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Comment DEC QBus console (Score 1) 620

I support equipment in the industrial sector. We have a few of the Vax QBUS consoles left in production that are from the late 80's to early 90's. They use 46 MB MFM hard drives and to load them 5 1/4" floppies are used. The console support 4 heads via RGB video and serial cables for the keyboard. No mouse on this thing. Some of the units support touch screen through an XY IR interface but those were rare since they were very finicky. The console has removable boards that allow for different combo's of CPU, Memory, Video, and disk controllers. The consoles are surprisingly robust with the exception of the hard drives which have a very high failure rate.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...

Comment Limited use for credit monitoring (Score 3, Interesting) 48

The problem with most of the credit monitoring companies is the little they do can be done by the consumer for a lot less. The real work comes when your identity has been stolen and the hundreds of hours it takes to clean up the mess. This is where you need a company that will do the legwork for you. I use Zander Insurance's ID theft program. I look at it as one more insurance that I pay per year. If/When I need them they are there and I won't have as much pain to endure and the massive learning curve to cleaning up ID fraud on your own.

Comment Used the online version once and never again (Score 1) 237

I have used TaxCut for years and have had very few issues with it. The one year I tried the online variant of it was horrible. There was one particularly nasty bug that caused my return to be rejected twice before I had to go over the print out with a fine tooth comb. I found they were inserting a bogus figure into one of the fields instead of leaving it blank. I finally was able to work around the system to get the issue fixed, but it caused way more work and aggravation than it should have. I did try calling their "help" line, but the person on the other end was completely useless.

Comment Houston had Red Light Cameras (Score 1) 507

The City of Houston was doing this crap. Yellows that were so short there was no way to stop or you'd be in the middle of the intersection. A petition got the cameras on the ballot and they were defeated. The City was whining about safety, but there were several studies done at intersections in the city by independent auditors that found rear end accidents increased due to the shortened yellows and the RL cameras. From what I read the city was pulling in $2 - $3 million per year on the fines.

Comment Running my PI as an Asterisk PBX (Score 1) 212

Got my PI Monday and got it setup with Asterisk 11 and FreePBX 3 beta. The site raspberry-asterisk.org has a prebuilt image and from there you can easily update to the latest versions. This is going to be mainly for testing/playing at home, but I may deploy one to setup a small 4 DID/10 extenstion FreePBX install to supplement an old POTS pbx.

Submission + - How an Amazon engineer's slip-up started a 20-hour Netflix cock-up->

iComp writes: "An Amazon engineer hit the wrong button on Christmas Eve, deleting critical data in its load balancers and ultimately knackering vid streaming biz Netflix for 20 hours.

The Netflix outage hit customers in the US, Canada and Latin America on 24 December, particularly those using games consoles and mobiles to watch films, while desktop Mac and PC users suffered time-outs and delays. A mistake at Netflix's hoster — Amazon Web Services — caused the downtime and Amazon's developer team worked through the night into Christmas morning to get the problems fixed by 8am 25 December."

Link to Original Source

Comment Off line storage (Score 5, Informative) 184

"Amazon is also facing criticism right now for allegedly shutting down a woman's account and remotely wiping her Kindle, then refusing to provide information about why it did so."

This is the exact reason why I strip the DRM from every Kindle book I buy and then store them in my own offline repository. Should Amazon ever decide to wipe my account I'll still have the books I purchased. The other advantage is I can use any e-reader I want w/o being locked to a Kindle.

Karl's version of Parkinson's Law: Work expands to exceed the time alloted it.

Working...