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Comment Re:Have you dug into the cameras a bit? (Score 2) 134

I have (and still use) several Foscam standard-def cameras, but I've had a lot of trouble with HD (720p) models from Foscam and others. Can't find any which don't require ActiveX - not only for streaming, but for SETUP.

I can't give them my WiFi password without being able to run their proprietary plugin, necessarily on a Windows machine, to access the web interface. And even when I use a Windows machine and go through the process, I to end up with repeated failures.

I'm sure it must be working for someone out there, but I documented my experiences thoroughly (tried all browsers, OSX/Linux/WinXP/Win7, etc) and encountered nothing but a broad spectrum of errors.

Once they're set up, apps like tinyCam Monitor Pro (consider this a plug, it's great) can do everything you need. So if ActiveX is your only barrier, just use it for the setup stage.

Comment Re:don't worry about it (Score 4, Funny) 178

Yeah - I worked for a gadget retailer and was asked to test some 8GB flash sticks several years ago.

You could write 8GB to them, but anything past the first 4GB returned a read error.

My boss called the supplier in Shenzen to yell at them - "How could you do this?" Their response: "I don't understand - you SAID you wanted the best price?!"

Comment Mentor? (Score 1) 234

There's something of a dearth of material out there for people who want to learn STEM topics on a casual basis and are somewhere in between a layperson and a specialist. Most of what you can find to read is either written for the general public (popular science books and magazines) or dry scientific papers. I've also had a lifelong interest in science, but did not pursue it as a career, and it's always a challenge to find stuff which I can read and yet which hasn't had the details filtered out...

"Science News" magazine is a stand-out example though - it's science reporting written for an educated audience, often people who are scientists themselves who want to keep up in other fields. It's amazing how concise and information-packed the articles can become when you can use words above the typical 6th-grade reading level (or whatever they use for newspapers these days).

But, I digress. In your position I'd try to find a mentor - maybe barter some IT services in return. There are lots of people out there who'd probably enjoy the process of helping a mature student get started.

Comment Re:Content Developer here (Score 1) 158

By the way - the coolest thing about transitioning OUT of IT is that when the office network goes down, it's neither your fault nor your problem... you get to hang around the coffee machine and complain with everyone else!

I don't tell most of my coworkers about my background. If they know you can fix computers... well, it's like owning a pickup truck, and everyone asks you to help them move!

Comment Content Developer here (Score 1) 158

After ~20 years working in every area of IT, for a number of reasons I've recently transitioned over to "Online Content Developer" as a career track.

I'm just starting a new job with a major supplier of accounting / tax software. Most of the reason I was hired was my IT background, since a big part of my job will be helping manage the flow of information (internally and, eventually, to the public) from the tech support and consulting departments to other areas of the company.

In this new role, I use some of my technical skills just getting the most from all the internal systems and platforms here, but mostly I draw from my experience with helping people use technology. I understand tech support from both sides of the equation, and can help translate issues to people who don't. Later on I'll be tasked with helping interpret complex accounting software issues for the general public as well.

In the past I've done similar work for a vocational training company, and again my experience with developing helpdesk materials, Knowledge Bases and other forms of online training was a big reason why I was hired. (I also have a track record in writing and video production, with lots of exposure to online marketing methods as well - but many people have that without being techies)


Comment Re:WHy would he do it? (Score 4, Informative) 193

> His bank account will see a significant step up

Not as much as you might think. He makes more than half what Letterman does now ($8 mil/yr vs Dave's ~$15mil) and it's unlikely CBS will pay him as much as they paid Dave, at least not to begin with.

Since Dave (and Leno for that matter) took pay cuts a few years back due to declining audiences across the board, Jon Stewart has been the highest-paid talk show host on the air.

Comment Re:Pragmatism (Score 1) 503

You could usually see it coming at my last job, when a Dvorak user would step up to - for instance - a communal computer used for presentations, and attempted to log into something. They always had to type their password twice, the second time after wincing in realization of what they'd done the first time...

Computers are useless. They can only give you answers. -- Pablo Picasso