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Comment: Does it now support HDDs larger than 2 GB? (Score 4, Insightful) 213

by Qbertino (#49491933) Attached to: GNU Hurd 0.6 Released

Does it now support HDDs larger than 2 GB? I'm not even joking here.

Last time I heard (like 10 years ago or so) it was a theorists wet dream but basically unusable.

What's the state of things with Hurd nwo? Is it usefull already?
What are big steps Hurd still needs to take to be ready for prime time?
What are the plans? When are we there?

Please note: I have no problem replacing Unix with something better, like ome coolDMI thing where everything isn't a file but an object and the system is cleanly designed from top to bottom and back. Top notch but everything modifiable. But it has to be real-world usable and useful. Until then I'm sticking with *nix derivates such as OS X on Apple hardware or some x86 Linux like Debian or Ubuntu on ThinkPads.

Could someone give some enlightenment on this issue?

Comment: Don't. (Score 1) 315

by Qbertino (#49444915) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How To Introduce a 7-Year-Old To Programming?

He is SEVEN! He want's to hear farytale stories, wander around, stop every 5 meters to look at something interesting.

He'll sit at a desk long enough in his life. I'd say 9-12 is the earliest to start progging - and only if he wants it/shows serious interest. He'll be a prodigy fast enough if that's his cup of tea.

Comment: Re: It's the cloud (Score 1) 146

by Qbertino (#49419101) Attached to: The New Struggles Facing Open Source

You guys get it all wrong. We are way past both those szenarios already. You need neither the expensive IT guy nor some overpriced subscription cloud bullshit. You get a stack of NUC Micropcs, install Ubuntu and are done. If you can't spare the 500 euros for the student to do this you get Chromebooks which these days come at 150 a pop, new. Turn on, log in, use. The great Google is taking care of you. End of story.

Comment: Re: It's the cloud (Score 2) 146

by Qbertino (#49418911) Attached to: The New Struggles Facing Open Source

Is there currently an open source alternative[to the closed alternative]?

Yes there is: Abundandt dirt cheap hardware.

In the grand scheme of things cloud computing is just a fad like SAS or Network Computing was before, in order to hijack peoples stuff and hold it ransom. Nobody short of the bazillionth pinterest clone thgat has to scale by 100 orders of magnitude in 3 weeks because of the hype train coming in is going to fall for that. It's all same shit, different name.

Cloud development is all the hype because the toolstacks we use may be FOSS and the best there is, but they're still 15 - 20 years old (LAMP anyone?) and miles away from what would technically be possible today. Eventually you'll be able to meta-prototype an app with few clicks of a button and be able to deploy it whereever you want in a matter of seconds and the whole stack for that will be FOSS with the entire app and datalayer abstracted and encrypted two levels up. No one will give a shit about cloud space then, short of buying 30 gigs and 20 gigaflops of it with their mobile phone package as a signing bonus.

Until then I'd suggest you stay away from the cloud and build your own toolchain and runtime kit on last years decommisioned laptops that are a dime a dozen. It's faster, cheaper and you can do it when the web is down. Unless you belong to that crew mentioned above that's building said twitter clone, has to scale yesterday and is going out of business in 2 years anyway.

Comment: Those terms are ortogonal to each other. (Score 1) 220

by Qbertino (#49410947) Attached to: How would you rate your programming skills?

I'm consulted by others for my knowledge on PLs, technologies and plattforms and paid for it. Hence: Expert. My programming however is probably sorta advanced right now, because I currently do mainly PHP and WordPress (shitty architecture by programming n00bs).

However, it depends on the field. Back in the eighties as teenagers we did assembler and opcode. I'd be back into that in 40 minutes, way faster than others today. That probably makes me an expert in that field, by todays standards. I'm also an expert in Flash, knowing the pitfalls of the plattform in and out. Today that doesn't win me any cookies at all and thows me back into JS and html we're I'm not (yet) at that level.

Comment: I've seen a lot of this personally. (Score 1) 124

by Qbertino (#49385757) Attached to: Thousand-Year-Old Eye Salve Kills MRSA

Personally, I've seen a lot of this. "Retro" in medicine not only is hip, but it actually works. And often better than synthesized medicine.
You have to know what you are doing though, which includes knowing what modern remedies acutally do and what they were originally built for.

Example: I treaded my reflux with healing earth and baking soda (Natriumhydrogencarbonat (German term)). The regular doctor would've given me super expensive PPI and the effect probably wouldn't have been half as good. It took me basically 3 days to get my acid levels back to normal.

Example 2: Healing Earth/Healing Clay. No more anti-biotics or synthesized remedies when I have stomach problems due to an infection or stress, thank you. This stuff has upped my health measurably ever since the local RPG dealer recommended it to me back in college. I've used it to externally treat neuro-dermitis, stomach problems and acidic cold sores. This stuff does wonders. For some people it's tough to swallow though. I usually take a heaped table-spoon of dry healing clay (grain size 1 or ultra-fine) and wash it down with a glass of water. You have to brush your teeth afterwards, otherwise you'll be scrunching on what feels like fine grained sand. ... Which it basically is, in a way. :-)

Example 3: Fresh onions and fresh pressed onion juice for treating ear or throat infections. It smells, but it works. The soothing effect is almost instant, no thinking what a synthesized remedy with that effect would have to do. I use onions marinated in honey as cough syrup - it's the best there is. It's a bit of a hassle to make, so I do use stuff from the store aswell when I need it and am low on time, but the self made stuff beats the stuff from the store in both effect and taste, hands down.

These are a few examples of old-school remedies that are measurably better that the stuff pharmaceuticals try to push on you. However, there is modern medicine that I do use, albeit as an 'educated patient'. Modern anti-hystaminica for instance has gotten pretty good and effective with negilible side-effects.

Bottom line: There are remedies that have been around for thousands of years and still are the best there is for treating certain conditions, perhaps also for the very simple fact that we've evolved around those things available to us. That, of cource, doesn't mean you should shun modern medicine entirely or go all-out homepathic or some other weird stuff.

My 2 cents.

Comment: Re:take it from a pro (Score 1) 298

by Qbertino (#49362493) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Makes Some Code Particularly Good?

I think i can shed light on this subject, having several years experience in this field. New programmers and seasoned alike often make this mistake, either through carelessness or ignorance. When working to write good code, you must make sure to set good="yes" or good="veryyes." ive written code for 20 years now and this has only ever failed me in PHP. Apparently the language does not support "good" code.

Don't forget to check $_GOOD correctly.
You have to evaluate "veryyes" == $_GOOD like this:
if (("veryyes" == $_GOOD) !== false) {...}
$_GOOD = "kindaSoSo" and $_GOOD = "sortaOk" will both cause "veryyes" == $_GOOD to evaluate to true. ... Gotta know your PHP. :-P

Comment: Welcome to the USA (Score 2, Insightful) 181

by Qbertino (#49361999) Attached to: Commercial Flamethrower Successfully Crowdfunded

Sorry to the 90% U.S.ians here on /. for my upcoming rant, but bear with me please:

WTF? I mean, seriously, WTF??? Who in hell would think that what the world needs now is a small concealable commercially available *FLAMETHROWER* ?!??. This is so bizarly US american, words fail me.

When's the first one going to run amok with one of these? Who's gonna pay the medical bill of the first rampage victims with 80% burnt skin for life? The people who built this thing? ... I hope as soon as the first one falls victim to one of these, that these people get sued into next wednesday big-time USA style. Better would be they'd abandon the project alltogether.

Does anybody here know what a gastly cruel final effort weapon this is? Seriously folks. Even as a military weapon Flamethrowers are about as wicked as it can get - even hardboiled hardcore SS members would instantly surrender at the mere sight of the "Churchill Corcodile", a british tank with a flamethrower attached. Which shows they actually can, in rare cases, have a 'use' - if I may use this notably unfitting verb in this context - as a last ditch (no pun intended) effort in marginal scenarios, such as finally and once and for all bringing down a totalitarian regime bent on ruling the planet by ethnic cleansing and such. And communicating to members of such a regime that you're effing serious and now won't stop short of total surrender.

But a commercially available flamethrower for "normal" people? "normal" in double quotes(!!). Jebus H.B. Crickey, this is so sick words fail me. However, this guy pretty much puts the finger on the insanity.

My 2 cents.

Comment: When it works. (Score 1) 298

by Qbertino (#49356309) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Makes Some Code Particularly Good?

When it works.

No, seriously, that's the prime criteria. I'll take crap code over good code anytime, it it works and the "good" code needs some arcance and/or bizar setup procedure that I have to put up with to perhaps get it running.

Point in case: WordPress, a PHP driven Web CMS that today runs about 20% of all websites, is a huge pile of typical PHP spagetti. And don't even get me started on the data model ... the WP crew probably doesn't even know what that is. Anyway, just the other day I spent two hours hacking the login template to coax it into not getting in the way of an auto-login feature built with Active X and JavaScript (...don't ask, the customer spends 150 Euros an hour, I'm sure as hell not gonna make stupid remarks on all this).

I mean, just look at it! (Surgeon Generals Warning: Looking at WP code can cause instant heart problems and depression!)

It was quite an adventure.

However, it works. My grandma can setup WP in 10 minutes. Come around the corner with your flashy new Java whatnot, clean model and all, if I spend more than a week trying to get it runing on Debian or some other widespread Linux, I will ditch it, no matter how well the app itself is coded.

Programms are for users, and they have to work. The rest is icing. End of story.

Comment: I'm glad I taught my daughter to be careful ... (Score 5, Insightful) 353

I'm glad I taught my daughter to be careful/paranoid. I'm also glad she listened.

What we're observing here and in many other different places is the classic problem of technological advancement: Powerful tools in untrained/unexperienced hands. Each of us here has seen the internet/web grow and trivial-to-stupid data-collection services come over us like the plaque. We have a natural negative reaction to post non-anonymous content online or giving some corporation or the public all our data just because they offer a flaky lock-in version of IRC or microblogging. For most users however, that is a very normal thing to do. I cringe each time I see others exposing themselves to abuse and fraud by posting everything under their real name and data. They are one identity theft or one online stalker away from having their entire life turned into living hell.

I set up my daughters Ubuntu Netbook with two mailaccounts, one fake on with a pseudonym and one with her name. I told her to specifically use the latter only for official real-world stuff - sending in homework, applying for some course, etc. and the other for everthing else.

When she went off for a student exchange in Malaysia, she set up a another seperate pseudonymed online Facebook account for the occasion, to be able to cut it lose should things get out of hand. That's daddys smart girl.

Fake/pseudonymed accounts and a general base paranoia about all things online is a must these days if you don't want to be over-exposed to crap from immature teenagers.

I'm glad my daughter caught the drift and didn't wave off her daddys advice on this matter.

According to the latest official figures, 43% of all statistics are totally worthless.