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Comment: Re:Oops (Score 4, Interesting) 203

by msobkow (#48892069) Attached to: At Oxford, a Battery That's Lasted 175 Years -- So Far

I hate to tell you this, but most people who've worked support in manufacturing and office environments have similar stories. I spent close to two months getting paged by Northern Telecom in Bramalea, ON for a manufacturing system failure on the shop floor at 2-3 AM most days per week. It was only by deciding to hang out for an entire night watching the area that I found out it was being caused by a cleaning lady unplugging the network bridge to plug in her radio while cleaning the area.

So seeing as I have one of those stories myself, I find them a lot easier to believe than most of you kids do.

Comment: I feel sorry for you (Score 1) 191

by msobkow (#48888637) Attached to: Verizon About To End Construction of Its Fiber Network

I feel sorry for all of you south of the border. Verizon was, without exception, the worst telco I ever dealt with as far as internet goes. When Canada was rolling out DSL and cable like crazy, Verizon in Delaware was offering up 28.8 dial-up. No options. No choices. That's all you could get. You couldn't even use a 56K modem because they used the high compression voice codecs on their lines, and you couldn't get a data line. You couldn't even get ISDN if you were willing to pay for it. :(

Comment: I agree (Score 5, Interesting) 506

by msobkow (#48879973) Attached to: Senator Who Calls STEM Shortage a Hoax Appointed To Head Immigration

Both Canada and the US have no shortage of tech workers. What they have is a shortage of companies willing to pay the prevailing wage, benefits, etc.

I've lost three jobs over the years to "lowest price" bidders -- every single one of which was an Indian-run sweatshop bringing in their workers from overseas and working them to death without paying overtime.

I worked in the US on temporary visas for up to three years at a time (annual renewals), spending over 12 years in the US in total. Was I ever sponsored for residency? Of course not -- then I'd have had some rights and freedoms. The money was good, and I don't regret the time I spent there, but I'm firmly on the side of the anti-H1-B crowd -- it's all a scam to benefit the bottom line of big business, not a legitimate shortage of skilled workers.

Comment: The time for "from scratch" is gone for ALL of IT (Score 4, Insightful) 298

by msobkow (#48872429) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Has the Time Passed For Coding Website from Scratch?

I can't think of a single thing I do or would want to do with a computer that doesn't have some sort of toolkit, library, framework, or other component out there to get a "leg up" on doing the work, unless you're only doing the most basic and simplistic pieces of code or presentation. In the case of HTML, that means a text document without images, video, or sound; never mind "active" components of the interface via JavaScript.

The hardest lesson to learn as a programmer is that "not invented here" is code for "I am too arrogant to use someone else's solution."

Comment: Subscribe to an OS? Yah, right. (Score 1) 567

by msobkow (#48871413) Attached to: Microsoft Reveals Windows 10 Will Be a Free Upgrade

Microsoft just jumped the shark. Big time.

There is no way in hell I would "upgrade" from 7 to an OS that requires subscription fees. The only reason I have it instead of Linux on the laptop is to run a couple of database products that I couldn't get going under Debian. If I could get Oracle, Sybase, and SQL Server to run under Debian, there wouldn't be a Windows Virus in this house.

Comment: What about chemistry students with no lab at home? (Score 1) 629

by msobkow (#48862457) Attached to: Justified: Visual Basic Over Python For an Intro To Programming

Your point about vendor lock-in is pointless. There was a time when computer classes were taught using terminal-based systems, and everyone had to use the school computers, much as chemistry students have to use the school's labs.

You kids. So damned spoiled nowadays.

What this country needs is a good five cent ANYTHING!