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Comment PopularMMOs is now job training. (Score 2) 93

So now instead of my girls watching hours of PopularMMOs, they will watch hours of people managing servers? The ability of the human mind to come up with ever more inane forms of entertainment always surprises me. Plus, you know, girls and STEM careers and all that.

Someone should come up with a Minecraft Motif skin. If you are going to go blocky and retro, at least do it right.

Comment Use a correctly seeded random word generator (Score 4, Funny) 176

Seeking to manage synergy through actionable enterprise wide initiatives with all shareholders in the loop. This will drive market capitalization through our managed shareholder proxy model and improved salesforce engagement pilots. Customer satisfaction is a priority and therefore will be a prime driver of profit margin in the upcoming quarter. We expect to take a one-time write down of fiduciary costs related to acquisitions and duly reported on form X-11.

(include ginormous "forward looking statement" boilerplate here)

Comment Re:Don't back up end user PC's at all. (Score 1) 118

Fortunately we have buy-in from the top on this strategy, and they also eat their own dogfood. So people bitching about it can complain all the way to the CEO and he will say "too damn bad, that's how we do things, and you were told about it on multiple occasions"

For mobile users there are far better options available now than there ever used to be. For Windows mobile clients we implemented DirectAccess and some other stuff that automatically takes care of a lot of the syncing stuff. We also keep all email on the server only to avoid dealing with local Outlook mail files.

The user profile thing still is a pain. Roaming Profiles can help somewhat but it's not 100%.

And of course I can't go into full detail about everything we do ... but when I started in this job we were doing workstation backups ... and eventually when presented with the estimate for scaling that out as the company grew, executive management bought into the central server model. The costs of staff, software and equipment to back up thousands of workstations just didn't make sense at all, even if the software is "free", the staff and disk space isn't.

Comment Don't back up end user PC's at all. (Score 5, Insightful) 118

Set up home drives on file servers and back those up. Teach users that those are the only locations that are backed up. Set up the PCs to use that as the default home location. You can do this on Windows and Linux just fine. Invest in the server -- redundant power supplies, RAID arrays, failover, etc. You could even look at various open source NAS devices, or whatever works for your environment.


Backing up user PCs doesn't scale well and becomes a thankless task for some poor employee who has to keep up with broken backup clients. It's far easier to scale when you only have to keep up with the file servers. You have some number of clients saving to each server, but that's that number of backup clients you don't need to deal with. This frees up IT staff for other, more useful tasks.

It also allows you to replace end-user PCs with a simple re-image rather than trying to recover or fix anything. End-user calls and says their PC is going whacko, you pull a spare off the shelf and lay down a fresh install. Show up, take the malfunctioning equipment away and diagnose it on your time, while they get back to work. Since all the files are on the server they can just get back to it rather than waiting on you to try and fix whatever might be going wrong.

Comment Re:Another example of bloat (Score 1) 309

I built the PC I am typing this on in 2012. 16 GB of RAM was $79 back then. The motherboard was $89, made by Intel and can support 32 GB RAM. It has USB 3.0, as well. The entire PC was built for something like $650.

Sure it didn't have a screaming GPU or an i7, but I can add that later if I want. The bottom line is that my $650 PC build quite easily included 16 GB of RAM for less than $100, in a consumer grade motherboard. It's not outlandish.

Comment Re:Finally, someone gets it (Score 1) 170

Yep. People hear the term "good daycare program" and they think it's somehow the equivalent of the Ivy League of daycare. It's not. It's a program with adequate staffing levels, no televisions and plenty of stuff to keep the kids engaged. For infants to preschoolers, that means stuff like toys, blocks, coloring books and so on. Not rocket science. When you go below "good daycare program", it gets scary and it gets scary fast. Day cares where kids are provided nothing but orange food. Day cares where the workers are overburdened and kids sit around in dirty diapers too long and get rashes. Day cares where the TV never is turned off.

Of course, the "mom stays at home crowd" turns up soon after, but the economic reality of many households is that you do legitimately need two incomes to pay for housing, food, electricity, etc. There's a stereotype that many dual income people have lavish lifestyles taking expensive vacations, driving expensive cars and eating out all the time. In reality most of the dual earners we encounter at school have solid, but not high paying jobs -- for example, one is a teacher and the other has some mid-level professional job. The income is solid but there's no way in hell to afford housing in many metro areas, and the day care is priced such that you still come out significantly ahead by using it.

Then the "just move" crowd shows up ... but they forget that many people have grown up where they live, and have a network of family and friends they can depend on to help out with the child care when they need it. Moving to another part of the country that's cheaper cuts off the ability to call in reinforcements when you need them, and sometimes you need those reinforcements with little or no warning at all.

Comment Re:Will Admit At/Before Birth (Score 1) 170

Keep in mind that this includes day care. It's very common to line up day care before a kid is born, it's not like you can turn up somewhere with your baby and just drop it off without prior notice. Day cares need to make sure they have adequate staff and space. When we had our first kid we had this all sorted out well before we gave birth.

Comment Finally, someone gets it (Score 1) 170

Make your snide comments, but as a parent, this approach makes a pile of sense. Especially for poor/low income. I'm fortunate enough to have a decent income, education and a spouse with similar background and income. Even with what advantages we have, having kids and supporting kids is a fucking mess of administrivia, not to mention a pile of money.

So getting into a program like this when you are pregnant can literally be a life-changer for a low income person. Not because of the educational content per se, but because you cut the administrative bullshit down tremendously. You know your kid is going to have day care, so you don't have to rush around in panic and get on waiting lists, hoping your kid can get in somewhere. You know what it's going to cost so you can plan your expenses. You can have stable work hours, allowing you to work with an employer on regular hours. Just that right there can make the difference from you being the employee who is on time and dependable versus being the flake who is always late, leaving early and swapping shifts.

Same thing on up into preschool and grade school. There's a plan, there's a structure. That can help tremendously when you don't have a decent salary and pile of money to fall back on. In the case of our kids, there was always a "rolling the dice" moment when it came to child care, preschool, full day vs. half-day kindergarten, etc. Then it's a patchwork of after school programs that you don't know if you got into or not, and if you don't get in, you need to scramble, then somehow get your kid from school to the after school thing, etc. It's a damned mess, and for single parent households or people who work hourly, stupid stuff like not having the after school program in the same physical location as school just makes it impossible.

Then try and get your kid to the doctor's office, which is only open 9-5, and you have to work ... and if you aren't working, you aren't getting paid ...

Comment Re:$823 Million ... 0.4% of Apple's cash on hand (Score 1) 312

You not only need the patent, but also the ability to fund the legal campaign, which can go on for years as the different phases of the case happen, plus time for appeals, motions to extend, etc. It's not like you show up at court with your patent and walk out the same day with a suitcase filled with cash.

Comment Re:$823 Million ... 0.4% of Apple's cash on hand (Score 1) 312

I'm more commenting on the headline containing the words "Faces Huge Damages". The damages are nowhere near huge for Apple, with ~$200B in cash and a ~$650B market cap.

If the headline was "Apple Faces Damages" or "Apple Owes Potential $825M in Damages", or something along those lines, there would be no complaints.

"Consider a spherical bear, in simple harmonic motion..." -- Professor in the UCB physics department