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Comment: Re:Still the cheaper option? (Score 2, Interesting) 160

by ChrisA90278 (#27928281) Attached to: Spirit Stuck In Soft Soil On Mars

Personnel for operating the rover couldn't possibly cost that much,.....I'm sure the communication infrastructure for it was already in place.

(1) Thos guys make between $85K and $120K per year. "overhead" about doubles that. This covers things like the building they work in, insurance, vacation pay and the bosses and office cleaning staff and capital equipment. So for $4M/year you get about 16 people full time.

(2) The communications system is HUGE. We are taling about football sized antennas all around the world, satalites in orbit and so on. All these cost money and every space program has to pay a "tax" based on usage and so on. So your $4M does not cover 16 people.

I've been in the software business for many years. I was surprized the first time I had to cost out a project. $1M does not buy many lines of code. We get about 250 lines of code per man-month.

The Courts

US Trustee Asks To Send SCO Into Chapter 7 259

Posted by kdawson
from the long-dark-teatime-drawing-to-a-close dept.
Several readers including Pop69 inform us that the US Trustee's office has asked to convert SCO's Chapter 11 bankruptcy to Chapter 7 — a.k.a. liquidation. Groklaw has the text of the filing: "...not only is there no reasonable chance of 'rehabilitation' in these cases, the Debtors have tried — and failed — to liquidate their business in chapter 11."

Comment: Re:Numismats (Score 1) 153

by ChrisA90278 (#27840383) Attached to: eBay Fakes Devalue the Craft of Tomb Robbing

unless they have access to a certain amount of 2000 year old copper and other metals.

Yes they do, ALL copper on Earth is way more than 2,000 years old. read the linked article. It says that there is simply no way to test metal. All of it is billions of years old.

You can look at the corrosion on the outside but there are ways to fake that.

Comment: They SHOULD be easy to reproduce. (Score 2, Insightful) 153

by ChrisA90278 (#27840333) Attached to: eBay Fakes Devalue the Craft of Tomb Robbing

They SHOULD be easy to reproduce. Almost all of truely antique pots and so on were made hundreds of years ago be just "normal indians" It is not like most of them were in their time "high art" it was jsut the vilage potter's work and likely sold for a small amount. The potter made these from local cheap materials that are still locally available and cheap,. Basically any skilled potter who knows what to do can turn out many pots per day both now and 500 years ago.

This is not the same thing as a fake Rembrandt oil painting. 1,000 years ago these pots were made by people of avgerage skills.

Comment: It's not exppensive either way (Score 1) 837

by ChrisA90278 (#27732013) Attached to: Handmade vs. Commercially Produced Ethernet Cables

"...it's next to impossible to create quality cable (ie: cable that will pass a Time Domain Reflectometer test) by hand without expensive dies, special Ethernet jacks and special cable...."

The above is 100% correct except for one work "expensive". The dies don't cost a long. You can buy th tool for under $50. None of the other stuff is expensive either.

That said, Cable with the ends already on don't cost much either. It's just that it is very hard to pull cable with the.ends on

Also look at the fire code. You can need plenum cable.

Comment: Re:I doubt this very much. (Score 1) 150

by ChrisA90278 (#27561471) Attached to: Volunteers Recover Lunar Orbiter 1 Photographs

They are wide band two inch wide helical scan tapes. The specs on those tapes are very impressive even by today's standards. For example we use wide band analog tape in our lab and the specs are not much different. The machines don't cot so much any more only about as much as a new Lexus

You have to figure those old machines where not built for the lunar mission. NASA didn't have that kind of money. These were US Air force machines.

Comment: Re:To: Anonymous Coward (Score 1) 150

by ChrisA90278 (#27560649) Attached to: Volunteers Recover Lunar Orbiter 1 Photographs

For just getting one machine to work their current method is the best. What they did was get a bunch of these old machines and disassemble them for parts to build one that works. The guy doing that is a volunteer working for free. Hard to beat zero cost.

If you wanted to build many machines then yes, re-design one from scratch. But have you priced the cost of custom one off software. I'm in that business and I'll rtell yo that $1M does not buy you much/ The only reason software is cheap is because they sell millions of copies.

Comment: Use VMware or other virtual environment (Score 1) 655

by ChrisA90278 (#27477511) Attached to: How Do I Provide a Workstation To Last 15 Years?

If his software runs under DOS then rub a virtual "DOS" system inside a modern OS

That Modern OS can be Mac OS X, or Linuix. Or even Windows.

Once the computer is running out of a VM yu no longer have to worry about the hardware lasting. You can move copy the VM image file to a DVD or hard drive and plug it into any Mac, Linux or Windows computer that has a VM player and boot the VM image and be up and running. So your system becomes abot as "portable" as a music CD.

Buy him a few 20" iMacs and set up his software in VMware's "Fusion" and he'll be good to go. He will be able to keep up to date as new version of the OS come out while is old software runs in the VM.

Comment: No, it is "carbon nuetral" (Score 1) 468

by ChrisA90278 (#27425623) Attached to: Is Alcohol Killing Our Planet?

Yes CO2 is produced but the carbon in the (let's say) corn came from the atmosphere. So when it is decomposed or fermented the carbon is put back where it came from.

The burnning of fossil fuels releases carbon back into the air also. This carbon was taken out of the air also but the problem is the time periods. The cabon in oil is the result of millions of years of plant growth and then it is all burned at once in a couple centuries.

Alcohol production is closer to steady state. Same with burning trees and dry grass.

Comment: Re:Business or Accounting (Score 1) 372

by ChrisA90278 (#27390567) Attached to: Best Grad Program For a Computer Science Major?

I agree with about above. You do see the small companies grabbing the guys with the best GPAs. The mid level GPA end up at the bigger places.

But WHY? Well there big companies need LOTS of people and by definition there are not a lot of high GPA students. There are simply not very many people in the 5th percentile.

Also they are looking at cost. The big guys need to keep their payroll costs in line

Comment: Re:Business or Accounting (Score 1) 372

by ChrisA90278 (#27390495) Attached to: Best Grad Program For a Computer Science Major?

"What many of these HR types look at as a first criterion for consideration is your GPA."

No, they are even more lame than that. Yes they will look at GPA but not first.

The FIRST thing they do is run your resume through a "buzz word filter". They will simply count how many times you use words they are searching for.. Many times they do not even know the meaning of the words.

Then if you pass this computer filter they will rout the resume to the hiring managers based of the "fit". The managers mark some resumes are "interesting" then the HR person will look at the GPA and which school you came from, years of experiance and so on.

Comment: Re:Business or Accounting (Score 1) 372

by ChrisA90278 (#27390399) Attached to: Best Grad Program For a Computer Science Major?

"can happen" and "does happen" are DIFFERENT. Yes anything CAN happen. Study CS now and then at age 55 learn to play the guitar form a rock band and be a millionaire. Could happen but likely not.

The best advice is to not thing "I'm different" because of all the people who think that way few are right.

The can't swimm upstream thing is 90% correct. A few people can beat the odds but 90% don't. Basically if you flumked out of mach in the 9th grade and never really "got" Algabra then you are likely not going into Electrical Engineering. Yes you could later go to the local comunity collage and work at math and then go back the universtiy but you get into you managment job and you have kids and don't want to give up the time to go back to school. VERY few beat the rule about swimming upstream. But enough do beat it that we hear of it. Just like some kids DID end up playing for the NBA.

Comment: Re:If you are asking this question (Score 1) 372

by ChrisA90278 (#27390249) Attached to: Best Grad Program For a Computer Science Major?

You are right about that. I ask managment all the time for decisions about "Which is more important? Which of these two ways do you like?" I as an engineer know what I know and I'm happy to defer pollicy questions to management. Part of my job is to explain technical details so that managment CAN make decisions.

I work in the space launch business. There are a lot of smart engineers here but not ONE of them understands how the entire rocket works. I know a little about telemetry software but NOTHING about cryogenic turbo pumps. Not one of us engineers could get a rocket off the ground. It is the management process that makes it work.

Comment: What do you want to DO? (Score 1) 372

by ChrisA90278 (#27390131) Attached to: Best Grad Program For a Computer Science Major?

Get an MS is IT if you want to manage a group of people that install Cisco routers and pull wires inside walls.

Get the MS in CS if you wantr to advance the current stat of the art in computer science.

I'm 100% certain the the "next big thing" maybe in 40 or 50 years will be intelligent machines. But for this to happen we will need a HUGE leap, a breakthrough in our theoretical understanding about what intelligent being are and how they work and a very deep level.

Which sounds more exciting to you. Writing performance evaluations of router installers or witting software? Only you know what you want to do.

Comment: What do you mean "no one..."? (Score 1) 724

by ChrisA90278 (#27389943) Attached to: Reliability of Computer Memory?

Look at the Apple Mac Pro. It comes with ECC memory. It's not the only computer either.

Most people buy PCs based on price. If they can save $5 they will. These people don't get ECC but then they aren't doing anything critical with their computers, just games or the Internet. Anyone running a critical service would have some kind of redundant setup to either deal with the crashes or prevent/reduce them with with things like ECC, RAID, dual power supplies and so on. Sun's servers even allow you to "boot around" failed hardware

Memory testing will NOT protect from casmic rays and flipped bits, what they call "soft errors"

Machines that have broken down will work perfectly when the repairman arrives.

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