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Comment Re: 1 thing (Score 1) 583

It's true to an extent. Don't be the first to name a realistic figure. Name something slightly more than what you know to be their range. (You'll need to research this, but even smallish companies have pay scales you can work with.) They'll complain that it's out of reach, so you "understand" and "out of interest", you ask what the upper limit is. If you don't have the opportunity to obtain the upper bound of the pay scale, just ask! Another way to the same information is Glassdoor and sites like it ... (what was it? or something? hoho, readers). Hell, ask a recruiting agent you've worked with before "D00d, what should I ask for this? I was thinking $X". The point is to get the recruiter, not you, to name the first workable figure.

Then you're up & running. You're negotiating. Despite myself, that's where I think it gets exciting. I'm getting old... (but don't tell the recruiter!)

And then, before things stagnate, you or they should start talking about hiring bonuses, extra hours off, flex hours, stock... In other words, learn to flesh out the whole "Compensation Package".

And most important of all: don't accept an offer if it feels like a) you could get more, or b) you lost confidence and accepted a finely decorated turd.

The only way to learn how to negotiate is to go through the mill a bunch of times and turn down offers! Yes! Turn 'em down! They want you. They are the ones who're trying to get you to give them your expertise in exchange for monetary (I hope) compensation. You can only get better by repeating the exercise. It might take two or three tries, it might take a dozen. Keep your confidence, speak with authority about your skills and expertise. If you don't have experience, play on your inventiveness, your social skills... Keep reminding the recruiter that you're offering them a third (I hope) of your waking hours and what you'd be doing in that time. This is important because the recruiter often knows naff all about the job itself, and educating them makes them feel involved and loved. Here comes another "most important of all", but it's obvious: respect the recruiter as a human being, not the damned hydra. Respect the role they play as trying to get value for money. Remind them of the value, but let them speak, hear 'em out. Enjoy the conversation, even if you don't.

Jeez, I pissed way too much effort into this, didn't I? Ah well, file under "notes to self".

Comment Re: 1 thing (Score 1) 583

Let's say you have an 18 year old car and it needs a new timing belt one year, new struts the next. (I speak from experience.) You take it to a reputable place that pays benefits to their mechanics. You're still only $1000 out of pocket each year. When you take into account the insurance costs, that's a damned sight less than what you're paying for a mean, clean, depreciation machine. Not just "a little less", or "comparable", but crucially a fraction of the annual costs of a comparable new vehicle.

It doesn't stop there:

Take it to your Friendly Neighborhood Shade-tree Mechanic. While you forgo any kind of actionable warrantees or deadlines, the service costs get cheaper.

Learn how to do it yourself and not only are you only paying for parts, you're taking the time to learn a new skill. Oh sure, you get your toolbox fleshed out a bit, too.

Let the work slide based on how you use the vehicle, and you pay nothing at all. Those struts? If you're not doing rallycross and you only follow the city grid, with the occasional jaunt on to the freeway, who cares if the suspension is a bit wonky? Tires, yeah. So they last two years instead of three. You're buying from Discount Tire and they're on 14" rims, right? right?

It's all so very easy to prey on fears of "inconvenience" and "unreliability", but it's far less convenient to get taken for a ride by an icky car salesman than it is to get a ride in the shuttle van while your pride-& is up on the lift. Again, just in case you forgot: I speak from experience.

Stepping back through the diversions to TFQ...
Rewind 1: Buying a product is nothing at all like finding a job. It's a two-way relationship. In more ways, it's like dating. You think the job is exciting? Get your pants off and get stuck in. The job hasn't washed in a month but you like a challenge? Sure, get filthy! The job stanks and lets its dog sleep on the bed? GTFO!

Rewind 2: To the point of previous or current salaries, just don't disclose. Tell the recruiter what you're looking for. If they insist, insist back. It's really very simple: stay confident, don't slip, insist.

Rewind 3: It's not school. I wish I'd been told that in my first job. First "real" job. Everything they teach you in school about interpersonal relationships is wrong. Bullies don't dominate, they get fired. Honesty doesn't get you in trouble. Repetitive work isn't just boring for you, it's unnecessary and the boss would uffing love you if you just upped and said "Hey, we can do this so much quicker...". Or, put another way, laziness is a virtue.

Comment Weak (Score 2) 53

This is just a "what if" on a scifi premise. The worst sort of fanfic, and about as far from an April Fool's joke as it's possible to get.

That said, it's no better over on Soylent.

Oh, and by the way, did nobody ever tell you that it stops at noon? If you try to pull an April Fool's prank after midday, the tradition goes, you're the fool.

Comment Mac laptop keyboard (Score 1) 307

"Most problems" you say? Yes, the laptop keyboard on this one Mac which was augmented by one or two drops of water. Fifty six screws the size of poppy seeds just holding the keyboard in. Had to remove the entire motherboard, unplug a dozen edge connectors of five or size different types.

I had to do this three times: first time to attempt to dry it out (90 minutes to disassemble with the right tools and space to do the job), second time when the replacement came but it was the wrong one, third time when the proper one came (90 minutes total last time around).

It's an awful design. The first thing you want to do if you spill water on a keyboard is remove it and dry it out. But it takes 90 damned minutes to do it, by which time the electrolytes have been dumped and the contact areas damaged. The keyboard assembly also includes the power switch, so there was no way to just unplug it and use an external one. This particular model of Mac laptop also has no power jumper on the motherboard. I was this close to wiring up a switch on the edge connector. When an external keyboard is plugged in, OS X doesn't disable the internal keyboard, either, so when your Control key is acting up and believes itself to be pushed in permanently, good luck! Unplug/plug/unplug/plug/unplug/plug the USB jack and after a few goes, it'll pick up the change. Also, for whatever reason, unloading the keyboard driver kernel extension did not work. Mac forum people aren't exactly the most diligent (or another word ending in "-ligent") of troubleshooters, so there were too few clues to go on.

I've had failures with floppy drives, hard drives, PSUs, monitors, fans, the 1530 motor controller on a Commodore 64 several times over because some thick lout at the computing club kept borrowing my tape deck even after being told. But this Mac laptop keyboard definitely presented me with "the most problems" in terms of irking me to the point of lining up a Windows machine for my next laptop, not this cheap shitty Chinese Apple shit.

Comment Re:Wrong way round (Score 1) 598

If you want a repairable computer with a separate chip for every application, I have a coal plant to sell you

What on earth are you wittering on about? That has absolutely nothing at all to do with what I'm pointing out, and pointing out quite clearly enough, but if it helps, here goes:

The Powerbooks and iBooks were just as integrated as the Macbooks. Pretty much every laptop ever worth buying has had highly integrated logic. But in the Powerbooks, you could replace the keyboard by twisting a screw and flipping two latches. In the new one you have to practically dismantle the entire machine to get to it and undo several dozen poppy seed-sized screws.

I've spilt water on my Powerbook, and pulled the keyboard out to dry it. When I spilt water on the Macbook it took over an hour just to get it detached from the machine, by which time it had had chance to fester making it necessary to buy a new one. It was while I was going through this very laborious process that my mind had chance to ponder the pros and cons of the current state of Apple hardware and what attracted me to the company in the first place (of which software was not a major one).

The RAM isn't socketed on the newest machines, and the SSDs use an Apple-exclusive interface. I fully expect them to be engraved with the slogan "Designed by Apple in a disaposable state."

In the meantime, Apple software has become more integrated, better packaged, and generally good all round. Barring a few obvious problems, it's a very solid set of tools. I don't see what this Tumbler chap is complaining about, and I certainly don't see an improvement in hardware.

Comment Wrong way round (Score 3, Interesting) 598

"Apple's hardware today is amazing — it has never been better. But the software quality has taken such a nosedive in the last few years that I'm deeply concerned for its future."

That's not been my experience. The software is really solid, much better than it's ever been (although questionable UI choices have hamstrung usability); while the hardware is becoming less serviceable, more disposable. Sure, it may be more closely following the components used in devices designed for Windows, but if I can't replace a keyboard destroyed by two drops of water without removing the entire guts of the machine (accidentally destroying the keyboard backlight in the process), with 56 screws holding the keyboard itself in, and about a dozen (because I can't remember exactly how many) extremely fragile connectors surrounding the motherboard then I'm out.

I need a machine I can service. Apple no longer satisfies that need.

Comment Re:The old idea fallacy (Score 1) 268

Ignoring the fact that the GP was making a joke-of-sorts while possibly also countering the TFS's claim that "Microsoft doesn't have a long track record of cracking down on individual pirates", this is clearly not an appeal to novelty. In fact, if we're talking fallacies, the simpler fallacy of the old red herring could be applied to your argument; plus the logical fallacy of your choice since the IT industry, in particular with respect to software licensing, has changed at least as rapidly in the last four decades as clothing and hair fashions: In short, you cannot reject an argument as being an appeal to novelty when the topic in question is itself subject to the whims of novelty.

Comment Re:The real question is . . . (Score 1) 525

(btw: This is a classic /. post. Solves the problem and uses an adorable word.)

But when you say intelligent agent, this would be modeled on typical standards of driving, which is to say, planting the accelerator fimly into the footwell when accelerating, then slamming on the anchors as soon as the driver ahead so much as breaths on the brake pedal.

In other words, a good braking wave simulation.

Be careful when a loop exits to the same place from side and bottom.