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Comment: Better than not providing any support whatsoever. (Score 3, Informative) 253

by ngc5194 (#47083123) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Tech Customers Forced Into Supporting Each Other?
Everything you say is true, but at least having such a forum where one can get some support is better than not, and better than having that pseudo-support scattered across a dozen boards over the Internet. Doesn't excuse such lazy behavior, of course. Generally, if a company is providing an expensive product for which I need support, and then provides crappy support, I'll be looking for an excuse to try a competitor's product next time out. You might think that this would lead companies to upgrade their support, but it doesn't seem to. One of the big problems is that most of that company's customers are idiots, so it's a huge money sink to constantly answer their silly questions with expensive, highly trained support people. So, if a producer is using the forum to weed out the Tier 1 "Would it work better if I plug it in?" crowd while jumping in and helping out when someone has a real problem, then I guess I don't have a problem with it. If such a forum is viewed as a replacement for support, then I'll likely be looking at competing products next time.

+ - Larry Page and Sergey Brin Are Lousy Coders

Submitted by theodp
theodp (442580) writes "Don't tell Business Insider's Nicholas Carlson about Santa and the Easter Bunny just yet. He's still reeling after learning that Larry Page and Sergy Brin are actually pretty lousy coders. That's according to I'm Feeling Lucky: The Confessions of Google Employee Number 59, a book about the company's startup days by Douglas Edwards. "I didn't trust Larry and Sergey as coders," Google engineering boss Craig Silverstein recalls in the book. "I had to deal with their legacy code from the Stanford days and it had a lot of problems. They're research coders: more interested in writing code that works than code that's maintainable." But don't cry for Larry and Sergey, Argentina — even if the pair won't be taking home any Top Coder prizes, they can at least take solace in their combined $50+ billion fortune. And, according to Woz, they certainly could have kicked Steve Jobs' butt in a coding contest!"

Comment: Re:Cisco is an industry leader (Score 1) 615

by ngc5194 (#41728547) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Why Does Wireless Gear Degrade Over Time?
It's not quite that simple. Yeah, they're saving only a tiny bit of money on the parts that break, but when they designed the thing, they didn't know which parts were going to be especially cheap and be the ones that broke. They could have reduced this chance, but only by spending extra money on a *lot* of parts, which would have raised the price substantially, and which, statistically speaking, would be the reason that you would have bought something else instead.

Comment: ;login: (Score 1) 125

by ngc5194 (#38504180) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Geek-Centric Magazines Still Published On Paper?
I too like the permanence of paper magazines, plus if I skip an issue, I don't have to worry about making backups or that it might disappear from somebody's web site. My favorite magazine focusing on IT issues is ;login:, the magazine of the Usenix Association. I find it surprising and hard to explain why it's not more popular among IT professionals.

Premature optimization is the root of all evil. -- D.E. Knuth