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Comment: QNAP TS-something-something with Linux (Score 4, Interesting) 253

by jddj (#49289019) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Building a Home Media Center/Small Server In a Crawlspace?

I'm using a TS-119+ with a 2TB disk inside. It's sitting in my wiring closet.

It's running MythTV for my TV/UPnP server, MythWeb for programming, Mediatomb to serve photos/videos via UPnP, and mt-daapd as an iTunes Music Server. I use PS/3s for the TV front-ends, and Roku Soundbridge 500s, 1000s, and 2000s for the music players.

It's about as close to silent as you get - I think it's fanless (you can see I'm not concerned enough about noise to find out). And it uses about 6w when it's idling.

I got into NAS solutions after I figured out running my MythTV system 24x7 was like leaving a 100 watt lightbulb on all the time, even when I didn't need it. I measured my old beige-box PC with a watt meter: a continuous 95 watts. And loud fans.

The QNAP delights me. All I could ask for that it doesn't do well is transcoding. There's just not enough CPU for it. But that'll come in time with some other NAS unit, or with offloading it via scripting to a full PC or Mac, when I get around to it.

Comment: They ALREADY figured out why - it's in TFA (Score 2) 253

by jddj (#49161639) Attached to: 20-Year-Old Military Weather Satellite Explodes In Orbit

From TFA:

"The 'catastrophic event' produced 43 pieces of space debris, according to Air Force Space Command, which disclosed the loss of the satellite Feb. 27 in response to questions from SpaceNews."

Just what kind of questions was SpaceNews asking, that the satellite would explode in response? They should STFU pretty quick, before we lose everything in LEO!

Comment: This is really hard. As in "middle-east peace" har (Score 1) 164

by jddj (#49155243) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Whiteboard Substitutes For Distributed Teams?

I reviewed 30 offerings for my office. None pleased everyone or most. If you have just a few office locations, Smart makes great connected whiteboards. It's hard to find better. If you have work-from-home or people want to use iPads and whiteboards at the same time, or you've got paper-only constituents, it's a complete mess. Might look at Groupboard or Board thing.

Comment: Chase happiness, not money (Score 1) 698

by jddj (#49129091) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Terminally Ill - What Wisdom Should I Pass On To My Geek Daughter?

Find a way to do the work that you love most, not necessarily the work that pays you most. If you're good, and the work's important, the money will follow.

A close second would be: treasure your time. You can buy almost anything else, but not a second more.

Another close second: Love yourself first. That's the way to healthy relationships with others. (That's not to say "be a selfish narcissist", but instead to understand that you have to be whole and strong if you're not to fall into relationships where you're not an equal partner).

A third: Invest while you're young. (See the one about not being able to buy the time back above).

Comment: Re: Mod Parent Up (Score 0) 71

by jddj (#49121429) Attached to: UK Scientists Claim 1Tbps Data Speed Via Experimental 5G Technology

Well, if I understand GB Ethernet (with which I've wired my home, to ease passing MPEG-2 OTA TV streams around), it moves from one twisted pair to four, at the 100Mbit clock rate, and so approximates 1Gbps, though doesn't quite equal it.

So not a like-for-like comparison. While the summary doesn't say much, the other provided explanation (multiple spatial paths) seems something like GB EN, in that there are multiple channels in which the information is transmitted.

Hard for me to see how you cram a Terabit down a 100MHz single channel, but perhaps that's not what's being attempted.

Comment: Re: Please not PDF. A picture's not good either. (Score 1) 263

Somebody likely typed the menu.

Strikes me that a quick web form to copy I paste the text is a lot less elaborate than maintaining a webcam for the purpose. But that's just me.

Good usability pros don't "ride off into the sunset" before testing to make sure the solution works well for all stakeholders, including those who must maintain the content without help.

Comment: Please not PDF. A picture's not good either. (Score 4, Insightful) 263

Restaurant sites are what usability pros show onscreen when they want to get a belly laugh from the audience.

The reason is that restaurants are focused on looks before usability. This leads them to use pictures of text, PDFs, and the hated Flash.

Those technologies range from poor to complete fail when it comes to searchability, mobile adaptability, accessibility, and ability to select and copy/paste text.

Please, use HTML text instead. It's not hard to format it beautifully with CSS, and you'll be helping patrons find you, paste the address into their contacts or GPS, share favorite stuff with friends, and get a dollar out of their hands and into yours.

Comment: Look at (Score 1) 175

by jddj (#48942703) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Do I Engage 5th-8th Graders In Computing?

Circuits that stick together with magnets, interesting sensors, Arduino-compatible controller, web-browser-integrated programing environment, sample projects and code sharing.

The hello world starts with blinking the lights on the controller board. Get the bigger kit (the "Tesla", I think).

Comment: Re:Urban legend? (Score 2) 313

Can't comment on exactly _this_ plan for doomsday, but my Dad was a highly-placed official in the Post Office Department/Postal Service during the 60s-80s, and there was a CoG (Continuity of Government) plan, at least for leadership.

Don't ask me who they thought was going to deliver the mail.

Dad was supposed to abandon the family and head for a specific place in the mountains 90 or so miles west of the city. (There was plenty DC traffic in the '60s, but it wasn't anything like it is today - and the exurbs weren't crowded with townhomes, Costcos and Ferrari dealers).

Dad had his instructions, and while he was a good soldier, I seem to recall he told me he couldn't have left us. Knowing the man, I think that's right.

Besides, the plan was destined for obsolescence once MIRVs and multiple H-Bomb city-busters were developed. There's just no way to survive something like that and have remaining anything like the civilization we enjoy.

I bet the human brain is a kludge. -- Marvin Minsky