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Ask Slashdot: What Tech Products Were Built To Last?

WinterSolstice Re:Old Nintendo Products (674 comments)

You can replace the batteries - I bought a little wrench off amazon to re-do the batteries in my Gameboy carts - worked great.
I think you can have it done to them for like $10 if you're not handy with solder.

2 days ago

Ask Slashdot: What Tech Products Were Built To Last?

WinterSolstice Re:MacBook Air 13 Inch (674 comments)

The 12" Powerbook G4 was the end of my love affair with Apple. Every time I got an MBP, the dang thing would have some mechanical issue (catch fire, lose DVD inside, you name it). That G4 laptop though, it's still going strong with one simple keyboard replacement.

My wife wrote 5 books on the dang thing, too!

2 days ago

Ask Slashdot: What Tech Products Were Built To Last?

WinterSolstice Re:Model M Keyboard FTW (674 comments)

The one I use is gray, has a tiny bump connecting a mouse/keyboard PS/2 port, and cost like $20 at Fry's. No brand name, but it works like a champ.

2 days ago

Ask Slashdot: What Tech Products Were Built To Last?

WinterSolstice Re:Model M Keyboard FTW (674 comments)

Same here. I have three of these - the one I'm using right now I've used it daily since 1994. Got a 1997 at home, and a 1990 model in the closet waiting for one to die.

2 days ago

I typically read about __ books per year.

WinterSolstice Re:Many (363 comments)

I find the poll trend disturbing, because I'm in the same boat as you.

I depends on what length you consider a "book", but with tech manuals in the 100+ page range, I would count those as well.

I probably read almost book a day, sometimes a book every few. Not all of these are massive Tolstoy scale books, lots are shorts (under 50 pages), some are in the 100-150 page range, and a few are enormous (and take a few days).

Probably better to say "How many pages do you read a day" - since for me on average that's probably 70.

As for *new* books - well, Feedbooks feeds my addiction. I have had a great consuming everything written by specific authors, in order.

more than 3 years ago

Security Lessons Learned From the Diaspora Launch

WinterSolstice Re:Axe job (338 comments)

I keep hearing a lot of this sort of comment - the devs of diaspora are inept. The devs are out of their league. Etc etc etc.

You know, I don't see anyone else building anything like it. Linus was out of his depth building Linux, and SMTP, HTML, and NCSA Mosaic were certainly created by people completely out of their depth. Most of those people had degrees, and should have known to build security in from the start, right?

You guys have a better product? Let's see it. Until then, stop acting like children.

more than 3 years ago

Security Lessons Learned From the Diaspora Launch

WinterSolstice Re:Axe job (338 comments)

What "launching"? They aren't launched, they just had a public pre-alpha to invite people to come take a look and provide feedback.

If that *had* been a launch, you'd be right. I tested the pre-alpha, and I provided my feedback. Let's let them go fix it now and see if the beta is better.

more than 3 years ago

Security Concerns Paramount After Early Reviews of Diaspora Code

WinterSolstice Re:And that was to be expected (206 comments)

Exactly true. Experience is something you don't get until AFTER you need it.

I have checked out the Alpha, even though I am not a fan of facebook or social networking. It's always worth playing with new OSS stuff, because you never know where the next really good project (or even really good idea) will come from. It takes a lot of "almost good" attempts to make one that is good.

more than 3 years ago

Windows 7 vs. Ubuntu 10.04

WinterSolstice Re:Comparisons like this don't mean squat... (702 comments)

I support Unix professionally (RHEL), and my work laptop is Ubuntu 10.04.

My home machine is Win7. Why? Flight Simulator, LOTRO, SimCity, Civilization, and several other games that either don't play at all or are a freaking pain to make work. CS4. A properly working scanner. Portable Apps (ironic, huh? Most are linux apps!). TrueCrypt (which works in Linux but is a PITA to deal with). HDMI support (including sound).

I like Ubuntu 10.04 a lot, and for me it's ideal for my laptop needs. Just doesn't hack it on my desktop. Funny how times have changed.

more than 3 years ago

My Camera ...

WinterSolstice Re:None of the above. (342 comments)

I do a ton of shooting with my Nikon F100, and it's true - when you take between 3 and 5 shots of the same thing, you only usually keep the one that came out just right :)

Yay bracketing :D

BTW - still hate digital cameras. Own 3, haven't liked one yet.

more than 3 years ago

Drunken Employee Shoots Server

WinterSolstice Re:"Automatic" doesn't mean what you think it mean (309 comments)

No, your second example is actually in very common usage. Nobody I know calls their 1911 types (Kimber, Colt, etc) a "semi-automatic" unless they're being pedantic.

"The .45 ACP (11.43x23mm) (Automatic Colt Pistol), also known as the .45 Auto by C.I.P."

A *lot* of people call them a 45 auto. It's because there was also a 45 single action in popular use at the time, often called a Colt 45.

Example: http://lmgtfy.com/?q=45+automatic
A large majority of the hits show that most 1911s are referred to *still* as the 45 automatic (or 45 ACP)

more than 3 years ago

When I no longer use a hard drive, I typically keep it for..

WinterSolstice Re:Keep them in reserve (308 comments)

I have all of them in reserve, actually - though my 40MB MFM drive is just used to keep doors open (or sometimes as a bookend).

My oldest operational drive is in my "Mac Bottom", an ancient SCSI add-on drive that was designed for the Mac Plus (512k and 1MB versions). I use it pretty regularly, actually.

All the other old ones are sitting in a filing cabinet with post-its on them denoting when they were wiped.

more than 3 years ago

Tribalism Is the Enemy Within, Says Shuttleworth

WinterSolstice Re:Ubuntu is about Ubuntu, not about Free Software (655 comments)

I'm going to have to hop in on this as well and add to the noise.

I've been using Debian since pretty much the very beginning (not quite - but REALLY close, just a bit after Bruce Perens left, but before woody), and it was my favorite Linux distro up until squeeze.

No linux distro has ever done more to turn linux from a serious piece of crap fit only for hobbyists and OS geeks than Debian, and no distro has ever had a larger fall. When Debian chose to pull that stupid stunt over Firefox/IceWeasel and then pile drive into the toilet with Squeeze (which literally fails on every computer I own, unlike Lenny), they proved that Debian's day had finally passed.

Ubuntu works. It works on laptops, it works on desktops, it works on netbooks and tablets.
RedHat has a completely solid place in the enterprise - hell, I'm converting 90 AIX boxes to RHEL 5 as we speak, on a project with timeframes more extreme than I can stand. But it *works*, and it's *solid*.

Is this a victory for OpenSource? Yes, just like the rise of "Open Systems" that pushed mainframes into the shadows and forced a radical re-thinking of the entire concept of IT. People used to pay for computing cycles, you know - before the days of Open Systems.

Android, RHEL, and Ubuntu are the result of the insanely hard work of the open source devs. But the devs have *always* sucked at dealing with users. Users want a phone. They don't give a crap who wrote it. Users want farmville. They don't give a crap why it works.

The age of the OS as a primary interface is coming to a close, just like the age of the teletype and the blinking lights was ended by the monitor. The Web Browser is the future interface (warts and all), and in this world where the OS is nothing but the chrome around a browser, Linux is far ahead. Users don't try to install software any more, they check to make sure their sites work and their WiFi is up.

Sorry for the rant. The point is - yes, Debian and Slackware and the rest are doomed to fade into the shadows to be replaced just like the systems and projects they replaced. I don't see you all weeping for CPM, or MVS, or IRIX despite the amazing things they contributed. The X11 project was dropped like a bad habit in favor of Xorg, and I can't even remember the last time I had to use CDE.

Time goes on. Simplicity reigns supreme, and if you're not leading the way on "just works" you'll get run over by someone who is. Debian still doesn't get that, FreeBSD doesn't get that, Slackware doesn't get that.

more than 3 years ago

Measuring LAMP Competency?

WinterSolstice Re:By testing for it (453 comments)

It's remarkable how rarely I get asked this stuff.

Usually the interviews I'm in are like "do you mind being oncall", "can you work in heavily formal environments", and "can you give us an example of how to troubleshoot 'foo' ".

I hate those shops - I like your idea better :)

more than 3 years ago

Measuring LAMP Competency?

WinterSolstice Re:More than just knowledge (453 comments)

I happen to love doing contract to hire work - I get paid, you get work performed.

If I like the company (and they offer, so far they have), I'll go perm. If not, thank you and I'm on my way :)

The FTE gig is the worst gig ever. Crap wages, crap work, too many hours, and you get laid off with the same notice as a contractor (but are expected to slave 'for the good of the company'). It's no wonder so many places outsource these days.

more than 3 years ago

NASA's Juno, Armored Tank Heading For Jupiter

WinterSolstice Re:Unit conversions (185 comments)

When something becomes "popular" it has to attempt to reach the "people"

Joe six pack and his daughter Buffy need stuff for the common salt-of-the-earth types... you know, morons.
What saddens me is that with all these gee-whiz computers and trillion of sites, we can't have simplistic Joe six pack summaries with Jimmy Neutron details for those who wish to click a bit further.

Meh. Guess I should just shut up and chew my paste.

more than 3 years ago

Half of Windows 7 Machines Running 64-Bit Version

WinterSolstice Re:Only half? (401 comments)

I run 64bit Win7 just fine as my gaming/art box, haven't found anything incompatible yet.
I don't run Office, though - just portable apps, Adobe CS video/graphics, and games.

more than 3 years ago

Spectral Imaging Reveals Jefferson Nixed 'Subjects' for 'Citizens'

WinterSolstice Re:Considering the mindset of the era (360 comments)

Uninvited might be a bit strong, but that's the gist, yes :)

I'd say it's more like people with strong religious convictions going to a public beach. If you don't like the native beach attire (or think it might offend), you should probably avoid the beach.

Cosmopolitanism goes both ways, you know :)

I see this sort of thing in my state. I find people move here and try to make it like the place they came from. We'd rather you didn't - we like it the way it is (and if they don't... maybe they should go home?)

more than 3 years ago


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