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Estimate: Academic Labs 11 Times More Dangerous Than Industrial Counterparts

ameoba Re:Depends on what they are doing (153 comments)

Our problem was Electrical Engineering grad students continually burning popcorn in the microwave.

Yeah... the admissions standards were a little soft.

about 5 months ago

Nokia Design Guru Urges Apple To End Cable Chaos

ameoba Re:Oh, I totally agree... (791 comments)

More importantly, micro-USB was designed so that the cable would wear out rather than the plug. Even if your OCD has you up against the limit in 6 months, it's a $5 cable that wears out rather than a $500 device.

about 10 months ago

Majority of Enterprise Customers Finally 'Migrating Away From Windows XP'

ameoba The real reason IT departments are finall moving (246 comments)

When was the last time you actually did a fresh install of XP? Just the other day I tried doing it on an early Vista-era laptop.

To start with, the XP (SP2 media - it was the only XP license I could find) installer couldn't recognize my SATA drive. Lacking a floppy drive, I had to go searching for ways to get the drive recognized. I was left with two options: Either rebuild my installation media & slipstream drivers onto it or go into BIOS and set my drive controller to a legacy emulation mode.

Once I got the base OS installed, almost none of my hardware was recognized. Neither my wired nor my wireless network controllers were recognized. Sound and video not recognized. There were about a half dozen other unrecognized devices that Windows couldn't even tell what type of device it was. Fortunately, being a laptop, I was able to go to the manufacturers site to locate and download all the drivers on another PC and bring them over on a USB stick. I, knowing that I would need to prepare myself, took the opportunity to grab Service Pack 3. These installed without a hitch.

Finally, having an installed system with the (mostly) recognized hardware & the latest service pack, I tried running Windows Update. You'd think that would work, right?


The Windows update components installed on the system tried to connect to a service that no longer exists. All of the links it threw me to troubleshoot the problem 404ed. None of the troubleshooting docs on the MSFT website seemed to help. There were automated "FixIt" scripts that didn't do anything and tried linking me to a website that no longer existed. Somewhere along the way it was suggested I install the .NET framework - the download page barely functioned in my crufty old browser. Eventually I found a post in a forum with a link to an installer for an updated Windows update component which I gladly grabbed and installed.

After installing a functional WU client, I tried, again, to update my system. It spent a good 45 minutes searching for updates to my system. At the end, it returned a single required update - yet another version of the Windows Update client. Download, update & reboot.

The next time I ran Windows Update it, again, spun its wheels for 45 minutes. Finally, it came up with a list of over 150 updates that I would need to install, several of which were marked as needing to be handled individually. At this point, I'm well over 4 hours into the process.

If I'm having this sort of trouble installing and updating XP on hardware that could have originally been purchased with XP, just imagine how much trouble you'd have with something contemporary. This is why IT departments are moving away from XP; getting new systems up and running is already a nightmare. When everything goes EOL in less than a year it's just going to get worse. Even if I had known all the issues that would pop up & how to address them, I would still have been looking at 3 hours to get the base system installed before I even got around to installing any software.

In the end, I gave up on XP and just installed Fedora. It took all of about 15 minutes to install off a USB stick, recognized all my hardware & performs like a charm on this old (ca 2007) machine.

about a year ago

Why One Woman Says Sending Your Kid To Private School Is Evil

ameoba Re:Larry Correia wrote an interesting refutation (1255 comments)

At least the original author was sincere - this guy is just being an asshole because he knows it'll bring in pageviews. Once you've started using "Liberal" as an insult, you're just preaching to the choir & have no intent of actually engaging in rational discourse.

about a year ago

Will Your Video Game Collection Appreciate Over Time?

ameoba Not really. (127 comments)

Let's look at the typical life-cycle of a collectible using baseball cards.

When they first came out in the early 1900s, nobody really cared about them. Through the 70s and 80, they were mostly seen as kids stuff and abused, lost & thrown away. Supplies of cards up through this time are fairly limited. Around 1990, news hit of a baseball card selling for half a million dollars. Things changed overnight - every kid was treating their cards like treasure. People have held on to them in pristine condition. These days, you can buy unopened, complete sets of cards from the mid-90s for less than their original retail value. They have become so un-collectible that their value hasn't even kept up with inflation.

Video game collecting has passed this point. Sure, you might still see big deals on used NES collections but anything much newer was sold in large enough numbers and preserved well enough that unless you have sealed boxes, it's just used junk. There's always going to be exceptions but, for the most part, I wouldn't plan my retirement on keeping my XBox clean.

about a year ago

Sears Is Turning Shuttered Stores Into Data Centers

ameoba Re:Talk about.. (137 comments)

Any sufficiently old company eventually becomes a real-estate and finance business.

about a year ago

Changing the Ratio of Women In Tech: How Etsy Did It

ameoba Re:Not so hard really (546 comments)

You left out a very important one - be a company that appeals to women.

about a year ago

In Iceland, Tap Cellphones To Avoid Incest

ameoba Re:No incest (296 comments)

Iceland has a population of 300k people - Germany has 15 cities larger than that. There's very little immigration. Most are descended from a few small groups of settlers.

Genetic diversity is a bit of a concern there.

about a year ago

Google Watchers Expect Company-Branded Stores This Year

ameoba Re:It had better be quick (86 comments)

It should be quick - they only have five products.

about a year and a half ago

School Board Considers Copyright Ownership of Student and Teacher Works

ameoba Re:Kid's artwork? (351 comments)

But, the students are not employees, and signed no waiver when they enrolled. Claiming ownership of the student's creations is rediculous.

So is spelling common words incorrectly. It's 2013 - how are you accessing the internet without having a built-in spell check?

about a year and a half ago

McAfee May Have Been Captured

ameoba Re:Even if... (148 comments)

They have no reason to hold him other than being suspected for a crime in the US. If they captured him, they'd let the world know how helpful they were being.

about a year and a half ago

Ask Slashdot: Which OSS Database Project To Help?

ameoba Re:use mysql (287 comments)

The problems with MySQL aren't bugs, they're decisions. Decisions that can't be reversed for the sake of backwards compatibility.

about a year and a half ago
top Earth's Biggest Wine Cellar?

ameoba Re:Ad? (118 comments)

I'm sort of surprised that the $10/bottle shipping cost didn't trigger a rantfest.

about 2 years ago

OpenBSD 5.2 Released

ameoba Re:LOL (141 comments)

Maybe if you were still running Irix on the box or using SGI-specific multimedia software, I could follow your metaphor. Running Apache & OpenBSD on the machine is more like taking the body of a '57 Chevy and replacing the interior with that of a 1992 Honda Civic and putting a trailer hitch on it.

about 2 years ago

80,000lbs of Walnuts Purloined In Northern California

ameoba Re:Sounds silly but an increasing problem (127 comments)

People in this industry are pretty trusting

...sort of like how scrap metal purchasers used to be?

about 2 years ago

OpenBSD 5.2 Released

ameoba Re:LOL (141 comments)

Have you looked at the power usage of that thing recently? It's a 15 year old system that has less processing power than my cellphone & probably draws a few hundred watts with minimal power saving features. It's probably costing you $10-15/month to run that beast - how long would it take for a modern, low-power ARM or Atom box take to pay itself off?

about 2 years ago

Microsoft Urges Businesses To Get Off XP

ameoba Re:Why? (727 comments)

When did you start expecting OSes to be stable, long-term investments that could be ignored and left running forever? Win 3.1 (1992)? Win95? Win98? Windows 2000/ME? Windows XP (2001)? XP SP1 (2002)? XP SP2 (2004)? Windows Vista (2006)? XP SP3 (2008)? Windows 7 (2009)?

You've done major upgrades countless times before - I remember plenty of instances where XP Service Packs broke backwards compatibility. If you've got too many things breaking, maybe it's because you've skipped over several major upgrade points already so, rather than being able to incrementally update broken shit (which, I might add, was likely shoddily done to begin with) you're forced to upgrade everything at once?

Vista and 7 can run in 32-bit mode, if you're really concerned. They also pretty amazing backwards compatibility management - have you even looked into Windows XP Mode?

about 2 years ago

Why Do So Many Liberals "Like" Mitt Romney On Facebook?

ameoba Re:Obligatory Sun Tzu (376 comments)

As others have said, "like" is the only action on Facebook. There's no "hate" button, there's no "passively follow this page", "you have a valid argument" or "this vaguely interests me". "Like" carries a connotation, when used in day-to-day language that doesn't carry over onto Facebook .

Just the other day, a friend posted something about his father dying. Other than writing one more "sorry to hear that" response, the only option is to "like" it - that didn't mean I was happy about the news, just acknowledging that I read it & feel sympathy.

about 2 years ago


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