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The Death of Booting Up

PFI_Optix Re:Something I do once a month... (557 comments)

I reboot my work PC on the weekends because some of the craptastic applications we're stuck with don't do well if they've been running more than a few days. Bad application development is the cause of MOST of these types of problems.

more than 3 years ago
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The Death of Booting Up

PFI_Optix Re:it's true you boys (557 comments)

SSDs are expensive when you're buying by the thousands and consider that, aside from boot times, they don't impact PC performance enough to justify the cost for MOST PCs.

It takes my work PC about ten minutes to get to a working desktop. Probably two minutes to actually boot to windows, three or four to get to the Windows logon (anyone who works Windows domains has learned that if you don't have some wait times built in, policies may not load and you get support calls), then another three to five after I log in for all the scripts, antivirus, citrix, and other crap to run before my desktop is fully functional.

Sure a MacBook Air can boot in under a minute. It also can't run most of what we use and costs WAY more than the average business computer.

more than 3 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Best Certifications To Get?

PFI_Optix Re:Certification are a waste of money (444 comments)

HR and the suits like pieces of paper that say you know stuff. Degrees and certifications may not be good indicators of competence, but having CCNA MCSA MBA IBC TLDR after your name impresses the non-IT people who actually fund your paycheck.

more than 3 years ago
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Robots 'Evolve' Altruism

PFI_Optix Evolution? Not quite (360 comments)

Altruism didn't evolve in these robots, they programmed them to be able to share, and those more likely to share with their kin were more successful. The only way the altruism would EVOLVE is if it arose spontaneously.

This is more like saying God decided it was time for fish to get out of the water, so he gave them lungs.

more than 3 years ago
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Robots 'Evolve' Altruism

PFI_Optix Re:Fascinating yet has me concerned for their heal (360 comments)

aches and pains, sure. There are some practices by chiropractors which can at least temporarily relieve the problems which cause pain. The problem I have with them is that they are temporary; once you start visiting, you go back over and over for pain relief. They don't treat the underlying problem.

Disease? What disease has been cured by chiropractic treatment? Swelling of the wallet?

Deafness? Seriously?

And the colic thing has been so soundly refuted I'm just going to point and laugh.

more than 3 years ago
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The Importance of Lunch

PFI_Optix Re:Don't talk about work... (475 comments)

It's possible to make friends at work. I've done it plenty of times.

Until recently, I worked with a good friend. We were friends before I took the job and remain friends. While we worked together, we spent very little time socializing outside of work. In the past year since I was laid off, we have gone back to hanging out on weekends like we used to. Remember than when you're around a friend 40-60 hours a week, you probably aren't going to go out of your way to spend weekend time with them as well. It's when you don't work together any more that you start choosing to spend time together.

more than 3 years ago
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The Importance of Lunch

PFI_Optix Re:Lunchbreaks (475 comments)

Jimmy, John, you guys aren't fooling anyone. We see the looks you two give each other when you think no one is looking. We notice how you always leave work together. The company doesn't have a policy against office romance, but what you did in the copy room last week...that's just disgusting.

-Management

more than 3 years ago
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GPS Maker TomTom Submits Your Speed Data To Police

PFI_Optix Re:Apple apologist (422 comments)

I live in Texas, my hometown is in Texas, and it's run by Republicans. If you think it's got anything to do with political parties, you haven't lived long enough to realize both sides do the same stupid shit for completely different reasons.

more than 3 years ago
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GPS Maker TomTom Submits Your Speed Data To Police

PFI_Optix Re:Apple apologist (422 comments)

I've seen a number of minor accidents caused by people running a light that just turned red. When you "sneak through" you make those of us with a green late wait on your self-important ass to get out of the way.

more than 3 years ago
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GPS Maker TomTom Submits Your Speed Data To Police

PFI_Optix Re:Apple apologist (422 comments)

Red light cameras, when used properly, are great. They do a great job of stopping the idiots who think "just one more" is okay. The problem comes when they are treated as a source of revenue: the camera warning signs get taken down (I've seen this happen in a nearby town) and then the yellow light cycle is shortened to get tickets from people who actually know the light timings. My hometown installed cameras a few years ago, and one very bright member of the city council managed to push a law through which required warning signs within xxx feet of the intersection AND mandated yellow light times according to the speed limit. Their ticket revenue went up and then back down, and the accident rate went down as well.

Likewise, anonymous speed data would be hugely useful to city planners. If people are constantly speeding through an area that has almost no accidents, they could consider raising the speed limit on a trial basis. People who drive 55 in a 45 all the time will usually drive 60 in a 50, so ticket revenue will still be there. Higher speed limits mean being able to move more cars through on the same lanes, rather than having to sink money into additional lanes when a road gets overcrowded.

more than 3 years ago
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China Plans Space Station By 2020

PFI_Optix Re:A very slow race (293 comments)

Wow. Some people REALLY can't recognize a joke when they see one.

more than 3 years ago
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China Plans Space Station By 2020

PFI_Optix Re:A very slow race (293 comments)

Next thing they'll be saying Obama was born in the U.S.

more than 3 years ago
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Research Credibility In the Video Game Violence Debate

PFI_Optix Re:WTF!? (154 comments)

It's what happens when science becomes someone's religion. Creationist groups like the ICR work the same way: start with your conclusion and work backwards, rejecting anything that doesn't support the conclusion. More and more scientists with political motives are doing this sort of thing. It's frightening.

more than 3 years ago
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The Future of In-Car Computing

PFI_Optix Dumb cars (112 comments)

I rather like the idea of "dumb cars" being a factor now, because it means that when the "smart cars" or their users fail to be quite so smart, the cars around them can react without being able to communicate with them. It would be quite dangerous if they all operated on the assumption that every vehicle on the road was talking to them.

more than 3 years ago
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Bizarre Porn Raid Underscores Wi-Fi Privacy Risks

PFI_Optix Re:good passwords... (964 comments)

I once had someone swear to me they had an unbeatable password:

p@ssw0rd

They were using it on encrypted hard drives storing patient medical data. Yeah, i'll never use that company, ever.

more than 3 years ago
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Bizarre Porn Raid Underscores Wi-Fi Privacy Risks

PFI_Optix Privacy of the accused (964 comments)

There's no way of knowing how many lives have been ruined by arrests for rape, molestation, child porn, and other such crimes being publicized, then the person being released without charge. Retractions don't get nearly as much attention as arrest reports and news articles, meaning a person's name could forever be tied to a crime they did not commit and were not even charged with.

Another problem is when the media covers the disappearance of the latest missing blonde girl, and then gleefully trots out the name and mug shots of whoever gets arrested first. That person might be completely innocent, but the damage is done.

more than 3 years ago
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My present employer I think will survive ...

PFI_Optix Re:YAOMO (Yet Another Obligatory Missing Option) (225 comments)

Before the Republican horde (all four of them on Slashdot) come swinging the mod hammer, I should issue a disclaimer: I'm more republican than I am democrat. It's just that when I picture shambling, brain-eating zombies, I associate them more with republicans. Slow-moving, consuming those who can't escape them, and they look old and dried up. Democrats are more like the "28 Days Later" zombies: rabid, fast moving, attacking anything that moves with a ferocity you have to see to believe.

So you're all mindless killing machines destroying everything you can get your hands on, you just do it in different ways, for different reasons.

NOW you can mod me down :)

more than 3 years ago
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Greenpeace Says the Internet Emits Too Much CO2

PFI_Optix That's not about the internet (370 comments)

"The internet" is a vague term and isn't even what the report is about. The report is about IT operations. Sure if you combined all the datacenters in the world their carbon footprint would be HUGE, but then...let's consider the alternative. Let's start by storing all those TPS reports on paper. Billions of reams of paper, probably. We're going to need boxes or file drawers and folders to put them in. And warehouses in which to store them, which we can build to replace the forests we cut down to make the paper. Then of course there's the cost of transporting all this stuff wherever it's needed...that's a lot of gasoline. E-mail would be a lot less wasteful, but hey....Greenpeace is chiding us about producing too much pollution with our e-mail. So we'll FedEx those papers. Jet planes aren't nearly as bad on the environment.

Seriously. There are bigger things they could be tackling. If anything, Greenpeace should be pushing for MORE dependence on networking and IT and a trying to draw the world away from relying so much on paper. Fix THAT problem, then talk about IT.

more than 3 years ago
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Taking the Fun Out of StarCraft II

PFI_Optix Re:Meh (293 comments)

I've not played SC2 enough to consider myself good at it. That said, I only play when it's with friends. There's one guy I 2v2 with regularly; we've played maybe 80-90 games together, and last I looked had about a 3:1 win ratio. If I had more fun playing the game I'd bother to actually get better at it.

Back when I cared enough about Company of Heroes to play it competitively, I was in the top 100 players as both Americans and Wehrmacht (If you play CoH and know the players from a few years back, you'll know what it means when I say I was automatching against people like Kodachrome and 12azor....and winning half my matches). These days I just try goofy strategies that make my teammates say "what the HELL did you just do?" and my enemies cry loudly on GR.org about how whatever unit I spammed is so overpowered.

CoH prior to Opposing Fronts was a far superior game to StarCraft or StarCraft 2.

more than 3 years ago

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Journals

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Thinking about college...

PFI_Optix PFI_Optix writes  |  more than 3 years ago

The comments in A recent article on Slashdot got me thinking about the perceived necessity of a college degree in America today. I was tempted to post, but didn't want to get on my soapbox and wander off-topic for however long it took me to get my rant on. This morning a comment I heard on NPR--something to the effect of "a college degree is necessary to succeed in today's economy"--brought me back to the same train of thought.

I'm a college opt-out. After a year of school and one changed major, I decided that college wasn't my thing and went into the workforce, finding IT work right away. I took two more shots at college after that, and both times decided it was a bad idea and quit before I wasted any more of my money. I'm probably technically a sophomore, having acquired credits from three different schools and across five different majors.

I have 15 years in IT and make significantly more money halfway through my career than the median family income for my state. I phrase it that way because my current level of income may not seem like much for east- and west-coast readers, but in rural Texas it is considerable. I'm roughly five years from having no debt, including owning my house outright. I am financially stable working a low-stress (for me) job I enjoy that doesn't take me away from my family for more than 40 hours a week. If that's not success, then I don't care to be successful.

I sometimes resent the notion that a person needs a degree to get by in today's world. 55% of this year's high school graduates in the U.S. will never go to college, and many of them will lead very successful lives. Some of them will be skilled blue collar workers whose hard work and talent puts them in demand. Some of them will be natural entrepreneurs, finding opportunities missed by those indoctrinated with collegiate groupthink. Some of them, like me, will be self-educated and competitive with college graduates in every way, lacking only that silly little piece of paper that says they endured a few years of telling professors what they wanted to hear.

Don't misunderstand me. I firmly believe that college is necessary for some people to realize their potential. Many students don't have the discipline or imagination to learn on their own, and need the structure of university. And some professions can't be learned without expert instruction, and that is best delivered at least partly in a classroom. I want my doctor to have a degree. I could care less if my network administrator has one.

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So I'm notebook shopping...

PFI_Optix PFI_Optix writes  |  more than 6 years ago

My wife has been wanting a notebook for a while. We've finally decided to drop the cash (not a lot, under $1,500) on one and I've been shopping for a couple of days. I was browsing Best Buy's listings (I know I know, Best Buy is evil...I'm just looking for price comparisons) and noticed they sold Macs.

I should take a moment to say that I've got no problem with Macs. I absolutely hated them prior to OSX, but since they finally got a decent OS I have no objection to owning one. Well, one objection: the obscene price one pays for the privilege of owning a computer with that great Apple logo on it. I've always known there was a difference in price between Macs and PCs in the desktop market, but it was never more than a few hundred dollars in the low end market and I could write that off considering the software package that you get with a Mac versus the utter lack of anything useful installed by a typical PC OEM.

So back to my laptop shopping: I decide to see what Mac has to offer, to see if it's worth getting my wife to an Apple store to try out the OS and see if she likes it. I search by brand, sort by price, and find that for $1,099 I can have a MacBook with a 13-inch screen, 80 GB HDD, 1 GB RAM, and a 2 Ghz Core 2 Duo. A little shopping has shown me several PCs with similar specs for $799 and up. $400 can buy a LOT of software and accessories, offsetting the "whole package" argument made by many Mac fans. The deal-killer for me is the 13" screen; that is absolutely abysmal, I can't even FIND a PC with that tiny screen size.

I'm far from being a PC zealot, but I've had enough Mac zealots here try to convince me that Mac is in fact a better deal, when clearly I can a lot more for my money with a PC. If any of you actually bother to read this, remember this: Mac isn't for the budget-conscious. It's a great platform with solid hardware and an excellent OS, but with a little effort a person can save hundreds of dollars (without sacrificing stability, don't try that tired argument with me) by buying a PC.

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This is required

PFI_Optix PFI_Optix writes  |  more than 8 years ago

I suppose I should write something here. I mean, a blank journal is like...a blank page in a book...that people write stuff in. So I'm going to write something deep and meaningful here so that when someone gets bored enough to actually click my journal link they'll read it and gain enlightenment.

But what should I write? I could write about technology, that's a popular subject here. I could measure the risks against the benefits of a highly technological society and discuss the merits of adopting such a lifestyle, if any exist. Or I could wax philosphical about the open-source movement and why the market needs it today. Or perhaps I could pander for karma and sing the praises of Apple.

No...lots of people do those things. I need something unique. Something that will speak to people. Something, new, refreshing, and not boring. Because boring people is bad.

One time I was at this lecture, and this guy kept rambling about all these disconnected topics. I couldn't really tell what his point was, he just kept going on about different things and going off on tangents and telling bad anecdotes. I hate it when people do that.

What to write, what to write...I hope I don't run out of roo

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