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Ask Slashdot: Life Organization With Free Software?

mcshicks OrgMode for emacs (133 comments)

I've used outlook, onenote, evernote, played around with google keep and a bunch of other programs over the years for GTD capture/process systems. OrgMode works much better in my opinion than any of these. There is a mobile client for Android and IOS, but I simply use ssh and a 256 color terminal and a small bluetooth keyboard.

about 8 months ago
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Best Way To Land Entry-Level Job?

mcshicks Re:It is not a great time (441 comments)

I agree with the comment on the general state of the job market and the internship recommendation is a good suggestion. Working in SW Test/QA (at any level) is another suggestion as these positions have less competition. Even better, try and get an internship testing any SW product. If you can get your foot in the door and demonstrate you know what you are doing, and are flexible in the work you will do you should not have a problem getting a permanent position. If you work as an intern in test and you have the ability find and to point out source level errors in other peoples code quickly it will probably get noticed.

more than 4 years ago
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How Do You Accurately Estimate Programming Time?

mcshicks Use Historical Data (483 comments)

If you just keep track of how long features take and who's working on them (like a bug/feature tracking system), a seat of the pants estimate based on complexity (i.e. this feature is 1/2 as complex, twice as complex) times the previous baseline data is surprisingly accurate and in general much better than if people actually try and figure out based on first principles. Basically people just ignore the base rate historical data for how long sw development tasks take, or don't know it. The other thing to avoid is telling someone a deadline because you will immediately induce an error based on the anchoring effect. Once you have a historical performance based estimate, then use that baseline (or anchor) to figure out what is practical for the project in question. Note: You have to keep track of things for 2-3 years to start before this works, which is why I suspect most people don't do it.

more than 4 years ago
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Ten Things Mobile Phones Will Make Obsolete

mcshicks PND (778 comments)

The Article misses the most obvious thing that phones have already started replacing which is portable network devices, i.e. GPS in the car.

more than 4 years ago
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The Uncertain Future of OpenOffice.org

mcshicks Re:Damned if you do... (259 comments)

No duh. It's free instead of $400 or whatever MS wants for office these days and it works for the vast majority of what people want to do (write a document, create a basic spreadsheet).

How many people are going to continue to shell out $400 for a word processor and spreadsheet program for there new $1000 laptop they bought there kids? Not many when the realize a reliable free alternative is available and it lets them open the word files people send them in e-mail.

I would say the only advantage MS has is there are so many spreadsheets people have made that make extensive use of macros and VB, which open office doesn't support.

more than 6 years ago

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