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Comment: I'm a POTS fanboi... (Score 1) 449

by the_rajah (#46615449) Attached to: WSJ: Prepare To Hang Up the Phone — Forever
We had a tornado in our neighborhood in 2006. Power was out for 7 days and cable was out for 10. Cell service ceased working reliably because the cell towers were out. POTS never hiccuped, even as the tornado was overhead. I still had access to dialup Internet so I could at least do email.

Both AT&T, my POTS provider and Comcast, our cable provider, keep bugging us to switch to VOIP. I keep saying "No" for reason of reliability. There's nothing quite like having a pair of copper wires back to a central office powered by a big battery. Yes, we do have phones that don't require line power to operate including one in the basement where we shelter in a severe weather situation.

Then there is my ham radio equipment which has battery backup.

Comment: If it is a Windows 7 or later system: (Score 1) 531

by the_rajah (#46380945) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Software Can You Not Live Without?
Firefox Chrome
MS Security Essentials

After that it depends on what I'm purposing the system for.

If it's for my use, I'll install VirtualBox along with a copy of my XP VM for some legacy software that doesn't play on any later versions of Windows

Comment: Adding to my own post... (Score 3, Informative) 285

I also had access to my grandparents collection of National Geographics going back to the 1920's.. I could get lost for hours reading those on a rainy day. Then there was my ham radio station, mostly home built while I was in high school. I lived in the country and had my own .22 rifle from the time I was 10 and could go outside and do some "plinking" even though there weren't other kids to play with. I didn't need video/electronic games. I know I'm old, so excuse me for thinking that video games are way over-rated.

Comment: I haven't gotten off the POTS yet.. (Score 1) 582

by the_rajah (#45565629) Attached to: The Dismantling of POTS: Bold Move Or Grave Error?
We have POTS service in our house and phones that don't need power other than the CO loop current.

Our neighborhood was hit in March 2006 by an F2 tornado. Our house survived rather well, but the infrastructure didn't.... other than the phone lines which are buried clear back to the CO. I was on the phone in the basement while the storm was passing overhead, checking on our kids who live nearby, but out of the direct path of the two tornadoes that hit our community that day. We had no electricity for a week and no cable for 10 days. They were mostly above ground.

My wife and I both have cell phones, but they did not work because the cell tower nearest us went down, too.

We survived fairly comfortably with a 5.5 KW generator and gas heat. We had access to the Internet via a dialup connection, which we don't have now.

I'm a firm POTS believer.

Comment: Our company does exactly this same tracking. (Score 2) 409

by the_rajah (#45462475) Attached to: Boston Cops Outraged Over Plans to Watch Their Movements Using GPS
All the field technicians have company supplied phones that have GPS tracking enabled. Their supervisor can track them via a map display and their movements are logged and retained. They also are dispatched via those phones and enter their time and material accounting per job that way. It's very efficient. Do they like it? No, not very much, but it's part of the deal if you work as a field technician for this company with over 30,000 employees world-wide. If you don't like it, don't work in this well-paid industry. All of the competitors are doing the same thing.

Comment: Prostate screening discussion yesterday with doc (Score 3, Interesting) 198

by the_rajah (#45164899) Attached to: Give Your Child the Gift of an Alzheimer's Diagnosis
I had my annual physical with my family doctor yesterday. He told me that he no longer does, nor does he recommend, prostate cancer screening based on recent studies. Most of the prostate cancers detected are not the ones that will kill you, but it's not possible to test for that without an invasive biopsy that is very uncomfortable. If you jump right into treating the cancer, that is also very uncomfortable and potentially debilitating.

Comment: Our company has 30,000 employees world-wide.. (Score 1) 438

by the_rajah (#43981461) Attached to: XP's End Will Do More For PC Sales Than Win 8, Says HP Exec
We're still using XP and Office 2003. I've heard rumblings from IT that we're going to go to Win7 via remote upgrade, but haven't seen anything happening out in the branch offices where I work. XP isn't suddenly going to stop working. It's just the end of updates/MS support.

Comment: I have legible pictures over 150 years old (Score 2) 358

by the_rajah (#43911051) Attached to: Vint Cerf: Data That's Here Today May Be Gone Tomorrow
Some are glass plate Daguerreotypes. Somehow, I am not too confident that my digital pictures will be legible 150 years from now, unless I make a good quality print on archival paper. Digital files are too easily corrupted and made totally useless. Media formats will change. 8" floppies anyone?

Comment: I have exactly this problem.. (Score 1) 212

by the_rajah (#43886673) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Supporting "Antique" Software?
I occasionally have to interface with Square-D SyMax PLCs from the early 80s. We still have equipment at customer sites that's using it. The software we have to do the programming uses software timing loops so I have to use a 386 or early 486 laptop to run it. I have this very old 386 laptop with an 80 Meg hard drive that still hangs on and boots. I've warned my boss that someday it won't boot and we'll be done.

He keeps differentiating, flying off on a tangent.