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Comment: Re:That's not the reason you're being ignored. (Score 1) 406

by Arethereanyleft (#48151571) Attached to: Flight Attendants Want Stricter Gadget Rules Reinstated

What I think is funny is that most times I've been on a plane in the last few years, someone would be gabbing on their cell phone or playing with some device long after the announcement was made to shut them down. The flight attendants just ignored this.

Maybe this will force more flight attendants to pay attention to the passengers.

Comment: Re:Wow (Score 1) 85

by Arethereanyleft (#47626489) Attached to: Ecuador To Forge Ahead With State-Backed Digital Currency

It's really pretty weird there. You pay in dollars, but a lot of your change will be in old Ecuadorian coins. Also, there isn't a lot of change, especially outside of the big cities. I remember one night in a little town in the Andes where two of us were trying to buy enough stuff so that we could use a $20 bill. The store only had about $8 in change, and everything was so darn cheap that it felt like we had to buy up half the store.

If you do go to Ecuador, bring lots of $5 bills. You will be their king...

Comment: Demo mode (Score 1) 57

by Arethereanyleft (#47474459) Attached to: Biofeedback Games and The Placebo Effect

I remember going into the office next to mine at a game development company and watching a couple of guys playing a boxing game. After a minute or so, I noticed that the movements on the screen seemed to have little to do with what the guys were doing with the controllers. I watched a little longer and asked if they were actually playing the game. They checked, and the game was in demo mode.

Comment: Re:wow! (Score 1) 104

by Arethereanyleft (#47332677) Attached to: Funding for iFind Kickstarter Suspended

Kickstarter collects money, takes a cut, and sends it on. The only reason they check projects is to make sure they aren't wasting resources on projects that won't make them money. Once they've sent the money to the project creator, they no longer care what happens. It doesn't matter if the project is completed or shipped. Backing a Kickstarter project is a gamble. It's generally a pretty good gamble, but there are still scams and people who are way more enthusiastic than competent. After a couple of years backing projects, I came to the conclusion that I was better off lettering other people gamble on projects. I'll wait until they actually exist as commercial products.

Comment: Interesting (Score 1) 47

Glad to hear it. Too many Kickstarter projects have screwed over their backers. Sure, you can play the "investment" card, but there are still several projects where the creators shipped a few units and then just disappeared. It's one thing to fail to create, but yet another just to keep the goods for yourself.

Comment: Punch card repair kit (Score 1) 230

by Arethereanyleft (#46881589) Attached to: One-a-Day-Compiles: Good Enough For Government Work In 1983

I started college in 1978, but I was lucky enough to get a job in the CS department where I learned how to use a terminal. While my fellow CS students had to type in punch cards, submit their jobs, and then wait for a printout, I was able to type my programs in using a text editor and submit the jobs so that the output went to a file. When it was time to turn in my assignment, if the instructor required cards to be turned in, I knew how to submit a "punch" request to get the cards.

I remember one day someone showed me a list of things you could buy outside of the job submission window, and one of the items was a "punch card repair kit". Someone bought one and showed it around. It consisted of a little metal rod that could be used to punch holes in a card and some little tape stickers to cover holes. I thought it was a joke, and told my dad about it. To my surprise, he told me that when he was in college (same college, same building) 30 years earlier, he actually used these. Back then, you would write your code on a form and submit it to the keypunch operator. When you got your cards back, you would carefully proofread them and submit any incorrect cards you found for retyping. If you only had a small mistake and the line was long for re-types, you would get out your punch card repair kit and fix the card yourself.

Comment: Dedicated tax software on my PC (Score 2) 386

by Arethereanyleft (#46756961) Attached to: Slashdot Asks: How Do You Pay Your Taxes?

I started with MacInTax the first year it came out, and I've used tax software on a computer ever since. I used MacInTax and TurboTax until Intuit added DRM a few years back and mishandled things. I switched to H&R Block that year. However, if H&R Block ever does something idiotic, I will switch to whichever competing product does a good job. I have not tried any online tax software, but I have friends and family who do and they like it. In general, it takes me about an hour each year to do my taxes. I do have a mortgage and taxable investments (stocks, bonds, and mutual funds) and sometimes other income, but I live in a state without income tax, so that makes things go pretty quickly.

Comment: Sounds like I'm not alone (Score 2) 452

by Arethereanyleft (#46717231) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How To Start With Linux In the Workplace?

The most amazing thing about this discussion is that I don't feel so alone. I'm an experienced software developer who started with V7 Unix and worked on the development of several Unix platforms during the 80s before switching to Windows development. In recent years, I've tried a few Linux desktop distributions, but I always seem to have trouble with them right out of the box. I'm not using funky hardware or trying to do anything weird, but every distribution seems to do something dumb. I installed Mint and ended up working around problems where the desktop wouldn't appear. The last straw was when Eclipse would go larger-than-fullscreen which made it impossible to do any work. I asked around and was told to try Fedora, and I can't put anything on the desktop or on the menus. I'm beginning to wonder if I could ever find a distribution that would just let me get my work done.

God help those who do not help themselves. -- Wilson Mizner