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Comment Yup, FORTRAN 77! (Score 1) 630

I think we used a Harris H/500 minicomputer and connected via VT100's wired through a Gandalf box into a baseband network. Actually I'm not sure they even taught anything else back then, except maybe COBOL if you were a business major, LOL. I guess there must have been some sort of Assembler courses perhaps? FORTRAN was pretty much the language of choice in those days, but within 5 years (this was 1981) C was dominant. I think I took a Pascal class in about '83.

Comment Re:some rules (Score 1) 230

Often the question if there's some sort of client for the local API or not. Obviously if its just a web service, which most are, then its probably not hard to create one, but most people just want plug-n-play. So I'd say the firewall that limits traffic to only the IP of the cloud service, both ways, makes sense. You may need to tweak it now and then as the provider changes IPs perhaps, but it should generally work.

Comment Re:some rules (Score 1) 230

That's an overgeneralization. It also doesn't take into account that there are a LOT of possibilities that are short of 'you can just access the whole internet'. Any Firewall can restrict outgoing traffic to specific destinations. It can restrict incoming connections equally. It can force a login through a proxy, which can thwart any backdoor. More sophisticated devices can recognize malicious behavior and put a stop to it. There's plenty that can be done.

Comment Re:some rules (Score 1) 230

Yeah, that's true of course. The problem is most devices envisage remote operation, and for many it CAN make sense. Quite a lot of them also expect to be able to push data up into the cloud for whatever reasons. Many also perform remote updates. It would of course be perfectly reasonable to allow devices to designate a single external point of contact which they can initiate, and obviously your firewall/LAN setup can easily deal with that. That will still leave some potential vectors for attack, but they would require considerably more effort, not something a botnet that spreads automatically would be able to muster.

Comment Re:some rules (Score 4, Interesting) 230

ALL you need are some CONVENTIONS. Every firewall that isn't utterly worthless already blocks ALL outgoing traffic. IoT devices should, by convention, expose their API on a specific and otherwise not typical port. This port can simply always be blocked, ALWAYS ALWAYS blocked on the firewall. Now, when you need to have some specific access from somewhere, then the firewall could act as an authenticating proxy, removing the need for IoT vendors to actually grok security (which is literally a hopeless hope, they never will). Assuming your wireless network is adequately secured, so that nothing gets on it that you don't want there, you should be pretty set. Further conventions could relegate all IoT devices to a separate specific VLAN, etc. The key point is, all the devices need to do is adhere to some VERY simple conventions that even half-assed software vendors can adhere to.

Won't stop all problems, but it would make a damned good start.

Comment Re:Tables? (Score 2) 103

You CAN do that in Google Sheets, which has some quite advanced features (though it also is somewhat more clunky to do some fairly routine things).

I'm not sure what Excel has though vs what Calc has. In calc you can use VLOOKUP and HLOOKUP (and there are a couple other flavors too) and you can use those with rectangular data ranges. The result is PRETTY flexible in many respects, BUT you definitely lack things like subqueries, or even the ability to do searches on more than one column value or complex sorting. Generally you just have to create some additional columns that contain the data you need in the right format, but it can be a pain.

I'd definitely vote for more powerful capabilities in this area though. A lot of stuff is POSSIBLE, but even a lot of relatively easy stuff to describe is HARD to implement.

Comment Re:I don't get this (Score 1) 103

That's quite possible. I haven't had to do that. Like I said elsewhere on this topic, I have LOTS of fun problems with LO Writer, but at a BASIC level of doing simple small stuff that is probably 99% of what people do, its reasonably good. I just wish it would go beyond that because the alternatives are pretty expensive.

Comment Re:Yes and No (Score 1) 103


Yes, it works if the document is simple. If its not very simply laid out, forget it, LO makes an utter hash of larger documents that have frames or tables in them. It gets close, but close is not good enough when it leaves off whole chunks of text, overflows text outside of tables, cuts things off, etc. Again, its a matter of degree. If you print out your 3 page resume with a page header, a couple headings, a bullet list, and one or two customized styles, its fine. Tell it to reflow text around a frame with a mixture of text and an embedded table, and you're out of luck.

Comment Re:Yes and No (Score 1) 103

Yeah, well, Ironically this is another sweet thing, the document recovery features of LO no longer work properly. It just spits out a whole lot of angry messages when it tries to recover claiming that there is some sort of 'lack of permission', but I'm a 30 year Unix/Linux veteran, there's no FSCKing lack of permission, corrupt files, nothing. Its just somehow squirreled some crap away in someplace that is telling it to try to reload files that don't exist, or something. Frankly I'm rapidly losing interest in even bothering to figure it out. I'm beginning to think this software has jumped the shark! Calligra Office keeps trying to be the default handler for MS and OO formats, maybe I'll just give it a try. Starting to think it has to get better.

Comment Re:Yes and No (Score 1) 103

See, I don't have a problem with the MS Word compatibility. I agree, its quite solid (there may be glitches of course, Word and Writer both have masses of features and probably some don't translate perfectly). Its LO itself, internally, that has the issues. I have one larger project in particular where its gotten to a point that in essence the document is moribund. I can edit it, but no amount of editing will any longer result in a net decrease in the amount of formatting issues. I've resigned myself to just finishing a basic rough approximation of what I want in LO and then literally rekeying the entire text into Scribus and laying it out in a sane fashion from scratch (which will include doing all the tables over in some other program where they can actually be imported, etc). I suppose I could consider using one of the LaTeX based tools as well, since I might actually be able to get a modest amount of the material in there automatically, but my initial trials of doing that weren't very encouraging.

Writer is a decent program, if you want to write a 3 page letter, or a 10 page paper, or maybe even 100 pages that are VERY simply formatted without any real page layout beyond what happens by default. Once you go beyond that at all, its not so good. Again, I don't know with MS Word if things are any better, I just don't own it, I don't even own an MS OS to run it on.

Comment Re:Yes and No (Score 1) 103

What, you want to watch over my shoulder and I can show you how it garbles up styles? I mean this isn't some kind of random FUD, this is I CAN FUCKING SHOW YOU LETTER BY FRIGGING LETTER. Now, MOST people probably don't try to actually layout pages, they just type and whatever it looks like they're happy with, and if they can drop in a page number, a bullet list, and a few headings here and there they don't probably even notice when they're fucked up.

I have a 200-something page project that uses a master document, etc. Its not THAT complicated, the styles are actually just the basic ones with 3 levels of heading. It does have a fair amount of tables, and tables that need to be placed in frames (because bare tables just sit splat in the middle of the page, you can't do much with them). Once you get into this stuff, its VERY VERY flaky. Its POSSIBLE to build a document like this in LO, but at this point its up to a level where up to 30-50% of the effort is actually just beating the thing back into submission when suddenly whole pages of content just stops showing up in the UI!

I REGULARLY have to go in and delete and simply retype entire paragraphs because mysteriously LO decides that even though they're marked as say 'text body' that it has merged them in some logical fashion with one of the surrounding headings and suddenly the whole paragraph shows up in the TOC. That kind of crap happens just on a constant basis. Sometimes you can just cut and paste and rearrange and fiddle and faddle for 10 minutes and it fixes itself, many times you cannot, and have to simply reenter content.

I could go on and on and on. There's lots and lots of little glitches with tables and frames where they'll just suddenly bork themselves even when you haven't touched them at all, or all of a sudden LO will turn ALL the text in every table in your document bold, and you can't undo it. Again, just constant stuff. No one bug is overwhelming by itself and eventually you start to learn to navigate around most of them, but I can literally show 'em all off, so saying its bullshit will get you nowhere, you're simply WRONG and don't know what your talking about!

Comment I don't get this (Score 2) 103

I've had zero problems with MSOffice compatibility. Admittedly, there may just not be a huge amount that I am asking of the program, but I generate simple documents and send them out as .docx all the time, and I don't get any complaints. Nor do I see that they're misformatted. Likewise I load MSOffice files, both Word and Excel, on a pretty regular basis. I've had zero word problems recently, and the only problems I had with Excel files were some very oddball macros that just didn't make it over correctly.

I'm not an LO fanboy by any means, I think its got some pretty annoying issues, and it certainly hasn't kept up with all the newest features of Word, but OTOH I don't need any of those features! Its a solid program for doing fairly basic stuff like letters, resumes, cards, and similar stuff. You can do a 100 page document if you don't care about any elaborate features either, though I am happy to admit it isn't the best tool for that.

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