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Comment: Mobile backup (Score 4, Funny) 446

OK, this is not a serious solution, but the way a company I worked for years ago managed this was hilarious. One of the managers put a server in the boot of his car and had it connect wirelessly to the file servers when it was parked in the office car park.

Because he had to reverse his car in to bring the wifi into range, the joke "I'm just backing up the data" got played every time he did it. Suffice it to say, the joke got old pretty quick.

Comment: Re:Don't (Score 3, Interesting) 315

by ferrisoxide.com (#49443603) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How To Introduce a 7-Year-Old To Programming?

Leave it be. They're just kids.

I'd concur. My kids have an on-again/off-again interest in programming, but the crazy shit they come up with using Redstone wiring in Minecraft is just unbelievable. Sure, I could push them towards C or Ruby, but when I see them building logic gates, adders, flip-flops and the like in Minecraft I just think "they'll work this stuff out on their own". And probably have a better understanding of the fundamentals as they go on.

MIT's Scratch system is probably a good start for a lot of nascent coders though. It's not just about the code - it's also the community around it, like a Github for little ones. Strongly recommend looking into that.

Comment: Re:bah (Score 1) 261

Because we're very smart in a very narrow domains? Sharp minds that are easily distracted by "shiny-shiny"? I think we're just lucky to be in an industry were the demand for labour outstrips supply. I haven't seen any real threat to this in the 20+ years I've worked in IT, but possibly this will change over time - and we'll eventually find "just give me a job, please" is the only perk we care about. Meh.

This. I've never understood why IT people in particular would be easily enticed by such pre-selected perks. They're supposedly smart individuals who know what they like. If anything, try not to get in the way.

Comment: Don't do it (Score 1) 343

by ferrisoxide.com (#49076453) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Version Control For Non-Developers?
Seriously. I've been here. Imagine the worst kind of software developers - people who don't check in regularly and when they do they smash a huge delta into the repository. Imagine people who don't really understand version control and manage to screw up the tree with their own little "experiments" on how they think things should be run.

And best of all, imagine who they will come to when things go awry. Do you want to be that person?

Foisting sophisticated tools on technically unsophisticated folks will end in tears. Use an enterprise document management tool (Alfresco, Nuxeo, Sharepoint, etc) and lock down the workflow. Yes, there's still a learning curve - but expecting non-developers to grok development tools is a path to pain.

Comment: Re:The whole idea is crazy (Score 4, Funny) 288

by ferrisoxide.com (#49024101) Attached to: Quantum Equation Suggests Universe Had No Beginning
Two experimentally physicists, with one shouting: "Oh God, shut if off! Shut it off!"

But seriously, as AC has posted, the question is meaningless if time "started" at the point of the Big Bang. Hard to get your head around maybe. I know my mother has problems with it, but she also poses strange questions like "why aren't apes having human babies now." It's like a hundred years of science has just slipped past her.

Comment: Re:Goodbye (Score 3) 294

by ferrisoxide.com (#48995485) Attached to: Radioshack Declares Bankruptcy
These are the comments I came to see.. the wistful memories from a time long gone by (not the harping about Obama, etc).

I remember the day the dream died for me: walking into a store newly stocked with consumer goods and asking "Where are your ICs?". After a little confusion (and perhaps consultation with the old-beard I imagined locked up in the storeroom) I was directed to a small carousel containing LEDs and switches, but sadly not the ICs I was after.

I walked away... never to return.

Comment: Not just deserts (Score 1) 183

Well.. maybe not useful in deserts, but in South Australia evaporative cooling is both popular and useful. Low average humidity in Summer, ready access to water - at least in the cities. So a system like this would work in South Australia - it'd probably be completely useless in other Australian States where the humidity in Summer is high. I'm guessing there are similar places to South Australia around the world though, so maybe there's also a market.

But evaporative cooling systems are so cheap to build and run, and easy to maintain, I wonder if a brick wall you can't control (other than the flow of water) makes sense. Perhaps using the material to replace the battens in evaporative systems makes sense - as these are the main parts that wear out over time.

Comment: Re:Bullshit (Score 1) 153

by ferrisoxide.com (#48903571) Attached to: How Do We Know the Timeline of the Universe?
What just happened Slashdot? After responding positively to someone slamming the anti-science crowd - with a simple +1 - the post seems to have gathered a couple of responses that should have gone to the AC clown. It's a small matter, and I'll say "fuck beta" (hey, never been able to follow a thread in it). But just to set the record straight, I'm with the "It works" crowd.

I can't find it now, but one poster made the point that we should ignore the anti-science crowd. My only fear is that these people vote - or worse, are in public office and able to set the agenda for education, research, etc. I don't know what the answer is, but I don't think it's to wilfully deny that there is a large mass of people with incredibly dodgy ideas.

I should shut up now. Thinking about it only makes me sad.

"Ada is PL/I trying to be Smalltalk. -- Codoso diBlini