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Comment Re:It's because the view of IT is changing (Score 1) 453

... people who aren't really technically savvy going to places like ITT Technical Institute, and end up working with computers in a place like help desk, or maybe in the lower echelons of the IT department...

I don't disagree with your point, however the company I work for has hired 7 ITT Technical Institute graduates since I started 5 years go, including myself. College, training and good work ethics have produced some excellent help desk technicians for us. Although ITT's TV commercials are a bit outrageous, ITT's an institution that teaches Windows, Linux, Programming and 2D/3D Graphics. I am "tech savvy" and I still took a lot of good from that place. The "echelons" that you speak of often aren't paid enough to be "tech savvy" lifers. I just wish companies would value them for what they are and not promote them to a business or management positions by their seniority in the company alone.

Comment Re:service tag (Score 2, Insightful) 688

Service tag for the win.

Pre-fixing or post-fixing the name with something significant to it's location (such as department number) can be a lazy-man's replacement for a spreadsheet, but may require a rename when the computer's re-purposed.

Store the owner's name in the database (if one exists) if it's valid to the location. Even if the person leaves or gets fired, half of the department may know his name better than his job description.

Comment Zebra (Score 1) 188


Zebra brand printers work great for barcode labels and take special command sequences that don't require any special drivers because they support "raw" printing. Depending on the type of label you are trying to print (thermal, etc) this might be worth looking into. Instead of printing an image or document created with third party software (word, open office, paint application, etc), you write an application to send "printer commands" straight to the printer, and it can draw text, pictures, barcodes, all programatically. Perhaps the case for other printers too, but if you find one that does, it's fairly simple to print to using a generic/text driver, you just need to send the commands directly to the device bypassing the print driver by printing in "raw" mode. This can be done in many programming languages.

The downside of course is that you won't have a WYSIWIG (what you see is what you get) editor, but for commercial type printing, it works great. They can even print images and shapes given the proper data format with no proprietary driver installed.

Here's a GPL Java API I've started to do this programatically (work for web pages or stand-alone java applications):

This API has been tested with Zebra brand (and legacy Eltron) type printers working in both Ubuntu and Windows with both Firefox and Internet Explorer, locally attached and network attached.

Feel free to contact me from the google code link above.


Comment Re:Problem with pragmatism (Score 1) 213

Am I the only one confused as to why ANYONE is giving credit to "purists" or "pragmatists" for switching to "git"? Also, where does Gnome come into discussion here?

Linus is the reason git is as popular as it is. He's the one who spoke in front of the Google staff and called them "ugly and stupid". Linus is also the founder of Minix and everything he creates for the Linux community is pure in its licensing nature.

Just because BitKeeper didn't end up being the end-all solution to code management, doesn't make the purists right. Likewise, just because BitKeeper worked for him as long as it didn't doesn't make the pragmatists right. Linus was right to start the git project because he saw a need. That doesn't retroactively give ANYONE credit. This isn't the superbowl, and we shouldn't treat a decision of a developer as any MVP award to a bunch of arguers on a web site.

Likewise, some of the Gnome arguments aren't arguments at all, simply bitterness. Linus saw a need to improve the desktop and constructively criticized the work of others. Put your MVP arguments aside, Gnome and KDE both have a lot to offer and simply because someone says the latter offers more doesn't make the prior unappreciated. We don't shut out new innovation simply because it obsoletes hard work and appreciation of your old -- and now ugly -- innovation.

These things you are all arguing about... CVS, git, Gnome, KDE... have been building blocks for Linux and OSS for years. What good does it do for tomorrow's new neat product to argue about yesterday's RIGHT or WRONG?


Comment Re:Evolution has nothing to do with it (Score 1) 834

Don't get down on yourself. I'm speaking of the ever-reproducing families (often job-less) carrying all 5 kids at once -- every time -- that we get stuck behind in the grocery store.

The ones where Momma doesn't look good, never looked good, and is expecting more children.

Sure, good looking people are reproducing, but not like rats. Not where I live at least. It's a different breed of human. Reproduction seems to be filtering in the other direction round here. :) -Tres

Comment Re:Ironic? (Score 1) 274

Sorry to argue...

"Dramatic irony is a disparity of expression and awareness: when words and actions possess a significance that the listener or audience understands, but the speaker or character does not"

I agree that his meeting is coincidence, as he's aware. Spending his time on Slashdot, and falling victim to his own concerns I'll have to argue could be perceived as ironic.

"you better hope your boss is smart enough to recognize that you need long chunks of time to work in"

From a reader's perspective, spending paid time to submit Slashdot articles can certainly come off as ironic. That said, I spend my last few minutes before meetings on Slashdot too, so I'm not being a critic. Cheers. -Tres

Comment Mainframes (Score 1) 223

I see VMWare bringing back a lot of the mainframe hardware concepts, such as: - Huge fricken box - Everything in the company runs on it As far as the "legacy" mainframe languages... IBM is still releasing OS updates to it's OS/400. Many business critical applications are still running strong in "legacy" programming languages like RPG. To name one... Bally's (yeah the same as the fitness center company) sells one of the leading CRMs in the Casino industry... running on a green console.

Submission + - Korea Reveals TMAX WINDOW 9 OS (

FatButtLarry writes: "Today, July 7th, a South Korean software company TMaxSoft released a Win32 compatible desktop operating system. TMAX WINDOW (Not "Windows", but "WINDOW") is a proprietary Desktop Operating System claimed to be binary compatible with Microsoft Windows, Linux and Unix.

The topic appeared on the Wine mailing list as a potential GPL violation, and there's also been discussion on the ReactOS boards. Although technical details of the OS are still quite a mystery, there are a few video demonstrations of TMax Window 9 on youtube. Videos show a very quick boot-time, a Windows-like boot logo, and have shortcuts for Microsoft Office and Internet Explorer (kind of) working "out of the box". Other features include TMax's own "Scouter" web browser and an Office Package that looks similar to from. Although any GPL violations are difficult to call at this point, the bold claim that the operating system's "micro kernel... ...[provides] 100% support for existing and future MS Windows applications..." is causing some speculation.

A fellow Linux and Wine user, I'm curious to see what's under the covers."


Submission + - Pandora no longer completely free

AbyssWyrm writes: Today, I received an email (alternatively, see the blog) from Tim Westergren, the founder of Pandora, informing me that Pandora will no longer free for all users. Instead, it will be really cheap — for those with a free account, there will be a cap of 40 hours per month, and a user may pay a one-time fee of $0.99 to resume listening to music unlimited for a month. According to the blog entry, this will affect the top 10% of listeners.

Certainly not a bad deal considering the price, and I suspect that Pandora is one of few free internet resources whose users are loyal enough to pay a small fee to keep it afloat. Hopefully this does not become a slippery slope.

Comment facebook (Score 1) 286

There's almost nothing free you can put on a personal page that will be professional, cool, interesting and practical all at the same time.

If you're already using web 2.0 stuff (which it seems like you are), people would rather see your google calendar, facebook or linkedin page... something with content.

You don't need a dedicated domain for that, so stick with nothing and save the effort for another facebook quiz. :)

If you are really bored and want something as a place-holder, make a puzzle.

Comment Re:How much is your time worth (Score 1) 837

This is insightful, but some of the posts below show $500 dollar audio grade Ethernet cables and talks of die's.

Our resort has thousands of Ethernet cables created by hand. Each cable is fluke tested. That's not to say we are without problems, but our network has redundancy where it's needed in the event of flapping, packet loss or failure.

I guess I'm not sure the OP's question was answered.

Does the TCP/IP stack benefit from professional grade cable? In the OP's case, he has a main T1 VPN line, so perhaps that weights the answer toward "yes". I'd like to know the answer as well as this seems to be a valid topic of debate.


Comment understand (Score 1) 551

First learn java and what the latest technologies are, like Groovy, Ruby, JBoss, Eclipse, Netbeans, or the like. Read some editorials on the stuff and learn the limitations of the language they use day to day. Start to understand then workarounds out there. Lumbergh, if you are ahead of the game on the technology they need, they'll appreciate your input and they'll do what you need from them. One of the biggest mistakes management makes is trying to manage first and understand second. Managing programmers often IS nagg-managing no matter how you look at it. If you run their project plans for them, they can focus on the nitty-gritty. If you can understand their frustration and the logic problems they have, they'll respect you, even if you can't do the coding yourself. If you can't understand the basics of what they do, or if you refuse to learn what they do, it will be much harder. -Tres

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