ultimatemonty asks: "As an IT professional looking for a new job, I'm trying to figure out how to market myself as a 'jack-of-all-trades' IT worker. I'm currently employed at a medium sized university as a video conferencing specialist. I'm good (competent) at many IT related tasks (Linux server management, programming, Windows/Linux desktop support, video conferencing support, etc...), but specialize or excel in none of them, sort of like the lone IT manager in a small shop. What kinds of jobs would the you look for with this kind of work experience, and how would you market yourself (design your resume, cover letter, and so forth) to prospective employers so they get the full-breadth of your capabilities, without over-stating your abilities?"
An anonymous reader asks: "I'm a CS Student within one year of graduation. Due to financial reasons, I've been working on a full time basis for the past 2 years, and I've worked on an open source project. This has brought me from the B's and A's of my first two years of college to somewhere in the mists of C's and lower. I now have enough money to sustain myself for two years of schooling. I've got two choices: repeat one year, repair all my bad grades and graduate with better grades but with a mark that I repeated one school year; or graduate with lower grades but with no repeated year. I'd like to know the opinion of recruiters out there: if you had two candidates which ranked similarly during the interviews, would you choose someone who repeated classes for higher grades?"
pagalvin asks: "I'm being recruited for an 'R&D Architect' position at a Big 4 consulting firm in the U.S. Does the community care to share its experience working as 'overhead' in a large organization that is most famous for its consultants working 60 hour weeks and billing 'til the fat lady sings? In such places, do non-billable R&D types get any respect? Is there a a long-term career path that sticks with the technology track?"
Intelopment asks: "My Domain name has recently been used a lot in the 'Reply' field by some inconsiderate spammer, and my ISP has suggested that I consider using the Open SPF service as a way to stop spammers from using my domain name for in their mail headers field. From what I can tell, it requires the receiving mail server to actually participate in the SPF service, which is where I have my doubts. Does anyone have any experience with this service? Does it work? Are many ISPs using Open SFP?"
Tathagata asks: "I'm a student, on my final year in a college in India, and I have been using GNU/Linux for quite sometime now. Though I'm from a Computer Science background, getting into a project that involves serious programming was not possible, as people (read teachers) run away if you utter the word 'Linux'. They are generally not bothered about mentoring someone on an exciting project, and they would suggest you to get settled with Visual Basic, .NET, — and would prefer a 24 hour solution when it comes to programming. So, my programming endeavors have remained limited to writing few lines of C/C++, or Java. For last few days, I've been googling, and trying to read how to join an existing Open Source project." What suggestions would you pass along to someone who is willing to join his first Open Source effort?
Jason Tilke asks: "I recently read an article which discusses HP's LinuxCOE v4. We've been wanting a system to make rolling out custom but standardized systems (in terms of package selection) and LinuxCOE seems to fit the bill. Are there any alternative that'll spit out custom ISOs which our non-technical staff can use to install a complete Linux system? Has anyone had any positive/negative experience with LinuxCOE? Are there any precautions/steps we should take to prevent us from tripping over our new changes?"
Rich0 asks: "I have a growing pile of CDs/DVDs holding hundreds of GB of files. I would like a linux-compatible software solution to cataloging and searching these disks. Lots of solutions exist for music/video, but not so many for files. The software should have the ability to easily scan disks: pop in disc; software reads disc; software prompts for a name (with something sensible defaulted); software ejects disc; software tells me what if any label to write/apply to the disc; and software is ready for the next disc. I've seen one or two packages out there but they usually require lots of manual disk labelling, or their search capabilities are limited. Windows-only software won't be of much use to me. What are others using to manage their media collections?"
Ray asks: "A year or so ago, I got my dad a new computer system that included a Canon PX-160 printer/scanner/copier to replace his aging Lexmark with similar capabilities. On my next visit, I asked him how the new printer was working and he said the ink was killing him. The cartridges are expensive, they don't have much ink in them and there are no third party or refilled carts for it or (apparently) any other Canon. It looks like HP and Lexmark are the most likely to have (relatively) inexpensive supplies but what has your experience been with inkjet All-in-Ones as far as TCO goes?"
iblink asks: "Last year Fujifilm stopped producing a color slide E-6 sheet film called Velvia 50. It has unique color characteristics that I love so I decided to purchase the remaining stocks in Europe. I now have hundreds of boxes that need to be stored for up to thirty years. A number of film experts assured me that freezing the Velvia would stabilize the dyes for long term use. However, they all mentioned that cosmic radiation would eventually fog the film, and they offered little help in finding a relatively inexpensive barrier. I found various ideas on proton cosmic radiation barriers — a big bucket of water, lead, certain plastics — but nothing convincing or sufficiently detailed (which plastic? How thick?). The film is currently in a freezer, unprotected. Any ideas?"
ngc5194 asks: "I'm thinking about joining the 21st century and purchasing a Digital Video Recorder. However, I DO NOT want to subscribe to any services. I understand that this will limit what my DVR can do, and I'm fine if it just acts like a solid-state VCR. Given the constraint above (no subscription services), which would be the best DVR to purchase and why?"
An anonymous reader asks: "I attend the University of Illinois at Chicago. Last semester my housing arrangements went smoothly. I put down my application fee, and my deposit just fine, got a room for the semester and life went on. This semester, because there was supposedly a large number of students who did not check into their rooms last semester, we were required to make a $100 prepayment, in addition to the application fee and deposit. No problem, I think, I see the university is trying to make a quick buck off people who don't follow through with their plans. Now I do NOT have a checking account, a credit card, or anything. I don't trust the banks, or the credit card companies, so I am one of the few people who do EVERYTHING in cash. However, they refused to take the cash. Is it legal for a state-owned university, let alone any business to not take legal tender?"
javacowboy asks: "I've been getting lots of strange phone calls lately. Most of the time, my phone would ring less than three times and then stop before I can answer. Then, a couple of nights ago, I got a call at 3am in the morning. It had stopped ringing by the time I woke up. *69 revealed a number with an area code of 632, which does not exist. I called the number, and the call would not complete past the area code. I want a product or service with which I can set up a -whitelist- of numbers that I allow to make my phone ring. Any number not on the list, or an unlisted phone number, tries to call me, and the phone doesn't ring at all. I would pay as much for this service as I would pay to have my number removed from the phone directory. Is something like this possible? If so, how would I do it?"
TBBScorpion asks: "Lately I have been investigating 3D game engines. I was mostly paying attention to open source engines like Ogre3d, Irrlicht, Crystal Space 3D, and the like. Then I found out about cheap Indie licenses for commercial game engines like Torque Game Engine ($150), Torque Game Engine Advanced ($295) and the C4 Engine ($200 + free upgrades). I found a list of top commercial and open source game engines at devmaster.net in case anyone is interested (I didn't want to take the time to list all the engines, but there are more good ones that I did not list on this page). Now for my questions. Now, here's my dilemma. Which of the engines are worth investing in? Should I buy an indie license or hold out for open source? Or should I start with an indie engine and switch later if open source catches up?"
ashitaka asks: "One month ago my father-in-law died leaving his wife to live alone for the first time in her life. She lives in a somewhat rural part of Japan, north of Tokyo, in an area with few neighbors. My wife is her only daughter and we live in Canada; her only son is an engineer for Fujitsu and spends many days on the road. We know she misses our kids and we try to get over to Japan as much as possible, however more than once every year or two is a stretch." What ashitaka is looking for is a simple device that can be used for video conferencing or instant messaging, that can be controlled with a remote and administered remotely. Assuming something like this doesn't exist, what would it take to bend a PC to this task?
time961 asks: "I use the Web extensively to research a wide variety of topics (weird, huh?). However, much of the time I end up printing out web pages and filing them on paper, because that's the easiest way I know to say 'OK, that was interesting, I'll hold on to it until I actually do something about this topic'. Often, I'll run across something that seems relevant to a long-term project or interest and just want to grab it without even reading the details. Paper is OK for reading, browsing, and scribbling, but it's hard to search, it's heavy, and it's wasteful (and I yearn for a day when browsers can reliably print what's on the screen, instead of cutting it off at the margin because some designer doesn't understand layout!). How do others deal with organizing the results of browsing?"