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Comment: Re:I will be a millionaire. (Score 1) 456

by bored (#46774129) Attached to: Survey: 56 Percent of US Developers Expect To Become Millionaires

I'm not sure the math works out the way you want it.For 10+ years I expected house values to correct to levels similar to early 2000's housing values (average income vs average house price).

Hasn't happened, during the "housing crisis" house values in some areas of the country fell but in "desirable" areas they went down maybe 10% (see Texas, Colorado, etc). Then starting early last year they came ripping back, with a 20% increase in one year.

If you expect the government to stand by while the banks and REITs loose money in the housing market your going to be as wrong as I was last time. The US government will do everything in its power to preserve the values of houses in the US. The second a 8% interest rate looks to be slowing the housing boom down you can be sure that QE will return.

Comment: Re:Nuclear is obvious, an energy surplus is desire (Score 2) 429

by bored (#46744339) Attached to: UN: Renewables, Nuclear Must Triple To Save Climate

A lesser known situation is if you actually create an energy surplus, food costs, logistic costs, and transportation costs get cheaper.

I think a lot of people have been talking about this recently. The US economy in particular is heavily dependent on energy costs. So, a lot of what has been floating Midwestern states is the fact that energy companies are hiring like mad and putting in oil/gas wells pretty much as fast as they can. This drives unemployment down, while helping to lower energy costs, all while the energy companies are making money hand over fist.

If something similar happened with nukes, it could happen nationally, and as you point out people would be more incentivised to buy leaf's and teslas if the monthly power bill were less than a single tank of gas.

Of course the other big advantage would be that it would make gas/oil wells less economically advantageous too, similar to what has been happening with coal vs natural gas.

Comment: Re:Hardware requirements (Score 1) 641

by bored (#46694341) Attached to: Meet the Diehards Who Refuse To Move On From Windows XP

I think this is actually a good argument as to why those people shouldn't be using Windows in the first place.

Which is a great argument if you are a "hacker" or the source of the hardware. But for the user of a agilent scope, the fact that its running XP instead of linux makes no difference. They can't get in and hack the kernel & sources for an unsupported 15 year old linux anymore than they can hack the XP.

In theory hacking the linux machine might be easier because you have source for some portion of the scope, but its probably just as easy to hire a hacker to patch the syscall or dll causing a problem on XP.

Comment: Re:Hardware requirements (Score 1) 641

by bored (#46694279) Attached to: Meet the Diehards Who Refuse To Move On From Windows XP

My only fear is the motherboard dying and having to find a PC with ISA bus.

Start hording them now! I had a discussion with some friends a few years ago when I needed a 30 pin SIMM for an old 486, that it was easier to find unix workstations and apple II's from that time period than parts for a 486.

Because people don't value x86 clones as much as the $10,000 workstations, the clones have all been ground up and scraped somewhere.

Comment: Re:Software doesn't wear out. (Score 1) 641

by bored (#46694185) Attached to: Meet the Diehards Who Refuse To Move On From Windows XP

Unofficially, I haven't tried it lately but I suspect it still runs on Windows 2000.

Nah, it refuses to install. I tried it a couple months ago on laptop I keep around because it has a real RS232 port that works with an OBDII/CAN scanner I have. The OBDII scanner won't work with USB->RS232 or low voltage RS232 ports...

On the plus side I discovered qupzilla which works great on win2k, and is about 10x faster than the old version of firefox that was running on the machine.

Comment: Re:Viva La XP! (Score 1) 641

by bored (#46694023) Attached to: Meet the Diehards Who Refuse To Move On From Windows XP

Yes its cool, winXP boots faster and uses less ram than WindowsMobile, or Android.

I swear, that how smoothly ipad/iphones run is probably 1/2 the user experience difference vs android. I suspect that the reason its so smooth is partially the result of the fact that the system and most of the applications are written in a language compiled down natively to the hardware. Over and over i've seen functionally similar programs that just lag on far beefier android devices, that have butter smooth response on older idevices.

Comment: The largest security diffrence in newer windows (Score 1) 641

by bored (#46693749) Attached to: Meet the Diehards Who Refuse To Move On From Windows XP

Is the fact that the users run in limited accounts by default.

If you setup a limited user in XP and use the "runas" context menu, or command line utility to escalate privileges you get the vast majority of the "security" improvement in vista and newer.

That is because now an application not only has to exploit your browser/whatever to gain control of the machine, it has to exploit the kernel to get outside of the limited user sandbox. Further using something like sandboxie further lessens the likelihood of that.

Once you have a few levels of protection like this (javascript blocks, flash blocks, browser sandbox, limited user, etc) then it becomes pretty unlikely that any given piece of malware actually gets through all the layers.

(posted from an XP machine!)

Comment: Re:Virtual Machines (Score 1) 169

by bored (#46687439) Attached to: Fifty Years Ago IBM 'Bet the Company' On the 360 Series Mainframe

'capacity on demand', it is 'Licensed Internal Code Controlled Configuration.' The use of LIC CC also allows them to offer 'capacity on demand',

Ok, so I got my terminology incorrect for the part that actually controls the hardware license. Other than that I believe my point stands (that Hercules on an inexpensive midrange x86 is faster than the slowest licensed BC12 config). And so your point was?

Why would you pay (for hardware and software) for more performance than you need?

That is not the right question. The question is why I should pay IBM millions of dollars to unlock the hardware I am paying the power bills on, providing the floor space for, and have "purchased". Yes, I know IBM won that lawsuit, but that doesn't mean IBM doesn't come across as the slimiest of business dealings for coming up with such a model. At least when HP rapes you for ink you actually get a product for it, rather than having them just unlock extra ink in the cartridge in your printer.

Especially since I don't actually need the mainframe. All the RAS features i need are available on machines that run Linux faster, for less than $15k, and require me to interact with the CE on a less frequent basis because in our sample of 1 mainframe vs a bunch of HP DL 580's. the HP's are actually more reliable. The HP's haven't needed any service since they were installed, unlike the mainframe which seems to need constant babysitting. Plus, I can spin up new VM's in vmware with a couple clicks of a button vs, screwing around with zVM for days.

So, asking why I should give IBM exorbitant fee's for something I can acquire elsewhere for far less is not the right question. Maybe a better question is why I'm paying hundreds of thousands of dollars for performance that is equivalent to the 20 year old Pentium that is sitting in the junk room next door. Or why I'm maintaining a machine that requires me to manually configure device addresses, and IODF's with text editors, or writing system exits in assembly to do simple things like roll log files or get notification of tape insertions.

Furthermore, if you want to understand where I'm coming from, take a look at the specCPU results in OMVS for a 240 MIP EC12. So, next time I'm sitting there wondering if I should pay IBM a couple thousand dollars to run my job a little faster this weekend, I will remember you asking me why.

So, yah, there is a reason younger people don't want to work on those archaic machines. They don't want to work somewhere that compute time is so carefully guarded, especially since they could just spin up 1000x the compute (and even IO with the SSD instances) performance for a few dollars on EC2.

Comment: Re:Virtual Machines (Score 1) 169

by bored (#46684991) Attached to: Fifty Years Ago IBM 'Bet the Company' On the 360 Series Mainframe

You have no idea what you are talking about. "Capacity on demand" has nothing to do with why a BC would run at 1/100 it's capacity (and there is no such thing as a 'base' model.)

Not really, sure what your trying to say? Are you trying to say that IBM doesn't license the capacity (performance) of the hardware? Or that the minimum capacity you can for a machine is only a tiny percentage of the the capability of the hardware that arrives. Or maybe your being pedantic about the exact usage of CoD in relation to how IBM licenses the hardware/zOs/linux? Cause in the case of IFL (processors for running linux) the license is most definitely tied to the _HARDWARE_ and not the OS.

Because, i'm not going to get into a pissing contest, but I don't think you have ever been involved in the purchasing, scaling etc of a zSeries machine from IBM, because I can assure you the hardware is absolutely licensed.

Here is link I have handy from a couple years ago, where approximate prices for a z114 are listed.

Notice, the fact that the minimum configuration is a 2818-A01 at 26 MIPS, and it goes up from there. Realize that there are actually only a couple different hardware configurations and that nearly all those "models" are simply capacity changes (via license keys) on the PEs.

You can click the EC12 button for more recent hardware.

Comment: Re:software (Score 1) 169

by bored (#46684735) Attached to: Fifty Years Ago IBM 'Bet the Company' On the 360 Series Mainframe

Its funny that you cite 2012, cause this is one of the first google hits I get.

With such wonderful quotes as:

"Officials with IBM said the company has "thousands" of mainframe customers around the globe but declined to be more specific.

Gartner estimates that annual global sales of mainframes will fall this year and each year through 2016, declining a total of 14 percent over the five years to nearly $4.7 billion."

I wonder how many of those "thousands" are like us. We have a single business class mainframe at minimum capacity (26 MIPS z114).

Comment: Re:software (Score 1) 169

by bored (#46684567) Attached to: Fifty Years Ago IBM 'Bet the Company' On the 360 Series Mainframe

What are you talking about? What the heck is 'native mainframe tech'? z/OS?

Yes, basically, technology that provides vendor/platform lock for IBM...

For example, many of the java workloads can be migrated to some other platform with relative ease (aka POWER). No so with the huge pile of languages/technologies that exist primary on the mainframe (JCL, RACF, on and on).

2012 IBM sold more mainframes, as measured in units, capacity, and dollars, than at any point in it's history

I would like to see the reference you have on "units" cause IBM likes to talk about capacity and other nebulous terms, but I haven't seen a unit number from them in probably a decade. Plus, they like to talk about "X% growth", but try to find an absolute number from them. The unit numbers you get for ibm are for "server" sales or similar nebulus numbers which include iSeries and pSeries machine which in raw unit sales are probably 100x the mainframes.

In really you have to consider the scale here too, your average colocation data center probably has more "capacity" than all the mainframes sold in the past 10 years. Next time your CE comes in, ask him approximately how many mainframes he is aware of in your city. I just did this very thin last week with mine... He didn't give me a number but an approximate one.... Lets say, I probably have more computers at my house.

Comment: Re:Virtual Machines (Score 1) 169

by bored (#46683999) Attached to: Fifty Years Ago IBM 'Bet the Company' On the 360 Series Mainframe

There have apparently been a number of JIT'ed versions of hercules

The only problem is that IBM won't license zos to run on it. So, its a major NO NO for the kinds of companies that are still running mainframe applications.

Worse yet, is that Hercules is actually faster (on a reasonable server) than the base BC series mainframes because of the "capacity on demand" features that result in mainframes running at 1/100th their capacity.

Comment: Re:software (Score 2) 169

by bored (#46683633) Attached to: Fifty Years Ago IBM 'Bet the Company' On the 360 Series Mainframe

Basically, if you can't get the people it's because you're not prepared to pay (that includes money, benefits and training).

I'm going to second this. Because I had a z114 dropped on my lap as part of my current job. I hear about the talent shortage all the time. I even took the time to do some basic research on mainframe pay scales... And let me quote some other guy answering a similar question..

"why should I learn mainframe tech, when I can make 30% more doing PHP, and I don't have to worry about being sidetracked out of the job market in 5 years"

At this point companies are willing to pay IBM 7-8 figure numbers for hardware that performs similarly to high 5 figure x86 hardware, but choke over paying starting z/OS systems programmers (with other industry experience) 100k+ a year.

At this point companies running mainframes better start expecting to pay gold plated compensation packages (pushing 200k+) or they will continue to have a hard time finding people willing to spend a couple years learning technology that is pretty archaic in the grand scheme of things.

We install our product into mainframe shops, and I can't tell you how many I've seen that have their old retired mainframe guy on "retainer" for emergencies. He shows up once every couple weeks to fix something that has broken, but nothing else. Usually, he is just there to support the machine long enough for the team rewriting the application in java/whatever to get it working. Probably half of these shops, thought they would be off the mainframe a few years ago, but their replacement application still doesn't work... Frankly, after having interacted with some of the teams I can understand why the mainframe guys is probably going to die before they get it done...

Comment: Re:software (Score 1) 169

by bored (#46683433) Attached to: Fifty Years Ago IBM 'Bet the Company' On the 360 Series Mainframe

What makes you think the technology in mainframes is 'dying'?

Fewer actual machines being installed. No new projects being started on native mainframe tech (new mainframe projects seem to be overwhelmingly Linux/java/other platform agnostic technologies). IBM advertises the fact that their "capacity" install numbers are going up every year, but the machines have been getting significantly faster the last few years as IBM started taking machine performance seriously again so they bury the bad news.

"If value corrupts then absolute value corrupts absolutely."