Sunday, February 18, 2018


I struggled to print color chess diagrams using a black and white ink cartridge on my HP F2100 printer. I had done this successfully using the same type of printer belonging to someone else. However, when I tried to print the chess diagrams, the black and white squares came out blank. So I fooled around with the print settings and nothing seemed to help. However, I kept fooling with the print settings and it suddenly worked correctly. I honestly don't know what I did different to make it work.


5 Reasons to Buy a $188 Laptop

I think that this is interesting ...

Monday, February 12, 2018

Nintendo: STOP Doing This With Switch Games! | RGT 85

iPhone battery replacement.

I'm blown away by what happened today.

I have been trying to make my 64GB iPhone 6+ that I purchased 40 months ago last as long as possible. I'm past the point where I would buy a new phone every two years, especially since modern phones are good enough that the changes from one year to the next are not as revolutionary as they used to be.

Apple received some bad press when it was revealed that they were slowing down older iPhones with worn out batteries to help preserve the battery life. Because of the bad press, Apple put their $79 battery replacement service on sale for $29. I had an appointment to get the battery replaced a month ago, but when I showed up for my appointment they didn't have any batteries available. So I waited a month to be notified that the battery had arrived and I went in today to have the service done.

I dropped off the phone at the Apple store and they told me that the repair would take an hour. So I got some lunch at the mall and wandered around to pass the time.

At this point a thought creeped into my mind, where I wondered what would happen if the repair didn't work? After all, my phone is 40 months old, so maybe something would go wrong and the phone would not work with the new battery? This might seem like an unnecessary worry, except this is actually what happened. They informed me that my iPhone did not power on with the new battery installed.

They immediately informed me that they were giving me a new 64GB iPhone 6+, and still only charging my $29. I was shocked by this, and asked if the phone was refurbished, but they told me, no, it was a new phone. So I walked into an Apple store with $29 and a 40 month old phone, and walked out with a brand new phone of the same type.

I'm impressed.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Stockfish limitation on sacrifices

​In this position Stockfish completely fails to see 29... Rc1, until I make the move on the board and then take back the move.  Then it has it in its hashtable and it instantly recognizes it as the best move leading to mate in 9 or 10 moves.

This is an interesting limitation on the chess program's ability to see sacrifices.​  However, after about a minute and 50 seconds, at a depth of 29 ply, Stockfish figures out that Rc1 is the best move.  For me, the move is pretty intuitive.

If I were writing a chess program, I would have it greatly reduce its search depth on sacrificial moves, because 99% of the time they are going to be wrong.  Something like 1. e4 e5 2. Bc4 Nf6 3. Bxf7+ is just a bad move, and the program could waste an enormous amount of time looking at the possibilities that follow.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Star Trek

Around 1989 I was having lunch with coworkers when one person asked what seemed at the time to be a reasonable question, "How does the computer on Star Trek know everything?", like maybe that would be impossible.  

Best wishes,

John Coffey

Saturday, November 4, 2017

How Bill Gate Made Microsoft

Not sure if you would like this or not.  The documentary is about 18 years old.  So it is a little out of date.  Much of the information is available in other places.  Nevertheless, I found it pretty interesting, but these kinds of things always interest me.

Friday, November 3, 2017

Yavin 4

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: utahtrout <utahtrout

Maybe what we thought was a sentry in star wars on Yavin 4 was just a cell tower repairman...

Globally, no country has yet to hit the important milestone of 50Mbps average speeds. Analysts have been predicting that a country (South Korea or Singapore) would hit the magic number this year, but both are still stuck at about 45Mbps.

Mind you, that number doesn't look so bad when you scroll all the way down to the United States, languishing at 14Mbps. The list of nations with faster mobile internet includes powerhouses like Lebanon (23Mbps), Romania (25Mbps) and Serbia (33Mbps).

There is one tiny beacon of hope: the US is doing well in terms of 4G availability, measured as the "proportion of time users have access to a particular network." The US is fifth of all countries, which is a huge achievement considering how widely spread parts of the US's population is.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

The Rise and Fall of Peter Molyneux

This 4 and 1/2 part video is over 3 hours long.  Still, I found it very fascinating.  I just kept watching one part after another.

​It just shows how difficult the game business is.​

​I think that Peter Molyneux's problem is that he tried to design games while he wrote them.  He seemed to start games without a clear idea where he was going.​

Friday, October 13, 2017

I was a big fan of the Atari ST and wrote a videogame for it.

In the mid1980's we saw a ton of small computer makers that would quickly fall by the wayside.  Atari and Commodore were fairly large, but ultimately lost to more mainstream computers.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Apple Special Event. September 12, 2017.

A couple of days ago, Apple introduced their products at the brand new Steve Jobs theater, at their new Apple Park campus. I thought that the first ten minutes of the video were pretty interesting, including at 4:24 a quote from Steve Jobs I hadn't heard before.


re: Big announcements from our September event.

iPhone 8 can be preordered in 2 days. iPhone X can be preordered on October 27th.

Since my iPhone 6+ works just fine and I am happy with it, I can't really justify spending hundreds of dollars on a new phone. I could be happy with either the iPhone 8 or the iPhone 10, but I would rather wait until something major goes wrong with my phone​ before I spend the big bucks.

​When I was working, I used to get a new phone with a new contract every 2 years. The upfront cost was relatively low, usually either $200 or $300, because the carrier would subsidize the ​cost of the phone​. ​ Many carriers won't do this anymore,​​but some companies like Sprint might. But right now I am saving $30 per month on Total Wireless, so I would have to pay an extra $720 over two years to get a subsidized phone.

One reason I bought a new phone every two years is that there would be some major changes every two years. However, now the phones have gotten so good that the changes are more incremental. The new phones always have a faster processor and a better camera, but this is hardly a reason to abandon your old phone.

Apple's 6 core processor is kind of exciting. Two high power cores with 4 low power cores, and unlike the previous phone, it can use all the cores at the same time. This rival​s​ some desktop computers in terms of power. ​ (Some competing brands of phones will allow you to hook up a monitor, keyboard and mouse and use it like an internet based computer. Microsoft Windows Phone does this, and I think so does the Google phone.)​

Best wishes,
John Coffey

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

We are entering a new era where a phone can be a real computer.

We are entering a new era where a phone can be a real computer.

I think that this was inevitable.

In this department, Apple has refused to merge their mobile and desktop operating systems, which Microsoft has done and Google has started to do.  Apple would prefer that you spend big bucks to buy separate overpriced devices, but with newer phones becoming as powerful as some laptops, if not more powerful, why bother?

Best wishes,

John Coffey​

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Fwd: Skylake

'first-ever Xeon processor family for laptops, the E3-1500M v5…


the mobile workstation market is one of the few areas where Windows PC sales are growing -- it only makes sense for Intel to court the increasing numbers of creatives and engineers that want to do their jobs away from the office.'

Fwd: Skylake

I looked at just released 5th generation Broadwell chips, but in the next month or two we should have 6th generation skylake…


'Skylake ships with an integrated graphics core inside of it, which Intel had previously said would be optimized for low-power video decoding. What was surprising, however, was apparently how good it is – Skaugen showed off the chip decoding 15 4K videos using the chip's H.265 decoding engine, and compared it against to a machine with a pair of Nvidia Titan chips performing the same task. They struggled.'