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Comment: Re:Step 2. (Score 2) 139

by MightyYar (#46784689) Attached to: MIT Designs Tsunami Proof Floating Nuclear Reactor

Make them finance the decommissioning at build time. I believe they did this in the 70s with Vermont Yankee, though clearly they screwed up. Presumably we can do better with the actuarial stuff now that some of these older plants are shutting down.

The main problem is that no one can justify building one right now. Hell, it is hard to justify the _operation_ of one. Natural gas is cheap, and even coal plants are shutting down because they cannot compete.

Comment: Re:You can probably thank Microsoft for this... (Score 1) 251

by MightyYar (#46784599) Attached to: Apache OpenOffice Reaches 100 Million Downloads. Now What?

The integration is really good but it assumes you have a SharePoint administrator setting it up.

We do have an administrator, now internal. Originally we were using an outside vendor. Either way, I'm not sure how the administrator could be responsible for the embarrassing kludge that is the Office-Sharepoint "integration". It is so clearly a bolt-on afterthought to the whole office suite that I'm a little surprised I have to defend my position.

As far as glacial file transfers that sounds like a SQLServer issue generally.

It could be, but this is two setups now - one with the outside vendor and one done internally. I guess they could both be clueless, but it sure seems par for the course with webdav. SMB blows it away. Try copying a folder with a few thousand files in it to Sharepoint and then perform the same action on a shared network drive.

SharePoint works well because it can allow deep linking within office documents to one another in a reliable version controlled way.

"Works well" is where you lost me. Every once in a while, it simply fails to save the document you are editing silently. The result is that people make a local copy to work on and then upload it as a new version manually (either through webdav or through the web interface). It's a major flaw somewhere - maybe in the kludgy Office "integration", maybe somewhere else. I don't know, but it takes away the major convenience of being able to work with Sharepoint documents directly in Office.

You can also do really powerful searches.

I don't find the searches to be any better than the Twiki searches were with the Google appliance. Sure, the admin can require metadata to be filled in, but that is only as useful as the person who filled it in. And it doesn't help at all for older documents where search would be most useful.

As for not allowing extensions you need, that's definitely a configuration issue that shouldn't be happening.

Yes, the admin will remove them when I request... sometimes. Apparently some of them are big security problems when hosted on a "trusted" internal site so he won't unblock all of them. So I just keep my documents on the shared drive, like I always did, and they don't derive any benefit at all from Sharepoint's search. Or I zip them up to put them in Sharepoint and lose the ability to edit directly.

Comment: Re:You can probably thank Microsoft for this... (Score 1) 251

by MightyYar (#46783245) Attached to: Apache OpenOffice Reaches 100 Million Downloads. Now What?

No, we absolutely are NOT using it as a shared network drive, because it sucks for that. It uses an inefficient protocol (webdav) and so is absolutely glacial when writing many files. It also has a large black list of file extensions. We end up putting a bunch of links to files on the shared drives. One of the intentions was to make documents (and information in general) easier to find then when they were in the Wiki. It definitely has not accomplished that, but I don't fault the product for that - it seems geared toward the control freak and it delivers there. It is also sold as being integrated with Office. I'd say that while it is more integrated than any other product, the integration is half-assed, unreliable, and somewhat painful.

Comment: Re:You can probably thank Microsoft for this... (Score 3, Insightful) 251

by MightyYar (#46780787) Attached to: Apache OpenOffice Reaches 100 Million Downloads. Now What?

I really detest Sharepoint. It's the flavor of the moment at work. It's slow and saves from MS Office applications sometimes fail silently. It pretends to be a suitable replacement for shared network drives, but it doesn't work for that.

I use it rather than the old Wiki (TWiki, no gem itself) just to be a good sport, but it really sucks. It really exposes how poorly integrated MS's own internal teams must me - it is such an obvious bolt-on.

Comment: Re:What now? 1 billion! (Score 3, Insightful) 251

by MightyYar (#46780271) Attached to: Apache OpenOffice Reaches 100 Million Downloads. Now What?

Excel is fantastic for exploring small sets of data... "quick and dirty" stuff. When you want rigorous statistics or a more formal analysis of data, R and friends are far superior. And anything even remotely repetitive should be done in something with a better scripting language. But I'd hate to lose Excel just as much as I'd hate to be forced to use MATLAB or Python to plot results from some small screening experiment.

And of course, we are completely deviating from Excel's forte as a financial tool, where it is much stronger.

Sometimes I'll even use it to clean up data for insertion into a database or some other such task. It has some nice built-in "Filter" functions.

Comment: Re:RAID? (Score 3, Funny) 239

by MightyYar (#46779021) Attached to: SSD-HDD Price Gap Won't Go Away Anytime Soon

> I was recently perusing the /dev directory on a next
> when I came upon the entry /dev/drum. This seemed a bit odd, I thought
> that drum memory went out of fashion long, long ago. The man pages
> didn't have anything to say about drum. Does any have any insight
> on this odd device entry?

This actually has nothing to do with drum memory. It's a part of the
UUCP system.

Long, long ago, even before version 6, somebody wanted to implement a
program to copy files between two machines running Unix. At the time
there were no modems becuase there weren't even any telephones. A
Bell Labs researcher who had just visited Africa seized upon the idea
of communicating by beating on drums, as the native Africans did. He
added a drum interface to his PDP-11 and the device driver was called,
of course, /dev/drum. Uucp would call a lower level program called
`bang' to activate this device driver. Messages could also be sent
manually by typing `bang drum' at your shell prompt. People soon
devised shell scripts that would take a mail message, convert it
appropriately, and call bang to send it. Soon they were sending
multi-hop messages though several sites this way, which is how the
`bang path' got its name.

With the advancements in communications technology (semaphores in
particular), /dev/drum was removed from UNIX around version 6 or 7, I
believe. The NeXT developers reinstated it on the NeXT because they
felt that a true multimedia machine should have as many options as

I hope this explanation helped.


curt@cynic.UUCP | "The unconscious self is the real genius. | Your breathing goes wrong the minute your
{uunet|ubc-cs}!van-bc!cynic!curt | conscious self meddles with it." --GBS

Comment: Re:Not sure how standing up would solve anything.. (Score 3, Interesting) 270

by MightyYar (#46778165) Attached to: Switching From Sitting To Standing At Your Desk

Yeah, standing at the register all day was rough on my body at 16... I can't imagine how my [ahem] slightly older frame would deal with it. Back then I was a "stock boy" and was much more comfortable doing the manual labor than the standing-in-one-place routine of register duty.

Comment: Re:Ukraine's borders were changed by use of force (Score 1) 290

by MightyYar (#46765845) Attached to: Is Crimea In Russia? Internet Companies Have Different Answers

"Live free or die"

It's amazing to me that people still act as if it is OK to treat the slaves so gently, like they were children. They, the Indians, and the poor white farmers were the only ones who actually knew how to live off of the land.

And once again, the Southern economy ended up collapsing anyway as a result of the war. At the time the South left the union, the thought of a sudden freeing of the slaves was unthinkable even to the vast majority of Northerners.

Comment: Re:Ukraine's borders were changed by use of force (Score 1) 290

by MightyYar (#46762703) Attached to: Is Crimea In Russia? Internet Companies Have Different Answers

You don't just ban it, you migrate away from it while providing solutions to the massive hole left in the labour sector.

No, you ban it. The people that then lose their ill-gotten plantations can go pick cotton. They can consider themselves lucky that they aren't punished more directly.

The north had just spent a whole lot of money on other conflicts, and needed the resources.

The north even had slavery at an earlier point in history. Plenty of blame for slavery all around.

But the Civil War still boils down to slavery.

Nothing is easier than to denounce the evildoer; nothing is more difficult than to understand him. - Fyodor Dostoevski