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Ask Slashdot: Moving From Tech Support To Development?

tfigment Re:Its an interesting situation. (133 comments)

I'm a hiring manager and basically this is mostly the truth unfortunately. However I really do want that person that can do the 20 things I've listed (as I have to) but generally I want to know you are willing to learn them and already know a few of them and preferably have mastered some as well.

I've hired people that interview well and can talk the talk but end up not being able to program hello world in 2 weeks and those are the hardest to fire sometimes. I've also hired some brilliant programmers that didn't realize it though most of the time they still have to interview well. I've had great candidates rejected by HR because they didn't actually graduate from university. If you can interview well that gets your foot in the door but your resume has to pass through HR to even get that shot. My issue with my company is our interviews are structured so I only get 30 minutes with the candidate and that is just not enough in many cases. Hard for me to get a feel and hard for you to make an impression. Anyway happy hunting.

about 10 months ago

8 US States Pushing For 3.3 Million Electric Cars

tfigment Re:Uh... anyone check electric grid capacity? (327 comments)

While an interesting thought, my company is in the uninterrupted power generation/supply business and its anything but easy to configure larger sites. I dont know specs of a Tesla but if the grid disappears we usually have a transfer switch somewhere in there between the grid, the load and the UPS to handle load transfer and I doubt the place where you plugin your car is adequate for this. Usually the various devices in the new microgrid now have to synchronize with each other and someone has to be the grid reference now that the actual grid is down and that can be a pain. If I have 2 Teslas and a gas powered generator all three have to agree who is master and who is slave and to actually be a UPS solution there better not be any drop in the wave form during that or its not gonna be a UPS for very long. I could see something like this more likely at a place of work where it can be controlled but I'm not sure I'd want my car supporting my office building in a power outage as it may drain it enough that I'm not getting home.

Anyway if I were Tesla I would not want the car that I build to now be liable for keeping power up for houses and businesses in an environment I've never seen and have no control over. There is no way they could support a warranty for that.

about a year ago

MariaDB vs. MySQL: A Performance Comparison

tfigment Re:When the incompatabilities ? (112 comments)

Sometimes the differences matter. We jumped ship to MariaDB and are mostly happy with it. I am still frustrated with having to periodically rebuild my database because of huge ibdata files (yes we use innodb_file_per_table so it shouldn't be huge but it is after a time). I thought there was a MySQL labs build which enabled something to mitigate this problem which I probably would drop maria in a heartbeat for at the moment if it was in the mainline trunk.

Anyway, Oracle has apparently added EXPLAIN to statements other than SELECT which is a killer feature for me as I need to better understand certain UPDATE statement plans which seem to be very different than equivalent SELECT clauses. Monty has added ability to view actual plan for running Select statements. I really want both features now but they are forked now in this space.

about a year and a half ago

Longest Running Linux Distribution Slackware Adopts MariaDB

tfigment Re:Frosty piss (109 comments)


Of course this does not fix the ibdata01 file growth issue in heavy transactional systems. Putting all that meta crap in a a file that does not shrink ever is the stupidest design decision in innodb. We have have had to rebuild several times because the ibdata file has grown to fill the disk despite not having any table data. Something to do with flush logs and transactions or something.

Saw something in labs build that may mitigate the need to rebuild completely from scratch when this happens but not sure if its in production yet.

about 2 years ago

Developers Begin Hunt For a Killer App For Google Glass

tfigment Re:Privacy and etiquette (155 comments)

This is the single best idea I've heard of regarding this technology so far and not one that immediately came to mind for what ever reason. I also suspect that people like the GP and myself would accept the technology if it was for a legitimate need like CC. Its far more likely to be used for voyeuristic purposes and I think that is what is objected to.

I remember the iPhone app that translated signs you pointed the camera at from a couple of years ago. Not sure if that was real or not but that's the other killer app I see for this. Unfortunately the big money is likely in less noble endeavours.

about 2 years ago

The Raspberry Pi Turns One

tfigment Re:The aboslute best thing about the Pi... (81 comments)

That could be useful. I was not aware they had general purpose I/O but so do many Arduinos. I'm assuming a couple dry contact digital inputs and maybe an A/D 10-12 bit converter. Throw in zigbee and battery pack I could see this being useful. Problem is I still don't really wouldn't want to have to wire these things all over the place so wireless is valuable. Not sure what life it would have on battery though probably pretty short since its general purpose.

Not ready to replace my wireless Omega sensors because those are reasonably well designed (with NEMA-2 enclosure) and come enough support software that I don't have to worry about it but they are reasonably expensive and I've had several issues with their general purpose Analog to be truly useful. They also run for 1-2 years on the batteries. But still expensive for what they are.

about 2 years ago

The U.S. minimum wage should be

tfigment Re:How about "enforced", for a start? (1106 comments)

I was going login and give my own manifesto but your is close enough so I will support yours instead. I recall visiting Australia about 10 years ago and being absolutely confused by people kept telling me not to tip. They took pride in the fact that they paid a living wage and some considered it an insult because of that. Now I was just visiting and it was a really nice visit so I don't know if it really works but they currently pay about twice the US minimum and I've seen several articles showing that they have a higher average wage for people.

I'll save the fact that I hate tipping for another rant (though I tip reasonably well ~20% when I do) because it is hides the true cost of the transaction for the end user and usually screws over the tippee. Also tipping for coffee or sandwiches also rub me the wrong way. Just charge what it takes to pay your employees properly and provide the expected product. Don't try guilting me into paying an extra dollar for coffee because you underpay your employees.

Also agree that some CEOs do not really deserve to make 400x or more than their lowest paid employee. I'm guessing that several of these lower paid people could do the job just as well for much less. Or that they use subcontractors to avoid having to give benefits to janitors and other low wage help.

about 2 years ago

FTC to HTC: Patch Vulnerabilities On Smartphones and Tablets

tfigment Re:Cyanogen Mod. (111 comments)

My biggest issue with my HTC One V is that it goes into super deep sleep and I miss phone calls and alarms do not go off. Alarms will go off when I turn the phone back on after it is usually too late. (Note: None of the free alarm apps help as I've tried the best 3 of them) What does help is keeping the thing charged. The other is that the ringer volume sometimes does not match settings and rebooting the phone fixes the volume control.

At least they fixed the battery issue in the Nov/Dec update. There were times I could not charge my phone beyond 50% unless I drained it completely and recharged while off to 100%). I was an inch away from returning the phone if they could not get the battery issue fixed.

Definitely a disappoint experience for me. I was probably happier with a simple Motorola phone and an iPod Touch for my smart phone needs before this phone.

about 2 years ago

Apple Hides Samsung Apology So It Can't Be Seen Without Scrolling

tfigment Re:Must be fixed? (743 comments)

Make sure you don't have a script blocker running. I have ScriptNo on Chrome and I can see the text just barely on 1920x1200 and fully on 1200x1600 (rotated) with it enabled by default. If I allow javascript to run then it perfectly expands the image so that indeed the apology is at the bottom of the page and I have to scroll (in both screen formats). Its unnecessary on 1920x1200 and extremely unnecessary on 1200x1600 to play that game as they could easily have fit the text at the bottom if they were not trying to hide it.

more than 2 years ago

Display Makers To Use Quantum Dots For Efficiency and Color Depth

tfigment Re: microdots (100 comments)

This technology is nothing new. Its been used heavily since the sixties to bring out vivid colors in all manner of displays (its actually even older than traditional color tv displays). Sometimes they refer to the technology as microdots. I'm not sure I need a LSD screen yet or one that uses PCB bus instead of a PCI bus one.

more than 2 years ago

Will Kickstarter Launch a Gaming Renaissance?

tfigment Re:Will it start a renaissance? (170 comments)

Pretty much same here different games probably. I've funded 6 games in past 3 weeks or so. 5 of those have already hit their targets. Shadowrun Returns, Wasteland 2 and the DFA game are run away successes I think in this phase. I don't think the 6th one will make its targets.

I think it will be successful for well known but niche titles. I have very few problems giving my money to the original authors of the games as that is probably a safe bet. I have slightly more reservations with new content from unknowns or people who have only good mods in their pocket. But I have invested in both just to see if this spurs on new kinds of development but I'm not giving $15 or $1000 to just anybody as there are few guarantees here that the money will be well spent and I will see anything in return in 1-2 years.

I don't care for the latest action game or multiplayer whatever. I'm far more interested in games with content and choices and a little back story not ones that accurately model the reloading behavior of the latest military firearms. Unfortunately we seem to be getting better graphics and animation and worse content as years go by. These kickstarters are showing that there is a market for older style games from decades past that are being updated for today's computers without having to sell your soul to the publisher in exchange for money.

more than 2 years ago

Ask Slashdot: Which Multiple Desktop Tool For Windows 7?

tfigment Actual Window Manager (359 comments)

I personally use Actual Window Manager for my desktop management of windows systems. Lots of options for saving preferred locations for apps and changing behaviors like adding a second taskbar (with start button) to second monitors. Forcing apps to startup on same window as the mouse. Forcing apps to always be on top. Just a lot of little useful things that I occasionally really want.

It has a few flaws especially if the application its hooking is unresponsive and is more expensive than free but worth it in by my book. I don't use Virtual Desktops Switcher much as I don't personally need it but that is its multiple virtual desktop manager and is reasonably easy to use. The product has a 60 day trial so plenty of time to try to see if you like it.

more than 2 years ago

My phone's battery lasts ...

tfigment Re:lasts for ages (254 comments)

Yep. People only call me at work when they really need get a hold of me. I accomplish this by not letting the company pay for a phone so it does not have to be listed on the company contact list and then I give out my number or call only those I trust with it.

My solution to the email flood is to use lots of server side rules. Most emails are moved immediately to some subfolder under my inbox unless I've whitelisted the person or subject for some reason. I can check the subfolder when I like but its not automatically synced to remote devices. The primary inbox is left for emails that are presumably worth an immediate notification. Automated reports and notices get their own private hole to reside in. Its a little bit of work but it has held up so far.

more than 3 years ago

Fedora Aims To Simplify Linux Filesystem

tfigment Re:When do we get compression? (803 comments)

Symbolic links aka Junctions were added in Windows XP so it is a decade old at least. What is missing was a good built in tool to use them but that is what Mark Russinovich is for.

Each FS have their merits. I don't really need to have README.TXT, Readme.txt, readme.txt coexist in the same folder at the same time so I prefer that part of FAT32/NTFS anyway.

more than 3 years ago

Oracle's Ambitious Plan For Client-Side Java

tfigment Re:rewrite swing from scratch or stop right now (292 comments)

I total agree. My boss pretty much discarded his middle layer in geronimo and rewrote the php layer to directly use the database instead of webservice because performance was so poor on our critical monitoring website.

We use a lot of Java and it just sucks memory and performance like there is no tomorrow. We have one server that we just had to up the memory from 5 GB to 7 GB to 10 GB because the fracken java app was doing god knows what with what should be at most 500 MB of data. I'm sure its bad code and one day we will get a fix from the vendor but this is not the first time I've seen this though never of that magnitude.

On topic we also use a Java Webstart based thick-client HMI and not a week goes by that most I get one comment or another about how much memory it using on users desktops (minimum 256 but usually 400 or so) and how crappy it looks (using swing widgets). My laptop only has 2 GB and between this app, firefox and eclipse I have nothing left and for anything else and have to play games with what apps I have open or risk running off the swap drive. I've only ever used one Java client application that was so well performing, well behaved and nice looking that I didn't know it was Java and was surprised by it usually that is not the case.

more than 3 years ago

Amazon Kindle Fire Surfaces

tfigment Re:Of course this thing will get rooted. (521 comments)

I agree it will be rooted but also that Amazon will fight rooting like apple. I think the main reason though will be so people cannot circumvent the onscreen ads on lower price models which would be the first thing I would do. It will be interesting how this shakes out.

more than 3 years ago

Amazon To Launch Kindle Tablet?

tfigment why eyes hurt (140 comments)

Why would your eyes hurt after an hour?

I couldn't say why some peoples eyes hurt since that is not my area of expertise but I can tell you that my eyes hurt after reading on my nook color after a couple of hours. I also have a first gen kindle and do not have the same problem with it. I am a software developer and am in front of computer screens all day reading text of monitors without issue.

Maybe its a quality of light issue or refresh rates or something but it happens at least in my experience.

In the end I would put money on tablets winning the battle over e-ink over time unless e-ink vendors can put out some quality color screens that update quickly fairly soon just because they are more versatile at the moment.

more than 3 years ago

How Game Makers Like EA Mine for Tax Breaks

tfigment Re:Even in Canada they do it (123 comments)

While I did not work in video games, I had similar experiences while working in Canada. Those tax breaks were huge for our company even though I would not call what we did R&D.

One coworker got headhunted into a much better position just due to the fact that he had hands on experience in getting these tax breaks for our company and a sizable bonus based on a percentage of the money he could get for the new company.

more than 3 years ago

Linux Kernel Moves To Github

tfigment Not our experience (142 comments)

We had some Windows and Linux (CentOS) servers that were running on real hardware. We consolidated them to a VMware ESXi host. The windows images moved over seamlessly and without issue. The core linux box with svn, wiki, bug tracker, ... would not migrate properly so we ended up reinstalling the OS and migrating the apps and data by hand. Overall the windows box took the time to copy the data + 15 minutes and Linux took time to copy the data twice and half a day to troubleshoot and reinstall.

Nothing was particularly special in the configurations of either that I recall. I suppose we used the wrong version of linux or something. Also not sure if a HAL would help or hurt here or if it was something with vmware but it wasn't as easy as you pointed out above.

Maybe if one of the Windows images had trouble it would have been 1+ days instead of .5 days or something but then again they didn't.

more than 3 years ago


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