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Comment: What Keeps You Off Windows in 2013? Freedom! (Score 1) 1215

by nick_urbanik (#43951457) Attached to: What Keeps You On (or Off) Windows in 2013?
Windows comes pre-installed with loads of crapware to make money for the OEM.

I hate that.

Linux comes unencumbered with Digital Restrictions Management, without the need to paff around with anti-virus software.

All the software on my Linux system comes with source code. I can change that. I can fix it when it breaks for me. I can share my changes with any one else. I'm not stuck with hanging on the phone sending the vendor data I know they won't need to solve the problem. I love all that freedom.

Comment: Re:But who are their competitors? The Gimp! (Score 1) 658

by nick_urbanik (#43651587) Attached to: Adobe Creative Suite Going Subscription-Only

The Gimp is software that I am now happily familiar with, and want to improve my knowledge of.

I buy books to learn more about how to do things I want to do with the Gimp.

My hope is that money will become available to pay Gimp developers to more rapidly produce such wonderful things as the GEKL support and make the Gimp more useful to professionals as well as people like me.

Comment: None of the above; it depends... (Score 1) 262

by nick_urbanik (#43502591) Attached to: Who should have the most input into software redesigns?

I can't vote here.

If someone is paying me, then they get to say what will change. I might tweak it to do something that helps others, especially if it helps the work that pays me. And I always aim to do it right. But if no one is paying me, then the most important input is from me. If other people want something implemented, I will always listen.

But that is all obvious, isn't it?

Comment: Release many times daily: testing and automation (Score 1) 182

by nick_urbanik (#41626217) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Often Do You Push To Production?
We usually make several production releases every day. We have a complete configuration management system (conform) that totally automates building a server and releasing software. We have a complete dev environment and two test environments. We test code in pre-production first. But the key is our automation. It automates releases and rollbacks. Without complete automation (and competence), we would be submerged in paper work and bleary-eyed midnight releases like other teams in the company.

Comment: Re:Laugh (Score 1) 133

by nick_urbanik (#41108285) Attached to: Robot Learning To Recognize Itself In Mirror

Your brains are not special

It never ceases to amaze me how many so easily dismiss the difficulty of replicating the ability of even animal brains to control their own motion. To replicate all the abilities of the human brain is something that some young slashdotters too easily dismiss as within the reach of their peers (though not within their own personal reach).

Comment: Re:lots of options (Score 1) 195

QuickBooks has scary limits built in. They suck you in with the entry price, but at some point if your business is successful and actually has multiple customers, you will exceed the built-in limits. Then it's time to upgrade. Not "it's time to think about upgrading" you have to upgrade right away because you have exceeded the limits and the version of QuickBooks you bought won't work any more. Expect to spend several thousand dollars.

LWN documents this happening.

Comment: Do patents promote sharing of new technologies? (Score 1) 285

by nick_urbanik (#39855285) Attached to: Congress Asks Patent Office To Consider Secret Patents

Through the preservation, classification, and dissemination of patent information, the Office promotes the industrial and technological progress of the nation and strengthens the economy.

The USPTO also disseminates patent and trademark information that promotes an understanding of intellectual property protection and facilitates the development and sharing of new technologies worldwide.

I've been told patents support innovation. I see that, in relation to software, they are used more like nuclear arsenals. Their true purpose becomes plainer.

Comment: Re:Nothing new? (Score 1) 738

by nick_urbanik (#39780083) Attached to: Software Engineering Is a Dead-End Career, Says Bloomberg

Going out and learning on your own sounds like diligence (and may be necessary), but you have to balance that expenditure of time and (possibly) money against what you are getting in return. If you are spending more in terms of money or opportunity cost than your pay is increasing, you are effectively lowering your salary. That might be better than losing your salary altogether, but it is not a desirable situation.

It's desirable if you like doing that. I do.

Comment: Very old news: had this in July 13, 2011 (Score 4, Informative) 305

by nick_urbanik (#39565657) Attached to: Microsoft Counted As Key Linux Contributor
I'm surprised to see this as news; it was discussed about nine months ago in Jon Corbet's article in

K. Y. Srinivasan topped the list of changeset contributors with a massive set of cleanups to the Microsoft HV driver in the staging tree; it's impressive to see how much cleanup less than 15,000 lines of code can require.

It appears that Microsoft's contribution needed a lot of cleaning up to bring it up to scratch.

Our business in life is not to succeed but to continue to fail in high spirits. -- Robert Louis Stevenson