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I Want a Kindle Killer

spiffydudex Re:Surface is crap, according to our real world us (321 comments)

Sounds like your company purchased too early. The original Surface tablets were utter shit, any half baked IT person would've seen the signs when it was first released. Dated processor, terrible battery life, and practically no storage unless you spent about $200 more for the "upgrade" to 128GB. I completely understand if the CEO thought he was awesome and purchased 10. Bleh...terrible IT decision makers.

I just purchased a Surface Pro 2, and I replaced my troubleshooting/carry-around laptop. While I am not a huge fan of the Metro interface, it does make sense from a tablet perspective. I have a USB adapter with 3 USB ports when I need a Ethernet or multiple USB ports when I need connectivity, but it doesn't come out of my bag all too often. I average about 5-7 hours of battery life, but its hard to tell because the device quickly goes to sleep when not in use.

I do wish that the keyboard cover contained an external battery and was weighted enough to hold the Surface without using the kickstand. Besides that I have yet to find any major flaws with the device.

about 8 months ago

It's Time For the Descent Games Return

spiffydudex Re:Descent: Freespace! (251 comments)

As a Star Citizen purchaser...It'll be a while.....a long while and before you say anything...A dog-fighting module is not a game and provides no story or incentive to keep playing like Descent.

about 8 months ago

Obama Seeks New System For Rating Colleges

spiffydudex Re:Forget ratings, measure ROI. (302 comments)

Its been an interesting trend. When the Government offers more money, the tuition magically increases due to "higher costs". We all know that the costs have not increased that much. Fuel costs have stayed the same for roughly 7 years now. Why are institutions increasing the cost of education? Because they can and the government will gladly give out more student loads through Sally Mae. Plus with the added factor of the current "College Craze" the demand for seats is ever growing so there is really no stopping the bloated machine.

about a year and a half ago

Notch Shelves Space Game 0x10c, Cites Pressure, Desire To Work On Small Projects

spiffydudex Re:Strange Guy. (178 comments)

Seriously, Notch brought this upon himself. He asked for the attention and got it. Complaining about it isn't going to fix anything and this stunt will make the masses unhappy because he is a quitter.

about a year and a half ago

iOS 7 Beta 3 Now Available For iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch

spiffydudex Re:Unless you have a 1st gen iPad ... (205 comments)

Sounds like you're not the intended demographic for Apple. You need more hipster or fanboi to properly appreciate the lost value of the Apple product.

about a year and a half ago

Ask Slashdot: What Is the Best Way To Become a Rural ISP?

spiffydudex I worked at a Rural Wireless ISP (239 comments)

I worked at a wireless ISP that serviced roughly 200 customers that were completely unreachable by traditional means. The location was set in the mild to medium forested areas of East Texas. We had a 30Mb pipe that worked quite well for our network we never saw it start to "peak" or be overtaxed. Being that we were on the 900Mhz spectrum, the fastest anyone could run at was 1.5Mb/s - 2Mb/s.

Here area some of my thoughts regarding setting up your own ISP.

1) It is completely doable. However, there are two roads to take. You can do it on the cheap, or you can do it the way that will stand time. My company chose the method that stood throughout time. What I mean is, we were not using off-the-shelf radios. We rolled out the network using the 900Mhz Motorola Canopy equipment. We used outdoor rated cable that had separation of twisted pairs and grease filled interior to prevent water issues.

Our main competitor, who worked on the north and west side of the city went the opposite route. He chose to use cheaper 2.4GHZ equipment, primarily PTP bridges.

2) The technology is out there, you just have to find it at a price that you are willing to pay. When I was servicing the radios, they would cost roughly $350 new from Motorola just for the endpoint Subscriber Module. We instead purchased refurbished models for almost half the price at $200-225. The Access points and other major equipment will set you back, IT IS NOT CHEAP.

3) Backbone and network structure. We may have over engineered our network, but we felt it was necessary to keep subscriber information private. We had a small cisco switch that at each access tower that would assign VLAN to each subscriber module. On the internal side of the switch, the VLANs were removed and went into a bulk VLAN that was specified for that tower. No other subscriber could see any other one without first going to "The Internet". We also created a Management VLAN, so we could service and access the management interfaces on each of the Backhauls and APs. Latency across the network averaged about 50-150ms.

4) Please for the love of all that is holy, do not, run your own Email server. It is a absolute pain in the ass. I was the person who was in charge of ensuring that the systems in place stayed running. This meant, DHCP, DNS, HTTP, Email Services, and Management interfaces.

Remember Virtual Machines are your friend. Buy one or two hefty servers and backup the VMs to each other. That way if you have an outtage, you can get the VMs back up in running in about an hour.

DHCP - Since we had a bit of a robust network, we had different subnets for each of our towers. In total we had about 18 subnets that each had different purposes. This tool helped like the charm that it was. http://phpdhcpadmin.sourceforge.net/ At the time the logout system was broken, however, I patched the code to disable the login/logout functions and wrote a script that would automatically give me the next available IP address.

DNS - No fancy tools here, I mostly just let it roll and didn't touch it. I only touched DHCP when we added a hosted website.(which later went to rackspace)

HTTP - Simple, run Apache, set and forget.

Email Services - Complete Pain In The Ass. No really, I'm not joking. At the time, the powers over me, decided that we would give our customers up to 5 email addresses. So I setup a linux server in that ran Postfix, Dovecot, ClamAV, Squirrel Mail. It provided IMAP, POP, SMTP and SSL(if wanted). At the time, when I arrived the server was already in place and running. However, fast forward, 3 months, and someone decided to run "updates" on the server. Breaks all of the packages, settings, the whole shebang. Not a fun week at all.
Besides that, there were also issue with SPAM. We would constantly get blacklisted by various servers.

Management Interfaces - This was where the heart of out network lay. I have one word, Cacti, http://cacti.net/ For wireless this was a God-send. As you could get information about the RSSI, Jitter, Signal Strenth, ETC about each device all nice and neatly laid out for you. I am the guy who developed the Google Maps plugin for Cacti. http://forums.cacti.net/viewtopic.php?f=19&t=33716 At the time there was no way to visualize Up/Down statuses and other things across a real map. This was the thing that really helped boost our ability to manage the network.

4) Would I do it again, Absolutely. It is great fun managing your own network, knowing that any problem you encounter is probably a stupid mistake you personally made. It a great way to sharpen your teeth and grow technologically in a new direction.

All In All, It Is Doable, It Is Hard, It Can Be Done.

more than 2 years ago

Ask Slashdot: Good Low Cost Free Software For Protecting Kids Online?

spiffydudex Bsecure Online (646 comments)

My father uses this software, BSecure Whole Home Filtering. Its great, you can customize the filters to your hearts content. Plus you can cover all the computers in your network by changing DNS servers on your router.

Link: http://www.bsecure.com/

more than 2 years ago

Political Campaigns Mining Online Data To Target Voters

spiffydudex Re:Start Scubbing (131 comments)

Yeah, I know what you mean. Overall though, if you can keep most easily identifiable information out of the limelight, the better. For the most part, Names don't bother me too much, its addresses, phone numbers, etc that I try to keep scrubbed. Such is the world of the internet...

more than 2 years ago

Political Campaigns Mining Online Data To Target Voters

spiffydudex Start Scubbing (131 comments)

For those of us who wish to use social networking and other friendly but intrusive aspects of the web...If you haven't already, you better start scrubbing your visible online information. Reduce your online presence.
A good place to start viewing your publicly available information is http://www.pipl.com/

From there you can decide whether or not it is acceptable information and take the appropriate measures.

about 2 years ago

HP Touch Pad Still Popular ... With HP Employees

spiffydudex Re:I've used a fair variety of mobile OSes now... (131 comments)

I agree, the interface is great for doing everyday tasks. Love the simplicity in the email client. The only thing I did was disable the logging and increase the CPU to its standard 1.5ghz. The Pad is rock solid and for around 250$ you can get a 32gb model second hand. Great Deal in my opinion. Some may comp,ain about the lack of apps. Yes, the WebOS store is young. However, Games aside, I haven't found an app that wouldnt do what I needed productivity-wise. Now with Cyanogen claiming they want to be able to dual boot WebOS and Android, its just icing on the already delicious cake.

more than 3 years ago

Apple Faces Class-Action Suit For In-App Purchases

spiffydudex I fail to see why Apple REQUIRES a CC (283 comments)

This has perplexed me since I first bought an IPod 4th gen. Why on earth are you required to attach a credit card to an account? I fail to see the need for it. As far as kids racking up bills...That would immediately solve the problem. All the kids would have access to are the free apps. Heck, even something similar to the way Android handles app purchases.

I've owned an iPhone 3GS and now I am using a Samsung Captivate. Personally, I know iPhones are "Hip" but, if I were buying a phone for my kid I'd take the Android system. Simply because of the way Google handles app purchases and transactions.

more than 3 years ago

Artificial Clouds To Cool Qatar World Cup Stadiums

spiffydudex Re:SF writers never saw this coming (154 comments)

It's getting close to what a SF.writer would call a weather machine.

more than 3 years ago

US Contemplating 'Vehicle Miles Traveled' Tax

spiffydudex Re:privatize (1306 comments)

Obviously you haven't driven on a toll way in a long time. Most toll roads now are close to being 100% electronic. They implement a "Toll Tag" or "Zip Cash" system to have a completely cashless system. The NTTA around Dallas, TX went 100% cashless in December 2010.

more than 3 years ago

Slashdot Launches Re-Design

spiffydudex Re:Horrible. (2254 comments)

Why not?

about 4 years ago

Ubuntu 10.10 Multitouch Support Demo

spiffydudex Touchscreen keyboard? (104 comments)

One thing that wasn't mentioned in the article text or accompanying video that I am curious about, how does text input work? When a text bar or area is activated does it bring up a keyboard?

more than 4 years ago

Steve Jobs Tries To Sneak Shurikens On a Plane

spiffydudex and... (661 comments)

this makes the front page why? Its common knowledge...don't bring sharp objects into airports unless you are checking the bag.

more than 4 years ago

Tech Sector Slow To Hire

spiffydudex Soon to be Grad. (450 comments)

The numbers being spread around for unemployment are quite unsettling to me. I can only hope things turn around enough to get a decent starting job this spring. Several of my friends could not find internships this past summer due to companies decreasing the amount of students they hire. I myself could only get several odd jobs scraped together to give me a reasonable income for the summer.

more than 4 years ago

Best Way To Archive Emails For Later Searching?

spiffydudex Gmail? (385 comments)

While not open source, Gmail has a good search engine that isn't sluggish. Plus it has roughly 7.5 gigs of space to store data. Use IMAP to push all of your emails to the server and then use that Gmail account for archive email only.

more than 4 years ago

Louisiana, Intelligent Design, and Science Classes

spiffydudex Re:Just go to a religious school already (989 comments)

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances"

Oh please use your brain for a moment...and try not to distort historical context with your own personal ideologies.

One can only wonder for 2 seconds why this is in the first amendment. One of the main reasons the Puritans left England was because the English government was corrupting the church and bending it to fit the will of the king.
Anyone remember the issue with King Henry? He had problems getting his wives pregnant with sons and therefore would get an annulment sanctioned by the Pope. Well finally the Pope said "No More Annulments". Henry was like "up yours Pope, I'll make my own Church." Thus the Anglican Church of England was born. The puritans didn't like this and felt that religion should not be controlled by a government but by the will of God. So they got a charter to move to the new land of America and left England.

The whole reason for that section in the first amendment is to prevent the U.S. government from controlling a church. There is nothing related to religion being in school. In fact the puritans were actively involved in keeping a life in line with their religious beliefs and actively promoted faith based education. The Puritans prospered because of it, especially when compared to their fellow colonists in the Chesapeake Bay area.

more than 4 years ago



Craig Venter unveils "synthetic life"

spiffydudex spiffydudex writes  |  more than 4 years ago

spiffydudex (1458363) writes "Craig Venter and team make a historic announcement: they've created the first fully functioning, reproducing cell controlled by synthetic DNA. He explains how they did it and why the achievement marks the beginning of a new era for science.

I guess Zombies will walk the Earth sooner than I thought."

Link to Original Source

Backup for linux systems

spiffydudex spiffydudex writes  |  more than 5 years ago

spiffydudex writes "I am a programmer and developer for a small company. I have been asked to provide a backup solution for several of our Linux based systems. Most of these systems run Ubuntu as a VM under a Windows 2003 host. The Windows machines have access to raided drives, so this is the preferred location for backups. I have Samba enabled on the Ubuntu machines, but that does not retain permissions for files. Our systems include Postfix, Cacti, DHCP, DNS, and web hosting. Up until now we have been backing up about every month, manually. What would be a good solution to automate backing up data on a regular basis while still retaining permissions? Particularly what would be a good solution to perform a live backup of Postfix?"

University bandwidth consumption policies?

spiffydudex spiffydudex writes  |  more than 5 years ago

spiffydudex (1458363) writes "I am a college student, attending a smaller university based in Texas. Our University has a 60Mb/s internet pipe. Currently our IT department has restricted our bandwidth usage to a mere 5gigabytes a month, but has left the speed uncapped. Universities that I have have questioned about their internet usage policy have not been forthcoming. Typically concerning the areas in the amount of bandwidth granted and/or speed given.
Our student body is not happy about the current situation. Resolutions have been proposed in that IT restrict our maximum download speed while leaving our max bandwidth uncapped.

So I thought /. would have some interesting ideas about how to overcome or alleviate the current situation. Additionally what are the untold IT policies at other campus's across the US? Is our university's IT policy a common stance on bandwidth consumption?"

OLPC urges Microsoft to make Windows 7 for ARM

spiffydudex spiffydudex writes  |  more than 5 years ago

spiffydudex (1458363) writes "OLPC recently switched to using the ARM processor in order to reduce the amount of power usage. With the change in processor, OLPC expects Microsoft to support the processor as well.

"...one major stumbling block which the non-profit organisation has yet to overcome. Microsoft Windows, which OLPC still considers to be essential for some reason, does not work on non-x86 processors. And if the organisation insists on making the next generation of its hardware dual boot, then it will have to go cap in hand to the Redmond software giant."

What are your thoughts on OLPC's stance towards Microsoft and the ARM processor? Do you feel that OLPC is wrong for continuing to try and support Windows as part of a dual boot platform?"


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