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Comment There's a problem with the question... (Score 1) 508

If they don't have a computer, they probably don't have the internet connection they'll also need for your described work flow. In the end, the internet connection is going to cost more than the computer, even with your $170 option.

Of course, they could go use internet at the library, but then it needs to be portable (higher cost) and they already had an option to use a computer there so what are we actually solving.

I think trying to get below the price point of a raspberry pi isn't going to be worth the trouble. I think you can lower your price point on that if you try though.. Looking to price on up cheaply I get: pi 2b ($35), case ($4), wifi ($4), micro sdhc ($4), ac usb charger ($3), usb wire ($2), keyboard ($7), mouse ($2). ...for a grand total of: $61 dollars... OK, and I went with the cheapest available (mostly) so a prudent choice would likely cost a few dollars more.. That means that basically your estimate was right on! Doh! I guess I take for granted that I have almost all those cheap little parts already laying all over the place at our house..

Still, I think you can help them put the parts together, and it's probably your best bet.. Anything cheaper is going to quickly lose functionality/quality. A Pi is a really solid little machine for basic computing, and it's really well supported.

Comment Re:If I had to pick just one (Score 1) 889


I've found that configuring the heck out of Compiz lets me create an environment that suits me well.. One that I have never been able to even remotely come close to under any version of windows.. Some versions of Compiz (or it's plug-ins) could be more stable though.. They're generally fine when just being used, but sometimes I get crashes when re-configuring..

Try installing "ccsm" (compiz config settings manager) and see if you can adjust things to your liking..

Comment Looking at my 4000 pro: (Score 1) 698

I think I would remove:
caps lock (standard)
print screen (standard)
scroll lock (standard)
the entire numeric keypad (standard)
insert (standard)

alternate functions for the "F" keys, so they're just F1-F12 again (non-standard)
F-lock key (non-standard)
web/Home (non-standard)
search (non-standard)
mail (non-standard)
1,2,3,4,5,Calculator (non-standard)
zoom (non-standard)
My favorites (non-standard)

I would keep:
mute, volume up, volume down, play/pause (non-standard) ...and add "next track" and "previous track"

I would keep "back" and "forward" ...and add a joystick where "zoom" is that covers scroll up, down, left and right

I would have to look at what's left to figure out what would go where caps-lock was.. maybe home and end.
Then you would just have delete, page up and page down above the arrows, and media keys crammed in above that..

Much smaller keyboard and still great for my purposes without cramming things together and making it cramped.

If someone wants a numeric keypad, I would just buy a separate device.

Yeah.. I'm so going to have to get myself something that's 100% customizable if I'm ever going to get close to what I want. The problem is I really like the physical layout of the main keys on the 4000 pro.... Split keyboard with a slight seagull like affect.. Everything feels like it's in its most natural position.

Comment Re:Hired a gun (Score 1) 225

I totally agree, if that is what he was charged with.

For what he was charged with, the sentence was overkill.. I do really think that if they really believe he was trying to hire someone to kill someone, then they definitely should have charged him with it... Even if they weren't sure they had enough to make the charges stick. Maybe they still will.

If they think that he wasn't actually serious about trying to have someone killed, then it shouldn't get factored in to his sentencing.. If only because it gives him an opportunity to file for an appeal/mistrial. If they can show that irrelevant/unsubstantiated facts were factored into his conviction and sentencing, then he could end up going free.

Comment Re:Film! (Score 2) 169

If you're going to put an Raspberry Pi in there, you might as well put a small cheap LCD on it just in case they don't have HDMI.. There are some pretty cheap options, and they they'll hopefully only have to apply power (include the AC adapter).

Include an M-disc with the video in a lot of common formats also as a backup..

Comment Re:The bttn (Score 2) 327

Yeah.. I'm thinking use the GPIO on the Pi to kick off a script that takes a picture (either from one of the existing cameras, or the camera module on the PI) and sends you an image of the button getting pressed... and maybe some others as well..

There's a lot of info on programming the Pi with GPIO, and a handy little python library waiting to go..

Comment Re:Wow! Many stupid! Wow! (Score 1) 223

No one said that they were reskinned versions of an older Safari version (at least that I can see).

What they said is that the other browsers are reskinned Safari, which is true. You can play around with the menus and how bookmarks are stored and stuff like that, but if you try to submit code that renders HTML apple will reject it as duplicated core functionality. What you are left with is using the Safari engine to render your the HTML/Javascript then.. Of course it's going to be just as fast.. It will always be just as fast and just as slow because you can never use anything but Safari to render your web page.. I'd love to be able to switch to something with a better rendering engine, but Apple has never allowed them.

Some applications work around the issue by using remote display protocols to run a browser somewhere else and display it on your phone, which Apple will allow, but it's a really crappy way to do things.. I don't think you can even scroll down the page if your internet connection goes away..

Comment Re:Shyeah, right. (Score 5, Insightful) 284

I disagree.

We used to use LTO, and it was OK for a while, but we switched to using removable hard drives and rsync a long time ago and haven't regretted it one bit.

We're every bit as paranoid as the next guy (there *might* be some more paranoid, but not many).

We've pulled 10 year old hard drives off the shelf before and recovered things no problem. Our rotation won't ever require us to actually do that, but we have tested it a number of times and things worked great.

What we do though, is periodically update our archived copies to newer media when we update our removable drives.. Often times, this allows us to merge old archive media onto fewer drives saving us a lot of space in the long run. We do have multiple copies, including 3 sets that are permanently online in different locations, and a number of offline sets.. As our backups age, we reduce the number of copies we keep offline, but never go below 3 offline copies of any given data.

The real reason that this is fantastic though, isn't that it backs up so much faster (it does, because after a drive has rsync'd once, there usually aren't many changed files compared to the bulk of the rest of the data). The real reason that this is fantastic isn't because we save space and reduce our need to have old hardware with SCSI interfaces etc (it does though). The real reason this is fantastic isn't because when you take older/smaller drives out of the loop, you can actually repurpose them (you can though.. what are you going to do with a bunch of left-over too small LTO tapes).

The real reason that this is fantastic, is that in the event of a catastrophe, you can get things up and running very quickly. If you're really in a panic, you can boot off of the drive that is that backup disk because we add an OS to them when we prep the drives. You just need any old POS PC with SATA on it and a copy of the file used for decryption, and you can be up and running in minutes. Even for the lighter weight emergencies random access to your data is still quite priceless. You can go directly to the file you need, or even multiple versions of it, instead of waiting for tape media to scan.

In short, yes. LTO is dead whether it knows it yet or not.

Comment Re:Robot tipping! (Score 1) 140

Yeah... Given their cost, they're going to be completely impractical..

City kids that are bored will have a replacement for cow tipping.. They'll go dress to be unidentifiable on video, and then probably do one of the following:

EM van as stated above so they can have a souvenir
Lob it into a lake (maybe making a few holes in it first)
Attack it with a magnet strong enough to rearrange it's innards and then proclaim "Yeah Bitch! Magnets!" (check youtube if you don't recognize it)
Spray paint over all it's sensors, or hit them with something corrosive so they need to be replaced.
Land mine attach with some home made fireworks (manually triggered for safety of course).
How about a nice patch of quick trying foam adhesive so someone has to come chip it back out..
Oh oh.. massive balloon bundle attach.. How many do you need to lift 300 pounds? OK, good... double it..
Hack into it and either make it go rogue, or have it send back looped video and sensor readings so that it's effectively void.
Trebuchet testing?
Potato gun target?
Pool ball from a potato gun target?
How about just putting a picture on a stick attached to it's "head" to keep it from seeing anything.
Home made thermite test?

I'm out of decent ideas, but I'm sure the kids are much more creative than I am..

New York... when civilization falls apart, remember, we were way ahead of you. - David Letterman