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Comment: Re:Already do it in Dayz (Score 1) 437

by donaldm (#48614757) Attached to: Virtual Reality Experiment Wants To Put White People In Black Bodies
Most RPG's do allow you to be male or female. black or white and pretty much any colour you want, not only that but you can be non-human as well which makes for interesting talk from some of the NPC's you come across as you either help or slaughter them. In Skyrim as an example you can do this.

In games like the "Souls" series you can help, hinder or fight players without any regard to their colour, race or sex.

Comment: Re:Copied from elsewhere... (Score 1) 871

by donaldm (#48598409) Attached to: Apparent Islamic Terrorism Strikes Sydney

"If you are in Sydney, do NOT tweet or post news of what Police are doing around Martin Place. Assume jihadists follow social media"

In Sydney it has become a media circus since the start of the siege. Just that alone has pandered to the terrorist(s). It must be very frustrating for the police.

Comment: Re:Don't worry guys... (Score 2, Informative) 871

by donaldm (#48598347) Attached to: Apparent Islamic Terrorism Strikes Sydney

I'm skeptical of the peaceful nature of a religion founded by a warlord; but at this stage we don't know that it's not some nut-job who is trying to capitalise on the ISIS popularity.

I think you should get your facts right Muhammad was not a warlord in fact he was a merchant until he became a religious leader at age 26. Of course since it is very easy to interpret the Quran for personal reasons and many splinter groups of Islam have done just that so I can understand why many non-muslins would think Muhammad was a warlord.

The flag that is being shown is not associated with ISIS however it is what is called The Black Standard . The writing you can see on the flag is means "There is no god but the God, Muhammad is the messenger of the God", however this same writing does appear on many flags and some of those are associated with Muslim terrorist groups.

This incident is classified as a terrorist act however even the top Muslim Cleric in Australia has condemned this so it basically boils down to one or two extremists who have their own agenda. Basically this act will achieve nothing except to alienate Muslims from Australian society which I suppose is what the terrorists really want.

BTW. A simple search would have found the information I have given. I do live in Sydney as some of my previous posts have attested too however I am not a Muslim nor have I any intention of being one but lets get the "facts" correct.

Comment: Re:please keep closed! (Score 1) 50

by donaldm (#48597167) Attached to: Microsoft To Open Source Cloud Framework Behind Halo 4 Services

Whatever it is that made Halo 4 (cloud-based or otherwise) should remain closed. Or better yet, incinerate it.

Well it is designed to run on .NET which is open source as well but licensed under Reasonable_and_Non_Discriminatory_Licensing which if you read this seems like a minefield full of flowers since Microsoft holds lots of patents on the all over infrastructure. Basically this will be a Microsoft only thing. Other companies enter at their peril. :)

Comment: Re:Have Both (Score 1) 563

by donaldm (#48579309) Attached to: The Case For Flipping Your Monitor From Landscape to Portrait

I have two monitors: one landscape, one next to it flipped into portrait mode. It's not fucking rocket science.

Why? All you need is a reasonable sized monitor that can display without resizing A4 or if you are so inclined A3 although I would question that. For A4 you need a 16:9 aspect ratio 24" or larger monitor. For a different aspect ratio I will let you do the arithmetic.

For commercial applications the choice of using Landscape or Portrait depends on what the application is required to display. However for home use in the majority of cases of a one monitor requirement Landscape is the best compromise. For business use the choice of a monitor or monitors really depends on business requirements.

The problem you have from a home user perspective is the physical size of the monitor or monitors since they do take up physical space and the viewing distance between the user and the monitors(s). If the display size is large compared to the viewing distance then the user could be asking for eye problems somewhere down the time track. Too small can also cause eye problems as well. Actually what I have just described can also affect the health of a user working in a business. It may be fine while you are young but as you get older your eyes do degrade (how fast or slow depends on the person) so some thought as to what display or display configuration suites you the best is very important.

Comment: Re:Depends (Score 1) 563

by donaldm (#48579207) Attached to: The Case For Flipping Your Monitor From Landscape to Portrait

I manage Unix systems so having it be wide screen helps with longer lines.

But I also write code so having a portrait screen helps when I'm reading documentation (PDFs for example)

Well I have managing and configuring Unix systems since 1981 and Linux since 1998.

Be it a tty or even a printer (and yes you can do this) you can write programs, in fact with a GUI it becomes even easier to write programs, however no matter what you use unless your display software is really stuffed you have what is called "line wrap" so you can always see what you wrote.

Using a GUI can let you configure a window to any size within the confines of the physical display area. In fact with a decent display manager you can set up virtual screens which are very easy and fast to switch between. Over the last 16 years I have been using KDE and Xfce to do just this. Going back to the early 1990 I actually use CDE to do something similar.

So I have a four monitor setup. Two Landscape (one reversed above my number 1 landscape monitor) and Two Portrait; one to the left and one to the right of the two center monitors. Works well for web browsing and coding where I want more side to side screen space and gaming and works well when coding and I need directories to the left and pdfs to the right. The top screen has my debugger or Firebug if I'm working on a web page.

Nice a 4 monitor setup. The problem with this is you are not very portable but then again that is your prerogative. As for multiple screens this really depends on what you are doing and how efficient you are in managing the displays. Four screens IMHO is definitely over-kill but to each their own after all it is your money.

As I mentioned before I use KDE and I have setup by default 4 virtual screens which I can add too or subtract in about a second. Switching screens normally takes a second and since I have a high performance laptop I am very portable although I can easily plug in a larger screen if I so desire. If I was using a desktop PC which had limited portability I would still use a single landscape monitor although I would make sure it was above A4 in height which for a 16:9 aspect ratio is 24" and above.

Ok I am going to demo some real world examples. I have a 17.4" 16:9 aspect ratio laptop and I am going to write some code, how many lines do you think I actually need in the window where I am going to write my code? How does 79 rows and 261 columns with wrap around sound? Don't like that I can still increase the size although of course I can go smaller as well. How about 24 rows by 80 columns (standard tty screen cira 1975)? I can even have multiple tty windows if I wish or smart GUI editor windows.

Using the same screen I am going to display a PDF file. Displays fine however because the hight of the screen is smaller than A4 so I have to use the scroll wheel of my mouse to view it fully although I can shrink it to fit keeping perspective. The same is also true for web page and since I use tabs I can have multiple webpages on the same web window. This really begs the question "Is this a problem?" and if so "Why"?

I have posted before on what I consider stupid articles that try to show (IMHO poorly) that Portrait is better then Landscape. The choice depends on what your requirements are however in the majority of cases Landscape on a reasonable sized display is a compromise but it is normally is the best of all worlds. Sure when displaying full sized A4 you will have some "real estate" that is not used up but again is this such a big deal?

Having made my rant I still will state that a Landscape monitor is better than a Portrait monitor providing the criteria I mentioned before is met.

Comment: Re:What if I want to KickStart a Desktop machine? (Score 1) 106

by donaldm (#48564905) Attached to: Fedora 21 Released

Why did you get rid of the "Everything" DVD image that Fedora 20 had?

The Desktop version of 21 is a live image. The Server version of 21 has no GUI.

What if I want to KickStart a Desktop machine and don't want it to be a live image?

Yes that is originally what I thought but once i selected the KDE spin and installed it along with the software I wanted I actually ended up with approx 4.1GB in "/" which is a huge reduction from my Fedora 20 DVD installation of 9GB. In addition it took me only about 90 minutes to actually download the "spin", create a bootable USB stick, install, customise, add additional software and update.

Fedora 20 actually took over 4 hours to do the same thing but without a reasonable speed network you would be have a minimal installation from the Live install. At least with the full DVD you can install allot more software although you would still need to update it at some stage..

Not sure how you would KickStart a Desktop machine although you could possible make a repo machine that contains the Fedora 21 packages which you could KickStart off. I actually have done this with Redhat servers so it should be similar with desktops.

Comment: Re:But will it be stable? (Score 1) 106

by donaldm (#48564757) Attached to: Fedora 21 Released
Pick the "spin" ISO you want (eg, KDE, Gnome, Xfce ... etc) from the appropriate site and download it. Create a bootable DVD or USB (This what I do) then Install., it's pretty easy. Of course it should go without saying but backup and make sure you have documented all customisations which is user info, repos, wireless password (if appropriate), then when the install is finished (usually within 20 minutes) add those customisation and any additional software.

As far as partitioning this new distro is simplicity itself and I actually use LVM to create the appropriate volumes and then use ext4 for my file-system.

I did have one major issue which was not the fault of Fedora and that was a faulty sector on my disk. A complete reformat fixed that but my recovery took a few hours. If I get any more bad spots on my disk I will have not choice but to replace it.

Comment: Re:Dwarf Planets (Score 1) 77

by donaldm (#48545553) Attached to: Pluto-Bound Spacecraft Ends Hibernation To Start Mission

Astronomers are now adding more and more epicycles to the definition of "planet" as used in their jargon. That's stupid.

The Keplerian solution is apparently too simple to grasp: A planet is one the set of {Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune}. Everything else is not a planet. That is a reasonable and sufficient definition of "planet" in the current astronomical jargon.

At least Astronomers are trying to come up with formal definitions of stars and their orbiting bodies. Just saying the following in this particular list are planets without asking "why" is no more different to saying that the Earth is in the centre of the Universe and all opposed to this are heretics.

Astronomers have been applying the Scientific Method to orbiting solar bodies for a few centuries now and have arrived at what we would call a reasonable agreement on the scientific definitions of what each type of solar body is. Are these absolute?. No they are not however if you just take a reasonable scientific view of what a planet is and the best one is ours (the Earth) then knowing what criteria (excluding life and size although it does have to be spherical in shape) defines our planet within our solar system we then apply that criteria to other bodies orbiting our star and come up with the names of which we humans have named of the planets you have listed.

As for other bodies in the cosmos such as Extrasolar planets, wandering planets, asteroids comets ... etc to say nothing of the different types of stars Astronomers do agree on certain criteria however they may have to refine or even redefine those criteria in the light of new discoveries.

Will things change in the future? I would be saddened if they didn't because we would be heading into another "Dark Age".

Comment: Re:Tape Culture Fallacy (Score 1) 284

by donaldm (#48465481) Attached to: Is LTO Tape On Its Way Out?

Agreed, restore check is essential, whatever the backup method, and my employer offers that as a managed service. But it's also hard to convince a non-technical, small business client to invest in best practice, unless they've already experienced a disaster first hand.

It is normally impassible due to time constraints to do a restore check after every backup. Even if time does permit you are going to effectively reduce the life of the tape by a half. What is important is to initially set-up and confirm that the appropriate backups work and can be recovered. Once this is done you can be fairly confident that backups are going to work (checking logs is important) however you must perform test recoveries to machines that can be made available for testing purposes on a regular basis as outlined in the company IT disaster recovery plan.

Don't have a company IT disaster recovery plan? Then you as the consultant or IT manager better arrange to have one implemented.

Comment: Re:Tape Culture Fallacy (Score 1) 284

by donaldm (#48465439) Attached to: Is LTO Tape On Its Way Out?

I've been on calls to clients who've diligently changes their tapes nightly, but the backup software has been crashed for months...

I have seen this also on a Unix system with a script that diligently backed up the database infrastructure however the script actually forgot to backup the database. Needless to say when the data disk (it wasn't even mirrored or RAID'ed) died they lost all their data and it cost the small company tens of thousands of dollars to fix the issue.

When I asked if they tested the backups for recovery the manager replied that the person who wrote the script was highly recommended, it was all I could do to suppress my laughter. The only thing I could do was to stop the Clerical Assistant (female, who was in tears) from getting the sack since it wasn't her fault since she did not know what to look for. All she knew was the backup had completed without errors which it had.

To compound the issue I asked for the system backup tapes since the overall system and data wasn't that big and would fit on their system backup tapes of which the script had been written to backup everything. I was then was informed that of the two tapes that they used (that was all they used) one had failed which rendered the system backups useless. On that note all I could do was give up and wish them luck since I was only doing this as a curtsey and was not getting paid.

Stinginess with privileges is kindness in disguise. -- Guide to VAX/VMS Security, Sep. 1984

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