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Comment: A comprehensive backup solution (Score 1) 249

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.


Comment: Thank you, from my heart... (Score 0) 1198

by CAOgdin (#47112569) Attached to: Misogyny, Entitlement, and Nerds
For all the misogynists who have been responding to this as "flamebait," let this 73 y.o. woman (in the industry for 57 years) speak the truth: YOU ARE THE PROBLEM!

I have been gracefully mentored and respected by great men, among them Bill Orchard-Hayes and Eli Hellerman. In my career I have been spat upon, and ignored and insulted by more male technologists I can care to count. The best time of my life was for a decade--while consulting with Fortune 500 CxO-level men--who responded to me on the basis of the quality and relevance of my contributions. In those same companies, I was subjected to multiple indignities by young males who complained that I was getting heard, and they weren't. There's truth in the idea that women (in technology, at least, that's where I've spent my life) have to work twice as hard to be considered half as good.

While I've never been physically assaulted, I sympathize with those who have been (whether female or male, or in-between). The problem is with the anger of the attacker, not the gender of the victim. Many men (and many men in this forum, and in our industry) need a good dose of sensitivity training.

Remember, should you choose to respond to this post, that I will be assessing whether you are sensitive or crass, smart or dumb, considerate or inconsiderate, human or subhuman. It's your intrinsic values on show here in /. I don't ask what you believe. I observe your behavior and deduce what you believe, as does every thinking adult. --Carol Anne

Comment: Re:I sent this to each of the Commissioners: (Score 1) 217

by CAOgdin (#46853461) Attached to: How the FCC Plans To Save the Internet By Destroying It
The rules were the safe for all at the time. That there were claim-jumpers and other cheats does not change the government's role in trying to create a level playing field. I would liken the cheaters to today's 1% (One of whom recent was quoted as saying, "It is not enough I can fly First Class, but all the rest should be in Coach").

Comment: I sent this to each of the Commissioners: (Score 5, Insightful) 217

by CAOgdin (#46849253) Attached to: How the FCC Plans To Save the Internet By Destroying It
The United States of America was founded on principles of justice and freedom for all.

o During the Oklahoma Land Run of 1889, there were no special "carve-outs" for people of wealth. Every participant started racing at the sound of the starter's gun.

o When railroads were built, there were special coaches for first class, but they were part of the same train, going at the same speed, along the same route, to the same destination.

o While the rich can buy their own jet aircraft, the Air Traffic Control system that manages all aircraft in the skies give no special treatment to the jet aircraft, nor the lone pilot in a Piper Cub.

o When Eisenhower created the Interstate Highway system, he did not mandate special travel lanes for trucks or limousines; all traffic uses the same routes.

Every one of these historical innovations lifted up the poor, the middle class, and the rich. As a result, we became the world's most respected democracy, and the model for many other, newer countries to emulate.

Now, the FCC would like to change all that history and allow those who can afford to pay for a "special lane" on the Internet, crowding out other traffic, and making it slower. It will reward the oligarchs and penalize the common citizen.

I have been in the computer and electronics industry, from bench technician to CEO, since 1957. Now retired, I have watched as the very rich people, and the very large corporations have worked tirelessly in recent decades to destroy that equality of opportunity. If we are to survive as a nation, we must return to a democracy, with every citizen treated fairly and equitably.

We should, instead, be requiring our "common carriers" to expand their Internet capacity, robustness and security for all. Where there is plenty of reliable capacity, everyone will have the opportunity to use the Internet without disadvantage. The large carriers, like Comcast (which the FCC has misclassified), AT&T, Verizon, et. al., have been intentionally restricting their expansion of the Internet to make it slower and slower. Yes, they save the investments they should be making. But, deeper and more cynically, they have been intending to leverage those self-imposed restrictions into higher prices for these restricted servicesby adding a special lane for those willing to pay.

"Demos" is the Greek word for people; "kratia" is the Greek word for rule. Democracy puts the emphasis on people deciding how to rule. When appointed public officials usurp that decision-making to favor one class of people (or corporations) over another, it has violated basic democratic principles. The consequences will be uncomfortable for the citizens, and will erode our principles and the quality of our beloved nation.

You are a public, appointed official. I trust you will decide on the basis of democracy that the rich deserve no more preferential treatment than the middle class or the poor. We need to expand our Internet capacity for all, not make it available only to the highest bidders, driving all prices upward for the benefit of the already-rich.

Comment: Companies Should Honor The Published Prices... (Score 1) 303

by CAOgdin (#45806335) Attached to: Website Checkout Glitches: Two Very Different Corporate Responses
...and Specs, even if they are absurdly wrong, but ONLY if they expect to keep their "The Brick" will no doubt discover.

This isn't, to me, a moral issue: It is just acknowledging that sometimes mistakes happen, and the customer has behaved by buying into those terms as offered. The customer isn't wrong here; they're just taking advantage of an apparent price advantage. The seller isn't wrong here; they just made a mistake.

"Customer satisfaction" is a core principle of capitalism, although many capitalists (to their own disadvantage) still refuse to understand that fact.

Comment: Re:3Mbps?!?? (Score 0) 159

by CAOgdin (#45741847) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Managing Device-Upgrade Bandwidth Use?
AT&T Still think it IS High-speed! (I, too, am rural, and getting the fastest speed I can...3 Mb/s...and cursing AT&T every hour of the day for their focus on THEIR profit, not any customers' quality of service.

Of course, if you're willing to pay them thousands of dollars a month, they'll happily give you higher speed...but not a worldwide comparable rates.

Broadband, in the home country of broadband, still sucks, and AT&T, Verizon, and all the other crooks enabled by the FCC (the head of the agency came from one of the major firms) have a singular pricing policy: Summarized, it is: "BEND OVER!"

Comment:'s against trusted computing... (Score 1) 290

by CAOgdin (#44536739) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best/Newest Hardware Without "Trusted Computing"?
What an ignorant troll. What "WiFI" module that you can't change? What make and model? I just changed/upgraded several WiFi Modules in Dell laptops in the past few days to gain speed and reliability.

And, when you finally need to buy parts for that "ThinkPenguin" or other small-time maker, where will you go? At least with a major manufacturer, I know I can still buy a replacement powerswitch or cover hinge when I need one, years after the products is no longer being sold.

This sounds like the AC posting is an employee of the company they extol...even to the extent of theorizing BIOS might become "open" at some future date. What a CROCK!

On the issue of TPM: It's there if I ever need it...but because I don't install the software for it, it appears to be abandoned and affects nothing people do on these computers.

"I have more information in one place than anybody in the world." -- Jerry Pournelle, an absurd notion, apparently about the BIX BBS