One of the QA people has hearing aids that he sometimes turns off. One
of our 'features' is the ability to play various wave files for alerts.
The feature is almost universally loathed and turned off but he's
perfectly happy with the whoops and whistles going off.
That's not the only 'feature' that's been requested by our users where
I'm thinking it's really going to be annoying as I implement it. Most of
the time it's a trivial project and it's easier to give them what they
asked for and let them figure out it wasn't a good idea.
Presumably, he's listening to this through a SPEAKER and not HEADPHONES?
I.e., so the solution to his "problem" becomes everyone else's problem!
My user sound system supports three "information channels":
- background (akin to something you hear when you're not focused on something
more important; sort of like background music, background surroundings, etc.)
- foreground (gee, clever name, eh? this is something that you are focused on;
the primary channel that has your attention, overriding the background in
terms of importance -- but playing alongside/atop it)
- alerts/interrupts (yet another clever name? these are distractions or
interruptions that are competing for your attention with the foreground;
terse "events" "off to the side", so to speak)
As users can have different hearing acuity in each ear, the user (headphones)
can adjust the "balance" of the background channel. But, it's basically a
single, monaural "information source".
Similarly, the balance of the foreground channel can be adjusted to
"position" it in the "center" (whatever that means for this user)
of their aural field -- even if that is distinctly OFF center.
The alerts are characterized by their individual sounds (bell, buzzer, chime,
etc. -- akin to your wav files). But, they can also be positioned in
the aural "space". So, a chime can sound "up to the left" that indicates
an incoming phone call. Another buzzer might sound "off to the right" to
remind you that you have something "scheduled" for this time. A mallard's
quack might sound straight ahead to alert you to someone's presence at
the front door. etc.
Each "interrupt" is essentially asking you, "do you want to shift your
attention away from whatever the foreground channel might be saying to you,
in order to address the event that 'it' is trying to alert you?" Do you
want to "shift your focus" to some other competing information channel?
Note that you might not be able to "pause" your foreground "dialog"
(imagine you're talking to someone on that channel). And, you
don't want the interruption to "persist" as it would require conscious
action to silence it -- while you are presumably FOCUSED on something else!
The alerts want to be almost percussive in nature -- so they slip in
between words, conceptually.
But, when they are that brief and UNEXPECTED, it might be difficult to
remember what you heard -- was that a beep or a bop? Hence the value
of being able to place them spatially; you can remember where they
came from and use that as a clue to their likely intent (or, even
categorize them: things from the left are important to me; things
from the right, not so much).
The toughest part of all this is figuring out how to let the user
define these "alerts" in a manner that makes sense to *him*. You
don't want to force every user to memorize a dozen different possible
alerts. Nor do you want to force "adept" users to have to query the
device to clarify what some "generic" alert actually meant. The
more you can "customize", the harder the system becomes to use for
the typical user (hence the need to design smart defaults). In
the case of the alerts, the user has to assign a particular sound
*and* a particular location in space. In such a way that he can
later associate meaning with that combination.
Yep. That is the problem behind the concept. Typically the dispatchers
have a hands-free headset and aren't plugged into the computer. There
are visual alerts too but presumably a color blind person might miss a
line turning red. Aural cues are fine if you can isolate them to an
individual. The same would go for speech to text interfaces like Dragon
or the new gadgets. The last thing you need in an open office type
environment is someone chatting with Siri or Cortana.
So, no one *should* hear the chirps, then? Or, are the headsets acoustically
transparent? (Or, are the old coots simply DEAF and have the volume turned up
so high that you can hear "through" them regardless??)
Add a second channel to communicate the "redness" (whatever red signifies).
E.g., blinking, inverting video, etc. About 7% of men are color blind.
(and most of the rest of us only had 8 crayons in our crayola box! :> )
In my case, I use a BT earpiece -- it gives me output and input
capability. It also lets me find where the user is located in
the environment without burdening him/her with lots of OTHER
equipment; the earpiece is "required" to communicate so users
understand the need for it and can rationalize wearing it moreso
than a device that tells the system where they are located.
[The problem is that earpieces are just one ear. I've been looking
for a similarly lightweight stereo headset (with microphone) but
haven't found one that I like -- yet.]
Yes. I support a gestural interface alongside speech in my "non-visual"
user interface -- as there are times when talking aloud would be disturbing
to others (e.g., in a corporate boardroom, in a class, etc.) AND times
when you don't want others to know what you are asking the system to do
for you! (e.g., what's Mr. Davis' first name? I really would not like
to have to ASK him to remind me of it while I'm chatting with him! That
would be pretty embarassing! OTOH, if I can figure it out *before* we
part ways, I can offer it up in my farewell wishes: "Nice talking to you,
*BOB*!" And, I can add a reference to his wife/kids: "Say 'hello' to
Liz for me!")
(Amazon.com product link shortened)
Most only cover one ear. Our support people use them and I can coach
them when they're on the phone with a client. Personally I would have a
problem with them. My hearing is fine but I've always had trouble
separating the signal from the noise. I'm the guy on the telephone with
my finger stuck in my free ear or having trouble following a
conversation in a noisy restaurant. I can function without distraction
in noisy environments but that consists of tuning it all out.
Yeah, that's the problem: I need something binaural for the spatializer.
So, why do folks complain about the beeps and bops? Or, is it just an
issue when you are *developing* the codebase (getting tired of hearing
all those noises just to verify that your code is behaving as it should)?
Stub the routine to flash a message instead of playing a WAV?
printf("The sound you would now be hearing is " + filename + "\n");
Understood. That's the reason my aural interface just has the three
channels and uses them the way it does. Many people can't handle
multiple competing sound sources -- esp if they are directed AT them
(not "dismissable" at some subconscious level -- cocktail party effect)
E.g., I find many social events stressful because several people will try to
talk to you at once -- different subjects/conversations -- each oblivious
to the fact that you're engaged in another conversation at the moment.
"Rude" to ignore any of them so I struggle to try to *hear* each of them
even as they talk over each other.
[I think in quieter environments, folks can more readily see that you're
engaged in another conversation and defer their comments until an
appropriate lull. OTOH, in crowded rooms, most folks can barely hear
themselves THINK, let alone hear who might be talking to YOU!]
Yes, in house it's when the QA people are testing the functionality but
I would not be surprised to find the wav files disabled on site although
it would depend on the personnel. Working a dispatch center tends to be
stressful and I don't see adding additional annoyances as a good thing.
otoh, because it is stressful turnover is high and some people may need
all the prompting they can get.
I'd never make it. "911, what is your problem?" --- "Oh, really? Your
problem is you're dumber than a box of rocks. Good bye."
This really does happen occasionally. The Gestapo has nothing on a
gaggle of concerned citizens with cellphones and 911 on speed dial. I
have to hand it to the people that can handle the idiots with polite
professionalism as still switch gears when the shit is really hitting
the fan. It's like Russian roulette when you pick up the line.
On Saturday, May 21, 2016 at 12:49:24 AM UTC-4, Don Y wrote:
It's not essential to rerun a bus cycle. The 386 and all subsequent
Intel CPUs don't need to rerun bus cycles because the MMU and paging
are inside the chip. The CPU knows whether or not to run a bus cycle
before it ever runs it in the first place. In other words, it's
an MMU and paging done right. Kind of important, if some
malicious program attempts to write to a memory address to shut down
the power grid or take your nuke off line.
The same can be said for any product that has enormous acceptance
and an installed base, especially a product that runs software.
The real world isn't like you, sitting in your
shop, where you say you don't reuse existing code, you just toss it
and start all over from scratch.
On Friday, May 20, 2016 at 9:39:25 PM UTC-4, rbowman wrote:
CPU series timeline is not necessarily the same as when other chips
that extended the capabilities came out. You didn't need a MMU to
use a Z8000 and probably 99% of the designs never used it at all.
As I said, from a quick google search it looks like those two chips
you're talking about came out in the early 80s. There is a data
sheet dated 1985 and a patent application from I think 1981. That is
the point that the whole industry was bringing out more advanced
chips. In 1982
you had the 286 that had the MMU on board. Beyond that, Don tries to
make it sound like you really could build a robust multi-tasking system
with memory management and paging around an 8086 or similar timeframe CPU.
You couldn't build a practical system, because not only was hardware lacking, but even if you had the hardware, the performance of those early CPUs wasn't up to it. Nor was there an OS.
My father picked Beta because of the hi-fi audio. He didn't know VHS had
the same thing.
Both 8086 & 8088 are 16-bit (data bus) internally. As you probably know,
they had 20-bit address buses.
BTW, I think I did see one PC clone that used a 8086.
Also, there were 80186 & 80188 processors that had a few new features.
On Friday, May 20, 2016 at 3:34:26 PM UTC-4, Mark Lloyd wrote:
Yes, I meant the data bus was 8 bits on the 8088.
IDK who all made them, but Olivetti was one. AT&T bought them and
resold them as AT&T IBM compatible PCs. Then AT&T went one step
further and came up with their own improved version, that used the
286. It still had the XT bus though, so it was a bastardized thing.
Those were extremely popular CPU for embedded designs, but AFAIK
never used in any PC applications. They had on board DMA, timers,
interrupt controller, etc, that made them very attractive for
embedded applications. But the fact that those on board peripherals
were different from the stand alone chips that provided that
functionality in the PC made them incompatible, or at least not
worth the trouble.
On Wednesday, May 18, 2016 at 9:05:58 AM UTC-4, Mayayana wrote:
This just happened to me last night. I have been getting the
Windows 10 update pop-ups but have been closing/ignoring them.
Last night I noticed my monitor cycling through a full-screen
white-green-red-blue background. I couldn't wake the computer up
with the keyboard or mouse. I cycled the power, but it just kept
coming back to the color-cycling.
I Googled the color-cycling issue and found a post in a forum that
just happened to be for my same model computer. I read that if you
press the sleep key (crescent moon) on the keyboard, it would wake the
When I did that, I was presented with a "Welcome to Windows 10" screen.
Clicking "Next" presented a "Here's the legal stuff..." screen. When I
clicked Decline I got a pop-up that asked me to confirm that I was
declining my free Windows 10 upgrade. Is stated that it would reinstall
my previous OS. I clicked decline and about 15 minutes alter I heard the
system reboot with the Win7 music. I haven't had a chance to use the
system yet, so I hope everything is intact.
I am not happy at having the upgrade forced onto my machine.
I'm glad you said this.
I got: "To use this Web site's full functionality, you must be running
Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0 or later."
I'm using ie 9 but that's not good enough for it!
So I toggled active-x and tried it both positions and it still gave
the same message.
It said "If you prefer to use a different Web browser, you can get
updates from the Microsoft Download Center. " so I went there but
couldn't find Windows 7 SP1 Rollup Update.
| I'm using ie 9 but that's not good enough for it!
| So I toggled active-x and tried it both positions and it still gave
| the same message.
| It said "If you prefer to use a different Web browser, you can get
| updates from the Microsoft Download Center. " so I went there but
| couldn't find Windows 7 SP1 Rollup Update.
| Oh well.
I'm wondering whether the whole rollup thing might
just be a way to get people back to Internet Explorer.
What a weird requirement. But maybe it makes sense
technically. MS is trying a new method of just
downloading file changes rather than whole files. That,
and the ActiveX requirement, indicates that they may
want to hang around and rifle through things while
you're updating, in order to collect data on how it works
In any case, here are links for the actual download
without the hassles:
Actual link for 32-bit version that doesn't require
letting MS onto one's computer with ActiveX enabled:
Link for 64-bit:
Link to list of actual files involved, in case anyone
wants to know about that:
The download is an MSU file, which is actually
a CAB file relabeled to work with Windows Installer.
There are CABs within CABs. There are over 35,000
files altogether. But MS has come up with a clever
way to package only file changes rather than whole
files. Those, too, are compressed. So it's not easy
to figure out exactly what's in the package. I didn't
find any list of KB numbers.
I was inspecting the package because I wondered
what kind of dubious things might be in it. From what
I've been able to figure out, it seems MS has not added
more Windows 10 trojan horses, but they apparently
did include some updates to the telemetry spyware.
I've never looked into the details of that to know what
the story is, so I'm not sure what the implications are
or whether it can be disabled.
| Well, they've always (more than 15 years?) insisted that updates to MS
| products be dl'd with IE, so is this different?
I didn't know that. I've never downloaded anything
from MS via IE. I haven't had IE online since about
1999. I download SDKs, service packs, etc and it's
never insisted that I need to use IE. Maybe you
mean going to the Windows Update site?
In any case, it's indefensible for them to say that.
| Thank you so much. I made a point to try this first with Firefox and
| it's dl'ing fine. It first wanted to execute it, because of the .msu,
| I guess, but I'm only saving it, for another machine.
I save all such patches. One never knows when they
might be unavailable. Microsoft have far more broken
links on their sites than any other domain I know of.
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