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I am not too worried about anything pre-2000 as emulation has got really good over the last few years, just in time as the surviving legacy hardware became prohibitively expensive to acquire. The internet archive has also made it easier than ever to access old software.

What concerns me are early 2000s stuff with DRM and server-side content to make preservation difficult if not impossible.

Cloud anything is also a huge red flag for preservation.

On the other hand there is a game I played on PowerPC macs but the developer released it on github and now it's been updated and compiled for ARM and x86. As long as source is available it's usually not very hard to port to a different architecture.

Bruce Schneier wrote a similar post back in 2016, and he was ridiculed pretty badly by everybody. Interesting to see how the opinion has shifted to the other extreme in less than 10 years.


What I hate is there’s no way for me to say “I know the risks, I still want this feature”. I have been carefully making sure this data is collected for years and I use it all the time.

That's not an option because Google has decided they don't want to bear the risks. Which, frankly, is entirely reasonable.

A great example of the tyranny of the majority[1]

[1]: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tyranny_of_the_majority

Support for PCI-E bifurcation on consumer motherboards was really good for a while when PCI-E 4.0 first came out, however it has since regressed again.

Not many motherboards in the latest gen can do a proper x8+x4+x4 split. They may claim to support it but you run into weird issues has to spend weeks waiting for a bios fix. Or sometimes the support might be there but it is so poorly explained in the manual that I had to actually test it on hand to make sure that I was reading it correctly.

To be fair, HEDT motherboards are not immune to this type of stupidity. However they do manage to get over these issues with the sheer number of lanes.

There is no need to make every port fully featured. Even MacBooks doesn't have that for the kind of price they demand

Having different ports that are mechanically compatible but not feature-wise is a UX failure. The blue/black color labeling made that somewhat acceptable for USB-A, but now that motherboards have started to use blue/red color labeling for ports that are feature compatible (just connected differently internally), even that color labeling is becoming a UX failure.

I think at least the Mx do have only fully featured ports?

If they support just one display but you can plug it in any port is one thing.

On a motherboard you're more likely to see 'these 5 ports are data only, 2 of them can charge beyond 5W, and that 6th port can be used for a display'.

It might be worth pointing out that reviewers are only on board to offer their opinion with the material given at face value. After all they are probably not in a position to experimentally verify whether the results are reproducible.

The editor always has the final word on whether a manuscript gets accepted.

Nikon started off as a defense contractor making rifle scopes and artillery sights for the military. Camera lens was a side business that took over after the war.

While no longer on the cutting edge, they still have a significant presence in the semiconductor lithography business. So they will survive in one way or another even if they stop making cameras one day.

Technical issues aside, the current crop of crypto people took the half baked Austrian school economics to their hearts, where scarcity begets value and hyper-deflation makes a desirable outcome.

Satoshi invented Bitcoin as a form of protest against the prevailing economic conditions following the GFC. I don't blame Satoshi for it as he probably wasn't 100% serious about the endeavour, however the way Bitcoin (and majority of crypto that followed) is structured guaranteed that it will end up as a means for people to speculate.

On a related and lighter hearted note, back in the beginning of the 20th century the government of Hungary once mandated adding the pH indicator phenylphthalein to locally produced wine as a way to mark its origin for tax purposes. The compound is tasteless and clear at the acidic pH of wines, but would turn bright pink with some alkali added.

Sounds ideal right? However soon people started to complain that the wine gave them explosive diarrhea. Turns out that phenylphthalein is actually a potent laxative, just that nobody knew because it had never been given to such a large number of people in high doses. The wine were quickly withdrawn from the market and phenylphthalein remained a popular constipation medicine well into the 1980s before it was replaced by safer alternatives.

I was at an all-boys boarding school in the 70s when a bottle of phenylphthalein went missing. They shut the whole school down until it reappeared (it was left on the windowsill of a teacher's house IIRC). No idea what the culprit was intending to do with it. Put it in the tea urn and try to make the whole school shit itself to death?

"...a bottle of phenylphthalein went missing"

Uh? What was the big deal? We had bottles of phenylphthalein in the school lab and no one cared a damn about it or whether any went missing because it was so commonly available and so cheap. And most of us had phenylphthalein at home in our medicine chests in name of Ford Pills. When TV ads told us to take it to 'keep fit and regular' it was just something one was used to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uBPWt4OQ-RY

BTW, when I wanted an indicator at home for my chemistry set (in the days when they made 'real' sets with chemicals that actually did things) I just went to the medicine chest got the Ford Pills out and crushed them (they were a brownish color inside) but the additives usually weren't a problem, the indicator still worked fine.

>What was the big deal?

I wasn't party to the decision making. But imagine the staff were a bit twitchy about what a malicious teenager could do with a whole bottle of the stuff. And what else they might do if they got away stealing the phenylphthalein.

When in the 70s?

I ask as there was a sudden shift in perception about the dangers of chemicals by the public sometime in the 1970s when worries were heightened (at least so in Australia where I was at the time but I think it occurred in many places). Perhaps it was this heightened concern that was responsible for the unnecessary worry over the stolen phenolphthalein.

What I've observed since my schooling in the 1960s is that worry about chemicals has definitely increased amongst the GP but unfortunately it has never been matched by a better understanding of chemistry. We often see this manifest in say overblown responses to incidents such as a spill of a relatively innocuous chemical, here both fear and perceived threat are not in keeping with actual reality. When all threats appear similar there's always the risk of not responding adequately to a situation that is actually very dangerous.

I'm glad my schooling was just before this change in thinking occurred because I had the chance to come in contact with materials that most school kids never see these days such as mercury, benzene, metallic potassium, sodium, lithium, white phosphorus, various —CN compounds, and we not only learned the equation for the black powder reaction but also we had to make the stuff and those who couldn't get it to explode failed the prac experiment. Also we had radioactive sources including metallic uranium of which discs were handed around the class to demonstrate its high density.

By today's standards that sounds like a dangerous free-for-all but it definitely was not. We were carefully and thoroughly instructed in the handling of chemicals including safety, storage, toxicity and having to recognize that certain types of chemicals were likely to be more toxic than others (even if we'd never encountered them previously then we should be especially wary of them due to the inherent characteristics of such compounds). Also much attention was paid to purity and why source was important (for instance, was the chemical lab or pharmaceutical grade).

On that last point we did an experiment where we even tasted certain reagents which I've not time to recount in detail here but it was the most important safety lesson about chemicals I was ever taught. Unfortunately, such is the fear of chemicals now that these days such experiments can never be done by school kids.

How is all this relevant to this story? It's simple really, even though I'd never learned about the toxic nature of lead chromate at school the training I had then would have made me acutely aware of its potential dangers even if I didn't know them specifically. Just the mention of lead chromate and food in the same sentence would have waved red flags even when I was a school kid! That it doesn't among some people nowadays is a real worry.

When it comes to toxicity some safety rules are dead simple—an organic compound containing a heavy metal is almost always toxic (and often very toxic). For instance, even if one had never come across them previously one could be almost certain that, say, lead acetate and methyl mercury would be toxic and you'd never want to encounter even small amounts in food. Also, much emphasis was placed on good lab practice and treating all chemicals as potentially dangerous especially those that were unknown or unlabeled.

I get really annoyed at stories like this turmeric-lead chromate one because whilst the world has become more aware of unwanted chemicals in our food and in the environment—which is a good thing—but, as mentioned, there hasn't been a corresponding improvement in understanding of the underlying chemistry by many of the public. This ignorance manifests as an overly strong fear of chemicals or just plain ignorance as in this turmeric story—or both. That all too many people are now frightened at the mere mention of the word 'chemical' is not helpful, it's very counterproductive and potentially dangerous.

That stories like this can still emerge in the 21st Century is worrying (same with your story about worries over stolen phenolphthalein) through the lack of basic chemistry knowledge is very disconcerting.

It seems to me that our approach to teaching chemistry to the GP is wrong in that we've been teaching it from the perspective that those taught will become chemists whereas it ought to be taught to provide a better general understanding of why the use of chemicals is essential in the modern world and that knowing how to both handle them safely and use them properly is of paramount importance.

An incident that happened to me some years back clearly illustrates what can happen when the heightened fear of chemicals amongst the GP combines with a profound lack of knowledge. During a meeting that I did not arrange and which I was not a central player about the banning of PVC wiring in houses an environmentalist said to me that "we [environments] will eventually get Element 17 banned altogether from everything."

Whenever I recount this odd encounter I substitute element's common/scientific name to Element 17 to highlight the sheer absurdity of such a notion, especially this element. Unfortunately, amongst some people zealotry and ignorance have combined to produce such utterances, but the trouble is that whilst this was an extreme case it nevertheless doesn't go unnoticed and ends up having a negative impact on the general discourse.

I was taught that chemistry is essential for the modern world to the function and not to be frightened of chemicals but rather to be mightily respectful of them and that to handle them properly requires some basic knowledge about chemistry.

We ought to be worried when more than a tiny minority can somehow deny the world—even food—is made of elements and chemicals and that all human-made chemicals are 'unnatural'. It's a sure indication that something isn't fully right with our education systems.

>When in the 70s?

Lates 70s. Maybe 78 or 79.

The school wasn't overly obsessive about safety. They still us to regularly throw sodium into water to show what happened and that sort of thing. However it was a military school and the discipline was fierce. So perhaps they were more concerned about the theft than what was actually stolen.

I also despair about the public's general lack of education on scientific topics, to the point now where the word 'chemicals' is a synonym for unnatural or bad. Everything is made of chemicals and it always has been!

Interesting, when I was in school the preferred way to shut the school down was to call in a bomb threat from a pay phone

That's stupid and infantile and would get everyone offside. However there was one incident of notoriety that occurred about a year after I left school (so I take no credit for it nor would I've bothered) but the details weren't spared on me by someone who was still there.

We had a Kipp's generator (aka apparatus), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kipp%27s_apparatus, in the school chemistry lab (it was a well equipped school with separate physics chemistry and biology labs). Anyway, the Kipp's generator was mainly used for making H2S and was used in a properly equipped fume cupboard with a decent exhaust.

During the last day of term (muck-up day for final year students) some bright sparks decided to remove the generator from the lab and stick it in the airconditioning ducts with the view of stinking the whole school out.

Trouble was the science wasn't well thought out, they'd not calculated how much H2S would be required to produce an objectionable effect. From what I gather the odor was so minimal that the perpetrators who were looking for the odor could barely detect it.

BTW, everyone at school was taught [as part of the curriculum] the dangers of H2S and that after a certain threshold concentration it anesthetizes the nose so one thinks the concentration has fallen and that is why it's so dangerous.

Remember that this was a boarding school. We didn't get to go home, so there was no benefit to getting everything shut down. Also they were quite into using peer pressure via collective punishment.

Vanishing fake blood?

I'm way more curious about the reason for the harsh reaction from the school.

I remember doing titrations with that stuff in an organic chemistry course.

It's phenOlphthalein!

I'm pretty sure the current 32-bit build of CPU-Z does not use any modern SIMD extensions for its benchmark, only pure unadulterated x87 FP instructions. And the results can be hilariously confusing unless you know what is going on.

I use it as a tool to show that a large part of IPC gains over the past 20 years come from new instructions sets and recompiling old code is a must since frequency gains have pretty much peaked.

To be fair, if I just throw some code at my compiler that also won't use and modern SIMD extensions. You either have to write extra code paths, which in most software only happens in imported libraries; or you have to change your compiler options to exclude older processors.

CPU-Zs benchmark is mostly confusing in that it's a benchmark of run-of-the-mill poorly optimized software. In a way that's bad because power users tend to care more about the performance of well-optimzed code; on the other hand seeing the performance difference in naive code is also useful.

I would take whatever information they show with a grain of salt as it seems to simply relay superficial information the system BIOS/UEFI reports without verification.

For example, a stick or channel of system RAM may fail training at boot and end up being silently disabled. CPU-Z would blindly report all memory channels being present despite Windows task manager showing correctly that some of the memory are unavailable.

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