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Comment: you're obsolete in 5 years (Score 1) 323

by ruebarb (#46548867) Attached to: More On the Disposable Tech Worker

in my field - (network operations/engineering) - my skillset has to essentially rotate out every few years - a CCIE told me if we weren't learning whole new skillsets, we were obsolete in 5 years -

having said that, being in a huge company with a complicated network gives one a bit of security from knowledge of where things work, but several old timers I knew grinding till retirement let their skills go - and as the legacy technology went out, they became less and less useful till they were basically 1st level techs

RB

Comment: it's bad enough with regular passwords (Score 1) 150

by ruebarb (#46548841) Attached to: WPA2 Wireless Security Crackable WIth "Relative Ease"

I already have to tell friends and family to use a alphanumeric password not based on a dictionary word - I was helping a friend find out why her wireless charges were so high, and using backtrack and some basic documentation - (knowing almost nothing about wireless security) - I was able to find out her wireless password based on the fact she was using a regular word in my dictionary list

wireless = never safe

Comment: always a bit of a disappointment (Score 1) 178

by ruebarb (#44972207) Attached to: How LucasArts Fell Apart

lilke most of us in the 90's, I loved the X-wing/Tie Fighter assault games - you're IN the tie fighter, man - awesome!

After the multiplayer - (X-wing vs. Tie Fighter) - I was always disappointed they didn't keep upgrading and updating that universe - the Dark Forces/Jedi Academy games were good - but Battlefront didn't do much for me - neither did Rebellion - (a Masters of Orion ripoff) - it seemed like they were always a few months behind whatever the big thing was and came out with less interesting products sometimes...

really miss the old X-wing and Tie Fighter games though....dang - wish I had them set up on a 486 somewhere

RB

Comment: there's a reason they're overpricing this drug (Score 5, Insightful) 556

by ruebarb (#39341709) Attached to: Indian Gov't Uses Special Powers To Slash Cancer Drug Price By 97%

average life expectancy according to an article on the BBC is extended by only 3 months -

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/8367614.stm

with results like that, you have to overcharge like hell to get your money cause the patients will only be around three more months than usual if they weren't taking the drug -

but if you're desperate and dying anyways, why not blow 2 months salary on a 120 day supply, right? And yet, I have no sympathy for the drug companies - I wonder why....could it be their way of using lawsuits to keep generics off the market for a few extra years while they re-release a "timed" version of their product?

Drug companies are vultures - and I'd love to see more university/public funding of this research for the public interest and less for the profit motive - especially when lives are at stake

Comment: physical destruction (Score 1) 1016

by ruebarb (#37562866) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Way To Destroy Hard Drives?

I think I'd definitely trust physical destruction (take apart, rip platters out, smash with hammer, dispose) over multiple write erases

I seem to remember seeing a hydraulic press/punch being used by someone - - put a nice one inch hole in the hard drive and that was that but it wouldn't take long to take them out and just smash the platters with a sledgehammer...or using the sledgehammer itself on the hd may be fun too

RB

Comment: I went from A+ to MCSE to CCNA/CCNP (Score 1) 444

by ruebarb (#36294106) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Certifications To Get?

I took this path (from hardware to desktop to network) many years ago and am pretty happy with it -

based on your question it doesn't sound like you're starting from square one but doing hardware work - you take that hardware work and the experience you get with the desktop software and get the Microsoft equivlant or thereabouts - then you can sell yourself to an employer as a guy who knows both, even if you only have minimial experience in the cert category

If you chose to go on to networking you'll have a much easier time with the GNS3 simulator that runs Cisco IOS - but I'd say get certified or entry in the field you want to hop up to next

Comment: Re:Was a COMPUSA repair guy - my thoughts... (Score 1) 387

by ruebarb (#36130534) Attached to: Confessions of a Computer Repairman

er - change this sentence -

we would occasionally get some folks wanting to upgrade and we'd often point them to the refurbished computers because to upgrade a 486 to a top of the line pentium would after install fees, cost MORE then buying a new pc - (kinda still holds true today actually)

for those wondering - after parts/motherboard/video card/memory/CD ROM - count approx 50-100 bucks PER component installed - (we were doing free memory upgrades while you wait on laptops back when they were 3k and locked away in a secure room) -

did we need to charge that much for a basic memory upgrade - no - but every tech was expected or wanted to do $75/hr worth of business - think I broke that limit one time - a lot of times you might throw a box on the counter, start it's boot cycle or a repair boot floppy, and then fire up a 2nd one in the meantime

RB

Comment: Was a COMPUSA repair guy - my thoughts... (Score 1) 387

by ruebarb (#36130516) Attached to: Confessions of a Computer Repairman

I did CompUSA repair work in the late 90's - in fact it was my first tech job so in some respects I'm grateful for it and in others I'm not - This was back in the day when top of the line HD's were 8.4 gigs and memory was sold behind the counter

We always ran an above the board shop but let's face it - that goes from manager to manager - a lot of our guys (myself included) were just young people though we had an antique or two around to fix Apples and Printers -

some of the issues we saw were Operating issues - this got to be a major headache - format/reinstall is what we eventually ended up doing across the board - we can't fix OS problems like that

Viruses were horrible but at the time, most were bootable from floppy and most boot floppies cleaned them out - those were the good ol' days

we would occasionally get some folks wanting to upgrade and we'd often point them to the refurbished computers because to upgrade a 486 to a top of the line pentium would after install fees, cost less then buying a new pc - (kinda still holds true today actually)

we'd have people wanting free advice, drivers, help - we'd do what we could but at the end of the day you can only do so much over the phone - so much of the work was diagnostic/detective work with no easy 1 spot fix...

and we had some fun stories - like the PC that came in for repair with the gay porn desktop wallpaper - which then showed out thru the window of the shop into the main store for a couple minutes before he came back to the pc - and the wife who returned a PC in the AM only to have the husband want the same PC back (with no data lost) that evening - (yep, full of porn, which in dial up days took time to acquire)

my favorite is a virus infected and OS damaged custom built beast our master tech worked on for two days - two weeks later the guy came back complaining of the same issues - we asked if he had done anything to the pc and he pointed out that to get his data back, he restored from the tape backup he made 3 weeks ago - DOH!

I could see where mom and pop shops in the strip malls might be angling for a quick buck, but never saw horror stories like that at my shop

RB

Comment: Re:Good thing she's not an olympic gymnist.... (Score 4, Insightful) 214

by ruebarb (#34668770) Attached to: Record Set For World's Youngest Chess Champion

It's a great accomplishment, whether thru Government assistance or otherwise, she still had to play the game on the board herself.

There was a little to be desired in terms of format - whereas the FIDE championship has a series of candidate matches to decide who goes against the challenger, (qualifications of which keep changing) - the Women's championship is a shootout format where last year's champion busted out in round two, more like a poker tournament then the way FIDE handles the regular Championship.

Truth is, there is a lot wrong with FIDE right now and competitive chess, but Hou Yifan's accomplishment is probably the most important accomplishment in the chess world in 2010

Everything that can be invented has been invented. -- Charles Duell, Director of U.S. Patent Office, 1899

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