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Microsoft's Missed Opportunities: Memo From 1997

BigDish Re: Microsoft "At Home" lab is a bust (161 comments)

And how do you suggest I pick the time to set my timer to, given that drying time is variable when I use the dryness sensor of my dryer.

If you don't want to pay for it, buy a cheap dryer. I'd rather have a high-end one.

about 6 months ago

Microsoft's Missed Opportunities: Memo From 1997

BigDish Re:Microsoft "At Home" lab is a bust (161 comments)

Disagreed - I DO want an intelligent dryer. That's not to say I want a heavy-weight OS or the ability to browse the internet on it, but my dryer is in my basement and I can't hear the buzzer. I DO want my smartphone to notify me when the cycle is done so I can go get the clothes. Nerd-things, like being able to see current temp/humidity inside would be a bonus, but just to know when it's done would be a huge selling point.

Disclaimer: I haven't shopped for a dryer in a few years - perhaps this exists now. It didn't when I last looked.

about 6 months ago

Chinese-Built Cars Are Coming To the US Next Year

BigDish Re:Tonka Tough (431 comments)

I work for a small company that manufactures things. We have had the same product build by 3 different Contract Manufacturers (CMs) - 1 in the US, 1 in India, 1 in China.

India CM:
Downright horrible. Build quality was horrible. Constantly missed deadlines and turned small problems (that were known ahead of time) into crisis by not telling us until it was too late

"OK" - better than the India CM, but still had manufacturing issues. Most expensive

China CM:
Very good - cheapest and best quality

We are a US based company, FWIW. The language and time barriers can be challenging, but we have gotten the best pricing and build quality out of China.

about 7 months ago

Ask Slashdot: Tech Customers Forced Into Supporting Each Other?

BigDish I work for a company that does this (253 comments)

I work for a company that does this for one of our products (not our main product, but a mobile app) simply because the app would otherwise be unprofitable. We typically sell the app or $3, and this app is to control an external device (not ours), so can require some configuration of the customer's environment. It's not something simple like a game, but it actually interacts with other things on the customer's network.

It's not a great situation, but there's just no way to support the users that need help setting up port forwarding on their router, re-configuring AV software, etc, on a $3 app. If we provided regular 1:1 support on a $3 app, it wouldn't make business sense for us to sell the app. If we raised the price to something like $20, I'd bet no one would buy it and we would STILL have many customers that want their hand held through everything.

about 8 months ago

FBI Need Potheads To Fight Cybercrime

BigDish Re:Would they just put up with it for a key hire? (319 comments)

Funny...you think tech companies drug test. I worked for MS for 5 years - I *NEVER* heard of an FTE there getting a drug test, even on hire. I never took one. I've since left and work for another tech company. Most of the owners (it's a ~30 person company) know I smoke, and I've smoked with some of them. I have friends at Apple, Google, and Amazon. Again, no drug tests.

Tech companies basically can't drug test - they would have to fire 1/2 of their employees.

about 8 months ago

Asus CEO On Windows RT: "We're Out."

BigDish Good Riddance (246 comments)

I own an Asus WinRT tablet - I actually love the tablet software, but hate the hardware. I say this as a person that owns multiple other tablets (2 Android tablets, a HP Touchpad, and brought but returned an iPad) WinRT is "enough" Windows to be useful that I can use it in place of a laptop in a pinch, but still enough tablet. My beef is the Asus hardware sucks, such as:
Poor design (dock connector digs into my hand, needs adapter for USB port, etc)
Poor reliability (3 warranty repair trips, including one time it didn't even work when it came back)
Poor support (Warranty turnaround time slow, have to provide my own box/pay for shipping, etc)

I very much like Windows RT, but hate the Asus tablet and wish I bought an MS Surface. Asus, you're the problem on this one, not MS.

about a year and a half ago

IBM In Talks To Sell x86 Server Business To Lenovo

BigDish Re:Really? Look what Lenovo has done to ThinkPad. (202 comments)

You really need to look at the competition. HP is miles ahead of IBM in terms of servers (and IMHO the best maker out there). The iLO alone absolutely destroys the IBM RSA and the Dell DRAC in terms of functionality.
If you want price, you go with Dell
If you want features, you go with HP

IBM gives you the features of Dell at the price of HP

about 2 years ago

What To Do When an Advised BIOS Upgrade Is Bad?

BigDish Re:Why not just desolder the chip... (467 comments)

These really aren't hard to do. I can take one off in under a minute, and I'm not even that good at it. SMT stuff is nowhere near as scary as people make it out to be.

about 2 years ago

Group Kickstarting a High-Bandwidth Software Defined Radio (SDR) Peripheral

BigDish Re:Expansion Boards Interfaces (140 comments)

I went to college with Robert, and ordered one of these on day 1 of the kickstarter. Tell Robert to get his ass in gear and make the downconverter - I need it to use for my intended purpose (tune 75MHz) :-)

about 2 years ago

NYC Data Center Needs Focus On Fuel

BigDish Re:Africa - grid is for backup (162 comments)

I've heard this before, but I've never seen the reasoning - why do the generators need full overhauls after running for a few days? Aren't these the same engines that are in trucks/construction equipment and run for thousands of overalls without an overhaul?

more than 2 years ago

FCC To Allow Cable Companies To Encrypt Over-the-Air Channels

BigDish Re:Do Not Want (376 comments)

My recorder is fine. I cut the cord long ago. But since the line is still active to me having a cable modem this solves the issue of getting a decent antenea in order to get the OTA's. Currently I can just plug my system / TV into the wall and still pickup those said channels as they are broadcast in clearQuam as required under current regulations.

This is exactly why they are doing this. What you are doing currently is considered theft of service.

more than 2 years ago

FCC Boss Backs Metering the Internet

BigDish Re:Innovate or become obsolete. That's where it's (515 comments)

So, to some extent, it's already being done today. Most commonly is a technology called Switched Digital Video deployed by some (mainly Time Warner and Cox) but not all MSOs. What this literally does is only "turn on" channels (generally less popular ones) when they are being watched. If no one is watching them, they are shut off. While this is not over IP, I felt it warranted mentioning as it fits into your goals.
Up next, we already have some MSOs (mainly FiOS) that deliver video on demand over IP, so there is already some desire by MSOs to go there for linear channels, too.
Lastly, AT&T UVerse actually is a video over IP solution (It's essentially video over IP over VDSL2+). There's no reason that traditional MSOs can't go this route (and in fact, many are looking in this direction for the future).
While I would personally love to see the competition from a fully switched network, I'm not certain this will happen. In the case of SDV, if a channel is already on, you will tune the existing channel - so you won't see 10 copies of the same channel switched on for 10 users. This means there is potentially a real infrastructure cost to the owner of the wires if they are required to allow others to use their channels. The same thing with AT&T UVerse - you join an IP multicast stream.
Also, any claims of bandwidth being exhausted on coax are generally false - the problem is the analog channels. On most cable systems, analog channels take up more bandwidth than all digital channels, data, and other services combined. On a completely digital system, built out to 1GHz, there is potentially about 5.5gbps worth of bandwidth available (using current modulation technologies that are already deployed). And this would most likely be limited to just the local HFC node (few hundred houses), so it wouldn't even be shared through that large group of people.
5.5gbps is enough for about 350-550 HD streams simultaneously (depending on if they are MPEG2 or MPEG4, bitrate, etc)

more than 2 years ago

ASUS Running Out of Hard Disks

BigDish Re:It doesn't appear in Disk Cleanup (207 comments)

It's not that simple. There are multiple code branches of Windows (LDR vs GDR) and the old files can be needed for future servicing. Assuming the OP is talking about the WinSxS folder, the OP basically just irreparably broke servicing (adding/removing features and hotfixes/service packs) on this Windows install.


more than 2 years ago

Apple AirPlay Private Key Exposed

BigDish Re:real easy innit (306 comments)

Have you ever tried to open one of the glued-together cases? That's by far more difficult than getting a girlfriend

more than 3 years ago

Windows XP SP2 Support Ends Tomorrow

BigDish Re:Note (251 comments)

XP x64 is really Server 2003 "Workstation Edition" - it's compiled from the Server 2003 code, thus uses the same patches (and has the same lifecycle) as Server 2003, not XP.

more than 4 years ago

Sidestepping A-to-D Convertors For Town Government's Cable TV?

BigDish Ceton/ATX Networks - exactly what you want (539 comments)


Does exactly what you want - it can bulk-decrypt cable channels and output them as CleaQAM. Unfortunately, if you only have 32 TVs, you likely can't afford it.

To be quite frank, Comcast doesn't care about you. 32 sets is a small setup. Something like that, or using modulators is how the big boys do it, but you're talking $10,000+ (if not $100,000+) depending on your requiements.

more than 4 years ago

What Advice For a Single Parent As Server Admin?

BigDish You need to ask "should I?" and not "how can I?" (618 comments)

Where to start: Scrap all your ideas and start over.
Yes, everything you asked for can be done. The reality is though is that, with the amount of complexity you are asking for, you will be a full time sysadmin for them - you might as well quit your day job now.

Your setup is simply too complex for a non-techie (and to be honest, as a techie, I don't want to have to admin something that complex at home). You need to stop asking "can I" and ask "should I?"

Windows PCs joined to active directory can let you manage them, set logon hours, etc.

Why do you care to know if the PCs are sleeping/on/off/whatever?

A router running DD-WRT will let you deny internet access based on hours and/or PCs in a simple manner. To be perfectly honest, I hate the concept of internet filtering (by parents or otherwise) as I believe it is another step toward turning people into drones, rather than teaching them to think for themselves, so I'm not even going to offer any suggestions on that subject.

I agree with the other posters, the system you have suggested will end as follows:
1. The kids will learn how to hack around it. This can be a good thing or bad thing, depending on your point of view
2. The system is so complex it will never work and the parent will never use it as they have no clue
3. You will grow to hate it as it will take too much of your time.

more than 4 years ago

Windows 7 On Multicore — How Much Faster?

BigDish Re:Something is wrong with Win7 power management (349 comments)

Keeping in mind that you have provided almost no information in your post, this is most likely either a BIOS bug or a configuration issue on Linux - I'm leaning toward both actually. Once the OS takes over power/thermal management from the BIOS, the BIOS basically stays out of the way - so Windows is getting control over your fan and managing it.
Upon soft rebooting, I would expect the BIOS to step back in, but it sounds like this isn't happening - here is the BIOS bug. Now, you likely do not have Linux configured correctly to do thermal management, so if you only boot in Linux, the BIOS is still handling it, but if you have loaded Windows first (and your buggy BIOS has not reset it) nothing is handling it.

more than 5 years ago


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