Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Things are progressing on the third Arrowverse TV show: more casting, possible title, and episode run

(via Broadway.com)
Man, oh man, the details for that new show is just coming out of the woodwork. First, two more characters have been revealed: Hawkgirl and Rip Hunter! Ciara Renée will be playing the most recent incarnation of Hawkgirl, Kendra Saunders, while Doctor Who alumni Arthur Darvill will be playing time traveler Rip Hunter. Yeah, Rory just can't escape time travel. I just wonder how many (if any) Doctor Who references the writers are going to toss in. There's gotta be at least one or two. I wonder which version of Saunders they're going to use though: the original or the New 52 version.


Personally, I'm hoping for the latter.
(via DC Comics Database)

So far, this is the cast list:

Brandon Routh - Atom
Wentworth Miller - Captain Cold
Caity Lotz - ?
Dominic Purcell - Heatwave
Ciara Renée - Hawkgirl
Victor Garba - Martin Stein/Firestorm
Arthur Darvill - Rip Hunter

Notably absent is Robbie Amell, who plays Ronnie Raymond, the other half of Firestorm. According to Greg Berlanti, there's a reason why Amell wasn't in the casting in the announcement for the show, but he "can't say why". Curious. Maybe Robbie Amell doesn't want to be tied down to a TV show and might have more of a recurring role? Or maybe they're going to replace Ronnie as the second half of the Firestorm matrix? After all, Jason Rusch exists in the Arrowverse, having appeared in The Flash episode "The Revenge of the Rogues", played by Luc Roderique.

(via Anglophenia)
Title-wise, ComicsAlliance is reporting that "Legends" is the working title. It works in the context that in Rip Hunter's time, the team and its members are considered legends. The only problem is that TNT already has a show called Legends. No idea what else to call it, since Warner Bros and DC probably want to avoid using Justice League before they finally get around to making a JL movie.

Could always call it Super Buddies. Yeah!

Whatever it's called, the show is getting a 13 episode run, according to original Flash, John Wesley Shipp. Regardless of what it's called, which Firestorm they use, or how many episodes the first season gets, I'm totally hyped for this show!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Ouch, Taskmaster, that's harsh


From Ant-Man Volume 2 #3 (Spencer/Rosanas).

So this entire time Scott Lang has had some kind of one-sided arch-rivalry with a guy who wasn't even aware of it? Hopefully Scott won't spend the rest of his day listening to Taylor Swift songs and moping. Scott does get back at him with a nice zinger about the rather incoherent theme of Taskmaster's costume.



I actually like Taskmaster's costume, but yeah, the skull mask is an odd choice. I mean, it looks cool as hell, but why a skull and one so realistic? Back in the aughts, UDON redesigned the costume to make it look more realistic and it was pretty cool.

Certainly more realistic than the pirate-themed one. His regular costume edges the UDON one out as my favorite, though.

Ant-Man #3 pictures via darkermydesire.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

IBM, CP/M, Microsoft, and creation of MS-DOS

(via ExtremeTech)
Found a rather interesting article on a website called TodayIFoundOut.com that explains the origin of Microsoft's MS-DOS and thought it was interesting. The article itself is actually about why hard drives are labeled "C" by default, but it's not as interesting compared to the story of MS-DOS.

(via Wikipedia)
It all begins back in '80s. IBM was about to make it's presence felt in the personal computer market by introducing their IBM PC in '81 and they wanted their machines loaded with a then-popular operating system called CP/M, made by a company called Digital Research, Inc. What's interesting is that CP/M was itself based on the CP/CMS OS created by IBM back in the '60s. Well, things didn't work out for whatever reason, supposedly because the wife of the Digital Research refused to sign a non-disclosure agreement. So, not being able to license CP/M for their PCs, Big Blue turned to a little software company run by Bill Gates and Paul Allen called Microsoft.



You might have heard of Microsoft, it's sort of a big deal. I hear Gates and Allen did pretty well for themselves, too.

(via Forbes)
IBM wanted MS to create a copy of CP/M, so that it would be compatible with software that ran on CP/M. Microsoft in turn bought a clone of that OS called 86-DOS and turned it into MS-DOS.  In other words, MS-DOS is based on a clone of an operating system that itself was based on an operating system created by IBM. Now add in the fact that Windows is based off MS-DOS and that is one hell of a lineage. IBM would rebrand MS-DOS to PC-DOS for their own computers and later developed it into a separate product.

In case you're wondering about the C drive thing, it's because back when computers still used floppies, the disk drives were labeled A and B (if the computer had two). Hard drives weren't a common feature back then, but when they did become common, they were just naturally labeled C. Like I said, not as interesting as the creation of MS-DOS.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Commodore PET

Credit: Tomislav Medak.
Stats:
CPU: 6502, 1 MHz
RAM: 4 or 8 kB / 8, 16, or 32 kB
ROM: 18 kB, including BASIC 1.0 / 20 kB, including BASIC 2.0 (disk drives not supported on the original 2001)
Video: discrete TTL video circuit, 9" monochrome monitor (blue phosphor on the original 2001, green on 2001-N PETs), 40×25 character display
Sound: none / single piezo "beeper" (optional external speaker driven by MOS 6522 CB2 pin)
Ports: 2 MOS 6520 PIA, MOS 6522 VIA, 2 Datassette (1 used / 1 on the back), 1 IEEE-488
Notes: 69 key chiclet keyboard and built-in Datassette / full-sized, full-travel keyboard, no built-in Datassette
32 KB memory! Monochrome monitor! 1 whole entire MHz! Man, computer technology certainly has advanced since this Commodore came out in 1977. It amazes me that at the time, this was a top of the line computer that could be found in businesses, schools, and probably homes. I know it might sound like I'm dumping on this computer because it's not high-tech compared to today's hardware, but trust me when I say I'm not. I really and truly like old electronics because they represent markers in the evolution of technology.

American Horror Story: Oh God, Why is That So Dusty?!
Credit: Marcin Whicary

While I do especially like the design of the PET, I can't say that the keyboard is blowing my socks off. The keys look ridiculously small and the placement next to the datassette had to make it awkward to use. It seems like you would either have to hold your hands and arms at an uncomfortable angle to use the keyboard or sit just a little to the right, which would make looking at the screen awkward, since it's not directly in front of your eyes.

And remember kids, keep your electronics dust-free or else the ghost of Steve Jobs will smite your computer and turn it into a Lisa.

A control panel for the Large Hadron Collider

(via The Guardian)
I like how there's a key involved to turn this thing on. This thing looks more like it's the control panel for a nuclear arsenal than for an atom smasher. Then again, atom smashers probably have a high degree of danger once they're turned on, so precautions are good. I can't even imagine what it must feel like to be the one who gets to fire that sucker up. Of course, the thing is that there's two beams involved, so there's probably a second panel just this for the other one.

It's probably one of those things that seems cooler than it actually is. It's probably about as mundane as flipping on a light switch or pressing a button on a vending machine.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Thank you, AJ

(via IGN)
So it was announced yesterday that AJ Lee is retiring from WWE. Huh.

You ever have one of those days where it just does not pay to get out of bed? I'll post something longer on Monday, because this isn't something to be rushed.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

RadioShack lives to see another day



Remember that post about RadioShack going bankrupt and how Sprint was planning on turning like half of them into Sprint stores? Well, according to Wired that's what's happening. The remaining 1,740 stores will share a third of their space with Sprint and both companies will have their names on the signs. The main reason why RadioShack still exists is because it was bought out by some hedge fund called Standard General. Apparently this didn't sit well with some other company called Selaus Capital Group who were RadioShack's biggest lender. You know, for an electronics company that is like universally agreed to have been outdated and moribund, The Shack sure has a lot of companies fighting for and over it.

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