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Ask Slashdot: Networked Back-Up/Wipe Process? 253

An anonymous reader writes "I am required to back up and wipe several hundred computers. Currently, this involves booting up each machine, running a backup script, turning the machine off, booting off a pendrive, and running some software that writes 0s to the drive several times. I was wondering if there was a faster solution. Like a server on an isolated network with a switch where I could just connect the computers up, turn them on and get the server to back up the data and wipe the drives." How would you go about automating this process?

Comment Re:Why look for malice ? (Score 1) 472

Doublestack, Novell, IBM, Apple, Netscape, AOL, DEC, all were companies that were turned on in an instant and had to deal with a Microsoft's severely bipolar behavior.

Don't forget Go Corp, who'd likely have given us viable tablet computing 20 years ago if they hadn't insisted on using their own OS instead of Windows. Microsoft destroyed them with extreme prejudice for it.

Also, I think you meant Stac Electronics, not Doublestack. A Doublestack is a burger at Wendy's, and it appears you were posting at lunchtime. Freudian slip, perhaps?

~Philly

Comment Re:My Motorola Freezes (Score 1) 208

I had a Moto SLVR that was kind of bitchy like that. I put up with it for about 6 months, until I found a good deal on an unlocked Sony-Ericsson K550i on eBay. That phone lasted me a year and a half, until I gave in and got an iPhone.

"Appears to be working, but isn't" is about the worst way a phone can act up on you. I had that happen with multiple WinMo based HTC phones over the years. Definitely not fun when your job includes on-call duty. After the first time I got burned while on-call I had them direct that stuff to my personal cell and not my company-issued WinMo piece of shit.
Crime

Biofuel Thieves Steal Restaurant Grease 165

TMB writes "In a move that The Simpson's foretold, thieves have begun stealing inedible kitchen grease for use in biofuels. From the article: 'It's known as inedible kitchen grease, or IKG, which was once deemed waste and used in animal feed, though now is "an elixir in the booming green economy," according to the California Department of Food and Agriculture. "The grease’s value as a biofuel is being increasingly recognized," the agency said last month. "IKG is now coveted, which makes it a target for theft.."

Comment Re:I'm having trouble (Score 1) 407

"Learn your geeky history. Apple didn't but Steve Jobs did build all Next manufacturing to high tech facilities in the US."

You learn YOUR geeky history. Apple initially had all their manufacturing done in the US, and kept at least some manufacturing there, up until the early to mid 90s. They had factories in Fremont and Sacramento, CA, and another in Fountain, CO, to name three. You can easily tell the factory that built a given Mac from letters at the beginning of the serial number-- the only two that I still remember are "FC" for the Fremont factory, and "CK" for one they had in Cork, Ireland.

I actually just read the Jobs biography, and he apparently had a meeting with Obama during which Jobs took him to task over how difficult and expensive it is to open a new factory in the US, compared to nearly anywhere else in the world. I got the sense that Jobs would have happily done some production in the US again if it made business sense to do so.

~Philly
The Courts

US Marshals Ordered To Seize Righthaven Property 120

An anonymous reader writes "Troubled times ahead for Righthaven, as Ars Technica reports that the U.S. Marshals have been instructed 'to use "reasonable force" to seize $63,720.80 in cash and/or assets from the Las Vegas copyright troll after Righthaven failed to pay a court judgment from August 15.'"

Comment Re:Like PC's (Score 1) 770

Yup. Plenty of historical accounts have said this. IBM saw Apple's success and wanted a piece of the personal computer market, and quickly. They formed a team to do an end-run around their own bureaucracy and slap something together with off the shelf components in a year. They thought the copyrighted BIOS would be their protection from cloners, but Compaq footed the bill for the first legal reverse engineering of it. Once it was proven doable, another company did it (I think it was Phoenix Technologies) and sold their BIOS to anyone who wanted it. Then the PC clone floodgates opened.

IBM later tried to stuff the commoditization genie back in the bottle with the MicroChannel architecture that shipped in their Personal System/2 machines, but the licensing for it was so onerous the major cloners ignored it, banded together and standardized on (I believe) ISA.

Comment Re:Just like Siri... (Score 2) 402

Siri is a gimick. It doesn't make the phone any more useful.

The hell it doesn't. I have practically outsourced my short-term memory to the Reminders app in the last week. Anytime I need to remember something-- particularly when I'm in the car-- it's incredibly easy to hold down a button for 2 seconds and tell my phone "Remind me to [activity] at [time] and/or when I [leave/arrive] [location]". I would never use it that much if I had to set those up manually.

Voice Control in the iPhone 3GS was a gimmick. Siri added utility to my iPhone from day one, and it's only going to get better with time.

It's also only a matter of time before Siri moves into Mac OS X. Mark my words, in the near future one of the F keys on Apple keyboards will be a Siri button (though you'll also have the option for always-on listening and have to address the computer by name to indicate a command).

~Philly

Comment Re:He does have some good points (Score 1) 645

I can tell you that running your desktop apps on a tablet is one of those ideas that sounds good until you actually try it. The problem is that the desktop and tablet experiences are far more different than the desktop and laptop are. It turns out that the mouse (or trackpad or trackpoint for that matter) is a far better tool for moving a cursor around than fingers are.

Even though you can sort of get it to work, it doesn't work well. Tablets apps are about direct manipulation. You grab something and drag it around with your finger, not some kind of virtual waldo. This isn't something that can be fixed by tweaking the OS UI; you've got to redesign the application as a tablet app.

Exactly. Too bad nobody at Microsoft understands that. I mean, if anyone there did, they surely wouldn't have kept trying to cram desktop Windows into phones and tablets for the last decade. They have such a hard on for leveraging existing Windows applications that they are willfully blind to the notion that you need an OS and apps that are purpose-built for the form factor they're going to inhabit. Even after iPhone and iPad came around and proved it by their overwhelming success, Microsoft is still stubbornly doing the same shit.

~Philly

Comment Re:And apple's market cap is going to collapse (Score 1) 296

Using their usual dirty tricks [Apple keeps] releasing new updates to their OS making them run slower on earlier hardware.

You are so full of shit your eyes are brown. Every version of OS X I have used has felt perceptibly faster than its predecessor on the same hardware, and I'm not the only one who feels that way. Hell, the upgrade from Leopard to Snow Leopard was specifically about trimming the fat from the OS.

If you want to talk about bloated OSes that force hardware upgrades, you'd better talk Microsoft.

Comment Re:Translation: (Score 1) 270

The typical Mac buyer is too stupid to handle two.

Uh huh. I've been doing computer support for Windows users for twenty years. If I had a buck for every time I've had an interaction like this with a client, I could retire:

Me: Okay, now I need you to right-click on [whatever] and choose [whatever] from the menu that pops up.
Them: Ok, I clicked on it, but there's no menu, the icon just got dark.
Me: It sounds like you just clicked on it, I need you to right-click on it.
Them: Right-click?
Me: (hiding exasperation that it's the 21st century and I'm STILL having to explain this to people) Click on the button on the right side of the mouse.
Them: (astonished) You mean it does something else????

Comment Re:exit (Score 0) 230

OS X Server would have done better if Apple loosened up the license terms and let it run on non-Apple hardware. I can see why they wouldn't do that while selling the xServe, but once they no longer had a dog in the fight they should have relented. VMware VSphere 5 supports Lion Server, but from what I've read, only when VSphere is running on Apple hardware. If Apple allowed OS X Server to run virtualized on any hardware it would have seen an immediate sales spike (Well, discounting the fact that Lion Server has been widely reviled as a piece of crap compared to Snow Leopard Server.) There are plenty of large Windows-based companies that have Macs, and the ability to better manage them via throwing an instance of OS X Server on their existing VM infrastructure would have been music to their ears.

I've got a hackintosh in the next room that has run Leopard Server and now Snow Leopard Server like a champ for years-- but that's just for my personal needs. I have to figure out problems on my own (there aren't many, and most are related to the fact I'm not running on Apple hardware), and if it goes down for a couple days it's not a huge deal. I could never plunk one in a production environment for a client, where they would expect to be able to call Apple for support and multi-day downtime could hurt their business.

~Philly

Comment Re:It isn't intended for IT (Score 1) 341

The fact that the only hardware Apple markets as a "server" is a Mac mini should be the first clue.

Wrong. They sell a server configuration of the Mac Pro, as well. They've sold a server configuration of their high-end tower since the waning days of the beige G3 machines back in 1998; the mini server is a relatively new phenomenon. Anyway, the "Server" configuration is just a matter of prepackaged and preinstalled convenience-- any Mac could be a server, it just needs OS X Server installed on it. They could offer laptops with a "server" configuration if they wanted to.

Granted, in most cases I'd rather have something rackmountable with LOM and redundant PSUs, but for the SMB market most likely to use a Mac as a server, a mini is perfect-- it's tiny, it's quiet, it sips power, and it doesn't need much in the way of care and feeding. Throw a low-end UPS on it, mirror its internal drives, hook up an external USB drive for Time Machine backups, and you've got yourself a pretty capable little box. Especially when the alternative would be some Dell or HP monstrosity running Windows SBS-- if SBS gets any more bloated and ungainly, the boot time will need to be measured with a calendar.

~Philly

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