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Comment: Re:LaserJet II and LaserJet 3 (Score 1) 447

by Technician (#46791893) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Tech Products Were Built To Last?

Clean the corona wires is only 1/2 the solution. Replace the carbon filter. Sometimes with neglect it becomes completely blocked and caked with dust. Pull it out and blow it out on a regular basis.

FYI, still running a Laserjet III with added memory. It hangs on my lan on a Trendnet 1P Printserver.

Comment: Re:Shame this happened (Score 2) 113

by mrchaotica (#46787347) Attached to: Plant Breeders Release 'Open Source Seeds'

What really should have happened is that all his Monsanto-using neighbors should have gotten in trouble for allowing their seeds to escape. Since they were the ones who were parties to the agreement with Monsanto, they were the ones who broke that agreement.

Of course, Monsanto suing its own customers would be bad for business, so it went after the innocent third-party instead...

Comment: Re:WTF? (Score 1) 150

by bill_mcgonigle (#46786947) Attached to: Heartbleed Sparks 'Responsible' Disclosure Debate

There's no one-size fits all solution. I've made the argument for informed disclosure here in the past, but in this case it probably wouldn't work. The DTLS code is so small and self-contained and the code so obvious to an auditor that just saying that there's an exploit in DTLS or to compile without heartbeat is probably enough to give the blackhats a running start. But there are other situations where informed disclosure is better than responsible disclosure.

Did Google do the right thing here? I'm not sure, but it's not completely clear that they didn't. There are several factors that bridge the gap between theoretical ideal and what can work in every situation in the real world.

Comment: Re:It's about spending, not income (Score 1) 205

by mrchaotica (#46785027) Attached to: I expect to retire ...

How long it takes you to retire is a function of only one variable under your control

You mean 2 variables: savings rate and asset allocation. If you want a 50% savings rate to get you retired in 7-8 years, [most of] that money needs to be in the stock market or a real estate portfolio, not under your mattress.

Comment: Re:For all the 20-somethings... (Score 1) 205

by mrchaotica (#46784979) Attached to: I expect to retire ...

What does "social security" have to do with anything? I'm a "20-something" and plan on retiring 10-15 years from now on just the assets I save myself. If I eventually get social security, well that's just a bonus.

(The hard part is not the lack of social security; the hard part is the shitty job market. Since my wife and I graduated college 5 years ago, at least one of us has been unemployed at almost any given time. We've learned to live on less than a third of our fully-employed income -- which is coincidentally why we'd be able to retire so quickly if we remain fully employed!)

Comment: Re:Too poor (Score 0) 205

by mrchaotica (#46784905) Attached to: I expect to retire ...

she gets $1600 before taxes.. After taxes, she is at $1100 a month

Bullshit. Even assuming the worst-case scenario (that all of her income is taxable, which if it's Social Security and a pension then it almost certainly isn't), an Adjusted Gross Income of $1600 * 12 = $19200 means her taxable income would be $19,200 - $6100 (standard deduction) - $3900 (one exemption) = $9200. The federal income tax on $9200 is $930, which means her real after-tax monthly income would be $1522. (And before you say "what about state income tax," remember the example is in Texas where there isn't any.)

As for the rest of it, $1522 - $600 - $400 = $522 for food, telephone and car which (given that she's not racking up a bunch of miles commuting) is plenty.

FYI, it's possible to live well surprisingly cheaply in the US. My average spending over the last year has been ~$1700/month, and that's for 2 people living in a 3-bedroom house in a nice, walkable neighborhood about 3 miles from the center of a major city.

Comment: Re:how many of these people don't want to retire? (Score 2) 205

by mrchaotica (#46784725) Attached to: I expect to retire ...

How much do you expect to spend per year in retirement? Take that number and multiply by 20 (assuming you think a 4% safe withdrawal rate is OK; or multiply by 33 for a 3% rate, etc.). Note that the safe withdrawal rate also depends strongly on your asset allocation.

See also:,, and (my favorite)

Comment: Re:I wonder how much damage... (Score 1) 272

by Maxo-Texas (#46781681) Attached to: Apache OpenOffice Reaches 100 Million Downloads. Now What?

I think this is less true than it used to be. I bounced off of OO 1.04, 2, 3, but finally at 3.05 (3.04?) I found OO to be a godsend when the latest Office started hanging while printing my documents with no error message.

Once i loaded them into Openoffice, I saw the problem was likely overlapping graphics boxes (OO has the grey lines showing the actual location while Office hides them). It took me about 2 hours per 100 pages to convert the documents and I've never gone back.

There *IS* a problem with OO after 3.2. They broken transparent layer printing and the bug has remained open FOR... EVER. I can work around by changing it to a PDF and then printing but it's simpler to keep those documents in OO 3.2 (and a copy of 3.2 to edit them). It may have been fixed in v4.. haven't checked for six months.

For excel, the only feature I was lacking ( of about 6-9 months ago) was the automatic color coding of ranges of numbers.

But I have a couple extremely complicated macros-- one simulates the damage allocation rules for Star Fleet Battles with *appropriate* sound effects. Each sheet handles one starship. You just enter the damage and it loops and applies it until it's all done with phaser shots, photon shots, explosions of various sizes and simple color coding of the cells.

I also have another for my retirement that calculates 30 (now 28) years of spending, inflation, social security, etc. It handles partial years correctly.

Switching from MS Office 2007 to OO / Libre Office was MUCH easier than switching to MS Office 2010. 2010 was a huge paradigm shift and it took me literally months to rediscover some of the features (they took away HOT KEYS that had been standard for years and moved / buried the commands in weird places- sometimes more than one layer deep.

I still own office 2010 but I haven't used it in 18 months. However, I was able to buy it for $10 bucks as part of the corporate home ownership plan so it seemed like a no brainer.

Oh... and not to mention that when office documents became corrupted and could not be recovered by Office 2007 and 2010, I was able to FIX them by loading them into OO and resaving them. Sure- I might lose a feature or three- but at least I didn't completely lose the document. I think this was something about confused sections. But it wasn't a crash- they opened and saved normally and then they didn't next time. Talk about frequent backups! But backups didn't help with the printing problem.

Comment: Re:I wonder how much damage... (Score 1) 272

by Maxo-Texas (#46781573) Attached to: Apache OpenOffice Reaches 100 Million Downloads. Now What?

How does the economy benefit from taking your money and giving it to someone else for a service when you could get the same thing for free.

If they are going to take your money, they could spend it to repair failing bridges or at least on some service that isn't free.

Of course they could not take your mon ha he ho hoe howhhooo. oh.. I cracked myself up there for a second.

Comment: Re:Nonsense (Score 1) 283

by bill_mcgonigle (#46780493) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: System Administrator Vs Change Advisory Board

and with the greater long term job security that working as part of a larger company provides

Aye, there's the rub. It works out until it doesn't. Wouldn't this guy be ripped if the put up with two years of this crap to just get outsourced anyway?

Because that's what they're saying here. They don't trust him to do his job. Maybe that's fair, maybe it's not, but it's something a professional in his line of work can handle and they're saying "no". They wouldn't ask a surgeon to file paperwork on each cut he intended to make, because they feel the surgeon is competent to make the best decisions in the time alotted. Him, clearly not (I'm assuming this is standard work, not 10-9's / life safety).

So, they're going to fire this guy anyway at some point. He might as well find employment with an outsourcing company that gets paid by the value and minimizes their time expense, which it sounds like the environment he's more comfortable being in.

You can live to work or work to live - it's not worth being in a sucky job when there are so many opportunities to get or create a different means of employment.

"The most important thing in a man is not what he knows, but what he is." -- Narciso Yepes