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Comment: Re:Uh yeah? (Score 1) 193 193

For what it's worth, the local school district in my area rolled out arm-based samsung chromebooks to all students 7th grade and above 2 years ago. All of them that I have seen are a little scuffed up but still intact over that amount of time. Given the price point is much cheaper than an ipad and it can be used for useful things like word processing, etc... I would say this is a much better deal for the school.

Honestly, what is the educational value in an iPad really to middle and high school students? The school is still using textbooks so it's not that...

Comment: Re:The good news is (Score 2) 130 130

The T-Bird's ignition is timed a solid-state electronic ignition control module that reads the timing from a sensor and grounds the coil causing the high-voltage burst of electricity that fires the spark plug. The role of the distributor is to select which spark plug should spark. Prior to the invention of electronic ignition, gasoline engines used a set of mechanical points that rode on a cam lobe under the distributor. When it came time to fire a spark plug, the points would come in to contact with each other and cause the coil to ground. This is the system used by the '68 Plymouth.

All fuel injectors for gasoline-powered road cars (mechanical injectors were used in racing for a while and were used for many years in diesel engines) are controlled by an ECU. Early Bosch fuel injection units used in 1960s VWs used an ECU the size of a small suitcase. When EFI became more mainstream in the mid '80s the ECU was significantly smaller. They weren't nearly as complicated as modern ECUs--they just ran a loop reading a few sensors and adjusting fuel injector speed and duration.

Starting the engine has been pretty much the same since electric start came out in the early 1920s if not earlier. A big relay (or in really old stuff a big switch) sends lots of amps to a powerful electric motor that turns the engine over. Even if the motor did get fried by an EMP, the '68 plymouth likely has a manual transmission and could be roll started.

For the record, your '84 T-Bird was a piece of shit. So was my '84 Mercury Cougar :-)

Comment: Re:solution? (Score 2) 510 510

Here's a solution I figure just about every "privacy troll" can probably agree with:

The NSA needs to stop collecting data on US citizens. If a US citizen needs to be investigated, it's the FBI's job to do that investigation.
If the FBI wants to collect data on a US citizen, they should get a warrant the normal way. None of this secret court nonsense.

Comment: Re:Ignoring the problem. (Score 0) 274 274

Sure you could cobble together a bit of this and a bit of that that sort does something similar, but it takes 10x as much effort, only has 1/2 as many features, and is a nightmare to support or troubleshoot when it breaks (or a new guy comes onboard and has to figure out your homebrew mess you created.

It's not cobbling stuff together, it's a different thought process for tackling a problem. Rather than having one big mess provided by Microsoft, you have lots of individual parts that do one thing well and are configured to work together--see the LAMP stack for an excellent example.

A new employee doesn't have to figure out the "homebrew" mess, they just have to know how to manage the application(s) they are responsible for--A skill that is vastly lacking with most Windows Server admins I have met--no, rebooting a server does not "fix" the fact that every 5 days the server is at 5% load with 95% memory utilization.

Most of Microsoft's problems in the server space is that the products ship with 10x more "features" enabled than are actually needed. This makes for loads of time disabling things or having vulnerable servers. A properly managed unix-based solution usually has 100% of the needed requirement--no more, no less. This limits exposure to security issues and limits the effects of bugs or bad code on the overall health of the system.

Comment: Re:Yes (Score 1) 269 269

Windows 8 is a lot better at loading the proper drivers out of the box (didn't have to download a thing on the two systems I've done clean installs on),

I hear this after every windows release and it's completely false. Naturally, Windows 8 includes drivers for more hardware that any other release. It includes drivers for hardware made between the release of Windows 7 and now plus what was in Windows 7. It's no better at finding drivers, it just includes drivers that were not included with Windows 7 or Vista or XP or whatever because the hardware was made after the release of the OS. In 3 years, Windows 8 will be in the same state as Windows 7 is now... go out to the vendor's website, find the hardware, download the driver, click next a bunch of times, and reboot.

Other OS's bundle most drivers with the kernel and provide regular updates through the regular channels for both bundled and third-party drivers. This way you don't have to screw around with the vendor's website trying to remember if your motherboard is a DK-790FX-MR2 or a DK-790FX-MR2SW 2 years after you bought it.

Better multi-monitor support

I'll have to disagree here too. I tried the consumer preview with 3 monitors and... well... I can't say I was impressed. The regular desktop was just like Windows 7 (fine) but Metro didn't seem to know what to do.

Comment: Re:The only choice is to vote DEM / obama (Score 1) 468 468

Indeed I do. Nowhere in the constitution is the federal government given the power to mandate or provide health care. That falls in to the jurisdiction of the state according to the Constitution, making the healthcare debate in this Presidential election cycle legally moot. Of course, regardless of what the constitution said, the Supreme court ruled Obamacare is legal so all bets are off...

Comment: Re:The only choice is to vote DEM / obama (Score 1) 468 468

You do realize that Obamacare was modeled on Romneycare, right?

What politicians say they will do and what they do are completely different things.

Vote 3rd party. Maybe there will be a choice that people are actually happy with next time (or maybe 2 elections from now.)

Comment: Re:how much longer... (Score 1) 134 134

NO damage was done to the Linux desktop. Both camps have different ideas on how things should be done. Both camps tailor their project to a specific set of users. One combined project would likely alienate even more users since neither camp would be happy with the end result.

Competition is also helpful for spurring innovation. Without competition, stagnation occurs because there is nothing driving progress forward. Look at how long IE6 stuck around until Firefox provided enough market pressure to force Microsoft to innovate again. Other OS's would provide some competition but from the looks of Metro I'm not entirely sure that will be the case.

Comment: Re:Call the ISP (Score 3, Informative) 345 345

There are lots of free and open source monitoring tools that can help determine if something is out of alignment. SmokePing would probably be incredibly helpful you your situation. Nagios is another popular monitoring tool. Netdisco could help with inventory and topology mapping. It's worth spending a little time getting a good monitoring solution set up so you can be fixing the problem before the phone starts ringing.

Comment: Comfort first (Score 1) 279 279

Comfortable first and foremost. The three peripherals I use the most are my keyboard, mouse and monitor. If they are not comfortable to use, the entire machine is uncomfortable to use.

I use mechanically switched keyboards. Cherry Blue at home, Cherry Brown at work (I don't want my co-workers testing the multi-functional aspect of the keyboard by subjecting my skull to violent impacts.) and an IBM model M on the KVM for my servers. They not only are the most comfortable keyboards to use but they can also withstand violent impacts while being much more precise than spongy membrane keyboards. My keyboard at home also has programmable macro keys so it falls in to the customizable category as well.

I tend to use comfortable, wireless laser mice because they don't drift because of tension on the cord and they can be moved anywhere on my desk easily. Both my work and home desktops have internal li-on batteries with a battery meter that gives plenty of warning when they need to be charged. I have had one of the mice since ~2004 and the battery still lasts about a month using it 40 hours a week. I am constantly using the extra forward/back buttons on the side of the mice and feel kind of lost without them. At $75 when new, I consider the first one I bought a good investment since it has served me for 8 years without any issues.

In case of injury notify your superior immediately. He'll kiss it and make it better.