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Comment Costco bargain (Score 1) 326

Dell XPS8700 from Costco (they sell XPS8900s now). Two actually; my son saved his money and bought one too. I found that I could only save about $100 doing my own build with the same components, and it was worth that to me to have a warranty and place to take it back to in case it broke.

i7-3770; not a 3770K, but this is an appliance, not a gaming rig, so no overclocking needed. 12GB RAM, 250GB SSD main drive, three 1TB secondary drives, one for Windows, one for Linux (Mint 18 Cinnamon under VMware), and one for backups.

Two-port KVM for this and my work computer, since I work from home. ("I got yer open plan RIGHT HERE, pal!")

Watch the prices in your Costco ads, and when the machines go on sale, which they do a few times a year, grab one.

Comment Scrabble FTW (Score 1) 637


Tournament Scrabble players memorize lots of words, often without knowing their meanings (I don't know the meanings of the four seven-letter acceptable words above). Makes for cool passphrases for LastPass et al.

So for those who understand the maths, is the above passphrase harder to crack than the 20-random-printable-character passwords I have LastPass generate for me?

Comment The true minimum wage (Score 1) 921

"âoeUnfortunately, the real minimum wage is always zero, regardless of the laws, and that is the wage that many workers receive in the wake of the creation or escalation of a government-mandated minimum wage, because they lose their jobs or fail to find jobs when they enter the labor force."

â Thomas Sowell, Basic Economics: A Citizen's Guide to the Economy

Comment Re:It ain't there yet (Score 1) 223

Exactly my own experiences with both AndroidPay and Samsung Pay on my Galaxy S6. Maybe one success in five, and each *pay transaction takes much longer than swipe-n-sign. Even using my EMV cards (at the one merchant I regularly buy from that has it enabled) is a much slower process. And of course, even IF the NFC payment is acccepted, you still have to confirm and sign (and accept/decline cash back, etc) on the terminal.

So yeah. Not ready for primetime, and I just can't ever see these methods becoming mainstream so long as swipe-and-sign-only terminii make up so much of the marketplace and they keep the process FAST, reliable and simple; something NFC is not yet, nor will it ever be IMO (if you want it to be secure, that is).

Comment Re: Never use Linux as a desktop (Score 1) 76

My daily driver runs Linux Mint 17.3 Cinnamon under VMware 12 under Windows 10. All of those have been stable enough that the only unplanned reboots are due to power failures longer than what the UPS can handle, or me attaching flakey hardware (i.e., my own damn fault). That's way more stable than Windows 95 ever was. Not to mention Win95's propensity for forced reboots ("You have moved your mouse. Windows 95 must be restarted for this to take effect. Would you like to reboot your computer now?").

Comment Re:I don't understand technology anymore (Score 1) 75

Unless (like my den) someone decided to save a few bucks (basically the price of the transformer and a relay) and installed a high voltage thermostat, and then you have 110 volts right on the stat. You'd think...
Has caused me enough issues that I think come this spring, I'll do it (Dad would be laughing - he was an HVAC mechanic, and would do it 'whenever' - and of course, I don't have a spare relay...)

Comment Re:Take back Slashdot (Score 1) 1310

Ah, but it won't be the "Old" /. until we have CmdrTaco. Cowboy Neil, Hot Grits, First Posts, the Caveman, and "imagining a Beowulf cluster of these" BTW, that User ID is my second - Lost the ID and password to the first in a ISP change LONG ago

Sigh, back in the era when /. was THE site, and I used to show up first thing every day

Operating Systems

Linux Mint 17.3 Officially Released (softpedia.com) 109

prisoninmate sends news that Linux Mint 17.3 "Rosa" has been officially released. Following a few technical problems with their website, the Mint developers posted release announcements for both the Cinnamon and MATE flavors of the operating system. "Both Linux Mint 17.3 "Rosa" editions ship with the same improvements for some of the operating system's core components and in-house built apps, such as Software Sources, which is now more reliable, responsive, and fast, Update Manager, which can perform more checks, Driver Manager, which is now more robust, and Login Screen." Here are the release notes (Cinnamon, MATE), and the summaries of new features (Cinnamon, MATE).

Comment Re:"Cents per gigabyte" (Score 1) 272

Mine was for an AT&T 7300, aka "Unix PC". I worked at AT&T during those years; there were 6300s everywhere. If you knew the right people and were on good terms with your boss, you could get a 7300 on your desk (until they discontinued them, at which point all the employees snapped them up at a deep discount). I remember that the biggest 6300 full-towers practically needed a pallet jack to lift.

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