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VP Biden Briefs US Governors On H-1B Visas, IT, and Coding

toddestan Re:Appre (224 comments)

It's that or else they have completely unrealistic requirements for the job, are unwilling to invest in employees by training them, and sit around and whine that they can't find someone with experience in a dozen obscure and niche technologies.

2 days ago
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'Just Let Me Code!'

toddestan Re:I Have a Friend Who Is a Top-Shelf Cabinetmaker (368 comments)

However, their stuff ain't cheap. A Mercedes S-class will usually cost more than 5 Toyotas. It will probably last as long as 3 or 4. The Mercedes-Benz company is a pipsqueak, compared to Toyota.

Are you kidding? Mercedes is garbage nowadays. Ever since they bought out Chrysler, their quality went into tho toilet. I'm in Minnesota, and I'm accustomed to seeing 10-15 year old Mercedes that are total rust buckets on their last legs driving around. Granted, this is salt country, but I also see Mercedes from the 70's and 80's driving around with little to no rust so it hasn't always been this way, which is kind of sad. A new Toyota will easily last longer as new Mercedes while costing less to purchase and maintain, and IMHO the quality of new Toyotas has also been sliding for about the last decade.

3 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: Future-Proof Jobs?

toddestan Re:Plumber (509 comments)

Ever talked to a chatterbot? Some of them can produce utter nonsense, some of which can be downright hilarious.

about two weeks ago
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People Who Claim To Worry About Climate Change Don't Cut Energy Use

toddestan Re:Microwave Satellites (710 comments)

I did. Just build a moat around your power plant with the water tool. That way, when the beam misses it won't cause your very expensive power plant to catch fire and explode. Can't say the same for whatever is on the other side of the moat though :)

about two weeks ago
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People Who Claim To Worry About Climate Change Don't Cut Energy Use

toddestan Re:user error (710 comments)

Leaving a computer on all the time causes the mechanical parts to wear out. The bearings in the hard drives won't last as long, and the fans won't last nearly as long. Electrolytic capacitors have finite lifetimes, many of them are only rated for 10,000 hours at their rated voltage (that's only slightly longer than a year!). Tin whiskers will grow faster. A computer that is left on will be exposed to all the power spikes and brownouts that come down the wall power instead of just those that happen to hit when the computer is running (granted a good UPS helps here). A computer that's on all the time will also accumulate dust and lint faster, and that can also shorten the lifespan if you don't keep on top of it.

I've found that my computers that I regularly turn off (or sleep) when I'm not using them typically outlast the ones that have to be left on all the time for whatever reason. In both cases, the failures are almost always the mechanical parts such as the fans and hard drives, or the power supply. While it's true that thermal cycling stresses things like the CPU, chipset, memory. GPU, etc. those parts I've found to be very reliable no matter how I used them and they fail very rarely. Well, maybe slighly more so for GPUs.

about two weeks ago
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Predicting a Future Free of Dollar Bills

toddestan Re:Canada has the future :) (753 comments)

Well, they discontinued the half cent in 1857, and just a few years later the whole country was thrown into civil war. Do you think they're going to make that mistake again?

about two weeks ago
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Ode To Sound Blaster: Are Discrete Audio Cards Still Worth the Investment?

toddestan Re:Hard finding any worth it these days (502 comments)

Soundcards generally aren't high voltage or high current, and those are the situations where the bad capacitors made themselves known. That's not to say that it isn't the caps though, especially if the sound card was in a computer case that tended to run hot.

about three weeks ago
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Ode To Sound Blaster: Are Discrete Audio Cards Still Worth the Investment?

toddestan Re:You're much better off investing in speakers (502 comments)

I remember buying some Realistic speakers for about $15. They were unmistakably crap, but on the other hand they were amazing compared to anything else you could get for $15.

about three weeks ago
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Ode To Sound Blaster: Are Discrete Audio Cards Still Worth the Investment?

toddestan Re:No. (502 comments)

Assuming that the scale setting controls some gain stage before the ADC, all they really need is enough bit resolution to match the number of vertical pixels on the screen. Considering some the screens I've seen put into digital oscilloscopes an 8 bit ADC would be good enough. Now, a fully analog scope with a CRT wouldn't have this particular problem.

about three weeks ago
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Normal Humans Effectively Excluded From Developing Software

toddestan Re:Regular People (608 comments)

In many ways SharePoint is like how he describes. Sure, you can take the built-in tools and build yourself a website that can do quite a bit on its own. But want to go outside of what the canned stuff can do and create something custom? Ever look at the code that create those SharePoint pages? Yeah, that's not accessible to normal humans in any way.

about three weeks ago
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Bug In Fire TV Screensaver Tears Through 250 GB Data Cap

toddestan Re:It's 2014 (349 comments)

Burn-in was a much bigger problem with CRTs from the 80's and early 90's. By the time the 2000's rolled around CRTs, at least the good ones, were much more resistant to burn-in.

about a month ago
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Bug In Fire TV Screensaver Tears Through 250 GB Data Cap

toddestan Re:Why do we have screen savers? (349 comments)

Vista's taskbar was pretty dark. I actually like the default theme for Vista myself over 7's.

Also, you can auto-hide the bars in Gnome 3 by holding down the Win Key + Alt and right clicking on the bar, then selecting Properties, and checking the auto-hide option. Handy if you're stuck with a laptop with a crappy low resolution screen.

about a month ago
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Windows 9 To Win Over Windows 7 Users, Disables Start Screen For Desktop

toddestan Re:I skipped Windows 7... (681 comments)

I challenge you to build a Mac that can accept a PCIe x16 video card at any price.

about a month ago
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Ask Slashdot: Is It Feasible To Revive an Old Linux PC Setup?

toddestan Re:Old hardware... (176 comments)

I think I've got at least one of everything you mentioned laying around.

If power consumption is a concern, I would try for an early Coppermine P3 processor. These usually have the 'E" suffix, such as the 600EB. These processors usually used less than 20W, which was pretty good compared to the P2 which were more like 45W chips.

If you get your hands on a Dell Optilex or XPS from this era, these are generally good, solid machines but keep mind that the while the motherboards use the ATX power connector, the pin out is not ATX, so don't mix and match or you'll blow something up. HP Vectras aren't bad machines either.

Keep in mind that a lot these P2/P3 boards won't accept 512MB SDRAM modules (these modules seemed to be primarily for the early socket 478 boards that used SDRAM). You can try, but unless you find documentation that says otherwise assume the max memory is 256MB times the number of memory slots.

Hard drives are kind of a crapshoot. I've found a lot of drives from the era that have been sitting for the past few years will still start up and run and seem to work fine for a few days, then will just crap out. Usually just long enough for you to get everything set up :) You may want to invest in a IDE to CF adapter, or possibly one of the IDE to SATA adapters, or seeing if you can find a new IDE drive rather than trusting a 15 year old drive. If you do go with an old drive, run it through one of those burn-in programs for a few days before trusting it.

about a month ago
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Microsoft Wants You To Trade Your MacBook Air In For a Surface Pro 3

toddestan Re: (365 comments)

That was true until BMW decided to Bangle them all up, of course. Now, it's just... ugh.

about a month ago
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UK Man Sentenced To 16 Months For Exporting 'E-Waste' Despite 91% Reuse

toddestan Re:The headline is juicy, but hides a real problem (212 comments)

I'm not so sure about televisions. A lot of people replaced their CRTs with LCDs and plasmas, so most of the people I know have televisions that are less than 10 years old. Many of them less than 5 years. From what I've seen of the build quality of most modern TVs, they'd be lucky to get 10 years out of them if they are used regularly, so I think the era of buying a TV and keeping it for 20-30 years is probably over for most people.

about a month ago
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Ask Slashdot: Best Way to Learn C# For Game Programming?

toddestan Re:It's too slow. (254 comments)

Java is still slow. But unless you're using it for heavy number crunching, you won't notice it on a 2014 computer like you did on a 1998 computer.

about a month ago
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Even In Digital Photography Age, High Schoolers Still Flock To the Darkroom

toddestan Re:The actual appeal (240 comments)

The big thing that I thought the K1000 lacked in terms of a student camera was a DOF preview lever. That's something I always found to be valuable, and for a student learning the concepts being able to see what changing the aperture does in the camera is a good learning tool. The self timer? Nice to have, but probably not as necessary.

I've always liked the Pentax "M" cameras. One of the best viewfinders on any SLR I've ever laid my hands on, even on the more basic ME.

about a month and a half ago
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Kingston and PNY Caught Bait-and-Switching Cheaper Components After Good Reviews

toddestan Re:A bit more subtle than you think (289 comments)

The original Celeron was a Pentium II without the L2 cache (which was a separate chip back then in the Slot 1 package so could be easily eliminated). This pretty much got laughed out of the marketplace.

The next Celeron was a different chip, with an onboard 128k L2 cache that ran at the CPU speed as opposed to 512k that ran at half speed on the Pentium II. For many people, the smaller, faster L2 cache performed just as well as the larger, slower L2 cache on the Pentium II. Furthermore, these were some of the most overclockable chips ever made, most could easily overclock 50% without any special considerations. And as you mentioned they could be used in a dual CPU set up. What you probably remember is people buying the Celeron 300A and then bitching when they got one that wouldn't overclock.

The next Celeron was basically a P3 with half the L2 cache disabled, and for a long time hobbled with a 66Mhz bus speed. They were also sure to disable the ability for them to be used in a dual CPU set up. These were okay chips, which got better once they bumped the bus to 100Mhz, but as far as I know there is no way to turn them back into a P3.

about a month and a half ago
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Kingston and PNY Caught Bait-and-Switching Cheaper Components After Good Reviews

toddestan Re:And another on the ban pile (289 comments)

Crucial had a bad run of memory back in the DDR2-era. Easily identified by the yellow heat spreaders. Not sure what the problem was but I knew several people who bought that memory for vastly different computers (some Intel, some AMD, some namebrand, and some whitebox), and all had problems. Since then I've avoided Crucial. Corsair is good, and I've never had problems with Kingston either.

about a month and a half ago

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