Something Random

ddrueding

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Thanks for the playlist. I do like Debussy and Glass, and Mahler is nice to fall asleep to. Even Chopin and Tchaikovsky my head sorts into the same area as Gershwin which doesn't translate to "classical" the way that the older stuff does.

A lot of the music I listen to falls into what my brain calls "musician Olympics". Individual musicians doing amazing things, across most genres. Bonus points for being able to watch the musician Do The Thing. A playlist is a very elegant way to share things, I'll look into that. In the meantime, here are some performances that scratch the same itch for me from different genres (in increasing distance from piano):

 

sdbardwick

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Reason #643 to reject a consultant
Their website gives the following advice to speed up a pokey QuickBooks installation: " Invest in a network connection with a rotational speed of more than 7,500 rpm."
 

LunarMist

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Reason #643 to reject a consultant
Their website gives the following advice to speed up a pokey QuickBooks installation: " Invest in a network connection with a rotational speed of more than 7,500 rpm."
I had no idea that networks rotated. Was that in the 90s or some confusion with hard drives >7200RPM?
 

sedrosken

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As far as I know there are only a couple of speeds commonly sold (and not at all anymore, they'd sell you an SSD instead) that were faster than 7200rpm. And yes, it's a confusion with hard drives.

The real solution is to stop running on-premises Quickbooks. (grabs squirt bottle) No. Bad!
 

LunarMist

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Isn't that more of a small business application?
In my Division, we have to use Ariba. It's not exactly user friendly if you are not into finance.
 

Mercutio

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As far as I know there are only a couple of speeds commonly sold (and not at all anymore, they'd sell you an SSD instead) that were faster than 7200rpm. And yes, it's a confusion with hard drives.

The real solution is to stop running on-premises Quickbooks. (grabs squirt bottle) No. Bad!

The problem is that On Prem Quickbooks is still substantially cheaper than QB Online, and the online version looks different enough that bookkeepers who aren't terribly computer savvy are scared of all the changes, even if the same functionality is present in the online product. I hate QB with a passion because small business owners tend to be paranoid about asking for help with it, which often leads them in to situations where Intuit forces them to make bad decisions about it later on, but I also understand not being forced to update or to pay ever increasing subscription fees on demand. Subscription-based software is very often internet herpes.

I do think that many accounts demand QB now, so it's just a huge fixed cost for having a small business now.

dd, I'll probably give those videos a listen next week. I am having a busy sort of weekend.
 

LunarMist

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Maybe I'm cynical, but I suspect that some small companies are not GAAP compliant.
 

ddrueding

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dd, I'll probably give those videos a listen next week. I am having a busy sort of weekend.
No worries, we're having a stomach flu go around the household at the moment. I'm the last one standing and may go down any minute.

I'm also the type that totally doesn't take offense when my suggestions/advice/recommendations are not taken on just about anything. I just reserve the right to "I told you so" after ;)
 

sedrosken

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The problem is that On Prem Quickbooks is still substantially cheaper than QB Online, and the online version looks different enough that bookkeepers who aren't terribly computer savvy are scared of all the changes, even if the same functionality is present in the online product. I hate QB with a passion because small business owners tend to be paranoid about asking for help with it, which often leads them in to situations where Intuit forces them to make bad decisions about it later on, but I also understand not being forced to update or to pay ever increasing subscription fees on demand. Subscription-based software is very often internet herpes.

I do think that many accounts demand QB now, so it's just a huge fixed cost for having a small business now.

dd, I'll probably give those videos a listen next week. I am having a busy sort of weekend.

I get that, I really do, but the few on-prem QB installs I support are just complete nightmares. There are features that they paid for that just flat out do not function (mostly payroll related, they get around that by using an external thing to do that) and the server install I maintain (so they can use it throughout the office) is just a complete turd that quits working whenever it feels like. For how much money these businesses pay for it, it ought to work.
 

Mercutio

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One of the people in my office is an Inuit Certified Quickbooks ProAdvisor. My company does not use Quickbooks for Payroll or any credit processing. We DO have to have something that's in Quickbooks Plus, which costs more than regular Quickbooks but not as much as Quickbooks Pro. I have no idea what that is, but I believe what we use winds up costing about $125/user/year.
I don't think you can get a single user license for QB online for less than $27/user/month. It's my experience that basically no one qualifies to keep the $15/month starter package.

I want all versions of Quickbooks to die so, so much. I hate dealing with it. But the people who will go to war over the difference between $125/year and $325/year maybe aren't the right people to argue over switching.
 

Mercutio

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I'm also the type that totally doesn't take offense when my suggestions/advice/recommendations are not taken on just about anything.

First one is fun and jazzy. Second one was a little more Isaac Hayes/Curtis Mayfield, but in line with the stuff Marc Rebillet improvises. Third one, not bad, but not really my thing. Forth one is a big ol' nope.
 

ddrueding

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First one is fun and jazzy. Second one was a little more Isaac Hayes/Curtis Mayfield, but in line with the stuff Marc Rebillet improvises. Third one, not bad, but not really my thing. Forth one is a big ol' nope.
That is better than I was expecting and I do appreciate you taking the time. One more that is probably in the "not really my thing" space, but maybe? Very talented musicians fooling around. And if you do like this, you need to go spend some time looking at ClownCore (the band, careful on that search).
 

sedrosken

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I was given a Latitude C400, on the condition that I destroyed the hard drive. Thankfully they let me handle that, and didn't just take it, because it's one of those models that uses a caddy and a pin-header to edge-connector adapter. I don't mind giving up or destroying a 22 year old hard drive because the odds that it'll continue to work for very long at this point are near-nonexistent. I'd wanted to replace it with an mSATA SSD on a 2.5" adapter anyway.

This thing is weird. It's a subnotebook from an era where laptops could only really get smaller by dropping features a la the Libretto, though this doesn't go to quite that extreme. Latitudes of the era are known for having a swappable drive-bay system for their CD-ROM and Floppy drives that can sometimes take an extra battery or some such. This has no such bay, rather, it has a unique port on the motherboard for an external bay specifically meant for this model, which I'm not getting with it and which is total unobtainium on eBay. You can find the bays for the D-series all day, but they used a different connector for those.

Which has me at a crossroads for getting an operating system onto it. Being a mobile Pentium III, it has no mechanism for booting from USB, though it would have been cool and convenient if they did. I set up a TFTP server for PXE booting, first on my old Pi that I use for a SSH bridge I access via telnet from my vintage boxes that are too slow to negotiate the ciphers, since I already had xinetd set up, and then moved it to my NAS because I needed the better throughput it offered. I may have gone a little crazy, and thrown all sorts of neat tools on there, but the big boys can only boot if you have ~1GB of RAM or more since the images they use are a little bit bloated. Thankfully, I have OpenWRT on my router, so setting my DHCP options to advertise the PXE boot server was really easy. So far I have:

- Plop bootloader (for chainbooting USB on devices that don't support it, I also have it as a floppy image mostly for booting CD-ROMs on early machines)
- Memtest86+ (32-bit MBR, 6.20)
- Gparted i686 1.5.0 (rather large squashfs it has to pull down, but at least it's not a full on ISO)
- DBAN set up to autonuke (it asks if you want to proceed), i586
- A barebones Windows PE image, 32-bit MBR
- Debian i386 netboot netinst image. This one's interesting because it's not the full netinst image, it actually pulls down ALL relevant packages.

So far I only have 32 bit MBR tools on there, mostly because my UEFI systems can just as easily and usually have an even easier time booting from USB, and usually they can boot those 32-bit images fine as well for the purposes they serve.

Another thing that makes this thing weird is that it uses the i830M chipset, iGP and all. The direct predecessor to the ExtremeGraphics line. It'll be interesting to test out and see what works, what doesn't, and just how slow it is. I wonder if it'll accelerate MPEG2 decoding? I think the EG in i845 does. It also supports an entire gigabyte of RAM, something that's a bit of a sore point on i815. Oh, and deep in the era of AC'97 sound, it uses a dedicated Crystal chip. I wonder if it's one of those that have the KQ FM synth -- I'm a little tempted to try DOS on it first. I plan to dual-boot Windows 2000 and Debian i386 on it. With a 1.2GHz Tualatin with 512K of cache, it's set to be a pretty speedy little thing by PIII standards. It'll also be neat to see if Debian compiles everything to require just i686+pae and use MMX/SSE if it's available, or if it takes defaults for things like Firefox that really want SSE2. I'm not expecting it to be fast, mind, but I do want to see if it'll launch without complaining.

The battery is stone-dead. I want to see about cracking it open and rebuilding it with 18650s, but I don't own a spot welder.
 

Mercutio

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That sounds like a massive pain in the ass, but it should be do-able. I do know that the Thinkpads of that era, the ~T20 at least, did support USB boot. I'm not familiar with the C400. You could also get a PC Card drive for it, just for the fun of playing with something old enough to be a parent. You might also find that the installed wifi adapter doesn't play nice with Linux; a lot of 802.11b adapters didn't, which eventually led to NDIS-wrapper being developed, but it's anyone's guess if yours in particular will be supported with that.

If you REALLY want a challenge, you could always try building Slackware or Arch on that thing. It'll suck, but you'll learn probably way more about package dependencies than any sane person should. :ROFLMAO:
 

sedrosken

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I don't actually think my model is equipped with an 802.11b card -- that's fine by me, I've got an 802.11g PC card sitting on my desk that should support WPA2-AES last I knew, though the kernel module for it (prism54, later p54) has been orphaned since ~3.10 I believe, so it'll be fun prodding it into building.

I've not used Slackware before, but my various experiences with Arch and its derivatives don't fill me with any confidence as to maintaining a system long-term. If you leave updates for too long they just break things when you finally do get them installed. And Arch dropped its i686 build years ago -- there's an unofficial project that brings it back, but from what I've seen of it, it lags behind the main release and usually has some sort of gpg key signing issue with the packages. If I really wanted to be a masochist, I'd compile Gentoo on it, or go full LFS. I think if I get to the point where I'm seriously considering trying Slackware, I'm probably better off with NetBSD anyway.

Gentoo taught me to dial in my USE flags very very early on in an install lest I have to rebuild everything over again later. I'm also not sure I want to go to the trouble of setting up distcc or a cross-compiler deal just so I won't have to wait a week for my install to finish or two days just for it to build Firefox. Firefox takes an inordinate amount of time even on modern machines. Debian's a good compromise of stability and speed, in my opinion, providing of course that everything will actually run on my hardware. If not, then I'll just have to go about it the hard way. I'm going to have to compile a new kernel with the p54 driver anyway.

edit: Maybe if I actually read the wikidevi page for the damn thing, I'd learn something. p54pci took over where p54 left off and apparently is still built and included with Debian's default kernel -- running modinfo on it on my NAS returned some info, even. I'll still have to make sure I feed it firmware. Hopefully this thing can do WPA2.
 
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sedrosken

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Nope, no built-in WiFi, but I can add it -- take off the keyboard and there it is, a mini PCI slot and two little antennae. If I find something more useful to do with the PCMCIA slot, I might grab a card for it. As it is right now it's fine without it. Unfortunately in the pursuit of making a thin device it seems Dell used an early LiPo cell in this thing -- it's too thin to be made of 18650s. I'm actually a little afraid to open it and find a spicy pillow. The machine itself is very small and thin especially by the standards of the day, I was quite pleasantly surprised.

My spare 512MB PC133 stick wasn't compatible, so it's still running the 256MB it came to me with. That's fine for Windows 2000, less fine for modern Linux, though it's worth noting that I did get it installed and as long as I'm cognizant of what I'm doing, it's mostly fine in use. I netbooted a Debian installer over PXE and it complained about being in a low RAM environment, then, to cut back on RAM usage, allowed me to pick and choose what modules got loaded. Since I only needed the SATA modules (as they cover PATA devices too, have for about 10 years now I think?) I chose those and barely got swap initialized in time to keep going with the installer. If I'd had just a bit less memory or waited just a bit longer to swapon, it likely would have invoked the OOM killer. But once it's installed, I was able to run X and even multitask a little bit. I use mostly console programs, but half the time it's because they genuinely work better or with less hassle than their GUI counterparts, and I use them even on my main which can handily run anything I can throw at it. I do have a 1GB kit on the way for it, but I don't know whether it'll work or not -- the 830M chipset is apparently quite picky. I know it supports 512MB modules, I've seen it do it.

Debian's 12.0 release, Bookworm, dropped yesterday. The upgrade process on all my installs went smoothly, yes, even the C400. It took its sweet time about getting the packages, but it did fine. Now I just need to update my netboot image.

I was pleasantly surprised by how competent the original ExtremeGraphics in the i830M is. People like to crap all over it, including me, but really, in context of the era it came out and what it was up against, it could have been a lot worse and still been successful. The part that really stinks is that they didn't change it much from here to i865G. For several years this was about as good as it got. Still, an integrated graphics chip running Unreal Tournament and Quake III Arena playably isn't anything to sneeze at. And of course there are a few classics (Diablo I/II, Red Alert 2, Worms Armageddon, Starcraft, Half Life) that don't ask much of your graphics hardware at all.

I could take this to a LAN party and still have fun. You know, if that was a thing people actually did anymore instead of staying even more isolated and cooped up at home thanks to the internet.
 

jtr1962

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My spare 512MB PC133 stick wasn't compatible, so it's still running the 256MB it came to me with.
I remember from back in my days playing with PCs of that era that most didn't take the 512MB sticks. I have an old Pentium II system which actually has 4 memory slots (most MBs then had 2 or 3). At least I could max out the memory on that system at 1 GB, not 768 MB. I tried the 512MB sticks in that system, but they read as 256MB. I'm pretty sure I was using Windows 98 in that PC. Windows 98 really couldn't handle more than 1GB of memory IIRC.
 

Mercutio

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IIRC, there were single-sided and double-sided DIMMs, with double-sided working fine on AMD but only only showed up as half capacity on an Intel PC. This is still something that happens; I have some high capacity DDR3 modules that do the same thing on older Core i-whatever but are fine AMD CPUs, and I had a hell of a time finding 16GB DDR4 DIMMs that would work on X99-A, the oldest DDR4 platform.
 

sedrosken

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I remember from back in my days playing with PCs of that era that most didn't take the 512MB sticks. I have an old Pentium II system which actually has 4 memory slots (most MBs then had 2 or 3). At least I could max out the memory on that system at 1 GB, not 768 MB. I tried the 512MB sticks in that system, but they read as 256MB. I'm pretty sure I was using Windows 98 in that PC. Windows 98 really couldn't handle more than 1GB of memory IIRC.

That's all true; most chipsets/boards of the era couldn't take them. AMD was a pretty safe bet, but on the Intel side, it was a good way to ask for pain. However, I'm 126% sure that the i830M chipset does support them in the correct configuration -- I think the one I was trying to use might have had too many low-density chips as opposed to the higher density chips the modules I have coming use. There are countless reports of the C400 running 1GB just fine. We'll see.

Yes, 98 kind of breaks down normally after 768MB on 440BX, and 512MB on all other chipsets. Rudolph Loew made a patch for VMM32 on 9x that should let it use more, but I don't typically care to install it because frankly no 9x install merits having more than half a gig anyway, 256 is overkill for it even. However, I'm dual-booting Windows 2000 and Debian 12, as I said, so I really can use all the help I can get.

The 802.11N card I bought; I accidentally bought one with a Broadcom chipset. I hate those, using them on Linux is nothing short of a nightmare. I was looking at another model with an Atheros chipset that I wanted to use instead, I must have been confused when I placed the order. Oh well. This'll do the job, it'll just be annoying.
 

sedrosken

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Well that was a complete disaster.

The Linksys card I bought has a Broadcom 4321b/g/n chipset, because I accidentally bought a v1 revision of the product instead of the v2 I wanted. Even with the firmware, and even with the proprietary driver compiled for my kernel, I couldn't get it to work under Debian. Worked like a charm under Windows, to my chagrin.

After downgrading my kernel from 6.1 to 5.10, I could get the isl3886pci firmware loaded in my SMC card and it was finally connecting to my WPA2 networks. And after upgrading the driver to a 2006 release, it can do WPA2 under Windows 2000 too.
 

Mercutio

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This is a valuable lesson that absolutely explains why putting Linux on a laptop 20 years ago was hardcore masochism.
On the other hand, getting Suse or Mint on a 2022 or 20223-model PC is universally easier than installing Windows 10 on the same hardware. Which is completely hilarious, IMO.
 

Mercutio

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Not sure anyone fully cares, but Paramount put the entire first season of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds up on Youtube. Strange New Worlds is excellent through and through and it's well worth watching, capturing both the fun of the Original Series and the gravitas of Deep Space Nine.
 

Handruin

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I definitely enjoyed Strange New Worlds and I see Season 2 just started today. The only one episode that felt a bit out of place was episode 8 "The Elysian Kingdom". I feel like that kind of episode feels accepted in a season 2 or 3 after things are better established but it's a minor gripe.

This Strange New Worlds I've enjoyed more than the other offspring like Picard and Discovery. It just feels more like TNG than the other two which are so dark and super dramatic.
 

Mercutio

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Picard is awful. It's just a string of guest roles for no particular reason.

Lower Decks is great, although I do understand why a lot of people say that it's not really Trek. If you haven't seen it yet, it's animated and the vibe varies between Star Trek continuity porn and absurd humor. It's going to have a crossover with live-action Strange New Worlds this year.

Discovery is very uneven. A lot of people dislike the lead actress, but I watch mostly for secondary characters and B-plots regardless.
 

Handruin

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I'm kinda happy hearing you share a similar view with Picard. I also didn't really enjoy it. Sure, the nostalgia seeing everyone was fun for a few minutes but otherwise, eh. I've had conversations with others and read how others loved it and thought even season 4 was the best and I was pretty tired of this series and not impressed. The writing felt so weak and kinda offensive with many of the plot decisions being made were seemingly dumb or not representative of what I'd expect for a ST series.

I've still not watched Lower Decks but keep hearing good reviews. I'll add it to my list.

I liked certain parts of Discovery and like you, several of the secondary characters made it more enjoyable. I didn't have any specific issue with the actor Sonequa Martin-Green (Michael Burnham), but was kinda off-put even from the character's behavior in the first episode. Maybe she did just feel a little too flat even for a Vulcan-raised human.
 

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There is some pretty justifiable complaint that Burnham is the most Mary Sue character ever to show up in a Trek series. She's Spock's heretofore unknown sister. She's a disgraced and insubordinate officer who somehow manages to ping pong between losing her commission and having command rank, even to the point that other captains step down in her favor and worst of all, every season has wound up with a plot that could only be resolved through her history or personal connection to the conflict. That's a lot to take. It's important to separate that complaint from the "Sad Puppy" anti-diversity critiques that run rampant in Science Fiction fandom, but to the extent that ST:D succeeds, it does so in spite of its central character and season-long arcs.

There's also Star Trek Prodigy, another animated series which is shown on Nickelodeon and thus probably outside the awareness of a lot of adult fans. It has Kate Mulgrew as ship hologram Janeway and also Jason Mantzoukas, who is a treasure in everything, in what might be his first ever role as something other than a shameless omnisexual pervert. Prodigy is meant for kids, but it's still Trek and it's MUCH more judicious about guest voices and references than Picard.

Enterprise and DS9 are kind of the redheaded stepchildren in all of this. I can't think of a single guest appearance by an Enterprise cast member in any of the other series, and while DS9 itself gets a flyby in Lower Decks, none of its cast has returned either.
 

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My father was a Naval Officer and these days he's a bit of a Naval historian. He used to tell me about shipwrecks and naval disasters, and it always struck me how desolate almost any fate besides safe passage can happen to anyone who takes to the open water.

There's a story in the news right now that a bunch of people took an unregulated submarine vehicle down to the wreck of the Titanic. The vehicle was tested for unmanned operation but never manned, and it appears to have failed on its first manned trip. I can't believe there's even any consideration of a rescue operation, but at least one of the people involved is a billionaire. The story is fairly captivating though, because these people probably died in a way that is unique in human history. If their vessel had any kind of structural failure at all, they were more or less instantly subjected to something like 3 tons of pressure per square inch, similar to the pressure of the inside of an engine's combustion cylinder. They probably actually instantly burned before they even had a chance to be pulverized by the pressure itself... and that's the BEST option as to their fate, because there is nothing that can get down to 4000m depth and effect any sore of aid.

I'm sure these people are dead, but I suppose I'm very interested to know if there's any telemetry to find out what happened. I wonder if Naval Intelligence heard anything from SONAR monitoring. We know a lot about what happens in space, but it's fascinating to think about the problems presented by a depth that's multiples of the crush depth of even the most advanced military submarines.
 

LunarMist

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James Cameron went down to 11km (6.8 mi) over ten years ago in a solo sub.
He must have been using better quality equipment than the poor bastards in that sub that broke down at only 4km.
 

Mercutio

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It's a lot easier to design a spherical bathysphere to deal with pressure than to make an oblong one. The design that went poof is partly carbon fiber composite and partly titanium and that on its own is a little bit suspect. Who knows how they joined the materials?

They were really proud of their structure monitoring but carbon fiber is hard but brittle. A fault would probably be instant, and even the fastest rapid ascent for safety would kill the crew before the thing got anywhere near livable pressure. Not much to do when your hull isn't being a hull any more.
 

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I read somewhere that the people in the sub cannot even open it from the inside and that was mentioned in the event the sub surfaced somewhere but was still lost. They would have around 96hours of oxygen until found and opened from the outside.

Would be curious if to learn if the sub was still intact at the bottom but lost the ability to surface. Would we find intersting notes left from billionaires about their last messages to loved ones or something else that's more sociopathic.
 

LunarMist

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There must have been a massive screw-up in design, construction, and/or operation. Surely there will be investigation.
Subs are not my favorite place. I'd be freaking out past 500". Fortunately I never worked with the NAvy.
 

ddrueding

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Billionaires can afford to do things correctly. There are solutions to the technical challenges and testing methodologies to validate those solutions. Seems a few too many corners were cut.
 

Mercutio

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Apparently somebody has managed to cobble together enough video footage that there's supposed to be a feature length documentary by the end of this current week. That won't be sensational at all, right?

I went to a drag show in Tampa last night. I took pictures and got to hang out with some pros doing the same thing. It feels like at least a symbolic victory that for all the terrible things certain corners of American political parties are pushing, there was a full house on a Wednesday night to wave their rainbow flags and live their best lives, right under the nose of the most hateful state (except Tennessee, if you're trans; Mississippi if you're black or Texas if you're Latin).
 

LunarMist

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Billionaires can afford to do things correctly. There are solutions to the technical challenges and testing methodologies to validate those solutions. Seems a few too many corners were cut.
Some of the participants were wealthy. They were just going on vacation, not involved with the design or operation of the sub.
Many reports are indicating that it was a cheap POS of a sub.
 

jtr1962

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There must have been a massive screw-up in design, construction, and/or operation. Surely there will be investigation.
Subs are not my favorite place. I'd be freaking out past 500". Fortunately I never worked with the NAvy.
I might be OK going down in a military sub but I wouldn't have gotten in something like this if you paid me a million dollars. The only solace is they probably died within milliseconds, before any pain signals could reach their brains, or they had a chance to even realize what was happening. Not the worst way to go I guess.
 

jtr1962

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They were really proud of their structure monitoring but carbon fiber is hard but brittle. A fault would probably be instant, and even the fastest rapid ascent for safety would kill the crew before the thing got anywhere near livable pressure. Not much to do when your hull isn't being a hull any more.
One reason I've avoided carbon fiber bikes is their failure mode. Unlike metal frames which bend a lot before they break, giving you some warning, carbon fiber tends to just suddenly shatter when it fails. Basically, your bike is fine one second, then in pieces the next. There's an entire website devoted to the failure modes of carbon fiber bicycles. Not sure it's a great idea to make a pressure vessel out of carbon fiber.
 
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