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Comment: Why bother with Windows? Or a PC at all? (Score 1) 253

by mattyj (#49287865) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Building a Home Media Center/Small Server In a Crawlspace?

You should seriously consider a small NAS. Windows is not an ideal media server OS. I'd almost argue that Linux isn't even that great for the purpose, considering the horsepower you need to give it to serve video. Better to get hardware that's purpose-built to do what you want it to do. Plus most NASs have remote, web-based admin. Easy peasy. Easier to expand drives on-the-fly while running instead of having to tear apart a PC tower or box or whatever, keep a keyboard and monitor in your attic, etc.

I'm partial to Synology, and they make a couple devices that hit the sweet-spot when considering drive bays, drive sizes, media capability and cost.

Note that Synology runs Plex (as well as other media servers), as well as a wealth of other useful stuff that takes close to zero configuration (file shares, cloud backup, use it as a Time Machine target, etc.)

I've built a MythTV box. It was fun, but ultimately I decided that my time was worth more than what I was spending maintaining the thing and fixing things that broke when I upgraded and whatnot.

It's funny. In my 20's I'd spend 10 hours of my time to save 20 bucks on some stupid little project. Now in my 40's I'll spend that 20 bucks to have 10 hours of free time instead.

Since a NAS is essentially a box with drives in it, there's fewer things to break due to the dust that it'll suck in. I have mine in my livingroom and I have to clean it out about once a month. In an attic, you'd have to build some kind of acrylic box with a ventilation system in it, one would guess. If you live in a cooler climate you probably won't have to worry about heat so much, but it's the dust that will kill you in any environment. Maybe get the parts to an old hood (like in your kitchen, the ventilation thingy over your stove) and modify that to suck the air/dust away from whatever device you end up with, and blow it out your roof.

Comment: Re:You are asking the wrong queston... (Score 1) 343

by mattyj (#49074319) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Version Control For Non-Developers?

Hey, you know what solves process problems? Software that can enforce processes.

Restricting editing of a document only leads to severe pain. However, some sort of system that, say, tells you *who* is editing that file might be handy.

I don't think this is a two-step process. Improvement of the process itself and implementation of said process (through software) should be done at the same time. Monkeying with the current process, changing it all around, then implementing a new system based on that is a pretty big waste of time.

Agreed that putting files on a filesystem and setting people loose on it is a bad thing, but don't take a step backward just so you can take two steps forward.

Comment: Re:perforce (Score 2) 343

by mattyj (#49074211) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Version Control For Non-Developers?

Aside from Perforce itself, non-developers should look into Perforce Commons, a web-based frontend to document storage. It's all drag-and-droppy and pretty and has search and etc. etc. It's a good solution if the organization is paranoid about having all their documents in the cloud.

If they're not paranoid about that, why not Dropbox or something similar? They have their desktop apps so non-developers won't have to be confused about web interfaces and whatnot.

Please downvote anyone that says 'SharePoint'.

Comment: Why so much anti-cloud sentiment? (Score 1) 251

by mattyj (#48918539) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Medium For Personal Archive?

A few years ago I resigned myself to the fact that every thing about me, probably even my DNA sequence, is out there on various systems and will get stolen or compromised one day. I do what I can to keep things secure, but there's only so far I'm willing to go. If you have been reading a few security blogs over the last few years, you'd know that more and more experts (whoever they are) are recommending that corporations focus more toward mitigation of security breaches while taking resources away from prevention. It's kinda like getting mugged or in a car accident. Eventually, it's just going to happen to you. This is how we live in 2015.

Backing up to DVD or thumb drives or whatever is so 1990's. You may as well have a stack of Zip disks. Physical media is as stealable as anything else in your house. And BTW, if you do get burglarized, guess what the first thing is that they take? That's right, any box in the bottom of your closet or in your garage with a lock on it.

The cloud is technology agnostic so format doesn't matter, you shouldn't have to worry about that. It'll evolve over time but that's not your concern.

Buy yourself a little NAS, load it with 4-5 fat drives. Put everything important on it. Back your laptops and PCs up to it. Encrypt what you feel like encrypting. Push it all to Glacier, which costs a penny per GB. Done. No trips to the bank. No wasting time burning media that will degrade. No physical items to lose.

It probably is a good idea to have more than one copy of everything, just know that as soon as you make physical media of something, it's outdated. Someone else on this thread mentioned keeping a NAS at someone else's house, perhaps your grandma in another state. I'm personally not that paranoid about my stuff so I don't do that, but it's probably a good practice.

Fewer and fewer laptops are coming with dvd/bluray drives built in. Over the last decade we have seen fewer and fewer models of external drives/burners in stores. The writing is on the wall. In perhaps a decade or two you won't have choice, your stuff will be in the cloud (or whatever they change the name to), may as well get on that business now.

Comment: Re:Not a chance. (Score 1) 331

by mattyj (#48790921) Attached to: Would You Rent Out Your Unused Drive Space?

"Drive space is cheap" can be interpreted as "Throw more storage at it", a notion the IT community dismissed as absurd over a decade ago. If I just kept throwing drives at my data, I'd quickly run out of physical space on my NAS, would have to buy a 10 bay unit and put six more drives in it, etc., etc. People who say 'drive space is cheap' never actually adhere to that philosophy, which is a weird paradox because they're more likely the ones that manage their storage in a more sane way, yet they give out this horrible advice.

Or maybe these are the people that have 30 TB of storage on a small 'heater' next to their TV, but with 3 year's worth of time machine backups on it. Either way, 'drive space is cheap' is pretty lame.

Comment: Be patient (Score 1) 464

by mattyj (#48728985) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Are Progressive Glasses a Mistake For Computer Users?

OP doesn't mention how long he's been wearing progressives. It takes a while, up to two weeks, for your eyes to get used to progressives. And you absolutely can not wear any other glasses while you are getting used to progressives. My first 2-3 days with progressives saw me stepping off curbs early and almost eating it on stairs all the time, but after a few days I fell in love with them. The warping on the lower sides is gone, since my eyes don't naturally look there any more, and I can wear them all the time without worrying about not being able to, say, see a street sign then quickly look at my speedometer, without losing focus.

I'm far sighted and wear the glasses all the time, except when sleeping of course, so my eyes don't 'defocus', for lack of a better word.

As an added bonus I've noticed my posture at work has improved, since the glasses force me to look straight ahead with my chin level. I slouch less and find it harder to lean back in my chair with my head tipped back ... all the lazy things you do that trick you into thinking you're more comfortable, but just end up tweaking your back.

Stick with progressives for at least two weeks before you give up on them and do something cumbersome like carry around extra pairs of glasses with you, in addition to whatever's on your face. You'll end up needing a European carry-all to keep track of all your stuff.

Comment: Right on SWA (Score 1) 928

Entitled jerk-face acts like a whiny bitch and gets tossed from a flight? I'm not sure I see the problem here.

Oh wait, I do. It's that we as a people have become so uppity that if we don't get our way we act like petulant children, and cry and moan and stomp our feet so the whole world can see.

I applaud SWA for being so in tune with Twitter that they could take action so quickly. They should go all the way an ban this crybaby from all future flights.

Comment: Re:name and location tweeted... (Score 0) 928

From the beginning of time until about 50 years ago, women were considered second class citizens pretty much everywhere in the world. You realize that in this great country of ours, women have had the right to vote for less than 100 years?

A few million years of oppression isn't just erased in a few decades, there is still psychic debris in our collective conscious, and it'll be there for some time.

So, you know, help the ladies out and quit being a wuss.

Comment: Re: name and location tweeted... (Score 1) 928

Actually, most states have laws that allow for a reasonable expectation of privacy in public places. Just because you step outside your front door doesn't give people the right to be an asshole to you.

Especially if you're at work, where there actually are much stronger laws protecting your privacy.

Comment: Re:call them (Score 1) 354

by mattyj (#47513381) Attached to: Netflix Reduces Physical-Disc Processing, Keeps Prices the Same

So, uh, the name of the company is NETflix. From day one there has been a clear intention, it's right there in the name.

We're in a transitional period. As Netflix gets more clout and the market realizes that people don't want to go to a different website to stream this movie or that, the selection will get better.

The notion that streaming is a 'dead end' and physical media is the wave of the future is patently absurd.

Comment: Re:I live in Canada (Score 2) 190

by mattyj (#47347511) Attached to: Eric Schmidt and Entourage Pay a Call On Cuba

The issue with the US government is really communism, read up on your American history a little bit before posting stupid crap like this.

Granted, by this time it's more of a grudge than anything. BTW, China has a lot more at stake when it comes to the US, like carrying a significant amount of our debt and as you so eloquently explain, importing every manner of toy and electronic device. It behooves the US to allow travel there. It has nothing to do with communism but everything to do with commerce. Cube doesn't have as much to offer the government.

Having been to Cuba, I kinda fear what would happen if the US had unfettered access to the country. Despite all its problems, it's largely untouched by US interests, and that was refreshing. I don't even think Cuba has the concept of a franchise, except maybe when it comes to gas stations. There's no such thing as a 'chain' there, everything is one-off. Although, for some reason you can get M&M's and Pringles. Other than that, you're forced to go native and it was pretty great.

interlard - vt., to intersperse; diversify -- Webster's New World Dictionary Of The American Language