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Comment: Re:Here's why (Score 1) 247

by TapeCutter (#47951449) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How To Avoid Becoming a Complacent Software Developer?

there's a good chance that people problems become more interesting that software problems

I'm 55, this is true, but it hasn't diminished my interest in software, it's just something else that fascinates me and just happens to be the root cause as to why "work sucks" sometimes. My Dad is 80, a retired mechanical engineer, last we spoke about programming he had got one of his games he wrote in Delphi running on android and was playing with the python graphics library.

Comment: Nobody has solved the "work" problem. (Score 1) 247

by TapeCutter (#47951351) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How To Avoid Becoming a Complacent Software Developer?
Solving coding problems the fun part. The work part is getting the solution to the customer, ironically few engineers are willing to tackle the work problem, or accept other people's solutions to it. So what you generally end up with is an imposed solution from above that doesn't work because the people who wrote the process haven't got a clue how the engineers are currently keeping it together. Rather than tackling the problem by demonstrating a superior answer, the engineers do their best to pretend the work problem doesn't exist.

BTW: If you're solving the "same [coding?] problem over and over again", you're doing it wrong

Comment: Re:For many it's not burnout but disillusion (Score 4, Insightful) 247

by TapeCutter (#47951263) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How To Avoid Becoming a Complacent Software Developer?
I mostly agree but I would say that a good engineer provides (and meets) a deadline of his own making. Good managers have clear business plans but they can't create them if software systems randomly pop out of the basement shouting "surprise". The most overlooked and underrated skill for a "professional" engineer is business administration skills (and vica-versa with PHB's). Someone who speaks both languages is far more useful than someone who speaks only his native tongue.

Yeah it's easy to become disillusioned, if you don't have the political clout to organise your own work and "lead by example" to meet their vague goals, then get it or get out. If you do have some influence then vague, numerous, and ever changing management goals are your best weapon against the idiocracy, simply pick the brain farts that give you license to do TheRightThing(tm) and politely deflect the others.

*you - the royal version.

Comment: Re:Don't Miss The Point (Score 2) 103

by Rei (#47946717) Attached to: Dremel Releases 3D Printer

Services like that exist online, and they're excellent, albeit rather slow. I personally use iMaterialize because they have such a wide range of material options (everything from rubber to titanium) and finishes (for example, 4 different options for silver), but there's lots of others out there, and some are cheaper.

If you've ever played around with 3d modelling, I definitely recommend giving 3d printing a try, even if just a little test piece. :) Note that plastics are a lot cheaper than metals, although metals look the coolest.

Comment: Re:Novelty (Score 1) 103

by Rei (#47946611) Attached to: Dremel Releases 3D Printer

What sort of 3d prints are you looking at?

Perhaps my expectations of 3d printers are too high because I buy from professional 3d printing services rather than using a low-end home 3d printer. They use high end products and sometimes do post-printing finishing work. But the quality of the stuff you can get is truly excellent, and out of a very wide range of materials.

Comment: Re:This is so 2012. (Score 1) 103

by Rei (#47946585) Attached to: Dremel Releases 3D Printer

Isn't that now the limiting factor?

So we have 3d printers in stores. Now we need all of the home devices that could potentially need spare parts printed to be available online, preferably in a unified database. You need manufacturer buy-in. Maybe some sort of certification mark that manufacturers can stick on their devices to show that printable replacement part models are freely available. I could use a new cheese compartment door in my fridge right now, for example. And I live in Iceland where shipping times are long and shipping costs / import duties high, so it'd make time and economic sense to print, too. But while having a 3d printer would be great, if the model isn't available, how does that help me?

Of course some companies, like iRobot, rely on profiting off of selling their spare parts.

Comment: Re:Wrong type of machine for Dremel (Score 1) 103

by Rei (#47946453) Attached to: Dremel Releases 3D Printer

It does seem rather weird to treat it as an intractable problem. Are we really talking about something that's AI-Complete here, like natural language understanding? Something not succeptible to a combination of chained rules, physics calculations, and statistical analysis? I seriously doubt it. So different machines can act differently due to wear, etc? Gee, people have never written programs to deal with that before, heavens no. So some things may require a decision from the operator, like whether to restart a defective piece or try to salvage it? Gee, I've never heard of a program asking the user a question during operation before! A piece of "printing" hardware experiencing a jam of some kind and needing manual intervention? Gee, nobody has ever experienced that one before!

I'm not saying that CNC machines and 3d printers are equivalent and that you can just swap a CNC machine in to the sort of role 3d printers are intended for. Of course the task of gouging out steel with power tools is a more intensive one than writing out plastic in layers with a slightly more advanced version of a hot glue gun. But we're not talking about creating superintelligent cyborgs here, we're talking about analyzing physical processes, including their various failure modes, and when a decision or action is required, presenting the user with the information needed to do that.

Comment: Re:I said it was BS (Score 1) 64

by LordLimecat (#47946151) Attached to: Micron Releases 16nm-Process SSDs With Dynamic Flash Programming

I guess you now realize that's wrong. The main purpose of trim is to avoid reading and writing pages that are unused anyway. The SSD doesn't need to reallocate trimmed blocks, because the OS isn't using that data anyway. Less physical reading and writing == more endurance.

Its not wrong.
  1) TRIM simply alerts the drive when a block is ready for erasure; its right there in the article I linked. Its primary purpose is not reallocation or anything else; its just garbage collection for performance reasons.
  2) The endurance thing is ONLY if the firmware being used is using a hack to implement their own garbage collection which could induce write amplification. It does not, in itself, reduce endurance if the SSD isnt doing anything fancy / out-of-spec.
  3) Reads have no impact whatsoever on endurance. Only write / erase cycles do-- hence why they quote 1000 P/E cycles (where P= program and E= erase)

Now that you've agreed with what I said (trim affects endurance, but in an application dependent way), are you ready to admit YOU had forgotten exactly what the tech does?

From the wikipedia article's opening paragraph:
A Trim command (commonly typeset as TRIM) allows an operating system to inform a solid-state drive (SSD) which blocks of data are no longer considered in use and can be wiped internally.

From Anandtech ....We run into these problems primarily because the drive doesn’t know when a file is deleted, only when one is overwritten. Thus we lose performance when we go to write a new file at the expense of maintaining lightning quick deletion speeds. .....There’s a command you may have heard of called TRIM. The command would require proper OS and drive support, but with it you could effectively let the OS tell the SSD to wipe invalid pages before they are overwritten.

The purpose of TRIM is performance-- NOT ENDURANCE. It has NOTHING TO DO WITH ENDURANCE except insofar as it replaces a manufacturer's proprietary and amplification-causing garbage collection. Older drives dont HAVE garbage collection, and TRIM does NOTHING for their endurance; all it does is eliminate the eventual performance crash.

You REALLY need to read up on TRIM, as you seem to not understand what it is that it does. To repeat: It does not have any effect on reallocations. It does scheduled erasures. If an erasure would cause a reallocation, that would happen regardless of whether it was during a scheduled TRIM, or during a "on-the-fly erase/write".

Comment: Re:So everything is protected by a 4 digit passcod (Score 1) 499

by LordLimecat (#47946043) Attached to: Apple Will No Longer Unlock Most iPhones, iPads For Police

In disk encryption schemes, there is generally a header at the start of the disk, containing the disk's encryption key. This header is itself encrypted, with your passphrase.

This works because the actual encryption key never needs to change; if you ever need to change your encryption passphrase, the system will use your current passphrase to decrypt the existing AES key, will use your new passphrase to re-encrypt the AES key, and will write it back into the header. If you did not use this scheme and instead used the passphrase, you would have to reencrypt the entire disk whenever it changed.

Cracking the AES key would thus involve
  1) Take an image of the entire disk
  2) Pick a new passphrase to check.
        a) Hash the passphrase
  3) attempt to decrypt the header with the hashed passphrase from 2a
  4) attempt to get valid data from the disk using the results of step 3
  5) Do you have valid data?
        --> Yes: You now have the correct passphrase and Key.
        --> No: You have the wrong key, go to step 2 and continue.

A single iteration of steps 2-5 will depend on the exact algorithms and hashing schemes used. If for example no salt is used to generate the hash in step 2, and you use a single round of hashing / encryption, you could perform thousands or millions of attempts per second. I believe on the iPhone they shoot for ~0.2sec per attempt on iPhone hardware, which could mean several thousand attempts on a high-end workstation, and several million attempts on a large cluster.

A committee is a group that keeps the minutes and loses hours. -- Milton Berle