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Ask Slashdot: What To Do After Digitizing VHS Tapes?

CAOgdin A comprehensive backup solution (267 comments)

I have developed scripts that manage my backups. Because I'm always experimenting with computer systems and apps, I make 100% backups, every day, for every computer. Each computer makes it own scheduled backup, copies it to one central system, then shuts down.

In the wee hours, the central system (an old, low-power XP box) makes it own backup, and then copies ALL the backups for that day to an attached external 1TB drive.

The central external drive has a hierarchy of backups (e.g.: P:\Backup\Backup\Backup). When each computer makes its' backup, it starts a copying process. That process makes sure that any older backups for that specific, named system are pushed down in the queue, and the oldest one is discarded THEN, I copy this evening's backup to that drive.

I have three 1 TB drives: One is connected to the central system and hold "this weeks' backups" (depending on how often I decide to change it); the next drive is the one most-recently retired from service, held nearby in case I have to go back several days or a week to find something; the third drive is stored in a safe place, off-site, so even if my building burned down, I've still got a lot of backups I could use to restore new computers from scratch.

When last months' MS Windows Update fiasco struck, all I had to do was restore the C: partition on the affected machines from last night's backup, and I was back in business without a hitch.

Finally, the reason I wrote these scripts for commercial backup software is that if backups aren't completely automatic, they'll never get made, so you won't have the critical data to recover when you need it. I've been thinking about reprogramming the CMD scripts in another language, to commercialize it, because loss of critical business (or even personal videos, photos, etc.) data is still a problem for those who choose not to use up all their bandwidth on a "cloud" service (although that could be easily added). It may sound like overkill to some, but I nearly NEVER lose my O.S., configurations, apps or data.

4 days ago

The Lovelace Test Is Better Than the Turing Test At Detecting AI

CAOgdin About those "paltry contributions"... (285 comments)

You exist. Were you not born from the body of a woman? Pretty amazing, if you ask me.

about 2 months ago

The Lovelace Test Is Better Than the Turing Test At Detecting AI

CAOgdin A Turing "Surprise" Test (285 comments)

I have always respected both Ada Lovelace's and Alan Turing's genius, but the "Turing Test" has always seemed too simplistic for me. For my purposes in discussing the matter I use what I call the Alan Turing "Surprise" Test: Can a computer produce relevant responses with an unexpected but relevant response (aka "surprise") in them? Examples include puns, twists-of-phrase, sarcasm, and other artifacts of a quick-thinking conversationalist. (And, for the record, I don't consider Trolls as members of any of these classes; their range of responses is severely limited in context and devoid of any pretense of humanity. Some of you can prove that in the responses here.)

Eliza and its' various successors have never qualified, and so far only rudimentary steps have been made toward the elementary Turing Test. However, the goal is to determine whether a human can distinguish between another human's responses and a computer's responses. I'd put my Turing-Surprise test right in between the traditional definition of the Turing Test and the Lovelace Test.

about 2 months ago

Congressman Asks NSA To Provide Metadata For "Lost" IRS Emails

CAOgdin This is the FATAL FLAW... (347 comments) the reasoning behind NSA acting as the national backup.

Some politician (Stockman is not a surprise, by any means) will demand the data, supposedly used for National Security ONLY, must be allowed to be used for political purposes. If the government lets this one work, then think about how Nixon's Enemies List would have been managed using NSA data, and it spells the end of democracy.

Stockman is too dumb to even KNOW this is why the Patriot Act was so BAD: It abolished the pretense that the government wasn't spying on everybody...ala 1984 (only 30 years' later). This is the very abuse of the NSA over-reaching data collection policies that Snowden warned us about (as have others before him). This will be the test case for whether universal surveillance is now national policy...but they'll cover it up by providing the data in secret, publicly denying it, and then claiming, "This is why we can't share information; we need MORE right to trample the Bill of Rights!."

Forewarned is forearmed.

about 3 months ago

Ask Slashdot: Best Rapid Development Language To Learn Today?

CAOgdin AutoIt, Hands Down! (466 comments)

While I started programming in '62, and have used more than 50 languages, I'm now semi-retired and don't write code for a living. While I'll dash off a CMD script on Windows for a "quicky" I write my final code in AutoIt ( It's free, and you can go from novice to Windows-innards programming in one tool. While it's a native interpreter (like LISP) you can compile it into an executable program (like C).

You already know the four basic operations (Sequence, Condition, Iteration and Functions; see, and the comparable four basic data types (Value, List, Matrix and Linked), because you've used C...but Lots of Irritating Single Parentheses (LISP) is not much use as a utility program creator.

Go download AutoIt's Quick Guide and "Learning to Script with AutoIt," and you'll have a practical tool that's easy to learn, but incredibly deep in the use of Functions (your LISP experience will help), and great on-line community who've shared lots of code and offer ready help as you're starting out.


about 3 months ago

Misogyny, Entitlement, and Nerds

CAOgdin Re:Rape Culture? (1198 comments)

So, it is women's problem, eh? Let's be clear: Rape has nothing to do with sex; it is an act of VIOLENCE. If you don't understand that, you're truly the "Anonymous Coward" as which you post.

about 4 months ago

Misogyny, Entitlement, and Nerds

CAOgdin Thank you, from my heart... (1198 comments)

For all the misogynists who have been responding to this as "flamebait," let this 73 y.o. woman (in the industry for 57 years) speak the truth: YOU ARE THE PROBLEM!

I have been gracefully mentored and respected by great men, among them Bill Orchard-Hayes and Eli Hellerman. In my career I have been spat upon, and ignored and insulted by more male technologists I can care to count. The best time of my life was for a decade--while consulting with Fortune 500 CxO-level men--who responded to me on the basis of the quality and relevance of my contributions. In those same companies, I was subjected to multiple indignities by young males who complained that I was getting heard, and they weren't. There's truth in the idea that women (in technology, at least, that's where I've spent my life) have to work twice as hard to be considered half as good.

While I've never been physically assaulted, I sympathize with those who have been (whether female or male, or in-between). The problem is with the anger of the attacker, not the gender of the victim. Many men (and many men in this forum, and in our industry) need a good dose of sensitivity training.

Remember, should you choose to respond to this post, that I will be assessing whether you are sensitive or crass, smart or dumb, considerate or inconsiderate, human or subhuman. It's your intrinsic values on show here in /. I don't ask what you believe. I observe your behavior and deduce what you believe, as does every thinking adult. --Carol Anne

about 4 months ago

How the FCC Plans To Save the Internet By Destroying It

CAOgdin Re:I sent this to each of the Commissioners: (217 comments)

The rules were the safe for all at the time. That there were claim-jumpers and other cheats does not change the government's role in trying to create a level playing field. I would liken the cheaters to today's 1% (One of whom recent was quoted as saying, "It is not enough I can fly First Class, but all the rest should be in Coach").

about 5 months ago

How the FCC Plans To Save the Internet By Destroying It

CAOgdin I Understand Why (217 comments)

You Would Post as AC.

about 5 months ago

How the FCC Plans To Save the Internet By Destroying It

CAOgdin I sent this to each of the Commissioners: (217 comments)

The United States of America was founded on principles of justice and freedom for all.

o During the Oklahoma Land Run of 1889, there were no special "carve-outs" for people of wealth. Every participant started racing at the sound of the starter's gun.

o When railroads were built, there were special coaches for first class, but they were part of the same train, going at the same speed, along the same route, to the same destination.

o While the rich can buy their own jet aircraft, the Air Traffic Control system that manages all aircraft in the skies give no special treatment to the jet aircraft, nor the lone pilot in a Piper Cub.

o When Eisenhower created the Interstate Highway system, he did not mandate special travel lanes for trucks or limousines; all traffic uses the same routes.

Every one of these historical innovations lifted up the poor, the middle class, and the rich. As a result, we became the world's most respected democracy, and the model for many other, newer countries to emulate.

Now, the FCC would like to change all that history and allow those who can afford to pay for a "special lane" on the Internet, crowding out other traffic, and making it slower. It will reward the oligarchs and penalize the common citizen.

I have been in the computer and electronics industry, from bench technician to CEO, since 1957. Now retired, I have watched as the very rich people, and the very large corporations have worked tirelessly in recent decades to destroy that equality of opportunity. If we are to survive as a nation, we must return to a democracy, with every citizen treated fairly and equitably.

We should, instead, be requiring our "common carriers" to expand their Internet capacity, robustness and security for all. Where there is plenty of reliable capacity, everyone will have the opportunity to use the Internet without disadvantage. The large carriers, like Comcast (which the FCC has misclassified), AT&T, Verizon, et. al., have been intentionally restricting their expansion of the Internet to make it slower and slower. Yes, they save the investments they should be making. But, deeper and more cynically, they have been intending to leverage those self-imposed restrictions into higher prices for these restricted servicesby adding a special lane for those willing to pay.

"Demos" is the Greek word for people; "kratia" is the Greek word for rule. Democracy puts the emphasis on people deciding how to rule. When appointed public officials usurp that decision-making to favor one class of people (or corporations) over another, it has violated basic democratic principles. The consequences will be uncomfortable for the citizens, and will erode our principles and the quality of our beloved nation.

You are a public, appointed official. I trust you will decide on the basis of democracy that the rich deserve no more preferential treatment than the middle class or the poor. We need to expand our Internet capacity for all, not make it available only to the highest bidders, driving all prices upward for the benefit of the already-rich.

about 5 months ago

Website Checkout Glitches: Two Very Different Corporate Responses

CAOgdin Companies Should Honor The Published Prices... (303 comments)

...and Specs, even if they are absurdly wrong, but ONLY if they expect to keep their "The Brick" will no doubt discover.

This isn't, to me, a moral issue: It is just acknowledging that sometimes mistakes happen, and the customer has behaved by buying into those terms as offered. The customer isn't wrong here; they're just taking advantage of an apparent price advantage. The seller isn't wrong here; they just made a mistake.

"Customer satisfaction" is a core principle of capitalism, although many capitalists (to their own disadvantage) still refuse to understand that fact.

about 9 months ago

Ask Slashdot: Managing Device-Upgrade Bandwidth Use?

CAOgdin Re:3Mbps?!?? (159 comments)

AT&T Still think it IS High-speed! (I, too, am rural, and getting the fastest speed I can...3 Mb/s...and cursing AT&T every hour of the day for their focus on THEIR profit, not any customers' quality of service.

Of course, if you're willing to pay them thousands of dollars a month, they'll happily give you higher speed...but not a worldwide comparable rates.

Broadband, in the home country of broadband, still sucks, and AT&T, Verizon, and all the other crooks enabled by the FCC (the head of the agency came from one of the major firms) have a singular pricing policy: Summarized, it is: "BEND OVER!"

about 9 months ago

Ask Slashdot: Best/Newest Hardware Without "Trusted Computing"?

CAOgdin's against trusted computing... (290 comments)

What an ignorant troll. What "WiFI" module that you can't change? What make and model? I just changed/upgraded several WiFi Modules in Dell laptops in the past few days to gain speed and reliability.

And, when you finally need to buy parts for that "ThinkPenguin" or other small-time maker, where will you go? At least with a major manufacturer, I know I can still buy a replacement powerswitch or cover hinge when I need one, years after the products is no longer being sold.

This sounds like the AC posting is an employee of the company they extol...even to the extent of theorizing BIOS might become "open" at some future date. What a CROCK!

On the issue of TPM: It's there if I ever need it...but because I don't install the software for it, it appears to be abandoned and affects nothing people do on these computers.

about a year ago

Cell Phones For Science: BOINC Now Available For Android

CAOgdin When BOINC Drive Out the Bugs... (70 comments)

...that cause every Windows system to crash and have to be powered-off to resume...I'll consider putting it on my phone! --CAO

about a year ago

Ask Slashdot: Asynchronous RAID-1 Free Software Backup For Laptops?

CAOgdin I use two superb products (227 comments)

1. For keeping two drives synchronized, check out GoodSync. It's powerful, and I use it to keep two separate computers holding identical copies of two major folders of data synchronized, so if one goes down, there's minimal loss of data (1 hour, max) I use this, for example, to keep a client's two 1TB collections of photos and iTunes synchronized.

2. For making backups that are compact, efficient and easy to recover, look at "Disk Snapshot". It's inexpensive, robust and I've never experienced a restore failure. I make "Disk Snapshot" images of every computer, every night, in a development environment. That way, if the thing I just did breaks the system, I can restore a 100 GB Drive is less than an hour by booting from a CD and pointing to the backup on an external drive.

about a year ago

China Criticizes US For Making Weapon Plans Steal-able, Alleges Attacks From US

CAOgdin Re:China is America (209 comments)

Appropriate you list yourself as a "Coward." Unsubstantiated opinions that fly in the face of logic are cowardly.

about a year ago

Banking Malware, Under the Hood

CAOgdin Re:I Fixed One Of These Recently (92 comments)

Gee, should I never eat again, because the food might be contaminated?

I said I fixed one instance. I didn't say I solved the entire malware problem!

about a year ago

Banking Malware, Under the Hood

CAOgdin I Fixed One Of These Recently (92 comments)

This malware (which puts up the appearance of a credit/debit card and asks for all you information) calls a server in the Ukraine. It was delivered by eMail (to a naive user) and intercepts attempts to reach your financial institution via their website. It presents, after login (did they capture the login info?), a panel looking like the credit/debit card, asking for the user to fill in all information, including account number, CVC, address, and other personal information (why anyone would fill in that data is beyond me!)

After much gnashing of teeth, I discovered it was undetectable by any known virus checker I use (AVG, Malwarebytes, Spybot), so I had to dig deeper. It turned out that the malware was using any references to (local machine) for it's hook. All I had to do was edit the HOSTS file and add the domain names of the miscreant with a reference to a different IP address that is known to be a deadend (you could, for example, use

When the malware couldn't execute, it couldn't disable the various malware detectors, and several files were then identified and removed.

about a year ago


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