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Open Source Advocates' Attitudes Toward Profit

rongage Re:Lack of profit is why I killed my projects (208 comments)

It started off as a "scratch an itch" sort of project: Rockwell Automation basically threw down the gauntlet when I asked them about Linux support and they responded that communicating with a PLC from Linux was not possible. I proved them completely wrong - first with the PLC5/SLC-500/Pyramid Integrator series, and then once again with the ControlLogix/Micrologix.

Profit wasn't the motive at first, then after I exited the industrial automation industry, it became a burden - a huge burden - to continue to support the packages. I also started to have a change of heart regarding the value of my time. I started off by asking for donations - and got absolutely nothing back. I then took the software off the free ftp server and got a total of 2 sales. Underwhelming to say the least.

As of today, I know personally of 2 different commercial software packages from 2 different software companies that are built on my software - as in sections copied verbatim (no, neither IBM nor SCO are involved there). Do I get so much as a thank you let alone a commission of any sort, nope.

Have I learned, you bet I have. My software packages today are commercial only with no source code available. It's a matter of survival at this point - gotta take care of number one first.

more than 2 years ago
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Open Source Advocates' Attitudes Toward Profit

rongage Lack of profit is why I killed my projects (208 comments)

I developed a couple of programming libraries for talking to industrial PLCs - Allen Bradley stuff. It started to cost me some pretty significant money to keep up with new hardware releases. The amount of money I made total (gross) was maybe $500. An entry level PLC costs closer to $3000.

So yeah, nobody willing to spend money on my work killed the work right off.

more than 2 years ago
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As a target for malware, my main computer is ...

rongage TRSDOS - networking is not an option (429 comments)

You can't get any more secure than an OS that doesn't support enough memory to hold a TCP/IP stack in the first place. 48k should be enough for anyone, right!

more than 3 years ago
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New Drug Could Cure Nearly Any Viral Infection

rongage The important question is: (414 comments)

What exactly does this do to the host organism (us) that is carrying these infected (and sub sequentially killed off) cells?

Since I don't speak micro-biologist, I'm not sure that was even addressed or answered in the article.
 

more than 3 years ago
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Review: Cowboys & Aliens

rongage Re:Steven Spielburg? (225 comments)

Heck, any movie that has Tom Cruise getting shot at repeatedly can't be that bad! It sucked in that those damned aliens kept missing. I was rooting for them to hit him and they kept disappointing...

more than 3 years ago
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Company Claims Ownership of Digital Messaging

rongage CompuServe circa 1986 (325 comments)

I have distinct memories of using the "CB Simulator" chat system on CompuServe back in 1986. This certainly qualifies as a 2-way messaging system.

The Unix "talk" command has to figure in there somewhere too.

SMS messages have been around before 2005 (I am guessing), so that would certainly qualify as one-way messaging. Then again, so would telegrams and email.

more than 3 years ago
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Panetta Says Defeat of Al Qaeda 'Within Reach'

rongage How will you know (249 comments)

OK, since Al Qaeda folk don't exactly have a uniform that is distinguished from the local fashion, how exactly will we know if they are either dead or hiding? If Al Qaeda were to stop fighting tomorrow, would we believe them defeated, or are they just waiting for us to leave so that they can resume their activities?

As much as I hate to say it, we are fighting a war based on ideology and have absolutely no way to know if we have won.

more than 3 years ago
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Siemens SCADA Flaws To Be Disclosed At Black Hat

rongage What about the others (101 comments)

I am thinking of the Modicons and Allen Bradley PLCs around the world.

On the PLC5 and the SLC-500, security (if set) was generally an afterthought and then normally used to keep factory floor folk out of the PLC. I know because I knew where to find the text-encoded password in the memory dump files.

The ControlLogix was a similar open book - rarely if ever secured. Then again, you could get on the backplane via the ENBT adapter and then talk directly to any card in the system including the SERCOS cards and the ControlNet/DeviceNet/Data Highway cards.

Modicons = what security.

Of course, this was some 10 years ago and things might have improved somewhat since then (not holding my breath though).

And yes, Allen Bradley and Modicon are used in a LOT of critical infrastructure locations.

more than 3 years ago
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India To Ban .xxx Domain

rongage Too bad (257 comments)

They don't know what they are going to be missing... :)

more than 3 years ago
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The Software That Failed To Compete With Windows

rongage Re:I used to use GEM / Ventura (347 comments)

DesqVIEW was useful but really just as a fancy menu / full screen task switcher.

As someone who ran a 4 node BBS on a single 386-40 with 4 high speed nodes (USR Sportsters and Dual Standards) using DesqView and PCBoard, I think your description of "fancy menu / full screen task switcher" is a touch off. DesqView could easily handle running all 4 nodes at once plus an operators console. It was always interesting watching all 4 nodes in operation at once (windowed mode - in text).

Ron

about 4 years ago
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$2,000 Bounty For Open Source Xbox Kinect Drivers

rongage Re:Safeguards, product tampering, law enforcement? (274 comments)

OK, so here is how they can solve the problem...

Since it is presumed that the Kinect will only "work" with Kinect enabled games, sell the Kinect at it's "discounted" price of $150 or whatever it's current sell price is when purchased with a Kinect enabled game. If the Kinect is sold stand alone (no game bought at the same time), then sell it for $50 more. Of course, you then have to make sure that all the Kinect enabled games are at least $50 to make sure that isn't an advantage route to getting just the Kinect for less.

R

more than 4 years ago
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HDR Video a Reality

rongage no thanks (287 comments)

This looks to me like the video equivalent of audio compression - squeezing the life out of the media to make it fit within a certain constraint,

Thanks but until the entire chain is HDR, I'll pass.

Ron

more than 4 years ago
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I can see X LEDs as I fall asleep. X = __

rongage Alarm clock (480 comments)

I have an "older" LED based alarm clock. Depending on the time of night, I can see 21 LEDs on it alone: 9:58p == 6 segments + 2 dots + 5 segments + 7 segments + 1 segment for the "alarm on" indicator (the AM/PM indicator is lit for AM).

more than 4 years ago
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Senate Trying To Slip Internet Kill Switch Past Us

rongage Re:Governmental Fail (461 comments)

That latency can be a real bitch let me tell you - at least with the Post Orifice. Took them over 12 days to deliver a priority package to me from Detroit to Chicago. Their response to that: sorry about that.

Never again....

more than 4 years ago
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ISP Owner Who Fought FBI Spying Freed From Gag Order

rongage Re:Troubling (404 comments)

I think the first amendment part of this stems from the "you shall not tell anyone about this" issue. It's from the perspective of the recipient of the letter. She is commanded to "tell no one about this" under pain of incarceration. This is all backed up with the power of law. Since you have an abridgment of the right to free speech and that abridgment is codified in law (a federal law - wrote by Congress no less), that is a pretty on-it's-face contravention of the First Amendment.

Now as others have wrote, this may fall into the "obstructing an investigation" trap and that may prove a valid issue, not being to even talk with a lawyer about this makes this pretty simply a First Amendment issue.

more than 4 years ago
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Internal Costs Per Gigabyte — What Do You Pay?

rongage Not enough info (420 comments)

Like many others are saying on here - you need to give us a lot more information here. There is a huge difference in the cost per gig between a Netgear and a NetApp. You also didn't mention if your cost analysis includes your OpEx costs (Operational Expenses) - things like hard costs (labor) and soft costs (power, hvac, floorspace, etc).

Tell us more and we'll be able to help you out better.

more than 4 years ago
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Arlington National Cemetery's Many IT Flaws

rongage Re:Where do I sign up for that job? (191 comments)

Probably because we don't have a requirements doc of any sort here. I would be quite surprised if they weren't trying to do something highly fancy (web/AJAX front end, GIS tie in, method of attaching scans of important documents to each burial (birth records, military records, death cert, etc...), method of attaching pictures to each burial, public access with requisite security and high availability, offsite data replication and encryption (EMC/NetApp), distributed database with full read/write capabilities across all nodes (MySQL probably wouldn't cut it here though it might with DRDB behind it).

I don't know - but I would bet that this really isn't that trivial a problem - especially the GIS tie in part (drawing maps/plots on a screen in an accurate manner).

more than 4 years ago
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5.5 Earthquake Hits Canada; Felt in US Midwest, New England

rongage Westland Mi and Forest Park Il (560 comments)

Nothing felt in either Forest Park Illinois or Westland (burb of Detroit) Michigan.

more than 4 years ago

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