Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?
Back for a limited time - Get 15% off sitewide on Slashdot Deals with coupon code "BLACKFRIDAY" (some exclusions apply)". ×

Comment Re:That editorial summary tho (Score 1) 100

I thought that was a weird comment, too. There have only been a few times in history (American) where private companies were the ones also enforcing the laws.

The "urgent action" in the story is the suggestion that UK law enforcement take data theft as seriously as physical theft. Meaning, investigate and prosecute. Not sure why anyone would be against that.

Comment Consider git or Perforce (Score 1) 325

I've been a configuration manager and tools administrator for two decades now so hopefully you'll trust my judgement.

First, don't use svn or CVS. They're antiquated. That would be like walking around with an iPhone 1 right now in 2015. Actually, worse than that. It would be like walking around with a Blackberry. CVS and svn are previous generation tools, they don't hold up to modern code needs nor do they scale at all. Just say no to svn and CVS (but especially CVS.)

Git is modern, it works, it's reliable, it's used by everyone, is supported by just about every other tool that needs a version control hook, and you should consider it first if it fits your needs. It's distributed but it doesn't have to be used that way. Pair it up with GitLab and you have a lot more control (or more accurately, your users have more control, and you can enjoy less admin overhead) over what people can do with the code, and who can access what. It has lightweight bug tracking and pull/merge requests. Your inexperienced (which I assume is a euphemism for 'recent college grads') developers don't know anything, so you would be doing them a favor by teaching them a tool that people actually use instead of saddling them with 15 year-old knowledge. In its basic form, git isn't any more 'difficult' than svn or cvs. I personally would put up a very strong argument that you would be doing your developers actual harm in using an outdated version control tool. Mercurial falls into this category, too.

That being said, my main quibble with git is that it doesn't scale very well. I'm talking about the overall size or your stored code history. If you plan on submitting a lot of binaries, and keeping history of them, git will break down for you after a while without the help of third-party tools or clever 'shallow' cloning, etc. If it's just code, it all compresses well and it'll be a long time before you outgrow it (if ever), but there are ways to make git unbearable by putting lots of binary content in it.

Full disclosure, I'm a Perforce admin professionally. I don't work for the company, I'm just a cheerleader. If you're keeping lots of binary data in your version control tool, Perforce is hard to beat. I won't go into detail about it, but suffice to say it scales very, very large, with little to no performance degradation. The current server I maintain (several of them replicated, actually) have over 2 million changes on it with data that is approaching 14 TB. Perforce chews through that like it's nothing.

Tying it all together, Perforce has a tool called GitFusion that acts as a layer between Perforce and git clients. This is especially useful when you have a business that stores large binary files but not everyone needs access to them. Your git users can use git for their smaller repos, your documentation folks can use Perforce for their big docs (or images, or iso's or ROMs or whatever), and everyone's happy. And all your assets are backed by Perforce, regardless of whether they choose to use git or Perforce as a client.

Perforce also has a product that's based on GitLab with a Perforce storage engine.

Under certain circumstances (up to 20 users) Perforce is free, so it should at least be on your short list of tools to evaluate.

So in summary, if you're mostly going to be storing code with not a lot of big binaries and their history, go with git. If you think you'll have heavier storage needs, take a look at Perforce+git.

Lastly, if I ever worked somewhere that was adamant about supporting only one platform (even if it was Linux or Solaris), I'd quit immediately. This Windows mandate is ridiculous and points to a pretty amateur IT team. Some of the things you have in your requirements sound fishy to me and I wonder if the organization is forward-thinking enough to keep the place afloat. Linux, Windows, Solaris, BSD, they all have their strengths and saddling someone with a mandate on the back-end platform is, to be blunt, asinine. If I didn't know any better, I'd think your marketing team calls the shots with IT. Ungh.

Comment Re:So many options (Score 1) 325

Actually, as a version control tool, it is extremely dangerous because it actively loses your code. And even their 'analyze' tool, which shouldn't be necessary in a version control tool, often refuses to recover lost data (which, as mentioned, a version control tool should never do.) VSS 'technology' is almost as old as CVS and is not geared toward modern code bases.

If I was a manager at a company and someone even uttered the words 'visual source safe' I would fire them immediately. They don't deserve to have a job.

Comment It's the 80's all over again (Score 1) 217

I'm old enough to remember they tried this in the 80's. Computer programming was the future and everyone had to know how to do it.

That's like saying people in the 20's all needed to know how to be car mechanics. It's a colossal waste of time for most people. You don't need to know how to *program* a computer to know how to *use* a computer, which is a more useful skill.

A skill, incidentally, that most kids have mastered by the time they're about five years old.

I find it hard to believe Johnny Football parlayed the BASIC skills he learned on an Apple ][ in 1985 into a marketable skill in 2015. I was already a nerd by then and knew more about programming than our teacher, and perhaps a couple other future nerds benefited by it, but most people don't need to know how the hot dogs are made.

Comment Re:Why reinvent the wheel? (Score 3, Insightful) 134


I have a Synology NAS (which is good for many other reasons than cams) and have a D-Link DCS-2132L hooked up to it.

The built-in web interface to the camera did not require any ActiveX, though perhaps it did need a Quicktime plugin on my mac to display H.264. Supports RTP / RTSP/ RTCP but I haven't tried it because why would I? I hate to sound like a Synology who*e, but it's worked great for me out of the box. I'm watching my cat sleep on my iPhone as I type this.

Comment Re:Gonna buy a ticket to Star Wars this December? (Score 1) 614

I was part of the initial RIF when Disney bought Lucasfilm, when they canned over a third of the company. My replacement was internal so I didn't really have to train anyone, but it's aggravating to see how Disney still calls a 'retention bonus' a 'severance'. In my case I was required to stay on at the company for almost five months to get my 'severance'. Apparently they don't know what a severance really is (compensation for past work, not future.) I bailed early so I wouldn't kill myself and forewent a few months of salary, just for my mental health. That place is pretty devious.

In any case, I'd buy my Star Wars tickets right now if I could. Despite their shenanigans, they produce some entertainments that are like crack for a child of the 80's.

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

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

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.

You have a massage (from the Swedish prime minister).