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Comment: Batch files (Score 2) 635

by spywhere (#47788169) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Old Technology Can't You Give Up?
I work in support, and I still find the CMD environment and batch file language to be incredibly powerful tools. I've written everything from simple one- or two-command files to long, interactive programs that interact with other batch files and, by writing to the Registry, resume after reboots.
Sometimes, in a crisis, I'm the only one who can produce a reliable solution the same morning that the crisis starts...

Comment: Not scientific, but... (Score 1) 237

by spywhere (#46106667) Attached to: Hard Drive Reliability Study Flawed?
FWIW (not much), I've bought forty or fifty 2.5" and 3.5" drives a year for the last nine years, mostly for resale in my computer repair business; lately, I pick them up at our local Tiger Direct retail store or order them from Amazon. I have the fewest problems with Seagate drives.

Almost every time I buy another brand, the damn thing takes a crap and I get to do the job again for free. (Thank FSM Maxtor went away: they were the WORST).

Comment: two more steps (Score 1) 310

by spywhere (#45830225) Attached to: 4 Tips For Your New Laptop
Create an additional administrative account, with a complex password (but don't lose it). You will use this to effect repairs if malware infects your main profile. (Most Win6.x malware is confined to the user profile and C:\ProgramData folders to avoid the UAC prompt).

Download the Hosts file from, which will protect you from all kinds of threats (and it hides a buttload of advertising, too).

Comment: We called them (Score 5, Interesting) 225

by spywhere (#45660351) Attached to: Doom Is Twenty Years Old
My roommate came home back in '93 with a bootleg copy of the original game. After we installed it, we were concerned about "going to HELL," so we called id Software.

"Hi, we're calling because someone gave us a bootleg copy of Doom...
"We need the address, so we can send a check... how much do we owe you?"

The person on the phone, after recovering from their shock, gave us the address, and told us to make sure to include OUR mailing address with the check.

A few weeks later, we received a boxed copy of Doom, and a bunch of other cool swag.

Comment: Re:IPv6 for older hardware (Score 1) 174

by spywhere (#35385678) Attached to: Most IPv6-certified Home Network Gear Buggy
I would be shocked if Cisco ever produces a Linksys router that is worth the money, IPv6 or not. The hundreds I've seen in the field are so unreliable that I'd never buy one, and I replace one or two more every week. Linksys is the reason I carry two Netgear or Dlink wireless routers in the car.
Sure, I do see other brands fail after a year or two, but I've seen more brand new defective Linksys routers than I have Netgear routers that dies of old age.

Comment: I hate to ask, but... (Score 3, Informative) 155

by spywhere (#34192428) Attached to: Research Inches Toward Processor-Specific Malware
"Windows/Office/IE monoculture is disappearing faster than equatorial glaciers..."
Do you actually work in corporate IT? Windows XP and IE6/7 dominate. Apple has little hope of taking hold in anything bigger than the art department at Comcast, and Linux is what the geekiest artist-type there uses at home.

I'm not advocating Windows... I'm simply pointing out that they are not going anywhere.

Optimism is the content of small men in high places. -- F. Scott Fitzgerald, "The Crack Up"