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Comment: Re:Scale matters (Score 4, Interesting) 204

A few years ago I read of research being done by General Motors (I think) about using a gasoline-powered fuel cell, a process that although still using gasoline, would be far more efficient and clean compared to burning it, and of course there would be no problem refueling.

I wonder whatever happened to that project?

Comment: Windows 7??? (Score 1) 229

by Digital Pizza (#41754109) Attached to: OpenGL Becoming a Requirement For the Linux Desktop

It's really weird to say this, but Windows 7 seems to be friendlier to older hardware now; I've certainly run into less trouble putting Windows 7 on older machines; that includes an old PIII Dell C610 I used to have, albeit without Aero support but with general 3D. I wonder how a modern Linux distro would have treated it?

The kids use an ancient Dell P4 with Nvidia 5200 AGP card and 2GB RAM which runs Win7 just fine, perfectly well for the kids schoolwork (incl MS Office) and simpler games (including Flash web games). That machine used to run Linux quite well long ago, but I suspect it'd have problems with a modern distro without a bit of tweaking.

I have a Thinkpad T42 that Ubuntu will no longer even install on (without a hacked installer anyway), though I did get Fedora to work on it. Its Radeon mobility 9600 used to be great, but now it's sluggish. Win7 runs noticeably faster on it, at least graphics-wise.

A big reason for using Linux USED to be keeping older hardware alive, or using older hardware to play around with it; that's why it sucks that you often have to jump through a few hoops to get it to run. Not that I have anything against window managers such as XFCE, but it's no longer as convenient to simply give someone a disc to try Ubuntu out on their older computer.

Comment: Raised by wolves or something? (Score 1) 713

by Digital Pizza (#39987211) Attached to: Icons That Don't Make Sense Anymore

Seriously, who the f**k doesn't know about wrenches, binoculars, cameras, microphones, magnifying glasses, handset phones, bookmarks, clipboards, and TVs?
Anybody who lives in the real world, and especially has ever been in an office (include manilla folders here) has seen all of these things still very much in common use.

Every office I've ever been in has handset desk phones, even if they are VOIP, and manilla folders are quite common there, and in the home for those who need to keep paperwork around (any grownup living in this world).

Binoculars - Really?????? Who thinks those aren't used anymore? What do you think is replacing them?
Cameras - Seriously?? Photography is more popular now than ever, with REAL SLRs. Just look around. Envelopes - can't avoid those even if you try; even if you do all your banking and bill-paying online (and some services still aren't there yet) everyone gets greeting cards and junk mail.

Talk to anyone who ever has to fix anything ever about how wrenches are obsolete. Please do so at a construction site or mechanic shop. Watch hilarity ensue.

You could make a point about floppies, carbons, MAYBE blueprints (though I still see those used in Facility departments), but the other items? Whose the clueless hipster douchebag who wrote this drivel?

(I know a guy like that who says watches are obsolete - he just looks at his cell phone. Rather than take my phone out, I simply glance at my wrist, taking a tiny fraction of the time/effort he takes. Yeah, he's smart.)

Comment: Re:Sucks to be you! (Score 1) 516

by Digital Pizza (#38009772) Attached to: How Do I Get Back a Passion For Programming?

Oh, I'm sure we're doing it way wrong:
1. No Scrum Master
2. You have to do your own task estimates by yourself, and then they're pretty much set in stone.
3. Tasks randomly assigned regardless of developer familiarity with task, so estimates are often a wild guess
4. 1-week sprint
5. Code ends up being rushed
6. If you can't meet the sprint deadline (see #2) your pay gets docked; leads to #5.

Waterfall's not looking too bad...

Comment: Re:Sucks to be you! (Score 1) 516

by Digital Pizza (#38008278) Attached to: How Do I Get Back a Passion For Programming?

At least here in San Diego all they want someone whose experience is an EXACT match for the position, doesn't matter if you can learn it in a week. You need to have multiple years experience working on that exact technology (though not too many years because that means you're old.)

$30K (junior) - $60K (senior) is typical around here, $75K at the high end. Really sucks given how expensive it is to live in San Diego. I'm doing a bit better money wise in my current position, but I HATE HATE HATE Scrum. I'll probably have to move out of town to find better opportunities, sucks with a family and mortgage.

Comment: Wasted opportunity for Sony (Score 5, Insightful) 191

by Digital Pizza (#36705184) Attached to: Sony Announces End For MiniDisc Walkman

When Minidisc was announced I thought it would be a perfect removable storage solution; at the time people were using Syquest drives for "large" (44 and 88 MB) removable storage, and they were pricy; there was a market waiting for something cheaper yet still reasonably fast. I think a Minidisc could hold 250MB or something like that - good storage at the time, relatively cheap, and would probably have been pretty reliable.

However, Sony's anti-piracy worries made Minidisc inaccessible digitally - there were no Minidisc readers/writers and you could only use it for recording/playback of ANALOG audio!

Soon Iomega came out with the very popular 100MB ZIP drives and Sony's window of opportunity closed - and we got to enjoy crappy Iomega quality and the infamous "Click-of Death".

Sony does come out with cool tech sometimes, but their entertainment division screws it up every time. I guess Sony made their money from Minidisc, but they could have done so much more with it.

Comment: Re:I have a much more ambitious vision (Score 1) 1073

by Digital Pizza (#34779082) Attached to: The Continued Censorship of Huckleberry Finn

"Oceania has always been at war with Eastasia". Hmmm, reminds me of a certain book I've read.

If every last person was at heart kind and wanted the best for their fellow man, then there MIGHT be a ghost of a chance of such an idea working; however, there are (and probably always will be) those who are at nature selfish and have a lust for power. When such people are also charismatic, you have a politician, and at the extreme end of things you have a Hitler.

If people know their history, then if we're lucky enough of them might recognize such a person's shenanigans for what they are and oppose them before things get too far out of hand; otherwise, well that's where that saying comes from: "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."

Comment: Re:restraint of trade (Score 2, Interesting) 276

by Digital Pizza (#32792154) Attached to: Java's Backup Plan If Oracle Fumbles

While the Right Thing resulted from the lawsuit, it's funny how it hurt Sun and Java more than it hurt Microsoft, which was Microsoft's real goal anyway.

The thing is, I remember around that time that Sun's CEO Scott McNealy was constantly ranting and raving about how the goal of Java was to take over the desktop and specifically "Kill Microsoft". Launching a frontal assault against Microsoft (especially at that time) was foolish, and look at what happened. If the good folks at Sun had kept their mouths shut, maybe they would have actually succeeded.

You can applaud the result of the lawsuit, but so many comments on this article reflect a resulting public perception that is not exactly favorable to Sun and Java.

Comment: Re:People laugh at stuff like this (Score 1) 134

by Digital Pizza (#32717666) Attached to: Need a Friend? Rent One Online

Right on the Oddfellows home page (http://www.ioof.org) they mention belief in a "Supreme Being" as a tenet, which throws them out as a candidate for the grandparent poster's non-religious example person. Every club I've seen so far that wasn't dedicated to a specific hobby was religious in nature.

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