Most of us old dudes moved over to Reddit and Soylent... one of us one of us... come on over.
At least on the rendering side, I have found MuPDF to be really good and stable: http://mupdf.com/
Fox wrote for a ton of different titles through the Golden Age. He was one of the best for stories back then so it might be wise to try his story lines.
22,000 free and legal... go here: http://comicbookplus.com/
Barracuda's interface isn't too bad on most of their products considering how complex they are. Ubiquiti's AirOS on their wireless bridges and devices is wonderfully put together.
Also, m0n0wall and Tomato are favorites of mine.
Where I went to school in the 90's (Purdue), Computational Science was a math degree and we didn't touch a computer for the first two years unless you specifically took a programming course.
Programming IS a vocation that is an application of several disciplines. If a tech employer has no use for UML, then they are not a very sophisticated business. Hell, I work at a little rinky dink manufacturing company and we use UML and other modeling systems to lay out our business processes to better understand the business and for ISO 9001 quality management.
If you want code monkeys to crank out unmaintainable spaghetti to show your VC fund, then by all means go find some.
Good luck finding and buying one as a civilian but what you want is an active sensing laser denial system... It's going to be expensive and I've only seen them in military gear but they work... Mostly. Link: http://www.naimark.net/project...
Tom's got nailed over the "burning" AMD Athlons. If you dig through the HardOCP forums from back in 2001-2002, Kyle Bennett and others managed to trace some not so savory relationships with Intel and the site.
I've never trusted Tom's since and they have a well established Intel bias. HardOCP is much more transparent in it's testng.
Until IT staff have the same power and ability to lean back on a state license like an engineer or architect and say "no" to dangerous, illegal, or just plain stupid demands from end user, management, and shareholders, this will not change.
Toms got outed years ago as being paid by Intel. If you want good, unbiased reviews of games and gaming hardware, go to HardOCP.
I thought NASA struck a deal with DOE back in March to do 2 kilos per year of Pu-238 back in March. Did it get de-funded or something? http://www.universetoday.com/100875/u-s-to-restart-plutonium-production-for-deep-space-exploration/
Keep the masters in a private cloud and sync to it from your PCs. Git and other multi-user SVN is an idea, too. Also, SharePoint is excellent (but lots of overhead).
Kevin Turner, Lisa Brummel, and Amy Hood are all despised within Microsoft... they are Ballmer yes-people and Lisa Brummel is directly responsible for destroying any shred of productive culture there. They all need to go.
The employees want Satya Nadella or maybe Tony Bates... although many say it has to come from the outside... Sinofsky
Framemaker in structured mode is an alternative for technical and book publishing. It supports content management systems natively and is all XML under the hood in structured mode. Being Adobe and meant for professionals, it's fairly pricey as you can imagine. Lyx/Latex is a pretty decent alternative.