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Comment Re:So how bad it is really? (Score 2) 246

That is bad advice, that will not preserve his OEM preinstall key, and he won't be registered with the Windows 10 servers.
  1. Back up all of your important data. This is the most important step!
  2. Make a Windows 10 USB stick.
  3. Upgrade to Windows 10 from the USB stick. You must run the upgrade from within the OEM license Windows 7, 8 or 8.1 while connected to the Internet. If it asks for a CD-KEY, you've got an Enterprise or VL (Volume Licensed) version of Windows, and don't qualify for the free upgrade.
  4. Waste about 45 minutes while Windows 10 installs.
  5. Account Setup: Don't make a Microsoft account or convert a local account to a MS account, it's unnecessary. Skip or Later is the correct option.
  6. Customize Setup: Do this part Turn everything off. You have to scroll on one screen to get every slider
  7. Log in, verify on the System control panel that you are activated. MS now has a copy of your computer's fingerprint on record at Redmond.

Optional, but highly recommended for stability and cruft removal:

  1. Boot from the Windows 10 USB you just created. Select the OS version you just installed (95% of the time it is 64-bit)
  2. Wipe your Disk clean, and install Windows 10 again (You did back up earlier, didn't you?)
  3. Do steps 4 - 7 above, 'skip' or 'do it later' for any requests for a CD KEY (you are registered with MS from your upgrade)

Note that the Hardware key is primarily tied to your motherboard + video + network card; if you replace it, you'll be on the hook for Windows 10 if you're out of the 1 year period. Lifetime of the hardware seems to mean lifetime of the motherboard, or three to five hardware swapouts, whichever comes first.

That said, I've triggered the software licensing module when I upgraded the RAM and Video twice each in the same computer (and for a while used the onboard video, which probably counts as a swap as well), due to a bad RAM and a defective Video chip. In any case, my Windows 8.1 Media Center became useless because the Media Center key they'd given out was a time limited key. I worked around it by running my backup disc Windows 7 onto a blank hard drive and updating that to Windows 10 on the Internet, then updating the Windows 8.1 to Windows 10. I had to run the setupprep.exe from within the arch directory of the USB stick to manually force the setup to continue. When it saw Win 10, it activated immediately. Works great now, better that it has in a while.

Comment Fourth Generation Database Languages (Score 1) 429

SQL is similarly not obscure in its area, but worth learning and you rarely see it in a list of general programming languages (because it isn't). But the commercial vendors all ship their SQL with strong variants that extend the language and do more common language functions like looping. I speak of PL/SQL, TSQL, and their ilk, which all have a touch of obscurity in the same way R does.

You mentioned SQL and looping, but you missed out on the 4GL database variants: Aubit 4GL, IBM (Informix 4GL), Progress (OpenEdge Database), Aestiva Software (Aestiva Array). In some domains, 4GL is referred to as ABL. In the version I've used, they support a simple subset of SQL-89, and just enough SQL-92 to support JDBC/ODBC clients - although I've never seen it work. As for the differences, I hear that 4GL databases are record oriented, where SQL databases are set oriented. 4GL has features that SQL lacks, such as looping [FOR EACH table ...], accessing 2 (or more) records from a single table in one query [DEFINE BUFFER x FOR table], max of a field in a particular query [LAST], and conditional access of sub-queries table/buffers with IF AVAILABLE, accessing table children efficiently [EACH childtable OF table] each with independent WHERE syntax, and it is compiled. On the other hand, SQL is very good at aggregating/grouping, handling NULLs with COALESCE, queries not relying so heavily on indexes, and it is NOT compiled. If you want dynamic queries, with 4GL you'll have to build the file and compile it as it runs. One interesting thing about 4GL is their text fields can be overstuffed. Let's say you define your table, CHAR(30), and later you decide you need four more characters. No need to change anything - the extra data will be silently saved. It won't be displayed unless you override your DISPLAY statement, but the data will be there - up to 2k or 4k, implementation specific, as I recall.

Most languages have the ability to create simple character based applications that can be accessed by Wyse and VTstyle terminals. Some environments have the ability to make .NET and Java based graphical applications, also.

Overall though, it's a good idea to have a little 4GL under your belt. I've seen these languages being used in the newspaper industry, web publishing, gas stations, and even banks. I know I've gotten interviews based on just being proficient with 4GL / ABL database languages. It's not a bad thing to know a niche language.

Comment Re:Thinking about leaving any systemd linux behind (Score 1) 747

Gentoo seems like a good idea, until you realize it installs systemd by default. I suppose you can emerge open-rc, but who knows when that will stop being maintained? Even if they don't I'm willing to bet most of the Gentoo Handbook will assume you've got the systemd tools installed. They are a bit better about considering alternate configurations, than say, ArchLinux. Speaking of which ..
If you are thinking of ArchLinux as a method of escaping systemd, forget it. They also recommend installing systemd if you want a graphical desktop or wifi. All their HOWTOs seem to be written with it in mind, and they don't give as much thought to alternate configurations. All in all, though, both are much faster than the mainstream distributions on old hardware.

Comment Re:Done to _gouge_ the customer better (Score 1) 379

Dell is not a manufacturer of anything. They just take what's established and cheap, and slap a sticker or their logo on it. Currently it looks they are using Lexmark and Samsung internals, but all are proprietary enough that you must pay the Dell printer cartridge premium. Their ink cartridges also date expire and have detected fill levels so that you cannot reuse them.
Now, if you meant Toshiba, I understand, but their printers are typically so pricey that I only see them being leased out, not purchased.

Comment Origin of BSD (Score 1) 103

As I recall, BSD refers to BSD44 (or BSD v4.4), which I believe is the first version of Berkley Software Distribution [Unix] that was certified did not contain any of the SysV Unix code. Code that the university had obtained from Bell Labs for originally for training purposes. As I recall, there was a huge court battle over this in the 90s. Various pundits claim that if BSD had not been tied up in courts, hackers would not have taken an interest in the Minix clone, Linux. Then again, Linux had quite the court battle in the 2000s, and I don't remember FreeBSD users jumping through the roof. It takes quite a bit of dedication (e.g. time and desire) to track FreeBSDs -STABLE or -CURRENT. Was quite a bit of fun to compile your own kernel, though. Only one simple text file to read/modify.

As I understand, you can obtain the BSD44 sources if you desire. They are not free, though. You have to pay for shipping and the cost of a 9mm reel or two. So yes, the BSD is important as it shows that all the *BSD distros come from a Sys-V Unix parent.

Comment Scroll Lock/FreeBSD and Sun Keyboards (Score 1) 698

I do! The FreeBSD terminal uses a Scroll Lock tap to freeze the screen so that you can go back and read those make or gcc messages or warnings you just missed with the arrow keys. Another press of Scroll Lock returns you back to your prompt (or output, if you are still processing). LED is also usful to tell you what status you are in. Works great ...

Until you put your server on a KVM that uses Scroll Lock to select the current server or skip to the next server. So, do those Mac keyboards not have Scroll Lock, Break, and Print Screen? Other than those users using Greenshot or Gadwin ScreenPrint, how could they be using those keys...

Ah, I remember now - those are F13, F14, and F15. Except that the F-keys are hidden under other items like brightness up/down, volume up/down, screen mirror/extend and so on. So, why didn't researcher note those?

As for SUN keyboard layouts (USB variant plugged into Windows 7) - I like the Control Key placement(where caps lock is now). Escape is acceptable (replaces tilde & grace accent key). But that Backspace key! What were they smoking!
Sun Hardware Designer 1: "Most of Sun terminal app users use Ctrl-H and DEL anyway, so lets make the Backspace key the size of every other key, and put it UNDER the BackSlash key. So when a Windows user users our keyboard, every time he goes for BackSlash, he'll hit Backspace instead!"
Sun Hardware Designer 2: "That's great boss, my idea is to switch the position of the Super and Alt keys. Lets also shrink that BackSlash down and put a tilde/grave key there, too!"
Sun Hardware Designer 1: "Splendid, we'll keep people locked into using our servers forever because our design is so superior!"

Tongue firmly in cheek there, for those not getting it. I do like Caps Lock swtiched with Ctrl, though. That's very nice, and really is superior. I just wish those other keys weren't moved about. For those wondering what generation, there's a tiny Sun Sparc 4m that this is supposed to go with. The USB mouse doesn't work with Windows - maybe it needs a reflective pad?, but the keyboard works great.

Comment Re:CSA never won a war (Score 1) 818

I agree with your point about history being written by the victors, but I wouldn't call the War of 1812 a win for the US. The capitol was burned and sacked, and the British ships of the line could easily handle any ships that early America could field. The British let it go because their economy was reeling after batting the US in the west and Napoleon's armies in the east.

Comment Re:Those evil enemy oppressors (Score -1) 818

You might be trolling, but I'll bite. The Civil War was not fought primarily over slavery. That's revisionist history. Don't get angry, that's the way was taught to me in high school as well, with Honest Abe liberating the slaves. It wasn't until college that I found out that there was a lot more to it than that. Slavery was an important issue, yes, but if it was the primary reason, I suspect the Emancipation Proclamation would have been issued in 1861, not 1863. The Civil War was primarily fought for state's rights, and also cultural, economic, financial reasons. Not to mention abolitionists that demonized everyone that lived in the south, not just the plantation slave owners
  • The North was industrialized, while the South was primarily an agrarian society.
  • The North was also receiving a great deal of infrastructure from taxes (e.g. railroads, roads, bridges) compared to the South. The North had 80% of the railroads, compared to the south's 20%. Those 80% were standardized, where in the South there were 3 competing track styles.
  • The North put high tariffs cheap imports from overseas to protect its new textile industry, which put a financial burden on the South. It's estimated the cost of finished goods rose 50% practically overnight in the South, because they had to pay the North's prices (and shipping)
  • The North was only letting new states in as 'free' states, to curtail the power of the South. See California, Kansas
  • Northern and Southern politicians did not get along at all, not unlike Republicans and Democrats of today. At least they aren't coming to blows... yet

This is a free speech issue. If the Confederate Battle Flag is now a symbol of racism and must be banned, what about the gray soldier's uniform? Do we ban that, too? How about the General Lee, it's got a big flag on the roof? How about the Civil War computer games, ban those, too? Let's go a bit further with this: What about the Swastika? How about the NAZI flag? Stormtrooper uniforms? The German SS ones, not the Star Wars ones. Do I own or want to own any of these items? No. But if a museum wants to display these items, I think it should be allowed to, so long as we are not glorifying the murder of innocent lives. As for the Civil War, I'd argue that we need not to forget it, or we might end up repeating it.

Comment Re:Sounds like a plan! (Score 1) 1067

Oh man, why did you have to post 4GL (or ABL or whatever they call it today) into this topic!

Okay, I'll bite. I prefer FIND LAST table OF otherTable WHERE aDate = ? NO-LOCK NO-ERROR in a FOR EACH loop with lots of BUFFERs to the same table, myself. It means I have to wrap each table access in IF AVAILABLE statements (shortened to IF AVAIL table THEN DO:). Thanks for the tip, though.

Comment Re:PuTTY is Passe (Score 1) 216

I respectfully disagree. There's no way the terminal in MobaXterm is PuTTY. It behaves differently, and doesn't have the configuration knobs that PuTTY has. I believe it is using mintty, like Cygwin uses.

I think that he parses the registry for the PuTTY settings, and loads them (15 or so connections for the free version, all for the paid version). If he uses any PuTTY code, it is just to marshall that hunk of registry data into clickable links that mintty can understand. Look for SimonTatham in your registry.

Comment Re:Cygwin appreciation society! (Score 1) 216

I'd like to comment about MobaXterm: It is a Lazarus (or more likely Delphi) application with the source code freely available under the GPL v3 license. However, it uses some closed source items as part of its build environment, so it will not compile from the available source. It cobbles together pieces of MinGW and the MinGW Xserver into a nice product. Worth installing, if you cannot have a true Linux terminal. Link

That said, security-wise, be careful with MobaXterm. Per Nessus it runs on its host with its X11 server wide open. Nessus will even happily grab a screen shot of what was going on on your screen the moment it scans it.
I think he has the remote Xserver screen grab turned on for the Windows 7+ peek feature, so you can have some idea of the window you want to open. Problem is, that feature doesn't fully work yet. If you have multiple overlapping windows, you get what's on top - that it. So if you have something fullscreen with covering something else behind it, you'll get a peek of the part of the fullscreen window, and not the window you really want.

That said, it's the best inexpensive shareware/nagware terminal/X11 server around, short of using 100% Linux. On the full commercial side, Hummingbird's Reflection product may technically be better, but when it costs $500 to $1000 per seat per version - no thanks. $70 to $100/year is more reasonable than that (price is based on Euro, so Dollar price varies)

Logic doesn't apply to the real world. -- Marvin Minsky