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Ask Slashdot: Smarter Disk Space Monitoring In the Age of Cheap Storage?

rijrunner Re:I delete things when I'm done using them (170 comments)

Generally, if you are the type of organization that needs to monitor a 1TB for filespace, you're the kind of company that can fill that 1TB of filespace.

Where I currently work, it is not unusual to fill 1TB in about the same amount of time it took to fill a 100MB drive back int he day.

about a month ago

Dremel Releases 3D Printer

rijrunner Re:This is so 2012. (105 comments)

Honestly, I think FDM is not the future of 3D printing.

Stepping back though, I am thinking of the hundreds of computer companies that have come and gone. There were some very big names that stepping into the PC business at the time as well as others who were big in other areas who moved into this field trying to position themselves. They ran on the potential of the market, not on how to make it happen or on what it would look like. The ones who moved on were the ones who saw the growth market. Altair, Sym-1, Aim-65 were for hobbyists. TRS-80 was one of the few who had it right, but they were early to their window. (I'd argue that Radio Shack was a much, much bigger name then than Dremel is now for the kind of stuff you're talking about. ).

FDM produced parts on this class of hardware is, to be frank, rather crappy. There are over 200 printers listed on 3ders.org and I seriously doubt more than 10-15 will survive the next 3 years and that does match the weedout of the 1st generation of PC manufacturers. (Granted, there were a lot fewer as the barrier to entry then was much higher, but almost none had the engineering and market position to move into the PC clone market. It was not IBM taking the business market that killed most of the 1st generation as much as the fact that they created what amounted to a industry standard that very few were positioned to exploit or have viable alternatives for income. The standard that will need to be met going forward into the second generation of the current 3D printer wave is appliance like behavior with good part quality).*

The main difference here between then, and now, is that major players in the 3D industry are not sitting back. They are very active and have a huge backlog of patents to draw on. HP is already out there with its business class 3D printer. Dremel priced their printer at exactly the same price as the 3D Systems Cube 3 and has almost the exact same specs.

*A discussion for another day. I would be very interested to see if there is any correlation on who survived and who could run Lotus.

about 2 months ago

Dremel Releases 3D Printer

rijrunner Re:Wrong type of machine for Dremel (105 comments)

You might want to step back for a second.

Your first list is items that deal with engineering issues and, as you say, can be engineered around. 2 of those 4 items do not apply to the 3D dremel printer.

The second part.. has absolutely nothing to do with running a 3D printer and everything to do with part design. You could send me your CAD files, I should be able to run them through slic3r, and print them sight unseen. Parts design requires a lot of skill. Printing out a part, not so much. But, with so few variables, g-code conversion is a relatively simple procedure.

about 2 months ago

Dremel Releases 3D Printer

rijrunner Re:Wrong type of machine for Dremel (105 comments)

I build CNC machines
I build 3D printers.
I am guessing you have never used a CNC milling machine. Let's look closer:
Some variables for CNC milling (Not exhaustive):

type of bit (material and shape - probably 20 base shapes in a beginner shop. dozens of bit materials)
geometry of bit (literally thousands of options here)
new or worn, and what is the wear pattern (variable every time. Usually not an issue unless you are doing very precise work, in which case, you need to mike the wear and enter it into the tool table)
number of flutes/teeth
helix angle
center cutting
roughing or finishing
tool coating
step over percent
cutter offset
surface cutting speed
spindle speed
is spindle speed variable
feed per tooth
depth of cut
conventional or climb milling
material being machined
coolant feed enable
coolant feed type
tool changer
tool number in tool table
homing and limit switches
All of these variables play off each other. You can change one variable, it can then cascade into changing 4 or 5 others easily. Many of the variables above can destroy the bit, machine, part, or injure you, if you get it wrong.

The fact of the matter, I can take yoda.stl, run it through slic3r, stick it in a 3D printer and not worry much about it. Someone needs to know the g-code along the workflow, but realistically, it is the coder for Slic3r in this example and it is automated. If the machine is calibrated, it will print. If I run a milling operation through CAM software, it needs to be test cut to verify it won't damage anything. Just not inserting the milling bit all the way can damage the machine.

Now, look at it from an appliance situation. Do I know as the machine designer, what material or bits will be used? Do I know what sort of shape they are going to try to machine? I would have to lock down that machine to a ridiculous degree to get it to behave like an appliance, and even then, I can't be sure it won't damage anything. The Dremel 3D printer looks to be locked down with very few variables. It is designed for people to just load a file and hit "run". From a marketing and legal point of view, which is a better product to market?

about 2 months ago

Dremel Releases 3D Printer

rijrunner Re:This is so 2012. (105 comments)

"Dremel 3D pre-sale starts Sept. 18, 2014, on homedepot.com and amazon.com, with in-store availability at select The Home Depot® stores in early November."

That's a WOW right there.

I've been through the PC boom in the late 70's and the Internet boom in the 90's. That "no one points at 3D printers" is no more true than when it was said about PC's in 1979 or the Internet in 1994. (I heard that exact sentiment expressed those years).

This is what a boom looks like right before it goes off.

about 2 months ago

Dremel Releases 3D Printer

rijrunner Re:Wrong type of machine for Dremel (105 comments)

From personal experience..

Trying to design and build a CNC machine to function as an appliance is very, very difficult. There are simply to many factors that impact how well the machine would work. A person who writes g-code for a milling machine has to be able to understand how it will work - balancing the motors, speeds and feeds, materials, and working head. A 3D-printer requires very little, if any, skill on the part of the person using the machine. They can just load pre-packaged items, if they feel like it. It is a much more consumer friendly product with a huge upside.

about 2 months ago

Dremel Releases 3D Printer

rijrunner Re:Underspecced? (105 comments)

I've seen dozens of printers listed with better specs, but most of them are dummy specs. You couldn't run most of those machine anywhere near the specs they list. How many 3D printers out there actually achieve the speeds they claim, or the print area?

Honestly, if they can deliver a machine that works at those specs out of the box without tinkering or having to recalibrate, it just might be worth that amount. It looks reasonably solid and rigid and, from an outside view, well designed. (No idea where the spool feeds from from the pics).

about 2 months ago

Is It Time To Split Linux Distros In Two?

rijrunner Re:I think this is a good idea. (282 comments)

Because the article was about device support in the kernel and systemd..

There are already a lot of server centric distributions. Ubuntu is just not a good choice for server side. That says nothing about the ecosystem in general. It doesn't even really say anything about Debian, which is Ubuntu's base.

about 3 months ago

Is It Time To Split Linux Distros In Two?

rijrunner Re:I think this is a good idea. (282 comments)

Funny thing.. Back when I was a day-to-day administrator for Solaris (2.4-2.8), the kernel was optimized for the desktop. AIX, at roughly the same time, was optimized for the desktop.

And shoot.. Even now that AIX is a "server" only operating system, tuning the kernel is still a requirement. Whatever your settings are is kind of irrelevant in the grand scheme of things since no one can tailor a kernel that is perfect for everyone. The first day you roll out your great distro, people will be complaining about the idiotic choices that were made.

As to the "many of the packages required for desktop use not only don't apply to me" statement.. so what? Don't install them. That isn't a reason to get rid of systemd and fork the kernel.

Here's a challenge.. post what you think are the great tunings you think your distro needs, then we'll see if 10% of the people who read the specs agree.

about 3 months ago

Is It Time To Split Linux Distros In Two?

rijrunner Makes sense (282 comments)

Last week, the complaint was that systemd was making Linux look like windows. This week, the plan is to adopt the Windows server/workstation design philosophy as a fix to the problem..

I saw a lot of assertions in the article, but none seemed to actually have any data behind them. Nor, is it really apparent how a fork would leave either branch the critical number of developers needed to handle the respective branches.That is aside from the fact that the 2 kernels would have about 95% overlap in code base, which would separately need to maintain their own build environments and development paths.

Let us look at one of the assertions:

"However, they're also demanding better performance for desktop-centric workloads, specifically in the graphics department and in singular application processing workloads with limited disk and network I/O, rather than the high-I/O, highly threaded workloads you find with servers. If Linux on the desktop has any real chance of gaining more than this limited share, those demands will need to be met and exceeded on a consistent basis."

How would a kernel fork address this? If the need is there now, in what way is the current environment stopping the developers from releasing code to address these issues?

about 3 months ago

ExoLance: Shooting Darts At Mars To Find Life

rijrunner Well.. revived an idea (50 comments)

Just for clarification, the Russians and the US have launched penetrator missions before for Mars. They were unsuccessful. (The russians failed to achieve orbit insertion, IIRC and the US ones failed on impact).



about 4 months ago

Python Bumps Off Java As Top Learning Language

rijrunner Re:another language shoved down your throat (415 comments)

Until the next java update..

java may be cross-platform compatible, but it seems to be one of the least compatible with itself over time.

about 5 months ago

Tech Worker Groups Boycott IBM, Infosys, Manpower

rijrunner A slight misdirect (234 comments)

I did my time at IBM and learned this the hard way.

IBM does not favor hiring foreign applicants.

What they did at IBM Boulder was simple. At the beginning of LEAN in IBM e-Business, they laid off 1/3 of the staff. They moved from dedicated support for a pool of resources. And, as a result of the class action lawsuit, they cut everyone's pay 15%. After a lot of people left voluntarily, they fell well below the level of staff they needed to keep things running.

So, they decided to hire. Not regular employees, of course. Contractors. Only makes sense, yes? So, they opened up a number of junior admin positions at $12/hr. And a number of senior positions at $15/hr. When no one applied, they bumped it up slightly. Eventually, they were able to hire people in, but at a much lower rate than what the people who had left made. The nice thing about this from their perspective is that they also eliminated contracting companies that had things like paid vacation. (There might be a contracting company that still pays vacation, but I don't know what it is. There is one that still offers a small training budget).

Nationality of employee was completely irrelevant.

The color of the cog in the machine is irrelevant.

Cheap. Crappy. Brutal. That is the IBM Way now.

about 6 months ago

The Coming IT Nightmare of Unpatchable Systems

rijrunner Re:This "nightmare" rigns a bell (240 comments)

We discussed the Y2K problem in my intro to comp science class in Jan 1982..

about 6 months ago

The Coming IT Nightmare of Unpatchable Systems

rijrunner A systemic problem (240 comments)

There are two bleeding edges. One is the leading edge of cutting technology.

There other is the trailing edge where systems age out because they take a lot of effort to update.

One way the trailing edge can not be updated because the overall system is designed to where there are critical parts that can not be monkeyed with in a low risk scenario. (This does happen).

The other option on the trailing edge is where the systems are not worth the effort. Most of the Internet of Everything appliances really have zero income after the first few months and yet are expected to have a longer lifetime than many major IT infrastructure requirements.

about 6 months ago

Servo Stock 3D Printer Brings Closed-Loop Control To Reprap

rijrunner Re:Move along nothing to see here. (56 comments)

I would also argue that the cheaper (affordable) 3D printer lack enough structural rigidity to really push the servos to their limits.

But, the reality is what you describe. Unlike a CNC milling machine, there is no load being transferred to the head. It is just moving its own weight. Barring bad mechanical assembly, you can not miss steps in normal operation. On a milling machine, I have seen steps missed when making a rapid change of direction in a deep cutting operation. In that scenario, the correct thing to do is fix the g-code.

about 6 months ago

One-a-Day-Compiles: Good Enough For Government Work In 1983

rijrunner Yet another option (230 comments)

We preferred to use TTY paper consoles. (Don't recall the model number).

Instead of a screen, it was just paper. You type something in on the keyboard, it would print out. You run a program, it would print out.

Was generally a lot faster than typing in on a screen, then going to get printouts as you would immediately get printouts. Just tear off the stuff you needed.

about 7 months ago

Ask Slashdot: What Good Print Media Is Left?

rijrunner Re:Make Magazine (285 comments)

The thing is, Byte, Datamation, and a few others quit being really must read for techs long before the Internet really hit.

In the IT field back in the late 80's through about 2000, the scariest thing to see would be an executive with a glossy magazine..

about 7 months ago

Ask Slashdot: Are You Apocalypse-Useful?

rijrunner Re:I make alcohol (737 comments)

It has been my experience that these are usually the same people..

Been doing tech for 30 years and it is amazing the skills sets the people I work with have... Naturally curious people pick up an odd assortment of skills.

about 7 months ago

Bachelor's Degree: An Unnecessary Path To a Tech Job

rijrunner One problem with that (287 comments)

Except some companies, like HP, flat out will not hire unless you have a degree.

It is standard HR practice to use whether you have completed college as a criteria for hiring.

about 7 months ago



A Victory for Open Source

rijrunner rijrunner writes  |  more than 6 years ago

rijrunner (263757) writes "A legal ruling yesterday backed an open source project over a commercial company that had used the open source software in a commercial product. The commercial company filed a patent using covering the open source products prior art, then tried to bill the open source developers for infringement.

From: PC Mag's article

DecoderPro files are available for free download via open source Web site SourceForge, which is maintained by Jacobsen. Anyone can download DecoderPro files, but if they use those files for another project, they must include a notice that says it was originally developed by JMRI and note any changes made to the files. Matthew Katzer and Kamind Associates offer a competing product known as the Decoder Commander. During its development, a former employee allegedly downloaded the DecoderPro files and used portions of it in the Decoder Commander software. Katzer and Kamind, however, did not comply with the DecoderPro licensing rules. Their product did not include the authors' names, the JMRI copyright notices, references to the copying file, a notice identifying SourceForge or JMRI as the original source of the definition files, or a description of how the files or computer code had been changed from the original. Jacobsen sued to get an injunction against the distribution of Decoder Commander because, he said, the company's lack of attribution constituted copyright infringement.

Here's JRMI's story
This whole situation raises some serious questions. On the patent side, how many patents are based off prior art and at what point do patents become issuable if they are based on prior art, but not to the full extent of the patent? Most patents do include prior art. Also, is every clause in a software license enforceable? Its almost like someone needs to do a sanity check on submitted patents and provide examples of prior art to the USTPO, especially from open source projects."


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