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Comment Re:reading and dead tree technology (Score 1) 221

Ah, another aficionado of dead tree technology. I find reading long documents online is very tiring. That is why I prefer using dead tree technology by printing the document.

Dead tree technology has many benefits:
It never needs to be recharged.
It is very portable. Just toss it into your bag. No cords or power supply.
It is very easy to share with some one. Just hand the book to them. Remember to put your name in it.
It has a very user friendly user indexing system called "dog ear".
Simply fold a corner of a page over and you can find your place again.
It is very easy to make notes with a pen or yellow highlighter technology. But only if it is your own book.
Character image resolution is excellent. No "jaggies" in the font.
Reading a book has a great tactile feel.
Holding it in your hands, turning the pages.

The only drawback is that it requires an external light source. Sunshine and daylight are great to read by but indoor lights work just as well. Even a flashlight under the bed covers.

Yes, I do like reading using my "dead tree" technology. The only problem is that in a decade or two, children will be asking me about my odd hand held device. Do I really never have to charge it? How can I use it if it does not connect to the Internet? What if I have a question or want to text my friends? Do I really need a different one for each book I want to read?

Apologies for this being off topic.

Comment A funny story about a slide rule (IBM manager) (Score 5, Interesting) 220

My father, Jack Harker, was a very senior manager at IBM. He was Director of the San Jose [IBM] Labs in the 70's and 80's. He was also one of the quiet giants of the disk drive industry convincing IBM upper management to develop thin film disk heads and the original Winchester technology.

Jack loved to tell how in high level presentations when lots of figures and projections were being put up on the screen and the numbers didn't seem right, he would reach over and pull out his old 16" ivory K&E slide rule from his college days. The younger managers and engineers who had not seen him do this before would be flabbergasted, quite often offering to get him a calculator. He did this for two reasons. The first was to flummox the presenters and push them out of their comfort zone. The second was that he found a slide rule with its logarithmic scales was very useful for visually looking at growth projections. A quick look to see if the numbers actually made sense. Knowing my dad, I think the first reason was why he kept doing it. He enjoyed the looks of disbelief he got. Even more so after he quickly verified the numbers.

I sure do miss him.

Comment Boehner a pinch hitter for President? (Score 1) 406

The Republican Presidential field is a demolition derby. Nobody is coming out unscathed. Boahner is retiring at the top of his game. He will have averted his second government shutdown, probably with Democratic help. The shutdown will come with the debit ceiling crisis in December.
He enters the spring primary season at the right time, 3 months before June, fresh and ready to run. He presents himself as an honest broker. Someone willing to work with the Democrats to pass legislation. Rank and file moderate Republicans and swing voters can vote for him as a conservative who gets the job done. He kept the lights on twice. In November he runs as a centrist. Someone who can work with both parties. His only black marks are he cries in public and his orange tan. He would give Hillary a run for her money.

What's scary for me as a bleeding heart liberal, is that he would not be a bad choice. Unlike W or the race to the bottom of the current gang of candidates.

Comment Where is the direction arrow? (Score 1) 391

These can not be very good cables because they lack the direction arrow that the Belden audiophile Ethernet cables have (had?). This was so you would know which way to plug them in. Packets flow from hub/switch to the device.

And if you believe this, I have a bridge to sell you.
It is orange and you will make your money back in picture postcard royalties.

Comment You can't report blocked IPv6 addresses to Comcast (Score 1) 595

Last week I found that my IPv6 address was blocked as a spam IP by Comcast. I have had IP addresses blocked in the past so I did some digging and found the Comcast form you fill out to unblock an IP address and filled it out. When I tried to submit my IPv6 address the form reported that it was a malformed IP address. The form only accepts IPv4 dotted quad addresses.

Just one of the many minor issues facing IPv6 adoption.

Comment What about local news paper? (Score 0) 379

I know in my town the local paper carries pictures of the high school games. How is this significantly different than the student taking the pictures? Yes, I know, a press pass and an official newspaper. It would be interesting to hear why the principal thinks this students pictures are different?


Comment Taylor Mali's Pizza poem for Pluto (Score 1) 196

There is always Taylor Mali's Pizza poem for Pluto:

I is a poem about a planet mnemonic:
My very educated mother just served us nine pizzas
Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto

He also has a great poem about teachers and I love his spell checker poem.

Comment RFID and strong authentication in a clean room (Score 1) 127

In a clean room, swiping a badge each time is hard. Use RFID in a wrist band. The hand needs to push a button. Put a reader next to the default button so pressing the button authenticates with RFID. For non-default operations requires a RFID swipe. Could the reader be an IoT (Internet of Things) device?

Strong authentication with an RFID device in a clean room environment is easy. Put the RFID wrist band on under the bunny suit. Require the user to authenticate on a computer with their RFID wrist band inside the clean room before anything will work. Two users can not swap wrist bands because they would have to wear them outside the bunny suit which is visually obvious.

A wrist band could work easily any manufacturing environment if the company does not need strong authenticati

Weak authentication is easy. Strong authentication is hard.

Comment Massive Ancient Landslides In California (Score 1) 44

Many years ago I took a geomorphology class in college. Geomorphology is the study of the landscape and the geologic processes that shape the contours of the land. We had a lab where we identified landslides using aerial photos and a stereoscope. I already had some experience looking through a stereoscope and identifying landslides so I was finding lots of them. The professor walked by and noticed. He said "OK Robert, now look for larger landslides." They were harder to see because they were older. But they could be identified by their surface mottling and shape. So I start to see them and there are lots of them. The professor was impressed and he said "OK, now step back and look at the entire hill side." When I did this I realized that the entire hillside was one massive landslide. Ridge to valley bottom. Probably on the order of a square mile. He suggested that at some time in the past the entire hillside slid. Probably the result of a 1906 type earthquake in the middle of a very wet winter when all the soil on the hillside was saturated with water. It blew my mind.


Comment Re: Yelling "Fire" in a movie theater (Score 1) 716

Yelling "Fire" in a movie theater is far less terrifying than receiving a death threat. But people do not yell "Fire" in theaters because it is considered socially unacceptable even as a prank. Why are we not raising the same level of social pressure when people send death or rape threats?

Death or rape threats are never a joke just like yelling "Fire" in a theater is never a joke. This is especially true for a woman or girl when they receive one. It is really bad to teach women that they should "Laugh it off" or "Get a thinker skin" in response to a direct threat to their personal safety. Is this how you want your daughters or sisters or mothers to be treated?

Comment Walking on water (Score 5, Interesting) 54

Kind of off topic but we have a picture of my father, Jack Harker, walking on water in front of the sculpture. He was manager of "The Labs" and was working with manufacturing to introduce their first Winchester disk drive. The technology was not moving successfully from the lab to the shop. There were some tremendous technical problems in mass producing the drives. Manufacturing gave a very aggressive schedule for solving the problems. My father replied that if they could meet the schedule, he would walk on water.

Manufacturing meet the schedule and the disk drives were delivered. My father had a plywood platform built and painted dark placed just under the surface of the reflecting pool. True to his word, there he was walking on water with the sculpture in the background.

A picture I did not understand fully until after his death.

Jack Harker, one of the fathers of the disk drive industry, a manager's manager, a great dad.

Comment Performance monitoring (Score 1) 170

Interesting things to monitor are I/O rates and read/write latency. More esoteric things might be stats about most active files and directories or percentage of recently accessed data -vs- inactive data. But these are more analysis than monitoring. What other parameters would a sysadmin want to look at?


Leveraging always beats prototyping.