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Comment: another alternative (Score 1) 467

by uniquegeek (#48894001) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Anti-Virus Software In 2015? Free Or Paid?

Create a separate regular user account that you use 100% of the time, and only use the admin account credentials when you know you are installing or updating something that's legit. Do or don't use anti-virus (I use Microsoft Security Essentials on my Windows machine because it's free, good enough, and not pesky).

If you do manage to get infected with something, create another user account and only copy documents over. Since the virus is likely hiding elsewhere in your user profile or in your user registry key, the virus is gone, by your perspective.

Comment: Re:Flash? (Score 2) 136

by uniquegeek (#48893969) Attached to: By the Numbers: The Highest-Paying States For Tech Professionals

The worth of a job is more than just the money.

I'm a junior sysadmin. I live in a nice 1200 sq.ft. plus a finished basement house, two-car garage, shop (that could function as a third garage if I wanted), and a large yard (large enough to take me 50 minutes to cut by hand, which I don't mind). I'm still in a city proper, technically in the suburbs, but very close to a major bus route. I do drive to work and that's 15-20 minutes, depending on the day. I'll be biking next summer along what's mostly bike paths (I just moved into the house this summer). I was able to put enough of a down payment on the house that it's already 1/3 paid off. My on-call hours are very good in comparison, and rarely anyone calls, so I'm spoiled that way. I work 8:30-4:30 every day.

My city is essentially free from the risk of natural disasters, and we don't really have weird bugs that can kill you if they're hiding in your shoes. Going to the symphony, theatre, and other events is both accessible and affordable.

Because I have a life outside of work, I can spend a fair amount of time with my spouse, and still have time for other hobbies (e.x. I just took up fiddle lessons last year because I've always wanted to play).

Many people in the Bay Area get paid twice what I do, but I have a quality of life that they don't. I'm able to enjoy a lot of my time *before* retirement.

Comment: Re:How to influence the innumerate with CS Ed stat (Score 1) 335

by uniquegeek (#48850715) Attached to: Lies, Damn Lies, and Tech Diversity Statistics

When we were young, my parents managed to always have a computer around for my brother and myself. When it came to doing "boy" stuff, I was encouraged to do that, but when it came down to actually doing it, it was my brother who got the time to do it. With some interests, I also occasionally heard "you might hurt yourself", whereas for my brother, it was ok.

My interest in computers and skill was evident (including to the point of fixing the computers at school while I was still a student). But when it came time for me to go to university, all of a sudden "you can do anything" became "you have to go to university here because the awesome tech university you want to go to is across the country and is a scary place for young women".

I persisted in tech regardless (despite programming not being available in my small school), and by and large, most people I've met in tech are ok. But I've also met quite a few people who
- ignore my expertise and only ask the guys in the room about tech stuff
- tell me I shouldn't go after certain jobs, training, or promotions because my biological clock is ticking (acquaintances and complete strangers)
- mansplaining (oh god, the mansplaining), and being talked over

God help a woman who decides to "have it all", too - they're a bad mother. But when that's the case, no one asks why the husband isn't stepping up to the plate to help with family chores more (or when they do, they are often mocked or treated badly by men and women - which is a whole other discussion).

I know that's personal anectodes, but it would probably help if people didn't pidgeonhole females so much, and tell them what they can't do and tell them what they want. It ought to get better with more generations, but I doubt the way parents shelter and baby their children, especially girls, is helping much. Women can be just as bad for reinforcing female stereotypes as the men are. Women's value is still in doing girly things and looking pretty. The few role models in industry or business still get judged on those aspects. Being told all those things, repeatedly, for your entire life can really take a toll. It is just so much easier to conform.

It's not drive that's a problem. It's that the drive is constantly beaten out of them.

Pidgeonholing men and telling them how they're supposed to be is a problem too - but again, that's a whole other discussion. Same problems, but the rules are just different.

Can we just all agree to stop being shitty to each other and including others who want to be included?

Comment: Not useful without more data (Score 4, Interesting) 97

by uniquegeek (#48678049) Attached to: My laptop lasts on battery for ...

You do know battery life can get shorter over time, right?

Our fleet of 80 Lenovo T420's standard batteries started from about 5:30 and went to 1:00 just after two years' use. Some died sooner than others. Some users use them always plugged in. I'd be surprised if one of them switches power profiles or uses a balanced profile when using the laptop. (Full on presentation mode 24/7.)

Comment: Almost hit the mark. (Score 1) 307

My first year compsci class (in 1996) was intimidating due to the students the article was talking about. However, what was really intimidating was that the prof had asked the class the first day how many people had taken a coding course in high school. Since most had (city people), he decided to barely skim over the first 1/3 of the course in two days. In addition to being behind 1/3 of a semester in our first year right off the bat, us small town hicks also had to worry about money and time for rent, car, laundry, meals...

Comment: Re:"cloud" = "someone else's computer" (Score 2) 241

by uniquegeek (#48589841) Attached to: Is Enterprise IT More Difficult To Manage Now Than Ever?

To add on this, even if I did everything right with my infrastructure, I know our data is not secure because my users aren't.

I mean, 40% of them have a hard time finding a file they've been working on unless it's on the top of Excel's or Word's "Recent Documents" list. A lot of people don't even know where they're putting stuff.

Tons of them do the "I'll just email this file all over the place" instead of working on the one on the network. Same goes for USB sticks and personal devices, etc. People who know (or kinda know) where they're putting stuff don't know or don't care about the implications.

Add on top of that that the top tier of the organization dictating what they want for IT infrastructure when they have no idea what they're talking about (to the point they they're telling the IT director to throw out basic security principles). Enforcing a basic password policy? Let's argue about it for six months. And then next year, bring it up for six months again. Let's tell the IT director that "we know better" about all manners of what's needed for computer needs and security.

But guess who's held accountable if there's a breach?

Comment: give them reasons to explore (Score 1) 584

by uniquegeek (#48530885) Attached to: Programmer Father Asks: What Gets Little Girls Interested In Science?

Unfortunately, some entities remove the choice from them. For younger kids, identities are formed when they learn the "rules" of how things operate. They learn what box to put themselves in. This happens for gender itself, likes, dislikes, how to look, how to act.

I do sysadmin/helpdesk work at a private school. When I have to troubleshoot connectivity at a student's computer, I give them a simplified explanation and logic loop of things to try themselves. If the problem is more difficult and I take over, I use slashdot as my "does the internet work now" page, and.... leave it open when I leave, on purpose (true story)

I used to be the type to gripe about "*#$%$#!^ has to be pink for every girl, if I had a girl, she won't wear pink", which is wrong too. As someone else pointed out here, if someone is "girly-girl" type in some ways, that and the things they do don't need to be mutually-exclusive.

For the first 16 years of someone's life, they learn the "rules", then after that they learn which ones are ok to break. The dumb rules ought to be broken a lot earlier!

Comment: Re:Follow the money... (Score 1) 171

by uniquegeek (#48479237) Attached to: Ubisoft Apologizes For Assassin's Creed

You don't have the "right" to be entertained. Protection from going into gamer rage isn't a fricken UN-charter human right.

Should they do due diligence and adhere to better QA? Yes - putting out something that's that buggy is an embarrassment. It's a product - there are better products, and crappier ones. A buggy game isn't going to kill or maim you. If it does deep psychological damage, then you have bigger problems. Get over the ridiculous entitlement complex. This is not an issue that should be lawyer-ized. Do your due-diligence, and then vote with your wallet. It's not a difficult situation.

Comment: Re:What advice can I offer? (Score 1) 96

by uniquegeek (#47959049) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Alternate Software For Use On Smartboards?

I work in IT in a school, and the biggest problem I find is that those who teach, can't (or won't?) be taught. Teachers really do make the worst students.

In our environment:
5-10% of teachers are able to take the vendor's training and apply it close to its full potential,
20% explore with some of the tools but tend to use the very simple tools (i.e. writing).
40% use the basic tools only and are blissfully ignorant of the rest
and 30% of them forget what button to press to do X, which is something they've been shown ten times - though they insist you've never shown them and it's your fault you're holding up the class because of the #%@!%#@! technology that "doesn't work".

The software actually has more features on here than people seem to indicate. The libraries of static images is nice, but there are non-static items such as counters, video, other flash gadgets. One of the coolest things is the 3d cube with the document camera - you can load up a sample such as the human heart - and when you hold the cube under the document camera the heart rotates as well. Great for inspecting and showing things that are 3D.

I see other complaints on here about lack or training materials - but that's plastered all over their site, as well as a community of other teachers who share their saved files of lessons and notes.

At our school, every couple years we also get a trainer to come in to do a two day session with a few of our teachers who are more tech-literate. They are then responsible for holding a training session with the other teachers during a PD day.

"Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler." -- Albert Einstein

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