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Comment: Give Up, Just Use MS-Word (or whatever) (Score 1) 170

by DrTime (#46801919) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Professional Journaling/Notes Software?

I went from keeping a simple and cheap paper lab notebook to just using MS-Word. Paper notebooks were fine in the olden days, I could tape in tables or diagrams from books. But paper is hard to search and organize and move from desk to desk and job to job.

I simply keep an MS-Word (or Google Docs) file where the document starts with several tables, such as charge codes, assigned staff contact data, assigned staff current assignment, and a To Do List.

Then I have a current to past date order where each date has a header with the date in Bold (using a style) and is followed by note lines indented to make each entry easy to spot and follow. When I read a document or reference a file, I add a hyperlink to the item in my notes.

With MS-Word i have active hyperlinks, I can paste in tables or diagrams, or Dilbert cartoons. Every three months I close the file, write lock it, and start a new one from the previous one. To shorten the file, I trim old entries from the current one because the original file is intact. Eery month I print the current one to have with me for reference. Each file ends up about 40 pages. I currently have less used tables at the end of the file.

My oldest one still opens and has its original file time stamp. If MS-Word ever announces it will obsolete a format, I could convert them to Google Docs or save in the new format. Lets face it, MS-Word is a defacto standard. It is used everywhere now. I have used these files on both Macs and PCs.

My method has saved my sorry ass many times. When did I talk to such and such about something? I search the files and I have dates because I record a brief summary of every discussion I hold with names. Personnel issues, I have notes. Document lost? I have links and the dates I read it, even if the link is broken, I have a record. Travel, I have a record. Meetings? I have a record with notes.

Do I want to trust a third party like EverNote, No.

Have I ever lost one of these files, No. I have them at work, at home, and on Google Drive.

The records have helped me trace missing circuit boards since recorded to whom and when I sent them.

I started using this when my manager, before I became one, would ask me if I was working on something. If I had no record of when we talked and what he said, I was at fault for not working on something. When I started keeping records, that problem ended.

Comment: Re:Prior Art (Score 2) 107

by DrTime (#45634059) Attached to: Storing Your Encrypted Passwords Offline On a Dedicated Device
The government uses key loaders and a unique rugged serial connector in legacy key loaders. These are used with cryptographic and secure communication equipment. Look up the KYK-14 and KIK-30. I've even used paper tape key loaders, a long time ago. Some more "modern" key loaders are based on legacy PDA hardware. I haven't worked with these things in years. These devices use numerous techniques to protect keys, a USB device with good protection would be nice and might be a good kick starter venture.

Comment: It is a poor workman who blames his tools (Score 2) 479

by DrTime (#45110693) Attached to: Charlie Stross: Why Microsoft Word Must Die
I've used MS Word since version 1.05 on MacPlus. It was everything that people here complain about.

People misuse MS-Word to create monstrosities of crap that cannot be edited.Companies use its bizaro features to make unalterable files and forms that defy logic.However, it can also be used to create actual documents using styles and formatting that lets people get work done. Google Docs is a poor substitute (I have a Chromebook and tried). None of the office tools I've seen are perfect and none ever will be.

I' like to see tools that use descriptive formatting as SGML intended, but every application of SGML since its introduction has been made by document professionals that are worse than Word. XML sucks.

Comment: Don't Burn Oil, Eat It (Score 1) 705

by DrTime (#40888019) Attached to: Meat the Food of the Future

Back in my college days 1969+, we had Arthur C Clark as a featured speaker one year for the Science Fiction series. Yes it was a long time ago when he did such things.

One of his comments at a time when oil costs were rising, OPEC was rising, and the idea of global warming was just being introduced...

He mentioned that then new research suggested that oil could be used to make proteins and therefore it was a possible food or meat substitute. Hence he suggested we should be eating oil and not burning it. That is all I remember form his talk. So, now we are going to eat bugs. Maybe we fry them in petroleum?

That is all I remember from the speech. Leonard Nimoy also spoke one year and told us how he created the Vulcan greeting hand gesture. Another event featured Gene Roddenberry who told us why he hated Tucson, Az and had bad guys come from it in a Star Trek episode. Good memories all. Fast forward 40+ years and they still make Star Trek movies, Star Trek is on MeTV, and Leonard Nimoy is on Fringe. Some how it all fits together.

Comment: Bought one, was Apple going to sue? (Score 1) 368

by DrTime (#37160836) Attached to: HP TouchPad To Be Liquidated At Fire Sale Prices
I picked up a 32GB HP Touchpad at Walmart first thing Saturday morning. They had two in stock and had not sold a single one since getting them. If they were both the 16GB I was going to buy both and in retrospect, I should have anyway. One was going to be used as a $100 Kindle reader with color and then some. The other for hacking. The darn thing fits perfectly in my iPad 2 cases. It is bit thicker, but all the controls and even the camera match up to one case. Could it be that HP was also afraid of an Apple lawsuit? I played with WebOS and found it a decent tablet OS. It does not come with all the capabilities of the iPad, but it did include QuickOffice which I use on the iPad. Startup is slow and the initial setup is restricting, I had to disable my routers MAC address filtering to get it started as there is no way to find the MAC address without setting up WiFi and creating the WebOS account. Still,once going it is pretty nice. If HP wanted to make a go of selling them, the product was good enough, even if not great. There was no marketing and no promotion. I suspect the plan to doom it and the PC division was long in planning. The biggest shame in the whole HP saga is Agilent should have gotten the HP name and the other company could have been named dumb jerks with no plan.

Comment: Re:Aside of the price (Score 1) 133

by DrTime (#36932058) Attached to: No Set-Top TV Device Market Domination For Google
In the unmentioned decades of my work with computers, most products are "rushed to market by a furiously masterbating manager in the corner of an office". Bugs, HMI problems, hardware faults, failure to meet requirements, and even being of any use to humanity do not matter once money is committed by a company to build something on which someone's career rests. In my defense and that of SOME companies and SOME managers I have been associated with, I have been a part of teams building useful things or software that were successful. I hope to continue that tradition and given my current situation, I don't have to tolerate the "furiously masterbating" manager anymore nor will I. I have known some doozies!

Comment: PDF as a standard vs a Standard for Documents (Score 2) 136

by DrTime (#34736504) Attached to: Detailing the Security Risks In PDF Standard

Many years ago there was a standard in development called Open Document Architecture (ODA - ISO 8613) which defined a compound document standard which never became mainstream. Adobe's PDF was a proprietary product which became a mainstream standard encompassing content and presentation. The features described for a PDF are things some users will find a benefit. Good. What is upsetting is that these features are opaque. I don't know if everything dreamed of for ODA is in PDF, but PDF has solved many exchange problems with documents.

SGML (ISO 8879) offered a transparent document architecture which has been fragmented into HTML, XML, and its derivatives. A good set of SGML like tools should accomplish all of what is buried in a PDF but with transparency. We often confuse products, tools, standards,and technology and use the wrong product's technology as a tool. For example, I been given Microsoft Word DOCX files which would not work properly in Open Office and which could have been delivered as a PDF form or a simple DOC file.

There is nothing wrong with making the PDF file so powerful and providing simple tools (the reader) for people to open them. To me, the argument is over transparency. I may want to know what is inside a document that is being hidden from me. That is a matter of trust. The issue being addressed is trust and can we trust the PDF.

Comment: Let's be fair (Score 1) 434

by DrTime (#34546832) Attached to: Comcast Accused of Congestion By Choice
I use Netflix and Comcast. We use a lot of Netflix and I've never had a problem with viewing movies anytime I want. We have 2 iPhones, 1 Mac, a Wii, and 1 AppleTV all enabled for Netflix with 2 users and we both watch sometimes. I measure from 5 Mbs (worse case) to 18 Mbs on DSL Reports at various times. I also have the option of moving to FIOS and I have not because I never have trouble with Comcast. Whatever the graphs show for a single congested connection does seem to be causing this user trouble. These graphs do not measure my ability to download. Excuse me, my 3GB XCode update just finished, back to work.
Crime

+ - Malware Scam Costs Jazz Pianist Big Bucks->

Submitted by DrTime
DrTime (838124) writes "The Register reports a swindle based on fraudulent malware and extortion that netted the perps $6M. See the story http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/11/09/oil_heir_malware_scam/ released 11/9. Using bogus bills for virus and file recovery the scheme evolved into a six year extortion effort. The perps have been arrested before they were to leave the country."
Link to Original Source

Comment: I love my VCR, it has a clock! (Score 1) 554

by DrTime (#31812830) Attached to: Comcast Disables VCR Scheduling In New Guide
I keep my VCR so there is clock in family room. What else do they do? I have stayed with Comcast even in face of FIOS availability. Why, because I can use Comcast with no set top box. When I want to record something off the "air/cable", I use EyeTV on the computer. I then convert the large file to more compact AppleTV format, and use Quicktime to remove commercials. The movies I end up with can be played on the computer, an iPod, the iPhone, or any computer with Quicktime. No DVR, no additional monthly fee. Yes, I have fewer channel options. But, no one changes the terms of service on me.

Comment: Re:Some other roadblocks (Score 1) 426

by DrTime (#30608078) Attached to: AT&T Readying For the End of Analog Landlines

Faxes and modems can work reliably over VOIP if the on ramp uses V150.1 Modem Over IP. I am familiar with an application that depends on this and it works quite well with our modem equipped devices.

Cisco has a gateway with V150.1 and it works well.

I do not expect this to be widely implemented until people demand it once they know it can work.

"Love may fail, but courtesy will previal." -- A Kurt Vonnegut fan

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