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Comment: Re:My RAID horror story (Score 1) 268

by debest (#47912093) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What To Do After Digitizing VHS Tapes?

Fortunately, I had a backup.

Well, good, because (as anyone who is considering running RAID should know) RAID is not a backup! "RAID" and "backup" are mutually exclusive. As you point out, RAID is only useful when you need high availability and ability to recover from drive failure with minimum fuss. Your horror story was caused by trying to build a RAID5 array (only one drive's capacity of redundancy) on a computer where the loss of either of 2 controllers meant the loss of the entire array. And using cheap controllers, on top of that.

Backup is for when your primary copy (whether it is a single drive or a RAID, it is still a "single" copy) fails for any reason at all.

Comment: Re:What whas the problem in the first place? (Score 1) 250

by debest (#47275873) Attached to: TrueCrypt Author Claims That Forking Is Impossible

the developers do not understand the code and its more trouble to try to unravel a poorly written software project than to do it over again.

Don't remember what podcast I was listening to, but someone was saying that he read the source code and found it to be *beautifully* written! Although I certainly have no skill to confirm this, "beautiful" is not an adjective to be used if he thought it couldn't be understood or needed "unraveling".

Comment: Descent destroyed my ability to do PC gaming (Score 1) 251

by debest (#47069667) Attached to: It's Time For the <em>Descent</em> Games Return

I was in with DOOM when it came out. My residence had a 6 PC computer lab that I helped administrate (Windows 3.1 and Novell Netware 3.12: *ouch*), and in early '95 I installed a 4-user game of DOOM for the first multi-player deathmatch any of us had played. I was reasonably skilled, but other guys (who played way single-player more than I) schooled me.

Still, it was fun and I enjoyed the heck out of DOOM. Although it was "3-D", the entire map of the playing area was flat, and it wasn't too difficult to keep my bearings of where I was and where I needed to go, which it turns out is a requirement for me to playing FPS games because..... ... the next year Descent came out, and its *legit* 3-D! Holy crap, the tunnels and passageways branch out and curve in every direction! I can't figure where I am, there's no "up" or "down"! Arrgh!!!! (and shoves keyboard and mouse back in frustration). Let the young whipersnappers do this, I'm out! (I was 24 at the time :-P )

I've not played FPS since. I now understand that most games since have been closer to DOOM than Descent (in this regard), but I discovered this too late: 2 decades have gone by, and now the complexity of gameplay and controls is beyond my ability to climb the learning curve. I'm officially old!

+ - "National Security Letters" outside the USA?

Submitted by debest
debest (471937) writes "The news and the web are awash with stories (documented and anecdotal) about National Security Letters, particularly the part about an online service being legally compelled to release information about their clients (and being forced to remain silent about the order). In the United States, it seems that a service's choices are either to comply, or to shut down. As shutting down is not a realistic option for big companies like Google, Microsoft, Facebook, et al., we have to assume that they are releasing information about us at the government's secret request.

But what about outside the USA? There is very little documentation online that I could find about the existence (if any) of similar secret authority wielded by other "democratic" governments. I'm curious specifically about Canada (my country), but any others as well. If they exist, is there any information about them available? If not, might the lack of an ability to issue such orders to its own domestic online services be a competitive advantage to home-grown startups looking to compete with the American big boys?"

Comment: Offtopic, but oh, well... (Score 1) 290

by debest (#44676093) Attached to: My ISP...

Just last night, I discovered a bit of a bonus for TekSavvy-over-Rogers cable clients.

TekSavvy offers a 300GB/month plan, and unlimited plan that is >$10/month more. I am on the 300GB/month plan, but just recently got Netflix, and my wife and kid are addicted. I phoned up TekSavvy and asked them the penalty for going over the 300GB in a month, and would they send me a warning before I went over.

They told me (after a certain amount of prodding on my part) that TekSavvy currently has no way for Rogers to tell them (on an account-by-account basis) how much data is being used: they buy access from Rogers in bulk only. So until they have this capability (and from the tech support worker's tone, it didn't sound like it would be anytime soon), there is no way to rack up *any* overage charges on the cheaper $300GB/month plan. There is no need to be on the unlimited plan.

Note that the operator told me that this is not the case if you are in Cogeco's area, or a DSL client. This is Rogers only. Enjoy.

Comment: Re:Still sucks to own a phone in Canada (Score 1) 230

by debest (#43901041) Attached to: CRTC Unveils New Wireless Code To Protect Canadian Customers

Just getting another Wind customer's opinion (I've only been able to identify 2 among the people I know)....

Both the Wind customers I know in the Toronto area complain about rotten coverage, even within Toronto boundaries. Phone calls drop regularly while driving down the 401. Data stops inexplicably for minutes at a time. There are more "dead" areas, and going down in the basement of their homes inevitably leads to zero signal. One has an older Blackberry Bold, the other a Nexus 4.

What's your experience? I can't "try out" Wind and see for myself without buying a phone outright first. Have you had better luck?

Comment: Re:India ? (Score 1) 273

by debest (#43859965) Attached to: Hospital Resorts To Cameras To Ensure Employees Wash Hands

I agree that desperate measures are needed. Too many people needlessly get infections when proper cleanliness on the part of hospital staff would have prevented it. (Full disclosure: my father died in hospital. He had major surgery on his heart, then caught MRSA following surgery. The guy in the same room as him brought the infection in, the room was put under "infection protocol" meaning the staff and visitors are supposed to follow cleanliness guidelines and wear disposable garb, but he got it anyways. He was gone barely a week after his "successful" surgery.)

Since this first experience, I've observed hospital staff and visitors in many similar situations with other sick relatives. In *every* case, in multiple hospitals, there was blatant disregard for the policies of cleanliness by nurses and families of patients. If you complain, you're marked as a troublemaker as treated with hostility by the (admittedly overworked) staff.

My feeling is that unless there is an infection which passes as easily as MRSA does, but also makes *healthy* people (meaning nurses and doctors) as sick as the patients, nothing will ever change without onerous big-brother-style solutions like monitoring. I feel guilty wishing for hospital workers to get sick and possibly die, but that sure as heck would successfully get the point across.

Comment: What motivates you? (Score 5, Interesting) 397

by debest (#41317991) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Much Is a Fun Job Worth?

This all comes down to if you want to play it safe (stability motivates you), or if you want to roll the dice and gamble (change motivates you).

I speak from experience. I made a risky choice in 2000 and joined a startup, quitting a secure job at IBM that I would (in all likelihood) still have today. The job I went to paid better, was a lot of fun, exciting, challenging, and in the end a failure. My career has never fully recovered, and I am certain that had I stayed at IBM I would be finincially way further ahead than I am now. By all reasonalble criteria, I should regret my decision.

Yet I *had* to do it: I crave re-invention and change. I wouldn't be happy stuck in the douldrums of a stagnant work environment. I work for myself now, but I have no problems envisioning myself going back to being a cog in a big machine again. I'm open to, and embrace, the possibilities.

But as for you, you have to make that decision for yourself. The operative word about your job is not "fun", it's "happiness". You're in a fortunate position of being satisfied with your career, so you need to decide if you will regret not taking the opportunity to do more (and risk that you will fail). Good luck.

Comment: Re:EVIL-TOS: Not allowed to host any type of serve (Score 2) 263

by debest (#40786973) Attached to: Google Announces Plans, Pricing For Kansas City Fiber Network

Google will never innovate again. It's not allowed.

Strange, I'd have thought that offering an fiber-based alternative infrastructure to a pretty good sized city would have qualified as pretty damn innovative. Who else is trying that?

Google has been publicly traded for many years now, and as such "hostage" to outside investors. In that time they've started this project, the self-driving cars, Google Glass, and a bunch of other stuff that "hasn't been done before", certainly not to the scale that Google is attempting.

Comment: Re:Mechanical Keyboards (Score 1) 279

by debest (#39120495) Attached to: I prefer my input devices to be as _______ as possible.

I see your MS natural, and raise you an IBM Model M.
The most perfect input device ever made. I have about 10 of them.

Amen, brother. I also have a stockpile built up of these keyboards. The only keyboard that I'd like to find would be one that has a trackpoint built in. I know IBM made some of these, but I've not been able to find one at an affordable price.

Comment: Re:What get's me... (Score 1) 265

by debest (#38745240) Attached to: Fake IPad 2s Made of Clay Sold At Canadian Stores

1. Crook buys real iPad with cash.
2. Crook takes iPad, replaces clay in box, re-seals box to appear unopened.
3. Crook returns new-looking tainted box, receives cash from store.
4. Tainted box returned to shelf.
5. Innocent buys tainted box
6. Innocent discovers clay, goes back to store.
7. Store stuck with clay and packaging.

The sentence you quoted was for Steps 3-4, not 6-7.

This is now. Later is later.

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