Jeff Duntemann's Contrapositive Diary Rotating Header Image

Odd Lots


  1. William Meyer says:

    I suppose that the decline in desktop PC sales is a factor in the (delusional) belief some have that tablets and phones will replace the desktop. Ain’t gonna happen anytime soon.
    – Surely I am not the only one who hates typing without a dedicated keyboard?
    – Am I the only person who understands the need for massive local data storage?
    – Am I the only person who sees the need for a plug-in bus and beefy power source?

    We do not all make our living with web apps. And many of the non-Web apps are thoroughly unpleasant when reduced to browser compatibility.

  2. Phil Sutherland says:

    Thanks for the pointer to the Siberian Times – perfectly timed as I’m currently in Udachny doing some preliminary work for a remote control mining machinery project, and will be returning later in the year.

    On an unrelated note, you and your readers might be interested in an older television show from the UK entitled “The Secret Life of Machines”. The eighteen witty half hour episodes from 1988-1993 discuss various pieces of everyday technology and explain (usually with whimsical demonstrations) how they work, and the history of their invention. All of the episodes can be downloaded in various forms, and the program website can be found at here. Some of the other wonderful things that Tim Hunkin creates can be seen at his website.

  3. Lee Hart says:

    The desktop computer can be replaced by tablets and smartphones for the vast majority of consumers that are simply “content sponges” who never create anything. But the desktop is an indispensable tool for anyone who *creates*.

    The desktop made a *drastic* improvement in my life as an engineer. It was a new tool of unparallelled power and flexibility; like a milling machine for creativity. Without it, technology would be decades behind where it is today. There is also no practical alternative for creating *tomorrow’s* wonderful new gadgets.

    To think that smartphones and tablets can replace desktops is like thinking that playing the radio is the same as playing a violin, or that taking pictures with a cellphone is the same as painting, or that tweets are the same as great literature. If the desktop ceases to be fashionable and so is no long common among the general public, our society will lose an important tool for the development of creativity and thinking ability in future generations.

  4. GRLCowan says:

    Asynchronous quantum entanglement was predicted!

    … in, um, a silly answer in a long-vanished physics discussion website to someone wanting to know about the dangers of radiation in CERN accelerators. After he had had a straight answer, he asked again, and I posted an excerpt about accelerator zombies. AQE was said to explain why zombies-to-be couldn’t see the bioluminescence of the ones approaching them. “In some interpretations this theory has the unhappy property of requiring that there can never be a last member in such a chain.”

  5. Alex Dillard says:

    The Weird Stuff Warehouse reminds me of a similarly unique store in Orlando, FL: Skycraft

    Google street view goes inside the store for those who aren’t in Orlando.

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