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Comment It's old, but it works: (Score 1) 558

Hewlett Packard XW8200 Workstation (bought used six years ago)

  • 8GB RAM
  • 2 3.2GHz Xeon Processors
  • NVidia GeForce 8400 GS
  • NVidia GeForce FX 1500
  • Two 19in 4:3 aspect ratio monitors on either side of a 24in wide-screen monitor
  • 500GB Samsung HDD (boot drive, running Windows 7 Ultimate)
  • 1TB Western Digital HDD (My Documents)
  • External Sony USB DVD-RW
    (this is what's on my desk under my center monitor. The computer is in a server cabinet at the end of the desk, vented through the ceiling)
  • Microsoft split ergonomic media keyboard
  • Gear Head cordless mouse

My background is in printing and typesetting with a short side trip into web design. I'm currently unemployed and looking for something not computer-related.

Comment Re:$5 Day or Month? (Score 1) 216

I have the FreedomPop Overdrive Pro (3G/4G) on Sprint as my mobile internet in my car. I use a Nexus 7 as my GPS and entertainment, and don't even have a regular stereo in the vehicle. It works well enough for Pandora or NPR and for some navigation every now and then. I spend far less time in my car than a lot of people, so their 500MB/mo plan is usually adequate, but I'm using more as each month goes by. The next step up, 2GB/mo for $19.99, is probably in the cards for me soon. That's 2GB on 3G that Verizon wanted to charge me $50/mo for! So... would I pay $5/day for internet access in my car? Hell no!
User Journal

Journal Journal: in which i am a noob all over again 17

I haven't posted a journal here in almost three years, because I couldn't find the button to start a new entry. ...yeah, it turns out that it's at the bottom of the page.

So... hi, Slashdot. I used to be really active here, but now I mostly lurk and read. I've missed you.


Quantum Physics For Everybody 145

fiziko writes in with a self-described "blatant self-promotion" of a worthwhile service for those wishing to go beyond Khan Academy physics: namely Bureau 42's Summer School. "As those who subscribe to the 'Sci-Fi News' slashbox may know, Bureau 42 has launched its first Summer School. This year we're doing a nine-part series (every Monday in July and August) taking readers from high school physics to graduate level physics, with no particular mathematical background required. Follow the link for part 1."

Comment Re:Wash your hands! (Score 1) 374

This is good advice, and gives me an opportunity to speak to the community at large: some of us who go to cons and are in a position to shake tons of hands politely decline. It's not because we're being dicks, it's because we know it's a good way to substantially decrease our chances of catching and spreading any germs.

Comment Oh, cruel irony (Score 2, Interesting) 374

I played the PAX Pandemic game, where the Enforcers handed out stickers to attendees that read [Carrier] [Infected] or [Immune] (There was also a [Patient Zero].

I got the [Immune] sticker, and by the time I got home on Monday, it was clear that I had the flu. I've had a fever between 100 and 104 all week that finally broke last night, but I'm going to the doctor today because I think whatever I had settled into my lungs. I'll tell him about the H1N1 outbreak and get tested if he wants to run the test, but at this point I think it's safe to assume that I was [Immune] to the Pig Plague, but definitely [Infected] with the damn PAX pox.

Even though it's been a week of misery, it was entirely worth it, and I don't regret going to PAX for a single second.

Comment It's easy! (Score 3, Insightful) 539

Most of your geekiest friends are intelligent people who can tear your idea apart and find the flaws, true enough. Just identify the geeks whose ideas you'll trust, but are far too unmotivated to take your idea and run with it. With a little research (you've been playing videogames with these guys at LAN parties for years, so you know who their friends are), you can make sure that you only show your idea to the most brilliant intellectually, but hopelessly inept socially. They'll never get it off the ground! And all for the price of a cup of coffee or a pizza! Win/win!

Comment Re:Still... (Score 2, Informative) 859

I've had an entirely different experience.

We moved into this house (built new) in July 2006. By the end of September we'd replaced every light in the place with a CFL, some 45 or so bulbs. The vanity in the guest bath has four globes and the main bath vanity has eight (it originally had eight *100 watt incandescents!). Most ceiling fixtures have two 40W equivalents, there is a 100W equivalent in a torchiere in the living room and one in the attic, and there are a sprinkling of 60W equivalents in various single-bulb fixtures in closets and stuff. We simply bought the equivalent wattage for whatever came out of the socket. There are four CFL spotlights on the corners of the house, 90W equivalent, on X-10 controllers so we can turn them on from the cars.

Out of the whole damned bunch, I've replaced four of the globes used in the bathroom vanities and one 40W in a closet. That's it! Before we finished replacing the incandescents in the house, two ceiling and two closet bulbs and the one in the attic had already blown (one rather spectacularly) in the first month of living here.

Nobody visiting us has ever noticed the fluorescent lighting unless they see the exposed bulb in the torchiere. The light quality is not noticeably different and we think that we're saving about $25-35 a month on the power bill. So figure it took about 8-10 months to offset the initial cost of the bulbs and I haven't had to drag a ladder out in almost three years.

I'm sold. The only incandescent bulbs still in the house are in the fridge and the oven.

Comment Re:For fuck's sake (Score 2, Insightful) 578

This is common in almost any occupation, not just that law enforcement personnel view everyone as a potential criminal. Firemen look at the potential fire hazards around them, doctors and nurses evaluate the health of everyone they contact, proofreaders and editors (how many of these do we seem to have on Slashdot?) correct everyone's spelling and grammar. I'm a typesetter, I subconsciously identify the typestyles used in every billboard or advertisement I see. No matter what field you're in, it's hard to get the training and experience out of your head, even when you're not at work.

This idea is very shortsighted because lawmakers have so few tools at their disposal. All they get to do is make laws! If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

Comment John Scalzi on why it won't work (Score 1) 370

John Scalzi wrote a hilarious exchange on his blog the sums up perfectly why this idea is made of fail:

Sony BMG spokesperson: We're pleased to announce we are the final major music corporation to release electronic tracks without that pesky DRM! All you have to do is leave your house, go to a selected retail outlet, buy a special card there, go back to your house, scratch off the back of the card to find a code, go to our special MusicPass Web site, enter said code, and download one the 37 titles we have available, from Celine Dion to the Backstreet Boys!

Kid #1: Or, in the time it takes me to jump through all those hoops, I could just download all 37 of those albums off of Pirate Bay.

Kid #2: Or, I could just scratch off the back at the store, record the pin number, go home and download the album through a Tor connection, so you can't trace my IP number.

Kid #1: Also, what's with this first slate of artists? Celine Dion? Backstreet Boys? Kenny Chesney? Barry Manilow? Are you high?
There's much more, but I didn't want to jack his entire post.

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