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Comment McMurdo (Score 5, Interesting) 437

When I was working for NASA, on the NISN network, we'd get these weird router crashes for the old Cisco router located at (or very near) the South Pole in Antarctica. It was always a memory problem, and I'd always have to call someone to get them to powercycle the router. It irritated me to keep bothering those guys, so I opened a case with Cisco TAC.

The TAC guy sent a terse response, saying that particular crash was a "transient memory error" due to "alpha radiation or sun spots." That really pissed me off -- Cisco TAC just gave me a standard BOFH response! I escalated, and swung the NASA club around some, and finally got a senior engineer on the phone. "You said this router's at the South Pole, right? So that means it's at very high altitude, with very little ozone shielding, right?" "Umm, yeah." "Well there you go. There's a lot more radiation at that altitude than at sea level. Our stuff's only rated for sea level. See if they can .. I dunno, put a lead blanket over it or something."

I relayed the info to my contact at McMurdo, and he laughed and said he'd figure something out.

On a hunch, I checked the other two "high-altitude" routers we had, and sure enough, they both had a statistically higher failure rate for "transient memory errors".

Comment Slackware was first (Score 1) 739

In 1995, my pal Robert (or was it Jeff?) downloaded a Slackware distro -- via slow modem, onto floppies. It took about a week.

We all passed the floppy set around, installing Linux onto our computers. By February of 1996, id had released the Quake demo. I had Win95 on my old craptastic Packard Bell, but it simply wouldn't run Quake. I spent hours trying to get the SVGALib Quake to run. I distinctly recall nuking my system in an effort to get X running, and somehow typing (as root) "rm -rf / usr/local/lib". See that extra space? Yeah, that was fun.

I got a new computer, but couldn't get Win95 to run, so I switched to OS2/Warp. It wouldn't boot at all. Linux would run, but would crash a lot. I finally discovered that the scumbags who sold me the computer had swapped the new 486 Intel chip for a much older and slower Cyrix chip, and overclocked the hell out of it so that it'd show the appropriate Mhz at boot.

I finally switched that POS out for a new computer, and ran dual-boot Linux and Win95 for several more years. Today I use Macs, but they're mainly pretty window dressing for terminal sessions on Linux machines.


Why You Can't Buy a Naked PC 367

ZDOne writes "A piece up on ZDNet looks at the issue of naked PCs. ZDNet UK phoned around all the major PC vendors and not one of them would sell a machine without Windows on it. IT professionals are being forced to adopt Microsoft's operating systems — even if they tell their PC supplier they want a system free of Microsoft software. On the other hand, even if it's almost impossible to buy a PC without an operating system installed, companies like Dell and HP are now committed to supporting Linux as well. 'Murray believes there is a market for Linux in the UK but is also aware of the issues facing any large supplier who wants to make Linux boxes available. "It means diverting production lines and that is a lot of money and so we have to prove the business case," he said. However, he made it clear that he is enthusiastic about the idea and wants to make it work. "We just have to show it is worthwhile," he said.'"

The Score is IBM - 700,000 / SCO - 326 316

The Peanut Gallery writes "After years of litigation to discover what, exactly, SCO was suing about, IBM has finally discovered that SCO's 'mountain of code' is only 326 scattered lines. Worse, most of what is allegedly infringing are comments and simple header files (like errno.h). These probably aren't copyrightable for being unoriginal and dictated by externalities and aren't owned by SCO in any event. Above and beyond that, IBM has at least five separate licenses for these elements, including the GPL, even if SCO actually owned those lines of code. In contrast IBM is able to point out 700,000 lines of code, which they have properly registered copyrights for, which SCO is infringing upon if the Court rules that it repudiated the GPL."

Exec Confirms Google Phone 120

cyberianpan writes "The head of Google in Spain and Portugal has confirmed that Google is working on a mobile phone. "Some of the time the engineers are dedicated to developing a mobile phone," This could be the 20% free time development but publicizing that would be stupid. Obviously this phone could link in with Google Earth/Maps... it is a marketers dream for targeted advertising."

Vista Can Run Without Activation for a Year 357

An anonymous reader gave us a heads up on this article for people who like putting things off. It begins: "Windows Vista can be run for at least a year without being activated, a serious end-run around one of Microsoft's key anti-piracy measures, Windows expert Brian Livingston said today. Livingston, who publishes the Windows Secrets newsletter, said that a single change to Vista's registry lets users put off the operating system's product activation requirement an additional eight times beyond the three disclosed last month. With more research, said Livingston, it may even be possible to find a way to postpone activation indefinitely."

RIAA Has to Disclose Attorneys Fees In Foster Case 193

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "The RIAA has been ordered to turn over its attorneys' billing records by March 26, 2007, in Capitol v. Foster in Oklahoma. The 4- page decision and order, issued in connection with the determination of the reasonableness of Ms. Foster's attorneys fees, requires the RIAA to produce the attorneys' time sheets, billing statements, billing records, and costs and expense records. The Court reviewed authorities holding that an opponent's attorneys fees are a relevant factor in determining the reasonableness of attorneys fees, quoting a United States Supreme Court case which held that 'a party cannot litigate tenaciously and then be heard to complain about the time necessarily spent by his opponent in response' (footnote 11 to City of Riverside v. Rivera)."

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