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+ - English GPS maps of Japan?

Submitted by leeet
leeet (543121) writes "I've been to Japan numerous times but this time I'm going backpacking in rural places for 1 month. Being a geek I told myself that everything will be fine with my trusted GPS. I just need to upload Japan's map and I'll be set.

There it hit me right in the face. You can find a lot of maps (even for many countries in Africa) but Japan isn't listed on any of the big GPS manufacturers...!

I know Japanese do things differently (my wife is Japanese!) so I asked her what she'd do. Her answer was simple: just use your cell phone. Right but I'm a "gaijin" and I won't have a cell phone over there! And I can barely read Japanese so using a Japanese cell phone (or reading a Japanese map) is out of question...

I did find some GPS devices (in Japanese — of course) but finding English maps, on an English device, has proven a futile exercice. I did find some sort of hack with a Garmin device. You need to install a Japanese firmware, but this won't my readability issue...

I'm pretty much open to any practical solution. I don't mind spending some money for the right device. iPod and Google maps is out of question because of the Wifi coverage dependency. Then I thought about netbooks with built-in GPS (like the Dell Mini). This is not very practical but could be an acceptable compromise.

I'm sure that one Slashdot's reader must have a solution for this simple problem!"
United States

+ - Working in a very remote area

Submitted by leeet
leeet (543121) writes "My family and I are faced with a big dilemma. I'm from a small town where the only thing IT-related is the local mom and pop computer shop and I'm barely being sarcastic. There is no innovation and most medium to large companies fulfill their IT needs from head office (i.e. if something breaks, they basically sent consultants for 1 or 2 days). Since I work in a semi-specialized field (IT Security), I had to move to a large city in order to make a "nice" living. Turns out that we're not sure if we're living a "nice living" after all: long commute time, away from our family, expensive housing and so on. I think everyone knows what I'm talking about.

So I'm faced with two choices:

1. Work in a large city, pay a high mortgage, commute forever and have no life whatsoever with my family. Not the best for my family.

2. Move to a nice remote area, work in some factory and struggle to make a decent living while never knowing when the factory will close (I'm also being barely sarcastic here). Not really better for my family.

So the best is of course a mixture of both options. I have some ideas in mind but they are very limited (like starting my own physical/Internet business, telecommuting for an IT company or simply re-orienting my career although this would be hard — like opening a restaurant, owning a bed & breakfast inn or something entirely different of what I do)

As far as telecommuting, I'm curious to know about real-life examples. What do you telecommuter people do? Sure some people telecommute, but is this "real"? Do some people really telecommute 365 days a year? Every single company that I worked for had a telecommute policy and we couldn't do it year round. We had perhaps 1 or 2 days per week at the maximum. My current company actually completely forbids telecommuting. So are there fields that are more open to telecommuters (perhaps fields where decentralization is well accepted — like insurance)?

Anyone willing to tell their own success story? How are you making enough money to support your family in a remote area? And perhaps more important, what are you doing exactly? I'm not looking for obvious ideas (i.e. do freelance programming — I already know about this) but rather for "think out of the box" ideas. Is anyone working from Hoot Owl, Oklahoma and is happy about it?"
Software

Open Source Network Management Beats IBM and HP 100

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the slow-and-steady-going-for-the-win dept.
mjhuot writes "Last week SearchNetworking.com announced their Product Leadership Awards for 2007. It was a pleasant surprise to see an open source project, OpenNMS, win the Gold in their Network and IT Management Platforms category. OpenNMS beat out the established players of Hewlett-Packard's OpenView and IBM's Tivoli. This was based on a user survey of all IT solutions, not just open source; it demonstrates that open source software is indeed making inroads into the enterprise."

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