Announcing: Slashdot Deals - Explore geek apps, games, gadgets and more. (what is this?)

Thank you!

We are sorry to see you leave - Beta is different and we value the time you took to try it out. Before you decide to go, please take a look at some value-adds for Beta and learn more about it. Thank you for reading Slashdot, and for making the site better!



Professor: Young People Are "Lost Generation" Who Can No Longer Fix Gadgets

jkonrath Also (840 comments)

This generation doesn't know how to shoe horses. And they're terrible with cave drawings.

about a month ago

FreeNAS 9.3 Released

jkonrath Re:Small NAS box suggestions? (115 comments)

Get a Lenovo TS140 for $219 (http://www.amazon.com/Lenovo-ThinkServer-70A4000HUX-i3-4130-Computer/dp/B00F6EK9J2) - it uses ECC, is quiet, fairly low power, and has more than enough horsepower.

That comes with 4GB - throw in another 4GB for ~$55.

That's diskless. Throw in three WD Red 2TBs for under $100 each, and install the OS on a USB drive. That would give you a 4TB RAIDZ setup with one drive of parity. Closer to $600, but that's cheap for a system that actually has ECC RAM in it.

about 1 month ago

Using OwnCloud To Integrate Dropbox, Google Drive, and More In Gnome

jkonrath Ubuntu security issues (30 comments)

Worth noting that the Ubuntu repo still has the 6.0.1 version, which has critical security issues, and the developer can't get it removed or updated.


about 2 months ago

Ask Slashdot: Is It Feasible To Revive an Old Linux PC Setup?

jkonrath Smallest boards (176 comments)

You won't be able to get away with an ARM system like RasPi as others have mentioned, but you might find a few semi-small x86 options.

Minnowboard has a 4.2" square board based on the Atom 640, but no IDE, and it's maybe $200. (http://www.minnowboard.org/technical-features/)

The best combination of cheap/small is probably Mini-ITX, at 6.7" square. An average mboard is maybe $50, plus a processor, RAM, power, and everything else. But you also won't have IDE, and you'll run into all of the usual driver support issues.

There are Nano, Pico, and Mobile-ITX, but you're going to raise the price almost exponentially with each jump down. Pico-ITX boards are at least $200-300.

about 7 months ago

Ask Slashdot: What Tech Products Were Built To Last?

jkonrath Re:Kinesis Advantage Keyboard (702 comments)

It's a Toyota/BMW comparison. The Advantage is a mechanical keyboard, with Cherry Brown switches, while the Microsoft is membrane switches. There's a lot more tactile feel to the switches, and they keys themselves don't wear and fade like the MS one. It's slightly louder, but it's also not as mushy. It's fairly easy to take apart and clean, too.

The one big thing about the Advantage is that aside from the two key banks being completely split from each other, they are in "wells" that curve inward, and some of the most-used non-alpha keys (space, modifiers, enter, backspace) are on banks under your thumbs. It's a learning curve, and if you don't touch-type, it's a steep one. But it's a huge comfort difference.

I used to swear by the MS Naturals, and would burn through one a year. I switched to the Kinesis four years ago, and it still looks and feels almost brand new.

about 9 months ago

Samsung's Position On Tizen May Hurt Developer Recruitment

jkonrath Worth noting (93 comments)

It's most likely that the three different platforms mentioned were developed and evangelized by three different teams at Samsung that never talked to each other. Each team probably thinks their solution is *the* solution.

When I worked at Samsung, divisions were heavily siloed, and often the first time you heard about what they were doing was when you saw it on a news site. Even within the same platform, teams were heavily divided. Our software dev outreach teams didn't even have a way to talk to the hardware design teams.

about 9 months ago

Android Beats iOS As the Top Tablet OS

jkonrath Re:Trollbait article (487 comments)

> You can make Mercedes profit if you sell VW volume.

Too bad VW doesn't make Mercedes profit selling VW volume, or this would be a great analogy.

about a year ago

Project Ara: Inside Google's Modular Smartphones

jkonrath Remember the 486SX? (70 comments)

Does anyone remember when 486SX computers came and it was a big deal that you could later upgrade the processor to a 486DX computer, making them totally modular and cool, and then like ten seconds later, Intel came out with the Pentium with a completely different bus and the entire system was obsolete? That's about what this sounds like. The second you get in your hands the all-updatable 64-bit system, every phone moves to 128-bit chips and you're stuck with half as many pins on your plugs just to get your phone up to current technology.

about a year ago

CES 2014: Now You Can Make 360 Degree Videos With a Single Camera (Video)

jkonrath Now you can... (52 comments)

... do nothing. It's not launched yet. I hate how every year at CES, all of these vaporware or half-ass products are announced and demoed, and everybody acts like they are on the shelves as we speak. You won't ever see 90% of this crap.

1 year,22 days

New York City Considers Articulated Subway Cars

jkonrath Re:The New New York is Screw York (237 comments)

They have conductors so people won't get stuck in the doors and dragged to their deaths.

They could make the doors automatic, and re-open when someone or one of their body parts is in the way of a door closing, which they do now, but without the conductor there to yell at people to get the hell in or out of the car, the trains would never, ever leave the station. There will always be that one last person trying to get in.

about a year ago

Steve Ballmer's Big-Time Error: Not Resigning Years Ago

jkonrath Re:$20B the value of Steve Ballmer leaving (357 comments)

MSFT stock went from 56.125 on 1/14/00 (the day Ballmer took charge) to 49.125 on 1/28/00, and has not broken the 40s since then.

AAPL was at 381.82 the week (9/30/11) before Jobs' death ( on 10/5/11) and went as low as 369.80 two days after his death, before jumping back up to 422.00 by 10/14/11. Aside from the 11/25/11 363.57 price, it has remained above the price it was at his death since then.

about a year and a half ago

Have eBooks Peaked?

jkonrath Re:More buck for the bang? (323 comments)

$2.80 of the $27.95. Even if you completely remove it, you're still talking about a $22.32 ebook. And if you're going through a distributor, you aren't completely removing it - they still take a cut.

about a year and a half ago

Have eBooks Peaked?

jkonrath Re:More buck for the bang? (323 comments)

From http://journal.bookfinder.com/2009/03/breakdown-of-book-costs.html (Slightly old)...
Based on a list price of $27.95
- $3.55 - Pre-preduction - This amount covers editors, graphic designers, and the like
- $2.83 - Printing - Ink, glue, paper, etc
- $2.00 - Marketing - Book tour, NYT Book Review ad, printing and shipping galleys to journalists
- $2.80 - Wholesaler - The take of the middlemen who handle distribution for publishers
- $4.19 - Author Royalties - A bestseller like Grisham will net about 15% in royalties, lesser known authors get less. Subtract the author's agent fees and self-employment taxes from that, too.
- $12.58 - profit for the retailer.

In the case of an ebook, you're removing the $2.83 in printing.

You might be removing some of the wholesaling cost, but you might be using Ingram to do your wholesaling if you're a big company. If you're self-publishing, you might be using something like BookBaby or Smashwords. Yes, you can go to KDP and register your own book yourself, but if you're selling in multiple places or selling multiple books, you're going to use a middle-man to handle cataloging, recordkeeping, and listing things in multiple places. If it's more than $2.80 in headaches, you use a distributor.

Marketing, pre-production, royalties all don't change. (Or they get squeezed, and you get exactly what's going on right now, which is authors complaining "they don't pay us or market us or do a good job editing us like the good old days.")

As for that $12.58 of supposed profit, here's the interesting thing - Amazon doesn't sell books at list price. John Grisham's new book, The Racketeer, is an example. List price: $28.95. Yours for only $19.81 in paper.

I'm not saying that ebook prices should be equal to the price of a printed book, but removing the printing doesn't suddenly make a book cost a dollar or even five dollars.

about a year and a half ago

How Did My Stratosphere Ever Get Shipped?

jkonrath Why they don't fix bugs. (238 comments)

I can't see how the manufacturer is making any money off of the bugs I ran into

They make money by making new phones. Period. If you're holding the phone in your hand, the only way they can make more money from you is to get you to buy another phone.

Yes, I know there are other ways through services, selling apps, customer loyalty, blah blah blah. But the real way is to sell you another phone.

I worked at Samsung. They gave out insanely large bonuses to workers in Korea on phone teams every time a phone shipped. They did not give out bonuses when you did a carrier update. Number of phones shipped is a huge metric, and one they wanted to always raise. Selling the most phones in X region for Y period is a big deal. Fixing bugs in a phone that already shipped isn't.

To add to this problem, workers are paid overtime for hours above a given amount in Korea; they don't have the same concept as the US of a salaried worker that makes a set wage if they work banker's hours or are in startup mode. And when told they need to ship a phone in a year with a team of a hundred, they take great pride in saying they can do it in in 9 months with 50 people. But then everyone works 80 hours a week, and racks up huge amounts of overtime, plus gets that big bonus. And the extra hours and added stress are why you'll find so many bone-headed mistakes in their phones.

about a year and a half ago

Qualcomm Says Eight-Core Processors Are Dumb

jkonrath Re:and 640K is all you will ever need. (526 comments)

It is if your software can only address 640K. You don't add 8 gigs of RAM to your 8088 PC.

about a year and a half ago

PDP-11 Still Working In Nuclear Plants - For 37 More Years

jkonrath Re:If it ain't broke... (336 comments)

If you dropped a wrench on a PDP machine, you're probably going to need to buy a new wrench.

about a year and a half ago

First Computers

jkonrath Re:The "Home Computer Museum"... (614 comments)

I also spent many long nights (when I probably should have been chasing girls or experimenting with various low-grade drugs) typing in programs from Compute! and Compute!s Gazzette. I remember they had this checksum program, so when you typed a line, it somehow hashed it, and then printed out a couple of hex characters that you compared to numbers in the right margin to make sure it was correct.

The thing about that was you could conceivably enter a line wrong and transpose some characters, but still get the correct checksum. I remember spending the good part of a summer typing in a game that was a quest-based adventure game about sailing around the cape of Africa in search of gold or something. Most of the game was simulator-type stuff, but some involved hunting whales or fighting natives that were all ASCII-animated with those splendid Commodore high-ASCII codes for colors and weird blocks. I got correct checksums throughout the program, but some of the animation sequences were completely dorked up because of bad lines.

My favorite Compute's Gazzette program was called TurboTape. It replaced the venerable Commodore tapeloading routine, which was originally written for the PET and actually saved two complete copies of your program, plus a buttload of checksum and header info, to make sure it went to a standard tape player with a volume control. Since the Datasette was hard-wired and much more reliable, the TurboTape routine had a completely different algorithm for saving. With that program, you could save on tape faster than on a 1541 drive (which isn't saying much...)

more than 11 years ago


jkonrath hasn't submitted any stories.


jkonrath has no journal entries.

Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?