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Comment: Re: file transfer (Score 2) 252

by bill_mcgonigle (#49144239) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Old PC File Transfer Problem

you forgot to order the right Compaq IDE laptop header adapter. Whichever one it is for this model...

Suddenly a Laplink cable and a VirtualBox running DOS with a detachable D: doesn't seem so awful bad. Move the image from the XP box via flash drive or network, mount it loopback and profit before lunch.

Comment: Every project will be behind schedule (Score 1) 242

by Opportunist (#49142149) Attached to: The Programmers Who Want To Get Rid of Software Estimates

By definition. When you look at our current corporate culture, you know it has to be. For a simple reason: Companies bidding for jobs. And more often than not, the cheapest offer gets the deal.

Who is the cheapest? Usually the one that cut the most corners and underestimated his cost (i.e. time) to deliver the most.

Comment: Re:Is this really a problem unique to devs?? (Score 5, Insightful) 242

by bughunter (#49142015) Attached to: The Programmers Who Want To Get Rid of Software Estimates

No, it's a very common problem in engineering in general, and not unique to software. But the reaction "let's eliminate estimates" appears to be.

As an engineering manager, I learned the hard way many times how estimates turn into deadlines. Your estimate is reported to the manager's manager and so on up the line, and someone uses it in planning their shit.

Your estimate, in which you did not build any schedule margin, then becomes an item in the critical path of someone else's plan, someone who didn't build in any margin either, or —worse— who was pressured to make a completely fictional "plan" which is really just a backwards-calculated paper justification to "prove" that a job could be completed in an impossibly short period of time by assuming nine women can make a baby in one month and things like shipping, reproduction, and quality assurance take place in zero time. This "plan" makes upper management happy. Temporarily.

You, leader of a small team that is working merrily away, accomplishing real work and solving the occasional unexpected problem (OEM pinouts were wrong, widget zeta delayed in shipping, amplifier stage behaving like oscillator, etc.), are asked for a status update. Because of your unexpected problems, your estimated completion date is now two weeks later than your previous estimate.

Now the middle manager, who knew he wasn't going to meet the "plan" he was forced to develop, now has someone to place the blame on. He knows he's going to be in the path of a metric fuckton of shit, but he's placed himself uphill of you.

It's clear even in TFS that the real problem isn't estimation, it's poor program management, lack of requirements management, and often also marketing-driven decision-making.

In other words, the same old shit.

Comment: Erh... Bruce, I usually like your insightful posts (Score 1) 99

by Opportunist (#49141769) Attached to: Schneier: Everyone Wants You To Have Security, But Not From Them

But this one is one of the "gee, really, you don't say?" kind.

OF COURSE everyone wants to be the only one who has access to something. Monopolies are something really awesome, and only cool if they are, well, monopolies.

Data is worthless if everyone has it, only if you have the exclusive ability to use it it becomes valuable. In our world, the value of something is determined by its scarcity. Data is now something that can, by its very nature, be reproduced with near zero cost in infinite amounts. It only becomes a commodity if you control when, how and most of all if that data may be reproduced.

Comment: Re:While you're at it... (Score 1) 101

by LWATCDR (#49140987) Attached to: Intel To Rebrand Atom Chips Along Lines of Core Processors

I never had an issue with Windows 7 on a core 2.
But then a core 2 is three generations back I am talking about Sandy-Bridge or higher but even a Core2 is probably going to be just fine.
If you are talking about one of the first gen Atoms yea they where terrible but modern ones are pretty good.

Comment: Re:Not all companies (Score 1) 99

by ColdWetDog (#49140483) Attached to: Schneier: Everyone Wants You To Have Security, But Not From Them

This IS really annoying by Apple, even if you believe nobody (or nothing) actually looks at the data. Spotlight is always wanting to send this or that out and I've spent a lot of time moderating it's bad behavior using Little Snitch.

Apple *really* should mellow out and at least shut down the conduit. Even if you opt out of web searching with Spotlight, it STILL sends stuff back to Apple.

Whom the gods would destroy, they first teach BASIC.