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Comment: Re:Uncertainty/fear? (Score 1) 535

by business_kid (#47529481) Attached to: Laser Eye Surgery, Revisited 10 Years Later
No direct experience myself, but my friend accompanied his sister to a pre-op meeting with a surgeon. All seemed to go well, and she was reassured. He noticed the guy had glasses. "If eye surgery is so great, why don't you get it done yourself?" he asked. There was an embarrassed pause, and the guy started into possible issues, what might go wrong. No operation proceeded.

Comment: Never mind possible: (Score 1) 308

by business_kid (#44917995) Attached to: To Boldly Go Nowhere, For Now
Never mind, I say whether long distance space exploration is possible. _Think_Of_The_People_We_Can_Send: That life assurance guy who won't take no for an answer; Politicians on huge pensions; Corporate bosses who screw people over or muck up the planet for profit; Militant 'anyone's rights' activists; the animal rights crew; Selected "Entertainers;" Dangerous Convicts; etc. etc. If they hit a sun or starved to death half a light year away, would any of us toss in our beds?

Comment: Peter Principle yes - but who gets fired? (Score 1) 331

by business_kid (#43964795) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Do You Prove an IT Manager Is Incompetent?
I accept the Peter Principle logic.It was also in Gilbert & Sullivan's 'Pinafore' "When I was a lad," etc. The chief of the navy had never been to sea. I'm just wondering who should be fired - the IT manager or consultant. You are a consultant being paid big bucks. You are eminently expendable. You see the facts, and 1. Don't know what to do. 2. Can't assess incompetence. 3. Need to ask total strangers for advice Why on earth did they hire you?? :-)) I know little about software, and less about management. I would report as follows: A. Initial goals and target budgets of recent projects vs finished results, (They wanted X - they got q). Compare with 'going rate' for subcontracting same. B. Reasons in the company for poor relations with IT dept. What do the other workers say? C. Analysis of the working spirit of each IT employee and opinions as to what contributes to poor environment. No names - a table with %s. D, Capital expenditure critique. E. Work practise critique. My son is a senior developer; he writes a test for his code, writes the code, and tests it. Messy, but bug free. F. Steps in place to: save money; check project meets goals; rein in developers wanting to add unnecessary crap or rewrite interfaces with no advantage; budget checks, etc.. G. Lastly, interview the IT manager and find an appropriate alternative post for him in the company if possible. Can he do Java? Manage the office? Train noobs? The company are more likely to act if they can offer alternative employment. Write your conclusions. Then scatter your conclusions in the report like spice so when they look at the conclusions they are not surprised. Take care with the executive summary - it's all most of them will read. Make it long enough and jargon free. Now you've consulted us for free on how to earn your money. We have told you. Give something back to charity.

Comment: Re:Windows 8 and Failure (Score 1) 913

by business_kid (#42724143) Attached to: Microsoft Blames PC Makers For Windows Failure
I believe the expression comes from the Wild West of the USA, where 'toting' six guns was a common practise. One chamber of these was commonly left unloaded lest the hammer bounce and fire the gun in it's holster, and you'd shoot yourself in the foot. When drawing to shoot, the hammer had to be cocked at the same time, and shooting yourself in the foot was entirely possible if your thumb were to slip off the thing, as cocking rotated the barrel one notch.

Comment: Re:Windows 8 and Failure (Score 1) 913

by business_kid (#42713907) Attached to: Microsoft Blames PC Makers For Windows Failure
I'm not defending Vista for one second. You could, and I did make it look and behave somewhat normally. Windows 8 comes with an inoperable and permanently broken UI, It also forces on manufacturer a restrictive form of the UEFI interface which is aimed at preventing dual booting with linux or bsd. This is ignored in the horror at the UI buit is going to end up with people locked out of their own PCs

Comment: Windows 8 and Failure (Score 5, Interesting) 913

by business_kid (#42708739) Attached to: Microsoft Blames PC Makers For Windows Failure
If windows 8 hasn't failed yet, it will. It is certain to fail. It is such a dreadful experience that it makes even (spit!) Vista look good. It's been forced out by manufacturers, and bought by rote, not by people choosing it. I have an install for a 17.3" screen that thinks it's on a mobile phone and has a minimum of 5 consecutive menus to navigate before you can do squat. I couldn't abide it even as the other os on my box. And then there's that EFI B.S. locking people out of their own PCs - plenty of fun to be had there yet. I've seen M$ shoot themselves in the foot before, I have never seen them do it with such a large canon

Comment: Re:Never mind the editors (Score 1) 293

by business_kid (#42154937) Attached to: NASA: Curiosity Has Found Plastic On Mars
I enjoyed that item about plastic on Mars. The Editors did their job with the line " Update: Yes, it's a hoax." I wonder did the Nasa hypotheses include our space junk somehow crash landing on Mars. It won't be long before we'll have to go space filling instead of land filling with our junk anyhow if we keep the turning earth's resources into junk,

Comment: Unwelcome and no longer necessary (Score 1) 475

by business_kid (#41916765) Attached to: On Daylight Savings Time:
At 55 degrees of Latitude where I live, people will be either getting up/going to work in the dark, or coming home in it.There was a justification for it when kids going to school were road accident victims in early morning. No kids walk to school now. It take no time to adjust to unless you're a physical wreck, but I trust time to be continuous, and there are 2 hiccoughs in that through the year (and never on the same dates, either). That's unwelcome.

Comment: Re:Java and Python (Score 1) 360

by business_kid (#41639975) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Approach To Reenergize an Old Programmer?

My point wasn't to brag about the kid. My point was to make clear the languages in demand, and that if our experienced programmer wasn't able to pick up half a dozen languages, he should get out. I'm not young myself and trying to reposition from Electronic Hardware, and hardware is not a good place to be, as it's a big company market. Everybody wanted me to turn to IT or programming, but I'd be working days and studying nights and I'm not up to that. As for your point, if you as an employer had to choose between a programmer with one useful language, and one with four, which would you choose?

Comment: Re:Java and Python (Score 1) 360

by business_kid (#41628649) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Approach To Reenergize an Old Programmer?
I have a kid who had a bare bsce (C, C++ & Java), and has started in. First came an msce in C & chuck (yes, chuck) I bought him an iPhone, a Mac, and software. No class, no training, he got his ass stuck in and started writing IOS. He's now working for a firm; They added an Android tablet to his collection, and has sent out stuff in Java, Android Java, IOS (different again), HTML 5, C, VB, Flash (ugh!), C#, and C++. If the thought of learning those horrifies you, (like it does me) get a job making pizzas or something. Look at the jobs out your way, and be guided by them. Nothing else matters.

Comment: If You Must (Score 1) 208

I was in that business here from 1989-2006. My first suggestion is DON'T - KEEP YOUR MONEY. Increasingly numbers of programmables (fpgas, microcontrollers, pals, etc) make it impossible to source spares. No other independent repair house lasted until 2006 here on repairs alone. I'll talk some more on that if you wish. 2 things you should have are a Metcal soldering iron, (ebay, but watch the mains vfoltage) and a Diagnosys Pinpoint 2 or the successor to that. For unknown boards, Diagnosys (www.diagnosys.co.uk) make the best test equipment about. Preferably buy secondhand - you get ripped off new. You also need desoldering, for which I used a spare Weller handle, an industrial vaccuum pump and a footswitch.

Comment: Re:SOPA lovers would love to take them down. (Score 1) 428

by business_kid (#38779585) Attached to: Megaupload Shutdown: Should RapidShare and Dropbox Worry?

I am out of this in Ireland. I am uneasy with breaking copyright. If someone steals my car, that's a simple case and he owes me. If someone steals intellectual property . . .

I also think the idea of a replacement for Hollywood, while sorely needed, needs work. Let me give you an actual serious example:

I would like to make a feature about Jesus Christ - not just the crap Hollywood produces, but a grasp of the man as he was, the real person, and the King that he is now. It would educate adults and kids in their faith and be unquestionably bible based, and directed in line with that alone. Another revenue stream would be teacher's notes & a dvd set for schools. Est. cost for a low budget version would be $10-15 million. The dvd set for schools would facilitate teaching religious instruction.

Do Slashdotters feel like forking that sum into the doubtful investment of a film which may end up being pirated and copied by sites like megaupload? That is a serious proposal which will remain just that unless people express willingness to invest. The $10-15 million is a barrier to me. Then investors really own it. Are they prepared to open source (= throw away) their investment and how are they expected to make money at it?

Comment: It's too late (Score 1) 659

by business_kid (#37665450) Attached to: How Do You Educate a Prodigy?
It's already too late for that kid and I feel sorry for him. I raised some above average kids. At least I got letters home from the school telling me they were above average, one very much so, and I should hothouse them. I looked at hothoused kids. They were all miserable because like any kid they wanted to play, but they were being forced to study and learn crap way beyond their years. Kids develop maturity, it's not a function of your IQ. What's the value to a kid of a phd at 15? No value. What's the value to a kid of a normal upbringing? Immense value in life. I binned those letters and let my kids have a life. They reach their potential now in everything they decide to do.

Comment: Does this make the old ones valuable? (Score 1) 197

by business_kid (#37344470) Attached to: Heathkit DIY Kits Are Coming Back

My Signal Generator is a Heath Kit. It does 30khz to 100 Mhz with attenuation for testing signal stages of radios/tvs. You can have pure sine wave, or 3khz AM modulation. Pots on everything are still functional.
I have used it for testing FM stages, and MW stages. It still does 100Mhz, despite the fact that it runs 2 x ECC 83 thermionic valves. Obviously an excellent (if extremely old) design. Will this make it valuable?

A continuing flow of paper is sufficient to continue the flow of paper. -- Dyer

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