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Comment El Capitan has other problems (Score 3, Informative) 100

My install of OS 10.11 in October 2015 seemed to be terrific. Then I found that had trouble with SDHC cards on my 2009 iMac 27". It might read and write cards after a clean cold boot, but it also might self reject them, and it never would even see a SDHC inserted after a sleep cycle. Others reported similar issues, one post on the topic was up to 9 pages a few weeks ago on the Apple Discussion forum. The problem was reported on many different models, not all were old.
10.11.1, 10.11.2, and 10.11.3 brought no relief. Then, 10.11.4 improved its operation substantially. SDHC cards would work for several sleep cycles before being gone to the wind. Sometimes, just to be assertive, OS X 10.11.4 reverts to its old ways. It likes to mess with me.
I have never had El Capitan freeze on me BTW.
10.11 El Capitan brought a whole new USB software support and some people have claimed various fixes for the SDHC issue, use a driver for an external reader, muck with the control files for USB, etc. The reliability and security of these fixes is always dubious.
Other problems also came with El Capitan (for me at least). Calendar spins its color wheel cursor at me as type in new events, it takes 5 or more seconds to respond to a single character. I've played with the various iCloud settings and mitigated the problem, but not by much.
El Capitan came with a number of "improvements". The Notebook application was supposed to have numbering and other new features. I tried them and couldn't believe how poorly the features worked. I looked for an alternative and discovered the best application on the planet, Microsoft OneNote. I now use it on my Mac, my iPhone, my Chromebook, my Windows bootcamp partition, and at work on the PCs. Highly recommended. Best app I've ever used.
The myth of "it just works" is a myth. I curse my Macs oddities way more than I curse at the PCs at work, except for cursing at the work itself.
I toyed with restoring Yosemite from my Time Capsule. I finally did a few weeks ago, but to an external Firewire disk. Then I found that using an external disk for booting OS X doesn't work that well. It won't wake from sleep well, for example. But I tried, I just don't want to blow away the internal disk for it. Any besides, it took 6 hours to build that disk from Time Capsule as it restored 650MB of media besides the OS plus all the old versions of my software. You have no (minimal) control over Time Capsule.
There is nothing Apple sells that I want any part of anymore. The new iMacs look just like the one I've been using. Maybe my problems with El Capitan are due to my computers age, but I buy Apple because they've historically given me good value and lasted with full software updates. Like for seven years now.
I may have to switch to Windows one day. Don't tell me about Linux, I use it all day at work too. Not Ready for Prime Time.
So, I guess I'd rather bitch than switch.

Comment 7 years and counting (Score 1) 175

My 2009 iMac 27" is still going strong.
The new iMacs look the same, but "may" have better screens and processors. Mine screen and processor are good enough. I can pass on the new models.
What isn't good is Apple Software. It is seriously behind Windows 10 IMHO.
El Capitan introduced problems with USB and the SDHC card reader, problems only slightly improved with release 10.11.4.
It is not just the El Capitan update, OS X has lost its appeal. The only changes have been slight improvements, improvements that often come with new problems and limitations. iPhoto to Photos is one example.
My iPhone, though I do update about every three years. My 1st generation phone lacked GPS, my previous iPhone lacked LTE. My iPhone 6 should keep me for another 2 or maybe three years.
In my experience with iPhone updates, many of the new features added by iOS updates can be disabled, this enables the new OS to run well on older iPhones. At least my previous iPhone 4S runs fine with OS 9 and makes a good iPod device.
Maybe Satya Nadella will port Office to Linux and make a new market for his products. Then OS X would be superfluous.

Comment Have You Been To A HAMfest? (Score 1) 138

All around the country, amateur radio operators hold HAMfests. These too have been declining in numbers and they have less and less radio gear and more swap meet junk. But, I go to them and you will find old electronics, parts, computers, radios, and if course junk. The bigger events will have commercial booths as well selling electronic parts, radios, and computers. Most of the attendees are ham radio types. The events almost always offer radio license exams for a small fee. The FCC license is for transmission in the amateur frequencies. Modern amateur radios have digital interfaces and operating modes. There is an admission charge as these events are fund raisers for the radio club sponsors.

Comment Old News, Where is Getting Worse From? (Score 1) 245

OK, this story is disturbing and calls in question our whole criminal justice system. But, where is the "getting worse" in the headline from? This is old news. While this may be one case of many, where are the links to others news items making this a trend? Maybe this is an isolated incident. Maybe not. No place on Slashdot as it is.

Comment Re:I never have to reboot my iPhone (Score 1) 484

Same here. We have three iPhones, two 5S and one 6. I have a 4S in the car as an iPod. iOS 8 versions have been solid. I think I may (emphasize may) have have had one lockup on my iPhone 6 since I bought it in November. One 5S was showing problems with some apps which was solved with a restart. The other 5S was experiencing charging issues which I fixed with some compressed air in the Lightning port. Two of the iPhones are used quite heavily. The worse part of iOS is in Podcast updates and iTunes is a total mess on OS X. I only wish Apple would run the OS X side of the fence as well they do iOS.

Comment The NFL is a NON-Profit Organization (Score 2) 216

Why is the NFL permitted to operate as non-profit when it controls so much of the experience and generates so much revenue?

That alone should get this rule changed.

And as others have pointed out, tax payers build the stadiums for these teams, so we should be able to watch them.

BTW - I am not a sports fan. I watch the super bowl only, and even then, I channel surf.

Who cares about this stuff anyway?

Comment Give Up, Just Use MS-Word (or whatever) (Score 1) 170

I went from keeping a simple and cheap paper lab notebook to just using MS-Word. Paper notebooks were fine in the olden days, I could tape in tables or diagrams from books. But paper is hard to search and organize and move from desk to desk and job to job.

I simply keep an MS-Word (or Google Docs) file where the document starts with several tables, such as charge codes, assigned staff contact data, assigned staff current assignment, and a To Do List.

Then I have a current to past date order where each date has a header with the date in Bold (using a style) and is followed by note lines indented to make each entry easy to spot and follow. When I read a document or reference a file, I add a hyperlink to the item in my notes.

With MS-Word i have active hyperlinks, I can paste in tables or diagrams, or Dilbert cartoons. Every three months I close the file, write lock it, and start a new one from the previous one. To shorten the file, I trim old entries from the current one because the original file is intact. Eery month I print the current one to have with me for reference. Each file ends up about 40 pages. I currently have less used tables at the end of the file.

My oldest one still opens and has its original file time stamp. If MS-Word ever announces it will obsolete a format, I could convert them to Google Docs or save in the new format. Lets face it, MS-Word is a defacto standard. It is used everywhere now. I have used these files on both Macs and PCs.

My method has saved my sorry ass many times. When did I talk to such and such about something? I search the files and I have dates because I record a brief summary of every discussion I hold with names. Personnel issues, I have notes. Document lost? I have links and the dates I read it, even if the link is broken, I have a record. Travel, I have a record. Meetings? I have a record with notes.

Do I want to trust a third party like EverNote, No.

Have I ever lost one of these files, No. I have them at work, at home, and on Google Drive.

The records have helped me trace missing circuit boards since recorded to whom and when I sent them.

I started using this when my manager, before I became one, would ask me if I was working on something. If I had no record of when we talked and what he said, I was at fault for not working on something. When I started keeping records, that problem ended.

Comment Re:Prior Art (Score 2) 107

The government uses key loaders and a unique rugged serial connector in legacy key loaders. These are used with cryptographic and secure communication equipment. Look up the KYK-14 and KIK-30. I've even used paper tape key loaders, a long time ago. Some more "modern" key loaders are based on legacy PDA hardware. I haven't worked with these things in years. These devices use numerous techniques to protect keys, a USB device with good protection would be nice and might be a good kick starter venture.

Comment It is a poor workman who blames his tools (Score 2) 479

I've used MS Word since version 1.05 on MacPlus. It was everything that people here complain about.

People misuse MS-Word to create monstrosities of crap that cannot be edited.Companies use its bizaro features to make unalterable files and forms that defy logic.However, it can also be used to create actual documents using styles and formatting that lets people get work done. Google Docs is a poor substitute (I have a Chromebook and tried). None of the office tools I've seen are perfect and none ever will be.

I' like to see tools that use descriptive formatting as SGML intended, but every application of SGML since its introduction has been made by document professionals that are worse than Word. XML sucks.

Comment Don't Burn Oil, Eat It (Score 1) 705

Back in my college days 1969+, we had Arthur C Clark as a featured speaker one year for the Science Fiction series. Yes it was a long time ago when he did such things.

One of his comments at a time when oil costs were rising, OPEC was rising, and the idea of global warming was just being introduced...

He mentioned that then new research suggested that oil could be used to make proteins and therefore it was a possible food or meat substitute. Hence he suggested we should be eating oil and not burning it. That is all I remember form his talk. So, now we are going to eat bugs. Maybe we fry them in petroleum?

That is all I remember from the speech. Leonard Nimoy also spoke one year and told us how he created the Vulcan greeting hand gesture. Another event featured Gene Roddenberry who told us why he hated Tucson, Az and had bad guys come from it in a Star Trek episode. Good memories all. Fast forward 40+ years and they still make Star Trek movies, Star Trek is on MeTV, and Leonard Nimoy is on Fringe. Some how it all fits together.

Comment Bought one, was Apple going to sue? (Score 1) 368

I picked up a 32GB HP Touchpad at Walmart first thing Saturday morning. They had two in stock and had not sold a single one since getting them. If they were both the 16GB I was going to buy both and in retrospect, I should have anyway. One was going to be used as a $100 Kindle reader with color and then some. The other for hacking. The darn thing fits perfectly in my iPad 2 cases. It is bit thicker, but all the controls and even the camera match up to one case. Could it be that HP was also afraid of an Apple lawsuit? I played with WebOS and found it a decent tablet OS. It does not come with all the capabilities of the iPad, but it did include QuickOffice which I use on the iPad. Startup is slow and the initial setup is restricting, I had to disable my routers MAC address filtering to get it started as there is no way to find the MAC address without setting up WiFi and creating the WebOS account. Still,once going it is pretty nice. If HP wanted to make a go of selling them, the product was good enough, even if not great. There was no marketing and no promotion. I suspect the plan to doom it and the PC division was long in planning. The biggest shame in the whole HP saga is Agilent should have gotten the HP name and the other company could have been named dumb jerks with no plan.

Comment Re:Aside of the price (Score 1) 133

In the unmentioned decades of my work with computers, most products are "rushed to market by a furiously masterbating manager in the corner of an office". Bugs, HMI problems, hardware faults, failure to meet requirements, and even being of any use to humanity do not matter once money is committed by a company to build something on which someone's career rests. In my defense and that of SOME companies and SOME managers I have been associated with, I have been a part of teams building useful things or software that were successful. I hope to continue that tradition and given my current situation, I don't have to tolerate the "furiously masterbating" manager anymore nor will I. I have known some doozies!

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Organic chemistry is the chemistry of carbon compounds. Biochemistry is the study of carbon compounds that crawl. -- Mike Adams