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Comment: Re:Ubuntu + VMWare Player (Score 1) 622

by perchslayer (#36683646) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Easiest Linux Distro For a Newbie
Here, here. I agree as a now somewhat initiated n00bie. However, Mint has it's own quirks as well. Either one. Avoid Unity though (the new default interface for Ubuntu 11.04). Also, somebody else suggested Edubuntu which is novel, I suppose, but there is indeed a different sort of learning curve for it as well, as the interface definitely does not behave like a traditional OS interface. So if you want to experience something that is somewhat easy, but really different -- Edubuntu. If you want just plain easy -- Ubuntu 11.04 with the classic interface or the latest Linux Mint.

Comment: I Too was a Cock-Teaser for Roosterama ! (Score 1) 123

So yea, I was initiated to the internet via IO.com. And I too used OpenVMS Vax at school before I even knew what the "Open" part even meant. I just wish I had stayed CLI like the rest of you geeks. I struggle to even configure a .profile anymore and regular expressions are not regular to me at all. One thing I do remember that seemed very much a part of the secret-code-ring-key exciting mystery thing of it at the time was the "dot plan" [.pln ] Remeber those ? Everybody had one in the root of thier public account and it was where the coolest and most obscure and frightening ASCII art was paraded. As I remember, Bob Dobbs and Barney the Dinosaur were by far the most popular frameworks for the stram of conssiousness manifestos contained in any groover worth their salt with a "plan". Does anybody do those anymore ? I wish I still had a copy of mine to be sure. Oh, and what about that FNORD guy ? Is he really a would-be amature "art" photographer or is he actually, you know, OKOP ? ...just wondering...

Comment: Be sweet, young man. (Score 1) 283

by perchslayer (#33882322) Attached to: Grad Student Looking To Contribute To Open Source
Wow. Pretty good response, eh? Here is my suggestion: 1) Consider focusing on C and Python as well as or instead of C++ 2) Go crazy at Sugarlabs as they are always looking for help. Let me offer the disclaimer that I know nothing about programming or computers or git or subversion. However, I am kind of kinky and like to watch people. As such, I have noticed that a number of people that seem inappropriately comfortable with mathematics also seem to tend or bend toward C and Python. As for Sugarlabs, it would seem that they are already comfortable with the idea that everything is everything and that would include math, so you might feel at home....or not. Whatever. Anyway, I couldn't help myself.
Government

Obama Administration Withholds FoIA Requests More Often Than Bush's 601

Posted by timothy
from the no-conspiracy-necessary-note dept.
bonch writes "Agencies under the Obama administration cite security provisions to withhold information more often than they did under the Bush administration. For example, the 'deliberative process' exemption of the Freedom of Information Act was used 70,779 times in 2009, up from the 47,395 of 2008. Amusingly, the Associated Press has been waiting three months for the government to deliver records on its own Open Government Directive."

Comment: Re:I've done this - like major here, here (Score 1) 235

by perchslayer (#31438690) Attached to: Digitizing and Geocoding Old Maps?

Good stitching software doesn't distort the image, it actually un-distorts the image. As long as the camera is parallel with the maps, the only distortion in the photographs is actually created by the lens in the act of taking the photograph, lens distortion aka barrel distortion. You have have a circular convex lens producing a rectangular picture. In order to do this, everything not at the center of focus is increasingly distorted as you move farther from that center of focus. Good stitching software actually undoes this distortion creating a linear image again before doing the stitching. So what you may deem as the software distorting the image, is actually the software correcting the image. Bang for buck, a high res camera taking as many photos as you can stand to take of a single map then stitching them, is the best way to go.

wow, that is like really getting down to brass tacks with the consideration of nadir convolution and so on. dude, you rock! hey, perhaps giving the ASPRS a ring and getting this done right is a good idea. It could be a nice vehicle for an article on process, eh ?

Comment: Re:MapTiler - here, here! (Score 1) 235

by perchslayer (#31438406) Attached to: Digitizing and Geocoding Old Maps?
yea, what keosak said. avoid any advice that includes the term "geocoding" as that is not what is going on here at all. /* ROTFLO! */ Basically the scan can be accomplished entirely separately from the georeferencing process. You could even do that at, say, Kinko's or something and then bring the .tif into some GIS software and get busy doing what amounts to a pin, stretch, and refine process where your goal is to minimize the RMS for the most important areas or just overall. Like this guy says, there are strong advantages to putting it in the JPG 2000 format. You might also consider porting it to the new GeoPDF thingy that USGS is now using as a method for topo distribution. If you really wanted to go out on a limb, you could reproduce them and embed anoto in the copies and do fun stuff in situ there. In any case, until you get them reasonably georeferenced, you won't need to worry about the original projections at all for any reason, period. That simply doesn't apply here for a number of reasons that include but are not limited to: a) scalar accuracy of the originals b) datum and/or projection of base reference c) allowable RMS error in an affine transformation will certainly allow for any wack in projection hocus-pocus. That said, it might be interesting to actually know it such that you could get a quantitative handle on the accuracy/ precision of the originals. If you do get around to it, please let us know on SlashGeo as lots of us folks like old maps... ...geocoding.....lol
Input Devices

Digitizing and Geocoding Old Maps? 235

Posted by timothy
from the walking-directions-rivendell-to-el-dorado dept.
alobar72 writes "I have quite a few old maps (several hundreds; 100+ years old, some are already damaged – so time is not on my side). What I want to do is to digitize them and to apply geo-coordinates to them so I can use them as overlays for openstreetmap data or such. Obviously I cannot put those maps onto my €80 scanner and go. Some of them are really large (1.5m x 1.5m roughly, I believe) and they need to be treated with great care because the paper is partly damaged. So firstly I need a method or service provider that can do the digitizing without damaging them. Secondly I need a hint what the best method is to apply geo coordinates to those maps then. The maps are old and landscape and places have changed, it maybe difficult to identify exact spots. So: are there any experiences or tips I could use?"
Medicine

Health Insurance When Leaving the Corporate World? 1197

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the hey-that-could-be-useful dept.
An anonymous reader writes "I've been working at a large company since I got out of college, so I didn't have to give much thought to getting my own healthcare plan. Now I'm thinking about leaving the corporate world and starting out on my own. I have a family now, so I need to make sure we're going to be covered should anything happen. Researching online turns up horror stories of people trying to get individual healthcare plans, or getting denied coverage on plans they thought they had. Does anyone else have experience going through this and what you've had to deal with, or am I making too big a deal of it?"
The Internet

Things To Look For In a Web Hosting Company? 456

Posted by timothy
from the secret-underground-layer dept.
v1x writes "I have had an account with my current web hosting company for a few years, with 3 domains being hosted there (using Linux/PHP/MySQL). Recently, all three of these websites stopped functioning, and upon checking the site, all my directory structures were intact, whereas all of the files were gone. Upon contacting their technical support, I was given the run-around, and later informed by one of their administrators that none of the files could be restored. Needless to say that I am looking for a different web hosting company at this point, but I would like to make a more informed choice than I did with the current company. I have read a similar Slashdot article (from 2005) on the topic, but the questions posed there were slightly different." Reader mrstrano has a similar question: "I am developing a web application and, after registering the domain, I am now looking for a suitable web hosting provider. It should be cheap enough so I can start small, but should allow me to scale up if the web site is successful (as I hope). The idea is simple enough so I do not need other investors to implement it. This also means that I don't have a lot of money to put on it at the moment. Users of the website will post their pictures (no, it's not going to be a porn website), so scalability might be an issue even with a moderately high number of users. I would like to find a good web hosting provider from day one, so I don't have to go through the pain of a data migration. Which web host would you choose?"

Comment: Re:ER... Why? (Score 1) 766

by perchslayer (#31219748) Attached to: Which Linux For Non-Techie Windows Users?
I am the n00b here and I agree with this 100%. Only I will struggle with Ubuntu for now, maybe Mandriva soon, because when GOOgle does do it, I want to be ready to get a job doing something besides GIS (read: shoeshine boy of the IT community). I want a chance of payback to all those people that have helped me to understand that GIS is mostly a vapor career.

Comment: Re:Try OpenSUSE (Score 1) 766

by perchslayer (#31218580) Attached to: Which Linux For Non-Techie Windows Users?
If I may, please let me weigh in with another kind of reaction. First, I had the same question you posed, only it was for me and not somebody else. My wife and I share a PC so I couldn't touch that, but I was ready to wipe Bill of my Dell D620 and get into a new hobby and learning curve, right. But I wanted to start out with something for folks like me, rather than say, Slackware, right? First, let me speak to the idea of "Not to be too mean, but what's so hard about getting linux to run properly on a PC?" As a n00b with some recent experience, I am compelled to speak frankly to this: 1) Getting Linux installed on a PC is definitely easier than a laptop to be sure. 2) Many folks take it as a given (perhaps even Mr. Hudson, I don't know) that one is installing Linux on a PC or laptop that has a reasonable connection to the web (e.g. something other than dial-up). Meanwhile, the fact is that any sort of fast(er) connection than dial-up is simply not available to some of us. Let me put that in perspective. I live in the city limits of Auburn, CA at 112 Porter Lane and commute to the capitol of California, Sacramento, every day. 30 miles. Where I live there is nothing available, period. And I am not alone. This is true even though the Obama administration and the Schwarzeniggar administration go on and on about broadband and so forth. Now, I have found that most Linux types assume that the first thing you do when you install and get logged in is connect and update your packages, right? Well, guess what? Not gonna happen. Not with dial-up, my friend! 3) Though the "in-crowd" may understand that you need to create a distro from a torrent, because the official download is likely to get corrupted and won't load properly when you create the .iso on the DVD from the download, this isn't obviously publicized. This, regardless, of PC or laptop installation. 4) There are some "notorious" WiFi devices that "have issues" and even continue to stump the "experts"; my Broadcom 4311 comes to mind..... That being said, my laptop is now amongst you guys. And it even happened with the native Broadcom 4311, despite what a kajillion blogs and "support" sites contend. The big trick was getting a cat5 cable connected to it that had some fresh informational juice to pump into it. That was the hardest part to be sure. I mean, there is no place to "plug in" at Starbucks, right? Anyway, back to the original question. After doing some research on the web, I found that Ubuntu/Gnome and Mandriva/KDE appeared to be two strong candidates. This, with all the talk and strong community "support". I had decided to go with Mandriva because I thought the graphics looked cooler, there was not so much "cult hype" as with Ubuntu, they were based in Paris/Rio, which seems cool, and I was still pissed at some misleading advice offered by "experts" on their site. Well, it turns out I wound up going with Ubuntu anyway because there is a guy I found nearby me who is a real Linux guru and a nice guy and uses Ubuntu [ www.computer-shoppe.net ] so I figured I would just get what he has to make my configuration questions all that much easier. Bottom Line from where I sit/stand: 1) Biggest factor for which I chose was about where I could get the best *real* support. 2) You are kidding yourself if you think that any flavor of Linux is ready for the Windows consuming public. It is still either a hobby or a hands-on *supported* tool. 3) Before you count it out, go take a look at the new KDE Mandriva ----cool! 4) Isn't OpenSUSE Novell? Isn't that sort of anti the whole point of being a hobby rebel?

Order and simplification are the first steps toward mastery of a subject -- the actual enemy is the unknown. -- Thomas Mann

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