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Comment: Sexist, but not in the way people are thinking. (Score 3, Insightful) 333

Yes, this is sexist, but not how others here are posting - sexism against boys (which actually isn't the case, as people are pointing out now). This is sexist in that it extends an invite for girls to code - for something pretty, something cute, something showy. Something typically associated with girls. It perpetuates the same kind of sexism as the "Barbie is a computer engineer" thing that got everyone so in a kerfuffle recently.

Comment: Re:Get a VPN with bitcoin (Score 1) 182

by astro (#48302051) Attached to: Australian Courts Will Be Able To See Your Browsing History

Only trouble here is you need a credit card to purchase hosting with most places in the US.

I pay with PayPal. As much as I have had things against PayPal in the past, it has turned out to be the best way for my USA clients to pay me, and for me in turn to pay for services either in the USA or here. It is a German PayPal account in €, so I did have to jump through a few hoops once I had received a certain threshold of money, but having done that it is also easy to transfer funds to my German bank account. I do still maintain a tiny USA bank account but it sits largely unused.

Comment: Re:Get a VPN with bitcoin (Score 4, Interesting) 182

by astro (#48299587) Attached to: Australian Courts Will Be Able To See Your Browsing History

What I do (for different reasons than stated, basically I want USA prices on online purchases, and no censorship restrictions on game purchases in particular):

1. Rent a $30/mo VPS in the USA. Some people will say even that is on the pricey side, but it is with reliable folks that I know and trust, and they're a legit green business, running "carbon-negative".
2. Sell (very) cheap web hosting and support services to a handful of US clients, which makes the VPS purchase totally legit, if anyone were to ask why I have this.
3. Run OpenVPN on my own VPS. My VPN traffic to my own server that I have for legit reasons looks the same as my legit support traffic via SSH to my VPS.

I actually make pocket-change level profit doing this, instead of paying for a commercial VPN.

Note, though, that I am replying to parent - this would do me no good in the problem presented in the OP here - as I do not obscure my local browser history at all, were the German cops to come and take my computers.

Comment: Re:A working automated vehicle (Score 2) 320

by astro (#48241847) Attached to: What Will It Take To Make Automated Vehicles Legal In the US?

Or one that can turn into a lane of busy traffic that currently requires you to make eye contact with another driver to get them to slow down and let you in.

This piece, at least, was one of the earliest-solved, easy problems. Wirelessly networked cars still having human drivers have been talked about in theory and experimented with for years - before this totally driverless thing became... a thing.

Comment: Still have a boxed copy of Windows 2.0 (Score 1) 644

by astro (#48033525) Attached to: Microsoft Announces Windows 10

Before Windows 3.1, most computers with a GUI that I used were running CDE. Mostly Sun workstations, but also a few Alpha and AIX boxes. And one SGI running IRIX. My first home computer with a GUI was Slackware Linux with FVWM. Unless you count the GEM desktop on a C64.

Windows WFW 3.11 - was pretty ok. First version of Windows I used daily. There were lots of useful, or perhaps too many necessary, hacks in the early days of the internet.

Windows 95 was, in my opinion, pretty cool, and obviously was a real game-changer in terms of UI.

Windows ME was a horrible aberration. Garbage. I only experienced it on friends-and-family computers I would get summoned to "repair". Usually pre-installed by HP on the horrible boxes they were selling at the time. Note: HP did, in my mind, redeem themselves years later and resume making real computers.

I worked with Windows NT 3.51 and 4 a bit at various workplaces, but for server OS, almost everything was already Linux even at that time (1999-2002 time frame).

Windows 2000 was fantastic. Rock-solid. I never ran XP at home, just stuck with 2000 because there was no compelling reason to "upgrade". For a home and small business OS, I really think MS nailed it with 2000.

Windows Vista took more of a beating than it deserved. I ran it at home for a couple of years and had no real complaints other than the UI was pretty ugly a lot of the time.

Windows 7 was and still is fantastic. I love it. My computer does exactly everything I need it to do, and is crazy stable. Less crashes than even with 2000, which almost never crashed ever, anyway. I really do love Windows 7. Currently in my house we have Macs running Mavericks, my Win 7 box, and I boot to Manjaro Linux on occasion to get some work done that I just don't find practical under Windows because I never learned Powershell.

I tried Windows 8.0 for a while and was absolutely shocked at what a disaster it was. Just unbelievable. I never tried 8.1, which I understand fixed things considerably, but as I said, I love Win 7 and like with the 2000 -> XP shift, see no compelling reason to upgrade.

I am honestly intrigued by Windows 10 and will give it a spin when the preview is actually available, so perhaps even later today.

(Can't believe I am bothering to post this)

Comment: Re:Non-issue (Score 2) 294

by astro (#47805333) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Linux-Friendly Desktop x86 Motherboard Manufacturers?

Sorry, but wrong on two counts:

1. That model motherboard uses the *exact* same UEFI and BIOS as mine (FM2A78M-HD+ - it is probably much older than the date I gave, which was its purchase date, sorry for any confusion) and just to make sure I wasn't making a misstatement, I flashed the BIOS and UEFI from the pre-bootloader interface this morning.

2. I do not upgrade often. I bought this computer with the Asrock this year because due to certain circumstances I was unable to bring my 2011 PC, which was an off-the-shelf HP from Best Buy (that I then upgraded substantially - I got such a deal on the base machine that it was less expensive than building a complete one), with me when I moved to Germany. Before that it had been at least five years since I bought a motherboard, and tended back then to run older budget hardware, because I am so far removed from a moneyed Apple fanboi.

"Why should we subsidize intellectual curiosity?" -Ronald Reagan

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