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Ask Slashdot: What To Do After Digitizing VHS Tapes?

Pro923 Digital Tapes (267 comments)

I had bought a digital video camera long ago when they first started recording digitally. I felt compelled to rip the videos to hard drive for "permanent storage"... But sooner or later I realized that the best way to store this stuff for long term chance of success is actually back on the tapes. I suggest you now take your digitized videos, borrow a camera (if you don't have one) from a buddy that has a camera that stores miniDV, and store those videos on tape. Then put em in the closet - so if your hard drives ever fail (which they will some day), you'll have the tapes with which to recover the memories from the good 'old days. I had thought about going to DVD, bluray, or whatever, but when you think about it - it's really cold storage - the best device suited to the task is tape.

about a week ago
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Ask Slashdot: Robotics or Electronic Kits For Wounded Veterans?

Pro923 USB to pin out (115 comments)

I was trying to do some robotics... I could not find ANYTHING that would help me put together the mechanical aspect of the whole thing. As far as I got was buying the (I think it was 10 bucks) USB board from radio shack that you solder together. It lets you control pretty much anything from simple PC software. Actually, even with an EE degree (which I haven't used in 23 years), there was a bit of a learning curve with wiring up the output pins to relays in order to get anything to actually work, but when it did - man was that a blast (for a geek type). I took the kids' old battery controlled car that they used to drive around the driveway in and turned it into a robot... well, OK, it could only go forward and backwards at full speed - but it was cool!

about two weeks ago
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Steve Ballmer Authored the Windows 3.1 Ctrl-Alt-Del Screen

Pro923 Re:Never liked the 'D' part of BSoD (169 comments)

Just to back up my credentials here - I wrote VirtuoCD, an early CDROM emulator, a whole suite of WDM drivers for a PCI device with NDIS devices hanging off of the WDM bus, the Oracle VMAPI - a driver while lets you communicate to applications in a guest operating system from the host OS. Various NDIS miniports and intermediate driver (WinPCap type stuff), StorPort Virtual miniports that represent file backed storage that look like disks but are really just files on a disk. ANd a few other things. Not bragging, just saying that I know kernel development. And you know what? I could be off, and you could be right. I'll admit. There could be no case that you could be assured that it'd be safe enough to continue the OS long enough to save files. I still say you could find your unsaved work somewhere in the memory image. I know that Microsoft would never release that kind of power because 99% of the users would fuck up their systems worse, but I still think that I could use that kind of power to mitigate the damage that is inherent when you BSoD and are forced to power cycle.

about two weeks ago
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Steve Ballmer Authored the Windows 3.1 Ctrl-Alt-Del Screen

Pro923 Re:Never liked the 'D' part of BSoD (169 comments)

I don't know where you're going with that. Not saying it's not possible. What if - instead of the bsod, you were brought to the equivalent of a WinDBG output of the crash? You could diagnose the cause of the crash while everything was halted, figure out what's in a corrupted state and what isn't - unload modules, stop threads, change memory values, do whatever you want to do. Then if you felt comfortable enough, you could allow the operating system to "resume". Look, I'm not saying that this is an end-user thing to do, and lots of time you'd probably be better off letting the machine crash. But if I had that kind of power in the halted state - I could even find my unsaved documents in memory and store them in some way without even allowing the OS to continue. And I wouldn't just have the backtrace available to me, I'd have the entire contents of memory such that I could !process 0 7 and look at every thread in the system. Hey, I could be wrong - since this kind of power doesn't exist - but like I said, I have been able to reanimate a crashed dev studio by messing around while it was in it's halted state. I'd think it'd be possible to do the same in the kernel in certain cases. Are you saying with certainty that there is never a case where this is possible? it is true though, that lots of corruption could have happened before some trap actually caught the bad state and KeBugChecked. Maybe you're right. I just don't think that you are. With all due respect.

about two weeks ago
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Steve Ballmer Authored the Windows 3.1 Ctrl-Alt-Del Screen

Pro923 Re:Never liked the 'D' part of BSoD (169 comments)

No. You'd be foolish to continue if you knew that the corruption was within the storage stack. But as an advanced user, I can assure you that there would be times that I would know it would be safe to proceed, simply because of what caused the BSoD. It's not always memory corruption. Back when MS first came out with intellisense for Visual Studio, I'd (about once a day) get a crash in dev studio that would usually come at a time that I was going to lose unsaved code. One time, I decided to hit 'cancel' - the option to debug the crashing application. Another instance of dev studio opened and I saw that it was the intellisense thread that was crashing. I'd suspend that thread and hit F5, then save my work. This saved me a lot of headache. I'm fully aware that there are significant differences in usermode crashes and kernel crashes. I'm simply saying, that as an experienced kernel developer, I personally could (upon occasion) benefit from the ability to suspend and continue. If that thread in the usb stack tried to write to NULL or 0x70000000, I'm pretty sure that it's not writing on my storage stack.

about two weeks ago
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Steve Ballmer Authored the Windows 3.1 Ctrl-Alt-Del Screen

Pro923 Never liked the 'D' part of BSoD (169 comments)

I've done a lot of work in windows kernel development, and some linux kernel too. I understand that the system is in a bad state when the BSoD happens, but I've always thought that instead of the only option being to 'reboot' and lose what you're working on, things should be a little more choice based. Instead of just the BSoD, perhaps we could be given some information about the thread, call stack and call that initiated the KeBugCheck - then we could decide if we wanted to risk trying to go back in and save our work. Like - if the bugcheck occurs in the USB stack somewhere, maybe I'd elect to just suspend that thread and device stack, go back in and see if I could save my work. I'm tempted to think, "What's worse than a forced immediate reboot" - though I know that if some thread starts scribbling on memory in an out of control fashion that - yes - things could get a lot worse. But maybe not if that thread were immediately suspended.

about two weeks ago
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David Klann Talks About Using Open Source Software in Broadcast Radio (Video)

Pro923 Artists vs programmers (35 comments)

So, artists who create music get paid because they created something... But engineers who create the software don't deserve anything because software shouldn't have a monetary value associated with it? With all due respect, I still don't get it.

about three weeks ago
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DoT Proposes Mandating Vehicle-To-Vehicle Communications

Pro923 For it if it's not server based (261 comments)

I actually have always thought that vehicles should all have a protocol such that they talk to other vehicles within a certain range - so I'm all for this technology as long as it isn't server based. That is, i'll be pissed if all the cars communicate to some server that is a go-between. It should work as a direct link to whatever the signal range is, and then i have no privacy concerns, as anyone around you already knows that you're there.

about three weeks ago
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Fermilab Begins Testing Holographic Universe Theory

Pro923 Universe simulation concept (247 comments)

If I were going to write a universe simulator, It would probably start at the big bang - then as the universe spread out, it would only do real calculations on certain "frames" of the universe that mattered. The real way to test that would be to send an object outside the frame... The simulation would GPF I suppose.

about three weeks ago
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Systems That Can Secretly Track Where Cellphone Users Go Around the Globe

Pro923 This is new? (76 comments)

Why is this groundbreaking - when the government can just force the cell phone company to hand over this information at will? And it's free that way. I found it amusing during the Aaron Hernandez case, when they came up with detailed information of his whereabouts - to the second - after the fact that he was suspected of murdering someone.

about a month ago
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"MythBusters" Drops Kari Byron, Grant Imahara, Tory Belleci

Pro923 Just not enough content! (364 comments)

I'm surprised no one said it... I think they've just run out of Myths! A lot of the new shows - it really seems like they're reaching. And as other people did mention, they have about 15 minutes of content in an hour of show with the commercial->recap->brief content->preview->commercial->repeat format. Yeah, I just really don't think they can make another season of shows without halving the number of myths that they have to come up with..

about a month ago
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Ask Slashdot: Should You Invest In Documentation, Or UX?

Pro923 Make it work like other software (199 comments)

Generally, for a given operating system you try to make your software so that it functions in similar ways to other software. That way, in order to use an app a lot of the fundamental things are trivial. Whenever I've written apps in Windows, for any particular function, I look at how another app accomplished the same task and made mine work like that. A user should be able to perform basic functions of an application without going to the documentation.

about a month ago
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Microsoft Tip Leads To Child Porn Arrest In Pennsylvania

Pro923 Re:Which company is next in line? (353 comments)

If they already have it archived, doesn't that make them guilty of possession of child porn?

about a month and a half ago
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Getting Back To Coding

Pro923 Re:Here is how to get in to coding: (240 comments)

Agreed. And if you have a talent for programming, you can get vast amounts of stuff done this way. The problem is, when you get into the corporate environment they tell you HOW to solve the problem, how they want the tic tac toe engine written and what variety of project management tools that you need to satisfy each and every time you make a change to your fart joke generator.

about 1 month ago
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How long ago did you last assemble a computer?

Pro923 Re:Moved to laptops (391 comments)

My Core 2 Duo machine that I built is just about as fast as the core i7 that I built not long after... The difference being, the Duo has about the fastest CPU that I can put in it, while the i7 has about the slowest. There was a time - I don't know if you still can - when you could get the qx9650 (quad core extreme 3.0 ghz) chips for less than 200 bucks... Definitely worth it - this old machine is going to be relevant for a long time as far as I can tell. Yeah, you can still find them on pricewatch for about 250 bucks...

about 2 months ago
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The Milky Way Is Much Less Massive Than Previous Thought

Pro923 Dark? (119 comments)

lHow can they possibly tell how much of the matter is "Dark"? I can get the idea of what they're doing - using the relative speeds of each local galaxy to determine the masses contained within each, but how could they possible determine how much mass in each galaxy wouldn't be seen by using light within the bounds of the visible spectrum?

about 2 months ago
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Lots Of People Really Want Slideout-Keyboard Phones: Where Are They?

Pro923 Re:Had a HTC Win6 phone (544 comments)

Yeah, it was the touch pro 2... I would have to say that this is the ultimate design for a mobil smartphone (for those of us who like keyboards). I held on to that thing long after it was obsolete - I got a lot of funny looks from people at work, especially considering I'm the gadget guy.

about 2 months ago
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New Findings On Graphene As a Conductor With IC Components

Pro923 Is it just me? (34 comments)

Or does it seem like they keep coming up with these cool shaped molecules, then spend years tying to figure out what to do with them?

about 2 months ago
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Lots Of People Really Want Slideout-Keyboard Phones: Where Are They?

Pro923 Had a HTC Win6 phone (544 comments)

That had this great slide out keyboard. I think I was the only person in the world that bought one. The real keyboard was fantastic, but when I finally had to upgrade (the hardware did finally kick the bucket), there was no such thing as real keyboards anymore. So I figured I'd "get with the times". I had taken a lot of heat for sticking with that phone because it was really becoming a dinosaur. Though I gotta say there are still things that I miss about it. Besides the real keyboard (which did NOT make any noise as far as I can remember), the old Win OS was not store driven - so you could still download any .cab that you could find on the internet and install it. It's ironic how technology is moving forward, but functionality is moving backward!

about 2 months ago
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AP Computer Science Test Takers Up 8,000; Pass Rate Down 6.8%

Pro923 Re:I was so wrong... (119 comments)

well there's some truth to what you say - I've realized that as well. it's quite clairvoyant of you to figure that from the small post. I think most of it stems from the disappointment in my career though. I've had to grow and watch some of my friends become quite successful (in other fields), despite not really having done anything spectacularly clever, or having had the type of 'gift' that I had - being able to understand and work with such complexity (as I suspect most of the people here do - I'm not saying I'm any better than the rest of us here - it's a bright bunch). I agree with what you say about switching careers - I've thought about it often, though it's just not that simple. Firstly, it feels like giving up. I could get over that if it could lead to some sort of success though. Secondly, I'm in my mid 40s - and have lots of responsibility - big mortgage, teenish kids, needy wife, etc - life isn't really going to give me the time to switch things up. I do actually make 150ish, but that isn't big money around here, my wife doesn't make much, and with the cost of living we still live check to check. That said, if I were to somehow stumble on a chunk of cash that could support me for 6 months or so, I'd love to figure out something else to do. What bothers me still though, is that this system that we're involved in - would have someone who is capable of so much be looking to do something more rewarding. And we wonder why people aren't seeking STEM careers? The best and brightest are seeking other paths... I'm the dope that was too stubborn to not do so. The idea that we put trades, marketing, sales and such in the same category as our scientists is very frustrating to me. More to the topic of the article, we should be seeking out those gifted for STEM and finding ways to make that a desirable career - not 'training' people who aren't even interested, based on their gender or race. I do feel like I've wasted 20 years, but it's hard to give up on it. Once I hit the lottery, I'll start my own company and do things my way. Until then, I don't see any other way to do right by my kids except to stay the path, keep wasting my time and basically forfeit my happiness.

about 2 months ago

Submissions

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Cell phone records - Aaron Hernandez

Pro923 Pro923 writes  |  about a year ago

Pro923 (1447307) writes "Does it bother anyone that they were able to use stored data to find out exactly where AH had been BEFORE he had been accused of any crime? This tells me that your GPS coordinates are constantly being stored by the cell providers — the entire history of your whereabouts are available for any government agency to see"
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Moving Windows to an SSD from a larger HDD

Pro923 Pro923 writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Pro923 writes "I have a method that I just used to move my entire operating system (windows 7) from a 650GB HDD to a smaller 180GB SSD — it includes a small disk imaging program that I wrote for which I'm willing to give away (the source and a compiled binary). In the end, it's a nice easy and free method of performing this task without having to reinstall or even reactivate anything. I'd like to post this somewhere for people who are attempting the same task can follow my instructions. What's the best way for me to document this online so that people can access it?"

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