When you have SMB type customers then refurbished hardware is great value. They're usually not willing to fork out for a new server. When there is refurbished hardware for a fraction of the price -- still new enough to be reasonably efficient and to add a HP Care Pack or whatever -- why not? Having hardware that is up to scratch is both good for you and good for your customer. Out of dozens of customers of this nature we've never been bitten (and yes, the customer knows the server is refurb + Care Pack).
It's really great when you get a strong business relationship going with your local refurb business. Getting the pick of the litter really gets your geek juices flowing!
We did have a reasonably strong virtualization setup too, and that helps as the article suggests.
The laptop I am typing this on right now is a refurb model that I got for an excellent price a year and a half ago. It's probably the best laptop I've ever had including brand new ones.
Kahn Academy was a God-send for me. I didn't even have a high-school level of maths before I managed to find my way into an Engineering degree. I learned all of High-school maths and a lot of university level maths in the space of a few months thanks almost totally to the excellent instruction available through Kahn Academy.
Many universities make researchers/professors teach. Some of them do an excellent job because they give a damn, or are passionate about sharing (as opposed to selfish and arrogant which many scientists are). Many of these lecturers are in academia because that's what they personally are good at - and so they don't understand how to teach people who aren't as naturally suited to the subject they are teaching as they were. They don't know what *normal* people find difficult or else they assume they know but completely miss the mark.
Nearly every single mathematical person I have met utterly fails at communication, as I have only found two: a really gifted guy who breezed through university maths and is currently working on his PhD and Salman Kahn of Kahn Academy who is the best communicator of mathematical concepts I have ever found - hands down. He seems to know what normal people find hard and even pre-emptively answers your questions right as they pop into your head.
This only reinforces how outdated the model of university education is and how poor value the university education itself generally is. Normal people can find higher quality resources online and consume them quickly and efficiently and apply them the next day. Instead of spending tens of thousands of dollars and 2+ years getting a fairly poor imitation of a "T-shaped" education I think the real solution is to set up strong learning resources (online and meatspace workshops) and allow people to cheaply sit certification tests (and portfolio checks) on university-level subjects. People can build their core education as narrow and tight as needed and expand the "arms" of their education out as far as needed in a dynamic fashion which suits this ever-changing world. Hey, if a person completes a whole degree in this fashion they can sell good-ole' degree certificates too!
What do I know, I guess I'm just not in a sufficiently mindless consumer mindset. I'll never understand this idiocy.
We all used it as a way to learn about what had just come out, and discover new useful projects by watching/browsing interesting looking items on the feed. All it really was is an aggregator of update feeds... So lets build a new (RSS) aggregator/planet and reach out to the old Freshmeat projects/users to get them to move over?
If the functionality is pared right down it shouldn't even need logins or any of that stuff. Just make RSS links clearly visible and say to people "hey if you want to follow this project specifically, here's the link for your RSS reader!".
Each to his own. It seems you "choose not to be" a father and thus the effects described don't apply or make sense to you. I have seen the changes described in this article myself and it only confirms what I have seen. I don't think the stay-at-home-dad thing is a bad thing or even being forced upon men in general - hell I hear more men arguing *for* the right to be a stay-at-home-dad than against it. I think you're seeing ideologically charged language where there is none; perhaps the mention of a same-sex couple or the mention that the effect is triggered differently in women has skewed your opinion.
Just to be clear, I am certainly not a feminist. I'm not narrow minded enough for that. I'm an egalitarian.
(clearly my opinion)
Hit Meetup and Facebook to help you find groups.
Something that I have found particularly helpful is having a go at using open source tools and libraries and then when you find something hard to use (and with a lot of swearing, eventually understand it) go and write a tool or a library to make it easier. There's so many rough edges out there that you can smooth out and these problems tend to have a fairly confined complexity in my experience. You've already started this with your scripting so take it to the next level.
The CPU performance really just has to be "good enough" - which is probably is.