Sp david

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Recent Comments

  1. 3 days ago on Drabble

    Where do they live that they would ever need to own a surfboard?

  2. 3 days ago on Peanuts Begins

    Wikipedia has a lot of great information about test cards. In general, they were invented for the purpose of calibrating the transmitters and cameras. This was especially important in the days of vacuum tubes because temperature changes would cause the calibration to drift throughout the day. They were broadcast before the start of programming to calibrate the transmitter and at the end of the day to take calibration measurements for some FCC-mandated recordkeeping.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Test_card

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indian-head_test_pattern

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philips_PM5544

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Test_Card_F (the BBC one with “Bubbles” the clown)

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SMPTE_color_bars

  3. 4 days ago on Peanuts Begins

    Due to the nature of broadcast equipment (especially the old analog kind – not sure about the modern stuff), it is a Bad Thing to actually turn off a transmitter. There’s all kinds of stuff that needs to be recalibrated when turning it on again, which is an expensive and time-consuming process. Back in the days of vacuum tubes, power-cycling the transmitter every night would lead to tubes burning out more often as well.

    So the broadcasters never stop transmitting. When there is no programming, they will send something like a test pattern, which doesn’t require paying any copyright holder for a license and is more useful than a blank screen (since you can use it to adjust controls on your TV (like tint, horizontal and vertical hold) on your TV – which was important back when TVs needed to have those controls.

    More recently, as you’ve pointed out, broadcasters found that they can sell those time slots to advertisers, which is more profitable than broadcasting test patterns. Hence the late-night infomercials you see today.

  4. 4 days ago on Arlo and Janis

    The Wizard of Oz put it best: “Back where I come from, we have universities, seats of great learning, where men go to become great thinkers. And when they come out, they think deep thoughts and with no more brains than you have. But they have one thing you haven’t got: a diploma.”

    That’s such a great description. People who are no smarter than anybody else, but think they are capable of greater thoughts because they paid a lot of money to get a piece of paper that says so.

  5. 5 days ago on Arlo and Janis

    @Bald eagle: Ditto. I used to carry everything in my pockets. Until phones got too big to carry there without cracking the screen.

    Today, I keep almost everything in my pockets (keys, pocket knife, money, wallet), but I wear a nice leather pouch (purchased from a local renaissance fair) on my belt to hold my personal electronics.

  6. 5 days ago on Arlo and Janis

    @Not So Big Mike: I completely agree. When I was growing up, Mom drilled into me that you never ever look into (let alone rummage through) a woman’s purse ever.

    So much so that today, when my wife asks me to get something from hers, I always feel a twinge of guilt.

  7. 5 days ago on Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal

    Just in case this was a serious question, He’s asking in order to draw the petitioner into the subsequent discussion.

    Knowledge of what is and is not Quorfy will be more easily remembered if it is provided as an answer to a question instead of as an unsolicited statement.

  8. 6 days ago on Luann

    There are still used book stores that will buy (for store credit, usually) books in good condition.If you have the time, listing them on Amazon or eBay will often find buyers, but you may have to sell them for nothing more than the shipping cost.Finally, you can usually donate good condition books to Goodwill or other charitable groups with thrift shops.

  9. 6 days ago on Broom Hilda

    It doesn’t attract insects either.

  10. 6 days ago on Arlo and Janis

    Depends on the woman. The geeks that I spend time with like to carry what appears to be duffel bags. How else can you carry your laptop, iPad and acessories along with everything else you need?