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User Journal

Journal: Product Review: Seagate Personal Cloud 3

Journal by mcgrew

Around the first of the year all three working computers were just about stuffed full, so I thought of sticking a spare drive in the Linux box, when the Linux box died from a hardware problem. It's too old to spend time and money on, so its drive is going in the XP box (which is, of course, not on the network; except sneakernet). I decided to break down and buy an external hard drive. I found what I was looking for in the "Seagate Personal Cloud". And here I thought the definition of "the cloud" was someone else's server!

I ordered it the beginning of January, not noticing that it was a preorder; it wasn't released until late March. I got it right before April.

I was annoyed with its lack of documentation -- it had a tiny pamphlet full of pictures and icons and very few words. Whoever put that pamphlet together must beleive the old adage "a picture is worth a thousand words". Tell me, if a picture is worth a thousand words, convey that thought in pictures. I don't think it can be done.

I did find a good manual on the internet. For what I wanted, I really didn't need a manual, but since I'm a nerd I wanted to understand everything about the thing. Before looking for a manual I plugged it all up, and Windows 7 had no problem connecting with it. It takes a few minutes to boot; it isn't really simply a drive, it must have an operating system and network software, because it looks to the W7 notebook to be another file server. Its only connections are a jack for the power cord and a network jack.

The model I got has three terrabytes. I moved all the data from the two working computers (using a thumb drive to move data from XP) and the "cloud" was still empty. Streaming audio and video from it is flawless; I'm completely satisfied with it, it's a fine piece of hardware.

However, it WON'T do what is advertised to do, which is to be able to get to your data from anywhere. In order to do that, Seagate has a "software as a service" thing where you can connect to a computer from anywhere, but only the computer and its internal drives, NOT the "personal cloud". And they want ten bucks a month for it.

I downloaded the Android app, and I could see and copy files that were on my notebook to my phone, but I couldn't play music stored there on it. I uninstalled the crap. "Software as a service" is IMO evil in the first place, but to carge a monthly fee to use a piece of crap software like this is an insult. Barnum must have been right.

If you're just looking for an external hard drive, like I was, it's a good solution. If you want what they're advertising, you ain't gettin' it. The Seagate Personal Cloud's name is a lie, as is its advertising.

User Journal

Journal: Found at a Catholic site 39

Journal by Marxist Hacker 42

The legal impossibility of a Christian polity in America is formally declared in the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The so-called 'free speech' and 'free exercise' clauses of the First Amendment are purely secular mandates. They are a rejection of the Catholic notion of the common good, mandating that there be no restraint whatsoever on things that damage souls and ultimately destroy the State itself. They grant as lawful precisely what many popes have called unlawful: unconditional freedom of thought, of speech, of writing, and of worship -- as if these were so many rights given by nature to man. The language of the First Amendment reflects the Protestant-borne, Enlightenment-bred faith of the deistic Framers in the ability of unaided human reason to define and sustain liberty apart from Trinitarian Truth; that is, without a cooperative effort by the Church and the State. Thus, all manner of violations of natural and divine law, including the "right" to murder children in the womb, and the coming "right" to "marry" someone of the same sex, are found lurking in the secular mandates of the First Amendment. The true Church foresees these errors. Oddly enough, the Secular State itself will not be able to endure its own mandates.

User Journal

Journal: Does #OccupyResoluteDesk Read Slashdot? 52

Journal by smitty_one_each

He reminded Republicans that some of the ideas behind the Affordable Care Act--most notably its individual mandate to buy coverage--were once supported by some conservatives, although its Medicaid expansion and some other big parts of the law stem more from liberal thought.
"The Affordable Care Act pretty much was their plan before I adopted it," he said.

It sounds as though he's snorting the same Drano as some I could name here.
Yeah, one time some Heritage dudes said something semi-fungible, so I guess that lets the No-Talent Rodeo Clown off the hook for what's among the more expensive cock-ups in human history. Or something.
A cleaner non-argument would be that Republicans use the Roman alphabet, and all five reams of the PooPoo-cACA itself* were composed in the Roman alphabet**.
The broader point is that this country is an experiment in self-government, and the time has arrived to admit that Hayek is correct, and the Progressive Project (both Republican and Democrat flavors) just needs to be scuttled in favor of simpler systems empowering individuals in their liberty. You either support that, or I oppose you.

*To say nothing of the ensuing reams of regulation--would that they were reduced to nothing!
**For all it could have as well been a simple Klingon translation, for all anyone who cast a vote to hang this albatross about our necks actually read the Mike Foxtrot.

User Journal

Journal: We've been spelling it wrong for over a quarter century 8

Journal by mcgrew

I'm surprised that this hasn't been addressed by the academic communities. Someone with a degree in English or linguistics or something like that should have though of this decades ago.

This word (actually more than one word) has various spellings, and I've probably used all of them at one time or another. The word is email, or eMail, or e-mail, or some other variation. They're all wrong.

It's a contraction of "electronic mail" and as such should be spelled e'mail. The same with e'books and other e'words.

So why hasn't someone with a PhD in English pointed this out to me? I have no formal collegiate training in this field. It's a mystery to me.

User Journal

Journal: Are printed books' days numbered? 4

Journal by mcgrew

In his 1951 short story The Fun They Had, Isaac Asimov has a boy who finds something really weird in the attic -- a printed book. In this future, all reading was done on screens.

When e'books* like the Nook and Kindle came out, there were always women sitting outside the building on break on a nice spring day reading their Nooks and Kindles. It looked like the future to me, Asimov's story come true. I prefer printed books, but thought that it was because I'm old, and was thirty before I read anything but TV and movie credits on a screen.

And then I started writing books. My youngest daughter Patty is going to school at Cincinnati University (as a proud dad I have to add that she's Phi Beta Kappa and working full time! I'm not just proud, I'm in awe of her) and when she came home on break and I handed her a hardbound copy of Nobots she said "My dad wrote a book! And it's a REAL book!"

So somehow, even young people like Patty value printed books over e'books.

My audience is mostly nerds, since few non-nerds know of me or my writing, so I figured that the free e'book would far surpass sales of the printed books. Instead, few people are downloading the e'books. More download the PDFs, and more people buy the printed books than PDFs and ebooks combined.

Most people just read the HTML online, maybe that's a testament to my m4d sk1llz at HTML (yeah, right).

Five years ago I was convinced ink was on the way out, but there's a book that was printed long before the first computer was turned on that says "the news of my death has been greatly exaggerated".

* I'll write a short story about the weird spelling shortly.

User Journal

Journal: Final Thoughts at End of Contract

Journal by Marxist Hacker 42

Things that were not explained adequately upon conversion from CW to ICE.

  1. Bonuses- it was thought by my management that QPB applied to all blue badge employees including ICE. If I had known I wasn't going to get bonuses, I would have asked for higher base pay.
  2. Vacation Time- MUST be taken while still an employee, and unlike what the recruiter who wrote my job offer told me, cannot be used to extend your final week. Any unused vacation time will be lost at end of contract, by policy. In addition, apparently you lose it at the end of the year, I really should have taken WW52 off, then the sting would not be so bad now.
  3. ICE as a stepping stone to full employment at Intel is a lie. I couldn't get anybody, despite spending many hours on networking, to give my resume a second look. I even learned a new tool in this contract that is internal and can only be used at Intel and is completely worthless outside of Intel. No matter, I've had many interviews outside of Intel, and will land well, but I'll keep this in mind the next time I am tempted to take a short term contract at Intel.
  4. Being a blue badge, if you are ICE, still means you're treated more like a resource than like a human by human resources. Many policies are used to reverse decisions that your manager, who is working more closely with you, has made.
     

Software Project Management At Intel in non-software divisions

  1. Brooks Law is almost unheard of at Intel. Hardware Managers think that all software projects can be completed in less than six months, and therefore throw contingent workers at the project. Since software estimates, in general, are 75% engineering and 25% new science, they are wildly inaccurate. When the project inevitably fails to be complete in the first six months, the temptation is to break Brook's Law by adding more contingent workers. The time to ramp up CWs on the project of course exceeds the time to complete the project if you kept software engineers working for more than 18 months at a time.
  2. Agile or Waterfall- Pick one and stick to it. This crazy combination used on software projects in hardware divisions is ridiculous, as is the general lack of written requirements.
  3. It's hard to hit a moving target- input data integrity must be respected. If you don't have input data integrity, then there will be bugs. Bugs add complexity. Bugs make software estimates inaccurate. Lather, rinse, repeat.

On the new diversity initiative

  1. There is no link between surface appearance and how a person thinks, or how capable they are. None at all. While this makes the apparent racism of the past a mistake, this also makes modern affirmative action programs equally racist and invalid.
  2. There is no link between religion, sexual orientation, or disability and how a person thinks, or how capable they are. Such factors should not enter into hiring or promotion decisions at all, and when they do, that is what Intel needs to eliminate from the system.
  3. There IS a link between certain forms of mental illness and the ability to innovate. Since mental illness affects the brain directly, having somebody with a well controlled mental illness on your team increases diversity of thought, which leads to innovation.
  4. I believe that the uncertainty surrounding the diversity initiative was a part of my failure to convert to FTE. Not necessarily outright discrimination against a white male, and due to my autism I fall into one of the protected groups anyway and HR is well aware of that. But I believe the way the diversity initiative was announced, and the weeks of confusion surrounding it before BK finally clarified his position, coming at the same time I was trying to convert to FTE, meant that I had a harder time of trying to get my resume noticed and find open, externally advertised jobs for my skillset.

Final Thought and contact info

While my search to convert to FTE at Intel has failed, my external search has succeeded. I have at least one, maybe two job offers in hand; I will likely be back to work sometime between March 25 to March 30. This posting will be crossposted to Inside Blue before I leave Intel. Comments section below is open.

 

"Necessity is the mother of invention" is a silly proverb. "Necessity is the mother of futile dodges" is much nearer the truth. -- Alfred North Whitehead

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