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Comment: USB-ATA may not work, try PCMCIA w/ PXE (Score 1) 466

by rMortyH (#49148251) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Old PC File Transfer Problem

I do this sort of thing a lot.
I have found that a 160MB hard drive is probably too old to do the sort of autodetect that most USB-ATA adapters require. These were the days of entering the harddrive parameters in setup...

The best bet for this is to get a PCMCIA network card that has PXE boot capability. Or, a PCMCIA card with a supported Etherboot binary on a floppy disk.
Then boot into a diskless linux setup over the network, and transfer as needed. My oldest net boot image for this is Redhat 9. You might want an even older one, look at Redhat 5 or Slackware 3.3.

This would be most painless because you can just transfer the whole thing over nfs. No messing around with hard drive parameters or matching up new and old hardware. No dealing with windows and dos network drivers beyond just etherboot, which has always worked great for me.

Note that you can do wonders with the old Slackware 3.3 boot disks, boot.i and net.i, maybe pcmcia.i With a PCMCIA network card and the slackware floppies, you may be able to get to an NFS mount in only two or three floppies and no PXE boot. They're also super handy because they'll detect your hardware in that dinosaur and tell you what it is.

If you stay in DOS land you'll have to zip up everything and transfer it with a terminal program, which works but requires lots of space and takes forever.
Also getting networking to work on Windows 3.11 if it wasn't already set up long ago is a big pain and should be avoided.

Best not to mess with the hardware or installed software on it at all. PXE is your friend!!

=Rich

Comment: Are Smartphones Compulsory? (Score 1) 207

by rMortyH (#48574983) Attached to: In Iowa, a Phone App Could Serve As Driver's License

It's a terrible and impractical idea. There is no need for it, other than app makers and data miners trying to make more money, and the police having a new reason to take your phone. It does not improve on the present system which is already computerized.

But more important, will there soon be laws REQUIRING people to carry a phone?

Comment: Re:use SMS (Score 1) 113

by rMortyH (#47570841) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Open Hardware/Software-Based Security Token?

We use custom scripts, that work very well. They're not very complex. We're SMSing through a third-party provider, which is not my first choice, but it is easy to manage.

This is not, of course, extremely secure, but with all the SMS management credentials kept completely separate, it's pretty good.

It gives us the 'something you have' and 'something you know' requirements. You need the phone. In a very well planned and determined attack they could probably get past this, but there are other measures in place, and it makes it hard enough that if they're that determined, they'll try something else.

=rMortyH

Comment: The terms are switched! (Score 1) 326

by rMortyH (#46249285) Attached to: NSF Report Flawed; Americans Do Not Believe Astrology Is Scientific

'Astrology' means 'the study of stars'. When real scientists began to study stars, this term had already been taken over by crackpots.
So, they adopted 'Astronomy' which is the NAMING of stars, because the more correct term now meant something else.

So, really, astronomy should be called astrology, and astrology should be called bunk.

Comment: Your info has already been voluntarily given up. (Score 4, Informative) 341

by rMortyH (#43967079) Attached to: What Can You Find Out From Metadata?

Did any of these people stop to consider that CPNI data is routinely sold by Verizon and all other carriers unless they specifically opt out?

How many Americans who are complaining about this have opted out of the CPNI sharing clause of their contracts?

You are already giving permission, by not opting out, to your wireless and landline carriers to sell your metadata to ANYONE for ANY REASON, including the government, who may buy it on the open market just like anyone else. This data is seldom anonymized, and when it is, you can still search for specific characteristics to find the information of a specific person. And, any entity willing to pay for the information may have it, and it can be bought through a third-party data aggregator who will de-anonymize it and bundle it with plenty of other interesting facts about YOU.

How many people have actually read their terms of service? Have they gone through the arcane process of opting out of the voluntary sharing of CPNI data? (Every year, for each carrier?) Will they now complain that no one warned them? Did they expect their politicians to keep them informed? If the politicians had tried, would they have listened? They didn't care when this became the norm 10 years ago, and now suddenly it's intrusive?

This is what happens when you don't pay attention.

Comment: It would be nice if it worked! (Score 2, Insightful) 46

by rMortyH (#35856976) Attached to: Walking HECTOR Robot Inspired By Stick Insect

Did anyone else notice that it DOESN'T MOVE?

Nice 2:45 video with the usual pornography-inspired music track, but no movement. No 'Robot in action', just a disembodied leg on a treadmill.

Not to knock these guys too much, this is really typical of the robot industry right now. You go to a robot show or conference, and all the 'state of the art' robots are sitting there completely lifeless and no one has "permission from management" to turn them on.

Come on guys, if the industry is going to go anywhere you're going to have to ignore your lawyers and put the batteries in! Otherwise, how do we know you're not bluffing?

Comment: More Battery Capacity (Score 1) 260

by rMortyH (#31131478) Attached to: UPS Setup For a Small/Mid-Size Company?

Hello-
      Most larger APC units have an external battery connector on the back. It uses an Anderson connector to connect an external battery pack. Also, you can chain battery packs, to have more than one. The external battery packs are expensive but they can be worth it for this very problem.

      There's also the DIY method for VERY long uptime!

      At my shop, in the locked cabinet, we have an ancient APC 1400 unit, with the batteries REMOVED, and two wal-mart deep-cycle marine batteries connected to the external connector. The batteries are 24-DC 12Volt, 75 amp hour batteries in series, for 24 volts. (grey connector) We disabled the beeper in the unit (with pliers... YANK) This keeps a rack with 7 computers up for several HOURS.

    This worked so well we decided to go one better! In the main closet, with extension cords running to the machines in the rest of the shop, we have a 3000VA APC unit. It has a 48 volt input (blue connector), not 24. On this sucker we put FOUR 27-DC 115 amp hour deep-cycle batteries, again from Wal-mart (best price, sorry) in series, connected to the back of the unit with the external connector. For these I got lucky and found a really nice set of cables.

    This sucker powers all the machines outside the rack, as well as some flat panels, and a desk lamp. (So we don't break our necks!)

    I was worried that the current would be too much for the charger, but I've run them down and back up again and they're fine. I guess the UPS units are made to handle two or so external battery packs, so they handle the lead-acid jumbos just fine.

    We've had these for a few years, and even had the same power outage here in SF that took out 365 Main a few years ago and had no problems. I need to do another plug-pull test, but our loads are not that high and we can get up to eight hours! Again, pull out the beepers or you'll pull out your hair.

    Some tips- You need nice, big cables to do this. Also, there are some code issues for large lead-acid batteries, so if you want to be completely legal buy the APC external battery units. If you buy at Wal-mart find some old dead lead batteries before you go or they'll charge you $9 core per unit. They really don't care if it's the same kind of battery, I traded in the old APC Sealed units for the marine batteries ten times as big! Unlike the sealed ones, the deep-cycles are spillable so be careful. I have never had them spill but if you tip them over they will probably spill some acid.

    Have fun!

=Rich

P.S. If you want more info on this or pictures, you can email me (public account) at rich underscore humphrey at yahoo

+ - iraqis buy completely useless explosives detectors->

Submitted by rMortyH
rMortyH (40227) writes "NY times reports that a UK company is selling millions of dollars worth of 'exlosives detectors' to the Iraqi military which are nothing more than high-tech looking divining rods. They don't even have batteries. It is amazing that they would ever think this scam would work, and even more incredible that it actually did!"
Link to Original Source

+ - Old technology helped Madoff fool his customers ->

Submitted by JD831
JD831 (1497443) writes "This 3,000 word investigative feature looks how Madoff's isolated IBM AS/400 cranked out phony customer statements, trade confirmations and IRS 1099 to make decades of fake trades look legitimate. Only a handful of Madoff employees had access to the AS/400 on the 17th floor of the Lipstick Building in NY. So-called "baskets" of stocks were replicated across customer accounts using "essentially a mail merge" program, according to investigators. The story, based on interviews with two former Madoff IT employees and reams of legal documents, explores how how Madoff lulled customers to sleep with great looking statements and returns that were too good to be true."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:9V != 18W (Score 3, Interesting) 366

by rMortyH (#29369099) Attached to: Teenager Invents Cheap Solar Panel From Human Hair

True, this is false.

There's a picture of a multimeter, and a lighted bulb, but the panel shown is IN THE DARK! Unless it's on a totally different panel that is in the sun, it's way fake. And, as pointed out, 9volts is trivial, but 18 watts is actually really hard.

Also, the reporter is not energy-literate, but that's not a surprise.

I once showed an artist a calculator running on a lemon battery. Not knowing about CURRENT and POWER, she then went and proposed a project to a museum where a classic Gameboy would run on lemons, and they accepted it. Of course this would take a few thousand lemons! Luckily, it was an art museum, not a science museum. We ended up hiding double-A's inside some of the lemons. (We came clean to anyone smart enough to ask!)

I suspect similar shenanigans...

Aren't you glad you're not getting all the government you pay for now?

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