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Comment On call camping... (Score 1) 146

I've done this but it is a bit like peeing into the wind, especially if you are camping with friends or family.

Given that you want to get away but it is not doable to let go, I have two suggestions:

1. Make a plan to partner with someone so you can cover for each other. Life happens. You cannot be on call 7x24x365 forever. You won't like it and eventually your customers won't either. Certainly the significant people in your life will hate it. Get involved with a consulting partnership or form one yourself. If you like this way of working then make it work long term.

that said:

2. On call camping is all about planning and setting expectations. What is your on-call response time? 15 min means you can find a campground with some kind of connectivity coverage and stay there. Enjoy sleeping and eating and hanging out in a semi-isolated location. If you just have to check in every 24 hrs then you have a lot of flexibility and you probably won't have to bring much special with you.


Low end: Just bring your cell and data plan, or scout out local wifi. Most park/camping/resort areas will have a small town nearby with various wifi options. Coin laundries have excellent wifi connectivity in my experience though usually not free.

High end: eh, under $1000 investment. Wilson cell boosters. Omni and directional cell antennas. 3g tends speed tends to be distance dependent and will slow down even with good signal. LTE is much better. I have made connections as far away as 80 miles. Horizon gets in the way usually but it helps if the tower is on a mountain top or if you are. Portability is a challenge but you can set up a backpack unit fairly easily with, say, 5Kg of extra booster, battery, charger weight. Or go wifi: ALFA wireless units with 1 or 2 watts and a good directional antenna can get you wifi at amazing distances but are limited because most access points are not set up with antennas outside a building. 8-> They tend to be low power and indoors. Portability is again an issue but doable. Climb to the top of Pyramid in Jasper and camp there. Line of sight will not be an issue but nail your tent down.

Higher high end: $2000 to $10,000. Satellite internet with a portable gps enabled self tracking dish in a fiberglass dome. You will probably want a portable generator. Also need a data plan at about 50 to 100 per month. You could carry a dish and transponder on a hike which would be awkward but could be quite fun. Tends to tie you down and prevent straying far from where you set up your base camp. Speeds can be quite good for streaming but ping times are in the 1000s of milliseconds. Usually have to pay a premium if you go over a couple of GB per month. Oh and usually a 1, 2, or 3 year contract. Um, and mountains can be an issue if they block the satellite view. Choose a North/South valley.

Ridiculously expensive high end: $100K or more. Bring your own tower and cellular repeater site. Get a trailer with a 40m telescoping tower, hydraulic stabilizer legs, and a mini network center. You should be able to get LTE almost anywhere with the correct setup. Add in the satellite transponder as backup. Camp near a fast moving mountain stream and setup a hydro electric supply. Plan where you are going to hike and run your own repeater with directed coverage to the area you will be traversing. Put a booster in your pack and attach a 2 meter buggy whip so you have continuous coverage. A blinking light on the top will aid rescuers when you get lost. Check regularly with your doctor for radiation induced growths in various locations on your body. Be aware that national park wardens take a dim view of this sort of setup.

I handled on call with a Wilson cellular booster in my truck and a portable wifi router with a 4g dongle. As long as you can get one bar on a cell results should be very good. I stuck around the campsite, drank coffee, cooked food, and read books. Nice but not full on hiking/camping.

Again, the best choice is leave it all behind. The most complex issue to deal with when camping should be how to make a banana boat on a campfire.

Comment Only if you want your aircraft to crash (Score 1) 1067

Your assumption is simply wrong. It can only be expressed as "not a number" and your code should catch this.

There are all sorts of examples to show how allowing div by zero leads to any desired numerical result and not necessarily zero or infinity. My fave is sin(1/x)/x.

First note that f(x) = sin(1/x) is bounded by +1 and -1 but as x -> zero there is not even a limit. The sin frequency increases but it never tends towards any single value. Simple and wonderful.

Now try [sin(1/x)]/x, which has no upper or lower bounds and no limit as x -> zero. Beautiful.

Given your desire to simplify things, this function shows that setting div by zero to ANY number is as good as zero or max or any value you like. The logical conclusion is that any result with a div by zero in it is meaningless.

Coding calculations is very much about handling exceptions, such as div by zero, and controlling floating point accuracy. If you don't like dealing with what is required and if you don't understand why then perhaps you should leave the math to others. Seriously.

BTW, google will graph these functions for you... just enter "plot sin(1/x)/x" into the search dialogue.

endless frabjousity

Comment Thank you for actually reading the judgement... (Score 1) 62

Really. Not being sarcastic.

I'm not so familiar with QC law but generally in Canada, damages have to be proven, real, and accurate. To get $100K in damages the plaintiff would have to show the loss and not just pull a number out of the air. Further, punitive damages are reserved, AFAIK, for situations that truly deserve punishment.

This is the "common sense" aspect of the case. The judge looked at the facts and quickly determined that there ain't no way to show any loss let alone $100K. There certainly is no basis for punishment either.

You want to sue for damages that haven't happened then go South.

Comment Some options . . . (Score 2) 526

One option is what you did here on /. . . . but in a planned campaign that includes getting the VLC org on your side.

Another is civil (small claims) court. No lawyer necessary and guaranteed to cost Dell more than you if they fight it. You are very likely to get a judgement on your side if Dell doesn't send a representative. You can have oodles of fun serving the judgement on Dell. I have gone to civil court twice and both times the judge was very good.

In Alberta: http://www.albertacourts.ab.ca...

A bit of a windmill tilt since after all is said and done you could easily replace the speakers yourself for much less.

Your local state/provincial/federal government is bound to have a consumer affairs section which has an interest in making sure businesses treat consumers fairly. You could look into that.

Finally, go around the service desk if you can. See if you can make contact with someone other than a scripted service droid.

I had an HP inkjet that would not pick up paper no matter what I did. I had several trouble calls in with them while it was under warranty but nothing helped so I tossed the offender into the closet and got on with my life. About a year later (outside of the warranty) I happened to read online about a service kit from HP that would cure the problem. Free under warranty. Called HP up and you know they said too bad, so sad, your warranty has expired. They would sell the kit for $40 bucks plus shipping. Half the cost of the printer. I protested about my trouble calls and they said the tickets were no longer in the system.

On the off chance, I sent an email explaining my situation to the HP CEO as firstname.lastname@hp.com. Expecting nothing, I was floored when the next day I received a response from HP apologizing for the situation and that a kit plus a set of ink cartridges were being shipped to me.

I am sure that the email did not go to the CEO of the time (uh, about 8 yrs ago so ...) but someone read the mail and dealt with it.

Nice, but I wasted at least 40 hours on the issue. Wayyyyyyyyyyy more value than the printer. I shudda just thrown the darn thing out at the first sign of trouble.

How upset are you? How much are you prepared to put into it.

Have fun.

Comment Re:I predict lucrative markets for . . . (Score 2) 364

Yes! Exactly.

Think of anything that happens to personal computers and servers on the internet now and then imagine automobiles being rooted and forced into remote servitude.

I like the way you think.

Combine this with NFC purchasing and the obesity/heart disease problem could go through the roof with massive line ups at Jack-In-De-Box or what ever your favourite fat delivery system is.

Comment I predict lucrative markets for . . . (Score 1) 364

1. Jailbreaking vulnerable car systems

2. After-market engine performance and firewall firmware/hardware replacements

3. Advanced "radar" detectors which now become AIPS and AIDS (Authority Intrusion Prevention & Detection Systems)

4. Automotive GPS spoofs

etc etc

My guess is that since the NSA revelations, it is easy to give wing to any story about government intrusion into everyday life. It might even be true. I am sure that even if this story is out of the Weekly World News* bin, somebody in authority has given thought to the idea.

*things like: 26ft Chicken Caught in Texas and Alien Backs Bush in Election

Comment Re:Is funny, da? (Score 1) 348

Yup, exactly. Bad wording on my part.

Some of the fellas around me speculated that the "commies" sent us the rejects. I think things were just what they were with no evil planning.

I never saw any news stories about the issue but this was pre personal computing, pre widespread internet, and news gathering was a foot-and-mouth issue. The magnet item would never have surfaced. Probably because it is and would have been a non issue.


"When it comes to humility, I'm the greatest." -- Bullwinkle Moose