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Comment Re:Really? (Score 1) 1110

I installed Win 8 on a couple of home machines. It was an easy way to upgrade to 64 bit, and upgrade a crapware-ridden Visa laptop. I tried the Win8 Metro interface for while and eventually gave up. (I didn't dare impose Metro on the rest of my family).
I installed Classic Menu and it is now fine - no big deal. Very fast boot, decent shutdown. Managed to put an SSD on my main machine and it's great.

I agree with many of the points made in the video - Microsoft is nuts. To attempt to combine the two interface is beyond stupid. Who, indeed, signed off on this?
We complained bitterly when Microsoft tried to put a desktop interface on a phone - now they are trying to put a phone interface on a desktop. Doesn't work. Apple doesn't do it - Microsoft should have taken the hint.

A major problem the chap had was related to the difference between a touch interface and a mouse interface, and his points are well made. One is relative, one absolute. Very different. Not compatible.

I don't see how this is the death knell for Microsoft, but honestly, what have they done right under Ballmer's watch? Vista - no. Win 7 - yes, Win 8 - no. Was he responsible for the ribbon - not sure. And the Windows/Nokia merge is going oh so well, don't you think?

I never thought I'd say this - but I miss Bill Gates.

Comment Re:you know what? (Score 1) 140

Really - tens of thousands per year? - I though that exaggeration, but apparently 33,808 died in the US from car accidents in the last year. Wow.
8.5 deaths per billion car kilometres. (Mind you, don't try driving in the United Arab Emirates - most dangerous roads with 310 deaths per billion km - 36 times as dangerous ... and many places don't record the distances, so could be even worse. Maybe try Iceland, at 3.5?).

Yes, clearly humans in control = carnage.

Looking at our society, it is scary how dramatic the change has been to accommodate cars. It's amazing. Especially for kids.
We don't allow them to roam the streets because of the dangerous cars; the kids become totally dependant on their parents for transport (which both sides hate), it goes on. Old and disabled people are similarly disadvantaged. We have rebuilt our cities in obeisance to the mighty motor car.

Dang - and here we are looking to run a bit low on oil, and we've burnt so much of said oil that we have messed with the climate.
Hmm - and does it get us to work on time? No, everyone sits in queues of - oh yes, cars.

I'm not sure we have this quite right ...

Will driverless cars improve things? Some yes (kids don't need parents to drive them), some no (we'll have cars consuming road space & energy with no passengers at all). On the whole I see it as probably worse for energy and probably pollution, but probably better for social stuff - and definitely safer.
And maybe our kids can wander about freely again, safe in the knowledge that cars will see them and stop in time.

Comment Re:Captain Obvious (Score 5, Interesting) 341

Petrol and diesel engines in cars, especially starting and stopping a lot, are appallingly inefficient. Less than 30% of the energy in the fuels gets used for moving - and then there is braking. Throw away all that good energy as - heat? Fantastic!
Electric motors are really good at stop/start - especially with regenerative braking.
Power plants are really efficient.
Also, it puts all the pollution in one place - easier to handle, yes? And better yet, it's in a place where I am not. And if I can breath more easily, I might ride my bike more. That'll reduce pollution.

Would anyone seriously bet against electric cars on a ten year time-span?

Comment Re:Wrong audience for the question (Score 2) 340

On the other hand, there are people on this forum that are into long distance sailing, and are heavy-duty geeks to boot.

For example (cough) - me.

I sailed for 2 years back in the very early 80's on a small vessel (a 29' Iroquois cat, in case you are interested). After some 10,000 miles of sailing I might possibly comment.
There were few electronics at that time - we had a miserable depth-sounder, a crappy VHF, a crappy electronic log. Not much worked after a while - we used a Walker log (yup, trailing log with spinner), compass, sextant, cheap digital watches, and a very useful HP44C calculator for reducing sights.
And a crucial Autohelm - I only had one, and it died after being left inverted in a locker, fortunately after the Atlantic crossing.
As stuff broke down, it tended to get replaced with simpler things - a lot of rope, frequently.

The most wonderful bit of electronics on the boat - the autohelm, and a solar panel to actually make it work - and lights, oh joy!

My advice is keep it as simple as possible, duplicate what you can (weight is not your issue - it was mine). Here's my list for the present day:
2 separate 12v power systems
2 separate solar charging systems
autopilot + spare (I used Raymarine - I like their stuff even though they do make nasty military gear). If you can fit a windvane then do so (depends on your boat I had a fast cat and they don't work too well). Check the power consumption - the tiller ones are good, wheel ones not so good.
2 small watermakers (fresh water is the ultimate luxury in a cruising boat) .+ spares. One would probably do, they are very reliable
2 dinghies (you've got the room - 1 good rowable, one outboard powered. If you can make either sailable you will like that) [I know these are not electronics, but they are absolutely essential to life]
a folding bike or two will transform life in harbour (sorry, not electronic either)
panel mounted GPS/plotter (I rate this as spoiling yourself, but you probably have the money if you can afford an 18m boat)
hand held GPS (phones do this and you can get marine charts - great backup and really useful ashore)
hand bearing compass
depth sounder (if you can afford a forward looking one, better yet)
EPIRB (if you can afford personal ones, great) - yes, you'll want a liferaft. I didn't have one but I was on a cat and they don't sink (they can flip but I didn't - and you get somewhere to sit)
make sure all lights are LED, including the nav lights
if your boat is really dry you could take a cheap laptop plus inverter - don't rely on it as your sole source of charts, though
microwave - great to save gas, there are 12v ones available

radios to choice.
through hull log - maybe, Ive had a couple fairly recently and they tend to get clagged up, maybe they have improved. I believe you can even get ones that don't flood the boat as you pull out the sender. Nice if you can link everything together (if you stick to one brand it's easier)
wind instruments - nice idea, but tend not to survive. In Australia the cockatoos eat the wind-vanes, for example. Annoying. Expensive. A tough metal vane without electronics should survive

The marine environment is harsh on electronics. Modern electronics are wonderful, but if anything breaks you are totally stuffed. You need a plan B and a plan C - thus take a sextant, tables (there are excellent calculators around).
I would take a waterproof Android phone (yes, they do exist), and perhaps some dirt cheap (b&w if you can find them - batteries last forever!) simple phones.

If you go too high tech, you separate yourself from the marine environment - far too many people sail about, listening to loud music. Nice occasionally but what's the point?
It can be really neat to digitise a bunch of videos and music and take a player or two. I certainly take a couple of Kindles (the cheap simple ones) as it can get a little boring sometimes.

18m is a very big boat - I was once advised by a long term cruising sailor never to sail a boat you cannot single-hand. It's not a bad point. Can you? Believe me, crew wander off, friends go home, family seem to get commitments - you WILL end up single-handing at some time. Or do you want to depend on random sailor picked somewhere - fun, but it can be a long way with someone you don't like.

All that said - go! You can learn on the way (don't listen to the nay-sayer - I mean how many people have sailed around the world before? It's usually their first time), you will suffer storms and calms; each will try you. With luck, you will discover amazing resources within yourself that perhaps you did not expect.

But as for electronics - don't become one of those boats that stagger from port to port, fixing things - I've seen far too many. Simple boats sail, complex boat lay up and repair.

Stay fit, stay well, and sail!
And when you get to Sydney, drop in for a chat!

Comment Re:Ebook reader (Score 1) 415

Yes. For reading books a basic Kindle is far ahead. Screen is clear, battery life is awesome (as long as you turn wireless off). You can't read in the dark unless you get a little case/light.

A pad is far better for pad-type stuff. Games, random surfing, etc. Battery life is ok (cheap Android tablets not included), but they are heavy, hot and awkward to carry about. A Kindle you can lose in a bag, or even a big pocket. I have trouble getting my iPad out of the hands of my kids whereas they barely touch the Kindle.
The new iPad (stupid name) might have a amazing screen, but it's going to be a bit hot to read in bed in summer.

What the heck? Get one of each.

Comment Re:Field dependent requirement (Score 4, Insightful) 1086

Mathematics (does anyone say mathematic? No - thought not) is a large collection of subjects: geometry, trigonometry, algebra, statistics ...
Sport is a large collection of disciplines: football, rowing, ice-skating, ten pin bowling ...

Language usage is not logical, nor consistent. Certainly the difference between British English and American is not consistent, nor even sane. It's a collection of pretty random changes, some the result of mistakes, some of changes in opinion (color -> colour), changes of usage (gotten is almost never used in the UK).

I admit a favourite is Aluminium vs Aluminum. Now that was just a plain old battle, which both sides being a pain in the neck. (And as for the gallon/US gallon thing, I mean really! Let's all get over it and use litres).

But why should I care, I live in neither country? I live in Australia (land of silver medals, apparently) where we just mix them all up and do what the heck we like.

Mind you, I do feel there is a strong argument for claiming the English should be the reference for speaking - English.

Comment Re:Job Security here... (Score 1) 708

No, this is not how all banks are.
I also work at a bank, in IT architecture. (And in case it's relevant, I'm 57, and started there last year).
My bank has some thousands of IT staff, and treats them well. There are a fair number offshore, I don't know how well they are treated there.

"Dig into old systems like a tick". Not the most professional approach, though tempting. There are COBOL systems down there somewhere - but they do get replaced, albeit rarely. We did. Wasn't easy. Spent 1.5 billion dollars.
It's certainly true that if you understand many systems in depth you are obviously of value. That sounds much more professional.

If your bank hires new staff for each project, and fires them when it is complete, it is chronically stupid, and will crash into a screaming heap fairly soon when they realise they have a collection of disparate, poorly designed, totally un-integrated systems that nobody understands - and nobody cares about. Certainly nobody working at the bank.

I think I'd rather work at my bank.

Good luck with yours.

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