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Comment: Re: file transfer (Score 2) 331

by JWSmythe (#49145089) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Old PC File Transfer Problem

The most ancient laptop I ever touched was a Compaq 386/16 with a 20MB 3.5" 1/2 height IDE drive. It sounds pretty much like the same, or probably the piece of crap I had was a predecessor. I do remember it was clearly a 20MB drive though. I swapped it for a regular desktop 40MB IDE that we had in the shop.

Everything I found about that series says it's IDE. I couldn't find anything specifically saying the physical size, but I suspect it was a 3.5" drive. I seriously doubt it was RLL, MFM, ESDI, or anything more exotic. So he's wasting everyone's time asking rather than just opening it up and seeing "ooh, a IDE drive." Even if it was, he could go find some combination of adapters to use it. Anyone who's worked with stuff long has a box full of adapters and cards for exactly this. Well, I did ditch all my ancient cards on eBay a few years ago.

I'd be surprised if the drive even spins though. Most of the time when I go to try ancient hardware, the drives don't spin, or spin enough, even though the owner remembers that it was working when they shut it off.

Comment: Re:file transfer (Score 1) 331

by ncc74656 (#49144359) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Old PC File Transfer Problem

The new machines lack LPT ports? WTF kind of machine did you buy without an LPT port? A laptop, sure, a desktop? You have to look hard, even today to find a machine that doesn't have a printer port.

Pretty much anything built in the last five or so years won't have serial or parallel ports. If you're lucky, you might have some headers on the motherboard that can be brought to the slot cage with connectors in brackets like what were common before ATX, but I've run across plenty of motherboards that don't even have those. Notebooks are even less likely to have them. This Dell Inspiron E1505 I'm typing on is a bit long in the tooth...main reason I'm keeping it going is its 15" 1680x1050 screen. No serial or parallel ports on it.

When I saw a sufficiently-old notebook come through my office a while back that had a serial port on it, I hung onto it for talking to our switches and routers. I forget what model of HP it is, but it's old enough that it runs on an Athlon XP. It's probably the better part of 10 years old at this point. The last emerge -uND world took a couple of days to run, but it's fast enough to run Minicom and Firefox, and to do traffic captures from the switch: serial connection to the management port to enable SPAN, Ethernet to the SPAN port for capture, and WiFi to talk to the whole thing from my office instead of the server room.

Comment: Re:Without estimates you can't budget... (Score 5, Funny) 272

by JWSmythe (#49142377) Attached to: The Programmers Who Want To Get Rid of Software Estimates

Lets see... What would they say? This is the one-sided conversation, since it doesn't matter what you say anyways.

"Ok, we can accept that estimate."

"Ya, ya, ya, whatever."

"We'll have that information to you by the start of the project."

"The information isn't ready yet, we'll have that by the time you need it."

"I thought we had that to you already. We'll have to check with the information source."

"The PMs have some changes."

"Here's the information, but there are some small changes."

"No, those are small changes, they won't impact the timeline."

"No, you can't have more time, we already made commitments."

"The PMs have some changes."

"What do you mean you won't have it in on schedule? You agreed with the initial estimate."

"You're going to stay here until it's done, I don't care how long it takes."

"I don't care that you've been in the office 30 hours straight, this is your fault."

"We're hiring an off-shore company to help you with the project. Get them up to speed."

"The PMs have some changes."

"Since we have the off-shore team, we need to cut your department back."

"I read an article saying Java is the future. Redo it in Java."

"What do you mean we're waiting on the off-shore company?"

"We fired the off-shore company. You're good, you can get it done in time."

"Ok, hire more people into your department, but we're only offering half the salary, and no more bodies."

"Why is this project so far behind? Don't you know what you're doing?"

"The PMs have these changes."

"Why aren't you done? We're weeks from the deadline!"

"You didn't meet the deadline. Don't you know deadlines are firm. We have commitments."

"I don't want excuses, I want results."

"You and your idiot team are fired. Get out of my building."

[2 months later]

"We need you to come back and finish the project. We need it by next Monday, that should be plenty of time."

"Here's all the new specs. They should be easy to do."

"What do you mean total rewrite, it's only a few chances. You are an idiot. Get out."

[1 month later]

"We need you to come back and finish the project. We need it by" {click}

"We need you to come back and finish the project. We need it by" {click}

"We need you to come back and finish the project. We need it by" {click}

"Why do you keep hanging up on me?" {click}

Comment: Re:Ignorant premise (Score 1) 446

by HBI (#49139859) Attached to: Machine Intelligence and Religion

That's a particularly weak argument. You have no evidence to back this up, just an assertion. Yet the visible signs of emotion in babies and pets are well documented. You seem to be saying that if the being demonstrating emotion can't talk to act as a witness of his own emotion, then it's unprovable that they are sustaining emotion. They could be faking it to avoid being considered prey. At some future point, they figure out how to perform the same actions in the same situations for a reason, and therefore give up faking the behavior.

William of Ockham would say that you were full of baloney.

Comment: Re:Ignorant premise (Score 1) 446

by HBI (#49139011) Attached to: Machine Intelligence and Religion

Babies have emotion from the moment they are born. It's not learned, at least outside the womb. Newborns are curious, get angry, and get happy. Spent enough time with a vernix-covered infant (my own two) to know that.

I suppose the belief is that if you create code that is capable of learning, sufficient iterations of it will gain consciousness as a result of that capability, and therefore the capability to observe one religion or another.

Unfortunately, I think there's a 2. ??? line in there somewhere. Something like:

1. Code machine capable of independent learning
2. ???
3. Consciousness

The catch is in the ???

Comment: Re:You know... (Score 1) 679

by HBI (#49129135) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Terminally Ill - What Wisdom Should I Pass On To My Geek Daughter?

His daughters are 30 and 27 now. Both married. I don't talk to them much, I find their husbands to be annoying. They were the beneficiaries of a significant insurance settlement as a result of their father's death and had some wealthy relatives who paid all their bills. They're both a bit full of themselves as a result.

Comment: You know... (Score 4, Interesting) 679

by HBI (#49128807) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Terminally Ill - What Wisdom Should I Pass On To My Geek Daughter?

I was thinking of the same thing before I deployed to Iraq in 2007-08. I have two daughters - now 20 and 17, but much younger then, obviously. I had all kinds of ideas about what I could tell them or how I could communicate with them beyond the grave, as I took the possibility of not coming back very seriously at the time. Ultimately, I decided to do nothing. My reasons revolved around others' experiences - my brother died, for instance, at a similar time frame in his daughters' life. They demonstrated next to zero interest in what he was like, even though I had quite a bit of information about him, some audio tapes and the like. I offered to let them listen to it/see what I had/talk to them about it, and they had little interest. I didn't (and don't) imagine my kids would be any different. In the end, who cares who I was. I was their father when I was alive. Now that i'm not, i'm just some cold stone or an urn or something, a few pictures and not much else. Expecting my words to have much significance to them was not realistic.

Comment: Re:Don't forget Firefox Hello! (Score 1) 146

by asa (#49125077) Attached to: Firefox 36 Arrives With Full HTTP/2 Support, New Design For Android Tablets

Videoconferencing from any device on the planet without installing any special software is bloat?

YES, in the same way that every user on the planet would probably want a calculator once in a while but that doesn't mean the browser needs to add one!

Firefox comes with a couple of calculators built in. It has since before it was called Firefox.

Comment: Re:Oh bullshit! (Score 4, Interesting) 298

by JWSmythe (#49123201) Attached to: FedEx Won't Ship DIY Gunsmithing Machine

I've heard of similar things. For example, this guy sending air, water, and sugar.

As long as you have the right safety labels, there shouldn't be a problem. The guy in the above link screwed up with the "Rocket Fuel" label.

If they were sending a mill, why did they say "It's a machine for making guns"? IT could have been labeled as coming from "GG Machine Works", and if they needed a declaration of contents it's just "a CNC machine."

I can't even think of the countless things I've shipped. Usually I'm only asked on International shipments for the customs declaration. If I explain what's in them, it's too complicated, so they just put "computer parts" or "tools".

I've received some things that surprised people, like ammunition (legally marked and shipped as such, handled by UPS), a truck front axle, and all kinds of weird smaller things.

"Well, if you can't believe what you read in a comic book, what *can* you believe?!" -- Bullwinkle J. Moose

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