Hans leads police to Nina's body - Mandriva

This is a discussion on Hans leads police to Nina's body - Mandriva ; Moe Trin wrote: > The other problem is running into the law of diminishing returns. > Most of us will spend an unrealistic amount of time on a script - > six hours on a script that takes ten seconds ...

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Thread: Hans leads police to Nina's body

  1. Re: Scripting, UPS Selection, etc.

    Moe Trin wrote:
    > The other problem is running into the law of diminishing returns.
    > Most of us will spend an unrealistic amount of time on a script -
    > six hours on a script that takes ten seconds to run, and is used once
    > a quarter or similar


    I noticed I had nothing in cron.yearly, and I felt I ought to put
    SOMEthing there:

    [adam@eris ~]$ cat /etc/cron.yearly/task
    echo "Happy New Year!" | mail -s "/etc/cron.yearly" root

    >> Actually I started on the second script months ago, but think I'll be
    >> better off just scrapping that and starting fresh. It's only going to
    >> be a few hundred lines anyway.

    >
    > I know what you mean. I've got a couple of script projects in the 'to
    > do' list


    Back in my TRS-80 days ('80s), I actually created a database (pfs:file)
    of computer projects to do: name, description, priority (occasionally
    "ongoing"), work completed so far, etc. Very few of them ever got
    removed from that list.

    In a dramatic development, somebody pointed me to a program (rarslave)
    that does 95% of what that next script would do, so I see no point in
    writing it any more. It's in Python, which I know nothing about, and
    meant to be installed with git, and I couldn't seem to get it going
    properly under Mandriva. I ended up booting up Ubuntu, using git to get
    it and install it (no problem there), then went back to Mandriva and
    just copied the whole subdirectory over, and it worked. There was
    probably an easier and/or better way to do that.

    Interesting... since I jumped into this thread in July, I've added an
    under-desk keyboard drawer and a chair with arms, and they've really
    made a big difference.

    Adam

  2. Re: [O/T] Fluorescent Lamps

    Moe Trin wrote:
    >> I'm surprised that I can't get anything from any of the stations at 1700.

    >
    > What stations? That web page only lists four stations in the US (Des
    > Moines, Huntsville, Brownsville and Richardson). There are four items
    > in New York state, and three of those (Stony Point Town, Monsey, and
    > town of Haverstraw) are applications, not actual licensed stations -
    > note the lack of call letters, and the "APP" (instead of "LIC") in the
    > field to the left of the town name. The fourth listing - WRCR - is
    > also an application as they're currently on 1300 KHz in Spring Valley
    > with much lower power.


    That would explain it! That would also explain why they're so close
    together geographically -- all four are in Rockland County, just N of NJ
    and across the river from Westchester. I'll guess the FCC won't approve
    more than one of the four applications.

    > You should also note that a significant number of stations have
    > directional antenna pattern - more often at night.


    I didn't know that. I still miss the good old days when cable TV was
    also an FM antenna.

    Adam

  3. Re: [O/T] Fluorescent Lamps

    On Wed, 10 Sep 2008, in the Usenet newsgroup alt.os.linux.mandriva, in article
    , Adam wrote:

    >Moe Trin wrote:


    >> What stations? That web page only lists four stations in the US
    >> (Des Moines, Huntsville, Brownsville and Richardson). There are four
    >> items in New York state, and three of those (Stony Point Town,
    >> Monsey, and town of Haverstraw) are applications, not actual
    >> licensed stations - note the lack of call letters, and the "APP"
    >> (instead of "LIC") in the field to the left of the town name. The
    >> fourth listing - WRCR - is also an application as they're currently
    >> on 1300 KHz in Spring Valley with much lower power.


    >That would explain it! That would also explain why they're so close
    >together geographically -- all four are in Rockland County, just N of
    >NJ and across the river from Westchester. I'll guess the FCC won't
    >approve more than one of the four applications.


    I haven't looked at license application rules/dogma since the 1950s,
    but that's a pretty safe bet. There are all kinds of hoops to jump
    through - trying to impress the commission that this/that applicant
    is most suitable. Frequencies are allocated to areas, based on
    what will work without interfering with others. Apparently, there is
    such an allocation to Rockland county (or some similar description of
    geographical location) for that frequency, and four entities are
    trying to capture it.

    >> You should also note that a significant number of stations have
    >> directional antenna pattern - more often at night.

    >
    >I didn't know that.


    The requirements for an AM station have been established 70+ years
    and fills a medium sized book. Basically, it's the field strength at
    one kilometer from the center of the transmitting antenna array in
    various directions, distance/direction to other stations on the same
    and adjacent channels, along with ground conductivity, latitude,
    and the size/distance of the "primary" market. Thus, the AM stations
    serving New York City are along the East River and the swamps between
    Hackensack and Linden (great grounding), and all but three (WFAN,
    WABC, WCBS) are directional antennas. Day/night is also influenced
    by the (electrical) size of the antennas (taller antenna has a lower
    angle of radiation - less skywave = less distant interference caused).
    One station I worked at in Connecticut the early 1960s wanted to
    increase the power from 1 KW to 5. They finally got permission, but
    had to add a third tower to significantly reduce the signal in the
    direction of a station in Massachusetts. They also had to add a flat
    structure (called a capacity hat) to increase the effective height of
    the antennas, to reduce the possibility of interference to (I think)
    a station in Pennsylvania at night.

    >I still miss the good old days when cable TV was also an FM antenna.


    ??? If you mean that your cable used to have the FM band embedded,
    that went the way of the dodo when providers decided you wanted extra
    channels. I mean, there's space for 14 extra channels between channel
    6 (82-88 MHz) and 7 (174-180 MHz). Pity some of that space is wasted
    on the FM band ;-)

    Old guy

  4. Re: Broadcasting (was: Fluorescent Lamps)

    Moe Trin wrote:

    [applications for AM stations]
    >> all four are in Rockland County, just N of
    >> NJ and across the river from Westchester. I'll guess the FCC won't
    >> approve more than one of the four applications.

    >
    > I haven't looked at license application rules/dogma since the 1950s,
    > but that's a pretty safe bet. There are all kinds of hoops to jump
    > through - trying to impress the commission that this/that applicant
    > is most suitable. Frequencies are allocated to areas, based on
    > what will work without interfering with others.


    There was some flack when a local FM station at 97.5 was approved,
    because this would clobber NYC's WQXR (97.7) in this area, but the FCC
    said that WQXR's listening area didn't extend to this county. A nice
    workaround was found when somebody, don't know who, created a translator
    (is that the right word?) to rebroadcast WQXR to this area at 103.7.

    Also, the community college's translator of WMHT TV had been using
    channel 54, and then Trinity Broadcasting showed up and asked for
    channel 54. I was amazed when the FCC approved them for channel 54
    considering how many empty UHF channels there are.

    > Thus, the AM stations
    > serving New York City are along the East River and the swamps between
    > Hackensack and Linden (great grounding), and all but three (WFAN,
    > WABC, WCBS) are directional antennas.


    I thought almost all the NYC stations had antennas on the Empire State
    Building. I don't know about WFAN, but WABC and WCBS come in adequately
    here, about 70 miles due N of NYC.

    > One station I worked at in Connecticut the early 1960s wanted to
    > increase the power from 1 KW to 5. They finally got permission, but
    > had to add a third tower to significantly reduce the signal in the
    > direction of a station in Massachusetts.


    I'm missing something... how does adding a tower reduce the signal? Or
    do you mean they had to send the 5 kW away from MA?

    >> I still miss the good old days when cable TV was also an FM antenna.

    >
    > ??? If you mean that your cable used to have the FM band embedded,
    > that went the way of the dodo when providers decided you wanted extra
    > channels.


    I thought it ended due to some FCC ruling about deregulation or
    something. I found a chart I made back then, and connecting the TV
    cable to my receiver brought in over 40 FM stations.

    > I mean, there's space for 14 extra channels between channel
    > 6 (82-88 MHz) and 7 (174-180 MHz). Pity some of that space is wasted
    > on the FM band ;-)


    http://www.rdrop.com/~billmc/freq_list.4 seems to be a decent list of
    what's allocated where.
    http://www.milwaukee-horror-hosts.co...ransition.html has a short
    history of TV frequency allocation, but things seemed to be vague about
    the frequencies to be used for digital TV in the US. Are they the same
    as the analog frequencies? All I get now are 48.* and 54.*.

    Adam

  5. Re: Scripting, UPS Selection, etc.

    On Fri, 12 Sep 2008, in the Usenet newsgroup alt.os.linux.mandriva, in article
    , Adam wrote:

    >Moe Trin wrote:


    >> ;-) I'm married - you _KNOW_ I've got several entries in my
    >> crontab relating to things happening yearly that Must Not Be
    >> Forgotten(tm).

    >
    >I thought everything in cron.yearly was only run on one specific day,
    >Jan 1 by default.


    OK - start at 'man 5 crontab' where you find the format of a crontab
    entry is

    minutes hours day_of_month month day_of_week command_to_run

    A few cron daemons have an additional field for the _system_ crontab
    file (/etc/crontab - as opposed to an individual's crontab which would
    be found in /var/spool/cron/ or similar) between day_of_week and
    command_to_run which specifies the user to run as. The 'cron.yearly'
    is run from the /etc/crontab file, but that doesn't prevent you from
    having other lines in a crontab file, such as

    1 0 10 2 * echo "Did you send Valentine cards?"
    1 0 10 4 * echo "You _did_ file taxes already, right?"
    1 0 12 * thu echo "Beware! Tomorrow is Friday the 13th"

    or something ;-)

    >> Ranges anywhere from a couple of lines on up to several paragraphs
    >> per brilliant idea.

    >
    >I think my database back then had 20-30 entries, ranging from mundane
    >to near-brilliant ideas. Nowadays I'm just struggling with my
    >non-computer to-do list.


    Yeah, I've got that problem too.

    >Top priority on my computer to-do list now are things specific to my
    >system, like getting my scanner running under Linux.


    That kind of task doesn't stay long on the list. If it's important
    enough, it will be done by next weekend at the most. Generally the ones
    that stick around on my lists are the "it would be nice if..." type of
    things - such as creating a tool that will go out to specific ftp or
    web sites, and see if some of the obscure (non-distribution) software
    I have is "up to date".

    >> Was the error with git, or didn't it like something on your Mandriva
    >> setup?

    >
    >[adam@eris ~]$ strace git clone http://www.irasnyder.com/git/rarslave2.git
    >[output snipped]
    >chdir("/home/adam/http://www.irasnyder.com/git/rarslave2.git") = -1
    >ENOENT (No such file or directory)


    That's a configuration error, but I don't know enough about git to say
    what. I suspect it's looking for a variable that tells it where your
    local 'git' directory is.

    >> Arms/wrists feeling a lot better?

    >
    >Yep! Only problem with them is sometimes using the system right after
    >I've woken up, so maybe I do something weird when I'm sleeping.


    Can't help there ;-)

    >And still occasional wrist numbness/tingling when driving, but that's
    >not a computer problem.


    But it's probably the same type of thing. I wonder if OSHA or the
    'workers comp' insurance carriers have anything related to taxi drivers
    or similar? I wouldn't expect it for truck drivers, as their seating
    position is quite different from when you are driving a car.

    >I think a lot of comfort is determined not by how much one spends,
    >but how one spends it. For example, the $15 humidifier has made
    >winter a lot more bearable.


    the hallway>

    Humidifiers here are almost mandatory. During the winter and spring to
    early summer, relative humidities below 20% are normal, and it may get
    as low a 4 or 5 percent. When we moved here in 1996, on the day that I
    was setting up the computer room, I had the first one running, walked
    out to grab a glass of cold water, came back in (walking across about
    six feet of carpet) and reached for the key lock (front panel of a
    PC-AT type case). As my fingers neared the key, there was a "ZAP" as
    I drew a half inch long arc - which caused the computer to reboot.
    Hmmm, I think this is going to be a problem here. Bought a room
    humidifier the same day. Later, when the cat arrived, and I tried to
    pet her... Hmmm, maybe I need a larger humidifier.

    Old guy

  6. Re: Broadcasting (was: Fluorescent Lamps)

    On Fri, 12 Sep 2008, in the Usenet newsgroup alt.os.linux.mandriva, in article
    , Adam wrote:

    >Moe Trin wrote:


    >> I haven't looked at license application rules/dogma since the 1950s,
    >> but that's a pretty safe bet. There are all kinds of hoops to jump
    >> through - trying to impress the commission that this/that applicant
    >> is most suitable. Frequencies are allocated to areas, based on
    >> what will work without interfering with others.

    >
    >There was some flack when a local FM station at 97.5 was approved,
    >because this would clobber NYC's WQXR (97.7) in this area, but the
    >FCC said that WQXR's listening area didn't extend to this county.


    I know WQXR is on the Empire State building (apparently on 96.3), but
    I'm not sure how far above ground. Assuming about 1000 feet above
    average terrain, their signal might be heard out to 90 miles but the
    regulations (Part 73 sub-parts B and C) say the service area is only
    around 50 miles.

    >A nice workaround was found when somebody, don't know who,


    I suspect it was the owner of WQXR

    >created a translator (is that the right word?)


    Yes

    >to rebroadcast WQXR to this area at 103.7.


    The translator is apparently in Poughkeepsie. There seems to be a
    second one on 96.7 in Asbury Park, NJ.

    >Also, the community college's translator of WMHT TV had been using
    >channel 54, and then Trinity Broadcasting showed up and asked for
    >channel 54. I was amazed when the FCC approved them for channel 54
    >considering how many empty UHF channels there are.


    Translators are second class citizens of the air, and I guess Trinity
    is a "primary" station. That gives them priority over a translator. As
    far as why channel 54 - again, it's the same concept of channels being
    allocated to a map (to provide maximum interference free coverage). In
    theory, the lower channels are slightly more desirable, but there are
    a lot of variables to consider (such as _higher_ channels use
    physically smaller antennas for the same performance - which means a
    lighter weight tower is possible).

    >> Thus, the AM stations serving New York City are along the East
    >> River and the swamps between Hackensack and Linden (great grounding),
    >> and all but three (WFAN, WABC, WCBS) are directional antennas.

    >
    >I thought almost all the NYC stations had antennas on the Empire State
    >Building.


    You're (more or less) right for FM and TV which use antennas measured
    in small numbers of feet. AM stations generally use towers as the
    antenna (rather than using towers to _support_ the antenna). For FM
    and TV, the antennas are vertically stacked horizontal elements each
    about a half wavelength (meters = 300 / Megahertz). For AM, the
    antenna element is vertical, and as large as affordable up to a 5/8
    wavelength (with 1/4 wavelength being the most common). But the size
    uses the same formula, so while WQXR on 96.3 MHz is 3.11 meters or
    10.22 feet, WABC on 0.77 MHz is 389.6 meters or 1278 feet. A "half
    wavelength antenna" would be about half that height (there are various
    corrections for the atmosphere, etc.), so you can see there would be
    a problem trying to hang all those elements off one building. If I'm
    reading my charts correctly, WABC is a 653 foot tall tower about a
    third of a mile South of exit 63 on I-80 in Lodi, NJ, while WCBS is a
    529 foot tall tower on the Northern half of City Island on the East
    edge of Bronx. WFAN seems to be sharing that tower.

    >> One station I worked at in Connecticut the early 1960s wanted to
    >> increase the power from 1 KW to 5. They finally got permission, but
    >> had to add a third tower to significantly reduce the signal in the
    >> direction of a station in Massachusetts.

    >
    >I'm missing something... how does adding a tower reduce the signal?
    >Or do you mean they had to send the 5 kW away from MA?


    "away" - If you think of a flashlight, compared to a bare bulb, the
    light (energy) is concentrated in one direction. The radiation strength
    and direction of a multi-element antenna is a complex vector addition
    of the signals from the individual elements. This takes into account
    the spacing between the elements, absolute phase difference, and the
    difference in power levels. "Real life" gets even more complicated, as
    you have to include electrical size of the elements (which in AM radio
    is effected by the ground conductivity around the elements), heights
    and relative location of the elements, and so on - trivial with todays
    desktop PC, but work of a day or two of people with paper and pencil.

    Two vertical elements spaced a half wavelength apart and fed with equal
    power in phase creates a "figure 8" shaped pattern with the peak energy
    perpendicular to the line between the elements, and virtually none in
    the extended line that passes through both elements. If you change the
    phase to 180 degrees apart, you still get a figure '8' shaped pattern,
    but the vectors add differently and now you have virtually no energy
    perpendicular to the line, and a lot of energy directed along the line.
    Make that three towers spaced "so" far apart lined up like "that", fed
    at still another set of angles, with different power ratios, and you
    might have a cardioid (heart shaped) pattern, or something completely
    different. My reference book says to consult an article in the magazine
    "Proceedings of the IRE" (Institute of Radio Engineers - the old name
    for the IEEE), volume 18, pages 1502 to 1536 - from September 1930. As
    I said - this stuff has been around for a long time. ;-) I think the
    worst mess I ever saw was a station near San Jose (California) that had
    seven towers because they had complex patterns that were different
    between night and day (I _think_ it was 3 towers used in the day, and
    5 or 6 at night - must have driven the design engineer nuts back in
    the 1940s when the station was built).

    >> If you mean that your cable used to have the FM band embedded,
    >> that went the way of the dodo when providers decided you wanted
    >> extra channels.

    >
    >I thought it ended due to some FCC ruling about deregulation or
    >something. I found a chart I made back then, and connecting the TV
    >cable to my receiver brought in over 40 FM stations.


    Cable systems are not regulated to any great extent by the FCC (FCC
    Rules and Regulations Part 76), and only channels 2 to 13 are using
    the same frequencies as the over-the-air channels. This is vaguely
    similar to the use of RFC1918 IP addresses - you can use what-ever
    you'd like _within_ your own turf, but these aren't supposed to be in
    use on the Internet. As far as cables go, what happens inside that
    cable is the business of the cable company (and TV set manufacturer),
    and what happens there isn't supposed to leak out "over the air".

    >http://www.milwaukee-horror-hosts.co...ransition.html has a short
    >history of TV frequency allocation,


    and a lot of that history hits a personal chord. We moved to Tampa,
    Florida in July 1952, and at that time, there was no TV locally. The
    nearest stations were Jacksonville and Miami (170 and 215 miles away).
    Coming from Connecticut (6 stations in NYC, 1 in Newark, and 1 in New
    Haven at least), I was VERY disappointed. WSUN (Why Stay Up North) went
    on the air 5/31/1953 from St. Petersburg. As I recall, we needed a
    set-top converter to allow our TV to receive it, because it was on
    channel 38.

    >but things seemed to be vague about the frequencies to be used for
    >digital TV in the US. Are they the same as the analog frequencies?


    That's my understanding, but I still haven't gotten around to getting
    the converter yet. We watch so much TV, you see ;-)

    Old guy

  7. Re: Scripting, UPS Selection, etc.

    Moe Trin wrote:
    >> I thought everything in cron.yearly was only run on one specific day,
    >> Jan 1 by default.

    >
    > A few cron daemons have an additional field for the _system_ crontab
    > file (/etc/crontab - as opposed to an individual's crontab which would
    > be found in /var/spool/cron/ or similar) between day_of_week and
    > command_to_run which specifies the user to run as.


    The only one on my system seems to be /etc/crontab .

    > that doesn't prevent you from
    > having other lines in a crontab file, such as
    >
    > 1 0 10 2 * echo "Did you send Valentine cards?"
    > 1 0 10 4 * echo "You _did_ file taxes already, right?"
    > 1 0 12 * thu echo "Beware! Tomorrow is Friday the 13th"


    Oh, okay, I never thought of that. I suppose one could write a cron
    script to run daily to check a datafile, which sounds better to me than
    modifying the crontab file frequently. Maybe somebody already wrote it.

    >> Top priority on my computer to-do list now are things specific to my
    >> system, like getting my scanner running under Linux.

    >
    > That kind of task doesn't stay long on the list. If it's important
    > enough, it will be done by next weekend at the most.


    You may have guessed that I don't use my scanner a whole lot. I'll
    settle for getting it to run under VMware, as it came with some nice
    Windows software, including an OCR program that's a lot more accurate
    than I would have expected. In fact, once I get that 1 TB external HD
    (I may wait until I can get a quiet one for $100), one project will be
    "VMware vs. VirtualBox".

    > Generally the ones that stick around on my lists are the
    > "it would be nice if..." type of things


    I suppose we need to have some things on our to-do lists, or life would
    become boring. Or, to quote Ziggy, "I have so much to get done today...
    I don't know which thing to put off first!"

    >> For example, the $15 humidifier has made
    >> winter a lot more bearable.

    >
    > Humidifiers here are almost mandatory. During the winter and spring to
    > early summer, relative humidities below 20% are normal, and it may get
    > as low a 4 or 5 percent.


    Is that why people always qualify their description of the weather there
    with "... but you don't really feel it, because it's a DRY heat"?

    I read an interesting anecdote about filming the TV series "The Twilight
    Zone." One episode was set on a deserted asteroid, so they filmed it in
    Death Valley. For one scene the actor was supposed to look sweaty, but
    it was so dry that as soon as they applied the "perspiration" to his
    face, it evaporated!

    > As my fingers neared the key, there was a "ZAP" as
    > I drew a half inch long arc


    You can make a mildly entertaining "dezapper" by connecting a neon bulb
    between your hand and the object in question. One possible housing
    would be a continuity tester, because it has a metal needle at one end,
    and you could wire the other side of the bulb to a metal grip at the
    other end.

    BTW, to get back on topic, now that my second script has become
    superfluous, I'm back to "improving" that first script. Originally the
    main loop looked something like

    ls -lR /media/cdrom > $TMP1
    while [ -s $TMP1 ] ; do
    LN=`head -1 $TMP1`
    OUTLN=(some stuff done to LN)
    echo $OUTLN >> $TMP3
    tail +2 $TMP1 > $TMP2
    mv -f $TMP2 $TMP1
    done
    cat $TMP3 >> $OUTPUTFILE

    and now it's

    ls -lr /media/cdrom > $TMP1
    cat $TMP1 | while read LN ; do
    OUTLN=(some stuff done to LN)
    echo $OUTLN >> $TMP2
    done

    and in an extreme case, the new version was five times faster! Yes, I
    tried "while read LN < $TMP1" but it just kept rereading the first line,
    so I really don't think that counts as UUOC.

    Adam


  8. Re: Broadcasting

    Moe Trin wrote:
    >> There was some flack when a local FM station at 97.5 was approved,
    >> because this would clobber NYC's WQXR (97.7) in this area, but the
    >> FCC said that WQXR's listening area didn't extend to this county.


    Corrections: WQXR-FM in NYC (Empire State Building) is 96.3, and the
    relatively new WPKF at 96.1 is in Poughkeepsie.

    I'm assuming the location given in the FCC database is the transmitter,
    not the offices or studio.

    >> A nice workaround was found when somebody, don't know who,
    >> created a translator (is that the right word?)
    >> to rebroadcast WQXR to this area at 103.7.

    >
    > I suspect it was the owner of WQXR
    > The translator is apparently in Poughkeepsie.


    Not in this case. WQXR, "the radio station of the New York Times," is
    owned by "THE NEW YORK TIMES RADIO COMPANY." W279AJ's licensee is
    "WALKER BROADCASTING COMPANY, INC." and they're in Highland, NY, on
    Illinois Mountain which is where many of the local FM stations have
    their transmitters.

    >> Also, the community college's translator of WMHT TV had been using
    >> channel 54, and then Trinity Broadcasting showed up and asked for
    >> channel 54. I was amazed when the FCC approved them for channel 54
    >> considering how many empty UHF channels there are.

    >
    > Translators are second class citizens of the air, and I guess Trinity
    > is a "primary" station.


    I just thought it wasn't very nice of them to ask for the one channel
    that was already in use, when they could have asked for almost any of
    the others.

    > The radiation strength
    > and direction of a multi-element antenna is a complex vector addition
    > of the signals from the individual elements.


    I can understand that, but the actual calculations sound like something
    I'd want to avoid. I just barely passed freshman physics years ago.

    >>> If you mean that your cable used to have the FM band embedded,
    >>> that went the way of the dodo when providers decided you wanted
    >>> extra channels.

    >> I thought it ended due to some FCC ruling about deregulation or
    >> something. I found a chart I made back then, and connecting the TV
    >> cable to my receiver brought in over 40 FM stations.

    >
    > Cable systems are not regulated to any great extent by the FCC (FCC
    > Rules and Regulations Part 76), and only channels 2 to 13 are using
    > the same frequencies as the over-the-air channels.


    So a cable company could offer FM stations if they wanted to? Not that
    it would help me, as I don't have cable TV.

    > We moved to Tampa,
    > Florida in July 1952, and at that time, there was no TV locally.


    My parents were in Brooklyn, where "rabbit ears" picked up all four
    networks and several independents. The earliest I can remember is
    rooftop antennas about 60 miles N of NYC, which picked up NYC (and
    Albany) noisily and kept getting blown off the roof. When I worked for
    Radio Shack in '83-'85, I was surprised by how many local people still
    used TV antennas.

    >> things seemed to be vague about the frequencies to be used for
    >> digital TV in the US. Are they the same as the analog frequencies?

    >
    > That's my understanding, but I still haven't gotten around to getting
    > the converter yet. We watch so much TV, you see ;-)


    Me neither. If there are any stations besides full power ones that you
    watch, look for a converter box with analog pass-through. The coupons
    are only good for 90 days after being issued, but they come with a list
    of local stores that carry the boxes. The coupons are limited to two
    per household, so you might want to request only one now so you can
    request another one later.

    Adam

  9. Re: Scripting, UPS Selection, etc.

    On Mon, 15 Sep 2008, in the Usenet newsgroup alt.os.linux.mandriva, in article
    , Adam wrote:

    >Moe Trin wrote:


    >> A few cron daemons have an additional field for the _system_ crontab
    >> file (/etc/crontab - as opposed to an individual's crontab which
    >> would be found in /var/spool/cron/ or similar) between day_of_week
    >> and command_to_run which specifies the user to run as.

    >
    >The only one on my system seems to be /etc/crontab .


    That's the system crontab. Most warn that you should not be editing
    this file, but how does it get changed? ;-) (I use /bin/vi and just
    pay attention to what I'm doing.) The other (user) crontabs are
    maintained by the 'crontab (1)' command.

    [compton ~]$ whatis crontab
    crontab (1) - maintain crontab files for individual users (V3)
    crontab (5) - tables for driving cron
    [compton ~]$

    >> that doesn't prevent you from having other lines in a crontab file,
    >> such as
    >>
    >> 1 0 10 2 * echo "Did you send Valentine cards?"


    This actually won't do anything useful, because cron is run without a
    terminal (so where would the 'echo' output go?), and an extremely
    limited environment. If you ran the 'set' command and redirected the
    output to a file ('set > /tmp/user.environment' for example) you'll
    see a significant difference:

    [compton ~]$ wc *environment
    20 19 236 cron.environment
    41 50 585 nobody.environment
    51 71 875 root.environment
    69 96 1377 user.environment
    181 236 3073 total
    [compton ~]$

    The answer is to redirect the output of the 'echo', to a command
    such as 'mail' or to a file or specific device.

    >Oh, okay, I never thought of that. I suppose one could write a cron
    >script to run daily to check a datafile, which sounds better to me
    >than modifying the crontab file frequently. Maybe somebody already
    >wrote it.


    Most distributions assume you'll not be mucking with the crontab, and
    have set things up using the "cron.$PERIOD" style of file run out of
    the system crontab by something like 'run-parts' - a concept started
    by Debian long ago. You can stick what-ever job is needed in the
    "cron.$PERIOD" file (some systems use a 'cron.d' directory). However,
    these usually are only run at set times/days (weekly, monthly, daily,
    what-ever). Another tool you might want to look at is 'at'

    [compton ~]$ whatis at atd
    at (1) - queue, examine or delete jobs for later execution
    atd (8) - run jobs queued for later execution
    [compton ~]$

    >> Humidifiers here are almost mandatory. During the winter and spring
    >> to early summer, relative humidities below 20% are normal, and it
    >> may get as low a 4 or 5 percent.

    >
    >Is that why people always qualify their description of the weather
    >there with "... but you don't really feel it, because it's a DRY heat"?


    There is a lot of truth to that. You really notice it when you come out
    of the swimming pool - and the water is evaporating like there is no
    tomorrow (dew point 70 or more degrees below ambient).

    >I read an interesting anecdote about filming the TV series "The
    >Twilight Zone." One episode was set on a deserted asteroid, so they
    >filmed it in Death Valley. For one scene the actor was supposed to
    >look sweaty, but it was so dry that as soon as they applied the
    >"perspiration" to his face, it evaporated!


    Normally, the perspiration evaporates immediately. In the case where
    it _doesn't_ do so, you should IMMEDIATELY inhale a large amount of
    water - that's your body boiling over. There really is a reason the
    quick-stop markets like '7-11', 'Circle K' or similar sell "large"
    cold "fountain" drinks - up to 60 or 70 ounces (1.75 to 2.1 liters).

    >> As my fingers neared the key, there was a "ZAP" as I drew a half
    >> inch long arc

    >
    >You can make a mildly entertaining "dezapper" by connecting a neon
    >bulb between your hand and the object in question. One possible
    >housing would be a continuity tester, because it has a metal needle
    >at one end, and you could wire the other side of the bulb to a metal
    >grip at the other end.


    That's OK for entertainment - normal here is to hold a key tightly,
    or offer a ring or even the metallic wristband of your watch. This
    increases the amount of skin surface involved, and reduces the pain
    of the arc. But the better solution is to increase that humidity.

    >BTW, to get back on topic, now that my second script has become
    >superfluous, I'm back to "improving" that first script. Originally
    >the main loop looked something like


    [...]

    >and now it's


    [...]

    >and in an extreme case, the new version was five times faster! Yes,
    >I tried "while read LN < $TMP1" but it just kept rereading the first
    >line, so I really don't think that counts as UUOC.


    Yeah, 'read' wants "from" stdin, and while there are other ways around
    this, "cat'ing" the file is probably the easiest solution.

    Old guy

  10. Re: Scripting, UPS Selection, etc.

    On 2008-09-15, Adam wrote:
    ....
    > BTW, to get back on topic, now that my second script has become
    > superfluous, I'm back to "improving" that first script. Originally the
    > main loop looked something like
    >
    > ls -lR /media/cdrom > $TMP1
    > while [ -s $TMP1 ] ; do
    > LN=`head -1 $TMP1`
    > OUTLN=(some stuff done to LN)
    > echo $OUTLN >> $TMP3
    > tail +2 $TMP1 > $TMP2
    > mv -f $TMP2 $TMP1
    > done
    > cat $TMP3 >> $OUTPUTFILE
    >
    > and now it's
    >
    > ls -lr /media/cdrom > $TMP1
    > cat $TMP1 | while read LN ; do
    > OUTLN=(some stuff done to LN)
    > echo $OUTLN >> $TMP2
    > done
    >
    > and in an extreme case, the new version was five times faster! Yes, I
    > tried "while read LN < $TMP1" but it just kept rereading the first line,
    > so I really don't think that counts as UUOC.


    Yes, it does.

    while read LN
    do
    OUTLN=(some stuff done to LN)
    echo $OUTLN >> $TMP2
    done < "$TMP1"


    --
    Chris F.A. Johnson, author |
    Shell Scripting Recipes: | My code in this post, if any,
    A Problem-Solution Approach | is released under the
    2005, Apress | GNU General Public Licence

  11. Re: Scripting, UPS Selection, etc.

    Moe Trin wrote:
    >>> that doesn't prevent you from having other lines in a crontab file,
    >>> such as
    >>>
    >>> 1 0 10 2 * echo "Did you send Valentine cards?"

    >
    > This actually won't do anything useful, because cron is run without a
    > terminal (so where would the 'echo' output go?)


    I set up a crontab file for user 'adam', and had it do an 'echo', and
    the output was mailed to user 'adam'. I tried some other commands as
    user cron jobs, with no success. I suppose I'll look into it one of
    these days. Like I said, someone may already have written a cron job
    that indicates important dates and/or times.

    >> Is that why people always qualify their description of the weather
    >> there with "... but you don't really feel it, because it's a DRY heat"?

    >
    > There is a lot of truth to that.


    Only time I was in AZ was early March, and it wasn't hot yet. That day
    we went from Santa Fe, NM, where it was snowing, to just past Phoenix,
    AZ, where no coat at all was needed.

    I've been to Miami Beach in August, and it's hot, but it's not a dry
    heat. I tried to walk from 27th St. to 8th St., but had to give up
    around 19th St... just TOO exhausting.

    > Normally, the perspiration evaporates immediately.


    The last time I was in a desert (Anza-Borrego desert), I was surprised
    at how windy it was. I just wanted some genuine desert sand to decorate
    my cacti. BTW one of my parents' neighbors has had a cactus garden
    outdoors for years. I didn't even know that was possible in this part
    of the country, but apparently they're not bothered by the snow and
    months of sub-zero temperatures.

    >> BTW, to get back on topic

    [snip]
    >> I tried "while read LN < $TMP1" but it just kept rereading the first
    >> line, so I really don't think that counts as UUOC.

    >
    > Yeah, 'read' wants "from" stdin, and while there are other ways around
    > this, "cat'ing" the file is probably the easiest solution.


    As I mentioned elsewhere in this NG, I was surprised to learn that:

    while read LN ; do
    [stuff]
    done < $TMP1

    works. No more UUOC there. The only 'cat' remaining is

    cat $TMP2 >> $OUTFILE

    and I don't think there's a better way to do that.

    Adam

  12. Re: Scripting, UPS Selection, etc.

    Chris F.A. Johnson wrote:
    >> cat $TMP1 | while read LN ; do
    >> OUTLN=(some stuff done to LN)
    >> echo $OUTLN >> $TMP2
    >> done
    >>
    >> "while read LN < $TMP1" [...] just kept rereading the first line,
    >> so I really don't think that counts as UUOC.

    >
    > Yes, it does.
    >
    > while read LN
    > do
    > OUTLN=(some stuff done to LN)
    > echo $OUTLN >> $TMP2
    > done < "$TMP1"


    Yes, you are correct. Someone in another newsgroup made the same point,
    and my code now looks like your example. It wouldn't have occurred to
    me, because the redirection is so many lines after the read, but now I know.

    There's still one 'cat' remaining in this bash script:

    cat $TMP2 >> $OUTFILE

    because I don't yet know of any better way to append data to an existing
    file. I'll be surprised if that's UUOC.

    Thanks for all your advice on this!

    Adam

  13. Re: Broadcasting

    Moe Trin wrote:
    >> I'm assuming the location given in the FCC database is the transmitter,
    >> not the offices or studio.

    >
    > As I understand it, it's the coordinates of the first (or only) tower
    > that supports (or is) the antenna.


    WHVW (950 AM) announces itself on-air as "Hyde Park - Poughkeepsie."
    IIRC they said that's because it started in Hyde Park, so their license
    still says Hyde Park, even though transmitter, studio, and offices are
    all in Poughkeepsie now.

    >> Not in this case. WQXR, "the radio station of the New York Times," is
    >> owned by "THE NEW YORK TIMES RADIO COMPANY." W279AJ's licensee is
    >> "WALKER BROADCASTING COMPANY, INC."

    >
    > I was going by a WQXR web page (which I can't find now). I don't know
    > what the relationship of Walker Broadcasting is to anyone, but even
    > running a two Watt transmitter isn't free (neither is the [probable]
    > rental of space on a tower), so _someone_ is paying them.


    The only mention I found of Walker Broadcasting was near the bottom on
    http://www.bostonradio.org/nerw/nerw-971003.html:My parents just bought
    a HDTV a few months ago,

    "North East RadioWatch: October 3, 1997
    [...]
    Downstate, WBWZ (93.3 New Paltz) and WRWD (107.3 Highland) in the
    Poughkeepsie market are being sold to Roberts Radio by Hudson Valley
    Radio Partners for $7.5 million. Meantime, former WRWD/WBWZ owner
    William Walker has been granted a construction permit for W279AJ, on
    103.7 in Highland, to relay New York's WQXR (96.3)."

    Yep, somebody is paying. My guess is that either WQXR is paying Mr.
    Walker, or W279AJ runs a few ads of its own. I'll try to remember to
    listen to them between hh:55 and hh:05 when they give their station ID
    on-air. Either way, we now get WQXR's programs much more clearly than
    before, and nobody was using 103.7 or anything near it around here anyway.

    >> My parents were in Brooklyn, where "rabbit ears" picked up all four
    >> networks and several independents.

    >
    > and ghosts like you wouldn't believe, I'd bet. Signals bouncing off
    > every major building in Manhattan.


    I don't remember what the reception was like when visiting my
    grandparents in Brooklyn, but I don't think it was bad enough to be
    unwatchable.

    Now that I have DSL, I can probably get more radio and TV shows online
    than I ever could via conventional reception, if I ever bother to look
    into it. As I mentioned before, all I have is a set-top UHF antenna.
    Analog TV got me two channels quite noisily, one worth watching. Now
    with my digital converter box I get eight channels clearly, but only 10%
    of one is worth watching at all. That's progress, I suppose. My
    parents, who have cable, bought a digital TV and without any change in
    their cable package, went from getting about two dozen channels to
    probably about a hundred. They watch about three.


    Adam


  14. Re: Scripting, UPS Selection, etc.

    On 2008-09-19, Adam wrote:
    > Chris F.A. Johnson wrote:
    >>> cat $TMP1 | while read LN ; do
    >>> OUTLN=(some stuff done to LN)
    >>> echo $OUTLN >> $TMP2
    >>> done
    >>>
    >>> "while read LN < $TMP1" [...] just kept rereading the first line,
    >>> so I really don't think that counts as UUOC.

    >>
    >> Yes, it does.
    >>
    >> while read LN
    >> do
    >> OUTLN=(some stuff done to LN)
    >> echo $OUTLN >> $TMP2
    >> done < "$TMP1"

    >
    > Yes, you are correct. Someone in another newsgroup made the same point,
    > and my code now looks like your example. It wouldn't have occurred to
    > me, because the redirection is so many lines after the read, but now I know.
    >
    > There's still one 'cat' remaining in this bash script:
    >
    > cat $TMP2 >> $OUTFILE
    >
    > because I don't yet know of any better way to append data to an existing
    > file. I'll be surprised if that's UUOC.


    No, it's not UUOC; that's what cat is for: conCATenating files.

    --
    Chris F.A. Johnson, author |
    Shell Scripting Recipes: | My code in this post, if any,
    A Problem-Solution Approach | is released under the
    2005, Apress | GNU General Public Licence

  15. Re: Scripting, UPS Selection, etc.

    On Fri, 19 Sep 2008, in the Usenet newsgroup alt.os.linux.mandriva, in article
    , Adam wrote:

    >Moe Trin wrote:


    >>>> 1 0 10 2 * echo "Did you send Valentine cards?"

    >>
    >> This actually won't do anything useful, because cron is run without
    >> a terminal (so where would the 'echo' output go?)

    >
    >I set up a crontab file for user 'adam', and had it do an 'echo', and
    >the output was mailed to user 'adam'.


    That's normal (and documented).

    >I tried some other commands as user cron jobs, with no success. I
    >suppose I'll look into it one of these days. Like I said, someone
    >may already have written a cron job that indicates important dates
    >and/or times.


    Something like the valentine reminder is most easily either redirected
    to a terminal/console ('echo "blah" > /dev/console') or run as a mail
    command (something like that is often just a 'echo "body of mail" |
    mail -s "blah blah blah" username_to_mail_to'). Another method is
    to create a script that does what is desired, and have crontab call
    that script. But pay attention to the $ENVIRONMENT you're working in.

    >>> "... but you don't really feel it, because it's a DRY heat"?

    >>
    >> There is a lot of truth to that.

    >
    >Only time I was in AZ was early March, and it wasn't hot yet. That
    >day we went from Santa Fe, NM, where it was snowing, to just past
    >Phoenix, AZ, where no coat at all was needed.


    March? Yeah, that's reasonable. If you were in late January even, you
    probably wouldn't bother with a coat. You can tell the tourists/snow-
    birds at that time of year - they're the ones running around in shorts
    and a tee-shirt, while the residents are all bundled up.

    >I've been to Miami Beach in August, and it's hot, but it's not a dry
    >heat. I tried to walk from 27th St. to 8th St., but had to give up
    >around 19th St... just TOO exhausting.


    I think that's about a mile. I was in Ft. Lauderdale about two years
    ago, and ran into the same problem. Some of the people there were
    giving me a ration of crap about how I must have thought it nice and
    cool - they didn't understand my "less than agreeable" response.

    >The last time I was in a desert (Anza-Borrego desert), I was surprised
    >at how windy it was.


    I suspect that depends on the time of the year. The reason we get the
    summer monsoon is that it's so hot, you get a "thermal" low pressure
    area (hot air rises). This causes air movement from neighboring areas
    that are cooler. This is the reason for the fog in San Francisco. It
    gets so hot in the Central Valley that you get this "thermal low" and
    that sucks in the cooler (the California Current is an extension of the
    "Sub Artic" current coming down from the Aleutians) very moist air
    which is uplifted by the land - you can see the difference in
    temperatures between San Francisco and Oakland only a couple of miles
    across the bay.

    >> Yeah, 'read' wants "from" stdin, and while there are other ways
    >> around this, "cat'ing" the file is probably the easiest solution.

    >
    >As I mentioned elsewhere in this NG, I was surprised to learn that:
    >
    > while read LN ; do
    > [stuff]
    > done < $TMP1
    >
    >works. No more UUOC there.


    If you look at the syntax for 'while' (and 'until'),

    while: while TEST_COMMANDS; do COMMANDS; done
    Expand and execute COMMANDS as long as the final command in the
    `while' TEST_COMMANDS has an exit status of zero.

    you can _functionally_ use either

    'cat Somefile | while TEST_COMMANDS; do COMMANDS; done'

    or

    'while TEST_COMMANDS; do COMMANDS; done < Somefile'

    The later solution is less (keystrokes|CPU_cycles), and for a short
    set of stuff between the do/done is better. I prefer the former for
    situations where there is a bunch of lines between the 'do' and 'done'
    (such that they don't appear on the same screen or page of paper at
    the same time) as being less confusing.

    >The only 'cat' remaining is
    >
    > cat $TMP2 >> $OUTFILE
    >
    >and I don't think there's a better way to do that.


    As Chris notes - that is what the command was meant for.

    Old guy

  16. Re: Broadcasting

    On Fri, 19 Sep 2008, in the Usenet newsgroup alt.os.linux.mandriva, in article
    , Adam wrote:

    >Moe Trin wrote:


    >>> I'm assuming the location given in the FCC database is the transmitter,
    >>> not the offices or studio.

    >>
    >> As I understand it, it's the coordinates of the first (or only) tower
    >> that supports (or is) the antenna.

    >
    >WHVW (950 AM) announces itself on-air as "Hyde Park - Poughkeepsie."
    >IIRC they said that's because it started in Hyde Park, so their license
    >still says Hyde Park, even though transmitter, studio, and offices


    If you pull up the records, you'll see that the NAD-27 location quoted
    is 41 44' 46.00" N / 73 54' 46.00" W. The chart I have doesn't show
    city/town lines, so I can't say which might be closer, but it looks as
    if it's about 2 or 3 miles South of the Roosevelt library.

    >>> My parents were in Brooklyn, where "rabbit ears" picked up all four
    >>> networks and several independents.

    >>
    >> and ghosts like you wouldn't believe, I'd bet. Signals bouncing off
    >> every major building in Manhattan.

    >
    >I don't remember what the reception was like when visiting my
    >grandparents in Brooklyn, but I don't think it was bad enough to be
    >unwatchable.


    Reflections show up as the same parts of the picture displaced to the
    right - the amount being proportional to the difference between the
    "direct path" distance, and the "distance from transmitter to reflector
    to receiver". The "full" horizontal width of a displayed picture is
    63.556 usec, but the "displayed" horizontal width is *about* 54 usec.
    As radio waves travel at 5.37 usec per _statue_ mile, a reflection
    displaced 1/10th of the visible picture to the right is the result of
    the reflected path being about a mile longer than the direct path. If
    you assume they live at the corner of Ocean Parkway and Church Ave
    (just South of Prospect Park) AND the transmitter is on the Empire
    State Bldg, AND they are getting a reflection from the Chrysler Bldg,
    the direct path is about 6.4 miles, and the reflection is about 0.9 +
    6.5 = 7.4 miles - there's where that ghost that is displaced 1/10 of
    the picture width to the right is coming from. (How's _that_ for hand
    waving demonstrations?)

    >Now that I have DSL, I can probably get more radio and TV shows online
    >than I ever could via conventional reception, if I ever bother to look
    >into it.


    Isn't that the truth.

    >As I mentioned before, all I have is a set-top UHF antenna. Analog TV
    >got me two channels quite noisily, one worth watching. Now with my
    >digital converter box I get eight channels clearly, but only 10% of
    >one is worth watching at all. That's progress, I suppose.


    Hate to tell you how many channels are visible here... ten percent?
    Tops, I may watch three football games a week during the season if I
    remember to turn on the TV. Actually, I will watch PBS on occasions.
    and that adds maybe another two or three hours a month.

    >My parents, who have cable, bought a digital TV and without any change
    >in their cable package, went from getting about two dozen channels to
    >probably about a hundred. They watch about three.


    Thinking back to the late 1940s and early 1950s, we'd have a choice of
    8 channels max, (6 NYC, 1 Newark, 1 New Haven) and we watched a LOT of
    TV - maybe 12 to 15 hours a week. But they had shows on that were
    actually entertaining - Benny, Berle, Burns, Caesar, Hope, Skelton,
    Sullivan, and so on.

    Old guy

  17. Re: Scripting, UPS Selection, etc.

    Moe Trin wrote:
    > Something like the valentine reminder is most easily either redirected
    > to a terminal/console ('echo "blah" > /dev/console') or run as a mail
    > command (something like that is often just a 'echo "body of mail" |
    > mail -s "blah blah blah" username_to_mail_to'). Another method is
    > to create a script that does what is desired, and have crontab call
    > that script. But pay attention to the $ENVIRONMENT you're working in.


    Sounds like something to add to my list of things to do eventually,
    unless someone else has already written it.

    > you can _functionally_ use either
    >
    > 'cat Somefile | while TEST_COMMANDS; do COMMANDS; done'
    >
    > or
    >
    > 'while TEST_COMMANDS; do COMMANDS; done < Somefile'
    >
    > The later solution is less (keystrokes|CPU_cycles), and for a short
    > set of stuff between the do/done is better. I prefer the former for
    > situations where there is a bunch of lines between the 'do' and 'done'
    > (such that they don't appear on the same screen or page of paper at
    > the same time) as being less confusing.


    The loop uses the second of those, and it's now down to 17 lines, not
    counting the comments before it. In fact, version 1.0 is *DONE* and
    officially released. Anyone looking for a disc cataloging program,
    check out my bash script on
    http://mysite.verizon.net/adam707/acquire.txt . Comments appreciated!

    >> Only time I was in AZ was early March, and it wasn't hot yet. That
    >> day we went from Santa Fe, NM, where it was snowing, to just past
    >> Phoenix, AZ, where no coat at all was needed.

    >
    > March? Yeah, that's reasonable.


    I later calculated that we not only went 600 miles horizontally that
    day, but also over one mile vertically.

    > This is the reason for the fog in San Francisco. [...] you can see

    the difference in
    > temperatures between San Francisco and Oakland only a couple of miles
    > across the bay.


    I was only in SF one Sunday in early May '04, and it was in the mid-80s
    that day. I will no longer believe anyone who tells me how cool it is
    in SF year-round.

    Adam

  18. Re: Broadcasting

    Moe Trin wrote:
    >> WHVW (950 AM) announces itself on-air as "Hyde Park - Poughkeepsie."
    >> IIRC they said that's because it started in Hyde Park, so their license
    >> still says Hyde Park, even though transmitter, studio, and offices

    >
    > If you pull up the records, you'll see that the NAD-27 location quoted
    > is 41 44' 46.00" N / 73 54' 46.00" W. The chart I have doesn't show
    > city/town lines


    I had to dig up a map of Hyde Park, NY town wards, but that location is
    unquestionably in the Town of Hyde Park. That would be an odd place for
    an antenna, though, as there's a 200-foot hill practically across the
    street.

    >> I don't remember what the reception was like when visiting my
    >> grandparents in Brooklyn, but I don't think it was bad enough to be
    >> unwatchable.

    >
    > Reflections show up as the same parts of the picture displaced to the
    > right

    [snip]
    > they live at the corner of Ocean Parkway and Church Ave
    > (just South of Prospect Park) AND the transmitter is on the Empire
    > State Bldg, AND they are getting a reflection from the Chrysler Bldg,
    > the direct path is about 6.4 miles, and the reflection is about 0.9 +
    > 6.5 = 7.4 miles - there's where that ghost that is displaced 1/10 of
    > the picture width to the right is coming from. (How's _that_ for hand
    > waving demonstrations?)


    That's some impressive mathematics! By coincidence, I actually used to
    pass through that location on the way to visit Dad's parents, who'd
    moved to Quentin Rd. and 22nd St. (Flatbush) by the time I knew them.
    Mom actually grew up about 3.5 miles due E of the location you specify,
    in Brownsville, near the fictitious Amboy Dukes.

    > Thinking back to the late 1940s and early 1950s, we'd have a choice of
    > 8 channels max, (6 NYC, 1 Newark, 1 New Haven) and we watched a LOT of
    > TV - maybe 12 to 15 hours a week. But they had shows on that were
    > actually entertaining - Benny, Berle, Burns, Caesar, Hope, Skelton,
    > Sullivan, and so on.


    I asked Mom about that (she has a better memory for that stuff than
    Dad), and she said they got their first TV in '49. (Before that they
    used to visit a neighbor every Tuesday evening, for the obvious reason.)
    Mom said that their picture quality was generally good (not quite as
    clear as cable TV later, but good) and they seldom had ghosts. She said
    there must have been an antenna on top of their two-story apartment
    building, as she doesn't remember "rabbit ears." Mom remembered getting
    seven NYC-area stations: 2, 4, 5 (Dumont network), 7, 9, 11, and 13, all
    of which are still on the air AFAIK.

    I happen to have a paperback called "Do You Remember?" with TV trivia
    questions and prime-time fall network schedules (only the "big three"
    networks, unfortunately) starting with 1948. There /were/ some good
    programs then, but that's looking back. At the time, it looks like
    there was also a considerable amount of forgettable programming.

    Speaking of Mom's memories, she still remembers a junior high school
    (late '40s) field trip to go and see a computer! The whole class was
    impressed by all the hardware, and by how fast it solved problems.

    Adam

  19. Re: Scripting, UPS Selection, etc.

    On Sun, 21 Sep 2008, in the Usenet newsgroup alt.os.linux.mandriva, in article
    , Adam wrote:

    >Moe Trin wrote:


    >> Something like the valentine reminder is most easily either
    >> redirected to a terminal/console ('echo "blah" > /dev/console') or
    >> run as a mail command (something like that is often just a 'echo
    >> "body of mail" | mail -s "blah blah blah" username_to_mail_to').
    >> Another method is to create a script that does what is desired, and
    >> have crontab call that script. But pay attention to the $ENVIRONMENT
    >> you're working in.

    >
    >Sounds like something to add to my list of things to do eventually,
    >unless someone else has already written it.


    Creating a script to mail a reminder should be relatively simple. The
    rational for doing it that way is that in cron, you can set up a
    global (to that crontab) environment, but it may not be the most
    suitable for all cron entries. If instead, you run a script:

    0 1 10 2 * run_as_name /path/to/script

    you can then set the environment as you please IN that script - by
    sourcing a configuration/start-up file, or directly - AND you don't
    have to do everything on one line.

    >> 'cat Somefile | while TEST_COMMANDS; do COMMANDS; done'
    >>
    >> or
    >>
    >> 'while TEST_COMMANDS; do COMMANDS; done < Somefile'
    >>
    >> The later solution is less (keystrokes|CPU_cycles), and for a short
    >> set of stuff between the do/done is better. I prefer the former for
    >> situations where there is a bunch of lines between the 'do' and
    >> 'done'


    >The loop uses the second of those, and it's now down to 17 lines, not
    >counting the comments before it.


    For that, the second (redirect) method is easier.

    [compton ~]$ sed -n '/do/,/done/p' bin/which.doms | grep -vc ^#
    165
    [compton ~]$

    That's an example of one of several scripts where the 'do' to 'done'
    is over 150 lines not including the comment lines. Even using
    indenting to try to make things obvious, scrolling that far trying
    to see what the heck is going on can be "interesting".

    >I later calculated that we not only went 600 miles horizontally that
    >day, but also over one mile vertically.


    That's relatively easy to do in the West. Just driving from Flagstaff
    (7011' MSL at the airport) 136 miles down I-17 to Phoenix (1136' MSL
    at the airport) is one example. Truckee (5900' MSL) down I-80, or South
    Lake Tahoe (6264' MSL) down US-50 (both near Reno) to Sacramento (21'
    MSL) is a slightly shorter distance, AND in both cases, you have to
    climb up into the Sierras before descending into the Sacramento Valley.

    >> This is the reason for the fog in San Francisco. [...] you can see
    >> the difference in temperatures between San Francisco and Oakland
    >> only a couple of miles across the bay.

    >
    >I was only in SF one Sunday in early May '04, and it was in the mid-80s
    >that day. I will no longer believe anyone who tells me how cool it is
    >in SF year-round.


    Well, you see this is one of the effects of Global Warming everyone is
    talking about... I think the record high in the city was 92F, which
    is about 20 degrees above the average summer highs. Just be glad it
    doesn't get down to freezing there - some of the streets in the Russian
    Hill district are bad enough when wet.

    Old guy

  20. Re: Broadcasting

    On Sun, 21 Sep 2008, in the Usenet newsgroup alt.os.linux.mandriva, in article
    , Adam wrote:

    >Moe Trin wrote:


    >> If you pull up the records, you'll see that the NAD-27 location
    >> quoted is 41 44' 46.00" N / 73 54' 46.00" W. The chart I have
    >> doesn't show city/town lines

    >
    >I had to dig up a map of Hyde Park, NY town wards, but that location
    >is unquestionably in the Town of Hyde Park. That would be an odd
    >place for an antenna, though, as there's a 200-foot hill practically
    >across the street.


    The chart I have (1:500000 aeronautical chart) only has 500 foot
    contour lines. It shows the tower, because it's an obstruction.

    >> (How's _that_ for hand waving demonstrations?)

    >
    >That's some impressive mathematics!


    Actually, the math is fairly simple, given the rather specific
    standards for television transmissions. The rest is having a decent
    enough set of maps.

    >By coincidence, I actually used to pass through that location on the
    >way to visit Dad's parents, who'd moved to Quentin Rd. and 22nd St.
    >(Flatbush) by the time I knew them. Mom actually grew up about 3.5
    >miles due E of the location you specify, in Brownsville, near the
    >fictitious Amboy Dukes.


    I actually know very little of that area - I worked for about a week
    at Floyd Bennett back in the late 1960s, but can't even remember where
    I stayed - some nearby hotel, I suppose.

    >> Thinking back to the late 1940s and early 1950s, we'd have a choice
    >> of 8 channels max, (6 NYC, 1 Newark, 1 New Haven) and we watched a
    >> LOT of TV - maybe 12 to 15 hours a week.


    >I asked Mom about that (she has a better memory for that stuff than
    >Dad), and she said they got their first TV in '49. (Before that they
    >used to visit a neighbor every Tuesday evening, for the obvious
    >reason.)


    Texaco WHAT??? (That would have to be Mr, Television, because Ed Wynn
    was on Thursday.) We were probably the third or fourth in the
    neighborhood to get a TV. I'm not exactly sure how, but Dad's commute
    (if you want to call it that - about 2.5 miles) took him past two
    "stores" that were selling TVs. Naturally, they had at least one on
    in the front window in the evenings, and there would be a crowd of
    gawkers standing around.

    >Mom said that their picture quality was generally good (not quite as
    >clear as cable TV later, but good) and they seldom had ghosts. She
    >said there must have been an antenna on top of their two-story
    >apartment building, as she doesn't remember "rabbit ears."


    It could also have been something simple as a pair of thin wires
    tacked to the wall. An Uncle just outside of Philadelphia about that
    time pulled that stunt because the landlord didn't want people
    climbing on HIS roof, and his wife didn't want those unsightly
    rabbit ears in HER living room.

    >Mom remembered getting seven NYC-area stations: 2, 4, 5 (Dumont
    >network), 7, 9, 11, and 13, all of which are still on the air AFAIK.


    Under different call signs - That _was_ WCBS-TV (Columbia Broadcasting
    System), WNBT-TV (National Broadcasting Television), WABD-TV (Alan B.
    Dumont), WJZ-TV (ABC - but don't think WJZ had any special meaning),
    WOR-TV (also nothing significant), WPIX-TV (the PIX stood for
    "picture") and WATV-TV (that one was in Newark, and I'd almost
    forgotten the call letters, which I think were for "Atlantic TV").

    >I happen to have a paperback called "Do You Remember?" with TV trivia
    >questions and prime-time fall network schedules (only the "big three"
    >networks, unfortunately) starting with 1948.


    Basically, that's all there was. I don't recall Mutual (which was a
    _radio_ network - WOR AM was the local Mutual _radio_ outlet) having
    much in the line of TV, same for Dumont. Faux and PBS didn't exist at
    that time.

    >There /were/ some good programs then, but that's looking back. At
    >the time, it looks like there was also a considerable amount of
    >forgettable programming.


    There was that too. Recall, this was before the age of a national
    link capable of supporting _a_ television channel, never mind a full
    network feed from three networks. In the New York (as well as DC,
    Chicago, and Los Angeles) markets, you had a fair amount of "live"
    television, but there was also a lot of 'kinescope' ("pre-recorded"
    on 16 mm B/W film) stuff. If my sister and I got our homework
    done by quarter to five, we were allowed to watch "Uncle Fred" on
    channel 11 or 13 - which was a half hour of early 1930s cartoons
    (which the TV station must have found under some rock somewhere).
    These were Farmer Al Falfa in the main - probably produced for
    theater use in 1930-33. Then maybe we'd watch Howdy Doody, and it
    would be dinner time. Pick up again about 7 PM (after we had washed,
    dried and put away the dishes) not exactly sure when Kukla Fran and
    Ollie (out of Chicago) was on (very vaguely 7:15 or 7:30), then John
    Cameron Swayze and the (15 minute long) _national_ news.

    (What I am able to laugh at is when I realize that a current TV
    commercial [maybe Accura - dunno, my brane comes unglued when I hear
    it] with a very gravelly voice singing "Make Someone Happy" is the
    late Jimmy Durante - a 1930s radio comedian who also made it into
    television [and movies too - he was the crook who drove off the road
    in the 1963 movie "Mad Mad World"]. He recorded that song in ~1960.)

    >Speaking of Mom's memories, she still remembers a junior high school
    >(late '40s) field trip to go and see a computer! The whole class was
    >impressed by all the hardware, and by how fast it solved problems.


    What's really scary is to realize that that (probably room full)
    computer had a few dozen "words" of memory, and had cycle speeds in
    the high kilohertz range. Likely as well, it would be programmed
    either by card deck, or (more likely) paper tape - but it might have
    needed a helping hand to boot - with the help coming from rows of
    toggle switches and genuine blinking lights. That $1.95 "four
    function" calculator you have has more horsepower, and is faster.

    Old guy

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