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Comment Don't use Excel for CSV files! (Score 1) 346

It's not like Excel alters the underlying data, all you have to do is correctly change the column type.

Oh! but it does - once you save it.

If you open a CSV with Excel by default, it will simply read in the values and format it how it sees fit.
Then if you save it, even as a csv, it will give you a warning saying something like "some of the features are not compatible with this format type"
If you proceed, your file is now changed. I have seen scientific notation changed like this. Many columns and rows, you may miss a malformatting and save it as csv. Boom, your data is now toast.

It is why I always look at my CSV files with a text editor first, and only open copies in Excel.
And if you use a real editor like vi, even opening files with millions of rows isn't an issue.

Comment Re:There's a simpler answer to this (Score 1) 188

Carriers would find a way around this. e.g. "you have to own the phone before you are eligible for security updates" T-Mobile does the "pay $20 a month" for a new phone, so you wouldn't really own it until your contract was up. That's why I think that "other" brands will start making real inroads into the market - BLU, Huwei, Xiaomi, etc. I have a BLU, and love it. Dual sim, unlocked, octacore, 2GB ram, gorilla glass, for $150. Why would I buy some $600 phone? As long as the manufacturers control the updates, I might as well get a good phone that I can afford to either root or replace in a couple of years.

Comment Re:White-washed submission (Score 1) 76

The point being a 'patent troll' is defined as some entity holding patents, but not actually *making* anything. Bad for both being a leech, but also challenging as the potential to fight back to pursue cross-licensing is impossible since the attack doesn't do anything.

Now if you think the patents are stupid and not worthy of being patent, that's something else and I'm particularly inclined to agree about the VFAT patent. But 'patent troll' is a specific phenomenon, and Microsoft is not (yet) in that role.

Comment What a long painfully joyful trip it's been... (Score 3, Interesting) 313

I ditched Windows back in 1998 and installed RedHat 5.1. It was awesome! Then I upgraded. Wow, what a nightmare. Dependency hell. I struggled with it for a few years, but hung in there because I just loved it and had no interest in going back to Windows. Macs make my brain hurt.

Then along came Mandrake which took away some of the pain. That was great as well, really liked KDE. Upgrades were still painful, but much better.

Then I started hearing a lot about Ubuntu so I made the leap to Kubuntu 6.06. I went through about 8 in-place upgrades over time (minorly painful) until I finally things got unstable enough that I did a fresh install. Things were much better... but I kept having issues with KDE wigging out on me and pegging my cpu.

So I installed XFCE on top of Kubuntu. XFCE spoke to me - I realized all the UI flash didn't matter to me. I would flip back to KDE, but the problem kept happening and I was happy with XFCE. Eventually I heard about Mint around 2011, and had to try Mint XFCE - I have been there since. I have decided to not do rolling installs anymore, but I am configured pretty well to do full installs. I just installed over my Mint 17 XFCE release and was up and running on Mint XFCE 18 in about an hour. (my / partition is 55 GB and only uses about 12, and I have a separate partition for home). This was the smoothest linux system update I have ever had - even no issues with the Nvidia proprietary drivers!

Installs aside, my Linux system does everything I want it to do. Seeing all the various applications on it grow and blossom, and really cool things like bootable distros to embedded linux to mini systems to android. It has really been great to see it all flourish.

At work I use Windows 10, and I get by. But it brings me no joy. At home I run Linux, and it brings me joy. Thank you to everyone who has contributed to it.

Comment Re:sounds nice, but... (Score 1) 538

Though one of the chiefly cited daemons (pulseaudio) is in the same ballpark with the same set of developers available to work it.

The problem with your logic is that at some point pulseaudio and the like could in turn decides it wants to declare itself as 'really wanting to persist' using the systemd mechanism, and again be running stray. Then systemd could add yet another layer of 'really *really* mean to persist. It's an arms race of crappy software. The question is 'why does the daemon *think* it needs to persist?' not 'how can we invent a way to ignore their request to persist and hope they don't update to the new scheme'.

Comment Re:sounds nice, but... (Score 1) 538

The point being that it's what systemd upstream decided would be a good default behavior. This speaks to the mindset of the architects and how it factors to their general design.

Yes when they offer choices, distros can opt out. However they are inventing new paradigms where existing ones already serve.

Comment Re:User friendly (Score 1) 313

I think there is a lot of room for improvement for reasonable defaults and auto-sensing correct behavior.

However I take issue with the 'highly intuitive graphical interface for changing the way it works' *always* being available. The GUI should really focus on the most frequently fiddled with things. In Microsoft, you can very rapidly need to drop to do things via powershell commandlets or registry edits to modify some hopelessly obscure thing. Similar in OSX. It's a rare circumstance and frankly the ability for a user to 'intuitively' figure out such an action is needed is just beyond reach.

GUIs that try to encompass *everything* are confused messes. Some KDE dialogs are dizzying, and they still aren't all encompassing. So be very careful suggesting that everything should have an intuitive GUI, because that really isn't the case for any general purpose platform (mobile OSes come closest, but mostly by virtue of not being at all configurable).

Comment Re:"professional"? (Score 1) 313

Well the point is the humble beginnings were Linus sharing a hobbyist project without much ambition. At the time, GNU was a big effort to produce a full Unix system, but licensed under GPL. Proceeding very carefully/slowly for things. Making sure they had the right plan in mind before going and executing to that plan pretty thoroughly. This worked fine for a lot of the system, but kernel wise there was a big gap.

So along comes Torvalds, with an appropriate amount of uncertainty, sharing his quick and dirty stab at a kernel. Ultimately his more pragmatic approach would lead to a usable system long before GNU could deliver one. As such despite not originally seen as a 'serious' attempt, n practice it is the backbone of a great deal of professional work, as well as the target of a lot of code developed professionally.

Comment It's the efficiency mindset... (Score 1) 512

I'd argue that very few people's productivity is measured in how efficient their file operations are. It's sort of like believing you're going to be vastly more efficient as a programmer if you memorize a bunch of keyboard shortcuts or type 60wpm instead of 30. Unlike the movies [hackertyper.com], programming isn't about how fast you type.

I think it's more about learning how to work efficiently, and keeping an "efficient" mindset in whatever you do. Example: I use pine for my email, I have since around 2000. I use fetchmail to pull in a few accounts locally. If I want to check my email, it's faster for me to ssh to my home machine and check it rather than scan across several emails on my phone (I do use K9 to pull them into one app though). Now, if I want to view and attach pictures to emails, or look at attachments, then a GUI is better. But most of the time I am just reading the text and ssh/pine is much more efficient.

Another example: at work someone on my team was trying to generate a 2 million row csv file for testing. She was trying to do it in Excel, and it was very cumbersome and slow. Using an example row, i created a script that was able to generate a million rows in about 5 minutes. Then I used a couple of other tools (sed/cat/vi) to copy the million row file, modify it, and cat them back together. She had her 2 million row csv file in about 15 minutes. She was amazed. Since then I have worked on several other large files like this because people think they have to use Excel to view csv files. And vi kicks notepads ass in editing.

These are just two examples of doing something efficiently. Yes, it was comfortable for me to use these things, but there was no other good solution for this particular problem because people were locked into what they knew. Back on topic, I can certainly use other desktops, but I moved to XFCE many years ago when KDE kept eating my CPU for some unknown reason... and I have simply grown to prefer it. MintXFCE is my sweet spot now, and I don't have any plans to switch.

Comment Re:The way I would handle any important system (Score 1) 404

The generic sentiment is the same, part of the value of a software vendor is how much they can be relied upon to not screw you over in updates. When that equation starts not working out, the answer is not to create long term plans on how you are going to vet each individual minor upgrade, balance the risk of that update versus the risk of not applying it, and so on. The answer is evaluating a long term move to another vendor. There might be some short term making the best of the current situation, but people shouldn't be looking at a long term 'just deal with it' workaround. To put it simply, if you can *credibly* do a better job of evaluating software updates than your vendor, you need to rethink your vendor relationship.

This is a somewhat subjective call and depends on the circumstances. I would say that MS has indeed compromised this value by laying off their QA team and going to a rolling release model and I won't use them for anything other than Windows gaming, but everyone has to make that judgement call based on their needs and such.

Comment Re:Hmmm how bad could it be? (Score 1) 538

I think dbus gets a pass *way* too much for the crap it causes. I think people only started noticing when systemd started to depend upon it so heavily for core function. Of course, a good criticicsm is that systemd shouldn't incur such dependencies for core functions, and that it shares some blame for dbus problems which used to only screw up desktop applications are now screwing with core services or servers.

Comment Re:sounds nice, but... (Score 1) 538

https://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bi...

The short of it is systemd decided all of a sudden the 'right' behavior was to assume processes were killable when your shell exits, unless they took some special measures to explicitly inform systemd directly that it realy really really meant to persist. screen, tmux, et al were suggested to change to support yet another paradigm for indicating wanting to *really* stay alive after session logout.

IIRC, it was all caused because some processes like pulseaudio were abusing the existing paradigm of requesting to run in a way that would persist beyond session exit and failing to close themselves. Rather than correct those bugs, they decided it would be easier to introduce *another* layer of requesting such persistence.

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