O.S.I.R (some number n where n is too damn high)

So today I discovered that I needed a Java runtime.

I'll be the first to admit that I've never liked Java*, so I've always left it to scuttle around in the subbasement, doing useful stuff without ever being seen or heard. But like laundry service, 'once gone, soon missed', and today I needed it for the xTIMEcomposer IDE. XMOS was kind enough to send me one of their new Startkits, and its time to start using it.

First, I went to the Sun website and downloaded a .rpm.
While I could unpack it, I'm too naive to get it properly installed, or at least, when the installation failed, I don't know enough to figure out why. Hitting the forums gave me a pile of dead links -- has anyone considered that the Internet might be more useful if it had some sort of ROM like nature? --. and when I found a .pet file, FireFox decided it had no idea what to do.
Which was a blatant lie: the .pet autoinstall on download was the only thing that impressed me to date on this machine.**
Found the symlink, repaired the association. Java installed with a snap, and now the IDE comes up.
...annndddd the IDE unavoidable web login won't login. I've probably forgotten my password.

But seriously, XMOS. I understand the cross-platform choice of Java***, but the login is very close to a deal breaker. I know the concept of 'not being connected to the web' feels like a discussion about buggy whips. I know we are supposed to be cloud/stream/wireless/whatever 24/7/365. I'm not. My machines are connected some of the time, the connections are not always good, and I am not alone in this.
What percentage of people are not well-connected?
Its high.

This quote from John Carmack talking about Quakeworld vs the original Quake engine during Internet play is from the Bronze Age (1990s), but its always stuck in my head as a good admission of a programmers bias:

" While I can remember and justify all of my decisions about networking from DOOM through Quake, the bottom line is that I was working with the wrong basic assumptions for doing a good internet game.  My original design was targeted at 200ms connection latencies.  People that have a digital connection to the internet through a good provider get a pretty good game experience.  Unfortunately, 99% of the world gets on with a slip or ppp connection over a modem, often through a crappy overcrowded ISP.  This gives 300+ ms latencies, minimum.  Client. User's modem. ISP's modem. Server. ISP's modem. User's modem.  Client. God, that sucks.

Ok, I made a bad call.  I have a T1 to my house, so I just wasn't familliar with PPP life.  I'm adressing it now."

Talking about PPP may seem funny now, the problem is still real. For instance, I can't get broadband at my home. And fiber is just a pipe dream, unless I move two measly km.
So I connect via satellite, which I am quite happy with, except the unavoidable lag as the radio signal travels ~24,000 km to geosynchronous orbit(80 ms), gets buffered and then retransmitted to earth(at least another 80ms), gets processed at the uplink/downlink station, and routed onto the Internet. Physics demands her toll of 160ms, and in practise I get a lag greater then 280ms when the overheads are rolled in.

So as you can guess, FPS games are out for me, and the tens of thousands of other satellite modem users. And this isn't going to change for me. Until the phone company decides that running voice-over-copper is a waste of time, and rolls out fiber everywhere. Maybe sometime in the next 20 years, unless a new mitochondrial-telepathy communications system gets rolled out: its always so hard to predict new tech, beyond the fact that it'll usually waste more of our time in new and interesting ways.

*Do I actually like anything beyond home-made ice cream and Frankenstein movies?
 **The whole SFS thing might be cool too, if it didn't remind me so much of a VCD.
 *** Although I would have picked Python instead.

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