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Submission + - Recommendations for Open Source Network Management (

mnmlst writes: I have about 200 workstations and a dozen servers to manage with minimal staff, too many power users, and zero budget for Network Management tools. The desktops and most of the servers are Windows. It's an education facility, so we have a lot of staff and user turnover. The IT support staff would appreciate learning to use network management tools that will give them portable skills when they move on to a job that has a budget for such tools. Who knows, maybe they will be the pioneers that bring open source network management to their future employers? A quick search turned up Open PC Server Integration (OPSI), OpenNMS, and Nagios. We don't have scripting skills (yet), so it shouldn't be a pseudo DIY suite. What products have you tried and worked for you? What would you recommend?

Submission + - A Dvorak user reconsiders (

mnmlst writes: I first heard of the Dvorak keyboard layout about 1981 on the CBS Evening News(!) In the mid-1990's I switched to it via a hard-wired keyboard, but gave up while doing IT support as I was laying hands on so many QWERTY keyboards. Too much mental effort required to keep switching and I really wasn't typing that much. I went back to Dvorak about 5 years ago, but have been forced to remain proficient on QWERTY. I have a great little program (dvassist.exe) on a USB drive that can plug into any Windows PC and let me use the Dvorak keyboard layout even without Administrator rights on the local PC (don't ask me how.) My Blackberry is QWERTY only, my wife forbids Dvorak on the home PC's, every machine at work except mine is QWERTY, and I am just tired of the mental switching. Most new gizmos that come along now brag they "include a full QWERTY keyboard". My typing speed is just about the same on both layouts and I think my error rate is worse due to mental lapses into the opposite keyboard when I'm not mindful enough. On top of it all, I ran across this article from Reason Magazine that blows major holes in the "science" that went into the Navy's semi-famous comparison test between QWERTY and Dvorak typing. For example, the study was designed and supervised by Dr. Dvorak, then an officer in the U.S. Navy with plenty of money to be made if the Dvorak layout proved superior. Elsewhere I have found that a LOT of thought and experimentation went into designing the QWERTY layout such as making sure the hands would frequently alternate to avoid collisions between the parts of a typewriter. This wasn't "slowing down the typist" since all the layouts since QWERTY include that among their goals. I know the finger travel is about double for QWERTY, but I am just so tired of the constant "translation", I barely care any more. To top it all, now there is the Colemak layout that is not nearly as drastic a change from QWERTY as making the change to Dvorak, in part because only E and P change hands, plus the punctuation marks, Ctrl+Z,X,C,V are undisturbed. I guess the thing is I am much more of a systems guy than a programmer, so typing is not as much a part of my work as I thought it would be 15 years ago. I would very much like to hear from others who have been in this grey zone of actually using both Dvorak (or Colemak) and QWERTY and wrestled with the decision as to forge on or not.

Submission + - Microsoft, get off my lawn by January 11, 2010 (

mnmlst writes: Microsoft has been ordered to pay $290 million to i4i (and tooth 4 tooth?) in a US patent (#5,787,449) infringement case related to a custom XML editor built into many versions Word 2007 and even Word 2003. Part of the settlement requires Microsoft to update Word 2007 to stop using this editor, including the version sold throughout North America. Microsoft Office 2010 is also being stripped of this editor. The deadline for all these changes is January 11, 2010.

Were there fewer fools, knaves would starve. - Anonymous