Page 5 of 5 FirstFirst ... 345
Results 121 to 141 of 141

Thread: Reminded That I Live in the Future

  1. #121
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    15,803
    It really was like the first 7 chapters of a 10 chapter book I already own, but made slightly more long winded. And it was a Dutch translation of a French book, not sure if it was ever translated to English.

    It's this one:

    https://www.abebooks.co.uk/Encyclope...20204866173/bd

    Apparently it should be in two parts. Hmmm next time I'm at the shop I'll check if it indeed has the "1" on it. I wonder what's in part two, given they covered almost everything in part 1 already. They didn't have any part 2 in the shop though.
    With sufficient thrust, water towers fly just fine.

  2. #122
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    No longer near Grover's Mill
    Posts
    5,359
    I just learned that I can adjust my home’s thermostat using my phone.
    We have a utility-provided thermostat that allows them to disable our air conditioner for brief periods of peak load. Someone at the power company figured out that they could link it to the phone app that reports usage and billing. It turns out that the remote control features are more extensive than just on/off.

    Of course, anything that can be controlled via the Internet can be controlled from the far reaches of the planet or some hacker’s basement, so I worry a little about security.
    I may have many faults, but being wrong ain't one of them. - Jimmy Hoffa

  3. #123
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Nowhere (middle)
    Posts
    38,039
    Quote Originally Posted by Extravoice View Post
    Of course, anything that can be controlled via the Internet can be controlled from the far reaches of the planet or some hacker’s basement, so I worry a little about security.
    And when the network goes down, so does your house.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  4. #124
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    No longer near Grover's Mill
    Posts
    5,359
    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    And when the network goes down, so does your house.
    I suspect that only remote control of the thermostat is lost in the event of a network outage. If it doesn’t continue local operation, it would be a really bad design.
    I may have many faults, but being wrong ain't one of them. - Jimmy Hoffa

  5. #125
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    19,811
    Quote Originally Posted by Extravoice View Post
    I suspect that only remote control of the thermostat is lost in the event of a network outage. If it doesn’t continue local operation, it would be a really bad design.
    That's certainly how ours works. The boiler, heating and hot water programs continue as normal when the internet's down, and the local adjustment from the wifi control in the hallway continues to work, if I don't want to walk as far as the hard-wired control in the utility room.
    But I can turn the heating in the house from "frost prevention" back to "inhabited" settings while I'm standing in the boarding queue at a foreign airport, and then start the water heating while I'm waiting at the baggage claim in my local terminal (assuming such things ever happen in my life again).
    Oh, and there's a proximity setting which turns everything to "frost prevention" as soon as my phone gets more than some specified distance from the house. I feel my wife might object to that, though, if the heating shut down every time I went hillwalking.

    Grant Hutchison

  6. #126
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    The beautiful north coast (Ohio)
    Posts
    50,096
    Quote Originally Posted by Extravoice View Post
    I suspect that only remote control of the thermostat is lost in the event of a network outage. If it doesn’t continue local operation, it would be a really bad design.
    That's how ours works too (we have a Honeywell thermostat). If the Internet or our wifi go down, local operation still works just fine. It uses a Honeywell app that you can load on your phone.

    I'm not a particular fan of smart devices (because of the security concerns), but it is the one that came with our new furnace/AC. And it is otherwise a nice thermostat and the app is actually kind of cool (no pun intended).
    At night the stars put on a show for free (Carole King)

    All moderation in purple - The rules

  7. #127
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    The Great NorthWet
    Posts
    16,122
    Our house is just two years old. We can connect the HVAC, garage doors, generator, fridge, and who knows what else to the network. I have no intention of doing any of them.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  8. #128
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    No longer near Grover's Mill
    Posts
    5,359
    I don’t know how this thermostat talks to the power utility. It doesn’t rely on WiFi, so either it connects directly to the cellular system, via a dedicated radio network, or through the power line.
    I may have many faults, but being wrong ain't one of them. - Jimmy Hoffa

  9. #129
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    19,362
    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    Our house is just two years old. We can connect the HVAC, garage doors, generator, fridge, and who knows what else to the network. I have no intention of doing any of them.
    I always wonder how long that would work anyway. Phone apps have to be updated now and then to keep up with phone OS updates. Big established companies are more likely stay in business to do that, but how long will they bother? I’ve seen stories about smart speakers losing support after only five years from one major company, although the hardware still works fine. Big appliances can easily last twenty years or more. I pulled out an early 2000s PDA and got it working a bit just to try it again. It can only connect on an unencrypted wi-fi connection since it only supports an early, easily broken encryption standard no longer supported by modern routers. At that, I’m using an older router, how long before the old, slow wi-fi standard used by the PDA is no longer supported? The PDA’s browser is virtually useless since it can’t handle modern web pages. So that’s an example of the sort of things appliances might be faced with in future years.

    Then there are the appliances that depend on the company maintaining a site for the appliance to connect to. What happens when that goes away? Google bought Nest and has already switched over to a different scheme that caused owners to lose features.

    I wouldn’t buy any appliance and count on the wifi features lasting more than a few years.

    "The problem with quotes on the Internet is that it is hard to verify their authenticity." — Abraham Lincoln

    I say there is an invisible elf in my backyard. How do you prove that I am wrong?

    The Leif Ericson Cruiser

  10. #130
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    No longer near Grover's Mill
    Posts
    5,359
    On a related note, I had a second-generation Kindle that only connected to Amazon via 3G cellular. I think 3G is no longer supported by any carrier.
    I may have many faults, but being wrong ain't one of them. - Jimmy Hoffa

  11. #131
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    15,803
    I learned programming in VB6. That one has left the building in recent years, but I still do some job related programming in Arduino (C++), batch files and VBA. In the spirit of hobby self-improvement I wanted to do some programming in Commodore 64 basic though. Make some music software for its sound chip. The thing is, I sold all my C64 stuff a few years ago. Yes, just before the prices went up. And now they're overpriced and I know from my days just how unreliable those power supplies, floppy drives and also the main unit can be with the age they've got now. So no way I'm going to spend more than pocket change on one of those.

    However, I happen to live in the future. A future where there's a decent emulator for everything. So I'm now running C64 basic right here on my W10 laptop, with the same interface, speed (or lack thereof), very similar sound and even fake CRT scanlines. So I can have a go at programming the dinosaur without having to own one.

    And, given that we are living in the future, if I would ever like to run my code on real hardware I could still buy an old one, or an FPGA based reissue. For those not familiar: FPGA is futuristic technology that is rapidly taking over a lot of electronics. Basically, it's a chip in which you can choose the way the transistors are connected through code. That way, you can program it to be any digital chip you want on the hardware level. So you can program an FPGA to the exact digital circuit of, let's say, a Sega Megadrive game computer. It's not emulating a Megadrive, it de facto IS a Megadrive circuit and will behave EXACTLY like the real deal, including all hardware bugs and tricks. Now I can't really use that for my C64 music software, as the original C64's sound chip is largely analog and FPGA can't do that.
    With sufficient thrust, water towers fly just fine.

  12. #132
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Norfolk UK and some of me is in Northern France
    Posts
    9,282
    Quote Originally Posted by Nicolas View Post
    I learned programming in VB6. That one has left the building in recent years, but I still do some job related programming in Arduino (C++), batch files and VBA. In the spirit of hobby self-improvement I wanted to do some programming in Commodore 64 basic though. Make some music software for its sound chip. The thing is, I sold all my C64 stuff a few years ago. Yes, just before the prices went up. And now they're overpriced and I know from my days just how unreliable those power supplies, floppy drives and also the main unit can be with the age they've got now. So no way I'm going to spend more than pocket change on one of those.

    However, I happen to live in the future. A future where there's a decent emulator for everything. So I'm now running C64 basic right here on my W10 laptop, with the same interface, speed (or lack thereof), very similar sound and even fake CRT scanlines. So I can have a go at programming the dinosaur without having to own one.

    And, given that we are living in the future, if I would ever like to run my code on real hardware I could still buy an old one, or an FPGA based reissue. For those not familiar: FPGA is futuristic technology that is rapidly taking over a lot of electronics. Basically, it's a chip in which you can choose the way the transistors are connected through code. That way, you can program it to be any digital chip you want on the hardware level. So you can program an FPGA to the exact digital circuit of, let's say, a Sega Megadrive game computer. It's not emulating a Megadrive, it de facto IS a Megadrive circuit and will behave EXACTLY like the real deal, including all hardware bugs and tricks. Now I can't really use that for my C64 music software, as the original C64's sound chip is largely analog and FPGA can't do that.
    Thanks for that, I found it interesting as I am currently using Arduino plus some hardware to do a project that flashes lights. I shall have to look up FPGA to understand how the chip reconfigures itself, rather than emulating. At first hearing it sounds like magic!
    sicut vis videre esto
    When we realize that patterns don't exist in the universe, they are a template that we hold to the universe to make sense of it, it all makes a lot more sense.
    Originally Posted by Ken G

  13. #133
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    15,803
    Basically you get an array of logical blocks which can be connected by closing switches between them. And as those switches are configurable by software, you can create any logic circuit you want with them. Well, up to a certain size.
    With sufficient thrust, water towers fly just fine.

  14. #134
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Norfolk UK and some of me is in Northern France
    Posts
    9,282
    Yes, I read the WP article and it made sense of electronic innovations that I had kept up with. There is a divide , if I may simplify, between “thinking like a transistor” and “thinking like a programmer”. My training included both but was in the past. Living in the future needs us to get past future shock, and the effects of scale as well as innovation. At a small scale, it is still amazing what a bunch of transistors can do, at less cost than the packaging they come in, but fewer people get to understand, and the scale of software in corporations and government is mind boggling. This is acute for me having worked with both types of specialists, hardware and sorftware, and seen the time go by . Oh how the time goes by, failures and bugs, and less distributed knowledge of how to intervene.
    sicut vis videre esto
    When we realize that patterns don't exist in the universe, they are a template that we hold to the universe to make sense of it, it all makes a lot more sense.
    Originally Posted by Ken G

  15. #135
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    15,803
    The loss of knowledge about the hardware side of things when programming is one of the reasons I'm programming in C64 basic now. The only thing closer to programming on the hardware is assembler language, which I'll happily pass on for the time being. But at least with C64 basic there are no API's or anything between you and the hardware; you can peek an poke directly into memory locations that are "right on top of" hardware functionality. Gives some insight about what's going on underneath the surface when programming in more modern environments.

    I must add that programming in C64 basic is not really a fun experience for the time being, but I'm learning a lot.
    With sufficient thrust, water towers fly just fine.

  16. #136
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    1,408
    I am sure that similar experiments are being made around the world but this is one that was in todays news and is claimed to be a world first. Thought control of computer actions is certainly something that makes me me think that I live in the future.


    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-10-...uters/12825048

  17. #137
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Norfolk UK and some of me is in Northern France
    Posts
    9,282
    Quote Originally Posted by Nicolas View Post
    The loss of knowledge about the hardware side of things when programming is one of the reasons I'm programming in C64 basic now. The only thing closer to programming on the hardware is assembler language, which I'll happily pass on for the time being. But at least with C64 basic there are no API's or anything between you and the hardware; you can peek an poke directly into memory locations that are "right on top of" hardware functionality. Gives some insight about what's going on underneath the surface when programming in more modern environments.

    I must add that programming in C64 basic is not really a fun experience for the time being, but I'm learning a lot.
    I admire your initiative! When I was working on Concorde , my friend was using assembler language to control the Rolls-Royce engines. In those days the compactness of assembler was a critical factor which has been overcome by a surfeit of memory in today’s systems ! At that time I was fascinated by the impressive analog computer, each of whose amplifiers was valve based, and several of which I tripped out making rookie mistakes. That kind of analog computer was rapidly overtaken by emulation in serial machines but I still remember the fascination of hooking two amplifiers together as integrators and watching a perfect sinewave appear on the oscilloscope.
    A lot of the supersonic aerodynamics were developed using assembler and analog computing. Long before the Commodore 64 was born! When technology provides meta solutions, there is always some loss, but hopefully a net gain.
    sicut vis videre esto
    When we realize that patterns don't exist in the universe, they are a template that we hold to the universe to make sense of it, it all makes a lot more sense.
    Originally Posted by Ken G

  18. #138
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    No longer near Grover's Mill
    Posts
    5,359

    Reminded That I Live in the Future

    Quote Originally Posted by Nicolas View Post
    Basically you get an array of logical blocks which can be connected by closing switches between them. And as those switches are configurable by software, you can create any logic circuit you want with them. Well, up to a certain size.
    That’s a pretty good first approximation. They have a lot of useful applications in industry. Fast turn around design, and low unit cost relative to “application-specific integrated circuits” if your production rates are low.

    I’ve been working with FPGAs since their predecessor “programmable logic devices” appeared on the scene in the late 1980s. Today’s devices range from relatively simple arrays of gates to devices with embedded processors, high-speed data links, RF circuits, etc.
    There is also a pretty robust market of relatively inexpensive hobbyist boards and “evaluation cards” from the main FPGA manufacturers (Xilinx, and Intel(formerly Altera))as well as third parties.
    I may have many faults, but being wrong ain't one of them. - Jimmy Hoffa

  19. #139
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Nowhere (middle)
    Posts
    38,039
    Quote Originally Posted by ozduck View Post
    Thought control of computer actions is certainly something that makes me me think that I live in the future.
    I've been seeing such reports since I was a child.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  20. #140
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Posts
    191
    Quote Originally Posted by Extravoice View Post
    I don’t know how this thermostat talks to the power utility. It doesn’t rely on WiFi, so either it connects directly to the cellular system, via a dedicated radio network, or through the power line.
    I wondered the same thing about the Snapshot Device that my insurance company had me plug into my vehicles diagnostic port. I decided it must use cellular communications, but I really don't know.

  21. #141
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    15,803
    Quote Originally Posted by ozduck View Post
    I am sure that similar experiments are being made around the world but this is one that was in todays news and is claimed to be a world first. Thought control of computer actions is certainly something that makes me me think that I live in the future.


    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-10-...uters/12825048
    I only need one level of -fake!- thought control, and all it would require would be some fancy software running on the webcam: a simple eye tracker that puts the focus on whichever window I stare at when I press keyboard keys so that it will perform the action in the window I think I'm working in.
    With sufficient thrust, water towers fly just fine.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •