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Light travels faster than sound, which is why some people appear clever until you hear them speak. -- Unknown

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Unless you were there, you really cannot appreciate how much damage Intel did to the PC ecosystem with the 286.


The 286 was the successor to the 8086 and 8088 CPUs that powered the original IBM PCs. It offered a huge step forward from them.

Those older chips always ran in "real mode," where memory locations had fixed addresses, and any running program could modify the contents of any address. This meant that you couldn't have two programs running at once, because one might try to use a bit of memory the other was already using, and blammo!

The 286 introduced "protected mode," which prevented programs from being able to mess with memory allocated to other programs. Instead of addresses corresponding directly to blocks of memory, in protected mode they were treated as "virtual" addresses, and mapped to memory allocated just for that program.

Protected mode meant the days when one program could reach into another one and mess with its memory would be over. And that opened up all sorts of possibilities. You could have real multitasking! A whole range of crash bugs would be instantly eliminated! Suddenly the PC began to look like a machine that you could put against a UNIX workstation with a straight face.

But there was a problem. To maintain backwards compatibility with the old chips, the 286 had to boot into real mode. It could then shift into protected mode on demand. But -- and this is a big BUT -- once it was shifted into protected mode, IT COULD NOT SHIFT BACK. The only way to get back into real mode was to reboot the PC.

Which was a problem, because every PC user owned a huge library of DOS software, much of which could only run in real mode. So the 286 gave you multitasking -- but if you ever needed to run a real-mode program, you had to reboot your PC (and lose all the other running programs) to run it.

This was, as you may imagine, not ideal.

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My Saturn images from the last few years.

From left to right:
1) 2015, 6" Maksutov, phone digiscope
2) 2016, Mak & Canon 550D
3) 2020, same as 2)
4) 2021, Mak & ZWO ASI 178MM
5) 2022, 8" Newtonian & 178MM

I believe that setup 5 has more potential too, haven't had good seeing yet this 🪐 season.

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Stream's up! Come and get it while it's hot!

Friday Livestream - ZONERS, Last Call BBS, Metro Exodus

#linux #gaming #programming #letsplay


So wife's phone lost the power button, no clue how, but it's gone. So bought a 3 refurb and I put on it. WOW! It's excellent! And I really feel like my is my own now. Yes I know there's still some tracking, I needed microG for some Play store only apps, but it's so amazingly fast and fresh and lightweight.

Thank you to all the of that project and all projects backing it!

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I don't usually post links to YT, but I'm a huge fan of Nostalgia Nerd, and it's frustrating to see yet another YT'er struggling with chasing YouTube's algorithm. I try to make it so easy to TILvids for creators to dual-host their content (even going so far as to running their channels for them, which is a ton of work on my end). I wish more folks would, at the very least, agree to dual-host their content. I get that they want to get paid for their (incredibly) hard work, but helping to grow an alternative ecosystem would not only be better for them in the long-run, but would also help create a better system for all the new channels looking to grow.

If you know a content creator struggling on YouTube, reach out to them and point them our way! We'd love to give them a second home at TILvids.com !


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@hatnix has just started streaming on their #owncast server! Check them out at:

Narrative Wednesday: „Oniria Crimes“ #2 english/deutsch

#videogames #streaming #gaming #deutsch #linux #english #hatclan

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Some great new stuff in this month!


First class support is probably what I'm most looking forward to playing with

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What's the strangest thing you've ever found in a book?

Here's my story...

About 20 years ago or so, I was at a Salvation Army auction one morning. They were selling of tons (literally) of junk they'd had donated to them over the last few years or so; stuff that wasn't easily sold in their actual stores. A lot of it was good stuff, too.

One thing that immediately caught my eye was a pallet (6' high, 4' wide X 4' wide) of nothing but boxed up hardcover books. I looked through some of the books in the top boxes and realized that there were some very old, and often valuable, books in this boxes. I decided I'd bid on it a bit and see where it goes.

The auctioneer kept bringing up lot after lot, but not the pallet of books. I was getting impatient by the time the morning wore on. Finally, when he'd pretty much sold everything that was in the yard back there that morning, he brought up the pallet of books. There was only a small crowd of folks left by then (about 20 or so). He described the contents of the pallet briefly by saying, "Here you go, folks... a bunch of books".

He looked around at the faces in the crowd and said, "I'm opening the bidding at one dollar." I about shit myself. I bid the $1 immediately to get things rolling. Well, after I bid, he looked around and said, "Once, twice, sold that man there for $1." I just laughed... and wondered how the Hell I was going to get this pallet home and what I was going to do with all those books.

When I asked the auctioneer afterwards why he'd let it go so cheaply, he said, "Did you see anyone trampling you to get in a bid?" I said no, I didn't. His reply, with a smirk on his face, was, "Gotta' know your audience in this job."

Well, needless to say, I got the books home and spent a few years going through them and selling some, giving some away, etc. However, that's not the point of this story. The point was finding things in books. So, with that in mind...

There were quite a few books in this collection that had the name of a fellow in them. His name was Charles Lounsbury. He was evidently a well-educated man; many of his books were text books from Cornell University. Anyway, whilst thumbing through one of them one day, a small business card fell out into my lap. It was a dentist's appointment card for Mr. Lounsbury. It also had his address and phone number on it.

Just for grins and giggles, I called the number on the card. An older-sounding man answered on the first ring. I said "Hello" and gave my name. I then asked the fellow if he was Charles Lounsbury. He said he was indeed. I told him about all the books I'd bought and how I had found this dentist appointment card in one of them. He was BLOWN AWAY immediately upon hearing about the books.

He told me that his sister had possession of his personal library at the time of her death, but he had not spoken with her in many years. When she died, it seems that someone cleaning out her house had donated all her possessions, including Charles' books, to the Salvation Army. Mr Lounsbury was very interested in possibly seeing his books again. He was wanting to leave some of them to his grandchildren upon his demise.

I made a date for him to drive from Sarasota, FL up to my home in Tampa and take whichever of his books he wanted back. The following Saturday he showed up. He was absolutely amazed to find all his books in the middle of my living room (huge stack of books, here's a sampling):

Anyway, he picked out 10 of 15 of his prized books and asked if he could take them. I, of course, said yes... for sure. After that we sat and had some coffee and he told me his life story. It was a wonderful afternoon! Charles and I became pretty good friends after that for about 10 or so years, until his death at age 88.

It's amazing, sometimes, the things you find in books. :)

*This posting previously published on my blog:

Nocturnal Slacker v2.0 | Letters to the void…

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