889 posts • joined 24 Oct 2007
The future ain't what it once was..
@Dave 126 - many thanks for hat link, Dave! Ah the future was so much better back then! I feel quite cheated, the way things have actually turned out!
Windows made me do it..
... a (L)user's tale...
Me and my t'other half had been very happy Amiga users, but as Commodore shot itself in the foot multiple times and support for the platform dwindled, clearly Something Had To Be Done. So we bought a Windows PC,running Win95. What a piece of excrement!
Joy at its ability to run new games we hadn't seen before soon gave way to frustration at how often it crashed. Don;t get me wrong, the Amiga would go into 'guru meditation' every now and then (usually only when playing games though - it was pretty solid when running applications), but it recovered gracefully and quickly. Not Win 95. I wondered whether there were other operating systems about that'd run on the hardware, bearing in mind I'd been messing about with computers since the days when just about every piece of kit had its own bespoke OS. At that point I didn;t find any alternative.
Then Win98 came along. I THINK we found that slightly better, then when SE came along, it was much better. But still flaky as hell compared to our experience with Amigas. Then we had WinXP, which was somewhat better again, and I think it was around this time that I came across Linux, and ended up buying a copy of Mandrake Linux. Which was - OK. Very stable, but the only games were the equivalent of Minesweeper etc. I set up our PC to dual-boot, and did anyything important (liek letter-writing) on the Linux side, and played games on the Windows side.
My partner was quite happy just using Windows, but I persisted in keeping an eye on developments in the Linux world, and to cut a long story short, went fully Linux after a few years (by then we each had our own PCs) and have been using Linux ever since. Not once has Linux lost any of my data, and the games situation just kept on improving.
Thanks to early versions of Windows being so awful,I missed the horrors of ME and Vista, and all the forcible UI-pratting-about that happened with Windows - except in the workplace. At home, computers were again easy to use, fun and entertaining and also did the important stuff well too. At work, it was the frustrations of being a Windows user or a helldesker for companies using Windows.
That's not to say that Linux was utterly without problems, but such as I experienced were either caused by myself pratting about, or by things like the KDE revamp, which pushed me into using Xfce instead. But that was the nice thing - I had the option to just install a different UI, an option Windows didn't give me by default. And crashes became a thing of teh past. Stuff Just Worked - and kept on working. I was, and am, a happy (L)user.
So thank you Windows - for some good games, and for otherwise being so horrid that I sought something better. Happy birthday, cheers!
This article (Great one, Dabbsy!) got me pondering whether perhaps advertisers have started harnessing the power of Quantum in their ad-slinging. I recall making a comment in El Reg's hallowed web pages whilst I was in my last job about being bemused at being shown adverts to do with lingerie and red diesel not long after zapping Firefox entirely and doing a clean re-install.
Now the lingerie ad was too late - I'm well into the comfy-knickers part of my life - but the red diesel might have been prescient. I'd never have guessed back then that I'd be sitting here today one year into a horticultural degree, having learned how to drive a tractor along the way.
So in my case, advertising AI correctly identified what I was (female) but not when I was, whilst in Dabbsy's case, it identified when he was but not what.. - it's quantum innit?
Re: Wot Smart TV?
@MrXavia. correct, aside from YouTube. I do not watch TV. My desktop PCs with their ginormous 19in monitors (one apiece) are my home entertainment centres, not a TV. My PCs are already sufficiently smart to do all I require of them (including playing DVDs of films and shows that I've heard are worth watching). Sounds to me like this is yet another case of unecessarily overcomplicating things and adding extra potential points of failure and failure modes to a product that simply does not need it
Hmmn.. forgotten something, 'scuse me, minor senior moment..
- ah yes! (mutter grumble) bloody modern technology, it'll never catch on, getoffamylawn!. (nods off in mid-rant) zZzZzZzZz
@AC - same here. And months after Virgin Media stopped sending junkmail to Flat 6 after I wrote to them to let them know that there is no flat 6 here, the junk mail to flat 6 resumed (and I'm still getting junkmail from VM despite my having been with PlusNet (and prior in their incarnation as Tiscali) because their service is so damned good at a sensible price). I won't touch ANY Virgibn-branded product with a bargepole, for choice, it's simply a marque of shite quality all round IMHO. Damned shame as I recall how pleased I was with the quality of record pressings from the Virgin label back when beardy Branson's empire was just a record company.
I neither think it's much of a joke nor see any great problem with it. So long as the documentation is, overall, clear (ie: not buried beneath a morass of supposed witticisms) then I don;t see a problem. Not that I'm much inclination or need to look at software documentation more than once in a blue moon, but a smidge of humour here and there can actually help folk learn and remember stuff. I have no comment re Mr Stallman's personality - I do not move in those circles, havent read books by/about him, etc. I simply do not care - I'm a software user, not a techhie.
Double double, soil and trouble, fire burn and heat shield bubble: NASA cracks rover, has dirty talk with ESA
Re: get those rocks back to our home world.
@Orv - you're missing a trick - you may not not need to send all of the fuel needed for the return trip as payload to Mars. You could instead send just some hydrogen feedstock and a small chemical plant (IIRC from The Case for Mars, this wouldn't be very large at all, about suitcase sized) to create fuel from Mars' atmosphere. Thing is, once the lander gets to Mars, drills a hole and takes a sample, it isn't going anywhere for months - it has to wait until the next efficient Mars-Earth launch window. So you;ve plenty of time for the fuel plant to make the necessary propellant for the return trip.
I'm not 100% positive on this, but extrapolating from the Mars Direct plan for a manned Mars mission, it's possible that there's no need to send an orbiter AND a lander to Mars - just land the lot on the surface, which simplifies the mission, which then becomes - land everything on Mars, start fuel plant going, fire up drilling robot and send it on its way, place samples in return hold in main ship, return fuelled ship when Mars-Earth launch window arrives. No tricky orbital rendevous needed!
I'm good with a light switch for my lights, and I have never understood why some folk like watching telly with the lights down or off (but then, too much contrast hurts my eyes). Seems like extra points of failure to me, just like remote-controlled lighting.
I also can't help wondering what might happen in a house party if a couple were snogging against the wall in a dark corner - they mightn't be best pleased if they accidentally turned the lights on!
Re: shipping it around
Uh, when I was a child, my Mum used to get all her shopping in her shopping bag - which was generally made of a hard-wearing cord. If there was lots to get, she'd use a two-wheeled shopping trolley. Yes, stuff was often put into paper bags by the vendors, but those paper bags weren't generally intended to be what you carried them home in. IMO, plastic shopping bags were teh problem, as they offered a solution to those who found themselves wanting to purchase more than the pint of milk and loaf of bread they;d originally intended, and so had not bothered bringing their durable shopping bag along. Laziness did the rest. (And I've been as guilty as anyone else in that laziness in the past).
Re: An Erotic Exotic Eastern Delight and Wild Wacky Western Treat In a PACT....
@amanfrommars1 - I'd stay off the stripey smarties and see the doc about that nasty case of bit-rot, if I were you...
MS;'s big mistake was in strongly coupling the GUI to the OS in the sense that they try to force users to accept a new GUI when they get a new version of Windows. Had they made their new ideas for GUIs options that one could try , rather than defaults that one had to work to get shot of if one didn't like them, then users would have been much happier.
That's one of the things I really like about Linux - the fact that there are multiple GUIs I can choose from and use whichever suits me best without having to ditch the entire OS.
Yes - I am aware that workplace deployment is a rather different kettle of fish from allowing home users freedom of choice, and that IT support bods probably wouldn't want their users to have too many GUI choices just so as not to wear down their sanity any faster than need be.. But as has been pointed out many times above, a UI usable on a large desktop screen isnt going to work well on a small phone touchscreen and vice-versa. Even if MS had simple options in the Settings for, say "Classic, Phone, Flavour-of-the-year" it'd be better (and I'm betting most folks would stick with Classic at work)
Right - back to my bottle of vino and bowl of popcorn whilst MS crashes and burns..
Facebook's inflection point: Now everyone knows this greedy mass surveillance operation for what it is
Re: Advertising is clever, subliminal.
@BlockChainToo +1 from me for that. What advertising agencies really dont; want people to realise, IMHO, is that if all advertising stopped with immediate effect, people would still be buying stuff.. They'd still be buying roughly the same monetary amount of stuff, because of the way the economic system works. In short, advertising as a whole is mainly a job employment scheme for people in the advertising industry, at consumer expense.
What advertising does best for those with products to sell is to (a) initially inform folk of the presence of new products available to buy and (b) occasionally shift customer spend from one product to another. Whilst, yes, there is data that shows that advertising can be 'effective', what one needs to know is what is actually meant by 'effective' in that context. An advertisers notion of 'effective' may not be the same as that of a retailer or a consumer, who may be using different metrics. and even if 'effective' is there a causal link? Hmmmnn
Sometimes the local shops stock odd brands one generally doesn't hear of, and some of them are pretty good, and thus get not only an initial sale out of curiosity from me, but repeat sales with no advertising involved simply because they are available to try and of adequate or good quality. Advertising isn't essential - and its utility is overblown, IMHO.
Re: The Four Yorkshiremen Sketch
@John Brown (no body) a web link? In an ee-lectronic calendar? Hellfire, tha's lucky! When I were a lass we had nowt but a slab of granite and a flint to inscribe notable dates onto it with!
Re: Antikythera Mechanism - dinousaurs
Yeah - that ruddy great crater by the Yucatan peninsula wasn't an asteroid, it was a Kerbal ship lithobraking!
There is no point in poor quality patents - such are bad for business, unless your business is being a patent troll or a lawyer. Poor quality patents result in increased costs to businesses generally, which is just about the opposite of what the EU wants. The sooner the farce at the EPO is halted and that dickhead currently in charge of it ousted and replaced by someone more interested in getting the job done properly than in mere numbers processed, the better.
Re: "..located in the area around Newquay airport and Goonhilly..."
I believe they;re looking at horizontal take-off access to space via Skylon, rather than Space X type access. In which case, whilst yes, a location nearer the equator is nice, but certainly not essential. The Russians walloped the Americans during the space race up until Apollo, and their launch sites were all further north than Florida.
But in any case - if thur bain't be pasties and cream teas in space, Oi bain't goin'!
Software As A Disservice?
Re: We don't need no education
@Bombastic Bob Hmmn. From this side of the Pond, seems to me that if the US has a very expensive educational system and yet gets poor results therefrom, that surely argues against having a privately run educational system, as companies inevitably charge as much as they possibly can for whatever service they're providing, in order to enrich shareholders. Whereas government is supposed to act in the best interests of ALL the citizens it represents, not just the wealthy few. (although given the US voting system is so open to abuse by wealthy organisations, I guess one could argue slightly the other way, but so far as I can tell the states individually have the same problem as the US as a whole, there..)
Still not seeing what your problem with the notion of human-created climate change is, Bob. Year on year, more data supports that we're having a warming effect on the climate, putting more energy into the system, and thus helping to drive more extreme weather events. One can work out the average amount of heat generated by (or on behalf of) each human on the planet, and as our population increases unless the power/heat generated goes down, the overall effect is to add heat to the planet, affecting our climate and weather. then there's the effect of gaseous pollutants, changes in albedo due to land use, etc. ..
Given that there were just 3,000 million people on the planet when I was born, and there's now more than that number of extra people on the planet, and that the rate of urbanisation has increased even faster, it just doesn't seem credible that there's be NO effect on weather/climate, Bob, which is the stance that you appear to be taking. And as someone not directly involved in the field (but with degree-level education), I have to apply Occam's Razor - if the bulk of scientists doing climate science say that human activities are causing effects on the climate that would not otherwise have happened, then the bulk are probably right, because so many capable minds have looked at the evidence, done the mathematics, checked, re-checked and come to the same conclusion.
Heck, I've had a turn-around in my own thinking about the size of population we might be able to feed thanks to a paper on urban farming that I've seen recently. To my extreme surprise, it does indeed look like technically we could feed far more folk than I'd thought. Whether or not we'll have the political will or let factionalism overcome simple humanity and do so or not is another matter, but technically, I can see that we're not necessarily as doomed on the feeding folk front as I had thought - because I've seen compelling evidence to the contrary.
Still not seeing compelling evidence against human-created climate change, though, Bob...
So THAT explains it!
I wondered what the heck had happened at the BBC this last year or so.. this requiring a sign-in malarkey for every durned thing, I contacted the Beeb to ask why they were requiring a login in order for folks to use iPlayer when they hadn't for years, and they deliberately ignored my point and woffled on about 'personalisation' etc. SoI asked why one shouldn't be able to use iplayer exactly as before (ie: without signing in) if one doesnt want to have a 'personalised' experience, and they ignored that too. And I see that now teh buggers are requiring a login for the weather page if you want it to remember more than one location. And no response whatsoever to my pointing out that any large database will inevitably leak and/or get hacked.
Well, sod that - so I'm going TV-licence free, havent watched TV in months, and can't use iplayer now anyway ('cause I refuse to set up an account). But at least now I know what's happened at the Beeb - Aunty has been swept off her feet by a large supply of chocolates and is hooking up with a paramour that'll break her heart whenever Google wishes.
Sigh. This future world's more shite than I'd've expected back in proper time. Can I go back to my own timeline now, please? :-}
(exit stage left to the proper universe, whilst old biddy mutter-grumbling)
Re: Ahh...the old 'drain the power...
@AC - it's OK, we know what to do with non-functional users around here..
Cattle-prods, the answer to so many of life's little problems...
Women beat men to jobs due to guys' bad social skills. Whoa – you mad, fellas? Maybe these eggheads have a point...
@Brewster's Angle Grinder - there's a caveat to that; other studies have shown that hormone levels in 'average' people tend to be have slightly negative effects compared with folk whose hormone levels (whether of testiosterone or oestogen) are unusually low. One study I saw even appeared to show a slightly higher normal IQ in folk who are hormonally nearer the middle than average males and females.
So it could well be that the testosterone per se doesn't induce fairness - it;s the dragging of the average hormonal environment to the centre that does. (I would add that my personal experiences seem to confirm this)
Re: A good read?!
Feminism is not about belittling men; it is about improving the lot of humanity. That it is called feminism is because the world the movement was born into was one that was so heavily skewed against women. My grandmother was born legally a chattel of her husband, my mother never had any chance of similar pay to men, whilst I never quite reached parity with male employees for doing the same work - this in the UK. Violence against women is rife worldwide, and this needs to stop, as does harmful attitudes towards men and what their role in society 'should' be. Yes, Le Guin's writing was feminist. I do wish those who criticise feminism would take the trouble to actually find out what it is about!
Re: Coming home
If it hits Swindon, just so long as it doesn't destroy the statue of Lola Vavoom, all's well..
Re: Much more likely to die of other natural causes..
A pregnant wife counts as a helath hazard? Or do you mean if you had a pregant wife then you would go to sleep with a couple of mobile phones strapped to your head? 8-}
Sounds like a job for fatso
"Able Seaman Johnson! Come on, I'll collect the water in these buckets, whilst you take the full ones up top and dump the water over the side, hurry up now, there's a good lad!"
"Why's it gotta be me climbs all them stairs? You're rotten, Chiefy, you're a rotten rotten rotten, and I don't like it, and you're rotten!"
Re: Black arm bands for everyone
mmm freedom to starve on the streets and catch and of diseases that one wouldn't expect folk in a civilised first world country to get, because America is being ruled by money-grabbing sociopaths instead of any sense of social conscience : http://www.dw.com/en/poverty-in-us-set-to-increase-due-to-donald-trumps-policies-says-un-official/a-41819961
What kind of freedom is it when the system is so biased against you that you can't get out of poverty because employers are not paying livable wages, because government won't enforce that they do? Government is there to provide essential services and look after its citizens when in need, not happily watch them starve on the streets, Big John - or at least, that's the view in Europe. And I can tell you, here in the UK most of us are heartily sick of the over-influence of the US on UK politics. It's that sociopathic, uncaring "dollars first" attitude that has been eroding that which was best about the UK and making things worse over here.
The Tories attempts to push us towards the US model has brought us worse healthcare, worse public transport, greater homelessness, and worse unemployment. Yes, I can still recall when the Tories had the gall to lambast Labour with posters saying "one million unemployed -Labour isn;t working" - the tories would LOVE to have as few as a million unemployed nowadays! Tory policies don't benefit anyone but the already well off - as soon as poor folk are paying less taxes, rents go up, into the pockets of landlords. But as taxation has reduced, surprise, surprise, there's less money for public health services. Yet billions can be found at the drop of a hat to bail out corrupt bankers or give contracts for a slightly faster rail link between our major cities that benefits very few other than construction comany sharholders. Yet it would seem our Tories are angels compared to Americas Republicans.
Thing is, Big John, your Democrats are about on a par with what our Tories used to be - focused on capitalism, but with a social conscience. Whereas your Republicans just make nice sounding blather whislt funneling ever more money towards themselves whilst grinning and saying "woe to the weak!" amongst themselves. Trump isn't for the poor and downtrodden - he's a self-serving, multiply-bankrupt misogynist homophobic transphobic egomaniac that is set on nothing but self-aggrandisment, even at the expense of turning the USA into an international laughing-stock, even at the expense of impoverishing millions of his fellow citizens, even at the expense of destroying the democracy he is supposed to be in charge of. Parallels with Rome have been made by others, but Trump is no Caesar, except in his flagrant disregard for the existing constitution, the truth, and even reality - he is more like Caligula - mad, bad, and as all too many are finding out already, dangerous to know. Trump is more likely to break America than make it great. The barbarians aren't at the gates of the USA, they're internal - and Trump is their leader.
Re: I have been to a Sisters of Mercy gig...
Bless you, AC, for bringing TMT to my attention! Have a beer!
Cheap, secure, convenient - you can only have two of 'em...
IT, I remember when you and I were both relatively young and shiny. Ah, happy times! You and I had such fun together, I'd invent algoritms and code them for you, and they fit you so well, you ran so sweetly, and I adored you, and wanted to make you happy. I'd fondle your blue cabinets and massage your tape disks into place, and you'd mumble sweet nothings into my eyeballs. You were mine, I was yours, and we were happy together.
But now we're older, I got bigger as you got smaller, and you've turned into a promiscuous constantly nagging harridan with eyes for just about anyone but me. Well, I've had enough. I am a human being, not a doormat to bend to your every whim without any consideration of what I want. You may have come into your prime just as I have left mine behind, but I showed you far more consideration when you were young and in need of careful handling than you show me now that I am getting old and frail. I REALLY don't want to catch something nasty secondhand from one of your 'friends'. One can only take so much childish and abusive behaviour before one has to admit the relationship's broken, and I am calling time on ours.
I am packing my bags and buggering orft back to the mid-late 20th century, where I was much happier. You, 'dear', can go f**k yourself. Oh, I see you already are. Charming.
(slams door, walks away)
Re: Like all software
@Pu02 - I feel it'd be harsh to give you a downvote, so I haven't, but one of the things that was enormously pissing me off in the tail end of my recently-ended IT career was the fact that so many UI's were actually becoming less user-friendly over time. What they were becoming was more arty, showy, featureful, slower, confusing and user-hostile.
Re: Real High Virtual Roller Stakes Poker Play ....... for Phantom Ghost Hosters.
@amanfrommars1 - 'ere - you bin at moi zoider, young man? Gerrof ahtovit! It bain't fer younguns loik you!
@Rameses Niblick etc (lovely moniker, btw!) - no. Squirrels are called squiggles, because when they move fast they run in a squiggly kinda way, squiggle, squiggle, squiggle.... (says my inner 7-year old)
SQL is pronounced sequel by folk who are trying to get the job done and haven't got all day to worry about what some twonk thinks about how it should be pronounced.
GIF is pronounced with a g-sound identical to that in the word graphics, because that's where the g in it comes from. See previous reference to not caring about twonks with too much time on their hands.
I'm loving the change from being a helldesker to being a hort (note that T on the end!) which is what horticultural students are called - I no longer GIF a fsck how folk pronounce SQL. It's fun leveraging the synchronicties of object-oriented living! And who'da thunk my left boot makes a decent de-bugging tool? Hort's kinda like open source, too, as the answer to a lot of things seems to be to fork it!
Icon because I'm enjoying a nice glass of the college's very own sweet cider. First time I've really enjoyed using the products created where I work!
@frankly - I got made redundant recently and am now taking a degree in horticulture (YES! I've finally escaped the clutches of IT!). At least I'll be able to grow me own food if/when the UK economy collapses due to the dunderheadedness of HM Govt.
Re: How to solve Brexit.
It'd be way better if the HM Govt decided that cancellng Blue Streak was a bad idea, decided to get the UK a serious home-grown space programme again, and asked BAE to build Skylon using engines built by Reaction engines. Thta'd be BAE jobs saved, Reaction engines with firm orders for the future, the UK with a native launch to LEO capability, and money coming in from abroad with kit purchases and launch contracts.
But nooo, far better blowing billions on HS2... </sarcasm>
Re: I think I prefer...
Noes! Can haz LOLCODE!
Already been sorted. See 'plug nozzle' design. It's lke an inside-out bell nozzle; the plug in the middle acts as one side of the nozzle, and the surrounding atmosphere the other side. To keep the plug to a reasonable length, an aerospike nozzle can be used. This uses gas vented through a stubby plug - typically exhaust from the turbopumps that drive fuel into the reactio chamber - to from the pointy bit of the plug. Such nozzles automatically compensate for altitude from sea level all the way up to vaccuum.
We've known how to do this for decades. Since the 1970's at least.
Re: A, ey?
@BomgoJoe - nah, that's someone doing 'long eared rabbit' in the projector beam in a particulaly dull meetng, 'cause Powerpoint has mercifully died
@AC - I suggest that some of us are old enough - more than old enough - to remember proper billions (ten to the twelfth) and trillions (ten to the eighteenth) and that's why the values we say sometimes sound wrong to youngsters raised on governmentally-downsized billions and trillions.
Re: you should never wash a pair of jeans
Terribly sorry to have to correct Sir, but it is the job of Sir's valet to deal with the washing of Sir's jeans, not Sir's butler.
Re: It really needs to be sold globally.
@Telwaz - give one o'they boxes to me, and I'll show yer 'Granny proof', eheheh...
All of the above - and more
"Now over to you, dear readers. If it’s the battery, the archaic UI, the Apple tax, or something else that keeps you from an iPhone: let us know. Write in the No.1 missing feature for you in the Comments."
For a phone, I want battery life in days, not hours. I want a UI that makes using the functions I want of a phone pleasant to use, not irritatingly fiddly, I am not interested in making rich people richer at the expense fo myself and the poor sods actually making the device, and I want a device that is unequivocally MY device, not one effectively leased from one company and under the sway of another any time it likes.
For a pocket computer, I want a battery life of a couple of days if possible, but 6 hours minimum, and full control over the machine, with an operating system of my choosing.
<Jediwave>I am not the target audience you are looking for, Apple</Jediwave>
This has all the hallmarks of what I expected pocket computers to become back when I first started fooling around with them (I had a Sharp PC1211, and then other pocktables, like the Sharp PC1500 and Casio FX702) - and yes, I very much want something like this. I don't give a monkeys if modern phones have the same kind of computing power - in the condition they're sold they don't really belong to you. (And I've had a taste of what Android is liek tehse days from the secondhand Samsung tablet I purchased for use soley as a media player. It is bloody awful, and actually user-hostile in places, IMO) A Linux machine I can do useful work with and stick in my handbag? That'll do nicely, if executed well and not too horribly expensive. I await further news on this with interest!
Get back to your what, Dabbsy?
"Look, whatever, just let me get back to my box set." - you have a set of boxes? What are you a cat with kittens? Oh a boxed set of DVDs or BluRays you meant? Well why didn't you say so?!
(mutters about the youngsters today buggering the language...) <grin> Mines the one with the wooly hat and the OAP bus pass in the pocket.
Re: "...18 to 24-year-olds..."
I've had 78 and I'm 59.
Re: Iain M Banks lives!
If I were Elon Musk, I'd be sorely tempted to gift ULA a landing barge called "Catch Me If You Can" or some such, just for the laugh.
More like too many companies aren't willing to allow any kind of feedback from users of their products. I still shudder recalling efforts to give feedback to a couple of companies, both of whom assumed that absolutely everything any customer might complain about could be adequately answered by a FAQ, but theyd make you jump through multiple hoops and several web pages before it became apparent that their 'contact us' section didn't really hold any contact details at all, unless you fancied making an international phonecall to spend upwards of half an hour discussing with someone what you found problematic about the product in question and why - rather than being allowed teh ease of sending an email or completing a text box in a web form.
Re: I suppose it would not be considered friendly
@Neil Barnes - genius! Have an upvote from me. Hmmn, I think I know a chap who might know how to fake such stuff, I wonder if he fancies a free Italian meal? :-)
That wouldn't have been large enough to let astronauts experience more than microgravity, though, due to its small diameter. II'd love to see something like, say four Bigelow B330 units such that two form a cetral axis, with two on cables at right angles, spinning around the central axis. Use one of the two outer B330;s for plant experiments, and teh other for human experiments. Rig 'elevators' to transport astronauts from teh core two modules to the outer two. Not entirely sure whether that'd be dynamically stable, might need three or fout units out on cables, instea dof two, but you get the idea. You would, of course, ensure that each B330 unit had plenty of emergency supplies and an emergency 'scooter' so that if something bad like a cable snapping happened, folk in teh outer modules could get back to teh spoke modules, which could, if need be, be detached from teh rest and allow teh astronauts to await rescue.
Re: Surely men should be offered a free shot
Ahem - my namesake does NOT wear fishnets - it's stripey tights and more layers of petitcoats than you can shake a wizard's staff at. Hobnail boots is perfect, though.