Space Cowboy

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Everything posted by Space Cowboy

  1. Have you ever wondered...

    ...about computer case colors (the color of the housing for your computer)?  Probably not...but it is actually a rather interesting if nerdy, subject.   For the first several decades of their existence, consumer electronics used wooden cases (radios, TVs, console stereo systems).  In the 1960s, manufacturers started using metal cases, but continued with faux wood tone on the outside until the late 1970s. Starting the late 1970s, consumer electronics switched to a more „industrial“ look, using silver-colored metal cases, then switching to black.  Over the past 50 years, consumer electronics manufacturers have switched every few years - silver, then black, then silver, then black, etc.   Computers were always considered to be „industrial“ devices.  Starting in the halcyon days of the mainframe and minicomputer, computer cases were always a variant of gray.  The first personal computers followed this trend.   The case color for the Apple II was called „Sand“.  IBM used a gray color called „Putty“.  Compaq used „Beach Gray“.  Digital Equipment Corporation computers were painted a brownish gray.  HP used a slightly blue-tinted gray.  And so it was, until the late 1990s.   In the late 1990s I was working for Compaq Computer Corporation.  The Product Marketing group had been studying consumer electronics trends, and realized that CE manufacturers were regularly changing case colors.  A plan was put into place.   I helped facilitate a Blind Study of 100 customers at our Corporate headquarters, pulled from all over the US.  Each participant was sent into a room, where there were two computers - one gray-colored, the other black.  The participants were given only the instructions, „work with the two machines, and tell us what the difference is between them“.   Both computers were completely identical, other than the case color.  Internals exactly the same, software exactly the same, benchmarked to show that they were complete clones, except for the case color.  Each system was completely reset to default after every participant used it.   The result - out of 100 participants, every single person came out of the room and said, „The Black Computer is faster.“   For the next product refresh, every Compaq computer was black.  Within a year, the entire industry followed suit, except for Apple Computer.  Apple continued with the „Sand“ color for its Macintosh line, and ventured into pastel colors as an option for its all-in-one, which was a total marketing failure.   20+ years later, we still see the results of the Compaq study.  The vast majority of computers (large-scale and home devices) are black, dark gray, or some combination.  The industry has also started following the CE trend of silver devices, but the bulk still fall into black/dark gray.
  2. Have you ever wondered...

      VAX were all monochrome.   My point was „modern“ computer colors.  It seems to have been lost.  Oh well.  Carry on.
  3. Have you ever wondered...

      SGI is long-dead :)
  4. Have you ever wondered...

    Yeah, the 1960s had some wild colors.   Edit - @starkebogen is correct.  Prior to the 1970s, there were red and blue IBM systems.  My apologies - that was before my time.   I checked the archives, and could not find any yellow systems that were actually sold.  Definitely some yellow systems in marketing pics.
  5. Have you ever wondered...

        I was at Compaq when we bought Digital.  That was a catastrophic decision, and it pretty much defined the hardware industry for decades.  The decision ruined four companies (Compaq, Digital, HP, and Tandem) and sent the industry into a tailspin.   That decision was made by a German - Eckard Pfeiffer - whose stated goal was „World Domination“.   Go figure.
  6. Have you ever wondered...

      Even Big Blue (IBM) never made an actual blue computer.  Sorry, dude.    
  7. Only in America...

    A girl with whom I went to high school went on to become a reporter for a local Washington, DC television station.   Last year she visited her brother in North Carolina.  When she arrived at his house, she saw that a Trump 2020 political sign had been placed in his yard.  Her brother is a staunch Democrat.  She thought it had been placed there out of spite, so she removed it.   It turned out that the sign was actually in her brother‘s neighbor‘s yard, just a few cm over from the (unmarked) property line.   The neighbor, instead of speaking to her, stepped out onto his porch and Shot her with a pellet rifle.
  8. Conspiracy theorists

        I‘m going to guess that at least one TT poster on my „ignore“ list will jump all over this as the lastest Gotcha maneuver, if they haven‘t done so already.   Sadly, the wingnuts are quite predictable.
  9. Coronavirus    
  10. Expert advice regards to relocation to Germany

    ...deleted my response, as I realized this poster has previously asked most of these questions and received answers.
  11.   One of the fellow Americans in my local circle of acquaintances has been, and is, a rabid Trump supporter and self-professed GOP „cheerleader“.  He is especially fond of arguing with Germans who express dislike for Trump, telling them how great Trump is, how wonderful Trump has been for the US, and how Trump was „cheated“ out of a second term.   He recently admitted to me that he has never voted in any election.  
  12. U.S. passport renewal/extension in Munich

      I have a Niederlassungserlaubnis, issued in 2019.  My passport is due to expire next year.  Because of this, my NE has an expiration date, which is the same date that my passport expires.   I was explicitly told by my local ABH that next year I must bring my renewed passport to them so they can reissue the NE with the new passport number and data.
  13. Corona hearing in fine proceedings.

      And in RLP, there is no curfew at all.
  14. Coronavirus

    In Rheinland-Palz, you must also report to your local Gesundheitsamt.  This is in addition to Federal requirements.
  15. Brexit: The fallout

      Japanese Whisky is the best.   Just sayin.
  16. Conspiracy theorists

      Those of you who have lived in the US South with recognize this:   There is a particular type of Southern She-beast who, due to being raised with a sense of entitlement and privilege (Daddy‘s little Princess) believe they can be as vile and hateful as they want to be, and there will be no consequences.   This type of She-beast will engage in horrible behavior, and when called on it, immediately cry, „I‘m the victim!“, and place her man, or any supporting Daddy figure, in front of her to Defend Her Honor.  I have encountered too many examples of her type while living in the US Southeast, both socially and professionally.   This is Marjorie Taylor-Greene to a „T“.  She has been called out for her behavior, so she is now hiding behind Daddy Trump, and the male leadership of the Republican Party.   In the past, women like this got men of color lynched (see Emmett Till as an example). Unfortunately, even though these women don‘t have as much power as they used to in this regard, they are still enabled by patriarchal white traditionalists.   The irony is that this behavior is demeaning to women, but the She-beasts will never see it.
  17.   Not sure what you mean.  the ACLU cannot file lawsuits to overturn laws that haven‘t been passed yet.
  18. Coronavirus

      Interesting.  That article says that COVID tests for returning travelers should be free, but all of the testing centers around here (including the one sanctioned by the regional government) charge a fee.   There was a German Red Cross center in the FRA airport that offered no-cost tests, but I don‘t know if it is still there.  What I do know is that it took 4-5 days to get results, whereas the pay places could get you results same-day.   So, I am going to take back what I said, and now say, „I don‘t know.“
  19. Coronavirus

      1.  Friday 2.  No 3. No
  20.   I see it going the other way.  Republlcan-controlled state legislatures are doubling down on voter suppression efforts, in the name of „election security.“. If they are successful, the Republicans will retake the Senate (and possibly the House as well) next year, with more nutters and Qmorons.     GOP Lawmakers Seek Tougher Voting Rules  
  21. Partner visiting in the next few months?

      Attempting to shame people who follow the rules because YOU don‘t agree with the rules is a jerky thing to do.
  22. Partner visiting in the next few months?

      It‘s a rotating duty on TT.  Today was my turn.  Yours is coming up 
  23. Partner visiting in the next few months?

      And that is a personal choice on your part.  Travel continues to be permitted.   Just sayin.    
  24. Partner visiting in the next few months?

    In this narrow context, residency of the OP‘s partner is completely irrelevant.  OP‘s partner is an EU citizen; thus, she cannot be denied entry into the EU, no matter where in the world she resides.  Nor does she, as an EU citizen, have to follow any of the rules requiring proof of a relationship with the OP that are placed on third-country citizens living outside the EU.   In this context, what is important relative to possible travel disruptions is where the OP‘s partner is traveling from, not where she resides.
  25. Partner visiting in the next few months?

        The „Positive“ list is the list of countries from which unrestricted entry is allowed, as these countries do not currently have significant COVID outbreaks.   The US is not on the „Positive“ list, but neither is it currently on the „special risk area“ list.   So, at the moment your SO can visit you from the US.  Since she is an EU citizen, the rules regarding non-EU citizens DO NOT APPLY, even though she will travel from the US.   Keep in mind, though, that the COVID variants that drive the „special risk area“ list have been detected in the US - not yet in sufficient numbers to cause the US to be added to the „special risk area“ list, but that could change.  The practical result of being on the „special risk area“ list is that inbound flights from a country on that list are banned.