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Comment: The Old Fashioned Way (Score 1) 383

by Tempest_2084 (#46757465) Attached to: Slashdot Asks: How Do You Pay Your Taxes?
Even though I'm a Systems Admin at a large company, I do my taxes like I do my D&D: on pen and paper. My taxes are very simple (one income, house, no stocks or other investments), and although I do use the long form for mortgage and charitable deductions it still takes me only about an hour and a half or so. I sort of enjoy doing them by hand for some reason, I guess it makes me feel I'm in total control and not at the mercy of some possibly buggy code that I can't see.

If my situation ever gets more complicated I'll probably switch to an accountant, but I don't see the point in paying $100-$150 for someone to tell me the exact same thing I can figure out for myself (and losing what little return I get in the process)..

Comment: Re:Sadly for Canonical... (Score 5, Interesting) 155

by Tempest_2084 (#46586077) Attached to: Canonical's Troubles With the Free Software Community
Am I the only one who LIKES Unity? Ubuntu is the distro that got me to switch from Win 7 to Linux (still have to keep Win 7 around for one or two things though). I really don't understand all the hate other than the stupid Amazon search lens thing (which I disabled). My best guess is that it might be because I'm a new convert to Linux rather than a long time user.

Comment: Re:RIP for a slow death (Score 1) 423

by Tempest_2084 (#46400647) Attached to: RadioShack To Close 1,100 Stores
Your school made a smart move. The Model II wasn't compatible with the model I, III, or 4 (they dropped the roman numeral thing by that point). The II used a completely different processor and 8" drives, it was marketed at businesses, not home or school users. They're odd relics today, and not very useful unless you've just got to run CP/M on 8" disks for some reason.

Comment: Flawed Question (Score 3, Insightful) 269

by Tempest_2084 (#46156157) Attached to: How Voter Shortsightedness Skews Elections
I always thought the question "'Are you better off than you were 4 years ago?" was flawed. In my case the answer is Yes, I am better off than I was four years ago but it has nothing to do with the current president. In my case it was a lot of hard work, an advanced degree (which I paid for myself), and a lovely new wife that got me ahead over the last four years. We could have elected Donald Trump, Don King, or Kang and Kodos and I would more than likely be in the exact same position I am now.

Comment: Re:VPN not an option for most of us (Score 1) 684

by Tempest_2084 (#45879045) Attached to: Polar Vortex Sends Life-Threatening Freeze To US
My job involves remotely monitoring and administering servers so I can do it from almost anywhere as long as I can get onto the VPN. About the only reason I have to be physically at the office is for meetings and hard rebooting of servers.

>>So you don't own a shovel? [/teasing] I plowed my driveway 3 times yesterday and again this morning. The roads near me were reasonably clear considering. Was a little later than usual but staying home wasn't really necessary.

I do, and I did, but the stupid snow plow decided to pile everything up right at the end of my driveway and pack it in after I had already done it twice. It took me almost an hour to dig it out again and after that I wasn't in the mood to drive into work (I have a long commute). Our boss told us to not risk driving in unless we absolutely had to, and as no one else was in the office there wasn't any reason to be there.

This weather isn't the worst I've seen by a long shot (that blizzard we had back in the early 80's was way way worse), but why risk it when you don't have to?

Comment: Re:Painful cold (Score 1) 684

by Tempest_2084 (#45878119) Attached to: Polar Vortex Sends Life-Threatening Freeze To US
Another Michigander (Michiganian?) here. Only one guy decided to brave his way into the office this morning. The rest of us were smart enough to fire up our remote terminal connections over our company VPN and work from home. I was all set to at least attempt the trip in, but the 4 foot snow pile at the end of my driveway said otherwise.

Comment: It's Hard to land a job if you're not local (Score 1) 506

by Tempest_2084 (#45612627) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Why So Hard Landing Interviews In Seattle Versus SoCal?
I've been running into a similar problem trying to land a job in CA (my wife is a native and wants to move back). I'm in MI doing systems admin/project manager work for one of the 'Big Three', and while I get tons of recruiters calling me, they're all for local positions (although not all in the automotive sector which I guess is at least one positive). I've had very little luck landing interviews with any company in CA and I'm fairly sure it's because I'm not already in CA even though I'm not expecting a company to pay for relocation. While my skill set is good (if I do say so myself), it's not unique, so I'm guessing companies would rather look for someone closer by simply because they can.

Unfortunately I'm a bit risk adverse, so moving to CA without a firm job offer is out of the question (I'm not putting my wife through something like that). The longer the cycle goes on the more depressed I get, but I keep on trying because there's not much else I can do.

Comment: It's not just the kids (Score 3, Insightful) 453

I work at a large 'Top Ten' company and I see this sort of thing from just about everyone who is under 60 (the older folk seem to doodle on notepads rather than play on phones). It doesn't matter if it's a manager or an intern, if there are more than a handful of people in a meeting you're going to see this. I get tired of hearing exchanges like this day in and day out:

Speaker: And what do you think about that Johnson?
Johnson: (playing on his phone) Huh? What?
Speaker: What do YOU think about this?
Johnson: (glazed look on his face) Umm... Can you repeat what you said? I didn't hear you the first time.

Meetings grind to a halt when this stuff happens. Not only is it rude to the speaker, but you waste everyone's time when they have to go through everything again. Everyone swears they can play on their phone and listen at the same time, but it doesn't work. I understand the occasional emergency call (my favorite was when we could hear the guy shouting "The babysitter is doing WHAT? Stop her before she gets out the door!". I still have no idea what that was about.) but your day to day activities (work related or otherwise) can wait until the meeting is over with. It's just common courtesy.

Comment: Not what you'd think (Score 1) 273

by Tempest_2084 (#45289765) Attached to: Slashdot Asks: What Are You Doing For Hallowe'en?
I got married on Halloween so I'll be spending a quiet evening with my wife between bouts of handing out candy. It's tough to have a special day on a major holiday because you're always busy, but we knew that going in (Halloween is her favorite holiday). Still, we get to do some interesting stuff on our anniversary because it's Halloween.

A consultant is a person who borrows your watch, tells you what time it is, pockets the watch, and sends you a bill for it.