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Comment Re:Tell it to the plastic clown (Score 2, Insightful) 837

It sounds like you aren't working for the Help Desk. I've talked to people from the Help Desk and guess what, they actually are hourly workers with poor benefits that usually get treated like crap. They aren't even considered part of IT, more of a three-level set of gatekeepers that handle scripted issue resolution so the real IT team can focus on the real problems.

In reading the responses in this thread so far, I wonder if the OP is asking the wrong question.
Perhaps a better question would have been :

I've been working in the Help Desk for ${duration} and a recent change by management (instituting a new dress code for help desk workers, but not for the rest of IT) reminded me why I spent four years in a university learning software engineering - to be a software engineer. How do I go about making the transition from the help desk into the development and implementation teams at my company?

In the past year, I've done the following to make myself more attractive as a software developer / IT sysadmin :
[ ] Learned the proprietary API developed in-house by our software development team
[ ] Learned to program in the following languages
[ ] Configured my own computer at home with the following operating systems (heavily used within our organization)
[ ] Configured my own server at home with the following packages (heavily used within our organization)
[ ] Installed the latest version of the following databases on my home server and became familiar with troubleshooting it
[ ] Got certified with the following Sun / Microsoft / IBM certs :

If the OP hasn't done any of the above (or anything on par), above and beyond the daily call of ticket fixes from the help desk, and at review time points to his fantastic stats from merely doing his help desk duties - time per ticket, tickets per day, overall 'customer satisfaction' score - then your interpretation of management's 'uniform' suggestion is probably an appropriate reflection of how management actually perceives the Help Desk (hint : at my last company they were referred to as the 'Helpless Desk'.)

Comment Re:Compression? (Score 1) 175

Ya. A universal truth with new perceptually compressed formats seems to be that the more quality you want in a given size, the most you pay for it in terms of power needed to compress and decompress the data. You get trickier with the math and it gets you more for less, but at the cost of calculations.

In fact, you find that some seemingly "inferior" compressions were invented for just that reason. DV is a good example. It came around in 1995 for use in digital video cameras. However, when you look at it by the numbers, it is inferior to MPEG-1, which was already out (came out in 1992) and to MPEG-2 which was nearly finalized. Why then would you want a new standard if it was worse? Well because while it may have offered lower compression, it offered two very important advantages:

1) Better recompressing. DV handles multiple uncompress recompress cycles much better than MPEG in terms of degradation.

2) Simpler hardware implementation. DV is extremely simple to encode and decode, and as such requires little in the way of processing electronics to make it happen.

The second one was really important. Back in the 90s, a hardware MPEG encoder was a rather pricey unit, the kind of thing that you wouldn't be able to put in a low priced camera. So instead a format was invented that used more bandwidth for a given picture, but didn't take as much processing power.

So I know full well you can do HD video in less bandwidth than DVD. I've done it myself. I also know you pay the price in terms of computation time. Takes an amazing amount of power to encode, and not a trivial amount to decode.

Also the whole "only looks good in motion" thing? Ya that would be a recipe for disaster. Games spend plenty of time in low motion. In addition to areas to the screen that have less motion (like status displays) there are plenty of times where a player looks at one thing. In terms of strategy games this happens all the time, but even in FPSes. You are guarding something so you look at one place, etc. If the image goes to shit when that happens, well people are not going to be happy.

I'm afraid games are just brutally difficult when it comes to compression.

I've got a bad feeling about this.