Saturday, January 31, 2015

The GE Great Awakening Computer Radio is smarter than you

(via The Retroist's Facebook)
Well, at six in the morning, anything is going to be smarter than me. Love the faux wood grain that electronics used to have back in the day. It's much nicer than the standard solid black that most consumer electronics have nowadays. I would love to find one of these to use.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Hilariously fake Grey Poupon commercial

What do you 'Poupon'?

Personally, I always enjoyed their old commercials with the two old guys in Rolls Royces.

Oh, burn.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

3 important qualities that every employer looks for

In today economy, finding a job in a very competitive job market can be tough, so I thought I'd list three important traits that every employer looks for when they need to fill a job:

1. Having style
2. Having flair.
3. Being there.

With these three critical traits, you can easily become...The Nanny.

Apparently not knowing CPR and first aid, not a deal breaker when taking care of children. Did Sheffield or Niles even do a background check on Fran before putting three kids in her care?

I'm going to enjoy it if this post someone attracts people looking for job tips. The only ones I have is to stay in school, then go to college and major in something that will actually be financially useful in your life, like STEM, law, medicine, or finance or something. Get yourself set up and stable, then go back for that degree in art, literature, or whatever. I'm not knocking your degrees, but art history probably isn't going to feed, clothe, or house you like an engineering degree can.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Welp, that happened: RadioShack expected to declare bankruptcy next month

(via The Old Computer)
Can't say that I'm terribly surprised by this. The only one I remember every going to was the one in my hometown and that store had nothing worth talking about. Still, it's a shame because RadioShack did have a place in the history of computers and electronics. They introduced the TRS-80 in 1977, one of the first PCs to be mass-produced. After they got out of the PC market, they just became a place to buy batteries.
(via Wikipedia)

Last year, they launched a new ad campaign that started off with one store getting blitzed by literally every figure and character from '80s pop culture and the store then getting updated to modern standards.

Holy crap, the California Raisins!

Unfortunately, that clearly didn't help them, even though their commercials after that were aimed at the DIY crowd with the tagline "Do It Together". I just wonder if they just did it wrong. I mean, one of the commercials featured a dad with a half dozen newborns buying a special remote with an earphone jack so that he could watch TV without waking them up. Another one has a guy asking about using wireless sensors to turn on stuff from his recliner and we get the comedic ending with his wife getting soaked by the sprinklers and the RadioShack employee pointing out that he could hook the sprinklers up to the sensors.

Those things are cool and all, but how are they DIY? The remote sensors in the second commercial are probably plug and play since they didn't give any indication if wiring was involved and the remote in the first commercial could probably be found at Walmart, so that's nothing special.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

I hope at least some of the women in this picture were actually engineers at the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers

(via engineeringhistory)
On one hand, women clearly outnumber their male counterparts in this picture and that is pretty awesome. On the other, I get the feeling that by the time period, the 1960s, not many of these ladies were engineers. It's unfortunate too, because women are equally capable at computers and electronics as men. After all, the first computer programmer was a woman, Ada Lovelace. "Amazing Grace" Hopper helped develop both the UNIVAC I computer and the COBOL computer language. During WWII, you had women entering factories as mechanics and engineers until they were unceremoniously kicked to the curb after the war ended and all the G.I.s came home.

IBM System/370 Mainframe

"Monolithic integrated circuits, microscopic in size, that perform logical and arithmetic operations at speeds measured in nanoseconds."
"Main core memories having capacities up to 2-million bytes for the Model 155 and 3-million for the Model 165."
"Monolithic buffer storage that holds data and instructions ready before they are actually needed, streaming them into the central processing unit on demand at nanosecond speeds."
"The ability to handle up to 15 different program tasks simultaneously…"

-- IBM.
(via Forbes/David M. Ewalt)
"To illustrate System/370 performance and economy, Mr. Rodgers noted that the new Model 165 operates up to five times faster internally than System/360 Model 65. Yet the user's equipment cost to achieve the increased performance level is relatively modest in comparison with the gain in processing capability. The Model 155 has up to four times the internal operating speed of System/360 Model 50."
"Users also can increase system throughput by attaching to System/370 the new IBM 3330 disk storage and the IBM 3211 printer.
Designed for large data base applications that require ready and rapid access to vast amounts of information, the 3330 combines high operating speed with the flexibility of virtually unlimited storage on removable, direct access magnetic disks. It has three-and-a-half times more on-line storage capacity - - up to 800-million bytes (more than 1.5-billion decimal digits) - - than other IBM disk storage facilities and has an average access time of only 30-thousandths of a second.
In addition to the 3330, System/370 users can take advantage of the very fast storage available with the recently announced IBM 2305 fixed head storage facility. This device previously was offered only with IBM's most powerful computers, System/360 Models 85 and 195. It is designed to provide direct access to data the central processor uses repeatedly, such as control programs and working files. The average access time of the faster of two models is only 2.5 thousandths of a second."
As cool as computers and gadgets look today, there's just something about computers of the days of yore. I mean, yeah, this thing was probably about as powerful as a first gen iPhone, but it looks as cool as anything. The whole thing, with the buttons and colors has a very Star Trek feel to it. The wand thing in the foreground there is interesting too.

I want a sweater like that too.

h/t scientificsatellite.

Sega's ads for Genesis and Game Gear were a just a tad bit risque

But you know, just a smidge.

About as subtle as a nuclear attack.
Both ads are about as subtle as a nuclear attack and probably wouldn't be published nowadays in most gaming mags, but online? Probably.

Both ads via 8-Bit Central.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Did Colonel Klink from Hogan's Heroes really know what Hogan and company were up to?

(via Wikipedia)
I'm not a big watcher of Hogan's Heroes, but for some reason, that idea popped into my head today. On the show, Klink is depicted and an absolute dumbass who probably couldn't find his way to the bathroom without getting lost and ending up on the Western Front. But what if it was just an act? What if Klink was fully aware that Hogan and his group were running a sophisticated intelligence operation out of Stalag 13 and purposely did jack and squat to stop him? There's certainly no way that he could be that blind and ignorant to Hogan's shenanigans unless it was all an act. As long as he didn't actively participate and played dumb, he could argue plausible deniability if the POWs were ever caught.

Think about it this way: Colonel Klink was a member of the German aristocracy (a Junker), even if his name lacked the wealth that normally comes with nobility. He was also a member of the regular Germany military. Both groups hated Hitler and the Nazis and even tried to assassinate the former many times. I mean, hell, Sgt. Schultz is depicted as equally dumb, but he at least had some knowledge that Hogan and Co. were up to something. If he knew, then Klink had to too, right?

Speaking of Schultz, it's weird how he's portrayed as an idiot, but yet, he ran the largest and most successful toy company in Germany before his factory was converted to war use and he was recalled to the military. How do you run a successful company and be as dumb as Schultz is depicted on the show?

Unfortunately, as The A.V. Club points out, Hogan's Heroes was never given a proper series finale, so we have no idea how things ended. I'd like to think though that if it did have a finale, it would be revealed that Klink and Schultz knew. It would also have them helping the POWs make their escape from Stalag 13 (no idea if the camp was in the danger from the Red Army or not) with the two Germans escaping with them as Hogan's "prisoners".

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Good for him: Stephen Fry marrying his boyfriend Elliot Spencer

And I'm sure there's going to be much foo foo over the fact that there's a thirty-year age difference between Fry (57) and Spencer (27), but honestly who gives a shit? God knows Fry deserves to be happy and according to one of his friends, he's smiling again, so that's great.