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Comment Re:Acoustic coupler era and POTS! (Score 4, Interesting) 249

Ahh, and not only exciting, but would only later be known as 'epic'. My first foray into the internet was on our school library's VT100 terminals which were primarily used for queuing up inter-library loan requests. This was in 1995. Getting Mortal Kombat cheat codes and fatalities was never so easy. I also remember printing off the Duke Nukem 3D build editor docs on that same machine, but I think that was a bit later on. Shortly after my church confirmation class took a trip to a ''church'' college which had machines which displayed the WWW in all its graphical glory. They were running Netscape (probably 2.0 or 3.0, I didn't bother to check at the time). I was smitten. Not long after that, our town got local dialup access, and at age 15 I convinced my mom to let me pay for and install a second phone line for it. I soon learned enough HTML and Javascript to 'hack' the Perl/CGI chat room I used to fool around in -- giving myself full administrative ability. W00t! The coolest damned thing I ever did was play my chatroom buddy in Quake II -- ON THE INTERNET!

To this day, there is nothing more exciting than hearing that 14.4 modem chirp off the connection sequence. Sometimes I kinda wish my DSL connection made that same noise. I'll always treasure those halcyon days. Thank you, Mr. modem inventors. Mine served me well far longer than it should have, mostly reliably, and is the singlemost important reason I ever became a computer geek. Thanks a million! Now who is calling me at five in the morn--

-AT++[NO CARRIER]

Comment Re:My Theory (Score 1) 888

I am starting to think the airlines want this.

Funny, but I am not so sure you are wrong, but maybe not for the reason you stated. I had a well thought-out reason why, but I am afraid to post it because of the outside chance I could be arrested for painting the government in a less than perfect light. How is that for sad? I think my sig says it all.

Comment Re:Irony (Score 1) 280

Not exactly, it just means that we will treat you nice (for the most part) regardless of whether or not we actually like you. The knife in the back is completely optional.

Contrast with New Yorkers, who are more than happy to hand out unsolicited "fuck you's" for just being in their presence.

Comment Re:just need the software... (Score 1) 823

Some touchpad manufacturers have software to allow this, track down who made your touchpad and see if they have any goodies on the website. I know on my old Presario there was some software that would allow you to do neat things like use it as a tablet... and it was even pressure sensitive. Of course, a touchpad is a pretty damn small writing surface, so I never really used it for anything.

Comment Re:humans (Score 2, Insightful) 536

You jest, but how do we know it isn't so?

I'm too lazy to look around for it at the moment, but I wonder if there are any synchronous comparable samples of both "human" and neanderthal DNA. That is to say, do we have samples of DNA from both humans and neanderthals, from say 15,000 years ago? How do those samples compare in similarity to modern human DNA? Maybe its just a gut feeling, but I strongly suspect that there is a real, even likely possibility that neanderthal descended genes are present in modern-day humans. It would be incredibly interesting to have that proven or disproven.

Comment Re:Did we really expect different? (Score 1) 349

Yes, it _is_ refurbished Vista... that doesn't make it a bad thing, but there is a reason the version number was not incremented to v7.0.
XP was descended from the NT line, it has nothing to do with the Win9x architecture, no XP is not refurbished Win95.
Vista was a major architecture change from XP, notably in the audio/video path. Again, not a refurbished instance of the previous version.
Contrast that with Vista vs. 7, which are much more closely related. Its easy to see why people have the idea that 7 is more akin to a big service pack to Vista. Or as my buddy so eloquently put it: "Windows 7 is essentially Vista with liposuction and a boob job".

Comment Re:Waste MORE time!? (Score 1) 1073

This is absolutely true, especially here in the rural midwest. In many cases, its actually _cheaper_ to own a house than to rent the same, by virtue of the fact that your landlord is not only subsidizing his mortgage, but looking to make a small profit on top of it.

The problem comes in where you're denied a mortgage even though the principle/interest/insurance/taxes are less than what you currently pay in rent. If you have less than stellar credit, its not gonna happen without one helluva cosigner.

Comment Re:Waste MORE time!? (Score 4, Insightful) 1073

Only on slashdot could this get modded +4 Informative. I'll chalk it up to preaching to the choir.

For one, construction generally pays pretty well, especially if you are proficient at it. Besides, athletics teaches important aspects of life that basement dwelling geeks generally won't get -- socialization and teamwork. Building strong working relationships and possessing good networking skills nearly always trumps specialized skill in a given field. Thats why your boss is an idiot, but still makes more money than you :-)

With all that said, what fuckin high school did you go to? I've yet to meet anyone who pines for the good ol' days of high school -- the cliche Al-Bundy-four-touchdowns-in-one-game crowd or otherwise.

Comment Re:Waste MORE time!? (Score 2, Insightful) 1073

I see your point, but actually I disagree, despite the fact that I would have _loved_ this idea back when I was in school. Its a cultural problem, but not one thats been noted so far. The issue is that _parents_ in the U.S. do not value their children's education as much as in other countries. Its far easier to plop a kid in front of the TV after school all day then keep a child motivated in his studies -- this requires extra effort on the parents' part. We can blame the sucky public school system all we want, but the fact of the matter is that parents who take an active role in their child's education have a profound effect on what the child gets out of it. Those that don't spawn the next generation of the lower class, period.

Of course, there are cultural issues that prevent this parental oversight from happening, and _that_ is what needs to be addressed. Americans on average put in more hours per week of work than nearly any other 1st world country. Couple that with single parent families, parents that work multiple jobs, and the myriad of other issues that (un)reasonably prevent parents from taking that active role in their child's development -- and well, its no wonder we're in this sorry state of affairs.

The solution is _not_ to throw more money into the education system by extending the school year. The solution is forcing parents to be accountable for their childrens' development. But to be real, we'll probably vote to extend the school year to get a few more weeks during the summer where we don't have to pay a _real_ babysitter.

Or, for the tl;dr; crowd -- School alone doesn't make for good students, parental involvement does.

Comment Re:Obvious weird Windows comparison (Score 1) 639

Flash still sucks on ubuntu compared to on Windows. Blame Adobe for that one.

But your complaint is totally valid and I've noticed the same thing on just about every release since Edgy. Part of the problem is video drivers -- laptop ones being particularly crufty. And then somewhere along the way, ubuntu (well, Kubuntu at least) got compositing video by default, which is great if your video chipset is beefy and well supported. Not so much if it isn't. About the best thing you can do is try to find a better video driver, and/or disable desktop effects and compositing.

Comment Re:Obvious weird Windows comparison (Score 1) 639

Yeah, but at that point, its not really the external HD that is failing to work, now is it? That your firewire port on a creative card doesn't work, well thats a lot more believable. I hope you can see the difference and why your bluff was called. I've had mixed luck with getting creative cards to do anything besides generic ALSA sound, so it probably still doesn't work :-)

That said, I can speak from experience that with Ubuntu, modern driver support has gotten a hell of a lot better over the years, and a LOT of stuff does just work out of the box. Stuff that doesn't tends to be the same stuff you need to specifically install a driver for in Windows. This does vary pretty wildly amongst the different distributions, so that does genuinely suck.

Comment Re:Why does more data mean a longer install? (Score 1) 706

I think its because it does something like this during the process:
  • Copy C:\Users\* -> C:\temp\
  • Delete C:\Users\*
  • Copy Installer:\Users\* -> C:\Users\
  • Copy C:\temp\* -> C:\Users\

Ditto for Program Files and other stuff. Though, thats a dumb way to do it if thats what is in fact going on. It would seem easier to simply modify the file allocation table to temporarily modify directory structure instead of physically moving bits around on the disk.

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