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Submission Summary: 0 pending, 78 declined, 10 accepted (88 total, 11.36% accepted)

+ - Is it feasible to revive an old Linux PC setup? 1

Submitted by Qbertino
Qbertino (265505) writes "I’ve been rumaging around on old backups and cleaning out my stuff and have once again run into my expert-like paranoid backups and keepsakes from back in the days (2001). I’ve got, among other things, a full installset of Debian 3 CDs, an original StarOffice 6.0 CD including a huge manual in mint condition, Corel Draw 9 for Linux, the original box & CDs — yes it ran on a custome wine setup, but it ran well, I did professional design and print work with it.

I’ve got more of other stuff lying around, including the manuals to run it. Loki Softs Tribes 2, Kohan, Rune and the original Unreal Tournament for Linux have me itching too. :-)

I was wondering if it would be possible to do an old 2001ish setup of a linux workstation on some modern supercheap, supersmall PC (Rasberry Pi? Mini USB PC?), install all the stuff and give it a spin. What problems should I expect? Vesa and Soundblaster drivers I’d expect to work, but what’s with the IDE HDD drivers? How well does vintage Linux software from 2003 play with todays cheap system-on-board MicroPCs? What’s with the USB stuff? Wouldn’t the install expect the IO devices hooked on legacy ports? Have you tried running 10-15 year old Linux setups on devices like these and what are your experiences? What do you recommend?"

+ - Would you now bet on server side JavaScript (Node.js)?

Submitted by Qbertino
Qbertino (265505) writes "How realistic is it to place most bets on server side JavaScript / Node.js rather than a P language (PHP/Perl/Python)?

Back in the day, when Netscape had the only useful web server, server-side scripting was done with JavaScript — that was somewhere around 96 or so. Along came LAMP and got rid of proprietary solutions (for the most part that is) and somehow PHP got critical mass for being at the right place at the right time and having good documentation and a very low bar of entry.

However things have changed. Flash as a rich client technology is basically dead, just about everything web-based done client side has its logic coded in JavaScript, and with HTML 5 & CSS 3 being the go-to platform of today (also for wrapped x-platfrom mobile apps) and Node.js has recruited the remarkable V8 JS VM for serverside stuff. I’m now seriously considering the move away from PHP / Python to JavaScript for non-trivial server side development aswell. It would be so cool to have one PL for everything, and finally getting rid of PHP / mod_php doesn’t really hurt either.

I am wondering if it is feasible to bet on server side JS and Node.js in particular for large non-trivial web apps. I’m talking about Apps with the functional depth compareable to Pimcore or Typo3 here.

Concrete Example: Let’s say a client would come up to me and say he want’s a custom DTP platform that runs entirely on the web, with heavy Ajax/JS/HTML Canvas coding in the client (modern HTML 5 browsers) and a large app model in the backend (x86 Linux with print PDF generation and lots of other features).
Would you say it’s a risk worth taking to do the lions share of server side logic in JS running on Node.js with C/C++ extensions to Node.js for the speed-critical parts (Node offers some neat features in that dept) or would you suggest to play it safe and use existing PHP setups and toolkits, such as Zend or Symfony for such a thing? I’d say if the client is heavy JS lifting already, you might aswell use the same PL on the server — especially since I know how to abstract persistence and app layer, no matter the PL and could probably write the framework for all my persistence needs in a week. That would be a week in a project planned for 6 — 10 months.

Basically it would mean to restrict PHP work to quick and simple hacks on existing platforms such as Wordpress, Drupal or Typo3 and do every other from-scratch‘ project on JS / Node.js from here on out.

What do you think? Feasible or just to risky? What would you do? Have you been itching to go full force on Node.js yourself? Educated opinions of slashdotters desperately needed. Thanks."

+ - One Phone to rule them all

Submitted by Qbertino
Qbertino (265505) writes "The Oneplus One, brazingly subtitled "2014 Flagship Killer", is a mobile phone specifically designed to go head-to-head with and beat the flagship products of existing behemoths in the industry and apparently also caters to the opinion leading crowd, i.e. us. It sports a quadcore 2.5 Ghz Snapdragon CPU, 3GB of RAM with a Sysclock of 1.8Ghz and 32GB (299$) / 64GB (349$) of storage, a replacable battery, a 6-lens 13 Megapixel sony camera and a 5 megapixel webcam for videochat. It runs CyanogenMod 11S based off Android 4.4 KitKat. Specs, especially when compared to pricing, blow the lid off current expectations and definitely raise the bar for next gen phones. Three concluding words: I want one."

+ - How do I wrap my head around (My)SQL? 1

Submitted by Qbertino
Qbertino (265505) writes "Hi fellow slashdotters. I've got a problem. Basically I'm the regular Type A 80ies computer-geek, starting programming on a Sharp PC (PocketComputer) 1402 back in 1986 and been coding for money since the web-boom back in 2000-2001. There is one thing that has been bugging me ever since, and that is the developer communitys obsession with SQL as a means to automatically access persistance from the app layer. I'm not quite sure if it may just be MySQL, but the strange, human-communication-emulation syntax of SQL and it's ever-present ambiguity never fail to piss me off on a day-to-day basis.

However, I now have a job that requires me to become at least mid-range fluent in MySQL. Modifying the setup to avoid MySQLs SQL, such as adding ORM layers or frameworks, is not an option, for various reasons, some of them silly, some of them quite resonable. One being that we actually do access and analyse data direct and manually — what SQL originaly was built for.

My specific questions:
What can I do to get solid results and make measurable progress with non-trivial SQL (JOINs and beyond) whilst not constantly running into MySQL annoyances like, f.i. its bizar error messages to often?

What strategies do you recommend for a born SQL hater to grow a little acceptance and get to learn to handle the strangeness of this PL? Maybe a book of sorts that adresses issues more experience developers may have with (My)SQL? Perhaps you have some personal advice on how you tackled this problem — if you had it?

Finally, what do you recommend to get more firm and less confused with the non-trivial pieces of set theory and day-to-day data analysis ... books, online resources, games/riddles or excercises and explanations for pratice? I'd like to get quicker and more fluent at this in general.

Thanks for your input."
Java

+ - What's the best State-of-the-Art FOSS Product for Java (Web) Projects?

Submitted by Qbertino
Qbertino (265505) writes "Hi Slashdotters. After 12 years of realtive abstinence I'm looking to get my hands dirty with Java again and thought I'd do so by attempting one of the countless non-trivial Web projects on my idea list. I'm looking for something that removes a few layers of the crufty LAMP stack that so many of us got used to, in order to compensate for the Java typical hassles I'll inevitably run into. For this I'm looking for a FOSS Java Product (Framework, Toolkit, Enterprise CMS, Appserver, whatever) that has a certain set of features and attributes (see below). I've allways been keeping an eye on the PHP and Python projects on a regular basis, but couldn't say so about Java, so I need some input from you guys.

The following attributes are a must:

1.) Must be a pro-level/enterprise tool, meaning: When I learn it in the end I should be closer to typical enterprise products like jBoss, Glassfish, Oracle Whatever, SAP Whatnot, IBM Websphere, etc. with the knowledge gained. Ergo: Not some avantgarde experiment that has me crying myself to sleep once I get a gig at some Java shop that uses todays regular products, but something that prepares me for the things to come. At least a little.

2.) I'm willing to use some avantgarde stuff if it is stuff I can easyly integrate into existing enterprise toolstacks later in my career (SAP, Oracle, IBM, ect.) without having to install countless things below the regular Java level. Or obscure Java Libs that are a licencing liability to my employer/client.

3.) This one's a little contradiction with point 1: I which it to have absolutely zero fuss in integrating application and persistance. Think Zope/Plone. If I build a type/entity I want to do that exactly once and only once and I do not want to be manually editing XML in order to do so. Best would be if it had some kind of modeller where I can click together my entities and objects, maybe in some Java Application or a Web/Ajax Backend Interface (very fancy I know). I wish to avoid seperate persistance level logic programming with a specific language (read: No SQL or XML Situps!) entirely. In other words: In terms of persistance/applevel integration I really would like to leave the current state of things which to me appears to have been stuck in the early 90ies. I have no problem if this is all covered by fully automated scaffolding/crud or whatever and tons of autogenerated SQL in the background — I just would like to avoid having to deal with seperate layers alltogether whilst prototyping. Basically I'd like to stick to building my objects/types in Java and nothing else.

4.) The product should be either a one-command install on x86 Debian stable and other x86 Linux distros or should be easy to deploy manually with just a runtime as a prerequesite and a jar or something. Likewise it should be easy to deploy the required runtime environment and sub-libs on Mac OS X Snow Leopard. It should have a webserver option that is production ready and tried-and-true tested. It would be nice if that webserver option would either be an intergrated HTTP thingie inside the Java product or a first-choice integration with a FOSS HTTP Server binary that is *not* Apache, like lightHttpd or whatever the newest hype in enterprise ready lightweight HTTP-thingies is. I'd like to avoid Apache Configuration hassles just as I'd like to avoid SQL hassles.

6.) It should be established as a product — at least in the FOSS community (not just on one obscure mailinglist somewhere deep in the massive Apache Java Project grabbag) or be notably promising with a small company or dedicated team behind it. Something like PHPs ZendFW, Symphony, the Typo3 or Rails community — they've got a hang at pushing their stack in respective markets. (I.E.: Their websites don't look like shit and the projects opinion leaders actually know that marketing is important — even for a FOSS product) If it's a young but promising project I have no trouble helping out once I'm up to speed, so don't hesitate to advertise your own below, just don't ignore the requirements above completely.

Bonus points if the product has a braggable enterprise customer/user list and a real shot at pissing into the soup of the established players (Oracle, SAP, IBM, etc.).

Number 6 and 7 are nice to haves:

6.) Native integration with a well-established seasoned Ajax Toolkit like Sencha/Ext3, jQuery UI, Tipco GI or something of the sort. Perferably with a FOSS interface builder along with it.

  7.) Built with zero-fuss Mobile App integration (Android & iOS) in mind, since I think we all agree that that is the next big thing. Perhaps Android/iOS Libs already in place/available or something like that.

Thanks for you input, it's allway a great help."
Businesses

+ - Late-ish Career Boost via degree: CS or Business Informatics?

Submitted by Qbertino
Qbertino (265505) writes "Hoi Slashdotters. I'm in my early 40ies and after a little more than 10 years of web, scripting and software development as a freelancer and some gigs as a regular fulltime employee I'm seriously considering giving my IT career a boost to be more able to move up the food chain by getting a degree. I'm your regular 80ies computer kid and made a career switch to IT during the dot-bomb days. Now I'm with quite a bit of programming and project experience but sans a degree and find myself hitting somewhat of a glass ceiling with maybe a little age discrimination thrown in there — i.e. at my age you're either moving up the ladder or out. Since I'm in Germany, degrees count a lot (70% of IT staff have a degree) so getting one seems fitting and a nice touch to my portfolio. However, I'm pondering wether I should go for CS ('Informatics / Informatik' in German) or Business Informatics.

I'd like to move into Projekt Management or Technical Account Management and am in a little dilemma: CS gives me the pro credibility and proves my knowledge with low-level and tech stuff and I'd be honing my C/C++ and *nix skills and emphasising my tech cred. BI would teach me some bean-counting skills, I'd be doing modelling, ERP with Java or .Net all day (creepy, I know) and give me some BA cred but I'd lose karma with the T-Shirt wearing crew and the decision makers in that camp. Help me make my move with some educated opinions please. I'm leaning a little toward BI because I suspect that's where the money is in my case, but am not quite sure wether a classic CS degree wouldn't still be better — even if I'm wearing a suit. Any suggestions?"
Linux

+ - LSE drops .Net for Linux & Solaris Solution

Submitted by Qbertino
Qbertino (265505) writes "Heise.de reports (text in German) that the London Stock Exchange will drop its .Net based trading software solution for a Linux/Solaris alternative. Its mostly performance and cost issues that bring Microsofts prime example for the feasibility of .Net for large installations to a grinding and unpleasant halt. What really gives the .Net camp a major blow in the TCO arguement though, is that amoung 20 evaluated solutions the one chosen was buying the entire Sri Lanka based company MilleniumIT that offers the chosen alternative for the equivalent of 30 Million Euros. In comparsion, the mere rollout of the current insufficient .Net infrastructure cost LSE the equivalent of 65 Million Euros. ... 'gues I'll continue stearing clear of .Not."
Graphics

+ - Ton Roosendahl recieves Honorary Doctorate

Submitted by Qbertino
Qbertino (265505) writes "BlenderNation, a Blender News site, reports that Ton Roosendahl, lead developer and founder of the Blender Project, will recieve a PhD HC at the University in Leeds (UK) today. Blender isn't just a flagship open source project, it also has gained a solid reputation in the scientific community. Honor whom honor is due, i say. He very much deserves it. I'm sure the Blender community as a whole is happy and proud for and with him."
Movies

+ - 3rd Blender Open Movie Project 'Durian' Announced

Submitted by Qbertino
Qbertino (265505) writes "After 2 Blender Open Movie projects (Elefants Dream and Big Buck Bunny), both of which where huge successes for the blender communtiy and did a remarkable job at achieving the target goals, the blender foundation has announced it's third open movie project codenamed 'Durian' which is to be another animated short film made with an entirely FOSS production pipeline with Blender at its core. This time with an epic setting, an action-oriented presentation and a heroine as main character. The scenario rollout will be provided and overseen by the renowned dutch comic artist Martin Lodewijk. To all artists, blenderheads and 3D programmers: If you want to participate, now is your time to apply. The project team will be finalised and announced by June 20th this year. Shortly after the project will start in Amsterdam and go for the usual 6 to 9 Months. With Blender versions and projects increasing in quality and impact in leaps and bounds at each iteration, this is yet another gem from the Blender crew to look forward too. Especially with Blender 2.5 coming up with a large redo and overhaul of core components and features."
Windows

+ - Removing naggapps and clutter from a fresh Vista

Submitted by Qbertino
Qbertino (265505) writes "Hello fellow Slashdotters. I've got a rather unusual problem: I'm a Linux veteran and haven't used Windows for production work since 8 years ago and stopped using it entirely about 6 years ago. However, I'm about to recieve a brand new Laptop as an xmas present from my employer and it comes with Vista preinstalled. I'd like to use the preinstalled OS as a foundation for working with some apps I use at work that only run on Windows, so I'd like to keep the install if possible. And, no, there are no replacements for these on Ubuntu. What can I do to clean up Vista and remove any crap that bogs down the system or gets me angry by nagging me with "Please register this OS and give us your genetic fingerprint" popups and simular shite MS has been pissing off people with lately? I'm even willing to pay 30 Euros or so for Windows cleanup utilities, maybe there is something you Windows guys can recommend? Any free tools I should run before doing anything on Vista? Thanks for any help."
The Internet

+ - Are you also growing sceptical of todays IT?

Submitted by Qbertino
Qbertino (265505) writes "I am, just as many other slashdotters, the typical Generation X geek. I started programming in my teens in the mid-80s and have done it ever since, with maybe a few year break inbetween. In 1999 I joined the first web craze full-scale and have since then been developing software and contributing to IT projects for a living. I currently have a compareatively safe and fun job in a currently booming market (MMO Gaming) and a chance to yet again try out the newest of technologies in my field and even get paid for it. However, I've grown increasingly weary of a world embracing IT technologies where I feel they don't belong. IT-Bots deciding wether someone is elligeble to a credit or not or a terrorist or not based on some obscure metadata, indian taxi-drivers required not to smile in order for bots to be able to read their faces, bizar amounts of virtual/digital money being leveraged to unhinge entire economies, ect. pp. ... you get the picture. Don't get me wrong, I don't think the world will end because of this, but I do think people will have to move away from IT in order to reclaim their lives and that this will hurt our field of expertise where it actually *is* usefull and meant to advance humanity. On the other hand, people are starting to think this is normal. They don't see the nature of computers or the web, but simply take it in without even reflecting it. And the scary part about it is that no matter how ineffective it is, it is actually more effective for everyday life to mostly stear clear of IT and not become to dependant on it. Which — as I see it — only IT experts can actually really do proactively. What I'm saying is that more and more I see it becoming increasingly difficult to actually see the work I do actually benefit the people around me. What I see is a huge machine decoupled from humanity, squeezing the last bit of net gain out of everything and sinking people to mere co-dependant parts of it rather than empowering individuals. What are your observations? Similar, or is this just some sort of a winter depression I'm having? I don't see myself as overly romantic or backwards — on the contrary — but could it be that we as IT geeks more proactively have to embrace a counterculture? And maybe stand up against a world in which *everything* is ruled by IT? What do you fellow slashdotters think?"
PHP

+ - CakePHP 1.2 RC 1 released->

Submitted by Qbertino
Qbertino (265505) writes "After a long developement time and massive improvements in functions and featureset the CakePHP project has released RC1 of their Web Application Framework. CakePHP is one of the popular full-scale MVC web frameworks written in PHP. Unlike most others, it still actively supports PHP 4, allthough not with all features and it is officially inspired by Ruby on Rails."
Link to Original Source
Privacy

+ - German Supreme Court blocks 'Big Eavesdropping'

Submitted by Qbertino
Qbertino (265505) writes "The 'Big Eavesdropping Attack' ('Großer Lauschangriff'), a set of german anti-terrorisim laws forcing network and telco providers to store any connection data for 60 days (amoungst other things), is a major YRO/privacy issue in Germany. According to Spiegel Online (Article in German) the German Supreme Court has invalidated substancial portions of the bill in a short-notice arbitration. This is yet another instance in a series of swattings of the German gouverment for this sort of thing from the Judges of the German Supreme Court. A big relief for all whom it concerns. Nice to see the authorities still believe in citizens rights. Makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside."
Yahoo!

+ - Microsoft offers 44 Billion $ for Yahoo

Submitted by Qbertino
Qbertino (265505) writes "According to the major German news-site Spiegel Online, Microsoft wants to buy Yahoo for $31 per share, adding up to 44 Billion for a majority in shares. Prices for Yahoo shares started climbing after the news. Tricky thing. This would reduce the amount in Microsofts piggybank considerably and could backfire big time if their plan doesn't work out. And this time there'd be not much left to pay off the mistake. It's suprising to see MS announcing such a bold move. Is Yahoo really worth that much? And doesn't this appear a tad desperate?"
OS X

+ - Workplace Shell replacement for Mac OS X?

Submitted by Qbertino
Qbertino (265505) writes "I'm proud owner of an older 12" G4 iBook (1,0 Ghz) from a few years ago, the one many geeks have and liked to use because of it's price/performance ratio for a subnotebook. Many people I met use it to run Debian Linux PPC or some other OSS operating system and do their programming on it. However I mostly do web developement where the OS hardly matter and I've come to like the benefits of running the native OS and the neat and frictionless hardware integration that comes with it. I do quite a lot of Flash developement aswell and need to be able to use the official Flash IDE from Adobe. The downside is that the desktop bogs down the systems performance which I'd like to use for other things by running a replacement of the Aqua Workplace Shell & desktop enviroment. There are quite a few wps replacements for windows — I've use Litestep with Windows 2000 — but I'm looking for one for OS X. What lightweigth WPS replacements are there for OS X and what other strategies are there to take some weight off an OS X desktop?"

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