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Ask Slashdot: What Old Technology Can't You Give Up?

notthepainter Hollerith Cards (635 comments)

I have a box in the attic. I occasionally use them as postcards.

about three weeks ago

Laser Eye Surgery, Revisited 10 Years Later

notthepainter The laser is computer controlled, that's why. (550 comments)

I write software for a living. And yes, we all test our code, unit tests, regression test, automated testing, QA departments. And we still have bugs in our code. And you want to shine a computer controlled laser into my eye? PS: a friend of mine had it done about a decade ago. We've lost touch so I can't say how it worked out for him, but I do recall him sketching out on a bar napkin the areas that needed improvement. He was going in for a touch up since the doctor's office called and said the new software was in. No thanks...

about 2 months ago

Rigging Up Baby

notthepainter Radio Collars (117 comments)

My ex-brother-in-law is a wildlife biologist. He's done a lot of field work. He told a story at Christmas a few decades back. He took his 7 year old son out hiking is some deep woods. Being concerned if something went wrong he put a radio tracking collar on him, just part of the stuff in his lab. I asked him how it worked. He deadpanned, "I hated shooting him with the tranquilizer dart from the helicopter." I almost lost my egg-nog.

about 10 months ago

Do You Need Headphones While Working?

notthepainter Re:I work at home (262 comments)

Jees, you kids...

kids? I still have a box of Hollerinth cards somewhere.

about a year ago

Do You Need Headphones While Working?

notthepainter I work at home (262 comments)

I have no annoying co-worker's voices to annoy me. I put the music loudly, very, when I want it, I had dead silence when I want it.

Headphones? Give me a 10" sub-woofer instead.

about a year ago

Experiences and Realities of an Homesourced IT Worker

notthepainter Re:Been doing it for 2 decades now - love it (114 comments)

Thank you!

I was out on the road and couldn't respond. Glad you did for me.

Yes, I did OS X before then. And before then it was MacOS 9 and then 8. And before that was System 7. And before that was System Software 6. Before that was SunOS (not Solaris, and MassComp, remember them?). Before that was VMS and before that was RXS-11M. Before that I was at MIT, best one I remembered was called Q on Perkin-Elmer hardware. You had to call out "Ok to to compile" before compiling. Of course some ITS and a smidge of Lisp machines. Then it was PDP-8 assembly language. Oh wait, one more. A Frieden Flexo-writer. Yes, that means I have cut and pasted with scissors and glue.

Now get offa my lawn.

about a year ago

Experiences and Realities of an Homesourced IT Worker

notthepainter Re:Been doing it for 2 decades now - love it (114 comments)

you missed the "used to do OS X" part... but I was coding iOS before the app store was open, briefly, but I was!

about a year ago

Experiences and Realities of an Homesourced IT Worker

notthepainter Re: Do not want (114 comments)

Exactly. I've done both, currently working for myself. All my friends say, "Oh man, that's great, you can take the day off if you want." Sigh... when you work for yourself you don't get a day off.

about a year ago

Experiences and Realities of an Homesourced IT Worker

notthepainter Been doing it for 2 decades now - love it (114 comments)

I'm an iOS developer (and used to do OS X) who has worked at home for over 2 decades now. I did have one year where the new boss wanted me in the office. (I upgraded bosses via the resume route eventually.) And I once was laid off because I refused to move halfway across the country (new boss wanted me sitting there.) You need discipline to not blur the line between home and work. For me that means regular hours and an office with a door that shuts. Once place I lived even had the office in a studio that was attached but I needed to go outside to get to it. I loved it. Family also knows what working means and treats it as such. I wouldn't change it for anything.

about a year ago

Macbook Owner With Defective GPU Beats Apple In Court

notthepainter Re:Cool, but... (280 comments)

Not an excuse. They are a "premium luxury" brand. If they couldn't do right by the customer with the parts they had on hand then they should have given the customer a better replacement.

I'm typing this on a MacBook that Apple gave me. You see, my previous had failed and been repaired twice. On the third failure, they gave me a brand new machine. Not identical to the old one, but a brand new one. This is Apple's "three strikes" policy. If a machine needs a third repair, in warrenty or under Apple Care, just pick out a new one with the same size, hard drive, and memory as the defective one.

That's doing right.

more than 2 years ago

Ask Slashdot: What Are Your Tips For Working From Home?

notthepainter Good but hard... (480 comments)

I've spent about 14 of the last 15 years working from home. Mostly full time but some of that was half in the office, half at home. First off, be prepared for a better life. The one thing you can't get more of in life is more time, now you have more time since you're not driving.

Office with a door - Mandatory. You'll find that you'll always be "on" and that is bad. Telecommuters either slack off (and get fired) or work too much. I love my current setup, my current office cannot be accessed from my home, it has a separate entrance. So my commute is about 10 seconds of walking.

Hours - You'll want regular hours and stick to them. Again, this is to prevent overwork. It is also good in the begining to prevent goofing off.

Water Cooler - you don't have one. You will be out of the loop on everything that goes on in the home office. Oh well. 90% of that was crap anyhow. Missing the 10% can hurt you, but don't worry. You'll get by.

Perception - All of your co-workers will think you are goofing off. So you will be held to higher standards then they are. That's ok, they get to fight traffic on I-whatever twice a day. If you work 9-5 you are home at 5:00:01.

Headset - get a nice one. And I don't mean a $100 Bluetooth one. A $10 wired one that is comfortable is far better.

Pets - get a cat or fish. I have 4 fish tanks in my office. I'd love to let the cat in but with the walk outside that's just asking for trouble with her.

Enjoy your new life, congrats!

about 2 years ago

"Pre-Crime" Comes To the HR Dept.

notthepainter I got a job from /. posting... (554 comments)

My name is shared with a very famous (dead) person so I'm hard to google. But of course he had my email address. From that he found my geocaching account, liked that I made puzzles (he was looking for a game developer) from that found my /. postings, liked what he saw.

Yeah, I got the job and it was fun, but it creeped me out. I hardly ever post anywhere anymore.

Except, of course, for this...

more than 3 years ago

US Banks That Offer Transaction History?

notthepainter You clearly are willing to pay... (359 comments)

You are clearly willing to pay a little bit for this, since you don't mention any extra fees. So this sounds like a service opportunity to me.

For only $3.99/month I'll deliver your csv records to you. Just send me you account and password information. Might as well give me your social, mother's maiden name, and favorite color.

No problemo...

more than 3 years ago

Open Source Transcription Software?

notthepainter Re:CMU Sphinx (221 comments)

Both options are just back-ends, you'll have to write a front-end. However, it shouldn't be too hard to do that

Actually, it can be rather hard to do that. I was one of the founders of MacSpeech and there is a surprisingly large set of details you have to deal with, punctuation, capitalization, etc... Of course since you wouldn't be making a commercial product much of the gloss need not be coded but once you have the engine, the part that takes the audio source and converts it to text, you still have a large amount of work left over.

more than 4 years ago

Better Development Through Competition?

notthepainter First will sadly win (251 comments)

Not best, but first will win. That's my guess based on how most industries work.

more than 4 years ago

On Pennies:

notthepainter Color up! (594 comments)

Time to color folks.

more than 4 years ago

Palin Email Snoop Found Guilty On 2 Charges

notthepainter Re:Two Stupid People (291 comments)

But my password is 12345

more than 4 years ago

Palin Email Snoop Found Guilty On 2 Charges

notthepainter Re:Two Stupid People (291 comments)

I just use password strength answer and I keep a file of them. I had a great conversation with an online bank. Security had detected a pattern that was unusual and called me. They asked me what high school I went to. I told them UMc9vdX0QLOH (not really, but you get the idea.)

The guy was flabbergasted.

I told him that although I appreciated their security, I didn't trust them, say, to not sell a used laptop on ebay.

He thought it was a great idea.

Of course if I loose my file, I'm screwed, but that's what backups are for.

more than 4 years ago



Venetia Phair Dies; as a Girl, She Named Pluto

notthepainter notthepainter writes  |  more than 5 years ago

notthepainter writes "Frozen and lonely, Planet X circled the far reaches of the solar system awaiting discovery and a name. It got one thanks to an 11-year-old British girl named Venetia Burney, an enthusiast of the planets and classical myth.

On March 14, 1930, the day newspapers reported that the long-suspected "trans-Neptunian body" had been photographed for the first time, she proposed to her well-connected grandfather that it be named Pluto, after the Roman god of the underworld.

Venetia Phair, as she became by marriage, died April 30 in her home in Banstead, in the county of Surrey, England. She was 90."

Link to Original Source


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