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Comment: Re:Waning! (Score 1) 244

by udippel (#47898677) Attached to: City of Turin To Switch From Windows To Linux and Save 6M Euros

The next phase was replacing Office, and it came with a huge backlash. The chief complaints where not so much about OpenOffice funcionality (along with some "it's *UGLY*!"), but about compatibility with MS generated documents. As of yet, it has been impossible to take MSOffice away from the "higher-ups", as any single minor UI or functionality change is bitched about as if it was a sign of the Apocalypse.

Though definitely not an easy change, it can be done in small steps and with minimal disruption. YMMV, mostly on how dependent you are on MsOffice...

The first, compatibility, is still correct; and will never go away for technical reasons not to be discussed here.
The second, 'higher-ups' are the usual bore. They tend to feel threatened when a. they'd have to confess to a lack of ability, publicly, b. consider themselves to be too important to relearn a little bit. (My boss already yells when the attachment to a mail opened with Outlook fails to pop up on the correct one of his two monitors.)
Third, you missed this one, the last straw is always the fact, that these people can't install their own software any longer. They bring their IrfanView.exe from home, and it doesn't do at all what they think it should do.

Comment: Re:... and back again. (Score 1) 244

by udippel (#47898571) Attached to: City of Turin To Switch From Windows To Linux and Save 6M Euros

I guess, this is has made the sound of 'whoosh' over the mods' heads!
Because, if it was serious, you'd be a fool. Or someone who made some make, make install, etc. many years ago.

Update is much easier, and including all applications, contrary to MS Windows.
You don't have to restart and wait for 1,2,3,...% before you can actually use your system again.
You get all the updates in a single go (especially fresh Windows installs sometime take hours, and 3-4 reboots and reissues of the commands, until no further updates are popping up.

Comment: Re:... and back again. (Score 1) 244

by udippel (#47898527) Attached to: City of Turin To Switch From Windows To Linux and Save 6M Euros

"we Linux folks"? Who?
My experiences are different. usually I'm told 'how nice!', but what's missing is MS Office. 'Missing', of course. sorry. And when one was told by her publisher, that it 'would have to be' TeamViewer (because that's what the publisher knows), it was the - I agree - usual problem.
But I hate to see you calling it 'Desktop experience'!

Reminds me of the old and flogged into a dead state, horse; the old 'Tin Lizzy'. Imagine someone had offered to spraypaint her into a livid green! Everyone would be complaining until today, that 'A Tin Lizzy has to come in any colour, as long as it is black'.

MS Office must be sooo much better than OO/LO (my last 15 years prove it is not), and Teamviewer must be soo much better than, e.g. ssh/sftp (my last 15 years prove it is not). But, I concede, both are what Dick, Tom and Harry have as idea in their simpleton minds, when the topics 'Office Suite' or 'remote access' pop up.

Comment: Re:Absolutely correct; but what's the reason? (Score 2) 203

by udippel (#47833163) Attached to: Is There a Creativity Deficit In Science?

Second this! - When I started in academia, 1980, there were exactly 2 journals in our/my field worth reading. And, yes, they were worth reading; because the articles contained would often summarize the work of complete teams, mostly achieved over years of work. And nobody would be admonished for 'insufficient' publications. On the other hand, had someone at the age of 35 in those days told us, that she'd been 'doing some 135 peer-reviewed journal articles', we would have her failed the job interview. We would have said "that's the least we're interested in".
Few years ago, someone popping up in the interview and saying exactly that was set on a tenure-track professorship.
And today, there are around 70 journals in our/my field. And most articles are lousy enough to wipe one's dirty shoes. But i don't blame the authors. I blame the science community overall not to rebuke the bean counters, the MBAs, the admin people, when those became jealous, and insecure, having to somehow evaluate the 'return' of our work. We ought to have offered them a cold shower instead by pointing out that our work usually does not come in tangible returns. But in intellectual returns; something in the realms that those people were lacking in.

Comment: Re:Absolutely correct; but what's the reason? (Score 1) 203

by udippel (#47833101) Attached to: Is There a Creativity Deficit In Science?

I agree mostly, by the way, to what you say.

Alas, how to distinguish? Wasn't - and isn't still? - Quantum Theory esoteric? I guess, for the general public, for the layperson, it is usually considered as such. Is it for science? I'm sure you'll agree that it is not. Archaeology? Sumerian clay pots? No, I'm no archaeologist. Though I would always raise my hand for the usefulness of continuing unearthing the relics of former, ancient, civilizations. Einstein, anyone?
Or, maybe closer to /., von Neumann. What has he contributed? Years of teaching quantum science in the golden days of Berlin, before the Nazis came in, doing some math, doing some work in cryptography, in computer science. He wouldn't have made it, probably, in the pale copy that science has become in our days. Wittgenstein, he's even worse. In so-called modern terms, at least. One basic book, few articles. He'd be on the dole!

When you take money, you owe something in return.

Though we might agree here, I am afraid, we might not on its interpretation. What is 'return'? Something with an equivalent value in US$? Regular publications? Books? In a post-materialist society one tends to overlook non-tangible returns. In my current position, I have no teaching allocation, any yet I volunteer and enjoy it some hours per week, since it is possible within my duties for the relatively generous salary that the tax payer affords for me. Which is, by the way, surely more valuable in my case than forcing me to publish yet another article of no scientific relevance based on currently meager results.
Meaning, that I'm doing the best that I can, returning the most that I can, without necessarily tangible returns. And when I have material to publish, I'll do so. Which brings us back to trust. The public is entitled to 'something in return', but in order to get results that are beyond staple diet, the public must trust us, that we don't pilfer away their money in jewelry, furniture, nor in efforts to prove creationism.
I am afraid, there is more money available for the latter than for the analysis of dying spoken languages, by the way.

Comment: Absolutely correct; but what's the reason? (Score 4, Interesting) 203

by udippel (#47832569) Attached to: Is There a Creativity Deficit In Science?

This may sound strange, but it is a lack of trust.
In the old days, which were not always good, a brilliant scientist/academician/professor would be granted tax payers' monies to pursue her dreams in science, at least as far as basic funding was concerned; that is not including expensive apparatuses.
But then we, in the academic world, allowed the bean counters to take over. And they started to ask for ROI, at least in the number of patents, marketability, etc. Additionally, short funding terms made it into our world. 2 years, 3 years. Where I work, the latter is already the exemption. Therefore, as written by Lefkowitz, yes, we have to have results before we can ask for funding. Not only because the sponsors want to be on the safe side (of getting a return), but also not to embarrass ourselves by not being able to come up with what was envisaged. In the place were I used to be, the latter would give you a blacklisting.

Or, the other way round, if the public is not willing to trust us, but wants us to produce off-the-shelf academic results (numbers of publications included; publications that might take away from our genuine research time), that's what the public gets.

I only wished that the public was cognizant of this interdependence.

Comment: Re:This seems like a good time to meniton these (Score 1) 168

by udippel (#47690165) Attached to: Processors and the Limits of Physics

Yep, 'they' do. Where 'they' includes me. I was afraid that's what you'd thought; and that's fundamentally wrong. Propagation delay and processing time doesn't render a circuit asynchronous.
Following your logic, any circuit would be asynchronous, if only on the propagation delay induced by any non-infinitely short wire. Then we'd say that the whole world is asynchronous; and that'd be it. When we use these terms, however, it is common understanding that a synchronous circuit is 'guided', clocked, by a central clocking device. And all sub-circuits are controlled by that same device. Likewise, an asynchronous circuit is controlled by the actual occurrence of the signal, without a predefined time frame. Respectively by a pre-cursor (header) in the signal path.
One could as well focus on the number of signals: a synchronous circuit has a clock signal and payload signal(s), while the asynchronous circuit has only one signal: the payload. Eventually with a header.

Comment: Re:can't cross chip in one clock. big deal. (Score 1) 168

by udippel (#47688223) Attached to: Processors and the Limits of Physics

Sure, throughput is what matters most for operations you can parallelize. However, as Amdahl's Law cruelly reminds us, there's always parts of the problem that remain serial, and they'll put an upper bound on performance. You can't parallelize the traversal of a linked list, no matter how hard you try. You have to invent new algorithms and programming techniques. (In the specific case of linked lists, there are other options that trade space for efficiency, such as skiplists.).

Not for forget, Amdahl's law is purely calculation; not speculation; like what Moore's law is. And you are right, certain items simply remain serial.

Comment: Re:Piheads are like the guy with a Hammer... (Score 1) 427

by udippel (#47636657) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Life Beyond the WRT54G Series?


I've been running a Soekris Net48-something for the last 10 years. Porfect, with m0n0wall. In 2014, however, 100 Mbps and a Geode 486 *are* getting long in the tooth.

All those cheapo single-NIC versions cannot convince me; like the original WRT54.

Also, I can't make out why a dual- oder quad-ARM should cost a couple of hundred bucks? They come with design, casing, 3G, touchscreen, batteries, and stuff at below 100 as mobile phones.

Vax Vobiscum