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Comment: Plan for backup before you buy (Score 5, Insightful) 983 983

Whenever you buy storage, you should buy the necessary backup capacity at the same time. You should never buy storage without buying backup capacity. Budget for it right from the start. If you can't afford the backup, you can't afford the storage. This may mean getting half as much storage as you'd like, but that's just the way it has to be. You probably wouldn't buy a car without an engine. It wouldn't do its job. So don't buy storage without backup. If you do, you have a storage system that can't do its job.

Comment: No party (Score 1) 503 503

I'd love to see an independent elected President some day. Our country is being ground to death between the Democratic and Republican party machines. Political parties are no longer in the best interests of the citizens (if they ever were). Do parties still serve any purpose in this hyper-connected age we're living in?

Comment: Titan, by Stephen Baxter (Score 1) 1365 1365

Titan, by Stephen Baxter sticks in my mind as being incredibly, irritatingly depressing. Despite the "uplifting" epilog tacked on at the end, it's the story of an expedition to Titan that goes utterly, horribly wrong in every possible way that will prolong the suffering of the protagonists. It's not a novel, it's a torture fantasy that ends [spoiler alert] with the deaths of all of the characters, but only after author has exhausted all of the possible ways of degrading and abusing them. Ick.

Comment: Unicode consistency (Score 1) 642 642

Word could be improved for some hardcore uses by getting rid of every last vestige of non-Unicode compliant font usage propagated in the name of backward-compatibility. And make all codepoint usage uniformly hexadecimal and accommodate double-byte codepoints in VBA, and stop trating Symbol font so weirdly. Harumph.

If LibreOffice gave me the power and flexibility to deal with Unicode properly, I'd jump on it for at home. At work,... always gonna be stuck with Word.

Comment: Alt. contact information for Senator Mark Warner? (Score 1) 1002 1002

I've been trying to contact all of my legislators, but the web page containing Virginia Senator Mark Warner's official contact form seems to be dead (see Does anyone know of a good alternative way to get messages to him?

Comment: I'm conservative (Score 5, Funny) 639 639

I consider myself a conservative. I believe in the rule of law. I believe in the constitution. I believe in helping others. I believe in respecting others. I believe in shared sacrifice for the common good. I believe in all of those conservative values exemplified by "the greatest generation".

All of which puts me on the far left of the current political spectrum.

Comment: Re:not happy to ditch for windows 7 (Score 1) 471 471

I work at a very large global company (a big pharma), and we're still ninety-some % on XP SP3 for workstations, to the degree that, for one system I support, the vendor came to me with the problem of not having been able to purchase a workstation with anything but Win7 on it, and no longer being able to legally purchase any kind of XP license even to do a downgrade (not sure of all the details, or if this was really an absolute), but needing to get an instance of the system up and running. We ended up having our IT do the XP install with our volume license, on a vendor-supplied, yet-another-third-party-vendor workstation, to support the first vendor's software and interfaced hardware.
It's getting a little contorted out here, and yes, in this case it is because this FDA-regulated company steers like a cow. Technically, we could install Win7, but corporately, we haven't approved a version of our chosen antivirus package yet to run on 7, and so we'd have to either break our corporate guidance and just use Win7's AV, or find another way around the issue. When this particular vendor starts supplying hardware that flat-out won't support an XP install (and this system uses 64-bit), then we'll have a slightly more severe problem.

Comment: Re:Way immature to play scientist like Turing (Score 1) 269 269

I came to this discussion fully expecting to see some mention of Wil Wheaton, and am a bit surprised that there apparently hasn't been one so far. Not that I have much of a feeling one way or the other as to whether he'd be valid to play the role.

/read the Turing bio

//haven't seen Wheaton in many things

Comment: Re:Billions (well sort of) (Score 1) 297 297

Go ask at BatteriesPlus about their recycling of alkaline AAs. They actually charge you to take alkaline AAs (any alkalines, I guess) for recycling, because recycling alkaline batteries is basically a waste of effort. I resisted that idea for a long time (which is why I answered "more than 100" to this survey, which includes hundreds of dead AAs accumulated over 12 years of running a portable DAT recorder), but since bugging BatteriesPlus about it a few times and studying elsewhere,... (there are bins at my workplace - an environmentally-conscious Big Pharma - for recycling specifically NON-alkalines, and I've queried some of the environmental engineers about those, and been told to not put alkalines in those bins, because somebody ends up having to sort the damn things out),... I've finally given in and started tossing the ancient dead things out a handful at a time, though also scouting around for a place that would dispose of them in a known clean manner.

A memorandum is written not to inform the reader, but to protect the writer. -- Dean Acheson