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Comment Re:Once fired 3 times in a week from the SAME JOB (Score 1) 179

HA! This reminds me of the time the place I work at, MegaBigCorp, brought in a large firm that did IT outsourcing and had them start the lengthy process of analyzing everything IT did and how they did it, so they could come in and take over. The process went on for weeks, and people starting bailing out immediately. The quittings really started to pick up steam, and the head of IT send out a memo basically saying that the company really needed for us to stay while the outsourcing project was coming on line, and that we were being really ungrateful and not thinking of the good of the company by quitting like this - it was endangering the whole outsourcing project, which we all had to understand, was great for the bottom line! I send out an anonymous reply to everyone that summed up the message - "Hold still! I'm trying to kill you!" Ironically enough, it turned out we were a really lean IT organization, and the outsourcing company's final bid cost much more than our own IT operation did....

Comment Re:Sure... (Score 1) 262

Back when cars only had a single hydraulic circuit to run the front and read brakes, the handbrake WAS an emergency brake (although back then it was also usually activated by a pedal). Now that modern cars (since around 1964 or so) have dual circuit hydraulics, a single leak or hose failure is no longer an emergency, and the handbrake is no longer relaly an emergency use item.

Comment Ironically enough... (Score 1) 574

He has it almost backwards. Currently, high fidelity sound gear, hardware and software, and services are almost everywhere and practically free - we would have killed for these capabilities in the 50s and 60s (I was there...). And what do people listen to using it? Rap, which definitely does not require high fidelity reproduction....http://tech.slashdot.org/story/15/07/15/2136229/neil-young-says-his-music-is-too-good-for-streaming-services#

Comment From the description... (Score 4, Insightful) 267

" KDE doesn't feel like it has a direction its moving in, it doesn't feel like a full experience. KDE feels like its a bunch of pieces that are moving in a bunch of different directions, that just happen to have a shared toolkit beneath them"....so, it's just like every other part of UNIX, then....

Comment The story of David Alexander. (Score 1) 377

Back in the mid 80s, I was fortunate enough to get my first programming job. I worked with an incredibly capable programmer, let's call him Dr. Bob. I learned a great deal about programming from kindly Dr. Bob - he was a whiz at PDP11 and VAX assembly coding, and a great mentor. One day we came back from lunch and he picked up his mail and messages from the department secretary on the way to his desk. He opened one of the envelopes he'd gotten, read the letter within briefly, then started cursing like a sailor and threw the letter in the trash. He stalked off in a rage. I retrieved the letter and saw it was a page from a phone book, with the name "David Alexander" circled. After a couple hours, when Dr. Bob had calmed down. I told him he had to tell me what was going on. It turns out that his very first assembly language programming gig had been at the local University. It involved managing the data for a planned 50 year long psychology experiment, tracking the names, addresses, and project info for all of the participants over time. Now this was the mid 70s, so there was no database, just a bunch of tape files and MACRO programs to do the updating and reporting. Dr. Bob really liked the work, and the folks in the Psych Dept were really friendly, it was a great atmosphere. One day, Bob made....the Big Mistake. Due to some typoes, he inadvertently replaced the name and address info in every record in the files with the data from the first record....David Alexander's. This was a tape database and it only went back a few tapes worth....by the time it got noticed it was too late - all the good data was gone. The long range experiment was totally destroyed since they couldn't track the participants. He had to quit in disgrace - he said what really upset him was the way the Psych Dept folks were so nice about it and didn't want to fire him. Anyway, that's bad enough...but when his "friends" caught wind of it, they started popping up David Alexander references everywhere they could - they'd leave him phone messages from David Alexander, they'd get mailings sent to his address to David Alexander, and so forth. By the time this event I saw occurred, it had been going on for years (for all I know it still is). Anyway, due to kindly Dr. Bob's David Alexander mistake, I always check my code just a leetle more carefully than I otherwise might be bothered to - I personally don't ever want to make my Big Mistake....

Comment THe biggest tec mistake I ever saw... (Score 1) 377

Wasn't mine, but it's too good not to share. Back in the mid 80s, I was working at (let's call it) SuperBigCorp's IT department. There was a fellow there who maintained the programs that handled the savings elections for employee 401K funds. One day, while making some changes to the COBOL programs that sent which funds to what investment vehicles....he made a little mistake. He got confused in a conditional statement, and all the funds that should have gone to stable investment selections went to the highly speculative vehicles, and vice versa. Even more unfortunately, this area of activity was not supervised and audited half as well as it should have been....by the time it was noticed, several months had gone by, and the stock market had suffered a bit of a setback. Millions of dollars were lost by SuperBigCorp getting it straightened out. They had to let the poor fellow go, in disgrace. The Chief of IT was reported to have said, that if the market had just moved the other way, the programmer would have been a hero...

If I'd known computer science was going to be like this, I'd never have given up being a rock 'n' roll star. -- G. Hirst