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Comment: Re:Yes (Score 1) 467

by Shadyman (#42854333) Attached to: What To Do When an Advised BIOS Upgrade Is Bad?
As far as the bricked units go, do they have JTAG ports? You could always try re-flashing the bricked units. Otherwise, you could always try a BusPirate to flash the EEPROM/FLASH chip directly. I hate to see hardware go to waste :) (Assuming you could get your hands on a copy of the firmware that *doesn't* brick the unit)

Also, just thinking aloud, but flash memory is cheap and plentiful; why don't manufacturers, when designing a board, design it such that it uses a flash chip that's one size up (16MB vs 8MB, etc), and write the factory firmware twice, so the device can still boot even after a bad update? I guess that's just wishful thinking, but would certainly save them money (vs, say, overnighting a new unit and a technician to install it halfway across the globe) while still upholding their service contracts. I was originally inclined to think "they just wanted to save a buck", but really, if this had happened under a service contract with defined SLRs, it would be in the company's best interest to make it easily fixable.

Comment: Patent Law? (Score 2) 255

by Shadyman (#41831515) Attached to: Surfcast Sues Microsoft Over Tile Patent
How long as Windows Phone 7 had tiles? (honest curiosity)

IANAL, but if it's been a while, one might assume that SurfCast has been sitting on the lawsuit, waiting for Microsoft to roll tiles out into more and more products so that they could reach a bigger settlement, though that might have to be weighed against the notion of "not defending one's patents".

Thoughts?

Comment: Re:Reason? GNOME3 (Score 2) 535

by Shadyman (#40799771) Attached to: GNOME: Staring Into the Abyss
This is the reason why I switched to KDE from Gnome back around '05.

Gnome and its related applications presume to know how best to use an application, regardless of peoples' varying workflows and, by extension, their preferred configuration.

To sum up my experiences with Gnome:
1) Find something that doesn't act how you want it to
2) Open configuration menu for that particular application / OS function
3) Find out that the configuration menu only has one checkbox, and it's not for the feature you want to change.
4) Ragequit

Conversely, of course, KDE is more along the lines of:
1) Find something that doesn't act how you want it to
2) Open configuration menu for that particular application / OS function
3) Tab through multiple pages of options until you find what you want
4) Celebrate

Honestly, I'd rather have to wade through 100 pages of configuration options to find what i want than to not be able to find it at all. That said, there are some Gnome apps that have 100,000 options, and some equivalent KDE apps that have 1 or 2; however, I'm speaking more to the overall design ideology of the Gnome system.

On a side note, I'm amazed that there is actual honest discourse going on in this thread. Why, even just a few years ago, one couldn't shout "Gnome!" or "KDE!" without starting an all-out flamewar. This thread seems, in comparison, fairly civil.

Comment: Car Hacks (Score 1) 212

by Shadyman (#40501135) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How To Add New Tech To Old Van?
If it hasn't been mentioned yet, you'll want a second, deep-cycle battery rigged up in parallel with your regular one, but that cuts the connection when the ignition is off such that you can use the deep-cycle for accessories until it's dead, while not killing the ignition battery.

I've seen the circuit in a few different books; you might want to hunt down a copy of O'Reilly's "Car PC Hacks" or 50 Awesome Auto Projects for the Evil Genius, as I'd imagine they would go into it.

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