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Comment: Re:Pull the disk (Score 1) 466

by scrib (#49143717) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Old PC File Transfer Problem

So use the old machine to power the drive up if you don't have the power connector for it. Like a jumper cable. Open the old machine and set it next to the new one. USB adapter to the new computer, power from the old. The old computer will just sit there failing to find a boot drive, and you don't have to open the new one up. An adapter as suggested is the best way to go.

Comment: Re: Science... Yah! (Score 5, Insightful) 958

by scrib (#48965815) Attached to: Science's Biggest Failure: Everything About Diet and Fitness

No time to cook and yet the average American watches almost 5 hours of TV per day. (The number of hours watched per day actually climbs steadily as you get older, from around 2 to 7 hours per day.) You can even watch TV while you cook!

I also don't believe for a moment that "unprocessed" foods are more expensive. Rice, beans (dried or canned), frozen vegetables, canned tomatoes or paste, basic spices, and even most fresh produce costs less than highly processed foods like chips or microwave meals. Meats and dairy may seem more expensive to buy straight out, but those highly processed foods are not bargains loaded with lots of good meat and quality cheese; they have just enough to get you to buy the thing and lots and lots of salt.

I think the problem is education. I suspect there is a growing population of people who really don't know how to take basic ingredients and turn them into a meal. It does change the equation a bit when you have to take care of kids. That's one of the things that my parents and grandparents did: cooking was family time.

Comment: 3GB extra data usage per month! (Score 5, Interesting) 131

by scrib (#47823583) Attached to: Facebook Blamed For Driving Up Cellphone Bills, But It's Not Alone

I started a shared data pool plan for my family and my brother's usage was estimated at about 2GB per month. A couple weeks into the billing cycle I checked usage and my brother had used MORE data than the other FIVE of us combined, and was on track to use over 5GB! We talked about it and it turned out he had the new facebook app installed and complained that the videos had started autoplaying. He found it annoying. We did a quick search and found that the DEFAULT setting is to autoplay videos as you scroll past them, regardless of the connection type.

We changed the setting to "Wi-Fi Only" (or never) and nothing else about his usage. His average daily bandwidh went from 150MB to 50MB.

Facebook's new, annoying, default setting was on track to add 3GB PER MONTH of data usage! (30 days * 100MB)

We were lucky to be on a new plan with 6 people that I was monitoring to make sure we had the right data plan. An extra 3GB of data sent to a casual users ought to earn Facebook some kickbacks from cellphone providers!

Comment: Re:Fast, Cheap, High Quality (Score 1) 370

by scrib (#46576601) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Fastest, Cheapest Path To a Bachelor's Degree?

He did. Fast and cheap. Do you have some actual advice?

This guy is in a situation where he knows how to do the job, but some HR person wants to see a check next to the "BS" line. Yes, the BS line. Quality isn't important so long as he can legitimately put BS CS on his resume.

My brother is in construction and they won't promote him further without a bachelors. What kind? Doesn't matter, really. He just needs to get a degree from somewhere accredited, the sooner the better, so some paper-pusher can approve it.

It might not be fastest, but I would check local community colleges. Some offer 4 year degrees. They tend to be cheaper than the degree mills, though not as fast. Two more years really isn't very long. Good luck!

Comment: Too much fluff (Score 2) 1191

by scrib (#45007109) Attached to: Come Try Out Slashdot's New Design (In Beta)

I read slashdot at work from a netbook tethered to a phone.
The extra screen real estate used for pointless, often goofy pictures is a waste. I have to scroll more and wait longer while I 3G down the nice big JPGs.
All I want is a clean, information dense site that I can browse quickly and easily. If this change isn't optional for users, then I simply won't be able to visit it at work and then I just won't visit it any more.

Comment: Re:Subsetting a repository of files (Score 1) 238

by scrib (#44810401) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Best To Synchronize Projects Between Shared Drive and PCs?

Yours is the answer I wanted to write and is the solution I've used for just such situations. However, it violates one of the first ridiculous requirements: "It is important that subscribing to a project is as easy as copying it from Z:\ to C:\projects\."

Koookie, that may be an easy way to copy files, but it is a miserably difficult way to manage projects - even for developers. SVN takes a little time to set up and understand and requires maybe a day's worth of training for any developer who hasn't used source control before (eg some college kids). As you can tell from the chorus, version control is worth it. It is absolutely crazy to try to do what you are describing without it. Give up the absurd "easy as dragging and dropping" requirement and use the tools of the trade.

Comment: Re:Medical databases (Score 5, Informative) 814

by scrib (#44018891) Attached to: Transgendered Folks Encountering Document/Database ID Hassles

I write software for a blood center and birth sex is critically important for proper handling of donated blood. I had no idea that male and female blood had to be handled differently, but it largely boils down to how a pregnancy (even one that spontaneously aborted and a woman might not even realize she had) can affect blood antibodies. An F->M transgender should report that fact.

As a starting point of research for the curious, check out TRALI.

Even though the plasma from female donors is used for manufacturing (as is ALL plasma collected at places that pay for it), I still encourage women to donate, especially platelets! (Technically, the plasma from AB+ females can be used.)

Comment: Re:Stop being cheap. (Score 1) 524

by scrib (#43792679) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Moving From Contract Developers To Hiring One In-House?

Given the spec is incomplete, and your experience, wouldn't best practice be to analyse the requirements at the start and identify those edge cases and get decisions on them before starting.

Sure, that would be best practice. (Although, in reality, you often have to start coding the normal flow before all the edge cases are known just to meet deadlines.) I suspect OP isn't hiring contractors who will give him that bitter "90% of the work is before I start writing code" pill.

The OP is looking for someone who works cheap, can divine intention from specs, and knows everything but how to find clients themselves.

Comment: Re:Stop being cheap. (Score 2) 524

by scrib (#43792289) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Moving From Contract Developers To Hiring One In-House?

The specs are never as good as the spec writers think they are.

I've been a developer (contractor and employee) for nearly 20 years and have never seen specs that clearly defined everything. In any project of notable size, there are always huge portions of "it's obvious what I want," often with the UI. Spec writers are generally terrible at thinking about "edge case" behavior, focussing on the "normal flow" and trivializing the "alternate flows."

Why do you think the OP always has battles at the end of the project?
You find bugs in the code during development and testing.
You find bugs in the spec when you deliver.

To downgrade the human mind is bad theology. - C. K. Chesterton