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Comment Re:Can you go paperless? (Score 1) 311

I've used the Fujitsu Snapscan S1500 for the past 18 months and I cannot think of enough good things to say about the hardware. Using the included ScanSnap Organizer, I throw a bill or statement on the machine and it's scanned in seconds. The software uses AbbeyFine OCR to create a "backing" of searchable text in the PDF; the scanned image is presented for viewing and printing. The OCR works very well for printed documents, rather poorly for handwriting. It also has the ability to put the scanned document into a folder based on keywords, e.g. 'Sprint', 'Chase', etc. When I want to find specific documents, it is far faster to type in 'Chase 2011' to get all my bank statements from last year than to search through the files.

Keeping my life on the hard drive means that I have to use special care in backups, which I take using USB hard drives. The usual: rotating media, off site, annual benchmark that lives for years...

I am much more comfortable now that I will be able to produce receipts for the IRS on request than I was with a paper filing system. This is far less work for me and I feel much better about finding things. Documents are stored in searchable PDF; no worries if AbbeyFine or ScanSnap go out of business.

After seeing the recommendation here, I need to check into Yojimbo or Evernote.

Comment ARM Needs Cache (Score 1) 368

My company has run ARM9 embedded products since 2004. And since 2004 the ARM processors have always been s..l..o..w.. due to a minuscule L1 cache and no opportunity or support for L2 or L3. Moving the identical applications to Linux x86 PCs, our prior estimate was that the ARM9 processors were 25X slower, clock for clock, than then-current Xeon processors. That turns out to have been wildly optimistic. Running identical code, the Xeons were at least 100X faster than the ARM9s: adjusted for clock rate (533MHz ARM9 vs. 1.8GHz Xeon) we could easily run more than 100X simultaneous processes on the Xeon that contained the entirety of the ARM9 code, barely blipping the CPU load. We ended up being limited by the maximum number of multicast addresses Linux supports.

We were running VxWorks 5.6 on the ARM9 processors and Centos 5.4 Linux on the Xeons.

Comment Think of the Children! (Score 4, Insightful) 1003

They are targeting cell phone users because when something bad happens constituents expect a government response. While it is impossible to legislate (or enact regulations) to "be a good driver", it is possible to legislate or regulate cell phone usage. Just another regulation that will be arbitrarily enforced...

Comment Why Keep Smallpox? (Score 1) 290

Given that we have the DNA sequence for smallpox, can someone please tell me why, oh why, do we keep this deadly virus around AT ALL? I was vaccinated for smallpox, but my two younger brothers lack the tell-tale scar. Given that immunity fades after between 3 and 50 years, with 3 to 5 years being typical, any release of smallpox into the wild would have devastating worldwide consequences. So, tell me again why we keep live virus in the fridge?

Comment Re:When are multiple cores going to help me? (Score 1) 189

I run a recent Dell T3500, 24GB RAM and dual GTS450 graphics cards. The extra cores help a lot with Adobe After Effects. A. LOT. Not so much with Adobe Premiere, because you get far more bang for your buck with a medium-to-high end NVIDIA graphics card: Premiere makes excellent use of CUDA, particularly for encoding. (By default, Premiere will only see and use "pro" cards: Quadro, Fermi, Tesla. There is an easy configuration hack that lets it use any 200 series or better card. My GTS450 encodes full 1080 HD in real-time. ) There is a caveat there: only for encoding in the foreground, and it only uses a single NVIDIA graphics card: SLI does not matter.

I find it strange the the foreground encoding uses GPU acceleration, but batch encoding does not. So the extra cores would help you there, too.

In my programming, (large scale network simulation, real-time audio processing) any cores beyond 2 do little to nothing. When I re-compile the latest version of Boost, the extra cores substantially speed the build, but this is something I only do 2-3X per year.

Comment Re:Support them from your own money (Score 1) 666

CentOS lacks the rather worthless Red Hat support and the obnoxious Red Hat license, "If ANY Red Hat box is under support at your company, then ALL Red Hat boxes must be under support."

We started running Red Hat in 2004, and included a Red Hat license with every Dell server we bought - dozens. That slowed down after we had tried to use Red Hat support a few times: if you are competent to administer a production server then Red Hat support is not helpful. So we went to just specifying Red Hat for servers running software that requires Red Hat (or such) for support, e.g. Oracle. We left our existing Red Hat licenses in place and continued to pay for support on the production servers; we let support on the pre-production staging servers lapse.

In the last 18 months, Red Hat has been pushing "all-or-none" support rather obnoxiously. So we have been actively pruning Red Hat out of the organization down to only those servers that require it for the other vendor's support contract.

Comment Re:I've said it a hundred times... (Score 1) 658

As much as I detest TSA policies, violent resistance to TSA personnel is NOT the answer. These are blue collar folks who have a job. Violence against them is wrong. Civil disobedience, like everyone requesting a Freedom Fondle (TM) rather than go through the body scanner is more likely to be effective (by jamming up the lines) and does not visit violence on those who deserve no such thing.

Comment Re:I'd say that's "mostly" true. (Score 2) 318

My first programming on a 286 was using DEBUG to create .COM files. I've written AIX device drivers and have used Linux since 1992 and compiled plenty of kernels as well as kernel modules. I work heavily with embedded software.

Despite this I find setting up WIFI under Linux a huge PITA. I normally end up using NDISwrapper. The whole thing reminds me of Winmodems, only I could readily purchase a hardware modem that I knew would do the job. With WIFI vendors continually changing chipsets and firmware versions without changing the model number, buying a "known good" WIFI card is a crapshoot.

Comment Re:Self-important judiciary (Score 2) 397

To receive injunctive relief, the moving party must demonstrate "It has at least a reasonable likelihood of success on the merits." This wording is part one of a four part test on when injunctive relief may be granted, as laid out by the U.S. Supreme Court in Rizzo v. Goode. See the first Google hit for "likely to succeed on the merits."

Use of the wording is not a show of bias, but the judge's way of referencing that test to show that she operated within her judicial discretion. Be careful throwing around phrases like "bias.. ignorance of the facts, or both" when your comment itself demonstrates, well, both. There are bad judges like there are bad programmers, bad mathematicians, and bad engineers but accusing someone of criminal misconduct due to your own ignorance is irresponsible.

Comment Re:Statistics, statistics (Score 1) 401

I've been running XP-64 for more than a year now on a Dell Precision T3500. It's a beautiful thing: 6GB of RAM, (4) drive RAID-10 system, nVidia graphics, dual screen. Everything works: printers, scanners, mice, sound, video. Oh, not quite everything: the only thing I've found that won't work is iTunes.

Still, I'm giving serious consideration to migrating to Windows 7 64-bit. Once I try it on another machine, I'll use the new VMware 7 migration facility to wrap up my nicely customized box as a virtual machine, add another 6GB of RAM, and install Windows 7.

Any caveats on the VMware Workstation 7 migration tool?

Comment Re:Note to the President (Score 1) 857

From 1981-2005 (latest year data is available) Texas PAID more Federal taxes than received in Federal Spending - EVERY SINGLE YEAR. That's not true of California or Massachusetts.

The Tax Foundation

If you look at foreclosures adjusted for population then Texas is not one of the problem states. You might want to start by returning California to the Russians.

Texas is large and diverse. Are there things that the state government does that embarrass me? Of course. Are there any states where that is not true?

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