WSJ: Mossberg takes the Linux bait and snarls ....

Gene Heskett gene.heskett at
Fri Sep 14 21:54:07 UTC 2007

On Friday 14 September 2007, Lamar Owen wrote:
>On Friday 14 September 2007, Gene Heskett wrote:
>> Strangely, I don't have to be near as carefull on those rare occasions
>> when I have it running XP.
>Same here.
>> I've asked politely, and I've asked obnoxiously, the same question:
>> When is the touchpad going to be fixed?
>> I'm a mostly retired broadcast engineer, the type that makes the high
>> powered transmitters you watch tv from work.  I deal routinely with high
>> voltage power supplies capable of sucking a megawatt+ from the powerline
>> under fault conditions.
>I have 17 years of experience as a broadcast engineer;  fun stuff.  The most
>shocked I have been at a manufacturer was when I saw the control system for
>Thales' DTV transmitter was Windows NT 4.0.

I saw that, and gave the saleman 5 or 6 choices of jobs in hell.  Actually, if 
you didn't mind its penchant for deleting important system files, the kind 
that you can only get from a fresh install with a new license cuz Bills 
people can't grok that the file just disappeared from a legal, running 
system, it wasn't too bad.  A step, albeit way too short a one, up from 

>(The most _shocked_ I have been was at the cassette deck that ran by itself
>without being plugged in, five feet away from a 10KW AM tower).  That and
> the miscellaneous RF burns from disconnected wires lying in the near
> field... and the audio coming from the chain link fence in the near
> field... Computers are downright tame compared to RF engineering.

That's what you get for playing in ancient mary's field, she can be a 
cantankerous old bitch. :)  I only have 45 years in BC engineering, got a 
late start in '62, but I've been chasing electrons for a living 
since '48-ish.  Biggest AM I ever played with was a 5kw, but tvs tend to play 
out in the 30kw range cuz you get the rest of the gain from multibay antennas 
if your engineering is smart.  V's or U's.  High power klystrons are fun, one 
40 millisecond burp in the focus current and a $150,000 tube is history, or 
you are two feet from the off button, hear the water pump motor get single 
phased and recognize the sound as your hand heads for the button, but by the 
time your hand gets there its too late, another klystron has a hole bored 
through the collector and is full of water, making it trash filler.  I was 
present for that latter occurrence.

>Lamar Owen
>Chief Information Officer
>Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute
>1 PARI Drive
>Rosman, NC  28772

Your site reminds me of a somewhat smaller version of our installation at 
Green Bank WV.  Yup, I'm almost a neighbor...

Cheers, Gene
"There are four boxes to be used in defense of liberty:
 soap, ballot, jury, and ammo. Please use in that order."
-Ed Howdershelt (Author)
Good-bye.  I am leaving because I am bored.
		-- George Saunders' dying words

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