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Medium 9780596005139

22. Serial Communications

Robert Bruce Thompson O'Reilly Media ePub

In serial communications, bits are transferred between devices one after the other in a series, whence the name. To communicate an eight-bit byte, the transmitting serial device breaks that byte into its component bits and then places those bits sequentially onto the serial communications interface. The receiving interface accepts the incoming bits, stores them temporarily in a buffer until all bits have been received, reassembles the bits into the original byte, and then delivers that byte to the receiving device.

Because any bit is indistinguishable from any other bit, serial interfaces must use some means to keep things synchronized between the transmitting and receiving interfaces. Otherwise, for example, if transmitted bit #4 were lost due to line noise or some other communication problem, the receiving interface would assume when it received bit #5 that that bit was bit #4, resulting in completely scrambled data. Two methods may be used to effect this synchronization:

Synchronous serial communication is so called because the transmitting and receiving interfaces are synchronized to a common clock reference. Because both interfaces always "know what time it is," they are always in step, and always know which bit is on the wire at any particular time. Synchronous serial communication methods are common in mainframe and minicomputer environments, but are little used in PC communications. Synchronous serial communications are normally used in the PC environment only to support specialized devices, which are usually bundled with the appropriate synchronous adapter and cable. Therefore, this book will have no more to say about synchronous serial communication.

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Medium 9780596008277

Twenty Eight. Firefox and the Worry-Free Web


AS THE PRIMARY BARRIER BETWEEN MILLIONS OF UNSUSPECTING WEB USERS AND THE CON ARTISTS who want their credit card numbers, Firefox developers are acutely aware of the challenges in securing the Web. And so, it seems, are our users. More than 15 million people downloaded Firefox 1.0 in its first two months—a gold rush driven by Firefox’s speed and reliability, no doubt, but also driven by the barrage of media warnings against online identity theft, data loss, and continuing security problems with Microsoft’s Internet Explorer (IE).

The Mozilla Foundation has undergone a profound transformation during its short lifetime. It began as a loose organization responsible for shepherding the open source community to help develop Netscape 6. In those formative years, the foundation was a technology provider, working primarily with technology vendors like ActiveState and IBM. Although the foundation’s work was significant, its developers were always at least two degrees away from the customers who would eventually use its products.

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Medium 9781576756270

Chapter 4 The Body’s Secret Language

Thom Hartmann Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give
other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated
from our fear, our presence automatically liberates others.


Back in the late 1970s, I was the executive director of a residential treatment facility for abused and emotionally disturbed kids. The psychologist we had hired to help the kids showed me how we could consciously use language to produce unconscious change. I started taking Richard Bandler’s classes on communication techniques1 and eventually became a certified NLP communication trainer.

I discovered that once you decode the way that human beings make decisions—how our neurons fire—you can shape your language to take advantage of that code. The National Security Agency (NSA) knows this code. So does Madison Avenue. (I’ve done training for both.) And no one has cracked the communication code more effectively than modern Republicans.

Here’s an example. You may remember a series of infamous ads that the George Bush Sr. team created during the presidential election of 1988 when he ran against Michael Dukakis. They were what are broadly known today as “the Willie Horton ads”

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Medium 9780596529529

4. Dock, Desktop, and Toolbars

David Pogue O'Reilly Media ePub

You can't help reacting, one way or another, to the futuristic, sleek looks of Mac OS X the first time you arrive at its desktop. There's the Dock, looking photorealistic and shiny on its new mirror-finish shelf. There are those Finder windows, 8smooth and textureless with their gentle gradient-gray title bars. And there's the shimmering, even continually morphing backdrop of the desktop itself.

This chapter shows you how to use and control these most dramatic elements of Mac OS X.

For years, most operating systems maintained two different lists of programs. One listed unopened programs until you need them, like the Start menu (Windows) or the Launcher (Mac OS 9). The other kept track of which programs were open at the moment for easy switching, like the taskbar (Windows) or the Application menu (Mac OS 9).

In Mac OS X, Apple combined both functions into a single strip of icons called theDock.

Apple's thinking goes like this: Why must you know whether or not a program is already running? That's the computer's problem, not yours. In an ideal world, this distinction should be irrelevant. A program should appear when you click its icon, whether it's open or notlike on a PalmPilot, for example.

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Medium 9781780490779

Chapter Six: On “Psychic Death”

Franco Borgogno Karnac Books ePub


On “psychic death”1

Franco Borgogno

An analyst put to the test by “psychic death”

I would like to close this first part of my book by returning to and re-working a series of observations which I made regarding M's treatment six or seven years after its first public presentation (Borgogno, 1995c), observations in which I highlighted various consequences of the condition of “psychic death” which had, in the long term, characterized her analytic history, concentrating above all on several implications which the fallout of that aspect of the condition concerning “not feeling oneself existent in relation to the other” can have for the analyst. I wish to specify—I do not hereby intend—to dwell in these pages on the condition of psychic death in general, since, as Eigen has so clearly highlighted (1996), this is a condition with many different faces which can appear in very different clinical contexts. I wish, instead, only to posit some further reflections on the insidious fears that seize the analyst when he finds himself faced with problems analogous to those that emerged in M's analysis. In these cases, indeed, the therapeutic commitment is put to a hard test: these patients strike, that is to say, at our very capacity to help and leave us feeling useless and inept both as experts and as individuals; a sensation aggravated by the fact that, far from knowing how to call them back to life and to the relationship, our intervention actually appears harmful and to produce, for a fair lapse of time and almost inexorably, a deterioration in terms of the intensity of experiences of psychic death and of the threat of death which they undergo within themselves.

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