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Comment: My Backup System is Painfully Simple (Score 1) 76

It starts with one premise: If backups (or drive images) aren't made automatically, they will eventually never get made.

I have three drives, call them A, B and C. We have two servers, two desktops, two notebooks, each of which make a DAILY full-image backup to a separate partition on the same computer, which is then copied to a common, external drive (say "A") on one of the servers. Typically, each system has two or three days' worth of local backup images, and the external drive has about the same. We keep data and programs separately; C: is for code (e.g., Windows & Apps), D: is for data. So, to start with, we have (after the first cycle) about ten backups (one on the system, and three or four each on each of three external drives).

Each external 500GB drive holds about three days' worth of backups; I'm thinking about 1TB drives, soon. I "rotate" the drive arrangement once each week: Each week, I move "A" from Active to Standby (I unplug it) and call it "B"; I move "C" (the eldest, retrieved from off-site) to "B" (i.e., I plug it in), and I move the displaced "B" to become the new off-site "C". So, (Active->Standby->Offsite) is A->B->C, then next week, C->A->B, and then B->C->A.

I can claim, accurately, that while this system has holes, there is so much backup that we've never had a catastrophic loss, which is just fine with me, and very cost-effective. I would no more put my business data on a cloud server than stick a sharp fork in my eye; beyond NSA, there is the constant threat that the business will die, or be closed by authorities (think Kim Dotcom).

Comment: Monumentally Stoopid (Score 2) 389

by Carol Anne Ogdin (#46279399) Attached to: Windows 8 Metro: The Good Kind of Market Segmentation?
There are now two kinds of people in the world: Casual and Professional, so sayeth the misguided spokesman for Microsoft, who hasn't got a single CLUE about users!

To suggest that I am a "casual" user because I have a smartphone, or tablet, and my home network has two servers, several users, and we transact a lot of business on-line is to miss the entire point: It's the MEDIUM that should dictate the interface, not the PERSON. (See "I am multitudes...").

Sure, I want users on a smartphone, whether they have 50 years' experience, or one weeks', to access a website and satisfy their needs. But, to then demand that those of us who BUILD those systems should be strapped to the same brain-dead interface is the height of arrogance.

I don't want to be constrained by something like the Metro interface on a tablet; I want to have that OPTION! An option that Microsoft deems, in it's dismissive way, I'm not QUALIFIED to have anything else.

It's as if General Motors decided that engines should only be in vehicles that are used in commerce, and all the rest of us need to be restricted to tricycles which we must pedal, no matter the distance.

It is a marketing failure of stupendous proportions, and is evidenced in the pathetic sales figures for everything since Windows XP.

Just one geek's opinion.

Comment: I Faced That Dilemma (Score 5, Interesting) 406

by Carol Anne Ogdin (#45611081) Attached to: Why Engineers Must Consider the Ethical Implications of Their Work
I was brought in to a government contractor's project as consultant during the Vietnam War. They were having severe problems with building their software system, and expected me to help them identify the root causes. For two weeks, they hemmed-and-hawed, trying to keep from telling me the true purpose of the system. Finally, when it was clear they couldn't understand the root problems themselves, they briefed me on what the system was ACTUALLY intended to accomplish. They did this on a Friday.

I was appalled that American citizens could dream up such an incredibly horrible intention: I can't say more, but the goal (in part) was to efficiently kill innocent civilians.

My choice was clear: I packed up, went to the airport, and bought a ticket home. On Monday, I was back at my regular desk. There was simply no way my conscience would allow me to optimize the schedule and effectiveness of such a project. There was never any repercussion, from anyone. I understand the contract was cancelled for non-performance several months later.

We who understand technology need to make value judgements: Do YOU want to write code that disadvantages fellow citizens? Do YOU want to create systems that transfer wealth from middle-class to rich folks? Do YOU want to write code that has secrets that could harm someone in the future buried inside? Do YOU want to make money by cheating ordinary citizens (think High-frequency "trading")? Do YOU want to see more systems, like NSA's, that violate the constitution, the law, and common decency?

I didn't, and I don't. Stand up for what you believe.

Comment: Re:you have to work remotely? (Score 1) 629

by Carol Anne Ogdin (#45550441) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Are We Older Experts Being Retired Too Early?
I think your mileage may vary, quite considerably.

I spent most of my work life, and have since about 1992, on-line with others. Yes, eMail can never substitute for the richness of f2f conversation...but that's what Skype is for :-).

Working remotely requires management to change from the "martinet," who only knows you're working 'cause he/she can see your face--whether you're productive or not, to the "production supervisor," who knows you're working remotely because you produce results. I spent a good 15 years teaching large companies that basic rule in preparation for the Internet. The one's that got the message thrived; the others are also-rans. It's still surprising how many "executives" (yes, I'm looking at you, CEO of Yahoo!) still can't wrap their head around measuring results, not mere presence.

Comment: You're not trying hard enough (Score 5, Informative) 629

by Carol Anne Ogdin (#45540615) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Are We Older Experts Being Retired Too Early?
I love watching youthful ./ folk give advice on topics for which they have no credible experience.

I'm 72 now, and still gainfully employed...just not by 35-year-old "managers" (or worse, "executives") who haven't got any substantive experience to evaluate competence. After a career consulting to IBM, Intel, HP, Amoco, DuPont (and lots more) at the CxO level on IT strategy, I semi-retired in 2001, to a small mountain town nestled in the Sierra Nevada mountains. Up here, the body of "technical talent" is composed of self-taught "experts" who wouldn't know how to make changes to a registry, or whip up a quick script to solve a user's persistent problem.

So, I reached out to local businesses with computers who experienced lots of "crashes" and "fatal errors" and had gaming computers when they needed a laptop ('cause that's what the local store wanted to sell). I have several clients who keep me busy, and who have learned to accept my counsel as focused on THEIR business needs, not what's convenient for me.

The trick, for me, was to figure out what services to offer (hint: what they want, not what I want to do), and how to price my services; small businesses HATE to pay by the hour, because they understand that provides incentives to waste time in getting to the solution. I changed the model to a fixed monthly fee for most services, and a price schedule for extraordinary things (like properly configuring a new computer to add to the network). I make a comfortable living that supplements other family income, and keep my skills sharp.

Find your own path and make it yours. Don't try to get hired by people who can't appreciate your value. That way lies madness. --cao

Comment: Over a hundred years ago... (Score 1) 926

by Carol Anne Ogdin (#45384415) Attached to: Where Does America's Fear Come From?
...Gladstone wrote:

"We look forward to the time when the Power of Love
will replace the Love of Power.

"Then will our world know the blessings of peace."

Still the unachieved aspiration, because the geedy will always be with us. Our only salvation as a country, in my view, is to use the tax code to limit the ratio between the income of the poor, and the income of the rich. Getting rich is a reward for delivering value. It is not, however, a sanction to behave badly toward your fellow man. Only a society that lives by the maxim that those who gain the most, owe the most, can ever experience freedom for all.

"Those who will be able to conquer software will be able to conquer the world." -- Tadahiro Sekimoto, president, NEC Corp.