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Comment Re:Fork (Cinepaint & Krita for HDR) (Score 1) 348

Cinepaint forked a number of years ago -- it's main purpose was to support 32bit per channel color (needed by the film industry). I don't use it now because it doesn't compile on Ubuntu based distributions -- which I now use for my desktops.

Krita is what I use now -- even though it's explicit orientation is to digital painting than image editing, it still works quite well for image editing, and supports HDR images. HDR imaging has been important for me since I moved to digital photography. Modern DSLR's produce HDR raw images, so downgrading to 8 bit before manipulating an image can be rather counter-productive, and requires annoying work-arounds to take advantage of the available dynamic range in GIMP.

Comment Re:Keep COBOL alive??? (Score 1) 75

But why? It's like replacing the Brooklyn Bridge. The thing is big, and kinda clunky and nobody would ever make something that looks like that today. ... but it's just way more expensive to replace it than it is to keep it working. That's why it's still here.

I personally swore that I'd quite before I took on any significant programming in COBOL -- but that doesn't mean that I'd turn my nose up at someone who was willing to take on the task. As a general case, I'd apply this rule about current COBOL code:

It's not good because it's old -- It's old because it's good.

Comment Windows was unstable, Solais/i86 was undeveloped. (Score 1) 136

I was working for an ISP in 1998 and needed a stable system for my (work) laptop to access the systems and the internet.

The problem with windows was that the driver for my PCMCIA ethernet card made the system unstable. Most notably it was unable to reliably wake up from sleep. Solaris on i386 was available, but I considered it a weak beta. A few people at work were big fans of Linux, so I tried loading Redhat on my system. It only took me an hour or two to find the driver I needed (our windows guru had spent days trying to solve the driver problem with Windows).

Once I got the driver installed, the system was gloriously stable and fast compared to Windows. I was hooked! Now, all of my machines run either Linux (desktop) or OpenBSD (routers, etc.). One laptop can dual-boot to Windows for a single piece of software that I occasionally use that depends on MS Office.

Comment Re:$805M budget Why US Health Care is BROKEN (Score 1) 231

More specifically, Health care inflation has dropped significantly since the ACA went into effect

Obamacare has brought down health care costs in the US. It's also brought down the number of uninsured, and seems to be part of the economic recovery. (when small business owners can get health coverage, it removes a dis-incentive to start a business, and thus create new jobs). some stats, and some more stats. or you can just peruse through a tags search on dailyKOS

Strange thing is that the left is all over stats about stuff -- but if you only go to Fox for your news, you won't hear much about hard numbers.

The right was forecasting massive price increases, but California only saw a 4% increase in premiums, compared to a historical (pre-ACA) trend of about 10% per year.

Comment Re:$805M budget Why US Health Care is BROKEN (Score 1) 231

The upper class and the upper-middle class in the US probably do OK under republicare because they can afford it. (in some cases -- barely). Once you gt to the lower middle class, though, I'm betting that the US does worse than Canada (which is where I'm from)

I remember a incident, some years ago, when an American friend fell and hit his head. He was a small business owner, which means that health care was beyond his reach. The conversation went pretty much as follows:

Canadians: That's not good. You might have a concussion. We should take you to the hospital.
Paul: Hospital? No way man! How much is it gonna cost me? A hospital visit could bankrupt me!
Canadians: Huh?
Paul: The last time I went to the hospital with a headache, I ended up with a $20K second mortgage -- and they didn't even solve the problem!
Canadians: Seriously?

After a good deal of cajoling we managed to get him to the hospital, where things turned out fine. As a foreigner, the visit was a flat-rate $600 (a good hard hit, but it could have been a lot worse in the US.)

The fact that a simple visit to the hospital could bankrupt an average middle-class american is what makes the US system so dangerous. I have little respect for it. Many Canadian doctors have moved to the US for the money, and then moved back to Canada, where they could actually spend their time taking care of people, rather than worrying about whether or not they could afford to pay for that care.

Comment Networking 101? (Score 1) 173

You can pay a couple hundred bucks for a pre-built solution, or you can build a pair of OpenBSD routers to do the job. You can either use a pair of old machines that you've been too lazy to send for recycling, or you can buy a pair of Raspberry PIs with a second (USB) ethernet connector, for a low power solution. VPN them together, and set the default route for the router at network 'A" to be through network 'B'. Problem solved. People have suggested both IPsec and OpenVPN to build the tunnel. . Just make sure that both networks don't use the ubiquitous network, or you'll be in routing hell trying to talk back and forth.

My question is: If you know what you're doing, why wasn't this the obvious solution for you before you posted?

As for needing enough CPU power, don't worry.. Back in the '90s, UBC Comp Sci was using a bunch of 30MZ pentiums to route between 10Megabit networks (mostly thicknet, with some thinnet). The reason why they used 30Mz machines??? The supplier ran out of 25Mz machines. .. So I figure that just about anything that runs over 300Mz would be overkill for your particular problem -- and anything less is probably no longer supported in many of the current distros.

Comment Makes sense it took 5 years (Score 1) 180

They put a trojan horse into pirated copies of code for a bulk mailer -- then used those servers to send spam. Who's gonna notice? Who's gonna be surprised that their machine gets 'accidentally' flagged as a spam box? Who do you complain to when you figure out that your 'cracked' spam software turned out to contain a trojan?

Submission + - Leggo store detains 11-year old boy for shopping alone

darkonc writes: An 11 year old goes into a Leggo store in Calgary, Alberta (Canada) with $200 in hard earned cash ... and doesn't come out. When his father comes to the store to meet him for lunch, he finds his son 'detained' by the store manager and a security guard — for shopping alone. Apparently, Leggo stores have a policy of apprehending young children who shop without their parents.

Comment Re:What? (Score 2) 142

Apple definitely succeeded. By 1990, Mac was the de-facto standard for desktop publishing. Even many of the the biggest Window/DOS newsletters were being created on the Mac. When Windows95 came out, the mantra was "Almost as good as a Mac". Microsoft won the desktop war with anticompetitive practices, not quality.

I remember around 1989, a print shop in Edmonton was broken into one night. The thieves stole all of the shop's Macintosh computers -- even the ones in the back room, but didn't touch the many PCs.

If it wasn't for stiff competition from Apple, it's probable that Microsoft wouldn't have introduced a Graphical desktop until well into the '90s. Apple, The Amiga, Sun, SGI and many other companies led Microsoft in the graphical desktop field. Microsoft was very much a follower, not a leader.

I have a theory that it's impossible to prove anything, but I can't prove it.