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Monday, December 31, 2018

The golden age of arcade video games

The golden age of arcade games is an era in which the popularity and innovations of arcade video games were at their peak. This period started 1978 with the release of Space Invaders until the mid-1990s with the development of personal gaming equipment becoming more powerful than typical arcade games.


By the early 1980s, video game technology had become sophisticated enough to offer good quality graphics and sound, but still remained basically simple. Realistic images and full-screen animations were not yet possible, and only few games used synthesized voices. The success of a game based mainly on gameplay and the fun it provides . This interest in gameplay is the reason why many of these games continue to be enjoyed today despite being outdated by today's standards.

Economic sector

The Golden Age was a moment of great technical and conceptual creativity for arcade video games. The games were developed around a wide variety of genres while designers had to grapple with the strict limits of CPU power and available memory. This period also saw the emergence of arcades, places dedicated exclusively to arcade gaming. At this time, arcade bells are beginning to appear in supermarkets, gas stations, pizza parlors and many other retail businesses eager to generate additional revenue. Popular games then caused especially teenagers to scramble to try out the latest video game attraction.


The most successful companies in this field are probably Atari, particularly in the United States and Namco, particularly in Japan. Other publishers include Bally Midway, Capcom, Cinematronics, Konami, Nintendo, Sega, SNK, Taito and Williams.

Successful games of this golden era

The games below are some of the most popular and influential games of the period. All are in the Top 100 video arcade games according to KLOV.

  • Space Invaders (1978)
  • Asteroids (1979)
  • Galaxian (1979)
  • Lunar Lander (1979)
  • Battlezone (1980)
  • Berzerk (1980)
  • Centipede (1980)
  • Defender (1980)
  • Missile Command (1980)
  • Pac-Man (1980)
  • Star Castle (1980)
  • Warlords (1980)
  • Wizard of Wor (1980)
  • Donkey Kong (1981)
  • Frogger (1981)
  • Galaga (1981)
  • Ms. Pac Man (1981)
  • Qix (1981)
  • Tempest (1981)
  • Amidar (1982)
  • Vanguard (1981)
  • Burgertime (1982)
  • Dig Dug (1982)
  • Joust (1982)
  • Moon Patrol (1982)
  • Pole Position (1982)
  • Q*bert (1982)
  • Robotron 2084 (1982)
  • Time Pilot (1982)
  • Tron (1982)
  • Xevious (1982)
  • Zaxxon (1982)
  • Dragon's Lair (1983)
  • Elevator Action (1983)
  • Spy Hunter (1983)
  • Star Wars (1983)
  • Tapper (1983)

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Event management and teambuilding for companies

Event management and team building for companies ensures optimal sales figures and serves as effective sales training for employees, but also for freelancers inside a company. It also offers solid training options for career changers.

Funacts for businesses

Effective sales training in context of event management ensures best possible sales figures for employees and freelancers. It also presents a solid training option for potential employed lateral entrants, where no basic sales training is required. Before such a training, the employee should, of course, always be taught about his tasks. So she or he knows what opportunities exist to get the job done. This is the only way to ensure that such training is not blocked by employees meaningless, so that they can benefit from the workshops concerned. Funacts outside the company help to relax and make the job easier for everyone.

Bubblesoccer for your event

Bubble Soccer is a recreational activity in which the participants over their torso inflatable, usually transparent, balls (the so-called bubble balls or bumpers balls) and put it to play football. Both the upper body and the head of the players are protected by the inflatable bubble balls. The bubble balls are made of PVC or TPU and when inflated usually have a diameter of one and a half meters. Bubblesoccer thus acts like an airbag in bubble football games, as they protect the players in clashes. This creates a completely different from classic football game principle. Similar to the American football, the players rush to each other at the kick-off and first try to knock over the opponents and thus make their way to the gate.

Event management for private events

Event management for private events offers interested parties who want to book a sales coaching the opportunity to clarify questions in an individual interview and to get in-depth advice on existing options that are available. It makes sense to invite the directly responsible employees in a conversation. So you can discuss topics directly with them in a direct workshop. To find out what expectations and demands are placed on the training. Or to explore whether there is any training need for the employees. Because there are different assessments and opinions that need to be considered and identified in advance for the training program to succeed. This tasks becomes a lot easier in relaxed environments by creating private events with fun games for the employees.

Side events for companies

An ideal solution is provided by side events for companies to implement new sales strategies and to train their employees to pursue new marketing concepts. An interim sales force helps to use the optimal solution to take advantage of new sales strategies and marketing concepts that involve employees. At this point, it is important to emphasize that action can only be as good as a management that lays down this idea. Thus, the supervising sales trainer is obliged to support all necessary measures. And to ensure appropriate advocacy work for their own employees and to support all measures which ensure that all measures of the trainer are not blocked, but supported. Only in this way can a conversion action lead to success for the company.

Event management for clubs

The event management for clubs offer clubs to pursue a strategy to make their own club visible on the Internet. This gives them the opportunity to present the association to existing members, but also new prospects who may want to join, in order to promote them.

Team building

Team building brings together well-working teams formed from various external groups. Teambuilding helps companies in to develop and deploy new strategies. Striking tasks and unfamiliar environments have to be mastered together in order to solve common experiences. Here employees get to know each other in order to master the problem. With the company's interim sales and employee training, a professional sales trainer is ideal for providing content for interim sales and employee training, even if it does not depend on the size of the business.

Human Table Soccer for your events

There's no getting bored if you offer a Human Table Soccer for your event. Team-wise, up to twelve players can play at six bars. Absolute teamwork is required to win the prize. At Human Table Soccer, or human soccer, not only football fans get their money's worth. The fun team event is suitable for both men and women, motor friends as well as for those who can not win the sport so much. At the latest with the kick-off, the teams are activated to peak performance. The life-sized table football is one of three to four stops at the event. To provide variety during the game breaks, we also build a dribbling course, goal wall shooting and a ball speed meter.

Restructuring the sales strategy

A professional sales trainer offers interim sales lines and employee training that does not depend on company size. Any desired restructuring, as often desired by sales organizations, will be accompanied by a coach in your sales organization if companies want to succeed. An absolute prerequisite is a joy in the sale for the one who really wants to be successful, who wants to realize his personal and individual goals. Only when work is fun and both sides of the service or product communicate appropriately can the customer be convinced that he recognizes the benefits. Only if this succeeds, the customer will feel the desire to use and acquire the service or the product. A good coach will help to remove existing blockages that are subject to your own mindset.

An effective seller strategy is not static. Within the target group, therefore, the given facts should be adapted to the product. Effective salesman strategies are basically not static. Instead, you must look at the facts that are given. This takes into account the strategies of the respective product and the respective target group. This can include adolescent end users who appreciate other aspects of products they sell, senior citizens over the age of 70, or managers in their middle class. Thus, prospective sellers should consider considering which target group they want to sell a product before planning a rough course to consolidate the sales strategy.

Soccer dart for your events

At the Soccerdart you shoot Velcro footballs on a giant inflatable dartboard and deliver exciting matches. Soccer Dart is a huge hit at every football party, but also at all other celebrations and happy gatherings. The football dartboard can be easily assembled by one person in a few minutes. Fun for children and adults.

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Fashion trends for winter of 2019/2020

What are the fashion trends for winter of 2019 - 2020

Which handbags and shoes are in in the coming season? How are the new fashion colors combined with the products? What kind of materials and fashion accessories will we see in the new fashion collections? Be inspired by upcoming fashion trends to find out.

The Top 10 Fashion Colors of the Winter 2019/2020

Fashion colors have a big effect on sales behavior. Colors can make the outfit coverable or destroy it. Discover which colors are best suited to you. The fashion colors for the winter of 2018/2019 are unusual for those who remember past years. Forgotten are black, brown, gray and dark blue tones, the years gone by. The color trends for the upcoming winter fashion are so unusual and sometimes too bright and delicate that they remind of spring colors. But that's intended.

Padded jackets

Did you have a padded jacket last year that you wore with enthusiasm? Then there is good news. Because padded jackets, also known as Michelin jackets, are in the coming winter season announced again.

Layer fashion

One of the most striking trends of winter fashion is dedicated to simplicity. For the winter itself that's not surprising. But even in the coming season, a large amount of these products will go on sale, which are perfectly matched.

"Boxy Shoulders", sequins and silver

a trend that has been observed in the fashion industry for years is the "boxy shoulders" reminiscent of the "big shoulders" of the 1980s. We will see her again this winter. Although it may seem like a real silver at first sight, it is not. The appearance of silver in the clothing will be announced this winter.

Handbags and shoes in vivid colors and tasteful combinations

Handbags and shoe trends are all about color this winter. Often it is bright and cheerful colors that set the trend this winter. Think of a bright red, which is a top fashion color for the coming winter. Or a bright yellow, blue or the combinations of these colors. The compilation of these colors and will stimulate your imagination. Lozenge shoes and boots will no longer be the exception in the upcoming Saigon. The latest trend in footwear trends for the winter of 2018/2019 are boots specially designed for these colors.

You will see many colorful bags this winter. Especially a combination of the colors of red, orange or purple mixed with yellow, which are currently in fashion. Should not you prefer bright colors or? Then choose between eye-catching accessories, such as a bag in a different color.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

What malls are open on Christmas and New Year's Day and New Year's Eve 2019/2020

What malls are open on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Years' Day 2019 to 2020

Can malls and stores be expected to be open on Christmas and New Year's Eve 2019 and New Year's Day 2020?

Unimportant if you live in New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Toronto, Montreal or any other North American city, malls and stores will not be open on New Year's Day and Xmas but likely be open New Year's Eve. It's the same for cities and towns in the USA and Canada for the 2019/2020 season.

All stores are open now on New Year’s Day in the US. Regard that this might not the case for stores in Canada. It’s a big day for returning gifts and also spending the gift cards you got for Christmas as well as looking for bargains for yourself. Malls are open New Year’s Day and people go not only to shop but to grab a meal at the chain restaurants like Cracker Barrel/Outback Steakhouse etc…these tend to be at malls. In the US, liquor stores are regulated by state so you cannot make a blanket statement.

What a service is open usually follows business hours for a Sunday. Call them up before to make sure.  And if you want to visit a restaurant, make a reservation as soon as possible. Train services, bus and metro services might be limited and operate on Sunday schedule.

What's open December 25th 2019 and January 1st 2020

  • Restaurants
  • Bars
  • Emergency and rescue services
  • Most museums
  • Convenience stores
  • Liquor stores

What's closed

  • Malls
  • Grocery stores

Thursday, November 29, 2018

GDPR decision to use Facebook Custom Audience

Is the ruling of the ECJ ruling on Facebook fan pages adequately implemented?

in 2018 an agreement on the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was published as the result of the ECJ's Facebook fan pages decision. It should have the goal for Facebook to comply with this judgment. An analysis on the decision of the Facebook Custom Audience.

The European Court of Justice ruling on the Data Protection Regulation

Following a ruling by the European Court of Justice, as confirmed on the 5th of June 2018, Facebook is directly responsible for processing and collection of personal data at the EU level. On its platform Facebook determines all purposes and means of its processing activity. Proof of this is the fact that companies or persons who want to maintain a Facebook fan page, commit themselves with their registration to agree to the terms of use and the data processing of Facebook.

Facebook is not acting as a processor in this questionable relationship, but in computing it determines the purpose and way in which it stores and evaluates the user's data.

On the other hand, the operator of the fan page is also considered responsible, who can define parameters in his pages and the activities developed from them. He can thus define target groups and decide which other activities and campaigns he wants to organize via his fan page. For example, companies that operate Facebook fan pages are classified as jointly responsible according to the ECJ ruling (Art. 26 GDPR).

The implementation of the ECJ ruling of the Bavarian Administrative Court based on Facebook

Following the implementation of the ECJ ruling, Facebook has published an agreement as a result. This provides that the company wants to comply with the requirements of the judgment. However, on closer inspection, there are considerable doubts. The "Agreement" of Facebook presented in this context reflects some elements of the order processing of Article 28 of the GDPR, instead of conforming to Article 26 of the Regulation, which refer to the Joint-Controller Contract. This comes in particular to the course, if an online shop is operated with the participation of Facebook. Here is to be mentioned in particular.

  • Not only data and documented instructions of the customer are processed by Facebook.
  • Employees and employers which have access to personal information need to have a special confidentiality clause, for which they must declare their consent.
  • Under special conditions, Facebook undertakes to delete or otherwise return personal data.
  • Persons in charge who have a Facebook account or have it created by an authorized auditor have the right to scrutinize.
  • As data from the Facebook user is transferred to the US, a reference to existing EU standard contractual clauses must be made.

Further critical points resulting from this ruling to keep in mind

  • Subcontracting is permitted without written permission or a right to object.
  • For requests from stakeholders, the support does not require a required format.
  • No further documentation is needed for organizational and technical measures.
  • Evidence provided in SOC 2 Type II shall be declared as appropriate and so as to comply with all technical and organizational measures.


One should expect a global corporation, such as Facebook, to be aware of the difference between an agreement between a joint controller contract and the article 28 of the Data Protection Regulation. He should work out an agreement on this which contains well-sounding phrases that are almost right under data protection law. This should make it clear to everyone involved that Facebook is the sole person responsible, as they only process data for their own purposes.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Polishing aluminum and stainless steel

How to grind and polishing stainless steel and aluminum

The properties of aluminum

You should first understand the properties of aluminum, if you want to polish stainless steel. Like normal steel, aluminum oxidizes. With the difference that the oxidation on steel, which is generally known as rust, slowly eats away the metal. When aluminum is exposed to air, a thin layer of alumina forms. This layer of alumina actually protects the metal from further corrosion and gives the surface a dull and whitish appearance. Chemical polishing agents dissolve the alumina and restore it to its original state. Use caution when using chemical products as they can damage the skin and cause burns. Prolonged application on the aluminum can also cause pitting. Polishing aluminum helps to avoid these problems.

Prepare the steel

Grinding with brushes and mirror polishing of metal sheets is often recommended. The grinding can be applied to flat material and all types of surfaces. With our state-of-the-art machines, plates can be cold-rolled as well as hot-rolled to achieve the desired finish. For example, we offer grades of grain grinding, a certain roughness value or the high-gloss polishing of mirrors in various shapes and sizes. Individual pieces or series can be processed according to the customer's wishes for the desired surface finish. The high-gloss polishing of turned and milled parts as well as the processing of composite frames and constructions are available.

Selections of warehouses usually include a variety of ground and polished Stainless steel sheets, as well as tailor-made blanks, colored and blasted sheets of materials such as glass, ceramic, corundum and various sheets that can receive a motif. Also, highly polished tubes and plates are available from stock. Articles out of stock are usually ordered as soon as requested and be available in a day or two. The daily work of these shops involve the processing of tapes, tubes and sheets, which often requires manual processing. The final step before delivery includes cleaning and careful packaging.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Phone without credit check?

Many users of cell phones want full cost control and prefer to subscribe to a prepaid service rather than signung a contract. These users do not have to give up buying a mobile phone when looking for an offer. Ordering of mobile phones is no longer limited to promotional offers or monthly installments in their financing. The customer can fulfill his primary desire to acquire a mobile device. The security of the order at favorable conditions offers the customer the acquisition of a mobile phone without a contract. Cheap rates and other benefits ensure that the customer does not have to dig deep into their own pockets to fulfill the dream phone's dream.

How to get a new phone without a credit check

For both business and private customers, ordering a contract-free mobile phone has long since become a veritable boom in recent years. Many of the new models can be purchased at convenient rates. These include many well known brands like a new phone from Samsung or the latest iPhone or tablet from Apple, without the customer having to bind himself to an unwanted contract. This offers great savings, which can be increased if the interested party makes price comparisons to get an overview of the prices of the offers in installments.

How to finance a premium smartphone with a good mobile phone contract

With a negative credit score a purchase is usually rejected. Specialized credit intermediaries help in this case to obtain a loan, despite bad credit ratings. You can compare the best installment loans with a comparison calculator on some web seites. A good credit score is usually required. It's considered as a financial basis for many businesses. Previously, the credit check was quite strict and thus prevented consumers with a negative score from acquiring a new cell phone. It's now known that the score not only registers existing liabilities and debts, but also includes a frequent change of residence or job in credit score databases, so that this entry no longer leads to the rejection of a purchase.

The customer who wants to buy a mobile phone on on credit, can now opt for low monthly payment rates and choose between many models and brands without signing a contract. For many consumers, this is a chance to buy a new device, although in the past there were problems, which did not allow installment purchase. New customers thus receive a fair credit check and could agree with the information. They express their openness and create a great deal of trust with traders.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Comparison between a fund policy and a fund savings plan

A fund savings plan has no sales charge. So there are no closing costs. In addition, there is no annual management fee and therefore more flexibility. The withholding tax essentially influences the decision whether to resort to a fund savings plan or the fund policy in the old-age provision. The so-called final withholding tax applies from the year 2009. Thus, profits on church tax and solidarity surcharge are taxed at 25% per fiscal year.

When does a unit-linked pension plan pay off?

On the other hand, unit-linked pension insurance is more favorable if no payment is made before the age of 60 or the term is at least twelve years. With a personal tax rate, only half of the investor's income will be taxed.

Check the policies

Before concluding the contract, investors should scrutinize it because there can be huge differences in ancillary fund policies that, at first sight, are not immediately apparent due to lack of transparency. In the first few years, investors must pay some of the high administration and termination fees that are often included in many insurance policies. Even though they generally offer better after-tax returns, the investor escapes high interest rates in this insurance variant.

If you invest in so-called fund of funds you will often pay three times the fees, especially for fund policies. These include the administration and distribution fees, as well as the management fee of individual target funds.

It should not only be considered in the decision on the pure cost. Also, the selection of offers, on which he can fall back with his insurance, is an important criterion. The more funds available to the interested party, the better he can put together a coordinated portfolio tailored to his personal needs.

Unit-linked insurances are interesting if a longevity risk is to be covered by the saver. With a fund savings plan you can often fall back on a large range of funds, which shines through their variability. As deposits vary from year to year, a fund plan is more appropriate because in the meantime the savings plan can be suspended without incurring drawbacks because the expense ratio for this insurance model rises, while the initial charge on fund savings is only the attributed to each paid installment. The depot thus grows faster at the beginning, because there are no existing closing fees.

An example

If a stock fund pays $ 100 per month for 20 years and thus earns a return of eight percent per year, assets of $ 47,920 will be earned after deducting withholding tax under existing tax law. If the 100 EURO are instead paid into a unit-linked insurance, the saver receives, after deducting taxes, 51,130 Euro in the same investment period and with the same return.

What's the best option?

The decision for or against a product depends on running costs and the calculated return after deduction of the tax. Due to tax treatment, the fund policy is slightly ahead of the pack, while generally higher return opportunities are achieved by a fund savings plan.

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Windows 10 Safe Mode

The Windows 10 Safe Mode

There are several ways to start Windows 10 in a safe mode. Here is an overview.

When Windows started, Safe Mode could be reached by using a shortcut key. If this still works with old versions of Windows, Windows 10 often fails because the user has only a short time to respond. When you start the PC, you normally need to simultaneously press the [Shift] and [F8] shortcut keys. But it's also easier if Windows 10 starts properly:

  1. Click the Windows button located to the right of the power button . If Windows restarts directly, it will also be in the bottom right corner of the start screen.
  2. The Restart option appears when clicking on the power button.
  3. Press and hold the Shift key and click with the mouse on Restart to access the UEFI menu .
  4. On the light blue background you can see if you are in the UEFI menu. Then select Troubleshooting .
  5. There you will find Advanced Options and here the Windows Startup Settings feature. Click on the button Restart .
  6. It takes a while for the emergency system to start. Press the F4 soft key to restart Windows in Safe Mode.

Start Windows 10 in safe mode

  1. In this menu, you need to hold down the Windows and R keys simultaneously to open the Run dialog.
  2. In this enter msconfig and press OK to start the system configuration.
  3. Above is the Start tab. Choose Safe Boot and Network .
  4. To enter Safe Mode, press the OK Button that Windows restarts.

You can also use Safe Mode at the command prompt cause.

  1. If you press the windows and x keys at the same time, you have a shortcut menu
  2. After you select Command Prompt (Administrator) , confirm the security prompt by clicking OK.
  3. To start Windows in safe mode, then enter the command bcdedit set {current} safeboot network .

You can also create a desktop shortcut to safe mode so that you see an icon on your desktop that will help you get into safe mode quickly.

  1. To do this, right-click on an empty area (where there are no icons or other) and select New and then Link .
  2. Enter shutdown.exe / r / o / f t 00 as the path here. Then click Next and then Finish .
  3. If you click this Icon shutdown.exe in the future, Windows will start directly in Safe Mode.

Using the Windows 10 DVD to restore

If Windows does not boot from the hard disk and you have the Windows 10 DVD at hand, the item Computer Repair will appear after loading the DVD to repair Windows.

If all these tips fail, you may be able to send your computer to the manufacturer for repair. However, if the computer is older and there is no longer a guarantee, it is not recommended. Consider purchasing a new computer, which usually works right after it starts up.

Monday, October 29, 2018

Cost effective digital printing

Cost-effective digital printing with attention to detail

Interested in the latest technology in digital printing? Even without expensive printing plates or printing patterns, digital direct printing is possible, which it achieves the better results of textile prints in the high photo quality. This is particularly suitable for single pieces and short runs, because this method allows quick and easy creation.

In this article we show the functionality of digital direct printing. On a checklist, all their peculiarities are summarized to help you decide which benefits you will derive from it.


Without costly or expensive preparations, an automated process is seamlessly integrated into the production, so that in a good price / performance ratio of the digital direct printing for large orders and unique items are unrivalled for the customer.

The operation of digital direct printing

If you want to apply digital illustrations and vector graphics true to detail and colourfast on textiles, you have the opportunity to benefit from the advantages of digital direct printing. It works in a similar way to ordinary paper printers, but allows for photo quality prints and fine gradients. Unlike traditional printing processes, there are no additional costs involved in setting up the textile printer so that production can begin immediately upon receipt of the data as it supports common file formats of the software known on the Internet. Once the design is aligned, textiles previously prepared for printing can be printed directly.

Fast and easy finishing of textiles

Due to the perfect ratio of price to performance, this printing process is just right for your small orders. Also, without special time pressure large orders can be carried out quickly when using the digital printing. Promotional items, as well as clothing and bags, are printed immediately after receipt of the order, so you get the ordered goods delivered after only a few hours after receiving your order. With digital direct printing, many complex motifs can be realized without additional effort, which can not be achieved with conventional printing processes.

The finished textiles are washable in the washing machine up to 40° C due to the particularly tear-resistant imprint. Thus, the textile will shine even after many years of wearing still as new. In the production no presettings are necessary, that you can also create small series cost-effective. Digital direct printing is one of the most widely used methods for enhancing its textiles with photos and motifs. Interesting color gradients and outstanding motifs irritate the technology and make every product a real eye-catcher.

Powerful Brother printers are often used for textile printing. They allow a particularly true-to-original contour sharpness and color intensity. Each imprint is fixed in a second step using a drying tunnel. This ensures that the required light increases the wash resistance and thus improves its elasticity. The result may be reminiscent of a screen printing, but in this case has significantly filigree color gradients and contours.

Thanks to its innovative technology, the color result radiates a special shine even with dark textiles. Various file formats, such as tiff, jpg and png, can be printed in any structure and hue without further editing. The manufacture of the textiles themselves is ecological and sustainable, since when used in the selection of printing materials on the application of harmful chemicals is omitted. This not only protects nature, but also your skin.

Preparation the files

Textile printers can handle almost all file formats. You should be careful to choose at least a resolution of 300 dpi. This prevents motive from being rendered "pixelated", which would otherwise make the expression on the T-shirt look weird. You should also use a transparent background. So not only completely dark or bright, so that no rectangular edge is created and the motif shines in its full beauty.

In its particularly elaborate production of flex and Flockdruck is one of the most commonly used Plottdruckverfahren. Specially cut films provide a fascinating look when using flexographic printing, even if the photo print is sometimes velvety and matt.

Small and medium transfer printing

For small and medium runs of transfer printing, flex and flock printing is of particular interest. For textiles made of complicated materials for printing, the transfer printing impresses with its brilliant colors and longevity.

For motives with few color areas, the flex and flock printing is therefore particularly suitable. Even highly detailed motifs are cut at high volumes of precise machines. The cutting plotter will prepare a special foil for each color layer, which will then be "latticed" by hand. An optimal cut of the desired motif is created, which is applied to the product with the printing press to produce the final product.

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Golden era of pinball machines

A pinball machine is an electro mechanical coin operated arcade game. It works by the principle of scoring points by directing one or more metal balls on a game board separated from the player by a window. The main goal is to achieve a high score. The secondary goal is to play as long as possible without the ball leaving game board and possibly obtaining extra balls and win a replay. This type of game was a great success from the 1950s to the late 1990s, to the point of entering the pop culture. Many cafes and restaurants offered them to their customers. There were also specialized gaming rooms known as arcades


The pinball as we know today derived from the French game Bagatelle around 1770 and the Japanese billiard, it was fully developed in Chicago in the 1930s by mechanics and electricians who were unemployed because of the financial crisis of 1929. By gambling for money it was banned in several major US cities soon after. Cash was later replaced by replays to make pinball legal. The electro mechanic was replaced by electronic (solid state) in 1976. Pinball suffered a decline in the 1980s as a result of the rise of video games. And major manufacturers like Williams, who had previously acquired Bally, went out of business in 1999 and Gottlieb in 1996, leaving Stern as the only manufacturer.


Counting of points with the pinball machine is rather particular and arbitrary. The scores of very old machines were counted in hundreds of thousands points which were displayed by lamps signaling a row of 100,000 and was left to the user to add them. The arrival of electro mechanical wheel counters brought the scores down to hundreds of points, with a lamp lighting a number "1" at the top of the 3 digits when it was above 999.

In the 1970s, with the arrival of electronic displays, the scores began to count thousands or tens of thousands of points. This "inflation" continued until the mid-1990s, when several games allowed up to millions of points to get a free game. Quite recently the counting of points returned to more reasonable values.

Friday, October 5, 2018

Ben Daglish passed away

The Commodore 64 community mourns Ben Daglish who passed away October 1st 2018.

Ben was well known to many who spent their teens in front of their 8bit computer as composer from video games. Tunes like Last Ninja, Auf Wiedersehen Monty, Bombo or Bulldog remain classics to this day. You can download many of his music in original C64 format my SID download web page.

He was born in London in England and later moved to Sheffield. Besides the breadbox he also composed music on other computers from the 1980s, including the Amstrad CPC and the Sinclair Spectrum. He was 52 years old.

Ben's famous Trap demo which blew away many Commodore 64 users in 1986.

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Plane crashes in aviation history

Definition of a plane crash

An air accident, also known as "plane crash", is an event related to the operation of an aircraft that results in the death or serious injury to one or more persons and often irreparable damage to the body shell of the aircraft. An event involving flight safety without serious consequences is considered an air incident. The term air disaster is used by the media, especially for accidents involving an airliner. In most accidents is only one plane involved. Mid-air collisions of two planes are rare. The attacks on the World Trade Center (WTC) 9/11 are not considered air accidents.

States may establish an authority to ensure flight safety and accident investigation. These agencies, as well as a few non-governmental organizations, maintain databases whose purpose is to advance security. All American airlines, be it Delta Air Lines or United Airlines experienced fatal crashes.

The main reason is bad weather in combination with human error misjudging the thunderstorm in front. Other problems of human errors include not to communicate in the cockpit. Problems leading to structural damage include design flaws, material fatigue or mistakes in maintenance of an airplane.

The development of statistics groups air accidents according to various criteria, thus makes it possible to raise the awareness of manufacturers, operators, crew, air traffic controllers, maintenance personal and others by identifying the primary or secondary causes of accidents.

  • Destruction of the plane in flight: collision between two planes, major structural defect, fire, terrorist attack, interception by the Air Defense of the country overflown
  • Destruction of the structure on impact with the ground, better known as "crash": navigation error and striking an obstacle, serious mechanical incident forcing the pilot to attempt an emergency landing
  • Ground accidents: collision between a plane in take-off or landing with another aircraft that has entered the runway

The vast majority of accidents concern general aviation but the media and the public are mainly interested in accidents involving airliners.

The International Civil Aviation Organization - ICAO

The ICAO definitions and the resulting statistics relate to motorized aircraft used by organizations or civil companies. States relying on ICAO recommendations to establish an investigative agency may, however, extend the scope of the jurisdiction to include non-motorized aircraft accidents, unmanned aircraft on board and military uses, but excluding related cases.

Aim of the ICAO is the recommendation of an accident analysis process to investigate the causes and to derive actions to improve safety. The accident report establishes the primary cause and, often, the sequence of secondary causes that contributed to the problem. These conclusions are of interest to manufacturers and equipment manufacturers, airlines or operators, crews, navigation controllers and maintenance services. The determination of responsibilities does not fall within the scope of investigations.

The term "disaster" does not appear in the official texts but appears in the media when the accident concerns the commercial air transport of passengers. The notion of "catastrophe" is also changing in relation to the increase in traffic and the increase in the size of aircraft.

General aviation and, in particular, light aviation generate far more accidents than air transport, but they are rarely the subject of media coverage at the national level. Air accidents related to military activities, training and missions outside conflict, are rarely the subject of a report made public that could reveal classified information.

Aircraft accident investigations aim to improve flight safety. An accident rarely has a single cause. Unofficial reports or databases compiling accidents most often identify a determining cause, but the report of the investigative office looks for the causes that generate or participate in the determining cause as well as the errors of perception or action that did not allow corrections or palliatives. The report is used by the Official Services to modify the standards and by the manufacturers, operators, crews, air traffic control service and maintenance workshops to modify the procedures. In principle, the report of the investigative office does not determine the responsibilities but is an essential element for any legal action.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Stingray underrated

There is a movie from 2019 called Stingray, also known as Raymond, starring Joel Edgerton, Jon Bernthal and Anthony Hayes. I wonder if this is a sequel to the series by the same name which was originally aired in two seasons from 1985 to 1987 with a pilot of 90 minutes from 1984, featuring Canadian Actor Nick Mancuso, which I want to talk about.

I didn't watch it then. May be I thought it's another series with a talking car full of electronics. I thought of Knight Rider's K.I.T.T. Also Street Hawk, the series with an experimental super bike, came to my mind so I just ignored it.

Recently someone on Youtube showed a video composed of 1980s intros of shows loved by us teens then. Stingray was among them. I was instantly hooked by the musical score. Sounded to me like straight from Miami Vice and Jan Hammer on the keyboard. Instead it was done by Mike Post, Pete Carpenter, and Walter Murphy. Amazing!

I ordered a DVD set and enjoyed this short lived US series. "Ray", as he was called by others, is untouchable and almost always has full control of any situation. Even when it seemed he now takes some beating or was betrayed he will come out on top instead. Then he vanishes silently and without a trace like he appeared. He only revealed his real name once by whispering into the ear of somebody so the audience wouldn't know.

The series was well underrated. May be the move to the filming location in Vancouver in Canada, with its bad weather conditions in the second season and thus bad plots, led to the series cancellation. Too bad. If it would had stayed in sunny California it would had deserved a third season in my opinion.

Sunday, September 2, 2018

CP/M, the first operating system

The operating system CP/M

CP/M, the acronym for Control Program/Monitor or Microcomputer, is an operating system created in the year 1974 by Gary Kildall, founder of Digital Research. It is used on 8-bit Amstrad CPC and Amstrad PCW, Commodore 128, TRS-80, Osborne 1, BBC Micro, ZX Spectrum. It also found use on PCs, including the standard Amstrad PC-1512 in addition to MS-DOS and GEM.

For the Apple II, Microsoft created in 1980 the Z-80 Soft Card expansion card that allowed the use of the operating system of Digital Research. Early versions of MS-DOS were largely inspired, if not copied by CP/M.

Organization of memory

The memory of a computer under CP/M is divided into four parts:

  • BIOS: The Basic Input Output System for serial peripherals. It handles peripherals, floppy disks, monitor printers, etc. Usually, the BIOS occupies the "high" part of the memory.
  • BDOS: The basic disk operating system primitives. It contains the operating system. Usually, the BDOS is under the BIOS.
  • CCP (console command processor): Usually, the CCP is under the BDOS. This part of the CP/M corresponds to the user interface.
  • TPA (transient program area): This part of the memory starts at 100 (hexadecimal address). It is intended for user programs.

The different types of files

CP/M system stores files on floppy disks according to a specific logical organization, which has not been taken over by MS-DOS and can fill the disks. CP/M can also handle hard disks. In fact, as the BIOS is open, as clearly described in the documentation that Digital Research provided with some of its software, so it is possible to adapt any particular CP/M system to any available mass memory and devices available. Some computers running CP/M were originally sold with hard drives. Altos is one example.

Each file has a name and an extension.

  • ASM: assembler source file
  • PRN: assembler listing file
  • HEX: Machine language presented as a series of hexadecimal octets in Intel format
  • BAS: BASIC source file
  • INT: intermediate basic file
  • COM: command file, memory dump file, starting at address 100 hexadecimal under CP/M. Executable files always have the extension .COM
  • SUB: a file with a sequence of commands to be processed in batch mode by the command SUBMIT.
  • BAK: backup file is often used by word processing programs
  • $$$: temporary file, used for example by SUBMIT
  • LBR: archive file

Different orders of CP/M

CP/M commands can be internal or external, as was subsequently the case with MS-DOS. For the user under CP/M there is no difference between launching an internal command, such as DIR as *. * or an External like STAT as *. *. Or any other program.

Under CP/M, the shortest program needs only one byte, which returns to the System. On the other hand, it must be saved as an executable file using a .com extension, whose minimum size is one sector with a 128 bytes minimum.

The external commands of the CP/M or MP/M called programs of the same name which had the extension .COM or .PRL (only in the case of MP/M). Additional information: the MP/M was similar to CP/M but with a multi-user functionality.

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Gaps between primes

Everyone has probably learned in mathematics at school what primes are. They are numbers that are divisible only by 1 and themselves. So all the numbers that are divisible by 2 are missing.

Twin prime

While many primes are still close together for small numbers, separated by "even numbers", this becomes rarer as the number grows. For example, numbers less than 10 contain quite a few primes, so called twin primes which stand "side by side", separated only by even numbers. Like 2, 3, 5, and 7. The bigger the number, the less likely it is. For example, between 400 and 410, there are only the primes 401 and 409.

Cryptography uses primes to encrypt files and other data. For this large primes are used. Powerful computers are set to find ever larger primes, which turns out to be more and more difficult.

On the other hand, the question arises as to whether it is probable that, according to the currently largest prime number found, there are numbers that follow (after an even number) two prime numbers. Since there are an infinite number of numbers, I suspect that will eventually apply. Or maybe not? Nobody will have an answer for that until proven.

Or has any reader here an answer? Please comment.

Friday, June 22, 2018

Lucifer season 4

According to TV Line the series Lucifer was renewed for season 4, starring Tom Ellis, picked up by Netflix.

I liked the show. Wasn't my favorite show though but entertaining. But with season final of season 3 when Lucifer showed his devil face to Chloe Decker all the magic has gone. Because the show was all about others than God's children not knowing that Lucifer is indeed the devil. The show should in my opinion have ended there.

Then there were the two bonus episodes. Boo Normal which followed the timeline after his face was revealed but Chloe went on with business as usual, only briefly mentioning she saw much stranger things than what Ella reported to her. Okay, he is the devil, so what.... And Ella now revealed her personal ghost which actually also was an angel. I was afraid she would deal in about every future episode with that, making her a main character rather than a supporting cast member. While Once Upon a Time took place in an alternate timeline. This was rather boring and didn't fit well into a possible season 4 episode, especially after the cliffhanger with Lucifer revealing his devil face.

I wonder how they deal with these things in season 4. In my opinion they should have tied up loose ends and cancel the series for good after that.

Monday, June 11, 2018

The General Data Protection Regulation

Regulation No 2016/679, known as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), is a regulation of the European Union which constitutes the reference text for the protection of data. personal data. It strengthens and unifies data protection for individuals in the European Union.


After four years of legislative negotiations, this regulation was definitively adopted by the European Parliament on 14 April 2016. Its provisions are directly applicable in all 28 Member States of the European Union as of 25 May 2018. This regulation replaces the directive on the protection of personal data adopted in 1995 (Article 94 of the Regulation); contrary to the directives, the regulations do not imply that Member States adopt a transposition law to be applicable.

Main objectives

The main objectives of the RGPD are to increase both the protection of the persons concerned by the processing of their personal data and the accountability of those involved in this processing. These principles can be applied by increasing the power of the regulatory authorities.


In January 2012, the European Commission proposed a comprehensive reform of the rules on the protection of personal data in the European Union. This reform has two components:

  • the updating and modernization of the principles set out in the 1995 European Data Protection Directive, in the form of this General Data Protection Regulation
  • the drafting of a new Directive on the protection of personal data in the context of police and judicial activities

The purpose of this new regulation is to give citizens control over their personal data, while simplifying the regulatory environment for businesses.

The European Parliament amended this regulation and adopted it on 12th of March 2014 at first reading. Negotiations continued between the delegations of the European Commission, the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union and ended on 15th of December 2015. The draft Regulation was passed in the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs. Home Affairs (LIBE) on 17th of December 2015. The European Regulation was published on 4th of May 2016 in the Official Journal of the European Union and enters into force on the twentieth day following that of its publication. This Regulation applicable from 25th of May 2018 is binding in its entirety and directly applicable in all Member States. The Facebook-Cambridge Analytica scandal, around the recovery and analysis of data for electoral purposes, bursts shortly before its implementation.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Zilog Z80 CPU

The Zilog Z80 is an 8-bit microprocessor designed and manufactured by Zilog. One of the peculiarities of this processor is the coupling of some 8-bit registers to a 16-bit register. This with a 16-bit address bus allows for much faster processing of data than with a conventional 8-bit processor.

This processor was marketed for the first time in July 1976. In the early 1980s it was very popular in the design of 8-bit computers such as Radio Shack TRS-80, Sinclair ZX80, ZX81, ZX Spectrum, MSX standard, Amstrad CPC, PC-88 and later in embedded systems. With the MOS 6502 family, it dominated the 8-bit micro computer market from the late 1970s to the mid-1980s and was still used in then new Amstrad computers until 1995.

The Z80 was designed to be compatible with the Intel 8080, so the majority of the code for 8080 could work without much modification on the Z80. The CP/M operating system was designed around Intel 8080 based systems and could also work without modification on Z80 based systems.Z80 based systems were generally more powerful and had more features than systems based on 8080 CPUs. Some versions of CP/M applications only existed in a Z80 version.

History and overview

Z80 CPU DIP by DamicatzThe Z80 came into being when Federico Faggin, after working on the 8080, left Intel at the end of 1974 to found Zilog together with Ralph Ungermann to put the Z80 on the market in July of 1976. It was designed to be binary compatible with the Intel 8080 so that most of the 8080 code, including the CP/M operating system, works without modification on it. The Z80 quickly took over share from the 8080 on the market, and became one of the most popular 8-bit processors. Perhaps one of the keys to Z80's success was the integrated refresh of DRAM, and other features that allowed systems to be built with fewer chips. For the first NMOS generation, the maximum clock rate increased gradually. First at 2.5 MHz, then by the well known 4 MHz (Z80a), up to 6 (Z80b) and 8 MHz (Z80h). A CMOS version was developed with frequency limits ranging from 4 MHz to 20 MHz and some versions were sold until the 2000s. The CMOS version also has a low power sleep mode, with processor state retention. The Z180 and eZ80, fully compatible derivatives, have specifications for up to  50 MHz.

Use in systems

The Z80 CPU saw uses including in Texas Instruments calculators, SEGA Master System, GameBoy, and Game Gear video game consoles. Some more powerful consoles with other central processors like the Neo Geo or the Mega Drive with its Motorola 68000, used the Z80 as an addon processor to handle sound or system I/O.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

The MOS 6502 CPU microprocessor

In the early '70s, a group of engineers from Motorola was convinced that it was possible to obtain a cheap microprocessor if a simple design and an improved manufacturing process were raised with respect to the standards of the time. Without the support of the company, this group would create one of the families of chips that would be the catalyst for the revolution of home computing, it is the 6502 and its successors, the main engine of the first Atari and Apple machines, between others.

Chuck Peddle was one of the leading engineers in the development of the Motorola 6800 processor, in his meetings with important industrial clients, he realized that the technology was appreciated, but too expensive to be used in a massive way. In conversations with his clients, he concluded that the cost of the processor had to go down from USD $ 300, which cost 6800 to only USD $ 25 at the time, a conclusion that did not make Motorola managers who had no motivation at all happy. to look to reduce the price of a technology that already had good sales.

Chuck Peddle and his work

For Chuck and other engineers it was an interesting technical challenge and without the support of Motorola they began to work on the necessary changes to improve their processor. On the one hand, the team was unhappy with Motorola's lack of support, and on the other hand the company was annoyed by Chuck's and his team's stubbornness, and finally the straw that broke the camel's back was Motorola's formal request to halt the project. that made Chuck and his team decide to leave the company, to continue working on their microprocessor on their own.

6502 CPU chip (C) commodore.ca


The group joined a low profile company called MOS, where they reached an agreement to participate in the profits that could be obtained with the new microprocessor, an agreement that from the MOS point of view was convenient due to the low profitability that meant in that time the production of these chips. This agreement, together with the mass resignation of Motorola was a demonstration of the confidence that the team of engineers had in the product they were developing.

The first processor of the 6500 series was 6501. An unprecedented fact that surrounded the development of this chip was that Chuck designed it completely by hand and it worked on the first attempt, when the normal thing in those years was to go through a process of over 10 failed attempts This processor was quite scarce since it was not made in order to be sold, but as a way to show Motorola how wrong they were, and that a useful and inexpensive microprocessor could be built.

One of the factors that influenced the reduction of production costs was an innovation of these engineers regarding the manufacturing process. In those times, the failure rate in production was 70%, that is, only 7 of every 10 processors manufactured went straight to the trash. This happened mainly because the process consisted of creating a large mold of the processor and applying reductions until reaching the real size, in these reductions errors always occurred and the engineers in MOS found a way to apply corrections to the mold in each reduction, achieving with this change a success rate of 70%, that is, 7 out of 10 processors were perfect.

The 6501, a Motorola clone?

The 6501 was fully compatible with the Motorola 6800 boards and could be used as a direct replacement at hardware level, which motivated a Motorola claim for alleged patent infringement of its former engineers. Supposed because in fact what was at stake was the intellectual property, since it was applying the knowledge of technologies that in fact were not patented. Even so an agreement was reached with Motorola and a sum of about USD $200,000 was paid to end the lawsuit.

The problem with Motorola caused the creation of the 6502, it was a 6501 but incompatible with the hardware designed for the Motorola 6800. The 6502 debuted at WestCon 1975 at the exact price of USD $ 25 that had been proposed. At first the attendees thought that it was some kind of scam, since it was not conceived to create such a cheap processor, but on the same day Motorola and Intel lowered the price of their 6800 and 8080 processors from USD $ 179 to only USD $ 69, validating the 6502 that was sold by the hundreds.

In the coming years Commodore, who was still in the calculator business, was going through financial difficulties as the business was going down and the competition was getting stronger. As a strategy to change the direction of the business, they bought from MOS, which was also struggling but had the technology they needed.

For Chuck Peddle the microprocessor business was geared to the industrial world, but while visiting different companies to try to sell the 6502 they told him that a couple of guys were trying to use their processor to build a personal computer. The fact seemed nice and agreed to go to help them to his garage, it was nothing more and nothing less than Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak who worked on his first Apple computer. Chuck thought about introducing the 6502 into the industries and he did not suspect that a big market was in personal computers. Not in a million years! In his own words.

The 6502 is an 8-bit processor, which means that all its internal operations handle numbers between 0 and 255, on the other hand it has a 16-bit address bus that allows it to access up to 64KB of memory. The 6502 normally operated with a clock between 1 and 2 Mhz but given the same clock frequency it was capable of running much faster than the Motorola 6800, thanks to its clever design that reduced the number of clock cycles needed to execute an instruction .

Among the computers that were built around the 6502 are the Commodore PET, VIC-20, Apple I and II, BBC Micro and the entire line of Atari 8 bit computers such as the XL, XE, 400, 800, but also can be found in other types of devices, such as the Commodore 1541 disk drive for Commodore 8 bit computers. In the pioneering Atari 2600 console, an economical version of the 6502 known as 6507 was used, a version that had fewer pins and could only access 8KB of memory. The Commodore 64 also used a modified 6502, it was the 6510 where it added simple features that were usually implemented with additional circuitry.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Fast weight loss with reduction diets?

Losing body weight with a reduction diet

Find your right diet plan

Origin of the term diet

The term diet comes from ancient Greek δίαιτα díaita and was originally used in the sense of lifestyle and the way of life itself. Dietetics is still scientifically concerned with the "right" diet and lifestyle. In the German-speaking world, the term refers to certain diets and diets that are intended either to weight loss or increase or to treat diseases. In the English-speaking world, diet is understood as the everyday diet of an obese person, regardless of weight-related or illness-related diets. Colloquially, the term in Germany is often equated with a reduction diet for weight loss. It is thus a synonym for slimming diet.

Types of diets

Lose weight - (C) GideonSince Hippocrates diet is a special diet of humans, in the longer term or permanently a special selection of food is consumed. The diet is either a short-term change in the diet for weight loss, for example to fight obesity or to remove belly fat, in some cases also to gain weight like anorexia or a longer-term to permanent dietary change to supportive treatment of a disease (like in celiac disease, lactose intolerance, fructose intolerance. Fasting, on the other hand, means the temporary abandonment of food from religious (in Ramadan Islam, pre-Easter Lent in the Christian church) or health motivation for fasting.

Any form of diet, whether for weight loss or supportive disease treatment, is based on a reduction or increase in the relative proportion of a nutritional component (carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, minerals and preservatives) over the others and / or a reduction or increase in the intake total energy and, if necessary, a balanced change in fluid intake.

A more holistic approach is cognitive behavioral therapy used by psychologists in clinics to treat obesity. In this method, dysfunctional behavioral routines and eating habits are identified and retrained. In case of severe obesity and eating disorders, it is the most sensible method of weight loss in the long term.

Fast weight loss with a reduction diet

A reduction diet aims at losing body weight. There are numerous reduction diets, some of which differ considerably in their methods. Only a few diets have been scientifically tested. The development and promotion of the reduction diets is not only subject to changes in scientific knowledge but also to fashions and worldviews. Some forms of diet are even considered harmful to health in medicine.

Reduction diets should be given only for a short time (and for extreme forms only under medical supervision). The general consensus is that a reduction diet can only be successful if it is followed by a permanent change in diet in which the energy balance of the body is balanced, d. H. in which no more energy is supplied via food than the body needs. A change of life towards a full-fledged diet and increased physical activity is recommended. When relapsing into old eating habits and habits, it usually comes back to a rise in body weight, the so-called yo-yo effect, because you fall into old eating habits that are not adapted to the new lower body weight.

There are numerous diets with different concepts. These are for example low-carb, low-fat, food combining or glyx diet. In a study of mice conducted by the Institute for Nutritional Research, there is a connection between the consumption of fructose and obesity, which is not based on the increased energy intake, but on the fact that fructose affects the metabolic activity and thus the accumulation favored by body fat. The selfish brain theory, which also includes an approach to explain obesity, does not question the short-term effects of reduction diets, but their long-term success in principle.

Does fast weight loss with a reduction diet work?

In short it pretty much depends if the person really wants it. There is no wonder pill. The person has to work on it. The own will needs to be strong enough to go through it. Otherwise there is no weight loss, only losing the fight.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Legalization and legislation an of cannabis in Canada

Where to buy pot, marijuana, cannabis and weeds online in Toronto and Montreal?

Locations to legally order cannabis online in Toronto are:

  • 770 Gardiners Road, Kingston
  • 2480 Gerrard Street East, Toronto
  • 570 Harbour Expressway, Thunder Bay
  • 304 Stone Road West, Guelph

The city of Montreal announced that the first four locations to buy pot are located near Metro stations. Societe Quebecoise du Cannabis STM locations are at

  • 970 Ste-Catherine St. W.
  • 9250 l’Acadie Blvd
  • 6872 St-Hubert St.
  • 830 Ste-Catherine St. E.

As well on the Metro stations:
  • Berri-UQAM
  • Jean-Talon
  • Radisson
  • Lionel-Groulx

Licensed dispensaries to get weed in Vancouver

The Kamloops shopping centre has a licensed marijuana store, also a dispensary on Granville Street to also get oils and seeds. Leaf Compassion at 950 Yates Street in Victoria will also provide cannabis in dried or fresh form.

Cannabis for sale in Quebec

The Société québécoise du cannabis (SQDC) handles all legal sales. You can either visit their dispensaries, see above, or order cannabis online on their web page and have it delivered. You have to produce an ID on delivery if you look younger than 18 or 19 years.

Since 1997, cannabis, pot and marijuana in Canada has been regulated by the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. According to this law, unauthorized possession, trafficking, possession for the purpose of trafficking, production, import and export are considered illegal. The penalties are different depending on the offense. However, the law leaves a lot of power to the judges who impose the sentence.


Cannabis was banned in Canada in 1923 by federal law to that effect, but the use of cannabis for medical purposes was first permitted in 2001. Following an effort to decriminalize Jean Chrétien in 2003 with Bill C-38, Liberal Party Leader of Canada Justin Trudeau made the legalization of cannabis a key part of his platform during the federal election campaign.
Nevertheless, the use of cannabis for medical purposes is permitted by the Regulation respecting access to cannabis for medical purposes. It allows the consumption and cultivation of cannabis for users holding a prescription from a Canadian doctor. These individuals can not be arrested for cannabis use in accordance with the doctor's instructions.
The possible legalization of recreational cannabis was debated in 2017 for possible application on October 17, 2018. The law allowing the recreational use of cannabis has been adopted by the Canadian House of Commons in November 2017. It was concluded that on October 17, 2018 sales if cannabis would be legal.


For production, the penalty is up to seven years imprisonment. For importation, the penalty is life imprisonment. For possession for the purpose of trafficking and trafficking, the penalties are life imprisonment if the quantity is greater than three kilograms and five years if it is less than three kilograms. For simple possession, the penalties are a maximum of five years imprisonment if the amount exceeds thirty grams and a maximum of one thousand dollars fine or six months in prison for less than thirty grams.

Under the age of 18, offenses are governed by the Young Offenders Act, the penalties depend on the offenses, but they may include alternative measures, community work, fines, custody of different durations, and a criminal record. Having a criminal record can make it very difficult or even impossible to leave the country. In addition, he may penalize the offender during a job selection process. On the other hand, the criminal record of a minor is normally (as the case may be) erased when the age of majority reaches 18 years.

A political party operating at the provincial level in Quebec, Bloc Pot, aims to legalize cannabis.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announces in his 2016 policy speech the upcoming legalization of cannabis, becoming the first G7 country to do so.

Monday, April 16, 2018

The Walking Dead season 8 finale Wrath

After a not so exciting season 8 the finale with the episode title Wrath finally ties up plots developed over the season. And has an epic fist fight between Rick and Negan. Rick wins by slitting Negan's throat, but tell Siddiq to save him, sending Maggie into a breakdown. The last words of this episode has Rick, writing a letter to Carl. That Carl at the end made it possible for Rick to win out against Negan.

Rick and young Carl

The most interesting part for me is why and when Eugene changed his mind, fabricating bad bullets for the Saviors. He seemed so convinced he had a better life with them. Was it Rosita changing his mind in the previous episode? That is what Eugene mention. Or was it his plan all along to infiltrate the Saviors to have Rick win at the end? That didn't become clear. I wonder if this will be solved in a future episode.

Anybody has any idea or insider information, please comment.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

2018 FIFA World Cup Russia

The 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia (Russian: Чемпионат мира по футболу Россия 2018) was the twenty-first edition of the Football World Cup. Football is called soccer in the United States Of America and Canada. It was held in Russia between June 14 and July 15, 2018, being the first time that an Eastern European country organizes the championship.

In the final match France defeated Croatia with 4-2. France secured the the World Cup trophy for the second time since 1998.

Watching free FIFA live stream

A TV live stream might be provided by local TV stations to watch all or selected matches. If no free streaming services are available you can use video publishers like YouTube or Netflix which offer live streaming for their customers. There might also be third party companies offering TV streaming over the internet for the FIFA Worldcup.

Committee decision from 2010

FIFA decided that the 2018 World Cup venue would be chosen in conjunction with that of 2022 at the meeting of the Executive Committee of the organization, held in Zurich, Switzerland, on December 2, 2010. The FIFA World Cup 2026 will be held in the three countries of the United States, Canada and Mexico. Making it the first time a FIFA World Cup is held in more than one country.

FIFA World Cup trophyAccording to the system of continental rotation implemented by FIFA, the member or associated associations of CAF and CONMEBOL were banned from participating in this bid. As a result, Russia officially submitted its candidature alongside those of Japan, South Korea, Australia, Belgium-Netherlands, England, Spain-Portugal, the United States and Qatar. Finally, Australia, Japan, South Korea, Qatar and the United States withdrew a few months before the decision to focus on the 2022 election.

In the first round of the vote, England reached two votes, the Netherlands-Belgium won four, Spain-Portugal reached seven and Russia won nine. As the necessary majority of twelve did not reach, England was eliminated because it was the candidate with the least support and a second round was necessary. Here Russia got thirteen on the seven that the Iberian pair received and the two that received the Belgium-Netherlands candidacy.

After the election, Vladimir Putin, the then Russian prime minister, said that "Russia 2018 will be fantastic" and planned the construction of new stadiums and the presence of "the highest quality standards". On his part, Blatter made the official trip to the selected country and assured "that there will be a wonderful cooperation between FIFA and Russia". Russia confirmed twelve stadiums in 11 cities for the World Cup: Yekaterinburg, Kaliningrad, Kazan, Moscow, Nizhny Novgorod, Rostov-on-Don, St. Petersburg, Samara, Saransk, Sochi and Volgograd, which will host all 64 World Cup matches.

Of the twelve stadiums designated, only two were fully completed at the time of their election as headquarters, which had to be remodeled so that they could host the matches. Another, the Spartak in Moscow, was inaugurated in August 2014. The others, including the Luzhnikí in that same capital and with capacity for 81,300 spectators (main venue and the largest stadium), began to be built in later years.

As a way to reduce the distances, times and costs of equipment transfers, only cities that are in the European part of the country (the most densely populated and developed) were chosen, with the exception of Yekaterinburg, which is located in Asia just east of the Ural Mountains.


Portugal vs Morocco (Group B)

Uruguay vs Saudi Arabia (Group A)

Iran vs Spain (Group B)

Thursday 21 June

Denmark vs Australia (Group C)

France vs Peru (Group C)

Argentina vs Croatia (Group D)

Friday 22 June

Brazil vs Costa Rica (Group E)

Nigeria vs Iceland (Group D)

Serbia vs Switzerland (Group E)

Saturday 23 June

Belgium vs Tunisia (Group G)

South Korea vs Mexico (Group F)

Germany v Sweden (Group F)

Sunday 24 June

England vs Panama (Group G)

Japan vs Senegal (Group H)

Poland vs Colombia (Group H)

Monday 25 June

Uruguay vs Russia (Group A)

Saudi Arabia vs Egypt (Group A)

Spain vs Morocco (Group B)

Iran vs Portugal (Group B)

Tuesday 26 June

Denmark vs France (Group C)

Australia vs Peru (Group C)

Nigeria vs Argentina (Group D)

Iceland vs Croatia (Group D)

Wednesday 27 June

South Korea vs Germany (Group F)

Mexico vs Sweden (Group F)

Serbia vs Brazil (Group E)

Switzerland vs Costa Rica (Group E)

Thursday 28 June

Japan vs Poland (Group H)

Senegal vs Colombia (Group H)

England vs Belgium (Group G)

Panama vs Tunisia (Group G)

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Retro consoles

The modern retro gaming revival with retro-consoles and dedicated consoles started around 2001 with some Jakk's Pacific TV games. 2004 saw the Atari Flashback. The same year the C64 Direct-to-TV was released. A joystick modeled after the Competition Pro joystick with some 30+ games built-in, then the C-One. But it really kicked off in the 201X with for example the Nintendo Classic Mini from 2016, the C64 Mini from 2018 as well as the Atari VCS, formally known as Ataribox.

Don't get me wrong, I love retrogaming. But I would not go with any of these. Well may be the Jakk's Pacific, as it doesn't claim to be any computer. And the C-One at least had a 6502 clone as hardware. But in my opinion most are just software emulators with a modern CPU (usually ARM), running on Linux in a fancy box. And like in the case of the C64 Mini not even have a functioning keyboard. You can instead go with any emulator, like VICE, running it on your modern PC. That is free of charge.

It's okay for me though to recreate an original main board, add the vintage CPU (or a modern clone) and other support chips to a new retro console. Even add some logic to handle USB for an external keyboard or joystick and an HDMI jack.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Tesla - SpaceX - Elon Musk

Tesla, Inc. (stylized as T☰SLA, formerly Tesla Motors) is an US-American company located in Silicon Valley, California, designing, manufacturing and selling electric cars, such as the Tesla Roadster 2, components for the propulsion of electric vehicles and battery storage systems. The CEO and founder of Tesla is Elon Musk.

The core of the company is in the engineering of the propulsion system of the electric vehicle that includes battery packs, motors, power electronics, gearboxes and control software, allowing all components to form one system. The modular design allows to reuse components in different models of Tesla and other manufacturers. The system is very compact and contains far fewer moving parts than a heat engine. Tesla Motors uses three phase induction motors that incorporate a copper rotor and copper windings optimized to reduce resistance and loss of energy. Tesla developed fundamental patents for its manufacture.

Tesla vehicles contain many processors to control safety and power functions. Tesla Motors builds the firmware of many processors with algorithms that control traction, vehicle stability, acceleration, regenerative braking, the state of charge of each cell of the battery pack and security systems.


SpaceX (or Space Exploration Technologies Corporation) is an American company working in the field of astronautics and spaceflight. Founded on May 6, 2002 by the billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk, it is one of two private contractors to whom NASA has awarded a freight contract to the International Space Station.

SpaceX designs, builds and markets Falcon 9 launchers, the Merlin engines that propel them, and the Dragon cargo ship and its manned version. The Falcon 1 launcher was the first launcher of the company is no longer in service. After three failures in 2006, 2007 and 2008, the first successful Falcon 1 launcher was launched on September 28, 2008, which then put the Malaysian observation satellite RazakSAT into orbit on its fifth flight on July 13, 2009. The space cargo ship Dragon launched by a rocket Falcon 9 is part of the supply program of the International Space Station. SpaceX employs more than 4,000 people primarily in California, also has two launch facilities on the Cape Canaveral base (the SLC-40 and 39A pads), one at Vandenberg Air Force Base (the SLC pad -4E) and another is under construction in South Texas at Boca Chica. SpaceX also has a test bench for its engines in Texas.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Canada plastic bag ban

The City of Montreal is banning thin plastic bags. The law was put in place on January 1st 2018, but merchants were given time until June 5th of the same year to actually follow it. After that harsh penalties would rain down on those ignoring it. Interestingly after the whole of Canada discussed this plan in 2016 only Montreal emerged as the only city enforcing it. I suppose not even her suburbs do, let alone other cities in Quebec.

But does this make sense? Of these bags, the conventional plastic bag banned in Montreal is the one that has the least impact in the category of disposable bags, while the thicker plastic bags and Paper bags ar always allowed, are overall more polluting.

Let's not forget food wrapped in plastic. Like bread, cookies. You might need one plastic bag to carry 5 to 10 articles usually wrapped in plastic from your grocery store. Thus a plastic bag ban only reduced the waste by about 10%. Many bags you take from the cashier are bio degradable. Suppose that means in the landfill they just degrade without harming the environment. If so, why ban them?

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Stephen Hawking 1942-2018

Stephen William Hawking, born January 8 1942 in Oxford, died March 14 2018 in Cambridge, was a British theoretical physicist and cosmologist.

Stephen Hawking was a mathematics teacher at the University of Cambridge from 1980 to 2009, member of Gonville and Caius College and researcher distinguished from Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics. He is known for his contributions in the fields of cosmology and quantum gravity, especially in the context of black holes. His success is also linked to his popular science books in which he discusses his own theories and cosmology in general, such as the bestseller A Brief History of Time, which remained on the list of Sunday Times bestselling records for 237 consecutive weeks.

Illness and continuation of this work

As soon as he arrived in Cambridge, he began to develop the symptoms of early amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a motor neuron disease that almost took away any neuromuscular control. During his first two years in Cambridge, he did not stand out, but after stabilizing his illness and with the help of his doctoral tutor, William Dennis Sciama, he is pursuing his doctoral thesis. He reveals that he did not see much interest in obtaining a doctorate if he were to die soon. Hawking later said that the real turning point was his marriage to Jane Wilde in 1965, a linguistics student. After completing his PhD, Stephen became a researcher at Gonville and Caius College in Cambridge. The study of singularities, a recent physical and astronomical concept, allows the researcher to develop different theories, which will later lead him from the Big Bang to black holes.

Private life

Jane Wilde Hawking, Hawking's first wife, took care of him until 1991, when the couple split up. They had three children: Robert (1967), Lucy (1969), and Timothy (1979). 1999 Jane Hawking published a memoir, Music to Move the Stars, detailing her own long-term relationship with a family friend with whom she will later marry. Hawking's daughter, Lucy, is a novelist. Their eldest son, Robert, emigrated to the United States where he is married, and had a child, George Edward Hawking. In 1995 Hawking married to his nurse, Elaine Mason, who had already been married to David Mason, the designer of the first version of Hawking's talking computer. In 2004, several reports are published. reports involving Elaine in mistreatment cases against her. In October 2006, Hawking filed for divorce from his second wife.


Hawking's main areas of research were cosmology and quantum gravity. In the late 1960s, he and his friend and colleague from Cambridge, Roger Penrose, applied a new complex mathematical model, which they created upon Albert Einstein's theory of general relativity. This led Hawking to prove in 1970 the first of many theorems on singularities, such as theorems capable of providing a set of sufficient conditions for the existence of a singularity in space-time. This work has shown that, far from being a mathematical curiosity that only appears in particular cases, the singularities are rather generic in general relativity.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Lucifer - Let the pinhead sing

As with the episode before we hear music classic close or at the climax of the episodes. Last time it was Yahoo - or Yaz for the audience in the USA - performing Only You while in Let the pinhead sing Tom Ellis and Skye Townsend perform "I will survive" by Gloria Gaynor. According to some sources I found Tom Ellis loves to sing.

Computer generated alien intoning Gloria Gaynor's "I will survive"

Now while there is nothing wrong in my opinion to reproduce or just play some classic tunes it should not be overdone. I'd say if this happens in the next two episode The Last Heartbreak and Orange Is the New Maze. But if they continue this this with Orange Is the New Maze I might think the show ran out of ideas to fill the 45 minutes run time with content.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

The usefulness of Daylight Savings

The usefulness of Daylight Savings

Twice a year it's Daylight Savings time. Well once you advanced the clocks by one hour, months later clocks are set back. Luckily in our automated world there are rarely any clocks left you have to set. NTP (network time protocol) or radio signals do this for us. But do we need Daylight Savings?

Different countries have adopted Daylight Savings in different years, handle them differently, some countries ignore them completely. The USA used Daylight Savings inconsistent between 1916 and 1966. But only in 1966 a federal law was established to regulate the proper use. During the oil crisis 1973 a year-round experiment was conducted to extend DST. 1976 the National Bureau of Standards found no significant energy savings or differences in traffic fatalities. Still DST was observed until today.

Benefits and drawbacks

Longer summer evenings

The daylight phase is at a later time. This is perceived by many people as an extension of the daylight time. Let's assume the time of sunrise at the beginning of summer is 4:30 am summer time instead of 3:30 pm standard time. Accordingly, the time of the sunset moves from about 9:00 pm normal time to 10:00 pm summer time. As the majority of people sleep at 3 and 4 o'clock in the morning, but not at 10 o'clock in the evening, and since today's society is based more on the time of day than the actual time of day, the wake-up phase of most people shifts more in the bright phase of the day. Thus, the leisure activities in the afternoon and evening are longer in daylight and pleasant outside temperatures possible; In contrast, daylight and temperature can be felt as disturbing at night.

Energy consumption

One of the official reasons for the introduction of summer time was already at the beginning of the 20th century the saving of energy. This argument has been controversial for most of the time. Because compared to other influences, the effect of the time shift on the energy consumption is negligible.

Although it was clear very early on that summer time could not have a decisive influence on energy consumption, this argument persisted in public awareness. However, in particular with the reintroduction of summer time in the Central European countries between 1976 and 1981, a possible energy saving - if at all - played only a minor role compared to the argument of a world wide standardization of times.

Summer time can have regionally adverse effects on energy consumption. In parts of Indiana, for example, it increased by about one percent after the 2006 summer season, which compares the electricity consumption of nearly 224,000 households. The originally pursued goal of energy saving could not be achieved. Rather, the energy balance was unfavorable, as "slight savings in the spring opposed an even greater power consumption in late summer and autumn". In particular, an increased need for heating in the early morning hours and a greater use of air conditioning in the longer afternoons and warm summer evenings increased overall energy consumption, for which the inhabitants of the examined parts of Indiana paid about 8.6 million US dollars per year more. The authors also calculated the cost of more pollution for society at $ 1.6 million to $ 5.3 million annually.

The data of this study, however, referred only to private households. Industrial plants and other economic sectors were not included. However, the authors suspect that most companies stick to normal working hours in daylight and are therefore less affected by the summer time change than private households.

The Federal Environmental Agency also found no positive energy-saving effects, since the saving in electricity for lighting is "overcompensated" by the additional consumption of heating energy due to the advance of the main heating time. The increasing use of energy-saving lamps would further increase this effect in the future.

Human nature

Advocates of summer time argue that it is beneficial for people to be able to spend more time in the evening in daylight hours, which increases their productivity. Opponents argue that adapting to the new daily rhythm takes at least several days, is harmful to health and reduces productivity during the changeover phase. Physiological studies suggest that some circadian fluctuating hormone levels, similar to those of stress hormones, may take up to four and a half months to fully adapt to new circumstances. Otherwise, "natural" direction when deferred to normal time, this adjustment would take only about two weeks. Whether these hormone level fluctuations already promote disease, but is not proven.

Technical effort

All watches have to be changed twice a year. More and more clocks are automatically set today via a radio signal, only few have to be changed manually, especially in private households. Computer clocks can also be set automatically via a function of the operating system. However, there are computer programs with real-time function, which do not use the operating system function for daylight saving time conversion and must be manually reconfigured. The same problem also exists with leap seconds.

Why we don't abandon Daylight Savings?

Suppose because in our interconnected world one country cannot just get rid of DST. Might cause too many problems negotiating around these obstacles. The United Kingdom BREXIT is not much of a help since countries from continental Europe are still her biggest trade partner. On the other hand if we tried hard enough to get rid of it everybody should benefit from it in the long term.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

History of wordprocessors and spread sheets

Word processors, spreadsheets and databases are everywhere today. Modern economy would break down otherwise if going back to pencil and paper. Makes one wonder how economy was able to exist before the event of computer programs doing the tedious work for us. Here's the short but incomplete history of how it all began. More, how so often not the first software of its kind made the big money but these being improved, or just clever advertised.

It's the 1970s and computers were found only in large companies and universities. Enthusiasts had virtually no change to get their hands on one unless being in one of these universities or large firm. In offices you had typewriters, if lucky an IBM Selectric. While there was Tipex and other methods to correct already printed text it was tedious and cost time. A good typist could probably type 100 letters in the time needed to correct the mistake. To have an electronic word processor would be nice, but that only existed in large companies. Otherwise you had line editors. Early programs such as ed would actually only show one line.

The ground for electronic word processors was laid 1975 when MITS pushed the Altair 8800 on the market. Even though it was merely a box filled with electronics but without keyboard or monitor computer nerds went nuts being able to finally own their personal computer.

Two years later the first real home computers entered the market and kicked off the home computer revolution. Named 1977  Trinity by the BYTE magazine, the Radioshack Tandy TRS-80, the Commodore PET and the Apple 2, all of which came with a keyboard and monitor or could be attached to one. Now software companies saw huge potential and wrote many application for the various machines including word processors. It also produced the world's first Killer App when VisiCalc, one of the first electronic spreadsheets, entered the market. People and small offices who never used computers before bought an Apple ][ to be able to use VisiCalc.

The next leap happened 1981 when the Osborne Computer Corporation sold the first portable computer going by the name of Osborne 1. Well "e;portable" if one had strong arms to carry the some 30 pounds heavy box around. But you could do this if you wanted, put it into a plane to visit a company branch or attend a meeting. The hardware was not that amazing but the fact it was portable. May be more interesting was the office suite coming with it. The price for the software if bought separately would be almost as much what the Osborne 1 with it cost.

The software consisted of the WordStar word processor, the spreadsheet SuperCalc and databases, the program language BASIC and even a few games. While neither WordStar nor SuperCalc were the first of their kind. These were the already mentioned VisiCalc for the spreadsheet and Electric Pencil is widely regarded to be the first electronic word processor for home computers. The idea of bundling single software application into one suite and offer it with the hardware made this computer a runaway success.

Running WordStar on an Osborne 1 via emulator

While Microsoft focused since the mid 70s on selling their BASIC, which was shipped with almost every home computer from back of the day and in the 80s in creating MS DOS for the IBM PC it took them until 1990 to see the potential of bundled office software, although their word processor, spreadsheet and other components of the later Microsoft Office were available as separate products before that.

Running SuperCalc on an Osborne 1 via emulator

Note that I unfortunately do not own an Osborne I or other vintage hardware. Thus I emulate them with the M.A.M.E. emulator which not only allows to emulate long faded to obscurity hardware, but also most of the video arcade games in existence since 1975, when the first games ran on a CPU microprocessor.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams and Black Mirror

If you crave for more Black Mirror episodes while they are in hiatus between seasons you are in luck.

I recently discovered the series Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams developed by Ronald D. Moore, who already wrote a lot of Star Trek episodes across all recent franchises, and Michael Dinner. It initially aied on Amazon Video. First I almost missed it. Watching only the first episode and not reading up on Wikipedia I expected that all episodes will be like this first episode which I hated, so gave up. It wasn't until a pal asked "Hey did you watch the episode XYZ of Electric Dreams?" that I read more about the series and figured out that no episode has any relation to any other episode. Just like with Black Mirror.

It's another anthology dystopian show, although not as dark as Black Mirror. Some episodes play in an alternate universe, or just create this because of a character making a mistake. Some play in space, others much closer home. For me, like for Black Mirror already, there is always a scene or two making me think "Wait, what?!".

In my opinion, although quite similar to Black Mirror, Electric Dreams doesn't want to be a clone. It's just the story telling of Philip K. Dick which might people think otherwise.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

The Walking Dead - Honor - Recap

The Walking Dead - Honor

Season 8's mid season premiere kicked off with the episode Honor concluding where the last episode left off.

Carl Grimes whose Actor Chandler Riggs leaves the show to be at an university, is dying, after been bitten by a zombie in the previous episode, very slowly. While his father Rick Grimes, played by Andrew Lincoln is crying all over the place. In the other story arc Carol and Morgan follow these taken Ezekiel hostage, taking down many of his man on the way. When they hunted Morgan down they talk about whether to kill him or not, also with tears in their eyes. Luckily instead of carrying the decision over to the next episode young Henry is taking care of it, scoring first blood.

For my taste this episode was much too cheesy. The few action scenes, killing some bad guys and zombies of course, could not make up for being one of the most boring episodes so far. The producers decided to jump back and forth between the two scene, where some scenes lasted several minutes, others less than a minute. Suppose the scenes not even took place at the same time it was very confusing.


Then there were the flashbacks again, depicting Rick as an old man, while many other characters seem not to have aged at all. Why is that? But everybody is happy. Even Negan shows up as an older self, smiling to be happy being a part of the "good family". I wonder if this was all just a dream. If probably dreamt by Rick Grimes, slowly fading away. That may be some content we have seen of season 8 never actually took place. I was looking for a Bobby Ewing stepping out of a shower saying "Good morning" to Pam.

Is it just me or does this show losing its edge? Long gone are the days the show was fun to watch. Now episodes are filled with boredom to reach their dedicated 50 minutes (including advertisements) length.