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Comment: Re:base it around my OS (Score 1) 385

by ncc74656 (#46780975) Attached to: Slashdot Asks: How Do You Pay Your Taxes?

Just remember to deduct that $100 next year (for those that don't know, tax prep fees are deductible).

Not always. Tax-prep fees go in a part of Schedule A for which there's a minimum you have to meet (2% of adjusted gross income) before you can deduct anything. The $500+ my wife and I forked over to H&R Block last year? Not deductible. :-P

OTOH, I was able to do my own filing this year by looking at what forms had been generated last year and making changes where appropriate. I grabbed the fillable forms from the IRS website, filled them in with Okular, printed them out, stapled our W-2s to them, and stuffed them into an envelope. Since we still owed money (less than $100 this year, vs. $3000+ last year...w00t!), I don't care how long it takes for the mail to get through and for the IRS to do its processing.

Comment: Re:Requires Windows 8 (Score 1) 226

by ncc74656 (#46685927) Attached to: Should Microsoft Give Kids Programmable Versions of Office?

I think the point is that Visual Studio encourages programmers to code to APIs available only on Windows. Pretty much every time I've tried to load a .NET application in Mono, the application has stopped with an error that a particular system library is unavailable.

You might not have everything installed properly. I wanted to bring this up on a Raspberry Pi recently. The first attempt at running it failed an error regarding missing assemblies, or something to that effect. sudo apt-get install mono-complete fixed that.

Comment: Re:You cancel service? (Score 5, Informative) 240

by ncc74656 (#46685337) Attached to: Ends Free Dynamic DNS

If you had donated at some point in the past, it looks like you get grandfathered in. From the email they sent me:

In an effort to better service our customers through increased support and a cleaner network, Dyn announced that in the next 30 days, we will no longer be supporting free hostnames. However, because you believed in us and supported this company through your donations, we are continuing to fulfill our promise to you: your service is still free for life.

I donated somewhere around $10-$20 once, probably at least a decade ago.

Comment: Re:Huh? (Score 1) 175

by ncc74656 (#46674191) Attached to: Linux Developers Consider On-Screen QR Codes For Kernel Panics
curl | lzma -z9c | base64 | qrencode -t ANSIUTF8

This produces output too large to fit on most screens unless your console font is ridiculously small or your screen resolution is higher than most (my notebook has a 15" 1680x1050 panel). Also, it appears the console (on Ubuntu, anyway) doesn't handle UTF-8. Falling back to ANSI, it's even farther from being feasible.

Comment: Re:What about the alternative virtual coins ? (Score 1) 275

by ncc74656 (#46595451) Attached to: Operation Wants To Mine 10% of All New Bitcoins

Other than bitcoins, are other virtual coins worthless?

Mining many scrypt altcoins and immediately trading them for Bitcoin can net 40-50x or more what the same hardware would deliver mining for Bitcoin directly. CoinChoose will show you what's most profitable. You can set up CryptoSwitcher (disclaimer: I'm a contributor) to manage pool switching and exchange operations, or you can mine someplace like WeMineAll that manages all of that for you.

Comment: Re:Just in time for another price dive (Score 1) 173

by ncc74656 (#46539881) Attached to: Bitcoin's Software Gets Security Fixes, New Features

TigerDirect,, and Gyft.

Another one I've run across lately is Zinc. I'm testing it out with a hard drive I needed to replace a bad drive in my media server. In addition to allowing you to pay with Bitcoin (or Dwolla, if that's your bag), it'll shop your purchase around among other vendors for a better deal. I put the order together on Amazon (which which I could've used Gyft, and have done so in the past), but they ended up placing the order with Newegg instead (for which there isn't otherwise a way to pay with Bitcoin) to knock a few dollars off. It's supposed to arrive tomorrow...we'll see.

Comment: Re:reduce the amount (Score 1) 983

by ncc74656 (#46465579) Attached to: How Do You Backup 20TB of Data?

With a trade-off of about 3-5 times the processing power required to decode. I learned that the hard way when trying to play movies on my old netbook with an Atom N270.

That's why you offload video decoding to the GPU. A weedy Atom 230 (or even the ARM-compatible core in a Raspberry Pi) is more than up to the task of shoveling 1080p H.264 into the GPU, which handles decoding, scaling, etc. Even the lowest-end nVidia or AMD GPUs are more than up to the task. I have OpenELEC running on an Acer Aspire Revo and a Raspberry Pi, and neither have any issues with anything I've thrown at them. (A third box runs on a Core 2 Duo E8400, which would be sufficient for software decoding of just about anything, but a GeForce 210 uses less power (fanless heatsink!) and adds HDMI output.)

What's that? Your netbook doesn't have a proper GPU? Well, isn't that special? :-P

Comment: Re:reduce the amount (Score 3, Interesting) 983

by ncc74656 (#46465395) Attached to: How Do You Backup 20TB of Data?

RAID-5 uses up 1 disk worth for striping, so net space in an 8-drive array is 7-drives worth (about 27TB using 4TB drives). The problem with RAID-5 is that you are 2 disks away from failure and rebuilds often kill the disks.

RAID-6 uses 2 disks worth for striping, so net space in an 8-drive array is 6-drives worth (about 23TB using 4TB drives). Is able to survive a double-disk failure before data loss. Still has some of the same issues as RAID-5.

I use Greyhole for media and document storage. It handles disks of unequal size (currently running one 3TB and two 1.5TB drives), and you can choose the level of redundancy you need. In my case, movies, TV shows, etc. get a single copy (one file exists on one drive), while documents and photos get two copies (one file exists on two drives). If a drive goes bad, you only lose the files on that drive...and only for the files for which you selected no redundancy. With redundancy, extra file copies are recreated on the remaining drives from the surviving copies; this process is most likely less stressful on the disk set than a RAID rebuild.

My movies, TV shows, and music are backed up to BD-R, stored in a binder at work. They hold ~20GB each, as I'm using dvdisaster to guard against media errors. When a 2TB drive failed, I brought the backup (currently about 190 discs) home and restored the files that had gone missing. Backup and restore are managed by scripts, with information about what files are on what discs held in a MySQL database that gets periodically backed up off-site as well. The initial backup took several months (on and off) to finish, and the last time I needed to restore, it took about a week, but now I just burn a disc when I have about enough new data to fill one. Burning and verifying takes a few hours, but it's something you can start and walk away.

Comment: Re:Innovation? (Score 1) 264

by ncc74656 (#46396807) Attached to: Apple Launches CarPlay At Geneva Show

Personally, I'm a little disappointed with Apple's system. First, it's not wireless

I don't see the wired connection as a problem. You need to plug something into your phone anyway to keep it charged on a long trip (especially if you're streaming your music collection), so you might as well route whatever data this thing needs over that connection.

Comment: Re:Not DRM, just an old business model (Score 1) 769

by ncc74656 (#46396553) Attached to: The Next Keurig Will Make Your Coffee With a Dash of "DRM"

And this is why I bought a double edge razor handle.

Right around the time I was considering making the switch, Woot was offering Mach3-compatible cartridges at somewhere near a dollar each for a dozen. Considering that the "genuine" cartridges usually sell for 3-4x more, that was a good-enough savings for now, and so far they've mostly gotten the job done. (The springs in one crapped out after only one or two uses.)

Time is an illusion perpetrated by the manufacturers of space.