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Comment: My short list (Score 1) 213

by Technician (#49828393) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Your Most Unusual Hardware Hack?

I added a transistor in line wirh the voltage reference on a 24 to 12 volt power supply. With a zener diode and resistor that progressively brought the output up with input between 22 and 28V, I made it into a solar charge controller for a 60 cell 240 Watt panel for the motorhome. It worked great and closely matched the panel peak power curve keeping the panel voltage high for any input power. It has been running trouble free for a couple years now.

Not electronics, but related. Converted disposable Freon tanks into high power t shirt cannons for an engineering challenge. Free tanks counted as part of the bill of materials, where cost was part of the contest. I'm in the blue shirt with the initial prototype at the end of the video.

Salvaged a 0.001Mhz crystal osc to use in an electronics shop. Used it for a reference for adjusting tape decks for speed and wow and flutter. A free crystal audio reference was much better than a reference CD with a short tone track. It was mush more stable than any shop function generator we had at the time. In a pinch it doubled as a stable square wace source to use for TDR with a scope.

A Hall sensor from a broken PC fan coupled with a 9V battery and a couple LEDs made a quick magnet sensor to check relay states in equipment for quick troubleshooting. Coupled with a scope, doubled as a tach for brushless DC motors.There is more I can't think of at the moment.

Comment: Re:Odd thoughts: (Score 3, Informative) 206

by Penguinisto (#49826035) Attached to: Microsoft To Support SSH In Windows and Contribute To OpenSSH

The big difference is that *nix started with short easy-to-type options... PowerShell did it the other way 'round. The difference is stark, truth be told; the former grew from a CLI mindset, whereas the latter is easing (back) into CLI from a GUI mindset.

TBH, I rarely if ever use --option unless I have to, since the original -o is right frickin' there.

Comment: Re:Timeo Danaos et dona ferentes (Score 1) 206

by Penguinisto (#49825929) Attached to: Microsoft To Support SSH In Windows and Contribute To OpenSSH

Betting the dude who wrote PuTTY is not in a good mood right about now...

But you know? I don't believe that Microsoft can really do much of anything in this direction; they're still charging massive amounts of money to license inferior operating systems and server application suites (If only someone would make a usable *nix-based groupware application... *sigh*).

Comment: Odd thoughts: (Score 3, Insightful) 206

by Penguinisto (#49825895) Attached to: Microsoft To Support SSH In Windows and Contribute To OpenSSH

* I remember joking about connecting to a 'doze server via SSH in 2005. Usually the response was a disgusted shiver.

* I guess Microsoft finally got sick of seeing PuTTY's hegemony in the terminal/SSH client market, and decided that this, *this* was a market they could finally dominate in this day and age?

* I shudder to think of how bastardized the command options are going to be, given the PowerShell's habit of using stuff like '-omgLookAtThisMassiveOptionNamingConvention', to the point where they have to alias a frickin' option...

Ah well, good on 'em. I'll stick with using Linux and OSX clients, thanks much.

Comment: Cable companies should offer value (Score 1) 122

Cable companies originally offered a larger seclection of channels which wre commercial free. I cut cable when they drove me nuts with time/life commercials and raised the reate from 12.95/mo. Haven't subscribed since. Netflix is eating their lunch for programming.

Comment: Re:Missing option (Score 5, Insightful) 201

by Penguinisto (#49822993) Attached to: Ross Ulbricht was sentenced to life in prison, and ...

Not so sure I'd just say "meh" - dude got life minus parole for running a website that sold illegal stuff. If he raped children, killed scores of people, etc, okay, but life in prison for selling drugs on a website? Something's not right there.

(Note that the whole hit-man thing was never on the list of charges IIRC).

If anything, that's an awfully bad precedent... literal baby-killers get lesser sentences (and often get paroled far sooner than a decade later).

Comment: Re:Is there a difference? (Score 4, Interesting) 110

Fun question - what if a Canadian bought an unlocked GSM phone off of Amazon, Newegg, or etc?

I just happened to have bought an LG G2 GSM phone just last week, albeit I bought it here in the US off of Amazon (brand new for $210, why not?), and to be honest, it is a *very* capable device in spite of its relative age and lack of a MicroSD slot (and to be honest, I actually like the rear-mounted buttons). I have yet to scrounge the time to root and upgrade the thing just yet, but outside of the carrier, it seems fairly trivial to do ( rooting , upgrading to lollipop ).

Anyrate, at least with an unlocked GSM phone, you're not tied to the carrier, Canadian laws, etc... at least I don't think so. I've always went the GSM/WorldPhone route specifically to avoid being tied to the arbitrary BS of a single carrier, or even nation. It costs a bit more up-front, but at least I'm not paying off a high-interest loan on it (more commonly known as a subsidy) or stuck in a contract.

Comment: Re:why do people get this wrong? (Score 1) 74

by Technician (#49820145) Attached to: Cybersecurity and the Tylenol Murders

I guess I get the 3rd competing story for how it most likely happened..

A man poisoned his cronically ill wife and placed more poisoned pills on store shelves to produce the doubt he didn't murder his wife.

Who actually did the poisoning was not proven due to the number of cases.

"As the tampered-with bottles came from different factories, and the seven deaths had all occurred in the Chicago area, the possibility of sabotage during production was ruled out. Instead, the culprit was believed to have acquired bottles of Tylenol from various supermarkets and drug stores over a period of several weeks, added the cyanide to the capsules, then returned to the stores to place the bottles back on the shelves. In addition to the five bottles that led to the victims' deaths, three other tampered-with bottles were discovered."

Source Wikipedia.

Comment: Re:Negotiating when desperate (Score 2) 557

What sibling said.

I've been socked with life events that drained all the financial liquidity I thought I had... and at the same time had to go hunt down a new job. The solution was simple - I took the first one that looked halfway decent that allowed my family to stay fed, clothed, and warm. I then busted my hump to improve my finances over a year, then went looking for a better job when it was clear the one I was at wasn't going anywhere. Turned out that I became the most valuable member of the team when I left (turnover and skill/initiative played equal roles), but by then it was too late for them (protip: never, ever accept a counteroffer!)

Now I'm doing even better than I was before SHTF. Sure, life events make you eat a shit sandwich on occasion, but you grunt through it and build back up.

Comment: Re: 1 thing (Score 4, Interesting) 557

It's even easier than that... I just short circuit the whole conversation by saying (and yes, this is a direct quote): "I'm looking for $x per year to mitigate the risks of leaving my current position and to make it worthwhile - meet the number, beat the number, or we'll both be wasting our time." ($x equals my assessment of the current market for the position).

It destroys any pussy-footing around, allows you to get right down to assessing the rest of the company. Note that I have also had polite refusals at other interviews and the conversation ended there, but those were very rare. By doing it this way, I've increased my yearly salary in the past few jobs by $13k and $27k over the past 12 months (a $13k bump to a contract-to-hire position that I'd later soured on, and a further bump of $27k to my current position's salary.)

YMMV, but it works out very well.

Comment: Re:Does this mean... (Score 1) 144

One currently popular example is officers saying "I feared for my safety and the safety of others", which seems to be the magic incantation to get out of major crimes including murder...

"...magic"? No. The law has a very clear reason for exempting someone who kills in the name of self defense and/or defense of others - otherwise you'd need a cop posted at a coverage of something like one for every 10,000 square feet of jurisdiction (...which is not very practical in rural areas, yanno). It boils down to this: Everyone has the right to defend him/herself against deadly threat with whatever force is necessary to neutralize said threat. It works partly as a deterrent (at least in rural areas), and partly as a mechanism to actually help the police keep law and order in areas/situations that they cannot reach in time.

Incidentally, it's almost an identical exemption that police have when using deadly force, save for the fact that the police officer is (ostensibly) under a greater burden of proof due to his training and because of his privilege to act as the state's agent (with deadly force if necessary) in keeping order.

Now we can quibble over the "currently popular" reasons why you brought up that example, but the underlying concepts are sound and should remain so.

Comment: One Very Important Thing (Score 4, Insightful) 557

I wish I had known how mundane and utterly banal most software development is.

I spend 99% of my time on bug fixes, documentation, configuration management, and writing new code that quite frankly, aside from exact implementation, isn't that much different than code I wrote 10 years ago.

"I need to shuffle data from point A to point B."
"I need to hit an API and stuff the result somewhere."
"I need to make sure the user doesn't enter something retarded into this form."

Maybe 1% of the work I do is even remotely interesting. Why? Because of the flood of software frameworks and libraries that take care of all that interesting stuff for you. A vast majority of us don't have to care about the best algorithm for X, for example - that work has already been done. Software is more like legos these days. You take the pieces you want and put them together.

That is good in that making software is easier and faster than ever before, but it is murder for people who did this stuff because it was interesting. There's very little mystique these days.

Comment: A few things (Score 1) 557

1. I would not do the same things second time around, wouldn't be doing full time university and full time work, I would quit the university, do full time not for 5 years as I did but for maybe 4, move onto the contracts then as I did at first, but not do contracts for 10, instead do it for 5 and start my own business 6 years sooner after getting just enough experience anyway.

2. I wouldn't bother buying and fixing and renting/selling properties as I did on the side, that diluted my effort and pulled me back from starting my own real business.

Basically if I could talk to myself 20 years ago, I would tell myself to skip college altogether, work right away (as I basically did anyway, but I did full time studies and full time job, which was unnecessarily difficult). I would make sure to explain to myself how to properly save money from much younger age and tell myself to start the business much earlier.