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Comment: Facing a dilemma...... (Score 1) 256

by saturndude (#42440463) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Is Your New Years Eve Tradition?

This year, I went to a church get-together. I was basically ordered out at the end, over nothing (I wasn't mean or drunk, and I got out physically okay). Aspies like me don't do well here, and things often get worse in a hurry.

So next year I promise to stay home. It seems like a pattern with me. Every few years, I think I have a place that fits me, and I plan to have a good time. And something always goes wrong.

Maybe I should just resign myself to staying home every new year's eve, and watch movies or read a good book (I have no family that can stay up that late and enjoy activities with me).

Perhaps in the future I'll volunteer at a soup kitchen (maybe on the holiday or on a different day, it depends what the charity's needs are).

Comment: Decades before punch cards!!! (Score 1) 498

by saturndude (#34674004) Attached to: What's the Oldest File You Can Restore?

Check out this fellow:

www.trachtman.org

He built on the efforts of two others to scan old player piano rolls and use software to re-constitute the information as MIDI files. If punch cards can be considered files, player piano rolls can too. He has scanned and converted almost 7000 such rolls.

The MIDI files can be printed out as sheet music on paper or backed up to the latest computer format going forward.

I am not sure when the vintage piano rolls were cut (that people have sent him), but player pianos have been around for decades, and a lot of the files on his site are U.S. public domain (before 1922) music. Check it out!

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Anti-Speed Camera Activist Buys Police Department's Web Domain 680

Posted by samzenpus
from the I-bought-the-law dept.
Brian McCrary just bought a website to complain about a $90 speeding ticket he received from the Bluff City PD — the Bluff City Police Department site. The department let its domain expire and McCrary was quick to pick it up. From the article: "Brian McCrary found the perfect venue to gripe about a $90 speeding ticket when he went to the Bluff City Police Department's website, saw that its domain name was about to expire, and bought it right out from under the city's nose. Now that McCrary is the proud owner of the site, bluffcitypd.com, the Gray, Tenn., computer network designer has been using it to post links about speed cameras — like the one on US Highway 11E that caught him — and how people don't like them."

Comment: Norbert Weiner (Score 1) 737

by saturndude (#31442426) Attached to: What IT pioneer do you respect the most?

Norbert Wiener. No question about it.

He survived life despite being the typical "absent minded professor". Official accounts don't give any anecdotes -- consult old editions of Russ Walter's "The Secret Guide to Computers" (current editions might not talk about him much).

I cannot relate to his work in mathematics and cybernetics, since I really don't understand it. But surviving life as a thoroughly absent-minded person? That is what I can relate to and respect. It is a monumental achievement to me.

Comment: Re:As a home user.... (Score 1) 416

by saturndude (#31226466) Attached to: Why You Can't Pry IE6 Out of Their Cold, Dead Hands

"Rhetorical trick?" No. Microsoft has earned (and deserves) a poor reputation for security, and I am exposed to it often here on /. The truth repeated often enough meets my personal definition of bashing.

I don't have time to (and I don't care to) quote examples and specifics. The themes I quoted tell my state of mind about their software -- it will probably continue to be insecure.

Security is a reason to upgrade. If I think it is not likely to get better, my statement stands.

"I don't see a reason or a need."

Nice try. Thanks for playing, though.

Comment: As a home user.... (Score 1) 416

by saturndude (#31221034) Attached to: Why You Can't Pry IE6 Out of Their Cold, Dead Hands
For quite a while, IE 6 was Microsoft's flagship browser. We knew it was insecure. Somebody (Secunia?) even recommended that we *_strongly_* consider switching away from IE6 to *_any_* other browser.

But important sites like my bank standardized on it. Several years after Firefox came out and Netscape became SeaMonkey, I still got warning pages that "Netscape is not really supported on our site" or similar. Did my bank's web developers fall asleep and miss the name change? Did AOL give the outdated Netscape broswer to their users and this warning was directed at them?

Then Microsoft came out with IE7. Even larger and more complicated (just like the bug-fixes that MS had to follow up with). Then IE 8. More of the same. Microsoft talked about the improved customer experience, but I was more interested in the security settings, and after years of Netscape/Firefox, I barely understand some of them ("medium-high" security, "third-party" cookies, "zones" and so forth).

I don't visit questionable sites, I use the hosts file at hosts-file.net and I don't click on every random e-mail attachment (open it first in linux to verify the audio/video/pdf or whatever), and I use Firefox 99 percent of the time in XP (and 100 percent in linux). And banks don't *_require_* MSIE anymore.

Now, add the usual Microsoft bashing on slashdot ("Seven is just as insecure as Vista", "MS played a role in the SCO affair", "IE is still insecure", "activation/WGA is a hassle", "security features are easily defeated").

Why don't I upgrade? I don't see a reason or a need.

Comment: Re:I'm in a good place with Amazon..... (Score 2, Interesting) 202

by saturndude (#30560274) Attached to: The Secret Lives of Amazon's Elves
I have a bachelor's degree and some other credentials (also learned HVAC at night school), but not a lot of experience in either field.

I don't "sell myself" well at interviews, but Amazon (and partners) have the web presence (and logistics) to sell stuff efficiently. I'm happy to be here.

If I get more confidence, and the right opening comes along, well....

Comment: I'm in a good place with Amazon..... (Score 5, Informative) 202

by saturndude (#30560076) Attached to: The Secret Lives of Amazon's Elves
Driving 45 minutes each direction (northern KY, near Cincinnati Airport). (And yes, I rode the motorcycle to work Dec. 24 -- just ask Chan, Ian or Jim. They all saw me). Safety tips, announcements, and stretching. And the day begins. I've been there (CVG1) for 18 months, and I'm still amazed at all the products we carry.

I'm making more money than I ever have before (I'm 43), the work is steady, benefits are nice (including the exercise I get working), and everyone has a good sense of professionalism. As for firing you for taking off sick (Huff. Post article), um, sorry, no. Not here. (See, someone does read the articles before posting!) Cheating on overtime? I'm going over my financial records right now, and the occasional mistake does get corrected. And I take off for the Men's room whenever I need to.

Fascinating article, though. Always wondered about our other operations. Sorry some of the campgrounds aren't so nice, hopefully that will improve.

Comment: Distributed Computing (Score 1) 739

by saturndude (#27718149) Attached to: What Did You Do First With Linux?
I ran the distributed.net client for a couple of projects because I wanted to help them out. In July 1998 I was still running Windows 3.1 (true story!). Distributed.net didn't have a client for Windows 3.1, I still didn't have Win9x, and their DOS client, well, was unitasking, like DOS. I couldn't enjoy my PC and help them out too. I repartitioned hard drive space and started dual-booting with Caldera 1.2 (kernel 2.0.33).

Ran on a AMD K5-166, 96 or 128 MB RAM. Task switching was so much smoother than Windows (preemptive instead of cooperative multitasking, IIRC). I was hooked!

Today I spend 95% of my time in Linux (and 5% in XP).

For every bloke who makes his mark, there's half a dozen waiting to rub it out. -- Andy Capp

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