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Comment Re:Comparative advantage is BS (Score 1) 522

>>>The shuttle was a crap vision that never came to be

The vision of the shuttle never came to be. Originally, the booster was planned as a rocket plan, capable of returning to KSC for refueling. The mass of the wings deployed were dictated by having to meet USAF requirements that the shuttle could return to Vandenberg. Because you know we had so many shuttle launches from California. That mass required pushing the space shuttle main engine beyond original design capacity. And that meant a full rebuild after every mission.

The original vision was possible and could still be flying if scope creep had been shut down in the 70's.

Comment Cartel Busting (Score 1) 172

Google may or may not consider this a business model, but what it does do is put the DSL & cable internet providers on notice that there may be another option. Since the decline of competition and the retirement of "sharing" that last mile, the only two options have been cable or phone company for internet access. 14 years ago, PacBell was laying fiber to San Diego neighborhoods, that project got canned when AT&T swallowed PacBell. Maybe Google could pick up those strands for $2.00. I'll chip in.

Comment Re:SHTF (Score 1) 532

>>> They've not been called upon for 100 years, but yet they still do exist.

I consider the passengers and crew of United 93 to be a classic example of the militia being deployed. Granting we don't have a complete account, but an assembled group voted on taking action. While the government leadership of our nation migrated from one undisclosed location to another, this group denied the enemy their final objective. The heroes of United 93 are twenty first century Minutemen. They saw an attack on the nation and stood up at the cost of their lives.

Comment Re:Ken Thompson (Score 1) 336

RAD-50. My first civilian job was support a database using RAD-50 on PDPs. We marched customers from PDP to VAX to Alphaservers before the new management announced the SQL/IIS port. They took a company with over 50 percent market share (Realtor/Real Estate agent) desktops to 5 five percent in 10 years. One customer jumped from a PDP 11/84 straight to an Alphaserver 1000.

Comment aka Terminal Server (Score 2) 212

When you buy a rack mounted unit that does this, it's sometimes called a terminal server. You can provide network to serial access, enable unique passwords on each device and create access lists. When I managed customer equipment, I used to require a DECserver and modem/phone line for last ditch access. In this case, I had firewall, switch, router and console access. Much of this kit is can be found used or see Vnetek. I understand Cisco also makes comparable product. You can pair this with virtual comm port driver, letting you drive these units from a central location.

Answer number 2, you need to put a business risk into supporting antique systems. Cost of replacement, downtime to find part vs lost business. Consider stocking in house pre staged replacement systems.

Comment Coyote Road Services (Score 3, Funny) 152

At Coyote Road Services we specialize in creative uses for powerful magnets. Over the years, our company has coordinated many road closures and infrastructure upgrades. The skilled technicians and engineers use top rated ACME equipment in our projects. Coyote Road Services, call and one of our agents will take you to lunch and go over your project plan.

Comment running only on an OpenVMS, which runs (Score 5, Insightful) 614


Cool and Unhackable, with documented uptimes over a decade on single servers. If the business really cares about uptime it's probably still using VMS. Of course the support staff was laid off because no one ever need to work on that system and it hasn't been rebooted since the big power outage 6 or 7 years ago.

Comment Modern Business (Score 2) 202

Well technically if you have marketing but no engineering then your ratio is infinite because you are dividing by zero.

That's the most efficient business model. Companies like HP for example are laying off or selling their research and development teams focusing on the spam and telemarketing. Senior management collects their bonus for making the company more effective. When perfected, you're left with an imaginary company.

Comment Drop a Mid-week Day (Tuesday) (Score 1) 564

Saturday deliveries are nice for people who travel during the week, or to get that DVD in from Netflix that hasn't made it to the streaming page. Also nice if you can time online orders for a day when you're going to be home. I'd rather give up a weekday, Tuesday makes a good choice. Drop home delivery one day a week, continue with business and PO Box deliveries. This also gets mail carriers out of peak traffic. I used to be a road warrior and signed up for a PO Box before identify theft became cool to avoid having mail pile up at the house. I've kept it for the same reason and really, I generally pick up mail when I'm expecting something, or pass by that direction. In practice, my wife doesn't care to let more than a week go without mail.

When this idea was first floated, I wrote the Postmaster General and asked him to consider keeping Saturday but dropping a mid-week day.

"The urge to destroy is also a creative urge." -- Bakunin [ed. note - I would say: The urge to destroy may sometimes be a creative urge.]