User:Ted Longstaffe

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Questions - Stupid and/or Miscellaneous

That really belongs as a subpage to your user page, if it belongs on Wikipedia at all. - Vicki Rosenzweig
According to wikipedia:PHP script new features subpages are no longer supported. As to whether it belongs in Wikipedia, I don't see the harm. - Ted Longstaffe
->Test 1 of "subpage":  User:Ted Longstaffe/Questions - Stupid and/or Miscellaneous. The result is that I get an error message saying "You cannot edit this page" - Ted Longstaffe
->Test 2 of "subpage":  User:Ted Longstaffe /Questions - Stupid and/or Miscellaneous. The result is that I get an error message saying "You cannot edit this page" - Ted Longstaffe
->Test 3 of "subpage":  User:Ted Longstaffe/ Questions - Stupid and/or Miscellaneous. The result is that I get an error message saying "You cannot edit this page" - Ted Longstaffe
->Test 4 of "subpage":  User:Ted Longstaffe !Questions - Stupid and/or Miscellaneous. The result is that I can edit the page (but the title does not include the "!" !!!) - Ted Longstaffe


  • was born in 1958
  • am Manic Depressive (or more properly called: Bipolar Affective Disorder (BAD)). I also apparently have Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), Oppositional Defiance Disorder (ODD - I love this acronym), Negative Symptom Schizophrenia (I'm still not sure what that means) and Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). So that makes me BAD, SAD and ODD (which is fairly accurate as far as it goes). There has also been some talk about autism (but I must be a high-functioner).
  • am quite proficient at Excel and Access VBA programming
  • am unemployed (though well off)
  • am married with 2 teenagers, a twenty-something year old, 2 dogs (a female German Shepherd and a male Bernese Mountain Dog). The younger teenager has a rabbit named Diablo (and she's baptized - her choice)
  • enjoy reading. Some favorites of mine are: Pillars of the Earth, The Star Beast, Friday, The Firm, One L (Scott Turow), A Deepness in the Sky (Vernor Vinge). Some books I hate are: Wuthering Heights, Future Shock (he repeated things so often - the book could easily have been cut to 50 pages (with a vast improvement of readability in the process)) and the Old Testament (Is this barbaric God the same one that later has Jesus as a son?)
  • have Pet Peeves: Telemarketers that can't stop following the script. Psychiatrists that know me better than I do myself (apparently 40+ years in this body doesn't mean a lot compared to the DSM-IV). Dick Francis and horses (talk about obsessive). Computers (I know they can improve productivity but why do so many things have to go wrong all the time).
  • am XYY (which means that I am twice the guy compared to most). We had a Trisomy 18 baby that lived for about 4 months.
  • was born 7 days before my (also male) cousin and our mothers had the same hospital room. About 2 years later he had a sister and 7 days later my mother had a daughter. Once again, they had the same hospital room. Of course as usual, my aunt (and uncle - with a few minutes effort (?)) had another child some years later and my mother wasn't willing to follow suit. On the other hand, I have a stepsister (who is the aunt to our oldest son ((see above) from my wife's first marriage) even though she is actually younger than he is).
  • love parentheses (does it show?). I know some people say the period belongs inside the parentheses but this makes no sense to me. I really enjoyed programming in LISP.
  • have a first name and a middle name, but other than when my mother was upset with me I was never called by those names (aside from 3 years in an English "public" (which means private to us North Americans) school - but the less said about that the better). For simplicity I should really change my name to that which people have otherwise always called me by, but I probably won't). On the other hand, my sister (who along with my stepsister both share their name with that of an alcoholic beverage), did change her name a few years back (and got one with umlauts to boot).
  • am confused as to why the previous line is blank.
  • (and our family (see how much I love parentheses)) have lived at 2 different addresses of the same street (a few blocks apart). (We are like a glacier slowly receding to the north). This situation of course renders the question "Are you still on Valley Drive" to something other than a 1-bit response.
  • am a computer programmer/troubleshooter (dating back to about 1975). In university, my first-year computer course used only 80-column punchcards as an input medium (thank god I never had to use paper tape or plug boards). In my second year (after my high school dreams of becoming an organic chemist had fizzled - I never did understand quantum-something-or-other the previous year), we were able to sometimes use terminals (FEP driven "dumb" terminals (or rarely 3270 terminals where we could use a visual editor instead of just a command line editor)). After graduating I went to West Germany (to which we "imported" a North American IBM PC (that was not available in Germany yet)). To power it, we bought a special transformer (to convert from 120V 60 Hz to 240V 50Hz) device at an American army base nearby. Our IBM PC came with 256K of RAM and 2 double-density 5.25" drives (360K capacity each). One day we needed to get the PC serviced (and IBM still didn't sell them in Germany) so we trundled off to the local IBM Headquarters to have it shipped to the closest repair facility (in Ireland). As we were coming in the door, a mass exodus of people were just exiting the building and all they told us was "Bomb Alarm". We thought it was some hoax or possibly a terrorist thing. The next day we heard that a nearby construction site had discovered an unexploded 500lb bomb from WW II. I still have a copy of an IBM PC user manual that has a complete listing of the BIOS source in an appendix!
  • Somewhat later, I worked on a Corona (an early IBM PC compatible) which had an external 10MB hard drive that measured about 6 inches (15cm) on each side (it cost about $4000 Canadian ($2500 US) at the time). So that's about $400/MB. Now hard drives are priced at less than 1 cent per MB (assuming I got the arithmetic right). Take about Moore's Law!!