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Comment: Definitely Small Claims and/or BBB. (Score 5, Interesting) 526

by jrronimo (#46204277) Attached to: Customer: Dell Denies Speaker Repair Under Warranty, Blames VLC
I had a user whose laptop was replaced by Dell under warranty, except that they sent him back a 17" monstrosity rather than the 13" machine he had at the time. They wouldn't budget on giving him something smaller. After filing a small claims court case, they reimbursed him for the price of his original laptop and I think told him to keep the new one, too. He was happy after that.

Another friend had a HTC One phone whose screen popped and shattered while he was browsing twitter. HTC refused the replacement despite being a month old, claiming he dropped it. After filing a Better Business Bureau complaint, they replaced it under warranty.

Either way, something like that will get someone's eye and hopefully the original poster will be happy. The bigger problem is that this is a thing Dell will break a warranty over, which is ridiculous.

Comment: Encryption & restricted access (Score 1) 381

by jrronimo (#45898245) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How To Protect Your Passwords From Amnesia?
I have a deal with a friend who is geographically disparate from me: He knows the password to an encrypted flash drive that I have in mhy possession. In the event that amnesia (or god forbid something worse) should befall me, he knows to come and retrieve this drive. We generally chat on the phone once a week or so, so he would know pretty quickly if there were a problem that required this. On the drive is a list of passwords and associated data to reclaim most of my digital life, and to let others know what's going on.

Every year or so I pull the drive out and update it with changes and ensure that it's still functional. So far it feels like a pretty good plan. If I wanted to step it up a little more, I would put this in a safe deposit box in a bank. I still ponder doing that, but really I'm not so important for it to truly matter, haha.

Comment: Re:No Sympathy (Score 1) 413

by jrronimo (#45714925) Attached to: Exponential Algorithm In Windows Update Slowing XP Machines
It's a real thing. We have a couple of I think either Techtronix or Agilent scopes that run Windows 2000 or XP. A few years back someone plugged one of the 2k scopes into our network, at which point it became a movie server, hosting "Mr. Deeds". It is no longer allowed to be plugged into the network.

One group just updated a crazy analyzer to a Pentium M with 1 GB of RAM. Cost: $40k. It's obscene.

Comment: Re:This makes me sad. (Score 5, Informative) 44

Although the old Zeiss was super impressive, technologically it was old hat -- lots of burnt out bulbs, etc. And while I understand that it's not about the specs, here's something that maybe makes it a bit better: I work for some folk at CU that have some degree of involvement with Fiske. One of the professors said to me of the new display: "It can resolve 2 million individual points of light with incredible detail. You could go into a show using the new projector with binoculars and looking at the display would be similar in effect to looking at the actual night sky with binoculars."

I'll definitely miss the imposing nature of the old Zeiss, but the new projector should have some of the best star shows around. I'm really looking forward to seeing it. And probably Laser Pink Floyd and Laser Nine Inch Nails, too, heh.

Comment: Same rules as any archiving: (Score 5, Insightful) 282

by jrronimo (#43316007) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Way To Archive and Access Ancient Emails?
I'd say follow the same rules as any archiving of media:

Pick one format and migrate all of your messages to that: In this case, I'd say mbox. Thunderbird and most other mail programs read it and you can get most of your mail into mbox format via IMAP/Thunderbird from whatever mail client can read your old ones. You can store your mbox files locally in Thunderbird and gain Thunderbird's searching (for instance) without the need for an actual back-end. I was able to read some mail stored in Netscape Mail because it was just mbox files and opening them in Thunderbird was a breeze.

Most importantly: Every 5-10 years, re-evaluate your storage choice. Is Thunderbird still around? Is mbox still pretty well regarded? If you find you need to migrate again, do it! If both are still active / supported, then hold onto 'em. The only way to perpetually maintain media access is to make sure your choices are still valid on a regular basis. This is true for any media: As the old formats go obsolete (cassette tape, VHS), you need to migrate that data to the next readily accessible format (CDs, DVDs; FLACs, MPEG(?)).

I think the biggest problem is that you have a mish-mash of stored files right now. You'll save yourself a headache in the future by tearing the band-aid off now and taking the time to get all of your mail into one format. Then, in the future, when you need to convert, it'll be many steps easier since you won't have to visit Slashdot and find out what to do about your mail again next time. :)

Comment: Re:Is TWC still capping bandwidth? (Score 1) 573

by jrronimo (#43037387) Attached to: Time Warner Cable: No Consumer Demand For Gigabit Internet
This is a fight I constantly have with CenturyLink here in Colorado. I want faster than 896kbps upstream, but they have zero capacity to offer that because the DSLAM in my area "is scheduled to be upgraded", which may not happen for "years". So I'm stuck with Comcast for now, which has been raising the price of my 16Mbit connection without offering any better service every few years... Just typing about it makes me angry. Argh.

Comment: Excellent! See Also: Cubby (Score 1) 96

by jrronimo (#42694695) Attached to: BitTorrent Launches Dropbox Alternative
I have very little value in accessing my data on a website, but it's very convenient for me to have a folder synced between two disparate computers. It's like copying data to a flash drive to take it home from work except that you don't have to worry about accidentally putting the flash drive through the washing machine. It's just there by the time I get home.

As a Windows user, I had been using Windows Live Mesh to take care of this (as well as remote desktop). Microsoft is replacing Mesh with SkyDrive, though, which is limited by the amount of storage they give you. The replacement that I HAVE been using is Cubby, from LogMeIn. Visiting their website now, though, I find that what they are calling "DirectSync" is going to become a $7/mo paid feature. Seeing that, I am very excited about this development from the BitTorrent crew.

Comment: Re:As usual... (Score 1) 344

by jrronimo (#42480649) Attached to: New Sony Patent Blocks Second-hand Games
100% agreed.

I love to collect old video games. How can I do that when the download services don't offer them anymore and/or have been turned off? What if the games have to authenticate against a server to install and that server or the company is long gone?

There's been a lot of speculation that the new consoles will start focusing on digital-only downloads. There are a lot of reasons that this is a ridiculous idea (25 GB download of a fully-packed blu-ray disc on American broadband? Sigh...), but most of all for me is for the future: What happens when that service goes away and my hardware dies and the games are gone?

I don't like where gaming is going.

The only problem with being a man of leisure is that you can never stop and take a rest.