is a weak point in most sci-fi where they end up having to come up with some lame excuse to explain the problem away. Having to solve such problems each and every week only results in disasterous production schedule crashes.

Star Trek did have its universal translator, but that was ad hocked in the middle of the first season as alien tech ("Arena", where he fights the Gorn in San Dimas). The later excuse was that it was integrated into the comm systems (and comm badge) and so did its job transparently. One of the early novelizations even had them using a UT implant. Well, in The Making of Star Trek (1968) Gene Roddenberry did express the philosophy of just showing the technology being used and working instead of trying to explain it to the audience through an audience surrogate (everybody had been through Starfleet training as well as living with the basic tech all their lives, so ignorant dummies who had to have everything explained to them were a very rare bird indeed) -- though Sulu did once try to explain how a 20th century police side arm worked before being cut short.

Stargate SG-1 had the flimsiest excuse, which is that since Daniel Jackson is a brilliant linquist (perhaps even a cunning one) he would immediately figure out that planet's language. Doesn't work that way, though that was the approach taken properly in the original movie.

Should point out that Farscape's solution was used by Edgar Rice Burroughs in 1917 in A Princess of Mars. Upon arriving on Barsoom John Carter is captured by Green Martians who force him to drink something very disgusting, the same thing that they feed to their hatchlings to teach them language.

Having to learn a completely foreign language can work in a movie or miniseries as a very good dramatic and expositional device (eg, Dances With Wolves, Shogun), but it very quickly becomes unwieldy and a waste of broadcast time in an weekly TV show.

BTW, the only Lakota word that we ever learned was "tatanka" for bison -- both my ex-wife and I had started out as language majors, so we both listened carefully to the subtitled Lakota dialogue in that movie trying to find patterns. Years later, after going to see a movie, my friend and I would hold our debrief at BJ's Restaurant and Brewhouse. She liked their Russian stout, which they called "Tatanka". Then one evening I looked up at the posters on the wall for their brews, saw the bison on the Tatanka poster, and suddenly made the connection. Yeah, well duh! Made me feel like the Doctor who always berates himself for being so very slow witted.

 
One major lesson we (my ex-wife and me) learned from Star Trek, especially through TNG, was that California oak trees had spread out throughout the galaxy. Because every planet they went to which used location shooting had California oaks! Then one afternoon a Fourth Doctor episode of "Doctor Who" was on in which after materializing they wonder where they are, whereupon the Doctor picks up an acorn and announces that they are on Earth, the only place with oak trees! We refused to buy that, knowing from Star Trek that Californa oaks are everywhere.

Edited by dwise1, : Cleaning up in a few places


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dwise1
Member
Posts: 5055
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 2.9


Message 37 of 46 (890510)
01-07-2022 1:34 AM
Reply to: Message 32 by Phat
01-06-2022 12:45 AM


Re: Watching some reruns via our streaming service
It's all so science-fictiony. But it had a touch of humanity amidst the aliens.

Go back and rewatch Star Trek. The Original Series (TOS) even. They were addressing and working with ideas that could never be in presented in any regular TV show at that time, but which could sneak through under the guise of science fiction.

In an interview with Nichelle Nichols, she told about a realization she had while reading the latest script. She confronted Gene Roddenberry and said, "You're writing morality plays!" He immediately shushed her and asked her to not tell anybody else. Look at the many episodes of The Twilight Zone, morality plays every one of them. That is what science fiction is!

An additional note. In German, sci-fi is is often called "Zukunftsromane", "future novels." But another label has become, "Möglichkeitsromane", "possibility novels." Exploring various "what if" scenarios. And each and every one explores the question of "where will human nature lead us?"

 
A tag-line quote that I saved years ago: Those who fail to learn the lessons of science fiction are doomed to live them.


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dwise1
Member
Posts: 5055
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 2.9


(1)
Message 46 of 46 (891314)
01-24-2022 3:05 PM
Reply to: Message 31 by Tanypteryx
01-05-2022 8:28 PM


Re: Watching some reruns via our streaming service
I don't know if anyone at EvC has watched Farscape but it is my all time favorite science fiction series. I have found it on several channels and just noticed that the version on Comet has been reformatted for the wider screens.

I had not watched it when it was on originally, so I watched it when it was on Netflix -- 88 episodes in total, as I seem to recall, and that was at least a few years before lockdown (during which my main catch-up binging was The Sopranos). However, Netflix did not carry the two-part sequel miniseries, Farscape: The Peacekeeper Wars, so I never got to watch it.

I just now saw that Farscape is on Amazon Prime, so out of curiosity I drilled down into the episode list of the last season and found Farscape: The Peacekeeper Wars. I've just started watching it.


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