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Comment Amazon needs to curate their site more diligently (Score 3, Insightful) 41

There's a whole swarm of "sketchy" vendors on Amazon.com...I avoid them in the most part by only ordering "Prime" merchandise. But Amazon needs to take more responsibility for the quality of vendors on their site. Requiring physical address, phone number and email for all vendors and displaying it on the site would be a good start.

Comment Frat boy (Score 1) 299

I got hired by a little bitty part of a large networking company. They did Token Ring (yeah, I know, but hey, it was decent money). The larger company was doing well, and was buying up small companies for their technology. Fine. The guy running the division was good. My boss, though, was a bit of a young Turk. Lots of book knowledge, some talent, but not a great deal of experience. He had been the division manager's head engineer before I was hired. When I came in, he moved up from doing design to managing me.

This was OK for a while, but I started to notice that he was all about time and deliverables, and not very much about doing things right. Sort of a cowboy.

Example 1: He developed a Xilinx part, using schematic input. Fine, it worked, but he asked me to add some features to it. Part was about 75% utillized, but what I had to add wasn't too much, and it looked doable (and we wanted to stay in the same size part). This was in the days where development tools were in their infancy, and Xilinx's wasn't particularly good. So, it ran out of resources. I played with it for a while, then frat boy boss came by and asked me why it wasn't done yet. I told him I was having problems getting the part to route. Oh, he says, just go into the part editor and add the routes by hand. So, I ask -- how do we know the part matches the schematic? Never mind that, he says...

Example 2: Same company, a year later. Networking giant has merged us in with another company they just bought, and since the new acquisition has 10 more people, we become a part of them. Guy who hired me, leaves in a huff, because he's now second fiddle to the guy who runs the new acquisition...and he leaves BEFORE doing any of the reviews. We find this out, when nobody gets a raise. Someone calls the giant networking company HR and complains. After a month of concerned mumblings, the answer comes down: no raises, your boss didn't do any reviews before he left, sorry.

Example 3: Another project, I'm designing a PLD to parse the source routing field on a Token Ring (yeah, still) packet and direct it to the appropriate port on a bridge. I thought it might be prudent to model and simulate my design in Verilog, before choosing a part. Remember how IDE's were, back in the 90s? So I do a behavioral design, demonstrate that it works, then start trying to find a vendor with an IDE that works and will take Verilog input, and generate Verilog output with timing information from the compiled and fitted design. I discover that a lot of companies SAY they can do this, but some of them are mistaken. Remember, we're running these IDEs on 486's here. End of the year, design works, review time. I figure I'll get a pat on the back for initiative, producing a working design and identifying a good IDE to use on the next design. Nope. Boss's boss (head software guy from the larger company) gives the review. Wants to know why I didn't do the design in Abel, and why it took so long. (This is like asking why you used C, when you could have done the job with BASIC or assembly). I was speechless.

Conclusion: There are a lot of f'ed up and a-hole managers out there, and even more companies who don't give a crap about their employees.

I now work for a design consultancy who DOES value good designers.

Comment Uh...yeah! (Score 4, Insightful) 391

"Once you send out the manufacturing jobs, once you send out the service jobs, once you send out the research jobs, what's left? There's nothing left,"

Well, thank goodness people are beginning to wake up. If you're doing business (i.e.: taking money from people) in a country, especially THIS country, you have a moral obligation to employ people from the community, if possible. Adjust your profit expectations accordingly. We're all in this together, or at least, we should be.
The H1-B scam has been going on long enough.

Comment Re:Change for the sake of change (Score 1) 489

"Listen, Microsoft, I spent a lot of time learning to use the UI, and you go changing it on me; you're making me spend time to learn the new one, instead of being way more productive with the old one I already know."

We know, and the great thing is all that time you waste doesn't cost us a penny! Toodles!
Love,
MS Devs and Management

"Toodles", indeed.

I now run Linux, with the UI I want, not the one Microsoft wants.

(sadly, I haven't managed to conver the IT guys at work. But, soon. Soon.)

Comment Change for the sake of change (Score 1) 489

From the CEO's mind to your screen:
Oooh! Look! Shiny!

Microsoft's philosophy, since the introduction of The Ribbon, seems to be: "Well, we don't have any real features to add to our product, and we're sure not gonna waste time fixing bugs, so let's totally change the UI (no, sorry, no option to keep using the old one) and bump the version number!"

// above may not be true, but that's the way it looks to me.

// Listen, Microsoft, I spent a lot of time learning to use the UI, and you go changing it on me; you're making me spend time to learn the new one, instead of being way more productive with the old one I already know.

Comment Not my office (Score 1) 260

I'm an engineer, so I print schematics, refer to them and mark them up during debug. And a lot of other stuff. However, I'm happy to do stuff digitally when I can make it work.

But my company's business software? Not so much. I'm required to print every expense report, tape the corresponding receipts to it, sign it and put it in an IN basket. Not by my company, but by their tax accountants (and, ultimately, the IRS), who insist on paper.

Then, there are Purchase Orders. We have a digital way of entering these, as with the expense reports. But, the company wants signed hard copies. So, I fill it out online, then print a copy and sign it, put it in the IN basket. Another minor detail: the software we use ("Vision") is so clunky, that there's no practical way to digitally attach a copy of the online order form to the purchase order. And I'm sure as heck not going to retype every line of the order into the purchase order system. So, I order online, print the acknowledgement and staple it to the back of the PO form I have to hand in.

It's not that we couldn't go all paperless, it's that our business processes and regulation won't let us.

Comment Re:perspective (Score 1) 202

This year:

- Trump became president elect
- The cubs win the world series...playing the INDIANS no less!
- Apple stops having growth
- Microsoft joins the Linux foundation

If we have too many more things happen my head will explode and melt away. What's next? The discovery of real Unicorns?

...my flying car?
(personal jetpacks seem more likely: http://jetpackaviation.com/)

Comment Re:How much is the E-book version? (Score 1) 146

You can often save money over the Kindle version by buying used print books. It's always worth checking. If the book has been in print for more than a year, there are quite often used copies available for stupid low (~$4) prices, which, even including shipping, are lower than the Kindle price, which does not decrease with time.

That being said, I, too, prefer the Kindle copy of most books I buy for casual reading, though I will buy hard copies of "keeper" books.

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