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Windows 8.1 Update Crippling PCs With BSOD, Microsoft Suggests You Roll Back

mvdw Re:It isn't only Windows 8 (304 comments)

I like linux, I run linux exclusively at home, but I don't believe that this could be purely Windows' fault. If the computers truly are identical, swap hard drives and see if the 'good' computer now suddenly develops faults while running windows, or if it's a hardware problem.

about a month ago

Ask Slashdot: Where's the Most Unusual Place You've Written a Program From?

mvdw In the middle of a Gold mine in Lihir, PNG (310 comments)

1. I had to fix a script to unattended write a CD of data every day. The script was being run on a computer literally in the middle of a gold mine in Papua New Guinea. I wrote the script in the same location, which was a small (1mx2m) hut plonked right in the middle of the gold mine, with the acquisition system and 2x computers (one linux file server, one MS-DOS acquisition controller) running off a generator. This was for a system designed mid-late 90's and deployed in this instance in 2004.

2. We had borrowed a different acquisition system to acquire some data for a research project in an underground coal mine in NSW, Australia. We had some of the data in the supplied format we'd taken that day, I gave it to my boss and he then started to convert it into the format he could use for analysis. However, it was taking a minute to process each file using the supplied dos-based utility to convert the data, but each conversion needed a user to type the input file name, output file name, file type etc. Then wait for the conversion to run. Note that we had in the hundreds of files, so it would have taken hours to convert the data manually. I wrote a bash script to generate a keystroke-input file which I fed into a keyboard simulator running under dosbox to convert the files in one process. It worked first time, so instead of sitting there feeding the conversion program with input, my boss was able to go out to dinner instead...

3&4. Probably not so unusual, but the above was a strange combination: writing a bash script under linux to write a program to run under a keyboard-emulator in dosbox.

about 4 months ago

Do Embedded Systems Need a Time To Die?

mvdw Re:Real problem but wrong solution (187 comments)

If a car (or worse airplane) suddenly died because it was 5 years old, the manufacturer would be out of business in a week.

Well, technically out of business in a week plus five years, but I get your point.

about 4 months ago

Slashdot Asks: Will You Need the Windows XP Black Market?

mvdw Serial to Ethernet converter... (245 comments)

Have you looked into a serial-to-ethernet converter, like the ones made by Moxa?

about 5 months ago

Nebraska Scientists Refuse To Carry Out Climate Change-Denying Study

mvdw Re:Really? (640 comments)

alternative medicine for medicine etc.

Reminds me of the Tim Minchin line: "You know what they call alternative medicine that's been proven to work? Medicine."

about a year ago

I typically visit a doctor (for medical reasons) ...

mvdw Re: I only go... (415 comments)

The best way to reduce overpopulation on the planet is, rather surprisingly, to educate and provide clean water for the third world. See Hans Rosler on

about a year ago

Ask Slashdot: Best Language To Learn For Scientific Computing?

mvdw Re:Fortran + Python = F2PY (465 comments)

OTOH, exactly how many hands do you have??

about a year ago

Somebody Stole 7 Milliseconds From the Federal Reserve

mvdw Re:But.... (740 comments)

In Soviet Russia, first post gets you.

about a year ago

Ask Slashdot: When Is It OK To Not Give Notice?

mvdw Re:Presume no notice will be given (892 comments)

It's often more telling what is not on the reference than what is on there. Similarly, it's often more pertinent what is omitted in a reference than what is actually said.

about a year ago

If I could change what's "typical" about typical laptops ...

mvdw Re:The switch! (591 comments)

Remove the bleepin' WiFi radio switch. You'd cut user-error service calls ("It was working fine yesterday but today I can't get to Facebook!") in 1/2.

...Except that you need the wifi switch to be able to use the laptop on most flights.

about a year and a half ago

If I could augment my senses (w/ implant or similar) ...

mvdw Re:Reset back to when I was younger (456 comments)

I recently had my eyes tested, and still have 'better' than 20/20 vision, something like 20/16 or so. The doc said that we don't lose our long vision as we get older, but we do lose our close up vision, so I may need glasses to read as I age further (I am just about 40), but should still retain that long vision for as long as I can still see.

about a year and a half ago

The IDE As a Bad Programming Language Enabler

mvdw Re:100% (586 comments)

You enjoy pumping out those getters/setters, writing that boilerplate main class rubbish, etc... then? These things simply are not needed, and can be avoided by giving the programmer the right language features.

I don't write java, but I have a standard set of bash scripts I use to generate boilerplate for a new set of c,h files from a template. Writing boilerplate in any language is just plain dumb, if it can be scripted (it often can IME).

about 2 years ago

The IDE As a Bad Programming Language Enabler

mvdw Re:Word (586 comments)

By lengthening the round trip time from coding to compiling you're decreasing the rate of repetition (and success).

I would argue that by lengthening the round trip time you're encouraging them to think about what they're doing rather than just try random things and see if it works.

about 2 years ago

The IDE As a Bad Programming Language Enabler

mvdw Re:Word (586 comments)

Falling back to windows textual find tools is a bit painful.

That's where cygwin is useful. find, grep, sed, awk all there on your windows box - makes navigating projects or library codebases much easier.

about 2 years ago

I most recently switched ISPs ...

mvdw Re:Missing Option (250 comments)

"I am my own ISP" is not incompatible with any of the given choices.

more than 2 years ago

MIPS Technologies Porting Android 4.1 to MIPS Architecture

mvdw Re:In case you're wondering (100 comments)

"IT'S AN ARM-KILLING TABLET WITH 1 MIPS PROCESSOR!!1!1!one!!" Some more text to get over Slashdot lameness filter for all caps. That was kind of the point, and now the joke's been ruined.

more than 2 years ago

LinuxQuestions Interviews Slackware Founder Patrick Volkerding

mvdw Re:Fond memories (58 comments)

Somewhat perversely, my linux experience goes something like red hat -> mandrake (big mistake!) -> slackware -> gentoo (another mistake) -> slackware -> ubuntu. Thinking about going back to slackware; loved the init scripts and the way I could hold (most of) the system in my head at once. Still use slackware whenever I have to build a 'small' system, mostly because it's easy to remove what I don't want.

more than 2 years ago

% of my digital storage that is solid-state:

mvdw Re:by mass or volume? (280 comments)

Clearly it's by volume. Those old, heavy low-capacity hard drives sure do take up a lot of space.

more than 2 years ago


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