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Comment: We ran for yearswith no firewall - and no problems (Score 1) 348

We ran a Windows server for many years with no firewall. We took credit card info (which was immediately encrypted). We had spent over a month hardening the server by shutting down all but the services that we truly needed. We never had a problem with that arrangement. We added a firewall when PCI required it but I'm still not convinced that it mattered.

Comment: 1961 Evening Course in Fortran (Score 1) 623

by wbean (#43854603) Attached to: How Did You Learn How To Program?
In 1961 I took an evening course in Fortran for physics students taught by a volunteer from MIT. We were promised a chance to actually run our programs at the end of the course, but that never happened. I last used Fortran in 1971, when I maintained a subscription fulfillment system for a student-run academic journal. The print routines were in 1401 assembly language, but we'd lost the source and only had a binary deck of cards to work with.

Comment: Re:TeX and LaTeX (Score 1) 300

by wbean (#43387555) Attached to: Extended TeX: Past, Present, and Future
I used LaTex in the mid to late eighties to set type for several professional journals and newsletters. It was the only product I could find that was capable of dealing with footnotes that had to be split across pages. We marked up the articles with tags in Xywrite and then used its macro-programming language to translate into LaTex. Worked like a charm and saved a fortune over commersial typesetting.

Comment: Re:Correct (Score 1) 209

by wbean (#43159453) Attached to: France Demands Skype Register As a Telco
Thanks for a thoughtful reply. I'm not against government, or government regulation. We NEED a government. Read Hobbes if you think we can do without. He lived through the English Civil War and knew at first hand what he was talking about. I am upset at having to deal with large, impersonal organizations who don't seem to have any sense of what their customers need or want. I put the telephone companies, large banks, utilities, and cable companies high on my list of organizations that I'd rather avoid dealing with, if at all possible.

Comment: Re:Correct (Score 1) 209

by wbean (#43159353) Attached to: France Demands Skype Register As a Telco
Good questions. The IP data is on XFinity. I pay for that whether or not I use it for phone service. From my house it runs on a cable. A tracreroute reveals a string of Comcast servers followed by other routers that don't look much like a traditional Telco, so I'm assuming it doesn't really run over much of the traditional phone companies' networks any more. No, I'm not protected against a DDos attack but then I'm not protected against a truck pulling down my phone line and part of my house, either. The latter happened; I've never had to deal with the former.

Comment: Re:Not again... (Score 1) 1110

by wbean (#42355097) Attached to: 30 Days Is Too Long: Animated Rant About Windows 8
He's right, you know. I've been using computers since 1961. Back then you could read the manual in an evening and then you know all the commands you needed to know. Now the systems are so complicated that only the Internet is big enough to hold the documentation. That's what makes discoverability so important in a user interface these days. Windows 8 is sorely lacking in that department. I have spent the last two weeks building a virtualized server on top of Windows 2012 Server. As a server it's just dandy. Hyper-V works beautifully; networking, backup, management tools are all great. BUT the new interface is still awful and the screens are just plain ugly. I've been working with a Remote Desktop connection to Windows 2012 Server from a Win 7 machine. The Win 7 side is beautiful and functional. The Win 2012 Server side is ugly and functional. It looks a lot like IBM stuff from the 60's. At least there's no confusion about which machine your working on.

Comment: Re:Some Anecdotal Data (Score 1) 269

by wbean (#42137525) Attached to: NPD Group Analysts Say Windows 8 Sales Sluggish
Just bought a Dell desktop for my GF. We went to some trouble to find a Windows 7 machine since I find Windows 8 to be unuseable on a desktop. (I've spent some time with it since I'm setting up a new server using Win 8 and two virtual Linux machines.) There is no way I want a touch screen on my desktop. Can you really imagine spending a lot of time reaching over your keyboard and coffee to swipe the screen?

Comment: Re:Air Force Musem (Score 1) 363

by wbean (#38162424) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Science Sights To See?
Mod parent up. The Air Force Museum is outstanding. They have an actual hydrogen bomb (disarmed, I hope) that's the most ominous looking thing I've ever seen. They also have Bockscar, the B29 that dropped the atomic bomb on Nagasaki. Once you get past the nuclear horrors there's an amazing collection of planes going back to the Wright Brothers.

Simplicity does not precede complexity, but follows it.