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Developer only? What is that non-sense? The TrimSlice ships with Ubuntu ready to use. ~$200 for the feature set is a steal, IMO. Not happy without a Dell logo or something? What's the problem with the TrimSlice?
I bought one last week from here http://trimslice.com/web/
Cheap, cool (as in not hot) and fairly reasonably priced for what you get. Waiting for mine right now...
Having spent a little under a decade in IT consulting (AIX/Solaris/Linux) I also ended up wanting to change. Not so much because I was fed up with doing what I was doing (I also felt I made ok money), but because I wanted to try something new. I also wanted to have a career with a higher income potential and more options of taking on quite different roles in the future. I'm a little surprised only two comments suggest what I did: get an MBA!
There are typically two points in your life when employers are less obsessed with only giving you a job that directly fits your background: when you've just graduated from university (where, at least at my university, only about one third accept jobs directly related to their field of study) and upon completing an MBA (where you apply for "MBA positions", many of which do not require any particular background). I really believe the MBA is the hands down best way of performing a radical career change *without* sacrificing salary of career progress - quite on the contrary: on average it will boost both quite nicely. It is also a very intersting study, covering fields I'd always been curious about and it's a great opportunity to meet peolpe from a myriad of backgrounds. The network and friendships I gained from my MBA is really the most valuable thing in the long run (come to think of it, when you're past 30, most of us don't make that many new close friends, but during the MBA I did, which was great).
Trying to get into a ranked MBA, which I really recommend to get some bang for your bucks, might seem quite dauting at first, but in truth it is easier than one might think. There are tons of things you can do to boost your chances to a point where you will be very likely to succeed - most of which Google can dig up for you.
Um, I must admit this sounds extremely strange, but perhaps things were that different 20 years ago. Today, banks shouldn't even admit to someone having an account with them until they have IDed themselves. In my case I have my standard current account with UBS (UBS is one of the biggest retail banks in Switzerland, unlike abroad where there are no retail branches to my knowledge), and I can tell you from experience that until they have had a long hard look at my passport, they won't even talk to me (much less give me money from a friend's account).
As for my employer, which is a classic traditional Swiss private bank, you would have your own relationship manager who knows you and follows you from you first enter the bank and for the duration of your relationship with us. All your contact with the bank, in person or otherwise, would go through him or her. I know of a case where a friend of mine's father was a client with another private bank, and she'd been meeting the relationship manager several times with her father in the past. Nevertheless, one time she was in Switzerland she decided to visit the bank to check on the account's performance, but as she was not formally listed as a co-owner of the account, the relationship manager refused any information, despite recognizing her.
I think your friend's experience was rather unusual - as a matter of fact, if your friend came to me tomorrow, and I volunteered information on your account, I would be guilty of revealing client information which carries a prison sentence as well as a nasty fine.
The Swiss are extreme when it comes to keeping people's privacy. Even your tax payments (tax at source/quellensteuer) is anynomized before your company hands it over to the tax authorities on your behalf if you have a direct taxation/tax at source arrangement.
A quick comment on the numbered accounts though: one benefit of the numbered accounts which I failed to mention is that even internally in the bank, only a handful of people know who hides behind the number, which means that even though you are on file with the bank and still must idntify yourself upon opening the account, the number of people who knows who you are is very very low, and not potentially all 20'000 employees of a large bank like UBS or Credit Suisse with access to normal client information. This is the solution Elvis would choose!
Though I don't necessarily disagree with the point that banking secrecy can be abused (as can all forms of anonymity), one should perhaps consider that it's the Swiss' right (and I am not Swiss myself) to have whatever laws they want in their own country. The Swiss believe strongly in the rights of the individual and have accepted that with this extended freedom, which you do not enjoy in for example the US or most of the EU, there will be a price to pay. I would dare argue there is a price to pay for the deteriorating rights of the individual that we see in most countries today as well.
In Norway for example, every citizen's taxes are available publicly to everyone else online (you can google the taxes of any Norwegian). They argue that without this practice (i.e. with secret wages and taxes) you will have fraud, inequality and a lack of transparency. This is further towards the other end of the spectrum. I presume you're American, which puts you in the middle. That doesn't mean I think I can tell you that you should post your taxes and salary online, nor hand over the details of your bank account to the first public servant who asks, though the (US in this case) government would probably catch a couple more tax avoiders that way.
To be honest I do not know, and I would suspect you are right. What I can say for sure though, is that in my own organization, this is is considered an absolute rule and I'd be willing to bet anything that it has never been broken. You risk jail and losing your job - I don't think any ticket (i.e. new account) is worth that (at least not to me, and I'm 100% sure not to my colleagues).
Oh, and by the way, they were disbanded in Panama too in the 1990s.
My apologies, let me clarify - they do not exist in SWITZERLAND, which I believe is the topic of discussion here.
Numbered accounts do not exist - they are a James Bond myth. What we (I'm a Swiss banker) refer to as "numbered accounts" are accounts where the name of the account holder is not references in correspondence with he bank. The idea of accessing your account with only a number is a joke, considering that the Swiss have one of the strictest identification policies for opening and managing accounts in Europe (and thus probably the world). You not only need to ID yourself, but also prove where the money come from to the bank. (Certain countries have poor documentation standards for just about anything, and getting an account if you're from one of those is very very hard. You'd get it in Germany though, where they are more lax on their documentation (as is France), which is a little ironic...).