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Comment: Re:do you even notice? (Score 1) 613

by CAOgdin (#48290023) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Where Do You Stand on Daylight Saving Time?
Because, near the changeover days, I have to take special care to coordinate timing with colleague meetings via the Internet, some of whom live in rational countries that don't let a Charcoal-making company buy a change in clock times (so there's more outdoor cooking time available in the Summer).

I agree with the poster above who said it all in one word: LeaveItTheF*ckAlone!

Comment: Re:Get a Lawyer (Score 1) 224

by CAOgdin (#48163583) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Handling Patented IP In a Job Interview?
Absolutely. If your patents are potentially valuable, you need an attorney's advice on how to handle this, not a bunch of opinionated /.ers without experience in what you're trying to do. Trust any opinion here (including mine) as worth exactly what you paid for it...but, if it sounds reasonable to you, do what you think best.

Comment: Re:Win7=good, 8=bad, 9=non-existant, 10=bad? (Score 1) 644

by CAOgdin (#48132483) Attached to: Microsoft Announces Windows 10
They jumped over 9, it has been posited, because too many programmers looked for "Windows 9" as a substitute for "Windows 95 | Windows 98" in their code.

I wait with bated breath for Windows 10, to see if Microsoft has learned any lessons from NT, Vista, 7 and 8, which have become progressively 1) worse than their predecessors, 2) made irrelevant change to the GUI that confuse users, 3) didn't listen to customers (or even MVP) negative feedback, and 4) will be incompatible with existing, stable applications.

Comment: Gmail is the Best Spam Filter in the Market (Score 1) 265

by CAOgdin (#48132365) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Why Can't Google Block Spam In Gmail?
I virtually NEVER see spam in Gmail; they do a great job.

The reason is that they bought Postini several years ago. That technology looks for the same body text being sent to many people in a short time interval; if the body is never customized, then they know it's spam. It's much, much more effective than looking into the content for key words or phrases, even though it slows down mail by a few seconds to get a decent sample of mails from those @@(%&^ spammers.

If you're still getting spam, go look at your email settings in Gmail to see if you have disabled spam filtering (at the site). If you receive your eMail via IMAP on your computer (e.g., Outlook or Thunderbird), make sure you don't have a "SPAM" folder locally, so Gmail doesn't try to sync it.

Comment: CMStorm QuickFire is my Preference (Score 1) 304

by CAOgdin (#48103887) Attached to: The Greatest Keyboard Ever Made
Tactile, provides sound, more compact, and is easy to open up to clean out the accumulated debris endemic to all individual-key keyboards. Connects via USB, and has never failed for me in two years. They are proof that quality CAN come from Taiwan.

The only evident problem is my particular/peculiar body chemistry: My body oils almost always wipe the legends atop the most-frequently-used keys (I can barely see the "E" right now). Anybody got a solution for that issue?

Comment: We ban the business... (Score 1) 204

In my business, we keep a spreadsheet of company names and websites we call "NEVER AGAIN." We check this list before every purchase, to make sure we're not buying from vendors of unreliable products (e.g., WiFi adapters from StarTech), those who don't have responsible software update policies, or those with unreasonable policies (e.g., No returns after one week).

I do not live in fear of legal retaliation. If, for example, StarTech wants to sue me for my opinions about their products, I will stand on my First Amendment rights in the U.S.A. to express my opinion. We also keep scrupulous records when we attempt to install new products (in the case of Startech, they don't even supply the latest versions of software available from THEIR supplier; we logged every version of software we tried).

The only way to punish these kinds of vendors is to deprive them of our revenue. The larger the company, the less likely they are to take customer dissatisfaction seriously (e.g., AT&T)...with some notable exceptions (e.g., Dell).

Comment: A comprehensive backup solution (Score 1) 268

by CAOgdin (#47913187) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What To Do After Digitizing VHS Tapes?
I have developed scripts that manage my backups. Because I'm always experimenting with computer systems and apps, I make 100% backups, every day, for every computer. Each computer makes it own scheduled backup, copies it to one central system, then shuts down.

In the wee hours, the central system (an old, low-power XP box) makes it own backup, and then copies ALL the backups for that day to an attached external 1TB drive.

The central external drive has a hierarchy of backups (e.g.: P:\Backup\Backup\Backup). When each computer makes its' backup, it starts a copying process. That process makes sure that any older backups for that specific, named system are pushed down in the queue, and the oldest one is discarded THEN, I copy this evening's backup to that drive.

I have three 1 TB drives: One is connected to the central system and hold "this weeks' backups" (depending on how often I decide to change it); the next drive is the one most-recently retired from service, held nearby in case I have to go back several days or a week to find something; the third drive is stored in a safe place, off-site, so even if my building burned down, I've still got a lot of backups I could use to restore new computers from scratch.

When last months' MS Windows Update fiasco struck, all I had to do was restore the C: partition on the affected machines from last night's backup, and I was back in business without a hitch.

Finally, the reason I wrote these scripts for commercial backup software is that if backups aren't completely automatic, they'll never get made, so you won't have the critical data to recover when you need it. I've been thinking about reprogramming the CMD scripts in another language, to commercialize it, because loss of critical business (or even personal videos, photos, etc.) data is still a problem for those who choose not to use up all their bandwidth on a "cloud" service (although that could be easily added). It may sound like overkill to some, but I nearly NEVER lose my O.S., configurations, apps or data.

Comment: A Turing "Surprise" Test (Score 2) 285

by CAOgdin (#47424375) Attached to: The Lovelace Test Is Better Than the Turing Test At Detecting AI
I have always respected both Ada Lovelace's and Alan Turing's genius, but the "Turing Test" has always seemed too simplistic for me. For my purposes in discussing the matter I use what I call the Alan Turing "Surprise" Test: Can a computer produce relevant responses with an unexpected but relevant response (aka "surprise") in them? Examples include puns, twists-of-phrase, sarcasm, and other artifacts of a quick-thinking conversationalist. (And, for the record, I don't consider Trolls as members of any of these classes; their range of responses is severely limited in context and devoid of any pretense of humanity. Some of you can prove that in the responses here.)

Eliza and its' various successors have never qualified, and so far only rudimentary steps have been made toward the elementary Turing Test. However, the goal is to determine whether a human can distinguish between another human's responses and a computer's responses. I'd put my Turing-Surprise test right in between the traditional definition of the Turing Test and the Lovelace Test.

Comment: This is the FATAL FLAW... (Score 1, Interesting) 347

by CAOgdin (#47250883) Attached to: Congressman Asks NSA To Provide Metadata For "Lost" IRS Emails the reasoning behind NSA acting as the national backup.

Some politician (Stockman is not a surprise, by any means) will demand the data, supposedly used for National Security ONLY, must be allowed to be used for political purposes. If the government lets this one work, then think about how Nixon's Enemies List would have been managed using NSA data, and it spells the end of democracy.

Stockman is too dumb to even KNOW this is why the Patriot Act was so BAD: It abolished the pretense that the government wasn't spying on everybody...ala 1984 (only 30 years' later). This is the very abuse of the NSA over-reaching data collection policies that Snowden warned us about (as have others before him). This will be the test case for whether universal surveillance is now national policy...but they'll cover it up by providing the data in secret, publicly denying it, and then claiming, "This is why we can't share information; we need MORE right to trample the Bill of Rights!."

Forewarned is forearmed.

Comment: AutoIt, Hands Down! (Score 1) 466

by CAOgdin (#47241247) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Rapid Development Language To Learn Today?
While I started programming in '62, and have used more than 50 languages, I'm now semi-retired and don't write code for a living. While I'll dash off a CMD script on Windows for a "quicky" I write my final code in AutoIt ( It's free, and you can go from novice to Windows-innards programming in one tool. While it's a native interpreter (like LISP) you can compile it into an executable program (like C).

You already know the four basic operations (Sequence, Condition, Iteration and Functions; see, and the comparable four basic data types (Value, List, Matrix and Linked), because you've used C...but Lots of Irritating Single Parentheses (LISP) is not much use as a utility program creator.

Go download AutoIt's Quick Guide and "Learning to Script with AutoIt," and you'll have a practical tool that's easy to learn, but incredibly deep in the use of Functions (your LISP experience will help), and great on-line community who've shared lots of code and offer ready help as you're starting out.


Vitamin C deficiency is apauling.