Re: Alternate low-cost platform for OVC

From: David Mertz <voting-project_at_gnosis_dot_cx>
Date: Sat Jul 10 2004 - 12:47:47 CDT

Edward Cherlin <cherlin@pacbell.net> wrote:
|> Any actual *price* though? That Trident place seems quite
|> cagey on this... seeming to insinuate: "if you have to ask,
|> you cannot afford it."
|Someone with more time than I have today can call them, or ask in
|any handy CS lab.

Well, it ain't me. But I did find that doing a search for "X Terminal"
produced a lot of really old discussions of many thousand dollar devices
from 10 years ago, and nothing current. In particular, I was unable to
find any listed prices for the last five years.

That SCREAMS out to me that this is not a commodity part we are talking
about. Rather, it is something very vertical and specialized.
Actually, other than the really old links, everyone's actual interest is
in using Linux boxen as X Terminals... which sort of brings us back to
the "whole computer" thing. Of course, the reason everyone discusses
that is because a cheap Linux machine is *SO* much cheaper than a custom
X Terminal.

In contrast, I can go to Pricewatch, or a dozen other sites, and find
the exact current price on any of a dozen makers of 17" LCDs.

|Yes, there is a whole computer in every modern multisync CRT
|monitor and every flat screen. There is certainly a computer in
|a touch screen display.

Again, a "whole computer" yes... as my toaster and blender probably have
too. But at least three orders of magnitude less powerful a computer
than those in X Teminals. And ones that are *commodity* hardware, not
odd historical curiosities.

|That is an opinion not based on experience. I don't trust
|anything but a live test. When we can get the real answer, I
|don't like to have fruitless theoretical arguments.

Aaagghhh! Don't throw out the slightest thread of common sense in the
name of a hypertrophied "empiricism"... I also know a priori that you
can't make a good voting system by taping a duck to a microwave
oven[*]... even without "live testing."

Yours, David...

[*] A hilarious _South Park_ gag involves the local mad scientists/geeks
creating a time machine with these ingredients. I guess in a play on
MacGyver-esque ad hoc technology.
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Received on Sat Jul 31 23:17:08 2004

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