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Comment disable Diagnostics Tracking Service (Score 1) 527

In the control panel for Win8, there is an option under Action Center to disable the customer experience improvement program. Then under Services, it is possible to stop and disable the Diagnostics Tracking Service. Not sure if these actions disable all the telemetry, but thinking this is part of the solution to have the updates present with the reporting function turned off. Cheers!

Comment Dell T420 server running Hyper-V (Score 1) 558

In a great exercise in willpower to resist my hoarding instinct, I decided I needed to get rid of a decade of tower PC's and laptops that I was keeping around to run different vintages of engineering and build tools.

I decided to create VM's for everything and went with Hyper-V on a Dell server. I have Ubuntu, Win7, Win8, Win10, and XP VM's running in a mix of 32-bit and 64-bit. If an experiment goes awry, I can flush a VM and start over.

I can use a cheap laptop or someone else's machine to access my VMs remotely. Kind of a different take on Bring Your Own Device. I'm using my own device, just not physically in your building.

The discussion is about the machine specs. Without further adieu ...

PowerEdge T420, Intel Xeon E-24XX v2 Processors
PowerEdge T420 Motherboard, TPM
On-Board LOM 1GBE (Dual Port for Racks and Towers, Quad Port for Blades)
PERC Cable for 3.5in 8HD Hot Plug Chassis
LCD display for T420
Chassis with up to 8, 3.5 inch Hard Drives
Security Bezel
Power Saving Dell Active Power Controller
RAID 1 for H710P/H710/H310 (2 HDDs)
PERC H310 Adapter RAID Controller, Full Height
Heat Sink, Dell PowerEdge T320/T420
Intel Xeon E5-2430L v2 2.40GHz, 15M Cache, 7.2GT/s QPI, Turbo, 6C, 60W, Max Mem 1600MHz
4 8GB RDIMM, 1333 MT/s, Low Volt, Dual Rank, x4 Data Width
2 2TB 7.2K RPM SATA 3Gbps 3.5in Hot-plug Hard Drive
Single Cabled Power Supply, 550W

I give each Hyper-V VM about 4 GB RAM and 1 TB dynamic disks (overcommitted).

Comment use PKZIP, ProComm, ZMODEM (Score 1) 466

Use a null modem cable to connect the COM ports between the old PC and a new PC. On the new PC, you might need a USB to RS232 adapter.

Get a copy of pkzip and zip each folder on your old PC. Install Procomm PLUS on your old PC. Run Procomm.

On the new PC, open your favorite terminal program (Tera Term, HyperTerm, etc.)

On old PC, send each file using XModem or ZModem in Procomm. On new PC, receive the file using the same protocol.

This was the way we got our files from dial-up BBSes in 80s and early 90s. The transfer through the cable is actually easier since you don't have to dial through a modem.


Comment LabVIEW anyone? (Score 1) 242

I saw MATLAB mentioned here quite a bit. I cut my teeth on MATLAB in the 90s to prototype DSP algorithms, but LabVIEW has become my replacement workhorse for that sort of stuff since Y2K. Even through the dot-com bust there was no shortage of LabVIEW work. I'm mostly a C/C++ embedded guy these days, but LabVIEW is still in my grab bag for rapid app development.

Comment what about other yellow multimeters? (Score 1) 653

If I google "yellow multimeter", there are a ton of non-Fluke meters that show up.

The meter I have in my lab looks just like a Fluke, but I bought it at Fry's in my poor college days.

It's too bad SparkFun's product got snagged, they are a favorite local supplier for the Denver/Boulder electronics industry. I drive to their will-call all the time when I need cables, dev boards, and such.

Anyway, how did all the other yellow meters get through customs??

Comment ah, I've been seeing this (Score 1) 413

Wow, so I'm not crazy. I have to keep some old XP machines around for certain build tools. When I turned on my XP PC's recently for a sustaining engineering activity, the Windows update had them bogged down all night and all day. Was assuming a machine-specific problem, but this confirms it's a general problem. Thanks Slashdot for pointing this out, and thanks Microsoft for keeping IT interesting.

Comment has everyone read Manna? (Score 1) 808

Manna is an interesting short story on the topic:

In U.S. society, as people who can't compete with automation become non-employable, they are forced to live on welfare in government housing that is essentially a prison camp. There is little opportunity for social mobility.

In the same short story, Australia redefines their economy to be more of an entitlement society, where people have equal access to education, vacation, etc. It becomes more of the utopia that was envisioned in the early 20th century with technology truly making life easy.

I enjoyed this short story, because it demonstrates how the U.S. population could gradually become dependent on a massive welfare state with the standards of living becoming very meager, while societies that are willing to reinvent their economy may thrive.

Comment Re:Windows8 can be tamed, but why should you have (Score 1) 1010

I tend to agree that the desktop experience in Win8 is not so different from Win7. I have been doing pro HW/SW development using VC++, Eclipse, CAD tools, etc. on XP, Win7, and Win8, and I don't really notice such a different experience on Windows 8. I typically have a VirtualBox or XPmode instance, remote desktop connections, VNC, and Cygwin xterms active for testing, so for the rare cases that I switch to Metro, it's like working with another machine instance. I would argue that for IT people who are already accustomed to managing multiple VM's, the switchover to Metro just feels like going to another terminal.

The hybrid concept actually works really well for my work-life balance. I bought a Samsung ATIV Pro, which is similar to the MS Surface Pro, but I felt the Samsung had better specs. When I'm working, I'm docked to the keyboard and working mostly in desktop. When I'm at home, I'm un-docked and enjoy my mindless content consumption using Metro and touch. Rather than having a separate PC, iPad, e-reader, etc., the hybrid covers all my use cases!

For a serious critique of Win8, I would say that people need to use it for a few months. In my case, Metro has become second nature and I can use it equally well with mouse and touch.

Now, the thing that I really dislike about Metro from a developer standpoint is the inability to side-load custom apps. I often support small teams that are not domain joined, and Microsoft's restricted sale of sideloading keys are a huge deterrent to my desire to ever create a Metro app. I also dislike the developer license concept. When I'm prototyping, why should I have to deal with a license for my own app? Who ever thought we'd have to deal with licensing when writing "Hello World?".

Anyhow, Microsoft gave us a mixed bag here.

Comment audio performance has improved (Score 1) 398

I saw this cross-posted on ./ previously. Cakewalk benchmarked Win7 versus Win8 when running their digital audio software, and saw some significant improvements:

The Cakewalk software runs in desktop mode, which is fine since we're all going to ignore Metro after we log in, right? :)

I've been running the Win8 developer preview with Metro disabled for months now in my engineering lab, and it got to the point that I forgot it was Windows 8.

Is the rumor true that the registry setting to remove Metro is gone in the RTM version? Now that will be annoying!

Comment Re:In perspective (Score 1) 380

As I'm currently writing some C++ software, I find this tangential thought experiment fun. With C++'s operator overloading, all possibilities such as 1+1=3 and 2+2=potato can be accomplished.

Facts are facts, but communication of the facts can fail if we don't agree on how to interpret the written symbols (operator+ in this case). :)

Be careful when a loop exits to the same place from side and bottom.