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Comment: Re:file transfer (Score 2) 439

by ncc74656 (#49144359) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Old PC File Transfer Problem

The new machines lack LPT ports? WTF kind of machine did you buy without an LPT port? A laptop, sure, a desktop? You have to look hard, even today to find a machine that doesn't have a printer port.

Pretty much anything built in the last five or so years won't have serial or parallel ports. If you're lucky, you might have some headers on the motherboard that can be brought to the slot cage with connectors in brackets like what were common before ATX, but I've run across plenty of motherboards that don't even have those. Notebooks are even less likely to have them. This Dell Inspiron E1505 I'm typing on is a bit long in the tooth...main reason I'm keeping it going is its 15" 1680x1050 screen. No serial or parallel ports on it.

When I saw a sufficiently-old notebook come through my office a while back that had a serial port on it, I hung onto it for talking to our switches and routers. I forget what model of HP it is, but it's old enough that it runs on an Athlon XP. It's probably the better part of 10 years old at this point. The last emerge -uND world took a couple of days to run, but it's fast enough to run Minicom and Firefox, and to do traffic captures from the switch: serial connection to the management port to enable SPAN, Ethernet to the SPAN port for capture, and WiFi to talk to the whole thing from my office instead of the server room.

Comment: Re:Fuck you Bill fucking Nye... (Score 2) 672

by ncc74656 (#49109001) Attached to: Bill Nye Disses "Regular" Software Writers' Science Knowledge

Hey Bill. Kindly go fuck yourself. Seriously. If you believe (and apparently you do), that only Ivy League universities can provide any education of merit, then you really are more of a mindless tool than I suspected.

QFT. Consider how well the Ivy Leaguers mismanaging the executive branch of the government are doing as further proof of the uselessness of credentialism.

Comment: Re:Horribly misleading summary (Score -1) 672

by ncc74656 (#49108921) Attached to: Bill Nye Disses "Regular" Software Writers' Science Knowledge

He's using climate change as an example to demonstrate his point. (A near-unanimous consensus among scientists maintain that climate change is happening and is a serious problem; over 50% of the US population disagrees. This demonstrates that the US population is largely science-illiterate or science-hostile.)

O RLY? (The Google link should bypass their paywall.) In addition to "consensus" being inherently unscientific (was Copernicus "science-illiterate" when he proposed his heliocentric theory of the solar system when the consensus view was in favor of a geocentric theory?), there is much to suggest that the "97%" number is as overcooked as most of the recent temperature records have been.

Comment: Re: shame (Score 1) 242

by ncc74656 (#48977087) Attached to: RadioShack Near Deal To Sell Half of Its Stores, Close the Rest
The kits are still out there. This one, for instance, is nearly identical to one that Radio Shack used to sell, and that I got lots of use out of when I was a kid. (The two chips are a 7400 and another 74xx chip...a couple of flip-flops IIRC.) Beyond that, there are probably more experimenter options now than ever. Not that long ago, I picked up a kit with an Arduino, a small breadboard, LEDs, switches, sensors, and passive components for maybe $30 or so.

Comment: Re:Does It Matter? (Score 2) 288

by ncc74656 (#48943149) Attached to: VirtualBox Development At a Standstill

Are there some other core VirtualBox features I'm not aware of that keep people pinned to it?

Its support for passing USB devices through to guests is pretty good. I have a Gentoo VM on a Win7 box for the sole purpose of continuing to use a scanner that the manufacturer doesn't support on Win7. The only area where it's let me down in the past was with trying to mess with iPhone firmware (such as for jailbreaking) from a Windows VM on a Linux host...don't know if it was something weird Apple was doing with USB or something else. Have other virtualization options caught up with this?

Also, VirtualBox console windows are less of a hassle to deal with than VMware console windows. Even with their respective guest addons installed and active, VMware is still enough of an annoyance that I'd rather RDP or SSH into the VM in question. (In fairness, VirtualBox is running locally, while the VMware VMs are on a couple of ESXi 5.x boxes accessed through vSphere...maybe their desktop virtualization tools, which I've not used in eons, are better.)

Comment: Re: Why? (Score 1) 175

by ncc74656 (#48943073) Attached to: Microsoft Launches Outlook For Android and iOS

Exchange client on Android isn't horrible.

This is because the ability of other apps to integrate with Exchange is getting too good.

DavMail is a nice little bit of software that allows just about anything to talk to Exchange. I have it on my computer at work so I can use Thunderbird (and Lightning) instead of Outlook. It sits in the system tray, only popping up a notification when a newer version is available. While I've not tried running it on a server so that multiple people can use it, my understanding is that you can do that with it as well.

Comment: Re:Majority leaders home district (Score 1) 176

For a more entertaining version of how the Soviets influenced America and operated on her soil, I recommend watching 'The Americans' on FX network. Set in the 80's during the height of the cold war, the plotlines in the show are based roughly on actual events documented in the book, and from other sources of KGB history.

Seconded. Season 3 just started; I'm still catching up on season 2.

Comment: Re:DVD (Score 1) 251

by ncc74656 (#48918689) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Medium For Personal Archive?

Well, recordable Blu-ray discs use an inorganic dye, so they should last longer than DVD-Rs and CD-Rs. The manufacturers typically claim a lifespan of 100+ years.

Beware BD-R LTH media, which use pretty much the same type of organic dyes as are normally used for CD-R and DVD-R as a cost-cutting measure. BD-R HTL uses phase change in an inorganic alloy to record bits, which will almost certainly outlast BD-R LTH media (and probably DVD-R and CD-R, too).

I've been using these for archival recently. (I'm almost out, too...was going to put in an order, but (1) they're currently out of stock and (2) their per-disc price may have gone up substantially since my last purchase. :-P Will need to double-check once they're shipping again, but my last order was about $27 for 25 discs, shipping included.)

Comment: Re:get off my lawn (Score 1) 247

by ncc74656 (#48885263) Attached to: Dish Network Violated Do-Not-Call 57 Million Times

Charging for caller ID on landlines is a scam (like pretty much everything about telecommunications billing), but I've never seen cell phone service without caller ID.

I'm guessing you're not old enough to have ever had analog cell-phone service. I don't recall if caller ID was even offered as an add-on service, but I know I didn't have it with my phone and my service. Vibrating call alert and an 8-character dot-matrix alphanumeric LED readout (so you could attach names to the phone numbers stored in memory!) were expensive enough.

Comment: Re:I grew up 30 miles from here, in N.VA (Score 2) 784

by ncc74656 (#48832289) Attached to: Parents Investigated For Neglect For Letting Kids Walk Home Alone

In kindergarten, I walked over a mile to/from the school every day unaccompanied. So did all the other kids in the neighborhood.

I walked to and from school in kindergarten. Google Maps says it was a little bit over a half-mile. The only issue that came up was on the first day of school, when not knowing what the buses were all about, I ended up on one. It didn't take long to get that straightened out, and it only happened once.

I suspect the events described in TFA are a consequence (not necessarily unintended) of our hyperlitigious society...consider, for instance, the sledding bans that have been popping up like metastatic tumors all over the place lately, or that you can't get someone to build you a pool with a diving board.

Comment: Re:Listening, maybe. Discovery, no! (Score 1) 126

by ncc74656 (#48790431) Attached to: Radio, Not YouTube, Is Still King of Music Discovery

Radio, on the other hand, even if you hear a piece of music that you like, the chance of actually being told the name of the artist is close to zero.

Many car radios at least will display artist/title information on FM, if the station provides it. If they don't (or if yours doesn't do that), you can fire up SoundHound or something similar and see what it says.

You knew the job was dangerous when you took it, Fred. -- Superchicken

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