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Comment: Your biggest problem isn't humidity... (Score 3, Insightful) 249

by Dr_Harm (#41570403) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Transporting Computers By Cargo Ship?

Your biggest problem isn't humidity, it's going to be salt. Those cargo containers are not airtight, and if nothing else your crates and pallets may be sitting on a dock for an extended period of time. If things are in well-sealed cardboard boxes, it shouldn't be an issue... but you're not very clear on how your stuff is being packed.

Consider getting one of the large rolls of cling-film used for shipping (i.e. similar to saran-wrap). For electronics (TV, computer, printer, maybe even the coffee machine) wrap them individually with the cling-film; it's not perfect, but if done well (i.e. tightly and completely) that should choke-off any salt spray from finding it's way inside.

Also, anything that is on a pallet (but not a crate) should be wrapped and strapped so that the (a) the pallet stays in one piece, and (b) it is tamper-evident.

Comment: Use DenyHosts, report only if local to your ISP (Score 1) 241

by Dr_Harm (#41182517) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Where To Report Script Kiddies and Other System Attacks?

I use DenyHosts to identify attackers and protect my system. Then, for any new blocked IP, I check to see if it's local to my service provider. Generally, I think the service providers will be much more reponsive to one of their customers attacking another, even if it's a compromised machine.

Comment: Break this list down into multiple functions (Score 1) 618

by Dr_Harm (#31809846) Attached to: What Advice For a Single Parent As Server Admin?

Sounds like this list needs to be broken down into multiple sub-functions.

Web filtering, site access control, and total Internet denial are functions for a web proxy or other content filter. You should be able to find a linux-based web proxy that will do what you want in that department.

Scheduling usage hours, forcing logout, etc. is the sort of thing you can do with "policy" objects if you had a Windows Domain Controller. That's probably outside of your budget. But, generally, you need to be looking for client/workstation policy tools.

The computer health monitoring stuff might be part of the policy tools, but might not.

Comment: The Value Proposition (Score 2, Insightful) 467

by Dr_Harm (#29725637) Attached to: Is Working For the Gambling Industry a Black Mark?

We seem to get a lot of these sorts of questions at /. -- and as someone who interviews and makes hiring decisions, let me tell you about the number one factor for making the call:

The Value Proposition

At the end of the day, what I'm doing is entering into an agreement where I give you money (and things that cost money, ie. benefits), and you give me your labor. Your skills and experience and a few other factors (ie. culture fit) alter your "productivity", or how much "labor" I get for my money. In other words, I am spending my money on you, and I want to make sure I get good "value" for that money.

As such, I really don't particularly care who you worked for in the past, unless it can be used as some predictor of future performance. I do care about the skills and experience you have picked up along the way, your personality, your thought-process, etc.

Occasionally, very occasionally, the "where you used to work" question does become relevant. If your last job was for a blood-relative, that is going to be a yellow-flag that needs further investigation and verification. That's probably the most common scenario where it comes into play.

Comment: Re:I don't take test as a matter of priniciple (Score 1) 440

by Dr_Harm (#29334213) Attached to: Appropriate Interviewing For a Worldwide Search?

Gee, thanks for giving that one away to everyone. :)

As for not knowing much C, if that is a requirement of the position you had better d*mned well tell me you're not that comfortable with the language early in the process.

Two things will get you immediately disqualified during an interview:
1) Lying to me (and getting caught, obviously)
2) Wasting my time, which usually happens due to #1

Comment: Re:I don't take test as a matter of priniciple (Score 1) 440

by Dr_Harm (#29334205) Attached to: Appropriate Interviewing For a Worldwide Search?

This is a fair comment. This screening technique would tend to be biased against individuals such as yourself.

At the same time, I would expect that for a job which requires C/C++ and assembly experience, you would review the relevant material before showing up at the interview.

I did have one person ask if I cared if they solved it in another language, because it was easier to solve there. I accepted that answer, so long as the person could tell me *why* it was easier.

As for the puzzles.... I could ask you about your code for solving "well known" problems, but that would show me your ability to recall past problems solved. While that's valuable, what I'm interested in is how you approach problems you've never seen before.

Comment: Re:I don't take test as a matter of priniciple (Score 1) 440

by Dr_Harm (#29318331) Attached to: Appropriate Interviewing For a Worldwide Search?

I can understand this feeling, but look at it from the other side: As an interviewer, I *need* to know if you're telling me the truth or not. Just the act of hiring you to fire you a week later consumes significant resources; I can't really afford to make a mistake.

Also, I've had people fail the test. And it was a really really simple test. I once asked someone to "write a C function that takes an integer as a parameter and returns the square of that integer". After 15 minutes of fumbling at the whiteboard, they had something that looked like a cross between Matlab and Pascal and completely failed to be anything close to correct, even if you ignored the syntax problems. That candidate claimed to have 20+ years of experience.

Generally, my interviews consist of 3 parts.

  1. First, I ask you some questions about items on your resume. "What was XYZ project like?" "Did you like working with that CPU?" "How was the weather in FOO?" Here, I just want to get a feel for who you are, will you fit our culture, and a quick verification that you at least read the resume you handed to me.
  2. Next, I ask you to solve some simple problems. Square an integer. Why is "#define foo(x) x*x" worse than "#define foo(x) (x)*(x)"? Sort an array. I won't give too many away here, but generally anyone who has actually worked in the field can get these correct. Again, this is just a screening tool.
  3. Finally, we get to the open-ended portion. I hand you a whiteboard marker, and ask you a question which may (or may not) be impossible to solve. Brainteasers, some. Logic puzzles. I want to see you take a problem, take it apart, and put it back together. I warn the candidate (and it's true) that I don't care if they actually get a solution or not; most people don't. This is what really makes or breaks a hire.

Of course, if they can't pass the first two sections of the test, I don't bother with the third.

Comment: What about trusting you? (Score 1) 480

by Dr_Harm (#28948701) Attached to: Can We Abandon Confidentiality For Google Apps?
It sounds like you are a contractor. So, your "clients" have to trust you, don't they? You could read their e-mail, calendar, etc... and if you developed an interest in one of their more famous clients, you could do just as much damage.

The question, then, is not one of "needing to trust Google". The question is, "Is Google more or less trustworthy than the current solution?" There is a fair argument that a large, multi-billion dollar company has a lot more to lose should things go sideways than a contractor. There is also a fair argument that they probably have 1000x more people with access to the data than an independent contractor.

This, of course, ignores any legal requirements like HIPAA, PCI DSS, etc. etc. But I think my point is still valid: If the client has already contracted out management and/or hosting of their data, they have already made the decision to trust an outsider. Going with Google or not is just a question of "which outsider do we trust"

Comment: Re:Blocked? You're not interested in the code... (Score 1) 601

by Dr_Harm (#28474659) Attached to: How To Get Out of Developer's Block?
You're probably just joking, but.... If you find that you are completely uninterested in every aspect of your job, then yes, you probably should think about a career change. Honestly, if you dislike your job that much, you'll probably be a much happier person if you find some other way to make a living.

Comment: Blocked? You're not interested in the code... (Score 4, Insightful) 601

by Dr_Harm (#28474401) Attached to: How To Get Out of Developer's Block?
Writer's block occurs when the stuff you're trying to write is SO BORING or otherwise uninteresting and unengaging that you, yourself don't even care about it. I've heard at least one writer say that writers block is a good thing, as it tells him when he needs to go in another direction. I would take the same approach to this situation. You've got this piece of code to write, but it's so uninteresting that you don't even care about it. The question then becomes, "Why?" Is it a feature that isn't really needed? Is it an ugly brute-force approach to a problem? Maybe it's just a piece of backend code that you don't really consider "sexy". Once you figure out why you're not interested, you can then address that problem and the coders block will fix itself.
Windows

+ - Vista Sales Numbers Don't Add Up

Submitted by Overly Critical Guy
Overly Critical Guy (663429) writes "Vista's sales numbers don't add up according to Joe Wilcox of Microsoft-Watch. Going through the numbers and citing NPD, Gartner, and IDC, Wilcox describes the difference between licenses sold to manufacturers and actual consumer purchases, noting that there haven't been 20 million PCs sold since Jan. 30, contrary to Microsoft's numbers. In fact, only 3 million PCs have been sold since the start of the year."

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