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Comment Dell and Lenovo already more or less do this (Score 1) 188

It's not up to the level of geek fantasy what-a-white-box-laptop-could-be. However, for practical purposes, if you get one of the big-chassis Thinkpads or Dell Latitudes (in the case of Dell, this would be a Latitude E-series today) then a ton of parts are interchangeable and upgradeable between models in the same chassis series. And it's been that way since the Latitude C-series at least. They're a lot easier to work on than the consumer-model laptops, too.

These days I just buy disposable junk like everybody else, though.

Comment just awful (Score 4, Informative) 325

I don't know what's worse, dryly making fun of this kind of thing or even more dryly implicitly making fun the sheer number of folks that won't get the joke.

The review is by these guys:

It's a self-published crank book with a hilarious title. The guy might be mentally ill. It's just sad. I know times are tough but still, this Gary Sorkin guy should be ashamed of taking Kemp's money to promote the book.

Comment oh yes, not absolutely essential (Score 1) 609

At least, for much of what passes for professional programming. But in my very humble experience, the guys that brag the loudest that they've never needed any math to do any real-world programming are the ones who end up getting assigned stuff that involves very simple calculations---often just the correct use of libraries---and still manage to bung it up.

Comment Re:Is it worth it? (Score 1) 260

Short answer: no. If you need to open a document in a older file format, and Office is mangling it, is worth a try, but that's the luck of the draw. Office will generally do a better job of that, but not always.

If you have a version of Office without Powerpoint or Visio, the Impress and Draw programs are serviceable.

On the flip side, I'd be scared to do anything significant in the database thingy, because it has that "95% complete" quality that the contemporary free software world takes as an indication they're at a good point to do a total rewrite.


Why Netbooks Will Soon Cost $99 221

CWmike sends along a ComputerWorld piece which predicts that "netbooks like the Asus Eee PC, the Dell Mini 9 and the HP 2133 Mini-Note will soon cost as little as $99. The catch? You'll need to commit to a two-year mobile broadband contract. The low cost will come courtesy of a subsidy identical to the one you already get with your cell phone. It's likely that HP is working with AT&T (they're reported to be talking), which announced a major strategic shift a couple of weeks ago that should result in AT&T stores selling nonphone gadgets that can take advantage of mobile broadband, including netbooks. What's more interesting is that low income and cheapskate buyers are starting to use iPhones as replacements or substitutes for netbook, notebook and even desktop PCs. The author's take: A very large number of people are increasingly looking to buy a single device — or, at least, subscribe to a single wireless account — for all their computing and communications needs, and at the lowest possible price."
United States

Submission + - H-1B visa cap -- proposed increases

poshdev writes: There is a growing amount of discussion in the IT world on the topic of H-1B and L-1 visas. How are they being used, and what is the effect of the visa programs on the job market in the USA? On the economy in the USA? Will the visas enable the USA to remain on top technically, or will they merely fuel the increasing tendency for USA and other 1st world -based business interests to offshore their jobs to 3rd world countries such as India and China? le/2007/04/02/AR2007040201538.html
The Media

Submission + - what sci magazines do you read?

BlackShirt writes: What science magazines do you read? I evaluated these and plan to subscribe The Scientific American. They had good stories about plasmonics and new look at human retina last month. Do you know any good european sci magazines? The internet is full of sci articles but I would prefer to read long text on the paper. What do you think? Do sci magazines have a future?

"If I do not want others to quote me, I do not speak." -- Phil Wayne