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Comment I've done so 3 times (Score 1) 111

I've spent 3 Thanksgivings with co-workers, once with a building manager (senior manager), once with a manager of a different department, and once with an administrative assistant that I am still friends with. It was a small company though (around 2,000 employees) so everyone knew each other pretty well.

My current employer is a global bank, everyone here just stabs everyone in the back and is extremely defensive about separating their personal life from work.

I'm just going to stay at home this year, all alone, nothing but the heat from the file server to keep me warm. Thanksgiving dinner will be a breakfast casserole made with frozen hashbrowns, sausage, cheddar cheese, and sausage gravy cooked in a slow cooker on low for 8 hours. =D

Comment Privacy is so overrated. (Score 0) 319

I don't protect my privacy outside of using strong passwords and 2-factor authentication (when available). No encryption, no VPN, no proxies. I don't use anti-virus software or firewalls either (other than those built-in to an OS and the NAT firewall of the router). The simple fact is that I do not send anything via email/Twitter/Facebook/Google+ that is unlawful, incriminating, or extremely personal. There is nothing on my computer that I cannot live without either. I have the actual physical media for all movies, TV, and music. Games are all on Steam/GoG. Photos are all posted online and backed up to DVD.

Perhaps the only thing I go a little out of my way to protect is my phone number. I ported my number to Google Voice, setup a silent ringtone as the default ringtone on my iPhone, turned off vibration, and use customer ringtones for friends/family/coworker contacts. That's more a matter of personal sanity than privacy though.

Comment 249(Dec.) - 737(July) (Score 1) 327

I like cold temps more than high temps, so, I tend to run the air conditioner a lot more in the Summer. In the Winter, the heat generated by all the computers are enough to keep my apartment warm (around 64F-68F). The bill for all that electricity is around $40 for December up to $70 for July.

Comment Star Wars... (Score 1) 283

Most arcades always had Star Wars as one of the cheapest machines (1 quarter/token, 1 credit) and the game itself was fairly easy to beat at least once so I always ended up playing it in every arcade. Of the other games listed the only others that I would play were Sea Wolf and pinball. Even though Sea Wold was really terrible it was just so unique that it had to be played. Pinball machines I usually sucked at so I didn't bother too much with them with the exceptions of Addams Family, Super Mario, and PinBot which were must plays whenever I came across them.

Comment Proud to be an American! (Score 2, Insightful) 324

As a 3rd generation American citizen I would rather be spied on by the USA than any other country. Besides, nothing surprising has been revealed about what the NSA was doing, it's all been known for decades. New medium, same old spying. You would have to be under 30 or been sheltered from the nightly news the last 20 years to not know that governement agencies tap into everything from phones to snail mail and all digital variations there of. Kids these days...

Comment Re:do you really want to download 25-50GB games? (Score 1) 254

I already download 15-25GB games on the WiiU, downloading 25-50GB games won't be an issue at all. In fact, my experience with the WiiU has been that games are released on the eShop before they show up in stores. As an example, I pre-ordered Lego City Undercover at Gamestop, went to the store expecting to be able to pick it up on the release day but they had not received it and did not know when it would arrive. So, I canceled the preorder and used the money to buy an eShop card. Then, went home and bought the game on the eShop, downloaded, installed, and was playing it that night. That game was 22GB according to a quick search online.

The only improvement to this type of service I would like to see is the ability to pre-download a game a day or two before release and have it unlock and install on release day. On the Wii U, at least, there is currently no option to pre-order.

Of course, this doesn't even begin to mention the massive games downloaded and installed through Steam. Just 2 nights ago I download 3 games totalling 40GB. Just right-click and install, right-click and install...

Comment "Remain calm, all is well!" (Score 2) 403

You young'ns fail to remember what happened with the Gamecube: decent launch followed by a drought of games in Jan/Feb, in fact I seem to recall the Gamecube drought lasting through April. The Wii U has had no new games, of signifigance, released since its launch. Next month brings Lego City Undercover on 3/18 and Monster Hunter the day after. It's nothing more than the usual post-launch drought for any console.

Personally, i'm enjoying the Wii U, the off-TV gameplay using the gamepad is the unexpected killer feature. I spend most nights watching Twit/Twitch/Justin/Revision3 on the TV while playing a few levels of Mario or getting a workout with Just Dance.

Comment About 4 years ago, and a pay phone at that! (Score 1) 329

About 4 years ago the crankshaft pulley failed on my car and I got stuck near a gas station. I didn't have a cellphone with me so I ended up using the pay phone outside of the gas station to get a tow truck (thankfully they still had one). It was after 10PM and the gas station itself had closed, so I couldn't go inside to ask for help.

I would get a landline for the sake of DSL internet service, but the last time I tried signing up with AT&T U-Verse, they failed over a period of 6 weeks to even send an installer out. On 3 separate attempts I called AT&T and each time an installer was supposed to come out they never did and never called. The worst of it all was calling their customer support and (after 4 transfers and being kept on hold 10-30 minutes each time) the person that answered, rather than assist me, asked me what phone number I called to reach her and proceeded to refuse to believe the I called her at that number?!? I was staring at the caller ID on my phone and the customer support number printed on the welcome letter that had been mailed to me. Twice in my entire life I have used the C**t word when speaking to a woman, and both times it was AT&T customer support who had so infuriated me to the point that I was not about to let the person off of the phone until I had thoroughly ruined their day as well.

Comment Re:I like them (Score 1) 347

The keyboard on a T430 is actually really nice and has much better key "feel" than a T420. I have to use a T420 at work and more often than not have to re-hit keys to get it to register a keystroke. Particularly the top row of numbers.

My only gripe with the T430 keyboard is they remove the Pause/Break key. There's a key combination that will reproduce it, but it's a change that wasn't needed.

Comment Re:Not again... (Score 1) 1110

I agree with you completely. I upgraded my HTPC to Win8Pro the 1st day it was available and have been happily using it since then. At the end of the day it is the same OS as Win7 with a better Start interface, there is no excuse for someone that used Win7 not to be able to use Win8. I prefer the Start screen as opposed to the Start menu. It requires a little tidying up whenever a new desktop app is installed to remove unnecessary Start screen icons, but other than that it works perfectly fine. It's been faster and more stable then Win7.

The only thing I don't necessarily care for is the Charms bar, but that simply because I tend to use desktop apps full screen and often cause the charms to appear when all I wanted to do was close the open application. It's still lights year better than any Linux distro and more reliable than Mac OS X (I've tried both, many times).

Comment Keep the $1 and get rid of the coins (Score 1) 943

I would rather keep the $1 bill and get rid of all the coins. Put an end to all the $0.99 nonsense pricing and make taxes/tips easier to calculate. I don't even mind if they make it so all sales taxes round up to the nearest dollar. I'm tired of trying to find an efficient way to store and, later, spend coins. They weigh my pants down and cause the pockets to wear out sooner.

Comment From my experience (Score 1) 416

I recommend the following:

1.) Stop by any hardware store and pick up a small toolkit that Black & Decker makes, they sell for ~$8 USD and have multiple bits for phillips head, flat head, hex, and so on. It comes in a sturdy orange plastic case that holds up extremely well. Every time I start a new contract this is the first toolkit I buy to keep at work. In addition, pick up: one heavy duty phillips head screwdriver and one heavy duty flathead screwdriver.

2.) Label printer. Preferably a hand-held one that uses regular AA or AAA batteries. Keep a spare set of batteries on hand as well as a spare tape cartridge. Label EVERYTHING at BOTH ENDS. It helps to also label each server with the network ID, model and serial number for those quarterly/bi/annual inventory audits when you're asked to verify what's actually in the server room.

3.) Small shears (heavy steel scissors) for cutting zipties off large cable bundles and opening god-damned plastic packaging.

4.) Pliers & needle-nose pliers, quite often things get bent that need un-bending.

5.) Cable tester. You'll want a reliable one that uses separate sender and receiver modules so you can leave the cable in place for testing.

6.) Smartphone. Install the best flashlight app available and keep the flashlight, camera and notepad apps on the 1st app screen.

7.) A server jack/lift if you can get the company to pay for it. Some servers can be a ***** to lift into place and sometimes it's hard to find someone to help you get something racked.

8.) Plastic bins that are stackable and have openings on the front that are easy to reach into. You'll want to keep a good supply of different length cables on hand and these will make it easier to keep them organized. Might also want to consider a large tackle box for fibre optics components and rack mount screws/retainers. If you get a large enough one, you can store all of the tools in it as well.

9.) A large flat crowbar (pry bar), you'll rarely use it, but damned if it doesn't come in handy when you need it. Might want to pair this with a large rubber mallet or sledge hammer

10.) Crimper, really not that important these days as most places use pre-made cables. In the last 7 years i've only needed to crimp 1 cable. Your situation may be different.

11.) Cordless screwdriver with a spare battery fully charged at all times. Last place I was at we kept 2 spare batteries fully charged and often went through them. These come in really handy when you need to swap out a dozen or more servers and have to undo a lot of screws or assemble/disassemble the racks themselves.

12.) Ear protection, either the big over the ear kind or just a box of disposable ear plugs.

Do you suffer painful illumination? -- Isaac Newton, "Optics"