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Comments

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Laser Eye Surgery, Revisited 10 Years Later

Mycroft_514 Over 20 years ago (550 comments)

My mom had diabetic retinopathy laser surgery. After having the lenses removed the old fashioned way years before that (scalpel, while awake). There are also effects noted for divers, so between the fears from my mom's surgeries, the potential side effects to diving, and the probable changes as my eyes age even more, it just isn't worth it.

about 2 months ago
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Hackers Using Bots, Scripts To Lock Down Restaurant Reservations

Mycroft_514 Something about this story (214 comments)

just doesn't taste right to me....

about a year ago
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Ask Slashdot: CS Degree While Working Full Time?

Mycroft_514 NOVA Southeastern. (433 comments)

Many classes can be done online, others are done in clusters - brought to your town on evenings and weekends. You may have to do capstone on campus (for my MBA it was one week long class in Ft Lauderdale). So you save up vacation for the capstone... (I saved vacation, then my boss gave me the week as a training week - great boss).

I hear Webster is geared on the same model, but don't have the actual knowledge of them - you may want to investigate.

Agree with Phoenix being scam school. I actually looked into teaching for them once.... Not enough knowledge of DeVry to state about them.

about a year and a half ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Were You Taught About Computers In High School?

Mycroft_514 HS Class of 1977 (632 comments)

Junior year we had the new DEC PDP-8e. Single platter disk drive Mini. Took BASIC course that year. Next year they offered the advanced course for the first time. Took that. Senior year took third at the state math fair with a game program. Paper tape backup (still have some) Studied some of the assembler, and was one of a handful of students allowed to boot toggle the machine.

Today Database Adminsitrator for a fortune 10 company, BSCS, MBA, have spoken at an international conference several times.

Also, in 8th grade we did one section in programming in the advanced math class - by punched cards - Fortran

Between sophmore and jr years in HS actually did a short session of a couple weeks and programmed for the US government (fortran).

Learned programming more from my Dad (he had been in the field since about 1961)

Early TRS -80 in the house in 1977

about 2 years ago
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New Analyst Report Calls Agile a Scam, Says It's An Easy Out For Lazy Devs

Mycroft_514 Re:You get what you pay/wait for (491 comments)

Here here. Agile is nothing more than a rehash of what we called prototyping back in the late 80s / early 90s. You didn't think there was anything new under the sun did you?

The big problerm with Agile, the way it is practiced, is that you push 3 times as much rework on your DBAs and other support personal. Tell me - who costs more - a DBA or a developer?

Agile proponenets never facter in the higher costs of the support staff, since they are "already there". But what does it cost to extend your support staff when they are overloaded? Where do you get those scarce people as well?

more than 2 years ago
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Are Bad Economic Times Good for Free Software?

Mycroft_514 Actually (357 comments)

I paid full retail for my first photoshop (version 2.2) back in the day (1994). MS Office? 10$ for a fully licensed version thru my employer (That's professional version, including access and powerpoint).

OS - XP professional came with the machine, I would have to spend a lot of time to replace it, and it WOULD NOT RUN a piece of software on the machine that my company paid 1200$ for.

So, what would Linux cost to implement? No way to tell, because it can not do the job. So once again, the premise is faulty to start with. Linux is not a complete solution.

more than 3 years ago
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Best Places To Work In IT 2010

Mycroft_514 We came in on the list. (205 comments)

They go on and on about a series of awards - given out for various accomplishments. And the "low" turnover last year. Well sure, they cut our salary, but we stayed anyway to keep from becoming unemployed --- that's your low turnover.

But the company across the street came in 11 places ahead of us? Are the people that created this list insane? The place across the way doesn't pay well, but talks about big bonuses in their writeup. Then they go on about them paying for tuition for people - my question is where are the people going to college? The closest acredited school is 30 miles away and doesn't do much at night. All we have locally is community colleges and a couple of non-accredited "universities".

more than 4 years ago
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Toshiba Ends Incandescent Bulb Production After 120 Years

Mycroft_514 Re:so long... (430 comments)

And you are so wrong. It is a simple problem.

I have already put the new lights into almost all of my home lighting now. Eventually, all but ONE light will be replaced. That one 5 bulb chandelier REQUIRES 1 incadescent bulb in order to turn on correctly. The other 4 bulbs are the lower power lighting. They are a smattering of other bulbs still as incadescents, but as they burn out they are getting replaced. (Or as the one required incadescent burns out, I use one of those others to replace it and swap it for one of the low power ones.)

And before you get on with the "oh they have special bulbs for that" - tried them - they don't work.

So, GE, please keep manufacturing incadescents.

more than 4 years ago
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Which Math For Programmers?

Mycroft_514 It depends (466 comments)

Vector and such math is good if you want to go graphics and the like.

Algorithms and Automata theory is good if you want to go the Database administration route.

You pays your money and makes your choice.

As for Mathmaticians making the best programmers - sounds like a mathmatician talking to me. It ain't neccessarily so.

I chose the automata route myself, and I employed as a DBA for a fortune 10 company. However, with todays DBMSes, you might want to get some statistics under your belt.

more than 4 years ago
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COBOL Celebrates 50 Years

Mycroft_514 Re:Longevity (277 comments)

I was one of a team of 3 that wrote a system in COBOL in 1983. Last I heard it is still running. It generated Maintenance schedules for a large plant automatically.

The next system I worked on after that (1985-88) was running until the company sold the division that used it. Don't know what happened after that.

Code from 1996-7 is still running for a tax system for an insurance company.

Code from 1999-2000 is still ordering merchandise for a major entertainment company (A certain Mouse you know).

And if you send packages by certain LARGE corporations then you use COBOL behind the scences. I wrote a new COBOL program for one of those a few weeks ago (and I'm a DBA, not a developer).

more than 4 years ago
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COBOL Celebrates 50 Years

Mycroft_514 Re:75% of apps? Shaa, right! (277 comments)

Do you ship anything? Say with Fedex, UPS, or any of the other big shipping companies? Congratualtions, you have just created COBOL transactions.

more than 4 years ago
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Habitual Multitaskers Do It Badly

Mycroft_514 Typical (386 comments)

Define "multitasking" so that people are bound to fail, then measure the failure.

I define multitasking to include doing more then one task on my computer at a time. The trick is to start a long running BACKGROUND task and then do something requiring more attention in the foreground. It works very well.

So, I call this study INCOMPLETE. the peole doing it were probably playing video games while measuring their data - LOL!

about 5 years ago
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Getting a Classic PC Working After 25 Years?

Mycroft_514 How to communicate on this thing (533 comments)

Ok, I have somewhere at home, DOS 3.3 on a 720K floppy (And on the hard drive). AND --- AND ----- a working external 360K floppy on the same machine. This is an old Toshiba T1200, running an 8088 with 640K. I think I might have some old 360K garbage floppies around too, though I would have to look for them. I fire this beast up once a year or so, because it still does one thing the newer machines can't....RAW editting of a file on the disk hex bit by hex bit - the really old Norton Utilities....

Got this old machine new in 1988, then got a $100 class action suite return on it YEARS later.

And yes, I would like to see a 5.25" USB floppy somewhere too, just for grins and for a couple of old programs.

I also still have another machine that has a 1/2 height dual drive (5.25" 1.2 MB and 3.5" 1.4MB drive) and a tape drive and a CD drive..... And it is on my home LAN, so I can acces sit from the other machines.

more than 5 years ago
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GPS-Based System For Driving Tax Being Field Tested

Mycroft_514 Fat Chance (891 comments)

First, some states have the emissions checks done by private enterprises (CT for one). And then you get states like Florida, that do not do an Emissions check at all. In fact, there is no check of any car in Florida that would involve looking at the odometer.

Oops....

more than 5 years ago
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The Worst US Cities To Work In IT

Mycroft_514 Not keeping track of things are we? (538 comments)

The I4 corridor is inconsistant. There are places where the pay is good, and places where it is bad. I work along
that cooridor and have for the last 20 years. Maybe you aren't looking hard enough.

more than 5 years ago
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Microsoft Files For 3 Parallel Processing Patents

Mycroft_514 Re:Pain of Patents is in the reading (137 comments)

>The first patent looks kind of interesting, inasmuch as it seems like they are applying it to a database, and I know of no database that actually does a single query in parallel, but I'm not sure it would be any more efficient, because there is only one disk. Having two threads isn't going to speed anything up there, and might actually cause the disk to thrash.

Hm, you obivously never heard of either Teradata or DB/2? I worked as a Teradata DBA as early as 1988
(version 2.0 of the Teradata Operating System). DB/2 has had automatic parallel processing of
partitioned tablespaces at least since version 7. That's just two DBMSes I can name.

Obviously, there is plenty of prior art out there, and these patents should be rejsected immediately, and Micrsoft is not going to fight
IBM over this.

more than 5 years ago
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45-Year-Old Modem Used To Surf the Web

Mycroft_514 How about 1988? (622 comments)

Toshiba T1200 Laptop - DOS 3.3, 640K memory, 20MB hard drive, 1200 baud modem (that was an option), monochrome screen. My first
laptop and it still ran last time I fired it up - last year. Everything older then that went to the public schools at some point.

more than 5 years ago
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Court Sets Rules For RIAA Hard Drive Inspection

Mycroft_514 I call bull on the above statement! (470 comments)

"By the way, when you copy a file across a file system, from one drive to another, it gets a new creation time, so if all the files were "created" on a single day, that was when they were migrated over."

Not on a Windows system it doesn't. The only time you get a new date on it is when you download from an external system, or you manually change the date/time stamp.

Now me? All my music files (all legal, btw) are already on a USB portable drive anyway, because it takes 15GB off the active drive I need the space on. And my wife's machine? Re-loaded with WIN XP PRO over the top of WIN XP Home about a month ago. Memory chip went bad, and garbled part of the registry - right after I got a full backup of the files.....

So, how are we going to certify Forensics experts? Obviously the Anonymous Coward above wants to be one, but certainly doesn't qualify, if he makes such a basic mistake. (And to double check, I tried it just before I posted this message. Copied a file to another dirve and it retains the 2008 creation date).

more than 5 years ago
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Coders, Your Days Are Numbered

Mycroft_514 Older then you think (305 comments)

This same bit of rhetoric happens ever time there is a downturn in the IT economy. It never happens the way it is predicted because coding ends up being harder then the authors think.

As for Agile - another fad, this too shall pass. (We called it prototyping last time around and it failed then too.)

more than 5 years ago

Submissions

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Mycroft_514 Mycroft_514 writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Mycroft_514 writes "http://news.com.com/2100-1014-6148057.html?tag=tb NCR, an ATM maker and cash register pioneer, plans to spin off its Teradata software unit from its banking and retail equipment business, creating two publicly traded companies. The tax-free spinoff is expected to be completed in six to nine months, NCR said Monday. Teradata sells data warehousing software, which is used to comb vast amounts of data, analyzing retail buying patterns and other types of business trends. It had sales of $1.5 billion and operating income of $309 million in 2005. NCR's core business sells specialized computer systems including automated bank teller machines and retail checkout equipment. It rang up sales of $4.5 billion and operating income of $251 million in 2005. "Teradata and the new NCR operate in different markets, each with solid prospects for the future. But they have markedly different business models," NCR Chief Executive Bill Nuti said in a statement. Analysts have speculated that the company might spin off Teradata to boost its stock price. They have said that the combined stock value of two separate companies might be higher than NCR's current value as the software unit has higher profit margins than NCR's other businesses. Nuti will serve as CEO of the new NCR. Mike Koehler, senior vice president of the Teradata division, will serve as CEO of the spun off software maker. The stock distribution ratio will be determined at a future date, NCR said. JPMorgan is its financial adviser. Story Copyright © 2007 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved. My take on this? We have now come full circle, back to where we were 13 years ago. At&T bought NCR who bought Teradata. Now AT&t spun off NCR and fianlly NCR spins off Teradata. I said back in 1993 that there was no value in one buying theother, and now the finacers agree. But in the meantime, many people lost jobs — including me."
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Mycroft_514 Mycroft_514 writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Mycroft_514 (701676) writes "I entered the following comment, and got slammed by other readers for it. In actuality, I know a hell of a lot more about this particular story than they do. The moderation was wrong, as were all three responses, as was most of the story. http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=205085&cid=167 44669 You can go over to www.perverted-justice.com and get the full story. Whomever presented the story is wrong, the fact of the matter is that under US law, the site WAS illegal, and further, a second provider is ALREADY taking down the site after it moved. This is why a moderated system such as you have sometimes doesn't work. Finally, one of the reasons I know so much about this particular story is that the person who sat next to me at work for the last 2-3 years was arrested in a sting set up by perverted justice. He got to star on Dateline. You can bet I checked out how they operate VERY carefully at that point. My facts come from their story on this issue, not from that article you posted, which was slanted in the favor of the pedophiles. I have found my interest in /. declining over time, and it is things like this that make me doubt your future."
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Mycroft_514 Mycroft_514 writes  |  about 8 years ago

Mycroft_514 (701676) writes "Ok, thanks to a merger, I am left with a problem Slashdot can help with. I just started a "new" job,with the following effects: 1. All my vacation is gone 2. I received a $5K check as I was leaving the old job. What to spend it on? Ok, to stop some of the obvious: 1. All the credit cards are already paid off 2. I already have a dive vacation scheduled for Jan / Feb — a liveaboard trip to Belize — with "other" money 3. I already have a 3.6 GHZ laptop, with no current need to upgrade 4. I do not need to upgrade either car 5. My home is 7.2 miles to the front door of the new job. The only rules are: I am not giving the money to someone just because they ask, and nothing that requires the $5K as a "downpayment" on a loan works for me."

Journals

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Mycroft_514 Mycroft_514 writes  |  more than 8 years ago

Hi. I am a Database Administrator and Data Analyst for a fortune 10 company.

I have been in this business making a living for over 25 years. During that time I have worked in a *LOT* of different computing environments, including some you may never even had heard of. I have a BS in Computer Science and an MBA.

I am second generation Data Processing (This means that my Dad retired from data processing, after over 30 years before me. It means I grew up with this industry, from when I was old enough to draw on the back of old greenbar paper. I have used punched cards and paper tape to store data and programs. I have programmed in environments where 4K or less was all you had, and where I had a Z/OS machine all to myself, and still pegged it at 100%.)

I am an Eagle Scout, and currently serve at both the Troop and District levels.

I have survived cancer and am currently a type II diabetic.

I am a Scuba Diver, and currently hold the rating of Master Scuba Diver.

I have been married to the same wonderful woman for over 25 years now.

In 2008, I spoke at Meta Data DAMA and I spoke at IDUG.

In 2008, I participated in creating one of IBM's DB2 certification tests.

IBM Certified Database Associate -- DB2 9 Fundamentals
IBM Certified System Administrator - DB2 9 for z/OS

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